Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

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Lostboys
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Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Help!
I've done in my bbc micro 32k.
I've loaded Superior Software's Speech.ssd from this thread
viewtopic.php?t=1450
and installed it onto my mmc, all was working fine until I selected the sp8000 program and it then came up with the cursor with the word silly below it.

Now when I start bbc up I get a constant tone and a few white blocks on screen.

Any ideas what I've done by selecting sp8000.
Only got it for Christmas and killed it already:(
SteveF
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by SteveF »

sp8000 is a sideways RAM version of Speech; it runs in a 16K sideways RAM bank so the speech software doesn't take any main RAM up.

Does your machine have any kind of EEPROM or battery-backed sideways RAM? I am thinking that maybe trying to load sp8000 has corrupted the contents of some persistent memory and now when the machine tries to boot the OS calls some corrupt code and hangs. If this is the case there is probably some way to temporarily make the contents of that memory invisible so the machine will boot correctly and then the corruption can be fixed. (Edit: just as an example, if the MMC filing system is in a persistent RAM bank, loading sp8000 might have started to load over the top of that filing system, which would crash part way through once the load of sp8000 started to overwrite the code in the MMC filing system to handle the load process. That would leave you with a RAM bank containing a mix of sp8000 and the MMC filing system, which could easily cause the symptoms you describe when the machine tries to boot.)

It could just be a coincidence that your machine broke while you were trying sp8000, of course, but let's hope not. If it really is broken, it's almost certainly nothing you did that caused it.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Hi
Thank you for your swift reply, I don’t understand all of what you said, but I do understand the principle, I have no idea if I have any kind of EEPROM or battery-backed sideways RAM?, I am pretty sure you diagnosed the issue.

How do I check for EEPROM or battery-backed sideways RAM?
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

I’ve just looked at motherboard, no sign of battery backup or add on boards.
SteveF
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by SteveF »

Do you have the machine specifications from whoever you bought it from, e.g. an ebay listing? That might say something which is helpful.

Failing that, did you fit the MMC upgrade or any other hardware expansions yourself? If so, can you post the details of what you bought/what you fitted.

The best option, if you feel comfortable doing it, might be to take the top cover off and take some photos of the inside and post them. Ideally you'd take the keyboard off and take a photo of the circuit board under the keyboard (which is where the ROM sockets are), but you could start by just posting a photo with the lid off but the keyboard still on.

Edit: try this first! At the risk of stating the obvious, have you tried removing the MMC/SD card from the interface? It might be that that has got corrupted somehow and the MMC filing system is locking up when it tries to read the corrupt contents of the card during boot (edit: and all my wafflings about corrupted persistent memory are irrelevant if so :-) ). I would suspect that in that case it will boot fine (but obviously with no software available) if you remove the MMC/SD card.
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by SteveF »

Lostboys wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:05 pm
I’ve just looked at motherboard, no sign of battery backup or add on boards.
Sounds like my persistent memory speculations are probably wrong then. Please try what I suggested in my other post just now about removing the MMC/SD card and seeing if that helps or at least changes how it goes wrong.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

How do I get images on here?
I tried taking the micro sd card out and turning on to no avail.
SteveF
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by SteveF »

Lostboys wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:13 pm
How do I get images on here?
Click on the "Attachments" tab (to the right of "Options") below the text box where you type your replies, then you can add the files there.
Lostboys wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:13 pm
I tried taking the micro sd card out and turning on to no avail.
:-( I take it it behaves exactly the same - constant tone and a few white blocks? (just checking...)
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Yes no difference 🤔
SteveF
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by SteveF »

Thanks! I'm guessing the MMC system just has the software on an EPROM (which will be installed in one of the sockets under the keyboard, and may or may not have an interesting label on it) and the hardware plugged into the user port. If that's the case, there's no persistent memory which is likely to be remaining corrupt across power on/off, so I'm starting to suspect the machine is broken rather than this being corruption. If so, I think it's just coincidence and not something you did, although that's probably not much consolation.

You could try disconnecting the MMC gadget from the user port underneath the machine and seeing if that helps at all.

I could easily be wrong, and even if I am aren't it's not necessarily going to be hard to fix. I'm sure someone with more knowledge than me will be along soon so don't give up hope. I do have one or two other suggestions for things you could try but I'd rather see if someone with more experience has any ideas first.
Last edited by SteveF on Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Hi
Yes it’s a Rom chip with mmc written on it and plugged in through the user port.
I will unplug it tomorrow and see if that makes a difference.
Thanks for your help tonight.
cmorley
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by cmorley »

Post a photo of the "blocks on the screen". If it boots far enough to set up the video timing then odds on you have a faulty RAM chip. Try pressing down or reseating all your RAM chips first.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Here is screenshot
Attachments
9F645765-B567-4F3A-9E86-C3B78B4D1248.jpeg
cmorley
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by cmorley »

That looks like blocks from mode 7. That means the computer is booting far enough to set up the video mode then crashing.

Could be a bad connection to memory or a memory fault. Try pushing down on all the memory chips or removing and refitting them. Swap the jumper S25 postion and see if it will boot. There are lots of threads on stardot about diagnosing memory faults.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Thank you I will try the jumper and see if the first 16k works. I will look tonight, the ram maybe soldered to board :(
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

UPDATE!
Beeb is now working with 16k, moved S25 South, sooo which ram chips do I need to replace.
Full image of motherboard below.
Attachments
20220112_122354.jpg
cmorley
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by cmorley »

Should be one (or more) of the eight CAS0 RAM chips then. IC61 - IC68. They look like they might be socketed on your computer. Try removing and replacing them all first in case you simply have a bad connection.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Thats tonight's mission:)
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vanekp
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by vanekp »

Here is a picture in this forum topic of the ram layout to help try to locate the faulty chip if its not a bad socket connection.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=12920&p=166721#p166721
Regards Peter.
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

Thanks for everyone’s help, I now believe it’s IC 66, chips are ordered and should be here by Monday, I will update this thread as soon as I have fitted IC66.
It’s been a real eye opener and dare I say enjoyable experience problem solving this BBC, I fully understand why it has such a large following 40 years later =D>
Lostboys
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by Lostboys »

New memory has arrived and fitted this morning, I now have a full 32k, full memory test done and all 👍

Thank you for everyone’s help, I really thought that I had permanently damaged my new Beeb.
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vanekp
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by vanekp »

Glad you managed to get it going again, and yes its very disheartening when something like that happens, still don't see how the speech ROM/software caused it to die in the 1st place.
Regards Peter.
cmorley
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Re: Installed Superior Software's Speech.ssd and have broken my bbc

Post by cmorley »

vanekp wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:36 am
still don't see how the speech ROM/software caused it to die in the 1st place.
Coincidence. It is just what was running when the RAM failed.
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