(Topic ID: 175162)

RFM Boot Issue - Not Solved, Back Again - Motherboard


By maffewl

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 96 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by RoyF
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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There are 96 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

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.

No that's not a video card, That's the prisim card. The video comes off the mobo through a ribbon cable.

#52 3 years ago

The Parallel port drives the pin2000 driver board.

#53 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

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?

Parallel port drives the pin2000 driver board.

#54 3 years ago

no, that's the prism board that you're pointing to. mine is plugged into this one:

P2K - cga cable (resized).jpg

#55 3 years ago

ps
you can find a copy of the operations manual here:
http://arcarc.xmission.com/Pinball/PDF%20Pinball%20Manuals%20and%20Schematics/Revenge%20from%20Mars%20Operations%20Manual.pdf

unfortunately, it's not very helpful for the computer portion (only page 2-32 calls out the computer parts

#56 3 years ago

this may help as well. taken from:
http://www.pinballsupernova.com/Williams%20Repair%20Guide/Pinball%202000%20Repair%20.pdf

More than one Cyrix Media GX Motherboard was used, so you need to find a manual with a layout that matches
your game.
Here are links to Cyrix 586-GXM-AV (http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Cyrix-Motherboard-gxmav.pdf)
and the InformTech 586-GXM+ (http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Motherboard-it-596-gxm.pdf)

the links are still live (however, there is a typo for the 586-GXM-AV one, it's actually:
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Cyrix-Motherboard-gxm-av.pdf
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Motherboard-it-596-gxm.pdf

#57 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

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?

Parallel port connects to the driver board in the bottom of the cabinet.

I've come across motherboards before that have switch errors.

#58 3 years ago

Hey everyone, thanks for the discussion and help so far. I was occupied this evening so I wasn't able to do anything with the machine, but please keep the thoughts coming as I will be back at it tomorrow/this weekend.

#59 3 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

this may help as well. taken from:
http://www.pinballsupernova.com/Williams%20Repair%20Guide/Pinball%202000%20Repair%20.pdf
More than one Cyrix Media GX Motherboard was used, so you need to find a manual with a layout that matches
your game.
Here are links to Cyrix 586-GXM-AV (http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Cyrix-Motherboard-gxmav.pdf)
and the InformTech 586-GXM+ (http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Motherboard-it-596-gxm.pdf)
the links are still live (however, there is a typo for the 586-GXM-AV one, it's actually:
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Cyrix-Motherboard-gxm-av.pdf
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Motherboard-it-596-gxm.pdf

I found those two manuals, they're linked from the Pinwiki (same document the PinballSupernova document is taken from.)
http://www.pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinball_2000_Repair

Neither layout matches the OP's motherboard. Both manuals indicate the output is a VGA signal, not a CGA. So either the ribbon cable from the motherboard goes to a card that converts the video output to CGA or the documentation is wrong.

I wonder if his friend using the LCD has borygard 's adapter in his SWE1? http://lockwhenlit.com/CGA.htm

#60 3 years ago

K... it turns out that my friends machine does not have any converter from the computer to the lcd. It's plugged straight in. That said, I was able to test his machine without the Prism card. His booted right up to the BIOS. When I attempted to do the same with mine, the screen simply said "No Signal" as if it wasn't connected at all. I then switched our video adapters (the part that the monitor plugs into), and same result. His boots, mine shows "No Signal". The computer does sound like it is doing some "thinking" though, even though nothing is shown on the screen. Any ideas? Is it shot?

#61 3 years ago

Were you using your LCD monitor to test your friend's computer? Something doesn't add up if your computer is connected exactly the same way to the same monitor and says no signal.

#62 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Were you using your LCD monitor to test your friend's computer? Something doesn't add up if your computer is connected exactly the same way to the same monitor and says no signal.

Exact same setup. I plugged the power into his computer, plugged in the monitor, and turned it on. It booted BIOS. I took his computer out. Put my computer in. Plugged in the power, plugged in the monitor, and turned on. It showed "No Signal". Just to triple confirm, I'm going to replace his RAM, CPU, and PSU, one at a time with mine, and report back. This will 100% confirm that it is the mainboard that is the issue. But the "No Signal" has me a bit baffled as to what to look for.

