3 November 2007 - 18:02It was Earth all along

The BE-2350 CPU turned out to be fine. I bought a new CPU which the MSI tech support guy said ought to work even with the oldest BIOS (AMD Ahlon 64 3200+ Orleans 2000 MHZ $46) and still nothing worked. Finally, I was going to try booting off the old IDE hard drive I had in an old computer (which I think is 9GB and has Windows 95 on it) and just listen to see if the drive spins or quits. I had the bright idea to test that machine first, which would also serve to retest the monitor. Sure enough, same strange clicking sound and no display. I tested the monitor with the thinkpad again and it still worked.

So I brought the old computer into the lab and plugged it into a different monitor. Booted up fine, displayed fine. Who knew a multisync monitor could work with some VGA cards and not others? In my garage I had Jim’s old computer and monitor dated 1999. I was sure it couldn’t be a VGA monitor, looked more like the machine was a 286 perhaps EGA era. But it was a VGA. Coincidentally, Jim came by yesterday (after four and a half years) to take all his stuff that was stored here. He ended up leaving the computer (Russell and I are charged with saving the data from it or chucking it, at our discretion). So today I tried the old monitor and the new machine boots up fine.

It happened that the new CPU was in the motherboard when I began today, so I updated the BIOS on the board without bothering to see if it would have worked with the BE-2350 and the old BIOS. The only other trouble I had was that the machine wouldn’t boot with both memory slots full (with either set of RAM) until I put back the 3200+ CPU, then switched them again. I don’t know why that worked, perhaps I just got lucky reseating the RAM enough times.

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