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hard drive causes BIOS hardware detection problem on reboots

I recently added a 40GB Maxtor hard drive to my system, configuring it as a master on my primary IDE channel. An old 6GB Maxtor drive is set as the slave on the channel. My system boots fine when I first turn it on, but I get the following error message during the BIOS POST check on subsequent reboots:

"Hardware problem detected. Enter Power setup menu for details."

My configuration:
Processor: Intel Celeron Tualatin 1.3GHz
Motherboard: ASUS TUSL2-C
BIOS: 1014 beta 001
Primary (UDMA 100) IDE channel:
(master) 40GB 7200rpm UDMA 133 Maxtor Diamond Plus 9 6Y040P0 hard disk with 8MB cache
(slave) 6GB 5400rpm UDMA 33 Maxtor 90648D3 hard disk
Secondary IDE channel:
(slave) ASUS CD-S500/A 50x CD-ROM drive

The 1014 beta 001 BIOS is the latest beta release I could find on the ASUS website. I use it over the 1012 official release because the latter results in a microcode error on my processor.

I am not experiencing any data transfer problems or slowdowns when I just let the BIOS ignore the error by hitting F1. But I do wonder if I can make the error go away. I can't seem to trace the culprit on my own, so I'll appreciate any help that you guys can offer.
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kwapaw
Asked:
kwapaw
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1 Solution
 
_Commented:
Two things I can think of:
1. The CMOS battery is weak/dead. Put in a new one. This is the silver button looking thing about the size of a US nickel and usually has the number CR2032 on it. It is a 3volt battery.

2. You might be having a conflict between the 40gig ATA-100 drive and the 6gig ATA-33 drive.
The ATA-100 needs a 40pin/80wire IDE ribbon cable.
The ATA-33 needs a 40/40 IDE ribbon cable.
Running then both on the same cable, can cause problems one wat or the other, depending on which cable you are using.
ATA-100 is suppost to clockdown to 33 on a 40/40 cable, but it sometimes doesn't do well.
ATA-33 on a 40/80 cable is a NONO, it doesn't know how to handle it. I had this problem before when I put what turned out to be a 33 DVD (instead of a 66) as slave to a 100 HD.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I think it's the second one. I upgraded to a 40pin/80wire IDE ribbon cable because I didn't want the ATA-100 drive to clock down to 33. I'll try setting the 6gig drive as the secondary channel master and see what happens. Thanks for the ideas.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
Much to my surprise, it's actually neither. I set the 6gig HDD as the secondary master and the error still appeared. When I looked at the hardware monitor, it seemed to me that the BIOS was misreporting my CPU temperature. 59 degrees Celsius, lowest at around 55...

I ran AIDA32 to check this value, and the Windows utility was reporting my CPU temperature at a much cooler 39 degrees Celsius. Weird. The motherboard temperature was the same for both at 36.

The guy I bought this motherboard from overclocked his CPU. I am not using his processor, but I am using his HSF. Would that have an effect?
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I am guessing that the HSF is malfunctioning, though I might be wrong. I already set the BIOS to ignore its reports for the meantime, just so the error would not appear.
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_Commented:
I take it that when you "Enter Power setup menu for details", it says something about the HSF?

If disabling the heatsink fan (temp?) monitor stops the warning, then you need to try another fan to see if it is the fan or the fanconnector on the mobo. You might want to recheck that the heatsink is on correctly and/or the correct amount of paste is between the CPU and HS.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
It doesn't say anything, other than reporting the odd temperature for the CPU.

This would involve some work as my current ATX case is quite small. I'll have to take the motherboard out just to get to the processor. But I've already made sure that the fan connector is connected to the motherboard.

The only spare HSF I have is an older Socket 370 fan. It's smaller compared to the one that's installed now. Would that work?
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
Funny thing, though, is that the problem started appearing only after I installed the new hard drive.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I've already checked my processor. Is the black grease the paste you are talking about? Although there's some that's coated on the HSF and processor, I do think it's not enough. That may be causing my problems. Time to upgrade to a custom fan, I guess.
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_Commented:
>> I do think it's not enough << You only need a small amount of paste. Too much and it acts like an insulator or even short the CPU with certian kinds of paste, too little and it will not transfer the heat correctly.

With a small case, you might be having an airflow problem. The heat is not being removed from the case fast enough for the HS to do its job. What happens if you leave the case open and aim a desk fan into the case to blow cool air in there?
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_Commented:
>> problem started appearing only after I installed the new hard drive <<  That's probably what helped block the air flow and added more heat that is being pulled across the HS area.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the ideas. I now have two theories:

1. The new hard drive is causing additional heat. But I doubt this, since I placed it where my previous hard drive was. I moved the old one to the bay immediately above it.

