Problem diagnosis help - New Issue

My brother / fellow QT3’er Greg recently upgraded–or I should say, tried to upgrade–his computer, and is getting a bizarre response. He bought a new CPU (AMD Thunderbird 2600), motherboard (he says it’s made by a company called “FIC” and is the AU-13 model, I’m not familiar), and RAM (2x Corsair 512 266). When he turns on the power, he gets fans and LEDs, but no POST. The computer gives one long beep and two short beeps. He says the mobo manual says nothing about what this might mean. He’s tried setting the mobo jumpers to clear CMOS, tried all different RAM combos, taken everything out and put it back on, and inspected the CPU for any obvious physical defects, all with no results. His old board/RAM/CPU are incompatible with the new stuff, so he can’t do a mix-and-match to try and narrow the problem. In a last-ditch effort to save himself a trip back to Fry’s to return everything and exchange it for new products, he asked me to post here on his behalf.

Does anyone know what these Morse-code-style beeps mean? Anyone have suggestions for stuff he can try before going through Fry’s Return Hell?

One long two short is usually a bad or missing video error.

Yep, you’re right. Thanks!

Okay, now my brother’s having a new problem. His system POSTs, but when he hits “del” to enter the CMOS, his system hangs. If he just lets it boot, it hangs (no hard drives specified in CMOS and I guess it doesn’t auto-detect). He’s tried setting the jumper to clear CMOS, no luck. Anyone have suggestions for what could be wrong or how to fix it? Is this just a bad motherboard? Thanks.

Building your computer is always like this for me. I would suggest cutting back to one stick of RAM. Try 'em both and see if that helps. Also, I am not familiar with the board, but does it have jumper settings for FSB and multipler? You want to double check those and make sure it’s not inadvertantly overclocked. It’s probably not the disk because it happens before letting him into the BIOS.

Since I’ve just been through this hell:

Make sure that no features are enabled on the board via jumpers that are not going to be used immediately. ie If you are not using SCSI and there is a jumper to disable it, disable it.

Is the power supply up to it?

What is the exact type of memory recommended by the motherboard manufacturer? Maybe it needs registered DIMMs etc.

Did he plug in the CPU fan?

Has the video card etc been properly seated? Has the video card fan been plugged in, and is it spinning?

Are the IDE cables plugged in properly with the red stripe at pin 1?

Maybe two power inputs are required for the board. Are they both seated correctly.

I always recommend sacrificing small animals to the computer gods whenever I add hardware, rebuild, or upgrade. It’s tough on the squirrel population, but the gods of motherboards and CPUs seem to be propitiated by the bloody rites.

I remember Mike Weksler, the original CGW tech editor, telling me that a system wouldn’t work properly until you cut yourself on the case and bled on it.


Yeah, I think blood is an integral part of this whole thing. Kinda creepy.

So far thanks for the help all. Sadly I HAVE spilled my blood on the rig, but no animals yet. That might be my next step. I have checked my ram, fans, etc and still have no luck. I think the Computer gods hate me right now.