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Old 10-15-2012, 01:53 AM   #1
Wim Sturkenboom
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Why is this PC all at a sudden slow


A donated Pentium 200MMX with 32MB (EDO ) RAM and 6.3GB harddisk running Win98. It was booting fine about a month or so ago after which I stored it.

Yesterday I decided to wipe the private data so started it up and it is slow, so blooming slooooooow. Detection of the harddisks is OK, but after that it writes a text table with processor, memory etc. You can really see it write the lines of text. Eventually it boots Windows (and does not complete).
Booted a DSL liveCD and you can see it draw the DSL logo (before the boot prompt) pixel row by pixel row; takes about 0.5 seconds to draw one row of pixels.

I would swear that a 16MHz processor or so was doing the work.

It eventually came right so the question is what happened?

PS
It needs a new CMOS battery, but I doubt that that is the cause. It also has a turbo button (remember those ), but that does not seem to make a difference while it's functioning.
 
Old 10-15-2012, 05:41 AM   #2
segmentation_fault
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I would start by running at least 10 passes of memtest86 and then HDD manufacturer's and SMART tests. If those passed ok, and the issue existed, I would then go for cpu (and vga maybe) stress tests. Also, take a look at the mobo for any faulty capacitors. They are easy to spot.
 
Old 10-15-2012, 04:11 PM   #3
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If it needs a cmos battery then maybe some bios setting has changed to way slower stock numbers. Maybe cpu multiplier or ram speed or such.

As above, memtest never hurts. Read what it says for ram and amount.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 01:17 AM   #4
Wim Sturkenboom
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Thanks for the replies; haven't even opened it up yet. Will run a memtest an see if I can find diagnostic tools for the HD.

Quote:
If it needs a cmos battery then maybe some bios setting has changed to way slower stock numbers. Maybe cpu multiplier or ram speed or such.
In that case, it would not recover after a while, would it?
 
Old 10-16-2012, 01:30 AM   #5
sag47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
If it needs a cmos battery then maybe some bios setting has changed to way slower stock numbers. Maybe cpu multiplier or ram speed or such.

As above, memtest never hurts. Read what it says for ram and amount.
Back in those days motherboards weren't too terribly customizable through the firmware. The ones that could change frequency or hardware clock speeds usually used switches physically on the motherboard if I recall correctly.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 03:46 AM   #6
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wim Sturkenboom View Post
Yesterday I decided to wipe the private data so started it up and it is slow, so blooming slooooooow. Detection of the harddisks is OK, but after that it writes a text table with processor, memory etc. You can really see it write the lines of text. Eventually it boots Windows (and does not complete).
Booted a DSL liveCD and you can see it draw the DSL logo (before the boot prompt) pixel row by pixel row; takes about 0.5 seconds to draw one row of pixels.

I would swear that a 16MHz processor or so was doing the work.

It eventually came right so the question is what happened?
I've had the same thing happen with old pentiums, and I've never figured out what causes it.

BTW, I used to use a 10MHz 286 and it wasnt that slow....

Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
If it needs a cmos battery then maybe some bios setting has changed to way slower stock numbers. Maybe cpu multiplier or ram speed or such.
Can happen, its pretty rare with pentium/pentium MMX machines.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wim Sturkenboom View Post
In that case, it would not recover after a while, would it?
If it does happen, no, it wont fix itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
Back in those days motherboards weren't too terribly customizable through the firmware. The ones that could change frequency or hardware clock speeds usually used switches physically on the motherboard if I recall correctly.
Mostly yes, those systems did use dip switches or jumpers to change CPU voltage, freqency, etc., but 'jumperless' motherboards started appearing around the pentium/pentium MMX era.

If its a late model P200MMX its more likely to have a jumperless motherboard.
 
Old 10-16-2012, 09:21 AM   #7
sag47
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@OP: Do you have the internal speaker hooked up? Does the POST give you a certain number of beeps or is it the normal single-short beep?
 
Old 10-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #8
Wim Sturkenboom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sag47 View Post
@OP: Do you have the internal speaker hooked up? Does the POST give you a certain number of beeps or is it the normal single-short beep?
Don't know; as said, haven't opened it yet.
 
  


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