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Too Old to Overclock?

First thing was to open up the PC and find the CMOS reset switch - not an easy task in a small room with a tiny desk. A bit of balancing and I could lay the machine on its side and actually open it up to get inside. I then needed a torch to see anything, and after much fiddling I found the little bugger. But that didn’t do anything either. Luckily I have a notebook so after a bit of Google searching I saw that somebody mentioned removing the battery. Oops, should have though of that. Only removing it meant taking out the sound card, which meant unplugging the speakers and the external break out box, and then find a screwdriver to pop out the battery, which then flew across the board making me scrabble around to find it.

But this seemed to do the trick and after waiting a couple of minutes and putting it back in the machine Posted, which, in these situations is always a relief to see.

I then thought I’d do better setting the RAM speed in the BIOS only to find that it was stuck at 266Mz. Huh? I have PC3200 RAM, so shouldn’t that be 400MHz. I took out my RAM to check and realised that while I did have PC3200 RAM it was actually a completely different set of sticks to the ones I though I had. They were actually a pair that our own Wayne Brooker had reviewed for us, so fortunately he had found out the maximum overclock for them.

But this was where my troubles really began – if I set the BIOS to automatically detect the memory speed it would default to 266MHz, and if I set it manually to 400MHz it wouldn't Post. I spent literally hours trying to get it to do so, each time having to remove the battery, and every time I’d have to go thorugh the same farcical routine where it would pop out and fall into the PC, and I’d have to carefully fish it out without destroying any wiring on the board.

Finally, I found a post in a forum of someone who had solved the same issue. All I had to do was let the mobo Post with the memory at 266MHz and then go back in. Sure enough the auto detect was back at 400Mhz. It seems that my earlier crash and caused it to drop the memory down to a fail-safe speed and it wouldn’t let me change it until it has successfully booted. Hallelujah.

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