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Home » Forums » Forum Archives » Motherboards, Chipsets, Processors, & Memory » Topic # 355

Is the Socket 7 History, Etc. - Part II
lbyard Apr-29-01 10:39 PM
The original thread was getting too long. So, I started a new one. Perhaps this one, like the original, will still be going strong after a year? Part I is at http://duxcw.com/dcforum/DCForumID5/21.html. Larry

1. This Socket 7 Almost Became History
lbyard May-06-01 07:26 PM
In response to message 0
I thought some of you readers would like to know that I occasionally run into some really tough computer problems also. This one had ol’ Larry stuck for so long I would be embarrassed to say how long in this forum.

Last December I upgraded one of my Accountant’s computers with a Shuttle 591P motherboard, 500 MHz K6-2, and 64 Mbytes of PC133 memory. Still a good computer for the average office worker… It ran without incident for months. All of sudden it started to get random Windows protection, etc. errors at almost every blink of the eye. None of them pointed to a specific cause of the problem.

Well, usually a problem like this is a hardware problem. Visual inspection found nothing wrong: no loose screws, etc. Checked jumpers: OK. It passed a virus scan, AMI Diag, two disk scans, etc. and ran fine in DOS. So, I started “Easter-egging” the problem (substituting parts). Pulled all boards except video. No joy. Replaced the most likely culprit: memory… No. Replaced the motherboard. Nope… Tried another power supply… Nuts!

Well, it must be software. Backed-up the hard disk and did a clean install of Windows. No, it popped multiple error messages towards the end of the install. Did another install… Same thing. Mucked with the CMOS, restored defaults and disabled everything, and did another install… No.

Must be hardware. Replaced memory again… another motherboard… Replaced the display adapter… Undetectable virus? Wrote zeros to the hard disk, fdisk /mbr, followed by another clean install… No Sir… Replaced the hard disk and did another clean install… No. Replaced THE CPU and fan (very unlikely)… No. Replaced the floppy drive (now I’m really fish’n)… Replaced the CD-ROM… Used another Windows CD… At this point I had clean installed Windows so many times that I practically had the key code memorized.

I’m pulling my hair out and this Socket 7 is close to being/flying high into real HISTORY!!!

Last night I sat on the couch frustrated with a little wine (well, more than a little) and did a mental inventory of what I had tried in that Darn Socket7… What haven’t I replaced in that @#$%^&* computer? The case (although, I have seen one case—pun--where replacing the case some how fixed the problem)… Nah… Ah ha, the cables--unlikely. This AM I replaced the hard disk and CD-ROM cables. Problem Fixed! It just survived a clean install and three Winstone 99’s. Larry

2. LOL
copperpipe May-07-01 06:11 AM
In response to message 1
LAST EDITED ON May-07-01 AT 06:13 AM (GMT)

Ahh how refreshing it is to see that someone as knowledgeable as the Master of these forums can occasionally be "mortal" like the rest of us here.

But just one thought I'd share:

Whenever I replace/upgrade socket 7 motherboards (AT boards especially), I always replace the cables with those that came with the new motherboard. And I store the old cables with the old motherboard. This is just a habit I've adopted after I found that the pin assignments for serial and USB connectors were not the same among different motherboards. Also, I was getting tired of having a mess of different serial, floppy, parallel, & IDE cables being stuffed into one big bag...

3. Socket 7 Motherboard Cables
lbyard May-07-01 01:53 PM
In response to message 2
I replace the serial and printer cables also and they were replaced when the computer was upgraded. The motherboards that were substituted were identical to the one used in the upgrade. I do not usually replace the CD-ROM drive cable as most motherboards do not come with two IDE cables. Also, when upgrading a working computer, one usually has IDE cables which were working. Incompatibilities between serial and printer cables have been a problem for many years. I always replace them. Furthermore, I take it one extra step. If the case has punch-outs for serial and printer connectors, I remove the connectors from the slot brackets and mount the connectors on the case. This not only looks better and frees-up slots, it usually avoids problems with the mounting hardware coming loose (I tighten them very tight with a socket driver) when one unscrews a cable, and brackets becoming misaligned with the slot or being pushed into the slot. I have seen PS/2 mouse connectors broken by misaligned slot brackets. Larry

4. RE: Socket 7 Motherboard Cables
copperpipe May-08-01 04:50 PM
In response to message 3
I also like to mount the connectors directly onto the case for the reasons you mentioned. But some PS/2 connectors (like on my Epox AT board) do not fit into the knock-out space on the back of the case.

5. RE: Socket 7 Motherboard Cables
lbyard Aug-15-01 03:00 PM
In response to message 4

Axe falls on AMD low-end processors
17:20 Tuesday 14th August 2001
Matt Loney

"Production will end next summer for AMD's 486, 586 and K6-2 processors, in a decision that some customers call a major blow to the embedded market... Production capacity at Fab 25, where the processors are produced, will be switched to flash memory..."


6. RE: Socket 7 Motherboard Cables
copperpipe Aug-16-01 06:25 AM
In response to message 5
Next summer is a long way off - I'm surprised that they will continue production until then with the Durons being so dirt cheap.

I wonder if the K6-2 chips the most mass-produced chip in computer history.

7. RE: Is the Socket 7 History, Etc. - Part II
lbyard Aug-16-01 02:57 PM
In response to message 6
Manufacturers are still using those processors in embedded products: “smart” things other than PCs. Redesigning and retooling those products can be expensive. Using a processor that is more powerful and demands more resources than what is needed adds to the cost. I doubt that the K6-2 was the most mass-produced CPU in computer history. Intel has about 80% of the processor market. Larry

11. RE: Is the Socket 7 History, Etc. - Part II
lbyard Aug-14-02 12:53 PM
In response to message 7
My socket 7 (EpoX MVP3G2 and 500 MHz K6-2) became history today. I certainly know that my "new" (really substantially upgraded) computer is not the fastest thing on the planet (I'll go a little slower and save big bucks), but it is a lot faster than its predecessor with a 1.6 GHz Athlon XP 1900+ on an Abit KX7-333R motherboard with 256 MBytes DDR memory (Crucial), a 7,200 RPM, ATA/100, 30 GByte Maxtor, motherboard V770 display adapter, housed in an Antec SX840 case, viewed with a 17 inch Acer 79g monitor, and music provided by a SoundBalster Live and Cambridge SoundWorks speakers. However, the Socket7 is not entirely dead. I am about ready to make a Linux host/server out of it… if my Wife doesn't grab it. Larry

12. RE: Is the Socket 7 History, Etc. - Part II
lbyard Aug-14-02 12:57 PM
In response to message 11
I should note that I was planning to completely scrub the drive (and get rid of Windows Me at the same time) when I moved it to the new hardware, but I was hurting for time and found that the move from the VIA MVP3 chipset motherboard to the KX7-333R with the VIA KT333 chipset hardly phased Windows. It caused the least amount of Windows thrashing I have seen to date for this kind of upgrade. Larry

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