Crash after leaving BIOS

Posted on 2006-04-11
Last Modified: 2011-08-18

I recently added a new Samsung SP0411N hard drive, because my old HD had failed.  I have a Packard Bell Platinum 4200, running Windows 98 SE and Amibios Easy Setup Utilities version 1.16.  Since then, I've noticed a crash when exiting the BIOS.  To reproduce:

1) Press Delete when starting up to access the BIOS.
2) Press Escape to exit the BIOS screen without saving changes.
3) The BIOS then displays further info on the screen about my computer but then when it gets to "Primary Master", it crashes.  The floppy drive light comes on (even though there is no disk in it) and nothing seems to work (even Ctrl + Alt + Del doesn't work).

Interestingly, if I exit with saving changes (F10), I don't get a crash.

Here is the information about my HD from the BIOS:

IDE Device Configuration:



Write Precompensation:


Maximum Capacity:
33822 MB

LBA Mode:

Block Mode:

Fast Programmed I/O Modes:

32 Bit Transfer Mode:

Can anyone explain why the crash is happening and what could be done to resolve it?

Thanks in Advance,

Question by:Richard2000
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Do a bios update. It may be known issue that was fixed with a later bios revision
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    Your CMOS battery may be getting weak, and saving the settings keeps the drive geometry fresh.  Without the correct geometry, the system doesn't know how to read the drive correctly.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Another vote for a new battery here......
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    I would go back into the BIOS and check your HDD settings.

    It says:

    IDE Drive Configuration: USER

    This means a user specified configuration. I'm thinking those settings are the settings your OLD hard drive used.

    Change the IDE Drive configuration back to AUTOMATIC (or the equivalent in your BIOS) and reboot.

    On the next bootup the BIOS should automatically detect your new drive and choose the appropriate settings.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    Consider a Battery replacement and Bios Upgrade, but also check if the Hard Disk's jumpers are set correctly.
    Some hard disks, including Samsung ones, require different settings for jumpers when they are used as Stand Alone, and different when they work as Master
    with a Slave present.
    This issue has troubled many in the past.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your replies.

    I'm not sure about the CMOS battery.  The settings appear to be remembered correctly, such as the boot sequence and date and time, so the battery may still be okay.

    I tried changing the IDE Drive Configuration from User to Auto, but after pressing Esc to move back a level the BIOS froze before I could do anything else, so I ended up leaving it on User.

    Is it safe to update the BIOS?
    LVL 69

    Assisted Solution

    In general, flashing the BIOS to fix a problem that does not involve recognizing large hard drives, new cpu types, or a specific issue with the motherboard is not a good idea.  Flashing is not risk-free, and you should really need it to make something work before you do it.  A safer thing to do is reset the BIOS, to clear any strange values.  If this doesn't work, then I might consider a BIOS flash.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for your comments.  Considering that my new hard drive appears to work okay and the crash only occurs when leaving the BIOS screens without saving the settings (and I don't go into the BIOS that often), I have decided to leave it as it is for now.

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