Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: Diagnosis???
started by: smag

Posted by smag on Dec. 11 2006,01:34
I am slowly learning, but this one has me stuck.

I was going to make a DSL surf-box out of my old compaq 200Mhz , but then I remembered a falimy member had a faster, newer old piece of junk in a closet, a PB 400Mhz (Mine had a K6, his had a k6-2)  He retired the thing because it was so godawful slow.  It had 98se on it, and apps would take forever to load.  Even slower than my k6-1.  But I thought it was just win98 all gummed up with crap, or corrupt somehow, so I figured the thing would be awesome for DSL.  

But it sucked.  I yanked the HDD out and just booted with the Live CD, and as soon as the GUI starts to load, it slows down to a near standstill.  DSL's GUI flies right up on my old 200 machine.

With no hard drive, and DSL running, I know it's some hardware problem.  The BIOS checks the memory ok, and DSL's monitor shows 29Mb RAM (though it's supposed to be 32)

I thought maybe the CPU was baked, so I swapped out the K6-2  400 for another old K6-200 I had spare, but the exact same thing happens.  Zoon zoom until gui tries to load, then crawl.  The background image never even loads, and the Dillo welcome page takes 10 minutes to display.

With both CPU's, same thing, So, is this a memory problem?  Is the ramstick fried or something? I'm guessing it is, but I don;t have another stick here that'll work for a swap-out.

I guess what I most would like to know is: if I go find compatible memory for the thing, is there something else that could be wrong with the MB that's gonna make my effort a waste?  I'd go get 64 to put in it if I thought I wasn;t wasting my time.

Thanks for any advice, if anyone reads this subforum :)

Posted by skaos on Dec. 11 2006,11:18
The BIOS checks the memory ok, and DSL's monitor shows 29Mb RAM (though it's supposed to be 32)

Those "missing" 3 MB is used by the kernel.

How much memory does your 200 MHz box have? If it has more than 32 MB, it could explain the difference (in particular if you have a hard disk install). Also try the top and free commands to see if there is any runaway processes and/or if all memory is used. If all memory is used then you need swap. You could also try a hard disk install (with a swap partition) as this (I think) frees a few MB. And maybe the memory in your 200 MHz box fits your 400 box as well. If not, I would try googling to find out which kind of memory that the 400 box requires.

Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on Dec. 11 2006,14:41
Could be a cd drive problem... some of the drives I've used take forever to install something from it (in windows this would end up freezing explorer for a long while).

You could also try booting with lowram and/or failsafe, among other boot codes.

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