I’m trying to build an older computer, and by older, I mean a 486 (don’t ask why, I just am) but am having a problem. I’ll give all the details about the motherboard, memory, cards, and so forth, in hopes that this will help someone identify the problem and be able to give me a solution.
First, I have two motherboards that I bought a while ago off of eBay, one, a 486 VIP - (V)LB(I)SA§CI (It has 1 VLB, 3 ISA, and 3 PCI ports). It has an overdrive chip which allows to run at the speed of a Pentium 75mhz. It has two banks of 2 sets of 72-pin SIMM slots for memory.
Next, is an old Pentium with a 75Mhz chip. It has 2 VLB slots, 2 ISA and 4 PCI ports. The memory is kind of funny. There are three 72-pin SIMM slots and 4 30-pin SIMM slots, which can be used in a variety of combinations for various amounts of memory.
OK, now, I’ve heard one way to test a motherboard is to simply hook up the power, take out any cards, and just start it up. It should give warning beeps that there’s no video, or keyboard, or whatever. I get no warning beeps.
For both motherboards, I hook up everything, a hard drive, floppy drive, CD ROM, video card, and memory, and turn on the computer. It makes the sound like it’s checking the memory, but this can’t be since it makes the same sound if I take out the memory and turn the computer back on.
I also see the access light flicker for a second or two when the computer turns on, but no attempt seems to be made to access either the hard drive or floppy (the hard drive is from eBay, the floppy is brand new)
And the screen is blank. No boot up screen, no error messages, nothing. And it’s not the video card, which is a 4 meg VLB video card. I know this, because I tried using another video card and still got a blank screen.
It could a damaged motherboard, but since both motherboards act the same, I’m not so sure. I’ve tried disconnecting various cards and restarting the computer, every time with the same results. I’m nervous about bringing to any kind of computer shop as the components are very old now, and most people only want to work on, or only know how to work on modern computers.
Yes, this is basically a hobby, but I’ve already spend a good deal of money on the parts (a 4meg VLB card is very rare and I ended up paying about $50 for it a few years ago) and don’t want to give up and feel like I’ve blown my money for nothing.
So, before giving up, using some of the parts on my other computers and either trashing the rest, or trying to resell them on eBay, I’m hoping that somebody has some hints and/or solutions. Thank you.