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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (Core Hardware)
 9  Chapter 1100:  Troubleshooting

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IX  Diagnostic Relief
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XI  Tools of the Trade
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X  Cable Issues

I was a very young man coming from electronics to computers, when a very old man told me "90% of your problems are cable related." I was astonished, and he had a very serious look on his face. Well, 30 years later, if anything, I think that advice was understated. Take this simple example:

You install new RAM. Before you put the case on, you test, thoroughly. Everything is A-OK. You put the case back on, and test again. Everything is cool, life is good, and you leave.

Two days later you get a call telling you that when the user changes floppies, it still is showing the directory of the previous floppy. The user swears it wasn't doing that before, and it only happened after you installed the new ram. They want the ram swapped out with ram that "works". Does the ram have anything to do with the challenge? Of course not. What happened is you either pinched the edge of the floppy cable on the case, opposite the pin 1 conductor, or the cable got caught and almost pulled off the floppy. Since pin 34 indicated the diskette change, and it isn't making contact, it won't tell the PC that the user made a change, so it reads the directory of the first floppy, and will continue to do so until the PC is restarted.

Pin 34

Pin 34 on a floppy carries the signal for a Diskette change.



Previous Topic/Section
IX  Diagnostic Relief
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XI  Tools of the Trade
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