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The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: March 24, 2012 05:05PM
I have two small IBM PCs that both have the same problem:

They have gone black (no lit screen), but power supply (fan) and HD seem to be working. When you start them, they emit a sequence of beeps: b-bbb-bbb-b. Then nothing.

Swapped the PRAM battery in one (if that's what they call it in PCs); no help.

Dead motherboards?

They are IBM models MT-M 8215-FUL. One is my wife's home-office computer, which I can swap for a Dell that I have handy, but it would be easier if I could get the little IBM running.

/Mr Lynn



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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: March 24, 2012 05:38PM
Possibly - [www.thinkwiki.org]
one beep, three short beeps
three short beeps, one beep
Memory problem: bad DIMM or bad DIMM slot



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2012 05:43PM by olnacl.
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: space-time
Date: March 24, 2012 06:30PM
both at the same time? conspiracy? or more likely, virus?
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: DharmaDog
Date: March 24, 2012 06:33PM
Oh, cut the bleeding heart crap, will ya? We've all got our switches, lights, and knobs to deal with, Striker. I mean, down here there are literally hundreds and thousands of blinking, beeping, and flashing lights, blinking and beeping and flashing - they're *flashing* and they're *beeping*. I can't stand it anymore! They're *blinking* and *beeping* and *flashing*! Why doesn't somebody pull the plug!
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: March 24, 2012 07:13PM
Quote
space-time
both at the same time? conspiracy? or more likely, virus?

No, one was some months ago. The other was yesterday.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: March 24, 2012 07:22PM
Quote
olnacl
Possibly - [www.thinkwiki.org]
one beep, three short beeps
three short beeps, one beep
Memory problem: bad DIMM or bad DIMM slot

Thanks, olnacl. That helps. I swapped the RAM chips between the two machines. One now boots up, but stops at errors (the other: I broke the little metal battery connector on top of the battery, so that's now unusable unless I can fix it—how?).

The errors are:

162—"Configuration error-default configuration used."

197—"System security-unauthorized CMOS change detected." Well I took the battery out and replaced it; so what's the big deal? F1 gets me into BIOS Setup, but nothing seems obvious to change, even under Security, and even if I did, it won't let me Exit and Save Changes. That's a puzzle, as Setup lets me in without a password.

Can't get the machine to boot past the errors.

Any further thoughts welcome.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: March 24, 2012 07:40PM
I would open it up, blow out the dust and reseat the RAM, and maybe the CPU if it is not too much of a chore to do. If that does not work, my next guess would be a bad power supply.

I can not find a product page for a "MT-M" 8215. Can you find a different version of the product number or post a link to this specific item on the IBM site? What I can find implies it is a ~3 GHz P4. How much RAM does it have, and what type? Was the inside of the case fairly clean?

Edit: swapping RAM around might be a no-no if it has RDRAM.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/24/2012 07:42PM by Filliam H. Muffman.
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: March 25, 2012 05:52AM
The 162 (probably) means it forgot the configuration so reverted to default - likely from removing the battery. 197 dittto unless the RAM was different between the machines. Strange that it won't let you save and exit though. Look at the passwords for setup and security (I'm guessing here - some BIOS have separate PWS to enter the BIOS and another to save changes).

Here's one persons description of clearing user input to the BIOS - might work or just do a search with Google for IBM 8215 - reset BIOS or the like.
Quote
to resotore the computer to factory setting is done by clearing cmos to clear cmos you need to remove the cover of the computer and search for the battery in the motherboard remove the battery and also remove the power of the hard disk then start your computer then after the post you will see boot error then shutdown the computer remove the plug from the back of the computer then insert the battery and connect the hpower to hard disk and plug in back the power supply and restart your computer when restarted you will the message cmos rested pres del to enter bios and f1 to install defult option press del and change the date and time and press F10

I might add to unplug the AC power before opening the computer and then press the Power button for several seconds after removing the battery and disconnecting the power from the HDD. Then follow the instructions about replugging the AC cord only, etc.

I recall that model was somewhat of a PITA - we had a few of them . Should have been fast (for the time) and were dog slow. Ours looked like this but they had a desktop configuration too. Yours the same?

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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: March 25, 2012 10:01AM
Success! Olnacl, I followed your suggestion and searched for "reset BIOS". This turned out to be helpful:

[www.fixya.com]

Among the techniques described is this one:

Quote

Reset the jumper that holds the password

Open the computer and locate on the motherboard the BIOS password jumper. The jumper is usually jumper 1 and often labeled as PSWD, PWD, CLRPWD, CLEAR, JCMOS1, CLR, CLEAR CMOS, PASSWD, or PASSWORD. Normally you would have 3 pins and to reset the password you just need to put the jumper on the 2 and 3 pins leaving pin 1 empty. After you move the jumper, turn the computer on to clear the password, then once password removed turn it off and put the jumper back to its original position.

I found the jumper, labeled CLEAR CMOS, which conveniently has a blue plastic tab on it for unplugging, followed the instructions, got to Setup, and now I was able to exit and save using F10. Then the machine booted normally. I switched the HD from the one my wife was using to this one, and now she's good to go.

Why swapping the RAM sticks from one dead machine to the other dead machine got this one working, I can't fathom. Unfortunately, I stupidly broke the + connection clip that holds the CMOS battery (that's what they call them in the PC world) on the still-dead machine, so I can't see if the RAM exchange would fix that one, too.

Any idea how I would repair or replace the battery clip? I don't think even soldering would work, as it's spring-loaded.

The 8215s are small horizontal desktops,

[images.search.yahoo.com]

but they come with a plastic stand that enables you to treat it like a tower. Like yours, with 3GHz P4 processors, they should be pretty fast, but they are indeed dog-slow.

Many thanks for the expert help!

/Mr Lynn



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/25/2012 10:03AM by mrlynn.
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Re: The IBMs Are Black and Beeping—Why?
Posted by: olnacl
Date: March 25, 2012 11:05AM
Not expert - just had to deal with them for several years. I was a Google fan then too. Glad you got one running anyway.
I see those P4 computers selling for less than $100 all the time on the web, even some C2D models. Personally, I'd pull the RAM and HDD and recycle the rest of the broken one. OTOH, if you're a glutton for punishment you should be able to find a battery holder at Rat Shack or somewhere on the web and replace it yourself. Probably would require some soldering though.
I recently bought a Dell Optiplex C2D with a LCD monitor and clean install of Win 7 Enterprise for $150 on CL, (it was a school computer that was replaced - the guy had a bunch of them) then sold the monitor for $50, So for $25 net, I have an upgrade to my P4 (that I sold for $75).
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