#63 3 years ago

Not sure why your friend's P2K computer will drive an LCD monitor without an adapter, unless he has added a separate video card of some kind or is using a motherboard that is not one of the commonly found "from the Bally factory" motherboards. I can assure you that is NOT normal, it usually takes an adapter to be used with the stock P2K motherboard in order to drive an LCD monitor. What you are experiencing with your P2K computer failing to sync when connected directly to a LCD monitor is normal. If you want to test your P2K computer case outside of the machine, then you either need an old monitor (CGA, or perhaps an old EGA monitor would also sync up) as I stated earlier or you need a CGA to VGA adapter to be connected between the monitor port on the back of the computer case and the LCD monitor cable. I suppose you could try using an add in video card inserted in a free slot in the computer case and connect the LCD monitor to that, if you could get the BIOS to correctly recognize and use it (I've never tried that) and you remove the PRISM card. I have tested my P2K computer outside of the machine, and it wouldn't drive a LCD monitor directly but would sync to an old CGA monitor.

So, get yourself access to one of the converters or to an old monitor and then you can test your computer to see if you can get it to boot outside of the pinball machine.

#64 3 years ago

I appreciate the comments. I would be happy to photograph or video anything I need to, but his setup is the exact same as mine. Same mainboard, CPU, components, everything. The two systems are identical. And in the cabinet the cord clearly goes from computer to LCD without any converter. I'll take a pic of each of our systems and post.

That said, I just tried switching the CPU, RAM, and tested both PSU's. No dice. This leads me to believe it's an issue on the mainboard.

#65 3 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

I appreciate the comments. I would be happy to photograph or video anything I need to, but his setup is the exact same as mine. Same mainboard, CPU, components, everything. The two systems are identical. And in the cabinet the cord clearly goes from computer to LCD without any converter. I'll take a pic of each of our systems and post.
That said, I just tried switching the CPU, RAM, and tested both PSU's. No dice. This leads me to believe it's an issue on the mainboard.

He must have a CGA Lcd then. What model is the Lcd?

#66 3 years ago

Photos as mentioned. My computer. My friends computer. And the LCD connection.

IMG_7225 (resized).JPG

IMG_7227 (resized).JPG

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#67 3 years ago

The best way to troubleshoot is change one thing, then retest. For example boot your computer connected to your friend's LCD. When you see activity on his LCD disconnect it (preferably at the monitor end) and connect your LCD. If you get no signal, your LCD is the problem.

Do both LCD monitors use a cable that can be disconnected at both ends or is it permanently attached at the back of the monitor?

#68 3 years ago

yeoldpinplayer, this is what I have done. I am not using multiple LCD's. I am only using his cabinet for testing. I.e., I'm putting my computer in and turning on with only the power and monitor attached. I get "No Signal". I unplug mine, put his in, and only plug in the power and monitor, and his boots to BIOS. Then I went through this process (place my computer in, test, then place his computer in, test) for each item - CPU, RAM, and PSU. All resulted the same, when I use my computer (and my mainboard), I get "No Signal", and when I put his computer in (and his mainboard), it boots to BIOS. Again, I very much appreciate all of you sticking with me and helping.

#69 3 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Photos as mentioned. My computer. My friends computer. And the LCD connection.

Looks to be a tri sync lcd monitor would need the model # to verify.

#70 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

Looks to be a tri sync lcd monitor would need the model # to verify.

Tovis L1751VN3LB

IMG_7228 (resized).JPG

#71 3 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

yeoldpinplayer, this is what I have done. I am not using multiple LCD's. I am only using his cabinet for testing. I.e., I'm putting my computer in and turning on with only the power and monitor attached. I get "No Signal". I unplug mine, put his in, and only plug in the power and monitor, and his boots to BIOS. Then I went through this process (place my computer in, test, then place his computer in, test) for each item - CPU, RAM, and PSU. All resulted the same, when I use my computer (and my mainboard), I get "No Signal", and when I put his computer in (and his mainboard), it boots to BIOS. Again, I very much appreciate all of you sticking with me and helping.

Sounds like the mobo then. But FWIW if it is a true pinball 2000 setup this will only generate a CGA signal.

#72 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

...if it is a true pinball 2000 setup this will only generate a CGA signal.

Where do you get this information? The two motherboard manuals in this thread both say the output is VGA.

#73 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

Sounds like the mobo then. But FWIW if it is a true pinball 2000 setup this will only generate a CGA signal.

