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Old 11-17-2005, 10:51 AM
Matthew H. Long
 
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Default question regarding comp hardware.

Not really a gripe, but it seems this is a more active forum than computers....

anyway,

I was wondering if there is a way to test out old motherboards that are missing ram sticks. I've received some 9 or so old computers (ranging from a pentium 1 to 4) but most are missing ram and/or HDs that are needed to boot them up. Ideally i'd like to retrofit the best one (a p4 2.0 ghz 2 exp. slots for ram etc.) for gaming but I don't even know if the chip and motherboard is of any use. Can I access the BIOS without any ram or boot drives? I don't want to try yet in fear I may damage whatever I have now.

Don't know what else to ask at the moment. I want to have a good idea on what to do this coming thanksgiving break so I can finally take a look at all of them.

Thanks in advance.
Matt

Last edited by Matthew H. Long : 11-17-2005 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:06 PM
Rian D. Spivak's Avatar
Rian D. Spivak Rian D. Spivak is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Goshen, NY
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Unfortunately, the way most Mainboards work is that the RAM needs to be installed for the board to boot completely. You probably won't be able to get to the BIOS. It usually would flag with a POST error and a beep code that the RAM is missing.

So you would need the RAM, Mainboard, CPU, and a power supply to startup the mainboard. Even then, you may not be able to test the entire mainboard completely.

Since the mainboard has its hands into every part of the computer there may be parts that aren't working, such as the parallel port, serial port, USB ports, keyboard and mouse ports, and hard drive, floppy connections. In some cases even integrated video.
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