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13-06-2002, 07:39 PM
Hello everyone,

My PC started fine this morning. Shut down, and went into town, Came back, and hit the go buttton. The PC gets to the checking memory screen, and halts. 2mins later it processes a bit more and halts again.

19mins of stop-starts later, and windows loads. Now PC functions fine including all peripherals.

I restarted and went into BIOS setup (after 5mins of waiting) Reset to fail-safe defaults and restarted.

Same prob, except now shows the following error on boot up (which takes 20mins):

Floppy disk(s) fail (40)
CMOS checksum error - Defaults loaded.

Press F1 to continue...

I press F1 and after a long wait I'm back in windows.

At one stage there was just the floppy error, sometimes no error at all, and once BIOS virus detection warned me that '...your computer case has been opening.' (no typo):-).

I have surge protection on power and phone (good $200 one, not warehouse $5 one).

I have windows XP Pro.

Award BIOS v6.00PG, 09/26/2000-8363-686-IA6LMC0DC-00

Chaintech CT-7AIA mobo with VIA 686B chipset.

Any ideas on what to do?

I am about to have a wee look around google etc, but thought I'd get you guys thinking about it in the meantime. Will let you know if I solve it.

Cheers

G P

13-06-2002, 08:10 PM
Hi Graham

How's your cmos battery? Lithium cells drop dead suddenly without much warning. Yours might have joined those that went before!

Cheers

Billy 8-{)

13-06-2002, 08:59 PM
Billy,

Any easy way to find out before I try to update the BIOS? The PC is 1 1/2yrs old - is the battery likely to have died?

Cheers

G P

13-06-2002, 09:11 PM
Bootup delays can be caused by the BIOS settings getting screwed up leaving the BIOS hunting for drives that are not there. If your bootup drive sequence is set to A, C, ... try booting from a floppy. However, I get the impression that your delays may be starting before the drive-hunting stage.

13-06-2002, 10:38 PM
Billy,

Took out the batt. 3.08v. Put it back in.

Problem solved! Must have needed a few cobwebs cleared.

Now, PC keeps time whilst shutdown, but not while disconnected from 230V. Do not know if it used to. Is this a battery fault, or normal behaviour?

Cheers.

G P

13-06-2002, 10:49 PM
Sorry if this posts twice - server errors etc.

Billy, took batt out and tested it - 3.08v, so OK.

Put it back in and problem solved! Must have needed a reset or something.

Now I am noticing a phenomena I never have before. When shutdown (off) the PC keeps perfect time (using stopwatch over 10mins). When disconnected from 230v, pc loses time exactly the length of time it is disconnected for. I have never noticed this before, but I have also never checked this before. is this normal, or does it indicate a faulty batt?

Cheers.

Thanks also to Robin.

G P

13-06-2002, 10:55 PM
Grrrrr - this may be the third post, I keep getting server errors!!!

Thanks Billy,

Rmoved batt - tested OK at 3.08v.

put batt back - problem solved!!

Now, PC boots fine, and keeps perfect time (as before) when shutdown (as tested with a stopwatch).

However, when disconnected from AC 230v, it does not keep time, but remains at time when power disconnected. Is this normal behaviour, or is the batt shot? I have never noticed this before, but I have never checked before either.

Cheers.

Thanks also to Robin.

G P

P.S. No thanks to PF1 which made me type this three times so far!

13-06-2002, 11:01 PM
Grrrrr - this may be the third post, I keep getting server errors!!!

Thanks Billy,

Rmoved batt - tested OK at 3.08v.

put batt back - problem solved!!

Now, PC boots fine, and keeps perfect time (as before) when shutdown (as tested with a stopwatch).

However, when disconnected from AC 230v, it does not keep time, but remains at time when power disconnected. Is this normal behaviour, or is the batt shot? I have never noticed this before, but I have never checked before either.

Cheers.

Thanks also to Robin.

G P

P.S. No thanks to PF1 which made me type this three times so far!

14-06-2002, 01:47 AM
There are two errors

Floppy disk(s) fail:
Cannot find or initialize the floppy drive controller or the drive. Make sure the controller is installed correctly. If no floppy drives are installed, be sure the Diskette Drive selection in Setup is set to NONE or AUTO.


CMOS checksum error - Defaults loaded:
Checksum of CMOS is incorrect, so the system loads the default equipment configuration. A checksum error may indicate that CMOS has become corrupt. This error may have been caused by a weak battery. Check the battery and replace if necessary.

14-06-2002, 04:32 PM
If it keeps time with the power plugged in but not otherwise, I'd change the lithium cell.

You measured it as 3.08V. So you have a digital meter. Even though the clock uses only a few microamps, that's more than the meter drew when you measured the battery. The cell could have 3+ volts open circuit, but a high internal resistance. Any time you're measuring a battery, you should have a resistor across it to pull some current. The commercial testers use about 150 ohms --- I suppose a few K would be OK with these button cells.

This trick caught a lot of people when they used their new digital meters to check whether power was getting to the power transformer of faulty equipment. Even a broken switch or blown fuse there was enough leakage to give '230V' on the meter. The old traditional AVO 8 drew enough current (especially in the AC ranges) to give a trustworthy measurement.

14-06-2002, 05:29 PM
Graham, let me clarify.

So, Whenever I test a voltage with my digital meter, I should put a resistor in the circuit to draw some current through and thus get a more accurate reading? Ok, I'll grab one from DSE at the same time as I get a new batt.

Cheers

G P