Any thoughts on what to maybe check on the mainboard? What's weird to me is that when the Prism card is in it puts signal out, but when just trying to boot BIOS there's "No Signal". And as shown in the video in the first post, sometimes it will even boot to the game, and act "normal" when the Prism card is in. Any thoughts or am I SOL?

#74 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Where do you get this information? The two motherboard manuals in this thread both say the output is VGA.</blockquo

Where do you get this information? The two motherboard manuals in this thread both say the output is VGA.

I have owned 5 pinball 2000 machines and converted 3 from cga to vga of the 5 and pinboxed 2 (this is VGA). I can look it up for you and post.

#75 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Where do you get this information? The two motherboard manuals in this thread both say the output is VGA.

Have you ever owned or worked on a pinball 2000?

#76 3 years ago

Go to monitor problems and the last 2 sentences may clear this up. http://pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinball_2000_Repair#Monitor_problems

#77 3 years ago

I just checked. With only the power and monitor connected, and no Prism card, I get "No Signal". If I install the Prism card (again, only having the power and monitor connected), I at least get the "Please Wait" screens.

Even more weird, once I connected the parallel port, it booted up all the way and let me play a game. I even reset it one time and it let me play another one. Then it started its reboot/freeze issues on the subsequent reset attempts. I'm gathering that when it's "cold", it seems to boot up, but maybe when it warms up, it starts having issues.

This still doesn't answer why I'm getting "No Signal" and my friend's computer boots BIOS.

I'm sure this is a crazy simple stupid problem, but tracking it down is mind-boggling.

#78 3 years ago

It could be anything on the mobo going bad.
But you really need to test each one of your components long enough in a good environment to ensure they don't have the "warm" reset.
Unfortunatly; if you have id-ed the mobo as bad... you maybe sol.
borygard may be able to fix it... but mobos generally are hard to work on. This one maybe old enough that he can do some fixes... but a modern one is a toss and replace.

#79 3 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

Go to monitor problems and the last 2 sentences may clear this up. http://pinwiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinball_2000_Repair#Monitor_problems

I did see that in the Pinwiki. I also see the two motherboards linked to both say in the manual they put out VGA.
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Cyrix-Motherboard-gxm-av.pdf (see pages 2 & 3)
http://www.blackknightpinball.com/rfm/Motherboard-it-596-gxm.pdf (see page 2)

Neither of those appear to be the OP's motherboard. If you have documentation that says the Pin2k motherboards only produce a CGA signal I would like to see it.

OP, has your problem progressed to the point that you never get video now? The video you posted showed the machine partially working but from your subsequent posts now you get no signal every time?

pin2k586GXm (resized).jpg

pin2kGXMAV (resized).jpg

#80 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

OP, has your problem progressed to the point that you never get video now? The video you posted showed the machine partially working but from your subsequent posts now you get no signal every time?

No, the situation is still the same as in the video. I only get "No Signal" when I try to boot the game to the BIOS. I.e., remove the Prism card, and only connect the power and a monitor.

#81 3 years ago
Quoted from maffewl:

Any thoughts on what to maybe check on the mainboard? What's weird to me is that when the Prism card is in it puts signal out, but when just trying to boot BIOS there's "No Signal". And as shown in the video in the first post, sometimes it will even boot to the game, and act "normal" when the Prism card is in. Any thoughts or am I SOL?

The only thing I can think of given your situation (and without knowing the specs on your friend's VGA monitor) is this possibility:

> Your friend may have a LCD monitor that can sync to the signal his motherboard is sending out. If so that's great as most won't.
> Your motherboard may have lost all of it's BIOS settings when you removed the battery and now be on default settings. Perhaps without the PRISM card installed the video signal being output from your motherboard is different than what your friend's motherboard is outputting.

I'd recommend setting your BIOS settings to be equivalent (perhaps not identical if your motherboard models aren't quite identical) to the settings on your friend's motherboard, especially anything related to the video. Of course the barrier to doing that is you need to be able to boot your computer with a monitor that will sync to it!

