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Author Topic: AMD DURON  (Read 3495 times)
KC0BMF
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« on: March 12, 2003, 08:47:14 PM »

 I have the chance to buy a computer for the shack and it has a Amd duron 900 mhz prosessor. He let me bring it home to play with and Ive noticed it seems afully slow. I'm compareing it to a 550 mhz intell 3.Is this the nature of the duron or might something be wrong.For example when rebooting the AMD it takes right at 15 minutes, while the intell takes maybe 2 minutes. Any help would be gratefull. As you might guess I'm not a computor wiz (or a very good speller).

  73  John
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2003, 08:03:05 AM »

Just going with the 15 minute bootup, I would say something is drastically wrong.  Time to take it back.

Dennis - KG4RUL
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KB0NLY
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2003, 04:52:54 PM »

WOW 15 minute reboot time?  Something is definitely wrong with the windows install on that machine.  I have used Durons and Thunderbirds exclusively since they were first released and have never had that long of a wait especially with a 900MHz Duron which is a rather nice speed for most windows versions.  I say most because XP does need a little more power, but the 900 will run it just fine as long as you have a good amount of memory (RAM) to back it up.

My guess is that it's time to format the hard drive and do a fresh windows install, or if that has been done recently than have a look at how much memory that machine has.  Also, which version of windows is this machine running??  I'm betting that it is running the shoddy WinME. LOL

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

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KC0BMF
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2003, 07:06:12 PM »

  Thanks for your help Scott. It has windows 98se on it and it says it has 24MB ram ,93% system resouces FREE.I also found a page that says Windows managed swap file on drive C (1991 MB free ). Available space on drive C 1991 Mb of 3069 Mb. He also tells me it use to be his daughters and she used it to download music and burn cd's. And before he gave it to me to play with he just went through and deleated everything. So I wonder if your right and it just needs a good fresh start. I'm not sure of how to reformat Any additional help would be gratefull.

 Thanks John
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2003, 08:05:48 PM »

Hi John,

    The 15 minute boot-up for Windoze 98SE is WAY too wrong.  I hope you are exaggerating.  But 24 MB of memory is woefully too little memory for W98SE.  That version needs AT least 64 MB, (regardless of what Microsoft may claim) and I wouldn't bother with less than 128 MB.  Memory is cheap right now, so it's not much to add memory.  But I still think there's something else wrong.
    One thing to do is to go into the BIOS at bootup (F1, DEL, or some other keystroke while the machine is starting up) and make sure that the internal (and any other ) cache settings are set to "ON."
    Also, make sure there aren't a gazillion programs that are somehow being loaded at startup.  (With W98SE, you can run MSCONFIG to see what gets loaded, and deselect unnecessary programs.
    I've had 486 systems (with 32 MB) that will boot W98SE in less time.  there's obviously something wrong with the system.
    Good luck.
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KB0NLY
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2003, 08:24:10 PM »

Is that 24MB of ram available after it is booted up and running windows, or is that the total amount of ram installed in the system?  I would think that the system actually has 64MB of ram installed, but the number you are seeing is what is left available after everything is loaded.  

A 3 gig hard drive (3000 MB) isn't terrible, but if you plan on using a lot of software you would want some more room.  20 gig hard drives are getting cheap, less than $100, even as cheap as $60-$70 for good brand names if you shop around.  And you could easily replace the Ram with 128MB, memory prices have been stable and are a lot less expensive than some might think, you just have to shop around.  

If your interested in pricing memory and a hard drive try using the www.pricewatch.com website and shop around.

As far as a fresh install of windows you need to have some things at the ready before you consider doing it.

1. The original Windows 98 SE installation CD and a boot up floppy disk.

2. The EULA (End User License Agreement) with the CD-Key for when it asks you to enter it.

3. Install disks for any software currently on the computer that you use, antivirus, drivers for printer, mice and keyboard, and any other devices attached to the computer. They will all have to be reinstalled.

4. Backup any important info on the computer such as email and address books, and any downloads that you want to save.  Although in your case i odn't think you have actually used it enough to have anything that needs to be backed up.

