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Major Bios Problems


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#1
darthvader7

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Any help/ideas/suggestions welcome!

Hi, for the record I'm posting this from my notebook. Let's see:

I tried updating my desktop computer's BIOS, but it failed to do so, though it gave me a CMOS checksum error on reboot. However, all my original settings (not the default ones, but my own customized BIOS/CMOS settings) where there, just ok. So I continued booting into Windows. Then I checked BIOS version with CPU-Z and it was still in old version.

So I tried to update again, this time Windows restarted computer, but the computer never passed from blank screen, no BIOS screen, no video bios information, etc... just blank.

I tried with the BIOS recovery CDs (it's an Intel board) but it doesn't read them. I've tried this method before, burning the .BIO file into a blank DVD-R with another Intel board and it worked find, but here it doesnt work.

My system specs:

- Motherboard Intel Desktop DG965WH
- CPU Intel Core 2 Duo E4400
- RAM 512 Mb Kingston DDR 2
- DVD drive Optiarc SATA.

That's barely all because I removed the other 512 Mb and 1 Gb memory modules, the disk, the nvidia card (motherboard has integrated Intel 950 video), etc...

This is exactly what I did:

I tried running BIOS Express Update tool from Intel. It tried to restart Windows, but it couldn't. Whatever, I thought it was flashing but with Windows running this was mostly strange, but I let it do for about 5 minutes. Lots of apps from system tray were killed during this strange shutdown attempt (their icons disappeared as I passed the mouse over them), Ctrl+Alt+Supr did nothing and trying to run taskmgr from Start>Run resulted in error message saying that Windows was shutting down and couldn't create windows. So I waited about 5 additional minutes or more, then restarted by pressing Restart button from case.

Computer restarted OK but didn't update BIOS. Also told me about CMOS settings checksum error, I just pressed Enter, and nothing else happened but Windows booting and telling me it couldn't find C:\Docs and settings\<myusername>\........\Temp\PBIOSIntel.exe or something like that (whatever, let's say just %TEMP%\IntelFooBar.exe haha). I didn't give importance to this. Restarted computer to check BIOS settings, they were my customized settings without modifications so... checksum error? where? whatever this time it didn't give checksum error anyway.

Booted again into Windows, closed all programs (including explorer.exe) and run BIOS Express Update again (this time from task manager) (yeah by explorer.exe I meant explorer's process, start menu, everything got killed). This time update program did reboot computer successfully, by reboot I mean to make windows close everything and show the "bye bye we're gonna reboot now" message.

Then the blank screen appeared. A black screen. You usually see this blank screen for a second or two, then BIOS messages, Booting from hard disk... etc... But nothing appeared. No BIOS messages. No VGA BIOS initialization message too. No beeps. The monitor went into suspend state too. The fans were spinning, all leds were on, it really looked like when in old times you plugged IDE cable the wrong way and the machine remained blank on boot, well this looks exactly the same but I have no IDE cables/drives at all (100% SATA here).

So, I booted notebook, downloaded BIOS recovery file (MQ1754P.BIO), burned to DVD-RW, put into my desktop's drive, powered down, removed power cord, waited for green led in mother to turn off, removed yellow maintenance jumper, then turned on again.

Nothing happened. I've done this before with a server at work which has an Intel motherboard too, it remained at blank screen for about 5 seconds while reading like a crazy on a DVD-R I'd burned by that time, then shown lots of text and asked me to press Enter to begin recovery process, then lots more of text, then asked to power down and put yellow jumper again, did all that and voila. But this isn't the situation with my desktop board. Here it just doesn't read the DVD at all (it reads as would any DVD drive when receiving power, but nothing more than that).

So I burned but this time into a CD-R, same result.

Unplugged SATA DVD drive and plugged a spare DVD IDE I had, same result.

Removed second 512Mb RAM and 1Gb module, nVidia card, video capture card, unplugged SATA hard drive: same result.

Unplugged mouse and keyboard (both ps2) and plugged another ps2 keyboard: same result.

Now I'm giving it a last try: removed the CMOS battery about an hour ago. It's the only remaining thing I can think about.

A day ago I thought there was nothing more frustrating than trying to install OS X on a PC, but now I know there is something worse and is this (lots of obscene words) about the motherboard not wanting to boot up after two failed attemps to flash bios and having it not accept recovery methods too. sad.gif

So if anyone had this problem before and was able to solve it, or can come with ideas and/or suggestions to try to solve it, I'll welcome them with open arms.

BTW I won't be able to publish updates to SD 2.0, Stacks Lib, XAccuWeather Docklet and others until I get my desktop machine working again (I have no way to connect SATA disk to the notebook).

Edit

Ok, replaced battery, plugged the power cord and the computer booted up instantly... into eternal blank screen. sad.gif (I mean I hadn't to press the power button, it just powered up by pluggin cord and I haven't my machine configured that way).
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#2
dsenette

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you say you burned the bios recovery file to a disk but did you burn the intell bios flash utility there too? did you burn the disk as a bootable disk or just a data disk?
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#3
The Skeptic

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Go to this link on Intel download and print the Read Me .pdf file. There are detailed instructions about how to update your BIOS. Follow the instructions carefully.

Down the file you will read Intel's recommendation not to update the BIOS unless there is a specific problem that you want to solve.
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#4
darthvader7

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The disk is not a boot disk (and it wouldn't boot either, because the bios is damaged or whatever).

What I expect is, that by removing the yellow jumper somehow the motherboard decides to load the recovery eeprom/flash code instead, which in turn will autodetect cd/dvd drives and read the .bio file from root directory of an iso9660 cd/dvd present in such drive, then use the file to re-flash everything.

What I mean, I tried this method before with other machine and it worked, it doesn't load the bios, it doesn't do post initialization (maybe just basic ram checks and the like, but no disk detection or hardware enumeration at all, instead it jumps into rescue code).

I appreciate your help and will be posting everything I try, next step is test the recovery cd in another Intel machine to see if it works -> if it doesn't it's my fault, if it does then my motherboard is definitely "kaput". This reminds me when NASA issued a command to one of Mars orbiters, the sequence was wrong and made it point it's antennas wrong, they definitely lost communication with it and now it is another piece of trash orbiting Mars tongue.gif well it seems my motherboard will soon join the club hehe. sad.gif

@The Skeptic
I didn't ask for an info on how to update the bios. I can't boot due to a bios update failure.
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#5
dsenette

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a jacked up BIOS is always a hard thing to recover from.....hence the warnings about not doing it UNLESS the bios revision states that it will fix a problem that you are actively experiencing....

you live you learn right?

let us know what happens
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#6
rshaffer61

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I'm not sure if this will help. In the late 90's when I worked for a computer company and we would have a issue like this. We would have the client contact the manufacturer of the mb and buy a new bios chip from them. I don't know about your mb darthvader7 if it is hardwired on or a removable chip but you may want to see about this.

Edited by rshaffer61, 16 April 2009 - 08:07 AM.

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