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Help me before I cry or go broke!!


Confused and Bewildered
Hardware gurus, I need your help. For background on my problem, please read this thread first.

First, I can't get my mb to clock right; it defaults to 100 mb bus, but I can't change it to 133 fsb in bios...it simply shuts down after making the change in bios and 'save and exit'ing.

OK, so my Athlon Xp 2100 runs as a 1500; I figure after all the troubles I've had I'll live with it for a while. However now I'm suffering from random power-offs...well, not really random, either; my system will power down when I try to run certain executable files (like driver updates), or when I try to multitask (for example, I wouldn't dare open Photoshop while writing this, it would crash). I haven't been able to isolate the problem with the crashes, either. I've tried every conceivable hardware combination: 2 different (new!) motherboards, two different psu's (neither new, I still wonder), an AGP and a PCI video card (both new!), 5 different pc2100 rdram chips, (3 new!) and a brand new Athlon XP 2100+. Now I'm suspecting the hard drives, my two Maxtor 40 gigs; but even with no drives installed I can't set the fsb to 133. WHY? (One of my motherboards has a jumper to set to 133, but then I can't power up).

I've been struggling with this problem for weeks and am at the end of my rope. I'm thinking of buying a new barebones system just to gain some peace of mind. But I've got all this brand spanking new hardware that I can't use!!! I've been searching the web for help but have come up dry. Please, someone help me diagnose this problem! My old Soyo Dragon Plus mb used to run fine with automatic settings (until I fried it, that is). What should I try next?

I'm almost out of hope, but I'm giving you guys one last shot. Thanks in advance for all your efforts.

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Have you turned off 'automatic restart'. Right click my computer/properties/advanced/startup & recovery/settings. Untick it in there. Now you should get some error boxes popping up which should point you in a direction to fix it.


Confused and Bewildered
Hipster, I think I love you.

I will surf for a while before trying to initiate a crash and will let you know what error messages (if any) I get. This is a great tip!

Also, I just tried running with a different hard drive attached--just one drive with a fresh xp pro installation and a dvd-rom drive as a slave...everything booted fine but the second I tried to run an installation file off of my "Install files" DVD the system crashed same as always. So I guess that eliminates my hard drive as the culprit...and xp as well, as it was a fresh installation.

Should I buy a new power supply first? What are the odds I have TWO bad psu's?

What the heck is going on???????????


Confused and Bewildered
Disabling automatic restart did not have any effect. I still lost power instantly.

After a crash I have to disconnect the plug from the power supply and wait 15 seconds or so before plugging it back in (with both of the two I've tested). 3 times out of four my system will then crash on the "loading your personal settings" screen. Just now when I finally got back in I had to reactivate windows!!!!!!

A couple questions...would a bad power supply keep my system from booting when I choose the correct fsb setting of 133 but still work ok at 100?

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Have you checked all the power supply cables going in & out of the power unit? What about using a different plug in the house. Use an extension cord if necessary.


NTFS Stoner
yep, if it cant hold its voltage at the higher levels the pc is askin u hit the nail on the head, opening photoshop hits 100% CPU as it loads, have you done all this with the same power supply ?

the 15 second delay is the PSU thermal trip gasping for air.


NTFS Stoner
can u install motherboard monitor and record some voltages, see if the poor little thing is straining under load, providing you can hold it there.

XP Abuser

hey frieghtgod if you got 2 psus i guess you got the same power rating which would cause it to auto shutoff to stop it overheating, and prevent smell of burnt out electronics

as someone said it could well be your cpu maxing out, which would cause increased stress on the psu, this would cause it to shut down - as a safety measure.

BTW if you got alot of spanking new stuff pop over to the trading post
I got a 550w-max duel fan psu at the weekend for £28 so they're not too expensive for a big one :)

might be worth giving that a go.

What is the fsb usually on the 2100s? is it 266?

have you tried flashing the BIOS to the latest version? perhaps it doesnt want to run the CPU at that speed because theres a bug in the BIOS. Look on the websites for the corresponding manufacturers for more information. I dont think it could be that seeing as it does same thing with diff mobos. Is it possible for you to test a different 2100+?

could the cpu need burning in? i remember i had to set fsb manually on a mates 1.4 athlon when i first built it as the only direct option was 100MHz (when its normally 100MHz and 133MHz). I went back a month later cuz he was having problems (user errors lol) and I was able to change it to 133MHz using the pre-set options rather than manually.


i think mayb bcoz of ur cpu overheat or the psu itself...
try switch it on.... and after a while try touch ur casing (near ur psu) and see whether it is hot or not!

i got same prob as u with some of my PCs. Several is bcoz of my psu (i can feel the heat near the casing) and some is cpu overheat problem (sometimes it is bcoz of the cpu cooler which get too much of dusk) or the cpu itself...


This sounds like PSU problems to me. I had the same problem with my 2100+ when I first bought it. I was lucky in that this was a known issue for the cheap MOBO I got with my CPU. In my case It's probably not a watts issuse as much as the PSU is not puting out enough amps on the 3.3 or 5 volt lines


Confused and Bewildered
Thanks, all! I have a new psu coming tommorrow so I'll let you know if that solves the problem. I went for a pricey one, the Antec 430.

I don't have another cpu to try. I don't think the cpu's overheating, I've got a whopper cooling fan on it and the temps look ok in bios. It's not like I'm doing anything but surfing anyway, so I shouldn't be taxing the cpu.

Keeping my fingers crossed while I wait for the next crash!!!!!!

I would like to know if I could have damaged my power supply while repeatedly trying to boot up a shorted motherboard, as described in my original thread. I never had problems with these two psu's before, but I did use them both while trying to get this shorted setup running; I've done research on the web but would like to hear a point-blank answer that says, "yes, bonehead, this would ruin your power supply." Can anyone give me that answer? (Go ahead, call me a bonehead, I got myself into this mess!)

To think that I had a perfectly fine system but couldn't leave well enough alone!!!! Guess I've learned my lesson...NOT!! mwahahhahahaha!

Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'd like to hear more personal experiences with failing or weak power supplies. Misery loves company.
freightgod if the PSU doesn't fix it I noticed you said you are running rdram and an athlon....

I didn't think there were any Rdram (Rambus) motherboards for the AMD CPU's? Also PC2100 is a DDR spec not SDRAM or Rambus either I think.

The XP2100 uses a 266 mhz fsb. Not sure if it can even run at 100/133.

Do you have compatible MB, Ram and Processor?

If you are running RDRAM that stuff is flaky. Make sure there is a terminator in the end slot and any other of the black magic things it requires. Or if you meant ddr or sdram disregard this post.

Crashes when you try to multitask can also be a ram problem. You fill the ram up until you hit a bad area then crash.


leeJend, I think the rdram was a typo, and when you set your front side bus in the BIOS you set it to 133 to get 266. (133 x 2= 266)

XP Abuser

freightgod your motherboard has not broken your psu its not possible as the psu feeds the power and it can take respectable amounts of surges.


Confused and Bewildered
Kids, after weeks of hardware h*e*l*l I am finally up and running at full speed. The culprit? My replacement Athlon XP was at fault. I bought a new one and everything is now happy happy.

Thanks all for your help...this took me weeks to troubleshoot and I never suspected the cpu.

I now have enough parts to assemble a second system!!!!!!!!

I really appreciate everyone's input. What a great place this is.

Hipster Doofus

Good grief Charlie Brown
Originally posted by freightgod
I now have enough parts to assemble a second system!!!!!!!!
Not one that will work anyway. :p

Good you got it sorted. Always seems to be the way though. Buy something new as a replacement & that too is knackered. :mad:

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