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llamapants
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Here, have a seat....

Postby llamapants » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Hi folks,

I'm after some info on how to reaseat chips in my MSTE, as I can't enable Cache with Xcontrol.acc & General.CPX, it causes my ST to 'freeze' up.

I've never had to do anything like this before, so I've no idea where the cache chips are, or how to reseat them. Are they just plugged in, or do I need to get the soldering iron out?
Would pressing down on them with my thumb help?

Just out of curiousity, how much of an improvement does the cache make? I will be mainly using my MSTE for MIDI (C-Lab Creator SL), gaming, spreadsheets, database & disk copying (backing up old floppies to HD)
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby Dal » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:38 pm

Essentially, any socketed chip can work loose over time simply due to changes in temperature. I recommend you get yourself an anti-static wrist-strap and a bonding plug to protect any chip from static discharge.

Once you are bonded to earth, open your machine up and give all socketed chips a push - any loose ones will give a satisfying 'cracking' noise as they are seated back into position. Hopefully that is all that's needed.

Be warned that some of these sockets and chip legs can become oxidised over time (look for a green 'crust' on the socket contacts or chip legs). I acquired an Amiga recently with a bizarre 'random' crashing issue - after swapping each chip in turn, I eventually traced it down to a socket that had oxidised contacts (a 68 pin plcc). After replacing this, it's absolutely solid. Hopefully, you will be lucky, but keep your eyes open for any signs of oxidisation. If it's on the legs of a chip, clean with emery paper. Oxidised sockets will need replacing though.
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby llamapants » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:01 pm

Thanks Dal,

Already got meself an antistatic wrist strap...pushed all the chips down I could see and although they didn't make a reassuring 'click' noise (more of a creaking noise), the cache setting still doesn't work.

Do I just use a blunt instrument to lift the chips out? Not sure which, if any, are soldered in, so I didn't want to force them out and wreck them.
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby Chandler » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:23 pm

which chips are the cache chips in the mega ste?

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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby llamapants » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:46 pm

Removed & reseated all chips & looked for oxidisation (couldn't see any) but gave the chips a rub with emery paper anyway.

Still no joy when selecting 'Cache on' setting in General.CPX & NVDI5 Control Panel...instantly locks up & I have to restart.

Think I might leave it to soak in the bath overnight & then shove it the microwave for half hour and see if that cures it :D
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby wongck » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:48 pm

Microwave ???
Doesn't the energy from the radiation damage some of the oxide layers in the semiconductor??
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby DarkLord » Thu Oct 20, 2011 11:54 pm

I think he was kidding Wong. :)

BTW, I've never run NVDI on anything besides my Falcon. But I know that NVDI does some
things that overlap other utilities. For example, mouse acceleration. You don't need Atari's
mouse CPX accelerator if you're using NVDI.

So with that in mind...is it possible the cache controls on the General CPX and NVDI are
conflicting?

Does either one work with the other one turned off?

Has anyone else with a Mega STe and NVDI used them together successfully with both
caches turned on?

Just a random thought (and probably wrong)...
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby Dal » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:34 am

I use NVDI on my MSTE and have no problem enabling the cache setting. That said, if Llamapants can detail all the auto progs, ACC's and ACX's he is running, I'll replicate the config and try to break it?
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby llamapants » Fri Oct 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Yes, I was kidding about bathing and nuking my MSTE! :D

I have tried booting from floppy only (H/D switched off) with just Xcontrol on the disk. I mark just the General.CPX as active and then as soon as I select the Cache on setting, my MSTE locks up instantly.

I have also tried booting from H/D (no floppy inserted). All I have installed on the H/D is NVDI5. (No Xcontrol) Same problem, if I open the Control Panel & select Cache, it locks up.

llamapants wrote:Just out of curiousity, how much of an improvement does the cache make? I will be mainly using my MSTE for MIDI (C-Lab Creator SL), gaming, spreadsheets, database & disk copying (backing up old floppies to HD)


Never owned an MSTE before and too be honest it does seem plenty fast enough for what I need (I might even install Windows Vista on it later :lol: ) Just thought it would be nice to get it running perfect & see what difference the Cache makes.

Thanks for your replies by the way :wink:
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby wongck » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:33 am

Well Christos had an issue with his MSTE cache previously.
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=14515&p=124821
May be he can give some pointers.
Also talks about changing some chips.

Sadly, I sold my MSTE like nearly 15 years ago, and had forgot about the speed of cache & no cache settings.
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby christos » Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:26 am

Yeah, the mste continues to have the same problem. Plus I don't have room to set it up so as to check it extensively. Looks like your problem needs a replacement of the cache chips.
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby Dal » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:20 pm

The cache chips should be socketed. Looking at the post above, it seems replacement cache chips may be difficult/very expensive to source. If it was my machine, I would remove the chips and replace the sockets in the hope that the old dil sockets had become oxidised with age. Failing that, I would just run the machine without the cache. I don't think the expense of replacing those chips will be worth it (unless you can get them cheap as.... er 'chips'!)
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby wongck » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:08 am

IIRC, the cache is the one that speeds up the machine.
I do not have any numbers/benchmarks but I read from somewhere about this.,
(old magazine online - So must be some ST archive or what).
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby llamapants » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:17 pm

Thanks for all your feedback. :)

I will assume that the cache chips are duff so until I find another MSTE for sale v.v.v. cheap for spares/repair, I will leave mine alone.
(Well apart from no sound output...but that's another thread)
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Re: Here, have a seat....

Postby saulot » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:00 am

I've got similar issue with cache in my mste right now. It looks like issue is triggered after machine is warmed up, when it's cold everything works fine. Anyone had similar issues? Everything works fine when I launch system with control, but it eventually freezes when I for example change resolution. It autoboots (when warmed up), launches hd driver, some auto programs, but xboot freezes machine (probably when enabling/disabling cache). Same with enabling cache/16mhz from sysinfo (system freeze). I thought it was monster related, but it's not (I' ve removed board and replugged old tos roms) and issue persists. Could it be psu related?
Which chips are responsible for cache etc? Is there any good description of mste board somewhere?


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