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BIOS/CMOS Complicated Problem


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#1
SkiGeezer

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I have a bizarre problem that I'm hoping some super expert on this forum might have a little knowledge of. I have an IBM Netvista, 2.4 Ghz, 512 RAM, running Windows XP that I used for about 5 years with a ball mouse. I decided to ditch the ball mouse for an optical mouse and I couldn't get the BIOS to recognize it, so I tried all the normal stuff like updating drivers, checking BIOS settings, none of it worked. I tried borrowing several other optical mice and none of them would work either, with either PS/2 or USB connection they never ever even light up. I checked for a BIOS update and there wasn't a newer one, so I re-flashed the BIOS version that my 'puter already had anyway; did no good, problem still there. One last try was to pull the CMOS battery and see if that works, however I had already tried re-setting the BIOS to default settings so I didn't expect anything to happen. After pulling and re-installing the battery, my optical mouse lit up and worked flawlessly for one entire session. Once I turned the computer off and back on again the mouse isn't recognized anymore. I've tried pulling the battery now several times and the mouse has always worked for one session and then dead once I turn the machine off and then back on again. I tried just re-booting by clicking the "restart" button and in that case the mouse keeps working after re-boot, but if I turn the computer off completely it won't work anymore unless I pull the CMOS battery again. Since I don't want to leave the computer running 24/7, this pretty much makes it impossible to upgrade to an optical mouse.
If you have any expert suggestions (I've done all the basic stuff) or have an expert explanation please enlighten me because I'm baffled.
Thanks,

Skigeezer
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#2
Fenor

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First thing that comes to my mind is that your CMOS battery is actually going bad. I suggest you swap it out for another one and see if the same thing happens. It's a cheap fix if it works since those things only cost a couple of dollars to buy at a computer store.

Fenor
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#3
SkiGeezer

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Fenor,

Thanks for the suggestion, but I already tried that and it made no difference, still worked the same way as I wrote in my original dissertation.

Skigeezer
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#4
Fenor

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You stated that you pulled the CMOS battery and put it back in, which would flash/reset the CMOS, but no where did you ever state that you actually purchased a completely new CMOS battery. If you did indeed buy a completely new one and the problem still persists, then unfortunately the most likely problem is that your motherboard is going south, which isn't a good thing. :) You can try going into the BIOS settings and setting USB Legacy support to ENABLED and see if that makes any difference. Also make sure that you SAVE the settings when exiting the BIOS after enabling it.

*EDIT* -- You can also check out THIS link and see if it helps any.

Edited by Fenor, 28 May 2008 - 05:04 AM.

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#5
SkiGeezer

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Fenor,

I know I'm a somewhat noob at computer hardware knowledge, but wouldn't my problem indicate that the BIOS chip has a problem? Perhaps in effect it is the same thing as saying that the motherboard is toast because the BIOS chip is soldered into the motherboard, but technically doesn't the original recognition of devices come from the BIOS chip?
Thanks for the advice anyway, I had an inkling that there wasn't anything left that I could do, but didn't want to assume that I knew enough to make that call. The weird thing is that I experience no other ill effects with the operation of this computer, at least not yet anyway.

Skigeezer
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#6
Fenor

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The motherboard detects the devices and stores that information on the CMOS battery, so if the settings in the CMOS battery get messed up, then the drives will not be identified properly and/or will not work properly.

You don't notice any other ill effects, because while the power is on the settings are saved magnetically on the motherboard, but as soon as you power the computer off, that memory is wiped because the magnetic storage is erased and why you have to reset everything each time your computer starts up from being shut off. Hence why I stated that the most likely cause of this problem is a faulty CMOS battery.

But since it's only effecting your mice, the problem seems to be an actual part of the motherboard has gone bad, be it the USB Controller or another piece, which is why there really isn't anything else you can do that you haven't done already. Sucks when that ends up being the case, but it happens. :)

Edited by Fenor, 28 May 2008 - 08:50 PM.

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