PC is fine when it starts!

  grumpy old git 13:38 30 May 2005

I have a three year old Mesh PC (AMD Athlon, Award BIOS, Windows XP et al.)which has worked faultlessly until now. The problem is that it takes 2, 3, 4 sometimes 5 attempts to get it to fire-up but when it does start it runs perfectly. However I do get the following message....

During the last boot-up, your system hung for an improper CPU speed setting. Your system is now in safe working mode. To optimise the system performance and reliability, make sure the CPU speed conforms to the specifications of your CPU.

My first thought was the CMOS battery, which is now replaced, has gone duff and yes, the BIOS are set up correctly as far as I can tell. As I said apart from this minor inconvenience (actually it's a blooming nuisance) the PC runs well. Can anyone in PC land offer some advice, thank you everyone.

  961 14:00 30 May 2005

It may be that the settings for the cpu frequency, clock multiplier, voltage or FSB have been disturbed in the BIOS settings

You can find the correct settings at the AMD web site click here and then check them against your BIOS settings (press del on boot up), or if you post the model and speed of your processor here we can post the correct settings for you to check

  grumpy old git 14:27 30 May 2005

Thank you 961, the model and speed are - AMD Athlon XP 2100+ (266MHZ)

  961 14:40 30 May 2005

There are 2 XP 2100+ models

The earlier is called Model 6, Palomino and operates at 1.75volts

The later is called model 8, Thoroughbred and operates at 1.60volts

Both should be set to a clock multiplier of 13x and a front side bus of 266MHz

Your computer book should tell you which model you have. If you can't establish that then set the voltage to 1.6 volts and the multiplier to 13 and check that the operating frequency shows at 1733MHz. If it shows slower then you will probably have the earlier processor so the setting needs to be 1.75volts

  grumpy old git 21:33 30 May 2005

Hi again 961, I did not know there were two models, I have the earlier one. The settings are as you describe but I am a little confused by the FSB figure, I can not find where to alter this. I used your link to the AMD site and as you say the FSB should be set at 266MHz however all I can find that remotely resembles this is CPU/PCI Frequency at 133/33MHz which is exactly half of 266MHz is this a 'red herring' the available range only goes up to 214MHz. Can you shed further light?

  woodchip 21:42 30 May 2005

Should be set to 133/133

  ACOLYTE 21:43 30 May 2005

You normally double the FSB multiplier so 133 becomes 266 so they need to be set at 133Mhz and should then run at 266Mhz.You also need to know what the memory speed is as if this is set to high this can also make the PC unstable 133/133 is standard on most machines but you can go lower say 100/100 but this would cause a loss of performance but may make the pc more stable somtimes you can mix the two settings 100/133 if you try to go higher then you may well burn out the CPU,these settings should be detected by the bios and set automatically.

  dan11 22:23 30 May 2005

Yes it should be set at " CPU/PCI Frequency at 133/33MHz " and not 133/133. The second figure 33Mhz is the bus speed of the PCI slots. Do not alter this above 33Mhz. It is possible to alter the PCI bus speed by manually increasing the fsb of the motherboard, don't try it. ;-)

  grumpy old git 19:10 31 May 2005

Thank you everyone for trying, the settings it seems are O.K. so I shall have to look elsewhere for the cause of this problem. I suppose it's possible the new battery is duff or it could be the CMOS itself, is there a diagnostic tool for the checking/testing the CMOS? I'm still open to ideas so I won't close this subject just yet.

  woodchip 20:48 31 May 2005

The PSU may be on it's way out

  grumpy old git 17:51 17 Jun 2005

Woodchip .... you suggested on May 31st that the PSU may be on its way out and this did, some how sound possible so I decided to wait and see what happens. Well guess what, on Monday a loud bang and a dead computer forced me to instal a new (larger) PSU and bingo!!!! problem gone. Thank you for your suggestion it just proves what an excellent source of help this forum is.

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