The motherboard in my pc is going, and a friend kindly donated his box to me to replace it. The box includes a Gigabyte mobo, a GeForce vid card, an LG dvd rom/cd rw, and two sticks of 512mb ram.
I added a wiped hard drive to the components that came with the box on the motherboard, prepared for a fresh install of windows xp. On the first boot it read everything but gave me a CMOS error; so I changed the battery and reset the boot order. On its next cycle it asked me to press any key to boot from CD, but would not read any of the keys I pressed. Silly, I thought, I forgot to set the usb keyboard support in bios, so I went back in and noticed I had to reset the boot order again as the defaults had been reloaded. This time instead of setting it to cd, hdd, then floppy, I set it to cd, disabled, disabled. When it rebooted, the computer explained that it was scanning my hard drive (eh?) for bios, then it became alarmed and returned this ominous error: "unknown flash memory! cannot find bios image in hard drive or diskette."
I have tried the following in vain:
-Pulling one memory stick
-stripping the peripherals off
-booting with the hdd unplugged
-pulling the battery and unplugging it for an hour, to clear CMOS
-dusting the mobo with compressed air and showering it with gracious compliments
With the hdd unplugged, the computer 'scans' for the bios for a long time before giving up and returning the error. The posts I can find about this all end with "I bought a new motherboard. It's not a Gigabyte." I am familiar enough with computers to put one together and do some basic troubleshooting, but BIOS stuff is a bit advanced for me. It has been suggested that the board comes with an 'express recovery' feature which stores an image of the bios on the hdd in case it becomes corrupted. I do not have access to the hdd that originally went with the mobo. My friend assured me it was working fine until I came within a square foot radius of it. Did I do something to corrupt the BIOS? What should my next step be?
Thanks so much for your time!!