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System Configuration Problem

My friend has just started having a problem whenever she boots up her computer.  As it is loading the screen stops with this message:  Invalid System Configuration Data, Run configuration utility.  Press F1 to resume, F2 for Setup.
She presses F1 each time and then it finishes booting up and Windows 95 comes on.  She is just annoyed that she now has to always hit the F1 key to resume.  We don't know why this has just started but would like to resolve the problem so she doesn't have this extra step to turn the Windows program on.

We are not sure what they mean by "run configuration utility." What is it?   I would appreciate any help you can provide us in getting her system back in shape.

Thank you.

1 Solution

    How about pressing F2 and correcting this problem once and for all?  This is what the configuration utility does:

You can use the Windows 95 Emergency Recovery Utility to create a backup of your system configuration and registry files in case a problem should occur.

This utility is located on the Windows 95 CD-ROM in the Other\Misc\ERU folder. If you have the floppy disk version of Windows 95, you can obtain this utility from the following Microsoft Web page:


Windows 95 Emergency Recovery Utility
Last reviewed: May 4, 1998
Article ID: Q139437
This is not a Windows message. What is issuing this message is the BIOS.

Press F2 and, if this computer was not made in the 80's, a ROM BIOS setup utility will pop up. Adjust the setup (or in most of cases do nothing), apply the configutation (F10 in 90% of the cases).

If, after the configuration was made, the problem happens again, she can have a bad CMOS battery.

Jeanne061397Author Commented:
I will not be able to comment to the above suggestions until Thursday as I will not see my friend until then.  I will keep you informed.

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It helps if we can know the model/manufacturer of the computer.
Jeanne061397Author Commented:
I went over to help my friend today but was not sucessful.  I'm afraid I do not understand the problem.

First, I started up the system and the message came up again F1 or F2.  I did hit the F2 key and did was was advised.  I hit the F10 key (I think it said it would use the previous settings) and then I exited.  When I booted up again we had the same message.

She has a Packard Bell computer that she bought a little over a year ago and it is out of warranty.  They won't help us at all.  When we were booting up again I did a printsccreen and this is what it says:

PhoenixBIOS Version 4.04
Copyright 1987-1995 Phoenix Technologies Ltd.,All rights reserved.
AGOURA release 1.18
CPU = Pentium  120 MHz

0016384K RAM Passed
System BIOS shadowed
Video BIOS shadowed
Invalid System Configuration Data - run configuration utility
Fixed Disk 0:  Conner Peripherals 1080MB - CFS1081A
Mouse initialized

Press F1 to resume,  F2 to Setup.

Here are my questions (I must admit I am not knowledgeable on DOS terms).   It sais to "run configuration utility".  I'm not sure what that is?  She does have a Windows95 CD Rom.  Is it on there?

Someone suggested that she may have a bad BIOS battery.  How do we find out?

If I hit the F2 to go into setup do I have to change anything or just hit F10 Previous Values?  (This is what I did and nothing worked.)

Any more help would be much appreciated.



1. Computers made in the last 2-3 years normally uses a Dallas chip that includes the battery. If the battery is dead the only action is to replace the motherboard.

2. Since (1) is very a very rare situation let's try do the following:

a) Hit F2, going to setup
b) Inside the setup change the computer date and or time
c) Save the changes

3. If (2) does not work...

Jeanne061397Author Commented:
First, let me thank you for all your time.  Second, my friend is not on the Internet that is why I have to work with her system then come home and write to you.

OK, I called her and had her go into setup and she managed to change the clock one hour ahead.  We saved the configuration. Then went into windows and saw that the clock was 1 hour ahead.  Then we restarted the computer and sorry to say she still had to select, F1 to resume, or F2 for Setup.

Any other suggestions?


Let's try one more thing. Again, enter in the setup and try to detect the hard drive again and, since the machine is dated, see if the memory size is correct.

Let us know the results.
Jeanne061397Author Commented:
Okay, we did go back into setup and tried to see what information you wanted (memory size is correct).  We were not sure exactly what the right size memory was so we printed the screens as we looked at the setup menu.  I will now try to give you some of the data from these sheets and then you can determine if the memory size is correct.  OK.

First, I looked at her statistics on the computer, Packard Bell, Pentium, 120 MHz, 16 MB, Hard Drive 1 Gig.

Now, Information from the printouts:

Video System:  EGA/VGA
Memory Cache  -  blank
Memory Shadow  - blank
System Memory:     640 KB
Extended Memory    15 MB

Is the above the information necessary?  

Thanks,   Jeanne

When the system is powered up how much memory the BIOS shows? The showed size is equal to the information that you gave above?

Hi Jeanne
I think the battery that holding the CMOS BIOS info when power down is dead. I have the same problem on a few machine before and they all fixed after I replace the battery. You have to open up the computer and look for a small battery either on the motherboard or on the case connect to the motherboard. Since I don't have experience with Packard Bell comp. I cannot tell you where to look. Also did you try Nilo suggestion by enter the setup and detect the harddrive and save the info.
PS what happen after you save the seup info and do a warm reboot (by pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL) instead of power down.
Jeanne061397Author Commented:

Thank you for all your help.  We finally gave up trying to solve this problem.  Nothing seems to work and maybe it is the battery.  My friend has decided to take it to a technical repair person to see if they can solve the problem.  I give up.

Thank you again for trying to help.

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