Once you have all that put together the way to reinstall windows (i do it all the time, its my business to repair computers) is to insert the boot floppy and boot to the A: prompt, then at the prompt type Format C: and hit enter.  A prompt will come up to ask you if your sure, type a Y or hit enter and then it will format the hard drive.  It shouldn't take to long for that 3 gig hard drive, then after it is done formating it will give you a message that you should reboot your computer.  Reboot the computer, (with the boot floppy still inserted) and when you get to the A: prompt again insert the Windows 98 CD in the CD drive, then at the A: prompt type setup and hit enter.  This will start the window 98 setup, it will perform some system checks, after you exit that after the tests are complete then the windows installation will start.  It will ask for a few things along the way, when it pops up the box asking if you want to continue with making a boot up floppy just hit cancel (you already have one and dont need to go through that) and then it will tell you to remove the floppy from the drive.  The windows install will continue, just select a Typical Install, its the easiest for someone that doesn't have experience installing windows, and wait for it to ask you for any other info.  

Along the way it will ask you to select your time zone and language settings, and a few other things that will be self explanatory.  One note on the first time that you boot to the desktop, when it pops up the user login you can enter a password if you want to be asked to login everytime you boot up, if you dont want or need a password protected install then just leave the password blank and hit ok, it will usually pop up another box asking you to verify the password, just leave it blank and hit ok again, it will then finish booting to the desktop.

If you have any other questions just post back here or drop me an email off list.

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

(aka The Computer Doctor)
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KB0NLY
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2003, 08:31:24 PM »

Oh and before i forget, before anybody mentions it, don't even try reinstalling windows over a previous isntallation.  Always format the hard drive to guarantee a 100% fresh installation.  I have seen many many many many (do i make my point clear yet?) many many problems due to a bad windows install.  Its always best to spend the extra small amount of time and do it right by formating the hard drive.

I wouldn't worry to much about the settings in the Bios, from my point of view it's to much garbage being started at boot, and the fact that stuff has been deleted off (perhaps not totally, or not in the right way) sets bells ringing about the windows install.  And besides it doesn't hurt to refresh the system when changing owners!

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

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KB0NLY
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2003, 08:31:28 PM »

Oh and before i forget, before anybody mentions it, don't even try reinstalling windows over a previous isntallation.  Always format the hard drive to guarantee a 100% fresh installation.  I have seen many many many many (do i make my point clear yet?) many many problems due to a bad windows install.  Its always best to spend the extra small amount of time and do it right by formating the hard drive.

I wouldn't worry to much about the settings in the Bios, from my point of view it's to much garbage being started at boot, and the fact that stuff has been deleted off (perhaps not totally, or not in the right way) sets bells ringing about the windows install.  And besides it doesn't hurt to refresh the system when changing owners!

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

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WA9SVD
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2003, 02:57:13 PM »

A few commens in response to Scott's post:

1.  I WOULD check the BIOS settings.  Especially check that the cache is enabled.  I've seen this inadvertently turned off and it makes any processor slower than a dead turtle...

2.  Prices of HD and memory are much less than he stated.  This week, Office Depot is selling a 40 GB Maxtor Drive for $88 with a $30 rebate, and Best Buy  has a single 128MB memory (PC-100) for $27 with a $13 rebate.  So spending $71 would be a simple upgrade.  At least strongly consider the memory upgrade.  (If you can use PC-133 memory, [check the motherboard manual] the price for 128 MB is only $8 after rebate...)

3.  The amount of free memory (24 MB) seems to indicate you could have as little as 32 MB physical memory.  That's WAY too little for Windoze 98 SE.  128 MB is a PRACTICAL minimum amount you should have, regardless of what Microsoft claims.
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WA9SVD
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2003, 10:05:10 PM »

Hi John,
    Have you been able to make any progress?  Did you find and solve a problem?  Keep us posted, and we'll try to help further.
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KB0NLY
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2003, 11:27:03 PM »

I got an email from John, perhaps he will post back as well.  The windows reinstall appears to have fixed the problem.

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

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KC0BMF
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2003, 11:49:03 PM »

 Hey Larry

   Thanks for your help earlier. Well I had a kid come over and help me and we uninstalled windows, cleaned the what ever, and reinstalled windows and now it only takes about a minute to boot up, so I think we're on the right track. The thing now is, I called my provider to get hooked up and they said I didn't have the right driver installed. The kid said just buy another modem card. The thing is I called back a couple of days later (got someone else) and they said they'd send me a new CD to install. So I guess i'll wait on that and see were I'm at. But I still wonder if  $200.00 + the 30.00 I give the kid + more memory that the kid said they dont make anymore but I could get on Ebay,and if,& if & If. If I'm doing the right thing.
   I guess one question I should ask is what is a good system to have for ham operations. I know the next question (what do you want to do). Well I'm not sure, I know I want to keep a log. And anything else that amateur radio has to offer. You know It's hard to answer that question. I want to have something to do it all. You know there is nothing worse than seeing or hearing about something that can be done on the radio and finding out you don't have enough what ever to do it. At any rate thanks again for the help and any further help you can give.

