View Full Version : BIOS

20-08-2004, 02:55 PM
Firstly I don't know a thing about BIOS, but my son-in-law thinks I am a fix-it type of person. Little does he know!.

My son-in-law's sons' have stuffed up their PC.

There appear to be 2 BIOS programs running:

Phoenix ver4.04
Adaptec ver1.04

The final details window comes up with Phoenix showing at the top then it just sits there.

Pentium PC running Win95B.

Any help would be appreciated.

Les 3

Ps. One of the sons' is a fair little b if you can follow the drift, he is at that troublesome age.

les 3

Peter H
20-08-2004, 03:05 PM
Turn the computer on holding down the delete key - somewhere on the screen that opens, there will be an option to Load Optimized defaults - Hilite it using the arrow keys, or page up/down - then save & exit setup.

Graham L
20-08-2004, 03:15 PM
Well, you don't actually "run" BIOSs. After the power-on self-test, they provide some code, and some information to the OS.

That computer has a Phoenix BIOS. That lives in a chip on the motherboard. That provides the standard things (like the ability to load the first sector of a disk and transfer control to it -- commonly known as"booting".)

The Adaptec logo which appears on the screen (or should;-)) after the BIOS stuff appears refers to some BIOS extensions which will be in a chip on a SCSI interface card. That's to add the capability to boot from a SCSI drive, etc.

If the computer doesn't have any SCSI drives, remove the SCSI card as the first step (It will have a 50 or 68 or ?-pin connector on the back). Thereare likely to be wide flat cables to internal drives. That will let you see if the Phoenix can do its stuff and start the boot from an IDE drive (or floppy or CD).

If there is a SCSI drive which has the OS (so has to be booted from) and there are some IDE HDs too ... check that the BIOS is set to show "not installed" for IDE drives. That can stop a SCSI booting. I think that has been fixed in modern BIOSes, but define "modern".

You could try "Ctrl/A " if the Adapetc logo has come up ...that will get you into a diagnostic/setup programme for the Adaptec card. If you get that and then mutter knowledgabley, that should impress them. :D

20-08-2004, 03:33 PM
Peter, thanks for that.

The delete key doesn't work along with all the others.

F2 gets one into the BIOS screen and restored the default settings, without success.

Have tried to download Phoenix (now Award) but that refers to this PC, not the faulty one.

Thanks again,

Les 3

20-08-2004, 04:51 PM
Graham, thanks also.

Have an old Phoenix 286 BIOS chip sitting here looking at me, thought I also had a later version with floppy upgrade input for it.

Will have to ask if the boys had installed any hardware, pertaining to SCSI (small computer system interface).

If you do a C: Dir you get the number of Files etc. but just the Dir and it locks up.

Won't take the back off until the son-in-law is around.

Thanks again.

Les 3.

20-08-2004, 07:25 PM
>pertaining to SCSI

Seems kinda odd...

Anyway - the other thing you should try is a CMOS reset.

I presume that the BIOS information continues, normally, past the point it is stuck at now.

Last time this happened to me, I had just installed a new Wi-Fi card, and the computer would just freeze. Infact, it was because I had another Network Card in there too, and the IRQ assignment wasn't being done properly.

(Fixed it by installing Wi-Fi card and drivers, then installing the old network card back in)

21-08-2004, 05:31 PM
Growly, thanks for your reply.

BIOS gets to the copy right window with the details, CPU, Mem, Hd, floppy etc. then just sits ther.

No other devices have been installed by the 2 young boys!!.

Have been told to format and start over, well there is 32mg of extended memory plus the usual 640kb, but Format C; /s comes up with "not enough memory".

I managed to get it up last time the boys stuffed up, but this seems much different.

How does one reset CMOS?.

Thanks again.

Les 3.

Ps. my wife's brother is a PC manufacturer, but I don't get on too well with him and don't really want to be obligated if you know what I mean.

les 3.

21-08-2004, 05:46 PM
Sorry Growly, but time and date are fine.

Les 3.

Graham L
22-08-2004, 03:14 PM
If you are resigned to a format/reload you can't do any damage. :D

I don't think "resetting"the CMOS" will help. You did that when you set default settings. If there is a SCSI boot disk, setting the defaults will certainly have stopped it from booting, but I would expect an error message. It looks as if it is booting far enough to hit some bad cosde which locks it up. It might be worth trying setting the IDE disk type to "Not Installed" or "None", and letting the SCSI have a go. Ifthat doesn't work, see if "AUTOdetect" works and gives a sensible answer.

Since it's W95, it might be just a case of bitrot. Have you got a boot floppy for the machine? If you have, first have a look at the C: disk-- for the setup CAB files. You can download a boot disk image (is it www.bootdisks.com?). Google will help.;-)

dir c:\*.CAB /s will find the files. If you are lucky you'll be able to do a reload without having to find the CD. (running c:\WIN95\SETUP from the floppy booted DOS will do the restore.) Reloading is generally non-destructive.

From the A: prompt SYS C: might help. The commonly advised FDISK /MBR won't help in this case.

22-08-2004, 05:54 PM
Graham, thanks for that.

FDisk seems to be okay.

Tried to Format C: /s, comes back with not enough memory. 32mb machine.

Tried ScanDisk from Win95 CD and this is the result:

"ScanDisk encounted a data error while reading the FAT entry for cluster 514574.

This error prevents ScanDisk from fixing this drive."

Will try the other suggestions.

Thanks again.

Les 3.

23-08-2004, 12:48 AM
Why not try pulling the memory and pushing it back in to the slot, use anti-static straps or at least earth your body by holding the computer case.
If this is'nt the cause a new memory stick might fix it.
Bad memory can cause these types of problems and some of your error messages refer to memory.


23-08-2004, 11:40 AM
Teldave, thanks for that suggestion, I will get the son-in-law to do the "pulling", the only time I saw this done was on an old 286 and the serviceman of all people didn't earth himself, gives off quite a spark eh.
That was on Company PC.

Will send Posts over to s-i-l as this appears to be a more drastic fault than the previous ones. Boys' at the age of these 2 shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a PC!.

Les 3.

23-08-2004, 11:52 AM
Graham, have tried the latter options of your post: the Sys C: was one of the first attempts I had made.

The Cab file came up with a few details, Volumes etc., a very large file 5mg almost.

The last phrase reads:

data error reading drive C
Abort, Retry, Fail?
Retried 5 times
Fail= Fail on Int 24.

Thanks to all replies, will get the son-in-law to pull the back off.

Believe it or not he works for Switchtec now called Powerware.

Les 3.

23-08-2004, 05:09 PM
And make sure the powers turned off!

:) Dave