computer is FUBAR

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by insomnia, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. insomnia

    insomnia New Member

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    I just got my computer back, it was shipped from germany. It was on a boat for a couple few weeks... in a box, no signs of corrosion. The graphics card screw had fallen out and it popped out of the slot, but there's no visable damage to either the motherboard or card itself.

    I started it up for the first time... Windows (xp pro) loaded a little slowly, but it was up. I tried to set up my internet connection and it froze, and I had to hold down the power button to turn it off.

    Now every time I try to turn it on it gets to the 'Verifing DMI pool data' and freezes. :wtc:

    I checked all the connections and everything is fine, and I tried a different hard drive and it stopped at the same spot, so I don't think it's that. I don't know much about computers though :hsd:

    Computer uses XP Pro, amd 64 3200+, geforce 6600, one gig of ram.

    Anyone have a suggestion on what to do? :sadwavey:
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    check all hardware and connectors are seated properly. Reset cmos.
     
  3. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I'd bet it's the CMOS issue that Jolly mentioned. Sometimes the BIOS settings get fucked up and you just have to wipe them out and start over. Fortunately, nowadays most of the BIOS settings automatically reprogram themselves; if you haven't tweaked your CPU speed, RAM speed, etc., then you probably won't have to change any of the default settings that the BIOS figures out for itself after the reset.

    There are two ways to reset the CMOS: there should be a jumper that you can change (usually labelled "J1", but you should look in the manual) that will ground-out the CMOS chip and erase its memory, but if you can't find the jumper then you can pop out the lithium battery on the motherboard to achieve the same effect. However you do it, the computer will have to be unplugged at the time, because modern computers don't really shut off completely as long as they're plugged in.

    If your computer spent an extended time powered off (as it sounds like it has), then you should consider replacing the CMOS battery. A low-charge CMOS battery can contribute to fucking up the BIOS settings.

    For the record, here are a couple of acronym definitions that usually confuse people:

    CMOS = Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor = the chip on the motherboard that stores the BIOS and the BIOS settings.

    BIOS = Basic Input/Output System = the software stored in the CMOS that tells the CPU how to start the computer when it first powers on.
     
  4. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    don't over-step your bounds... CMOS does not actually store your settings -- that is done in NVRAM.
     
  5. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

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    Remove all your cards and drives, see if you get a post or error beep. Add the video card first and see if you can duplicate the problem. You can add cards until the problem reappears.

    Of course if you can clear the cmos easily I'd do that first.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Isn't the RAM (it's not really NVRAM, it just uses a battery) contained in the same microchip as the BIOS, and isn't it also manufactured using the CMOS method?
     
  7. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    no. NVRAM. non volatile random access memory
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Why does it need a battery, if it's non-volatile? The BIOS software is stored in Flash, but the settings aren't.
     
  9. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    BIOS is not Flash... it's NVRAM.
     
  10. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    Funny...when I boot up my computer it says "PHOENIX FLASH BIOS".
     
  11. insomnia

    insomnia New Member

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    Ok, thanks for the replies and sorry for the delay. I took out the battery and replaced it, now the computer passes the DMI data thing, the screen blinks off and then on (looks as if windows it about to start) and stays blank. :wtc:
     
  12. insomnia

    insomnia New Member

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    I let it sit since my last post and windows just started :eek4:
     
  13. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

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    The BIOS is onboard. NVRAM isn't BIOS.
     
  14. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I believe what we are arguing about is the type of memory circuit used inside the BIOS chip. My understanding is that the part of the chip that stores the BIOS program uses Flash memory circuits, and the part that stores the settings uses regular RAM circuits, both of which are carved into the chip using the CMOS method. Jolly says I'm wrong.

    Frankly, I'm inclined to believe him this time because I really don't have any research or even firsthand experience to back up my claim, but as usual his lack of detail is mind-boggling. If the CMOS is entirely made of NVRAM, why can the BIOS program survive having no power, but the settings get wiped out?
     
  15. Stilgar1973

    Stilgar1973 New Member

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  16. Schproda

    Schproda New Member

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    Gotcha, I didn't read it all. :)
     

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