RFM Boot Issue - Not Solved, Back Again - Motherboard

(Topic ID: 175162)

RFM Boot Issue - Not Solved, Back Again - Motherboard


By maffewl

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by RoyF
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There are 96 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 1 year ago

Edit: I thought I had solved the issue, but apparently not. It's back again. Video and pics posted in Post #30

Edit: I purchased the machine and would appreciate any help.

Hey everyone. I'm looking to purchase a Revenge from Mars that has a boot issue. The owner says it will eventually boot up and work fine but it takes several tries. He said that it will usually load up to the RAM and then freeze, and you have to turn it off, and back on, several times until it works. He said that he tried replacing the power supply with another from an arcade machine that produces the same specs and had some luck in that it didn't do it as frequently, but still did it. Like I mentioned, I'm interested in purchasing this machine and am curious what I may be getting into in terms of repair/costs/etc. Any guidance would be appreciated.

#2 1 year ago

Bump, any thoughts?

#3 1 year ago

Take a look at the caps on the mainboard for any leakage out the tops of them [venting].
If there are, it can be recapped by Rob Anthony or any other experienced repairer [I had Rob do one at expo for me]
Reseating the RAM could be it.
Was the CPU fan spinning? On most machines that go thru our shop we put a new PSU and CPU fan in the computer.

#4 1 year ago

It would be helpful to know at what point specifically it freezes and what is displayed on the screen. Reseating the prism cards in those games fixes a good majority of the reset issues.

I would be hesitant to recommend any parts without knowing more. But replacement ram for that old PC is relatively cheap. Pc100 I believe it is.

#5 1 year ago

purchase it cheaply

#6 1 year ago

I purchased the RFM and don't have the keys to the back of it, so I will have to drill the locks, but here is where it freezes and either resets and reboots itself, or just freezes. From what I saw, a majority of the time it froze at the Black/Grid "Please Wait" screen, then re-booted itself. Sometimes it would get to the White "Please Wait" screen, then freeze on the first Blue text line. As I mentioned, I wasn't able to get into the head of the machine to check the computer/fans/etc, but am curious what kind of issue this sounds like. Does it sound like a fan issue, a CPU capacitor type issue, or...? Any help is appreciated.

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#7 1 year ago

as others have stated, I would start by removing and reseating both the prizm card and the ram modules. while you have both items removed, I would check the condition of the copper plating on the edge connectors and clean them up with an ink pen eraser prior to reseating them.

if that does not solve your issue, the next step that I would do would be to replace the ram modules. you should still be able to find some on ebay. I believe that the machines initially came with 64MB installed. you can install more to eliminate some of the video playback stuttering (128MB or 256MB), however, beyond 128MB, there doesn't appear to be any benefit (and the boot-up time is longer

if you're still having issues after the above 2 steps, I would look at replacing the capacitors on the motherboard. information for this can be found on the wiki page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenge_from_Mars

and this document:
http://www.pinballsupernova.com/Williams%20Repair%20Guide/Pinball%202000%20Repair%20.pdf

#8 1 year ago

Thank you for the comments j_m_, knockerlover, and dgoett. I'll drill the locks, get into the computer, and try out your suggestions.

Edit: j_m_, the .pdf document link isn't working. Nevermind, I saw that I had to delete the portion before the http.

#9 1 year ago

Make sure to check the coin door for the back box keys before you go drilling

Also if it is a key lock and not a tumbler you might have better luck with a flathead screwdriver in the keyhole and just forcing it to open just like a key with a pair of pliers.

#10 1 year ago

K... I was able to get to the computer and check a few things out. First, it appears someone at some point has changed the CPU fan as it is from Radio Shack, and also, that fan does not work. Also, it sounds like the PSU fan is struggling. So I believe a new PSU and CPU cooling fan is in order. The caps look good from what I can tell (pics attached), and only 1 of the main 5 is green (none are blue). The others are black. I don't know if that means they were replaced at sometime or...? I tried re-seating the Prism card, as well as the RAM (there was only one module), and the game still froze. This time it froze at the end of the white "Please Update" screen at something about "Updating Game".

I'd like to go ahead an purchase a new PSU, CPU fan, and the recommended higher amount of RAM. Can someone recommend a product for each so that I can make sure to get the right thing? I do wonder though, how any of these could be causing the game to freeze, and is it more likely to be something else?

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#12 1 year ago

These are standard PC parts. I ordered them brand new from Amazon. Sorry no links as I'm on mobile.