73 John  
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KB0NLY
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2003, 02:04:29 AM »

If you have a motherboard new enough that it has an AMD Duron on it i highly doubt that you have memory that isnt available anymore.  Did you find out what it is?  My guess would be PC100 SDRAM, easily obtainable and very affordable.  I have bought PC66 SDRAM for older systems that i have worked on, and it is also still available.  As a matter of fact you can put PC100 SDRAM in most systems that use the older PC66 and the ram will downshift to match.

The fact that you have an AMD Duron tells me that you have a Socket A motherboard, or even a Slot A motherboard, although i think they mainly marketed the AMD Athlon in a Slot A package, don't think the Duron was ever available that way, but there was some (and still is) manufacturers that made a Socket A to Slot A cpu adapter card.  Since the Socket A motherboards are not that old i would bet PC100 SDRAM, the 128 pin modules.  I highly doubt that the motherboard you have uses the old Simm style 72 or 30 pin Ram.  PC100 Ram is very affordable right now, with the average price of 256MB about $20-$25, and 512MB around $35-$40.  At least that is what i pay for quality brand name sticks.

What would be really helpful is if you knew the Manufacturer and Model # of the motherboard that you have.  You can find that silkscreened right on the motherboard, there is almost hundreds of manufacturers today.  Some of the ones i use are, Abit, Asus, Epox, Gigabyte, Aopen, Shuttle.  See if you can find out the information and i can help you select the Ram that is right for you.

As far as how much you need for Ham Radio, i can tell you that i do plenty for the hobby on a system not much faster than yours.  My main shack computer is a AMD Thunderbird 1GHz, (1000 MHz) and it is plenty of power for things like logging software, PSK31, RTTY, Packet, Pactor, Amtor, SSTV, Satellite Tracking and Pass Prediction, CAT control for my FT-847 (providing doppler correction).  And your system with a memory upgrade would do more than enough for you.

Not sure what you meant on the modem, i don't understand why the internet provider is sending you a CD for your modem.  I'll make a guess here though, was it because you went to install the internet providers software and the install program gave you an error about no being modem installed or that the modem couldn't be found?  If that's the case another CD from the ISP wont fix it, you need to find out the manufacturer and model number of the modem and go download a driver for it.

The best way is to shut the system off, and pull out the modem card so you can look it over for a manufacturers name and model number.  If you can't find that you should be able to at least find the FCC ID number on the card which i can use to determine the manufacturer and model number.  There are many web sites devoted to driver files, and also if the modem isn't way way old there should be drivers available from the manufacturers web site.  Let me know what you can find out.

In my opinion the system you have should do all you need for Ham Radio, most of the software used for digital communications and radio control (CAT) work great on an old laptop of a lot less speed than what you have.  For portable or field day operation i have an older Pentium 233MHz laptop with 128MB of RAM that i run everything on, and it runs without problems and doesn't appear to run any slower than on other computers that i use.

73,

Scott, KB0NLY


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KB0NLY
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2003, 02:08:38 AM »

Oops made one goof, SDRAM is 168 pins not 128.

73,

Scott, KB0NLY

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KC0BMF
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2003, 06:47:40 PM »

 Ok On the modem I dont see a manufacturer. The only thing I find is model 1301 reg.no.rigtai 25896-m5-e. and ren:.6b   usoc jack:rj11c. When we got done with the install and I called my provider to get help with setting it up to go online they did say something about a driver or needing to install one.
 The mother board is a biostar m7vks and under that it says via vt8361+ viavt82c686B. It is a pc 100/133 and the jumper is set for 100.0 mhz. The quick guide says  supports 32MB/64MB/128MB/256MB/512MB DIMM modules.
supports synchronous DRAM (3.3V)
supports a maximum memory size of 1GB with SDRAM.
 It looks to me like there is 2 slots for the memory and there is only 1 in it.
 

 John KC0BMF
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