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My first Falcon 030 and it won't bootup; blank white screen

My first Falcon 030 and it won't bootup; blank white screen

Postby NCGM » Fri Jan 29, 2010 1:00 pm

My latest is a big one....a milestone in my life infact, however it does not work. I got a Atari Falcon 030 14MB (German and I am in the UK) which I have spent all of yesterday trying to make it bootup at all. Below is a breakdown of what I have done or about to do:


  • The hard drive ribbon cable works by supplying voltage and data.
  • I've connected a CF->IDE adapter with a Sandisk Ultra II 4GB card (I have exactly the same in one of my STEs).
  • The floppy drive does nothing, no noises or accessing, but I plugged it into my Win XP PC and it does spin and access, although the green light does not come on (it works though) and no folders appear from the disks.
  • I tested the floppy power conncetor and it supplies 5.02V of power. I do not know yet if the ribbon cable is ok.
  • I have tried two other known working PC floppy drives in the Falcon and both do nothing at all.
  • I am going to try unplugging the 14MB RAM board and use the onboard 4MB instead.
  • I have plugged the video output into a CRT 17" Sony monitor and also used the RF TV output to my 28" CRT TV. Both give the same blank white screen, although the RF TV output has lots of dots floating around the screen, which could be interference as it appears to alter when I move the RF lead. I need to check that again to be sure though.
  • My connected optical mouse via a PeST PS/2 interface is receiving power.
  • The green power LED on the bottom left of the keyboard lights up.
  • The cooling fan works and gradually picks up speed when powered on.


So there you have it....one new excited and proud Falcon owner with a very expensive doorstop at the moment. So if anyone can offer help and suggestions to get this bird up and running, I will be so happy I could cry! :cry:


NCGM :(
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Re: My first Falcon 030 and it won't bootup; blank white screen

Postby Atari Music Network » Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:18 pm

Congratulations on your new Falcon! You'll get it working - have faith.

Although it's hard to diagnose a Falcon you can't see, here are some ideas to try:

Disconnect your IDE hard drive completely and see if it boots that way. If it does, your CF adapter might be connected backwards or it might be incompatible. This is the most common problem of a Falcon refusing to boot from my experience.

In fact, disconnect everything including your mouse adaptor. Then, try resetting the NVRAM next time you boot (the reset key-combo was listed on the Atari-Forum, but their site is down right now). I had a similar problem with my Falcon and after hours of mucking around, I gave up and put a new NVRAM chip in and then it came to life.

Good luck. Let us know when you're able to fix it.
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Re: My first Falcon 030 and it won't bootup; blank white screen

Postby NCGM » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:38 pm

I don't know if the Falcon likes my CF->IDE adapter yet but I did try my STEs old 2.5" 720MB hard drive. This spun up and began making noises that I presume was a lengthy search for relevent files. During this the Falcon still only displayed a blank white screen; no bootup info or Fuji graphics...nowt.

I've made sure that which each ribbon cable the pin 1 lines up with the red stripe or arrows etc.

Yes I read that about the NVRAM on the Atari-Forum. Is this fairly safe to do, because I think I saw someone on there lock himself out of his Falcon totally. Maybe his problem was more severe or something else, but he did mention resetting the NVRAM. Anyway I will bear this in mind as an option, once I know the key combination.

If it ends up being a repair job for an experienced Atari guy like Simbo on the Atari-Forum, well I will take the opportunity to upgrade it further at the same time, i.e. co-processor, better quality RAM, replace the NVRAM chip etc.
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Re: My first Falcon 030 and it won't bootup; blank white screen

Postby NCGM » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:36 pm

Great news!!! Long story short, it was not the RAM board it was a missing jumper on the motherboard. I was browsing the AtariAge ST Forum and found someone with the same problems as myself. So it now boots up very fast and the floppy works fine too. Boy am I so relieved because I feared a huge repair bill!

If anyone needs to know the solution I will dig it out and post it here; just ask.


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