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Discussion Starter #1
have an ABIT motherboard with a 40 gig harddrive and a 160 gig harddrive as a slave - with Win XP. When i start to boot up the first screen shows:

Main processor: Unknown cpu type 600 mhz
Memory testing: 524288K OK

then does the drives and then has this statement

PU is unworkable or has been changed. Please recheck - CPU soft Menu


the ABIT motherboard is ABIT NF7-S V2 Socket A (Socket 462) NVIDIA nForce2 SPP ATX AMD Motherboard

The processor is a AMD Mobile Athlon XP-M 2400+ (45W) Barton 266MHz FSB 512KB L2 Cache Socket A Processor

And the memory I have is 2 sticks of this: 256MB PC-2100 Double Data Rate (DDR) 184-pin (32x64) RAM

I hit F1 to continue and it shuts down and I get this loud beep! What is going on?? Any other info people need to diagnose my problem?
 

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Your motherboard is getting confused by the fact that you're running an XP-M mobile CPU. ABIT's website doesn't explicitly mention whether that motherboard supports an XP-M. Have you tried updating your motherboard BIOS? You'll have to be able to boot DOS to try it (unless you have another Athlon XP laying around). The default CPU multiplier is 6 and the motherboard has apparently set the FSB to 100MHz because it doesn't recognize the CPU.

If you can't boot DOS in its current condition can you get into the BIOS? If so then you can probably set the FSB, CPU voltage, and CPU multipler manually so the CPU will work at its rated speed (or beyond - your multiplier is unlocked). An XP-M operates as a plain old XP Barton on motherboards which allow you to set everything manually.
 

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Thanks - I can hit DEL to get into setup and into the BIOS - so it is possible. What do i set the settings to given my configuration?

And what does that statement mean? PU is unworkable...is that processor?
 

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Whoops - I misunderstood at first - So I need to upgrade the bios to see if it could handle my XP mobile?
 

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You probably don't have to upgrade your BIOS. Your motherboard can set everything manually. My motherboard doesn't actually recognize my XP-M either but I run it beyond full speed by setting everything manually.

I would start with relatively safe settings just to get it going. Since you have an XP-M you can run it at various speeds. The following are the "safe" settings I use on my XP-M.
1) Set "CPU Operating Speed" to "User Define"
2) Set "External Clock" to 166. This is the FSB value. You can actually run this at 200MHz with a lower multiplier.
3) Set "Multiplier Factor" to 10.5. That's actually a little under 1.8GHz which your CPU supports but you can change this value later.
4) Set "Power Supply Controller" to "User Define"
5) Set "CPU Core Voltage" to 1.6 volts.

The settings above are a little conservative but should work with your CPU. You can try a FSB of 200MHz with other multipliers but you'll have to raise the CPU voltage as well. That's assuming you want to overclock your CPU. That's why most people get XP-Ms.
 

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Thanks for the help! I did all that and it seemed to go through fine! Well until the bootup after the bios check. It went straight to the chkdsk screen and it said it had to check to verify consistency. Well a little bit half way through, my computer crashed and i hear these beep and then 3 seconds and then another beep then 3 seconds and it kept on going like that. Does that mean my hard drive is failing?
 

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You may have to adjust some other settings before the thing is working properly (RAM timing maybe) so I wouldn't assume it's the hard disk at this point. What's new in this machine? Did you just change CPUs or is more in the machine new? Are you trying to boot a copy of Windows XP which was set up on a different motherboard?
 

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No - I havent changed anything - I came back from vacation and booted up my computer and this happenned. for the last couple of weeks I noticed that the time rolls back 3 hours and I have to keep on changing it. Well now I try to boot up and all I get is the beep - I cant get to the screen anymore...
 

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Well - i tried it a couple of times and finally I could get it to boot up - I got a physical memory dump blue screen and then it went to a black screen and it says:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repar this file by starting windows setup using the original setup CD-Rom

Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.
 

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Well, if it's suddenly giving you the "CPU is unworkable" message then something could be wrong with the motherboard, the CPU, or the power supply. Bad RAM doesn't usually cause that one. More often than not it's the motherboard. Given your time problems, have you tried changing the motherboard battery? Have you tried clearing the CMOS? You might also take a look at the capacitors on the motherboard (instructions here).
 

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Losing your CPU settings and having time problems can be symptoms of a bad battery. Both of them require settings being saved correctly in the CMOS RAM. They can also occasionally be caused by problems with your standby voltage. You can check the standby voltage in the BIOS. It should be about 5 volts. In fact it's a good idea to check all your voltages in the BIOS to make sure they're in range. They're supposed to be plus or minus 5%. Your symptoms could also be motherboard problems but it's hard to prove without swapping in another motherboard (which is a big pain). So if you're having these kind of problems you change the battery first since it's cheap and easy and then cross your fingers that it fixes the problem. You can get those batteries (usually lithium 2032) in lots of places including Radio Shack and I think at Home Depot. First I'd try clearing the CMOS to see if it's just messed up CMOS settings and if that doesn't work then replace the battery. When you put in the new battery be sure to clear the CMOS again. If that doesn't work then you may have a more serious problem.

I gotta go now. Real life is intruding.
 
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