New K7 System

Well, a new system from an established and reputable vendor is not exactly an "upgrade", but there are just as many problems.

The system (assembled by a local clone vendor)

Day 1 - worked at clone shop, failed at home
"Bad" memory card

Works with USB mouse in the "upper" USB ports; fails (won't boot to windows) with mouse in either "lower" USB port. The clone shop says to simply live with it. They tried a second mother board and other (un-specified) things and could not find a repairable problem. (Uh, Microsoft admits that Windows 98 has a problem using USB ports in systems using AMD processors running faster than 350 MHz. We haven't tested their "fix" yet.)

The system worked fine for 3 days, then it would not boot to Windows or safe mode. It would boot to the command prompt. In CMOS, I lowered the clock frequency from 100 MHz to 97 MHz (effectively lowering the processor speed from 700 Mhz to 7*97 = 679 Mhz). Now Windows works fine. (Maybe the IDE cable is the problem? Changing the UDMA setting from 4 to 2 had no effect.) Actually, even at 90 MHz and 3:3, the system hangs about every 30 minutes.

There is no documentation on how to run the memory at 133 MHz. (Uh, this motherboard is specificly advertised to run at this speed.) Research on the ASUS web site (actually in the discussion forum) indicated that the Front Side Bus (FSB) should be configured (in CMOS) as 3:3 for PC100 memory and 4:3 for PC133 memory. No, its NOT in the manual.

By the way, if you press the reset button during startup, the BIOS automatically sets the processor clock back to 100 MHz and the FBS to 3:3. No warning, no documentation, it simply happens. (Well, when you do it, the BIOS actually tells you that it happened, but there is no way to detemine what settings the clone shop had used. There is nothing on this in the manual.)

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / Upgrades / index.html