StarTech.com 230 Watt PS2 Replacement Computer PC Power Supply - PS2POWER230

StarTech.com 50x10mm Replacement Ball Bearing Computer Case Fan TX3/LP4 Connector FAN5X1TX3 (Black)

I used a 128GB ram stick I had from a 2001 desktop mac.

In looking at your picture, I don't see the metal clip on top of the battery holding it in (and I think making the ground connection, although that could be happening from the side) Don't know if that affects booting.

Edit: there are apparently 3 different motherboards used in pin2k so there could be different battery holders.

#13 1 year ago

Awesome, thanks for the replies. I've ordered a PSU, CPU fan, and RAM. Don't know that this will help the boot freeze issue, but these are items that needed replacing regardless.

#14 1 year ago

Great news! Revenge from Mars is running like a champ! If anyone else is running into an issue, here's what I did. I completely disassembled the computer, cleaned all components, replaced the 5 capacitors commonly recommended, cleaned and re-thermal-pasted the CPU to heatsink, replaced the motherboard battery, replaced the CPU fan, and replaced the PSU. Thanks for all the help from everyone!

#15 1 year ago

As an FYI you would never want to run this machine even for a second with the cpu fan dead. By the time e the machine starts to boot the cpu will be overheating and going into thermal shutdown or just malfunctioning. It's highly likely this is why it wouldn't boot.

#16 1 year ago

Well, there goes that. I was hoping my RFM was fixed and bulletproof, it thought otherwise. The boot issue is back again. It freezes at the last blue line on the white screen, something about "Starting Update Game Rom" or similar. Sometimes it just freezes, and sometimes it re-boots itself. In a couple rare instances it will start the game, then boot itself.

As mentioned before, I've replaced the PSU, CPU fan, and the 5 common problem capacitors. My friend has a SWEP1 and let me use his computer to narrow down the issue, and I've narrowed it down to the motherboard. I've altered and replaced everything else. Any thoughts on what to check on the motherboard?

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Well, there goes that. I was hoping my RFM was fixed and bulletproof, it thought otherwise. The boot issue is back again. It freezes at the last blue line on the white screen, something about "Starting Update Game Rom" or similar. Sometimes it just freezes, and sometimes it re-boots itself. In a couple rare instances it will start the game, then boot itself.
As mentioned before, I've replaced the PSU, CPU fan, and the 5 common problem capacitors. My friend has a SWEP1 and let me use his computer to narrow down the issue, and I've narrowed it down to the motherboard. I've altered and replaced everything else. Any thoughts on what to check on the motherboard?

Im not sure if this is helpful or not. But the stock update procedure was to use a serial port. You said your system hangs during the system boot when checking for update. (If it gets this far, it has booted most the way and gotten past the typical computer issues with bad board caps etc). If when your computer lost its initial settings, the configuration of the serial port got messed up in the bios, perhaps the system is having problems checking the serial connection for update due to that.

#18 1 year ago

Thanks for the comment markmon. Is there a way to check/fix that?

#19 1 year ago

You go into the BIOS settings for the motherboard. Typically that's done by pressing the delete key during the POST process but check your motherboard manual for the exact methodology.

Once you get into the BIOS there are several pages of options. Your serial port settings will probably be in the Integrated Peripherals area. The specific settings for your application should be in the manual somewhere. If you can't find them, replicating the settings from another RFM might work. Different motherboards may use different settings.

#20 1 year ago

So I've been reading all I can, and apparently replacing the batteries without the computer being turned on can cause BIOS issues. Of course, this is what I did. When I had the motherboard removed to replace the caps, I went ahead and replaced the battery as well.

Sorry to sound like a total noob, but when I removed the computer last night to try to get to boot outside of the machine, my lcd monitor said no signal. It wouldn't show anything (eventhough when the computer is in the machine, it boots to the last line of the white screen then freezes). Do I have to use an older monitor, or? Also, I'm not sure how to connect a keyboard to this. Again, sorry, but some of this older computer stuff I'm not familiar with. Any help is appreciated.

#21 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

...when I removed the computer last night to try to get to boot outside of the machine, my lcd monitor said no signal. Do I have to use an older monitor, or? Also, I'm not sure how to connect a keyboard to this.

Assuming you're connecting your LCD monitor to the same port the RFM monitor uses you probably need to cycle through the sources on your LCD. I'm attaching a photo of the symbol my monitor has at that button.

You connect a keyboard by plugging a keyboard into the keyboard port. Image attached is of PS/2 male & female. If you don't see that connector on your motherboard then post a photo of the ports on your computer.

