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Thread: 486 won't post or boot

  1. #1

    Default 486 won't post or boot

    I picked up a HP 5110 it has a acer a1gx motherboard with 486 dx4 100 and it powers up, but its not making any beeps at all, and isn't putting out a video signal. I tried stripping everything off it and I replaced the battery. I don't have another memory stick to try so I am going to order one tonight. When I unplug the CD drive from the motherboard it, but not the power supply then it will open and close but when plugged to the board it does nothing. Normally I'd probably just strip it for parts and save them for later, but since it came with the original mouse, keyboard, speakers, cables, install disks, and didn't have a speck of dust inside I really want to get it working, it was even still plugged into the phone line and a dot matrix printer when I got it. Partly I just want to play wizardry and some other games that came with it.

    If I can find another motherboard that is exactly the same, can I just swap them out or will I have to do anything with the bios? My computer skills are not good, I'm learning but it's a slow process.

    Any advice would be appreciated, most of the computers I get are pentiums or newer, I don't know if working on these is any different.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Melbourne, Australia


    Welcome to these forums.

    You should verify that the various voltages, and the POWER GOOD signal (see [here]), coming out of the power supply are proper.

    You do not mention using a POST card to see if it shows any POST (power-on self test) activity. You can find these on eBay via search using "diagnostic card isa". The common one there has a very poor manual, and I have put some basic info on it in the 'Example of a modern card' section of [here].

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Indiana, USA


    Did you try popping the RAM out and then putting it back in? So many times I've found a system that powers up, but then just sits there, needs the RAM re-seated. In fact, you might just rock anything that's in a socket because the contacts like to oxidize, especially if the system has been just sitting unused for a time.

  4. #4


    Also there’s always the chance the cpu is dead, the only CPUs I’ve personally experienced die are 486dx4 and P4-3GHz, both ran hot relatively to other stuff at their respective times.

  5. #5


    I built two ISA cards in 1988: one that shows the postcode outputted by various BIOses, another that enables me to step the PC byte by byte and to see what address and data is on the bus. The first one can be bought on Ebay and Aliexpress for a few dollars.
    The second one you have to build yourself, I never saw it on internet.
    With kind regards / met vriendelijke groet, Ruud Baltissen


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