Solved

Unable to access cmos

Posted on 2004-03-31
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
OK, I have an old deskpro 4000 6300mmx which I was going to use for windows 2000 pro. Anyway, it had a copy of ezbios on there which had very limited options and wouldn't let me get to "proper" CMOS setup. Someone suggested that I use a utility to write 0's to the hdd to erase everything and start afresh. Unfortunately I still can't access setup and I've booted up from a Windows 2000 install disk and installed a copy of W2k but still can't boot to it. All that happens now is that it gets past POST, the screen flickers and then nothing, just a blank screen and no response from the keyboard.

I've tried everything I can think of like using fdisk to fix the MBR, I've even set the jumpers to clear CMOS in the hope that maybe that would somehow let me get into setup to reconfigure the date and time etc but I just get an on screen error during post saying that the date and time isn't set and I just get the option to press F1 to boot.

Apparently the correct method of accessing setup for this PC is F10 but that has the same effect as pressing F1 - PC tries to continue booting.

any suggestions?

Cheers
Mike
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Question by:barnesm6
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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10726075
flash the BIOS
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Expert Comment

by:compfixer101
ID: 10726363
check the board for a cmos clear jumper or take out thelittle silvr battery or it may be a black box like thing with something that says something about time on it


take the battery out or switch the clear jumper then boot the computer then turn it off the put it back to normal

should work it probabaly will say cmos checksum bad or something like that
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 10726371
Disconnect the hard drive and boot.  Can you get into the BIOS now?
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 10726431
You need to get the proper Rompaq and newest diagnostics installed on the diagnostic patition.
The Compaq/HP site will have these as downloads.

Some Compaq models only have the BIO setup on the diagnostic partition, so you do not have much of a choice.

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:barnesm6
ID: 10726963
before I noticed these responses I discovered that I needed to download the setup program and diagnostics from compaq (although their site wasn't much use as the downloads on't download - found them on another site though).

I've tried to re-install the diagnostics software but it says that there isn't enough hard disk space on the drive even though the drive is completely empty. Also it says that there must be an entry in the MBR for the partition it needs to create. From what I've read so far it's not possible to recreate this and having F10 as an option doesn't seem necessary anyway as the setup can be run from disk (inconvenient I know, but not going to need to be done very often).

Anyway, looks like the setup business isn't the problem - I still can't get the thing to boot to the OS, just getting blank screen. Tried checking in the setup program to see if there is a setting for onboard graphics which needs to be disabled but there isn't.
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by:lidsky
ID: 10727500

</div><b>Follow the instructions below for creating the diagnostic partition.</b><div>

You need both the Diagnostics and Setup diskettes before beginning.
If you do not have them, you can download them from the Compaq website.

</div><b>Ensure that there are no existing partitions on the hard drive with the FDISK utility.</b><div>

If you are unsure how to use the FDISK program, refer to Microsoft?s web page on the subject.
This information is available at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q106/4/23.asp.

1. Start the computer from the Diagnostics diskette.
2. Press </div><b> Enter </b><div> on the ?Create Diagnostics Partition? dialog.
3. Press </div><b> Enter </b><div> to restart the computer.
4. Press </div><b> Enter </b><div>  to confirm that you have both the Diagnostics and Setup diskettes.
5. Insert the Setup diskette when prompted and press </div><b> Enter </b><div>.
6. Insert the Diagnostics diskette when prompted and press </div><b> Enter </b><div>.
7. Insert the Setup diskette when prompted and press </div><b> Enter </b><div>.
8. Press </div><b> Enter </b><div> to complete the installation.
9. Power off your system and restart the operating system installation.
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by:lidsky
ID: 10727569
Without the HTML tags. Which don't work :-)

You need both the Diagnostics and Setup diskettes before beginning. If you do not have them,
you can download them from the Compaq website.

Ensure that there are no existing partitions on the hard drive with the FDISK utility.

If you are unsure how to use the FDISK program, refer to Microsoft?s web page on the subject.
This information is available at http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q106/4/23.asp.

1. Start the computer from the Diagnostics diskette.
2. Press Enter on the ?Create Diagnostics Partition? dialog.
3. Press Enter to restart the computer.
4. Press Enter to confirm that you have both the Diagnostics and Setup diskettes.
5. Insert the Setup diskette when prompted and press Enter.
6. Insert the Diagnostics diskette when prompted and press Enter.
7. Insert the Setup diskette when prompted and press Enter.
8. Press Enter to complete the installation.
9. Power off your system and restart the operating system installation.
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Author Comment

by:barnesm6
ID: 10731617
Did try posting an update to this earlier but it failed.

I've sorted this out although I'm none the wiser as to what exactly the problem was. I can't recreate the diagnostics partition, don't know why, the software just keeps saying that there's not enough disk space. Anyway, this isn't really a problem as I can run setup from a floppy.

I'd tried everything including using the maxblast software to set up the disk from scratch to allow w2k install but system wouldn't boot. I decided to have one last ditch effort and run maxblast again (3rd time) but this time specified the OS as W98, low and behold it worked and system now boots fine even though I still don't understand why it wouldn't work with w2k.

Now all that's left to do is try and run w2k set up again and hope it works this time. I think it shoudl do as this time I'm not going to erase the disk, just run a clean install by booting to cdrom.

Thanks for all the suggestions, even though I'd already tried them all it's nice to be able to post to a site where you get such a quick response.

Not sure what happens about the points now, seeing as I sorted the problem out myself (well, sort of)
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Accepted Solution

by:
lidsky earned 250 total points
ID: 10734554
barnesm6,

Although it is possible to create a system disk without a diagnostic partition it would not be advisable since you would not be able to modify the bios.

The reason you are having problems is probably due to the disk being partitioned before trying to load the diagnostics and bios utilities.

The disk MUST be UNPARTITIONED at the time the diagnostics are loaded.
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