Ok, here is something else I've never tried. Put your computer case back into your RFM and attach all cables. The PRISM card should be installed, because you indicate that is the only way you get any signal on your monitor, and your RFM monitor cable should be connected to the computer. Also plug in a keyboard to the back of the computer case. What you want to do is to try to enter the BIOS menu during computer boot by repeatedly pressing the appropriate "BIOS boot menu" key on the keyboard during the initial PC boot sequence, just as you would do when entering the BIOS setup menu on any other computer. Might take you a few tries to determine if it is the DEL key, the INS key, or one of the F keys (F1, F2 and F12 the most likely suspects for the F keys). I'm not sure if you can actually get to the BIOS menu in this way as perhaps the PRISM ROMS begin to get loaded too quickly, but it would be an easy thing to try. If you can get to the BIOS boot menu this way, then enter the menu and change the settings to be equivalent to your friend's BIOS settings. Yes, it will be a bit of a challenge to read your monitor display in the BIOS setting menu because it will be "mirrored" by your P2K glass - if you can't decipher it that way then bend down and look up at the monitor instead.

Let us know if you can boot to BIOS this way.

#82 3 years ago
Quoted from RoyF:

What you want to do is to try to enter the BIOS menu during computer boot by repeatedly pressing the appropriate "BIOS boot menu" key on the keyboard during the initial PC boot sequence, just as you would do when entering the BIOS setup menu on any other computer. Might take you a few tries to determine if it is the DEL key, the INS key, or one of the F keys (F1, F2 and F12 the most likely suspects for the F keys).

ESC & Spacebar are other keys used to enter the BIOS. Delete is the most common.

I notice that we never see the Power On Self Test (POST) screen. I suspect that's because it's displayed in VGA mode that the monitor can't display. When the POST completes and hands off control to the operating system on the PRISM card then the monitor shows the output from the PRISM as intended. That would also explain why the motherboard has a VGA connector but you need a converter to use a regular LCD monitor.

OP, you could test this theory by connecting a regular computer monitor to your RFM motherboard without the PRISM card in it. Also connect a keyboard. If my theory is correct you should see activity within a few seconds of turning the computer on. Somewhere on that screen will be instructions for entering the BIOS, likely at a line across the bottom on the screen that says 'press DEL to enter settings' or something like it.

RFMmonitorCable (resized).jpg

#83 3 years ago

I just did the same tests in my RFM as I did with my friend's SWE1. Note that my RFM has the playfield currently removed and on a rotisserie for tear down, so I didn't connect anything beyond power and monitor.

That said, I placed my computer - no Prism card, into the RFM cabinet, connected the monitor (mine has the original CRT), connected the power, and nothing showed on the screen. Did the same with my friend's computer, and his showed activity.

I haven't been able to try Prism card in slash keyboard method as I don't have a keyboard with a PS2 connector. I'm trying to get a hold of one of these so that I can test.

#84 3 years ago

Using your friend's computer do you see the POST and the instructions for entering the BIOS, you just can't follow them without a keyboard connected? Or do you see only the monitor come on as if waiting for the PRISM to start sending video?

Has anyone ever seen the POST or entered the BIOS on their pin2k computer? If not, can anyone connect a regular monitor and tell me if it displays the POST while booting, then goes blank when the PRISM card takes over?

#85 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Using your friend's computer do you see the POST and the instructions for entering the BIOS, you just can't follow them without a keyboard connected? Or do you see only the monitor come on as if waiting for the PRISM to start sending video?
Has anyone ever seen the POST or entered the BIOS on their pin2k computer? If not, can anyone connect a regular monitor and tell me if it displays the POST while booting, then goes blank when the PRISM card takes over?

Yes, Remove prism card and it will show a post and enter setup.

#86 3 years ago

I appreciate the continued support and help. I just made 3 videos showing how my friend's computer boots, and how mine boots - with no Prism card installed.

What's weird is that mine boots to BIOS the same as my friend's sometimes on first try, and acts normal (you can hear the shock in my voice in Video 2 of 3). I.e., it's been sitting out unplugged all night. I've noticed that on the first attempt that it typically does this, and seems to run fine. However, if I let it warm up and reset, it shows as "No Signal" (again, no Prism card installed). This situation of it booting up normal when "cold" can be seen in the second video. However, I have tried letting the computer sit for a while, and then turn on, and this doesn't always work either. So I don't think the issue is temperature related. The third video shows the more common "No Signal" issue.

Also, I realize about halfway through the 2nd video that I can just show the monitor and it wont be flipped. Sorry.