2. My PSU may be overloaded. I computed my system using this site (http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/) and found out that the total wattage of my system is greater (around 260W) than the 230W that my PSU supplies.
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_Commented:
>> since I placed it where my previous hard drive was <<  OK. But the point is that air is not comming through an empty bay.

>> My PSU may be overloaded <<  Definitely worth looking into.
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I noticed that when my system gets powered up, my CPU temperature goes way high (above 60 degrees Celsius, sometimes even 70) and then settles down to around 40. This despite the fact that the CPU fan is working at over 2000 rpm.

I tried powering up with only one hard disk and no CD-ROM, and this behavior did not go away. I'm thinking I might be having bad airflow within my case.
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_Commented:
>> CPU temperature goes way high .... settles down to around 40 <<    That's strange. Almost sounds like bad paste between heatsink and CPU. Or the HS is not sitting on it correctly.

Might be the fan. Not sure what the Intel HS/fans I have are (370 - P4) but the fans run over 3000rpm. I just checked one from the partsbox.

>> might be having bad airflow within my case <<      Having good airflow Never hurts.   : )
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I'll try cleaning the fan. If I am unable to, I'll replace it with a custom one.
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_Commented:
I'll be here.  Good luck <crossing fingers>.    : )
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
There wasn't much to clean when I got the fan out. A little dust, but nothing really to prevent it from operating at full speed.

I noticed a few things, which I hope could help solve this problem.

1. My PSU basically hovers above my processor. Would such an arrangement affect things?
2. My BIOS is reporting a different CPU temperature than EVEREST Home Edition or AIDA32. Which should I believe?

I've tried changing the processor to a Tualatin Celeron 1.1 GHz, and I'm currently observing if the problem will continue.
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_Commented:
1) Depends. If the PSU fan is blowing out the back, then it is helping to pull heat away from the CPU.
If it is blowing onto the CPU, it might be fighting the heatsink fan and be part of the airflow problem. I have only noticed this kind of PSU fan on some PIII slot systems that don't use fans on the heatsink.

2) Tough one.  Most of the experts around here seem to lean toward Everest. Are any two of the three close together?
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I looked at the PSU and it is definitely not blowing onto the CPU. Its fan is blowing air out of the case.

EVEREST and AIDA32 are reporting similar temperatures. The BIOS is reporting the temperature to be about 10 degrees Celsius more.

Anyway, I've observed the other processor. It gets hotter and hotter as uptime increases, although it hasn't reached temperatures that would cause the BIOS to send out an alarm signal.
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_Commented:
I think I would go with Everest and Aida32 then.

Did running with the cover off and a desk fan blowing into the case make any kind of difference?
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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I've found out that EVEREST comes from AIDA32. That might cause the similarity. Any other CPU temperature utility that you'd recommend?

I've tried running the PC with the cover off and it makes no difference. I haven't tried setting up a desk fan to blow air into the case, although a ceiling fan is regularly blowing air into the case when I run it without covers.

Anyway, I'm beginning to give up on this problem. I'll be buying a new HSF tomorrow and I'll try that out. I'll update you when I get it installed.
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_Commented:
>> That might cause the similarity <<   Good point. I forgot about that.  : /

I use MBM (Motherboard Monitor)
Work great and montiors and alerts on all MB temp sensors. Might take a little work to setup the way you want it, so read the Help Files while you check it out.
http://mbm.livewiredev.com/
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/mbm.html

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kwapawAuthor Commented:
I've purchased a new HSF and this problem is now gone. The thing is a little big and I had to take the PSU out, but it'll do until I have the money to purchase a new case.

The BIOS now reports a max CPU temp of 46-47 degrees Celsius. This despite the fact that the CPU fan is only operating at 2300 rpm (very, very silent).

By the way, MBM5 and EVEREST are reporting the same CPU temp, now around 31-33 degrees Celsius. Is that what I should believe?

I am inclined to conclude that the problem was caused by lack of paste between the processor die and the heatsink base, but I also think that the HSF could not adequately handle the heat from my processor. Anyway, many thanks for all the help you've provided.
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )

>> inclined to conclude that the problem ..... <<  I agree. Glad to hear you got it fixed.
As for the temps, I would lean toward MBM5 and Everest (incorrect BIOS reading are not that unusual, for some reason), but it is probably 'safer' to go with the BIOS reading. As long as it stays below the mid-60's C, you KNOW you are OK.    : )
Enjoy.
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