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Discussion Starter #1
tisenberg (and other brilliant Computer Dudes..)

I have a Tiger Direct Mini-tower Computer
that is giving me grief, and I wondered what you think the problem might be.....

Tiger 300
AMD K6/2-300 Processor
64 Mb RAM
4.3G HD
Running Windows NT 4.0

This computer stopped all of the sudden one summer day. It was just running the screensaver, and all of the sudden gave me a Blue Screen, and said it had some kind of error.

The Repair disk did no good.

Reformatting, and reinstalling NT4 didn't work, as the install froze up after about 30 minutes.

Next, I reformatted it, and installed PTS-DOS, and it ran for 2 weeks without stopping.

Just today, I (again) reformatted the HD, started to Install Win98A, and it went about 90% through the process, then when it automatically rebooted for the final time, I got the Blue screen again, and a message that said.....

**************************************************
Windows

"A fatal exception OE has occurred at 0028:C0043522 in VOX VFAT(01) + 0000BC52

The current Application will be terminated

Press any key to terminate the Current Application.

Press Control-Alt-Delete to restart.

You will lose any unsaved information in all applications.

**************************************************


The "Press any Key" does Nothing....

The Control-Alt-Delete (warm Boot) shuts down and restarts the computer, but when it comes back up, the install procedure continues from about HALFWAY (Without the CD!!), and when it again gets to that final re-boot, it gives me the same screen again...

Talk about Looping....



I've tried a different HD, and got the same results. The memory works in a different machine too. If I do the install in another machine, then put the HD back in this machine, it works for awhile (24-48 hrs) then gives me the original error screen, like I had the FIRST time this summer

Any ideas what's wrong??


?????????????????????????????????????
 

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Well, the first thing is the problem with using the ole' K6 processors & these old MB units. (no flames --- am engineer and worked in labs actually on building processors and memory modules, etc) I like AMD, always have, but some of these K6s were bad news. Actually it sounds like you might have a faulty MB controller that is flaking out and affecting the IDE bus and therefore the HD units in turn causing software OE errors.

I would stand to reason that if you ran a complete disk-scan check from DOS if would fail and lock up as well. Of course the VFAT (32-bit FAT system drivers - vfat.vxd) are a little more strigent of hardware, as is Windows itself. If you have swapped memory, HD units, and bring em back and have these problems - then is definately something with the board and/or controllers. It could also be poor power supply leads that could be flucuating causing electronic sensitivity problems with your drives and their very slight tolerances for surging or weak power. I have seen many power related gremlins sneak into a PC unit. Test it by using VOM on leads and testing for proper voltage or by swapping power supply units (if plugs are compatible for board - AT style)

All in all, this wonder PC is probably not worth your time. This box wouldn't sell for $50, so bag it up and grab a cheap P2/P3 or Athlon box and you will be very pleased. Don't get me wrong I have 7 systems --- from Dual P4 3.0G towers to old 286 for Novell printer server (novell 3.12) and I have a working 8086 and 8088 box for novelty purposes. So I am not a "discarder" but sometimes it is just not worth it. HTH, TG.

Thanks,
Andy
:alien:
 

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I have a hard time getting rid of any computer. I can always find a use for it. Couple of things,

1) Wish I knew what the original NT blue screen message was. For instance a blue screen error with a STOP and a IRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL indicates that you have an IRQ conflict.

2) Taking memory from one computer and putting it in another and watching it count does not mean the memory is good. Actually USING the memory by writing too it is the final test.

3) You did swap hard drives which is good. Formating a hard drive is usually a soft format, sometimes they need to be low-level formatted, probably not the cause here.

There are many things it could be, but something smells fishy.

The message "A fatal exception OE has occurred at" can mean an incompatible driver (dll) or even bad memory. I have even seen a large piece of dust in the SIMM socket cause a Novell server to run for days and then abend when memory usage got up to a high point.

If I was sitting in front of the computer. I would re-seat the processor, memory, BIOS and any chip hand inserted. I would also use a can of air and blow everything clean.

I would then yank all cards out except essentials. I would only leave the video and hard drive controller. Get rid of sound cards, additional serial/parrallel ports, USB add-on cards, etc.

Then... do the install of 95 or 98. NT is MORE picky.

Lastly, since you did the install on another computer (great idea) and it works for a while, it could be as Andy indicated, processor or motherboard just going bad or power supply not giving good clean power.

I doubt it, is a grounding problem with the motherboard. I have had cases where I ran the computer completely outside of a case in order to get things totally fixed.


If you were near, I'd pick it up :)
 

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One more thing, the end of your error message said VFAT(01). That usually points at a floppy drive, harddrive, etc. Maybe you can disable the onboard controller, spend $15.00 and install a seperate card. If it doesn't fix it, CompUSA and BestBuy usually take returns. It might be that the IDE controller is just going bad and that's it.
 

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Yep, good diagnose Tisenberg...I agree. I am banking on faulty power or bad IDE controller (likely) ---- as stated earlier...

Good to see another techie here willing to chat.. ;)

Andy
:alien:
 

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We saw similar problems on two different PC's. One was an AMD and the other an Intel. The power supply in the AMD was super dirty inside and not venting very well. We blew it out and it helped, but didn't fix it. Replaced the power supply and all was well.

On the Intel, the CPU fan was blowing the hot air directly on some capacitors and upon inspection they had gotten to hot. You could see it easily. Switched out the MB and it fixed it.

Not sure if that's your problem, but just a thought.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Pete!!

Your the only one so far whose given me anything I could use......

Everybody else wants to insult me for having one that old, and they want me to throw it away instead of repair it.

I have 12 Computers

Compaq Presario P4 1.3Gig (The one I'm using now)

Tiger K6/2-300 (the one I'm speaking about)

Tiger P2-200 (being Rebuilt)

Generic K5-133

Generic P2-333 (being Rebuilt)

IBM 350 P-133

IBM 350 P100

Trademark 486-DX/4-120

Trademark 486-DX/4-100

Tricord Server DUAL PROCESSOR 486-DX/2

Generic (being rebuilt)

plus
Toshiba K6/2-380 Laptop
Packard Bell 486-DX/2-50 Laptop
Compaq 386-33 Laptop


All are running different OS's, from PC-DOS 3, to PTS-DOS, to Win3.1, 95,98,and NT3.51, NT 4.0, and of course 2000, which is technically NT 5.1 I skippedc ME and XP, as I won't use either of them... I LIKE my machines (and sanity) too much!!!

They are mostly networked together, but I'm still finishing the backbone wiring, so the LAN isn't up yet

What have you got????
 

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I didn't say throw it away, In summary, I said...

- with a can of air, blow everything out
- take out all un-neccessary cards (sound, I/O, firewire, etc)
- replace the IDE controller
- reformat/reinstall

Worse comes to worse, replace the power supply, which is easy and cheap to do.
 
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