Video 1 of 3 - my friend's SWEp1 computer booting normal:

Video 2 of 3 - my RFM computer booting normal for some reason (doesn't normally do this):

Video 3 of 3 - my RFM computer not providing signal:

#87 3 years ago

if you only have the issue after the motherboard has warmed up, then most likely you've got an issue with a cold solder joint or bad components on the motherboard

my guess is that as the motherboard warms up, it is either flexing and you are losing connection with one or more components or one or more components are failing when they warm up

if money's no issue, there's a board on ebay:
ebay.com link » Motherboard Pinball 2000 Revenge From Mars Star Wars Episode 1

otherwise, I would suggest reaching out to rob anthony and see if he's still offering to fix P2K motherboards

#88 3 years ago

j_m_ thanks for the comment. However, just for giggles, I just went outside and tried the computer again and it gave the "No Signal", so it may not be a cold boot issue after all. It's definitely had time to cool down and still didn't boot.

#89 3 years ago

ps
rob's handle here on pinside is "borygard"

#90 3 years ago

Nice job taking the videos! You're seeing the computer perform a Power On Self Test, then hand off control to the boot device. Since the boot device (the PRISM card) is removed it doesn't find one and stops.
At the bottom of the POST screen during boot it says "Press DEL to enter setup". That's how you get into your BIOS. I would do that using your friend's computer and take a picture of every setting. Then go into the BIOS on your computer and compare the settings just to make sure they are the same. Markmon mentioned this back in post 17. It's worth trying.

When your computer does not boot, we still don't know why. When it does nothing it could be bad memory, processor, or other motherboard problem. At least if it starts booting and freezes you can rule out the video.

I would blow all slots with dry air to remove any dust. I would try 1 stick of known good memory in one slot, then try the same stick in the other slot.

How much memory did you buy? Your test is only showing 8192k (and your friend's), which is 8mb. Back in post 12 it was mentioned they were using a 128mb stick. Your BIOS will show how much is installed.

P.S. In this photo you posted there are two sticks of memory. One of them isn't installed all the way. You have to push down until those arms on each end click into place. Or is that an empty slot? I can't quite tell.

RFMmemory (resized).jpg

#91 3 years ago

Hey YeOldPinPlayer. I didn't purchase any new memory, and there is only one stick of memory in each computer (two total, one in mine and one in my friend's). In the pic you posted, there is no RAM in the arrowed slot, it may look like there is in the picture, but there isn't. Each computer has one stick placed in the other slot. I've also tried switching only the memory stick from my friend's computer to mine, and that didn't solve the no signal issue. I also did the same with just the processor, and that didn't solve it either. I'll take everything apart and clean it again to see if that helps. I also just went out there to turn it on and see if it booted, and it didn't. It still gave no signal. So I don't believe it's a cold boot issue. I'm wondering if it's something like capacitors that need to bleed out first or something. I've also ordered a PS2 adapter that should be here tomorrow/Wed. and will definitely enter my friend's BIOS and see what his settings are to compare to mine (if I can get into mine). Thanks again for sticking with me and helping.

#92 3 years ago

I just went out and took the computer apart and cleaned/air sprayed the computer and parts. I also changed the motherboard battery out as I figured at this point it couldn't hurt. Then I put only put the Processor, RAM, and video adapter back in (no parallel port, PS2 port, etc.). And tested.

At first it still did no signal. However, then I kept turning off/and back on, until it did something. It finally did on the 3rd or 4th reset, and stayed on the screen in the attached image (the image with CMOS battery failure).

I then took the computer back out and reinstalled all of the other adapters, such as the parallel port, etc. When I tried it again, it at first did the no signal. Then I turned off/ and back on several times until it did something. Again when it did, it stayed on the attached image (CMOS Checksum error - defaults loaded). Then after a little bit, it changed to the screen with lines (also attached).

IMG_7675 (resized).JPG
IMG_7676 (resized).JPG
IMG_7677 (resized).JPG

#93 3 years ago

I wonder if the video header or ribbon cable is bad on your computer? Have you been swapping those too?

#94 3 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

I wonder if the video header or ribbon cable is bad on your computer? Have you been swapping those too?

I have tried swapping the video adapter (card?) and attached cable from my friends computer to mine. I have not messed with the header on the board.

#95 3 years ago

The adapter and cable is what I was asking about. Don't remove the IDE connector from the motherboard.

I think you've checked everything you can. The only hope left is borygard working on them or a miracle BIOS settings fix.

#96 3 years ago

When you get it to boot to the BIOS screen you might as well press DEL and enter setup and input settings. You'll need a keyboard for that though. I doubt it will fix the other problems you are experiencing, but couldn't hurt.

I agree, get your motherboard professionally serviced so you can move on and play your game.

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