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#22 1 year ago

Thanks YeOldPinPlayer, I'll take a look around lunch. I'll also try to take/post a video of the freeze issue.

#23 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

So I've been reading all I can, and apparently replacing the batteries without the computer being turned on can cause BIOS issues. Of course, this is what I did. When I had the motherboard removed to replace the caps, I went ahead and replaced the battery as well.

if I remember correctly, the P2K motherboards have a non-volatile section of ram that should store the settings. the coin battery is just to keep the clock going when the computer is powered off

?!?
I've never heard this. and given that the prism card is self-booting (and takes the place of a hard drive in the computer), how the heck could you replace the battery that is sandwiched between it and the rom board without removing the board and separating them?

#24 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

So I've been reading all I can, and apparently replacing the batteries without the computer being turned on can cause BIOS issues. Of course, this is what I did. When I had the motherboard removed to replace the caps, I went ahead and replaced the battery as well.
Sorry to sound like a total noob, but when I removed the computer last night to try to get to boot outside of the machine, my lcd monitor said no signal. It wouldn't show anything (eventhough when the computer is in the machine, it boots to the last line of the white screen then freezes). Do I have to use an older monitor, or? Also, I'm not sure how to connect a keyboard to this. Again, sorry, but some of this older computer stuff I'm not familiar with. Any help is appreciated.

RFM is not VGA so you will not be able to use the pc monitor unless you convert it to do so.

#25 1 year ago

j_m_, I replaced the motherboard battery. I haven't replaced the Prism Card battery yet (waiting on shipping). Also, do you know where the non-volatile section of RAM is located? This may be something to check.

Brtlkat, so is there no way for me to connect a monitor? Otherwise, what is the recommended way to get to the BIOS?

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

j_m_, I replaced the motherboard battery. I haven't replaced the Prism Card battery yet (waiting on shipping). Also, do you know where the non-volatile section of RAM is located? This may be something to check.
Brtlkat, so is there no way for me to connect a monitor? Otherwise, what is the recommended way to get to the BIOS?

You can if you have another CGA monitor. But the signal can be converted from CGA to VGA you would need a separate converter pcb to do that. Does the monitor work in the game?

#27 1 year ago
Quoted from cabuford:

I used a 128GB ram stick I had from a 2001 desktop mac.

Unless you're ahead of NASA all the way back in 2001 there's no way you have 128GB of RAM let alone in one stick

2GB/4GB/8GB is standard

#29 1 year ago

I have a fairly decent number of compatible motherboards for these machines. The PSU is the most obvious problem but if you get no joy there drop me a note - might be able to help you out there.

The boards are funky in that they have to have the proper GX chipset on them or they won't work; I bought a handful of them years ago when I got both of the Pin2K machines, and still have all but one.....

#30 1 year ago

Thanks for the comments everyone. I was able to take a video at lunch and it cooperated by showing every issue that I'm having with it. It has it all, the full boot, boot then press a button and reset, and freeze. I've added times for each in the information of the video if you don't want to watch it all.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also, here are some pics of the board in the case, and hooked up right before the video. I'm also included the magnified areas that I soldered (though someone had soldered there before me as well) showing that the traces around should be good.

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#31 1 year ago

Did you run your friends computer in your machine? Or just swap parts around?

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from sparkup:

Did you run your friends computer in your machine? Or just swap parts around?

I did. I changed everything with everything, down to processors and cables. I've narrowed the issue down to the mainboard. I can run either person's game fine with his mainboard (regarless of processer/cables/etc). However, any combination of elements with my mainboard leads to re-boot & freeze issues.

#33 1 year ago

Have you tried swapping ISA slots for the prism?

CPU socket cleaned?

Motherboard not shorting out on the case standoffs?

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from sparkup:

Have you tried swapping ISA slots for the prism?
Have you swapped out the CPU? Pins straight? Socket cleaned?
Motherboard not shorting out on the case standoffs?

Yes to all the above. I do appreciate the comments though. Keep them coming.

#35 1 year ago

Then I'd say that board has a fault in the parallel port section. Pinbox it.

#36 1 year ago

http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinball_2000_Repair#Motherboard_Issues

Clay mentions five specific caps in the above section of the Pinwiki, as well as testing by connecting to an external monitor without the prism card installed. Pay attention to his notes on multi-layer PCB soldering procedures.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinball_2000_Repair#Motherboard_Issues
Clay mentions five specific caps in the above section of the Pinwiki, as well as testing by connecting to an external monitor without the prism card installed. Pay attention to his notes on multi-layer PCB soldering procedures.

I replaced these (as well as the ones on my friend's board). I didn't have much issue in the process, and the solder joints appear good.

