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Thread: another Gateway 2000 thread / help!

  1. #1
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    Default another Gateway 2000 thread / help!

    Hello!

    I picked up this Gateway 2000 486DX/33 - so the power supply turns on... the LEDs on the motherboard and the front panel light up... I hear the hard drive spin up... but there's no activity.

    No PC speaker beeps, no monitor output signal, no floppy disk activity.

    Any suggestions on how to begin troubleshooting would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time and your help!

    IMG_1614.jpg

    IMG_1615.jpg

  2. #2
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    The Gateway 486 I had would not boot if one of the RAM sticks was not correctly in its slot. I would suggest removing all but one bank and double checking that bank is correctly inserted. I think the bank would have 4 SIMMs and the SIMMs with only 3 chips would be better to remove.

  3. #3
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    This can be caused by a number of issues.

    As krebizfan already stated, making sure your RAM isn't faulty would be a good starting point. The computer should at least POST with only one stick, so try a known working one if possible.
    Is the computer using onboard video or an addon video card? The video output itself may be the issue.
    A bad or damaged trace on the motherboard could also be the issue. If you have a multimeter, use that to make sure all of the correct voltages are present. If there are any bad traces, patch them with jumper wires or replace the entire motherboard.
    The capacitors in the power supply may also be weak. Check to make sure none of them are leaking or bulging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TH2002 View Post
    As krebizfan already stated, making sure your RAM isn't faulty would be a good starting point. The computer should at least POST with only one stick, so try a known working one if possible.
    Unless the chipset has memory gimp mode, four sticks at minimum are required for this motherboard.

    The 486 has a 32 bit memory bus and 30 pin SIMMs are only 8 bits wide, thus requiring four in parallel to make up the 32 bit bus.

    If the motherboard had 72 pin SIMM slots, you could get away with a single memory module, but not with 30 pin SIMMs. If one of the four pair is bad then the computer isn't going to work at all, or exhibit strange issues.

    Also, get that NiCD barrel battery off the board *IMMEDIATELY*. I can already see damage on the motherboard around it, the white fluff of death on nearby components.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Also, get that NiCD barrel battery off the board *IMMEDIATELY*. I can already see damage on the motherboard around it, the white fluff of death on nearby components.
    ...and that alone could be the reason the board doesn't show any activity.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Unless the chipset has memory gimp mode, four sticks at minimum are required for this motherboard.

    The 486 has a 32 bit memory bus and 30 pin SIMMs are only 8 bits wide, thus requiring four in parallel to make up the 32 bit bus.

    If the motherboard had 72 pin SIMM slots, you could get away with a single memory module, but not with 30 pin SIMMs. If one of the four pair is bad then the computer isn't going to work at all, or exhibit strange issues.
    Thank you for your correction. I don't think I've ever worked on a motherboard that wouldn't at least POST with just one working stick of memory.

    As others have already stated: If you haven't already done so, remove that leaking battery and clean up any corrosion with vinegar. If possible, you should also check the underside of the board to make sure no corrosion has occurred there as well.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TH2002 View Post
    Thank you for your correction. I don't think I've ever worked on a motherboard that wouldn't at least POST with just one working stick of memory.
    Some chipsets have "gimp" mode where you can run on two 30 pin SIMMs for a 16 bit memory bus. Performance is obviously crippled, but OEM PC manufacturers of the time were mostly responsible for it since they wanted to cut costs when memory was very expensive and being able to cut modules meant lower costs and more profit.

    72 pin SIMM memory modules fixed the problem because they were 32 bits wide and you only needed one. However, when Pentiums came around with their 64 bit memory bus, OEMs again brought back gimp mode to be able to run one a single 72 pin SIMM at again the cost of crippling performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by TH2002 View Post
    As others have already stated: If you haven't already done so, remove that leaking battery and clean up any corrosion with vinegar. If possible, you should also check the underside of the board to make sure no corrosion has occurred there as well.
    Corrosive battery electrolyte more likely has seeped into the inner layers of the PCB, where it's impossible to remove.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by GiGaBiTe View Post
    Corrosive battery electrolyte more likely has seeped into the inner layers of the PCB, where it's impossible to remove.
    For some reason this is a very common problem that too many people refuse to recognize even exists. I have a pile of boards that have had their surface traces successfully repaired and still don't work properly or don't work at all and this is indicative of faulty hidden traces on the boards' inner layers.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    For some reason this is a very common problem that too many people refuse to recognize even exists. I have a pile of boards that have had their surface traces successfully repaired and still don't work properly or don't work at all and this is indicative of faulty hidden traces on the boards' inner layers.
    It makes more sense to test simple fixes to the problems listed before assuming the board is dead from unseen damage.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by krebizfan View Post
    It makes more sense to test simple fixes to the problems listed before assuming the board is dead from unseen damage.
    When there's lots of visible corrosion damage it's not usually repairable with a simple fix.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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