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Re: [vox-tech] Phoenix BIOS Blind Video Switch
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Re: [vox-tech] Phoenix BIOS Blind Video Switch

On Fri, 31 Dec 2004, Mark K. Kim wrote:

> What do you mean the connector is "smashed"?  If the conductors inside the
> connector are live, you can stick a wire into the holes and temporarily
> connect them to a monitor -- just need a female DB15 connector (HSC may
> have some?) and smoe soldering tools.

The shell is broken from the mobo... the pins that rise from the mobo and
bend horizontally and have sleeves on them to recieve the plug pins are
bent every which way, and attempts to bend them back have simply resulted
in broken pins... there is no elasticity left in the metal.

> Also, this probably isn't applicable, but it used to be that some
> computers complained if you didn't have any monitor or video card attached
> to the computer.  If that's the case, you may need to press a key (F1, F2,
> DEL?) at a different time before going into the BIOS.

I downloaded the pdf manual for the mobo, and followed the instructions to
press the right keys to go through the BIOS menus, using the keyboard
lights to tell me when I was "in" and when I had "left the
BIOS".  However, I don't know EXACTLY which keys to press to make changes
in this BIOS... I have used Phoenix bioses before, though, and think that
"enter" opens a little dialog box with a list of options, of which the pdf
says I have two, so I press "up" or "down" (have tried both a couple of
times) and press enter again to complete the selection.

> If you wanna be funky: Install a dual-head X configuration on the hard
> drive from a different computer then stick it into the computer?

That is beyond me... you assume I have hardware nearby that is comparable
to this hardware with which to create and test this image.  But it is an
interesting idea.

> Or you might wanna try: Find another computer with the same hardware,
> setup the BIOS as you would like on your computer, back up the BIOS using
> a BIOS backup tool on that computer, then move over to your computer
> restore the BIOS onto it (it's usually a DOS tool -- make a boot disk with
> AUTOEXEC.BAT setup to update the BIOS automatically on boot.)  BIOS data
> are usually structured differently from BIOS to BIOS, but there's a data
> location reserved for BIOSes that are used by all BIOS vendors, so backing
> it up and restoring it is same for all vendors.  I think some vendors use
> extended memory areas, though, so you should double check before using the
> backup tool.

I have heard of this before, but don't have the alternate hardware

> Are you sure you can't just start using the new video card just by
> sticking it into the BUS?

Yes, because I tried that first.

>  I'm sure you could if the on-board video is
> just totally broken and unavailable for access to the BIOS!  Just smash it
> some more and see what happens! =P

Er, I think the video functionality is in an IC that also includes many
other functions I don't want to smash.

> Just some ideas!

Hm.  I posted this question mostly in frustration that the state of
hardware is such that they no longer provide a way to bypass the onboard
video using jumpers... and was hoping that I was wrong. This seems like
throwaway engineering. :(

> -Mark
> Disclaimer: Don't do anything that breaks things...

I don't get much thrill out of smashing stuff... particularly electronic
stuff.  I think you have to anthropomorphize these things to build that
kind of attitude up... and they are just machines to me.

I do like disassembling crashed hard disks, though... the best
refrigerator magnets are in there. (I'm not impressed anymore with the
platters, though I remember when I was.)

> On Wed, 29 Dec 2004, Jeff Newmiller wrote:
> > Friend of mine gave up on this P4 2.6Ghz computer, seems a waste though.
> > His wife got frustrated one day trying to move the computer and broke the
> > onboard video connector (yes, those are screws on the side of that
> > connector)... it is pretty smashed. I took out their hard disk and put it
> > into another of their computers, and they gave me the rest of the cpu box.
> > I may end up buying a $60 mobo, but wouldn't mind running it headless if I
> > could throw a $10 video card into it to set up the machine with.  The
> > problem, of course, is that the mobo doesn't have an internal video
> > override jumper... you have to use the Pheonix BIOS to switch to "Primary
> > video = PCI".  I've tried to do this blind with an old PCI video card
> > plugged in, but it isn't working and of course I can't figure out why.
> > The keyboard lights blink at the appropriate times, so I am changing
> > something.
> >
> > Anyone have any ideas, or is this mobo just really hosed?
> >
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
> > DCN:<jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...
> >                                       Live:   OO#.. Dead: OO#..  Playing
> > Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
> > /Software/Embedded Controllers)               .OO#.       .OO#.  rocks...1k
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > vox-tech mailing list
> > vox-tech@lists.lugod.org
> > http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox-tech
> >
> -- 
> Mark K. Kim
> AIM: markus kimius
> Homepage: http://www.cbreak.org/
> Xanga: http://www.xanga.com/vindaci
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> PGP key available on the homepage
> _______________________________________________
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> http://lists.lugod.org/mailman/listinfo/vox-tech

Jeff Newmiller                        The     .....       .....  Go Live...
DCN:<jdnewmil@dcn.davis.ca.us>        Basics: ##.#.       ##.#.  Live Go...
                                      Live:   OO#.. Dead: OO#..  Playing
Research Engineer (Solar/Batteries            O.O#.       #.O#.  with
/Software/Embedded Controllers)               .OO#.       .OO#.  rocks...1k

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