As for removing the computer to test, I tried with and without the Prism Card. The computer monitor said "No signal".

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

As for removing the computer to test, I tried with and without the Prism Card. The computer monitor said "No signal".

For diagnostic purposes using the computer case out of the RFM, see if you have a buddy that has an OLD computer monitor. CGA, or perhaps EGA might work too. Not VGA or newer. I actually keep one of these stored away in case I should need it for RFM problem diagnosis, but haven't had to use it in many years.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from RoyF:

For diagnostic purposes using the computer case out of the RFM, see if you have a buddy that has an OLD computer monitor. CGA, or perhaps EGA might work too. Not VGA or newer. I actually keep one of these stored away in case I should need it for RFM problem diagnosis, but haven't had to use it in many years.

Both motherboards listed in the Pinwiki have onboard VGA. It would be easier to connect to that port on the motherboard with his LCD monitor. If the header is missing/not included my second choice would be use an old PCI video card. Both the header and a compatible PCI card would be easier to find than a CGA monitor.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Both motherboards listed in the Pinwiki have onboard VGA. It would be easier to connect to that port on the motherboard with his LCD monitor. If the header is missing/not included my second choice would be use an old PCI video card. Both the header and a compatible PCI card would be easier to find than a CGA monitor.

The only way to get it to vga is to convert the signal from cga to vga or pinbox it.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

The only way to get it to vga is to convert the signal from cga to vga or pinbox it.

What makes you think it's putting out cga? The motherboard manuals say they put out VGA.

#42 1 year ago

it's CGA. I've got an RFM

in fact, if you pull out the cathode ray tube and retrofit in a flat panel LCD display, you need the VGA-CGA convertor board to get a video signal

#43 1 year ago

My friend's SWEP1 that is seen in the video has the CRT replaced with an LCD monitor. Can I just connect that to the computer (with Prism card removed & keyboard attached)? If not, from j_m_'s comment, it sounds like he should have a converter board that I could borrow for pulling the computer and testing outside the machine. Again, I very much appreciate the help everyone.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from j_m_:

it's CGA. I've got an RFM
in fact, if you pull out the cathode ray tube and retrofit in a flat panel LCD display, you need the VGA-CGA convertor board to get a video signal

Do you have the same motherboard as the OP? If so, which connector on the motherboard is providing the video signal?

#45 1 year ago

I'll take a photo of my set up when I get home tonight. at a glance, his motherboard looks the same as mine

#46 1 year ago
Quoted from maffewl:

My friend's SWEP1 that is seen in the video has the CRT replaced with an LCD monitor. Can I just connect that to the computer (with Prism card removed & keyboard attached)? If not, from j_m_'s comment, it sounds like he should have a converter board that I could borrow for pulling the computer and testing outside the machine. Again, I very much appreciate the help everyone.

Follow your friend's LCD monitor cable back to the computer. If you unplug his cable at that point and plug your external LCD monitor in you should get a video signal.

Post a picture of where his LCD is connected if you can. I'm curious to see if it's a special card or just a header coming off the motherboard.

#47 1 year ago

The reboot issues def sounds like a power problem or maybe a memory issue.
You've replaced the PSU with a known good/new baby AT psu?

Have you tried replacing the memory?

Check for cold solder joints on the ISA connector. I'd also check for tarnish/ISA edge finger damage on the prizm card.

IF all of the above; maybe your CPU/mobo is toast because the psu fan stopped working and "overvolted" the combo?

Maybe you should send the PC off to borygard to fix?

#48 1 year ago

Looks like you have two memory sticks. You may have a bad stick or a bad slot. You could try running memtest86 and see if you get errors. If you do, try each stick in both slots to try and narrow down the problem.

sparkup What clue did you spot that points to the parallel port being a problem? Is that used by the pin2k system or could it be disabled in the BIOS and still work?

#49 1 year ago

picture of my motherboard as promised
the furthest [right] flat ribbon cable leading from a small vga type connector to a header on the motherboard.
IMG_3830 (resized).JPG

here's the CGA-VGA sync adapter that you would need if you want to test out your machine with a vga monitor
http://lockwhenlit.com/CGA.htm
CGA (resized).JPG

#50 1 year ago

j_m is your monitor plugged into the back of this card?
If it is, that's a video card that's generating the CGA output. The OP can remove that video card and use a standard (for the day) video card to test with and can probably utilize either of the two PCI slots on the motherboard.

OP, did you test with your video card in both slots of the motherboard? Wish I could find the manual for this particular board.

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