Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
Solved

Garbage in my CMOS Hard Drive setting

Posted on 2006-10-26
10
154 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Has anyone ever heard of this?  I have a desktop, 2.4 GHz Intel MB, 1 Gig RAM.  It has been working fine for a while.
I needed a machine with W-98 on it, so I FDISK'd the hard-drive, formatted via "format c: /s". Installed Windows 98. All fine so far.
"Suddenly" (while I was installing Soundblaster drivers from the factory CD for Audigy 2, which may-or-may-not have been coincidental) I got the dreaded Blue-screen error (I forget exactly what it said) BUT I couldn't boot after that ... turns out that in the CMOS setting, for hard drive, where it normally says something like "Maxtor 1200", it had garbage (something like "tsw$# aB2 #").  (Changing the setting back to "Maxtor 1200" has fixed everything for now ...)

Has anyone heard of randomly getting garbage in this CMOS setting? Could be a dead/dying battery on the motherboard? I am trying to get a feel if it typically is a software problem (so I can just reformat/reload W-98) OR if I should replace the hard-drive or ???

0
Comment
Question by:bleggee
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
10 Comments
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17816363
Not enough info to say for sure ... but a couple of possibilities:  (a)  CMOS battery needs replaced (I'd do this first;  they're only a couple dollars, and if the system's more than a couple years old that's likely the issue);  or (b)  something got corrupted in the hard drive ==> if so, just "nuke" it with dBan (http://dban.sourceforge.net/) and then FDisk and format it again.   If it's (b), you may have used the wrong version of FDisk and Format ==> unless you've patched them, the versions that shipped with Windows 98 do NOT work correctly with drives larger than 64GB.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:bleggee
ID: 17816895
I am going to do exactly that ... battery, nuke, & fdisk. Where to I get a 'patched' W-98 version of fdisk and/or format that will work on my 200 GB hard drive? Do I just use the version from one of my W2000 or XP machines?
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17816969
Well ... even the patched version does not support 48-bit logical block address, so it won't work correctly on your 200GB drive either (that, in fact, may be what happened to your drive).   There are several ways to resolve that ... the easiest is probably to just temporarily connect it as a slave to an XP machine and use Disk Management to create your partition.   The downside of that is you can't create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB in XP ==> if that's an issue, post back and I'll suggest something else.
0
Networking for the Cloud Era

Join Microsoft and Riverbed for a discussion and demonstration of enhancements to SteelConnect:
-One-click orchestration and cloud connectivity in Azure environments
-Tight integration of SD-WAN and WAN optimization capabilities
-Scalability and resiliency equal to a data center

 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:bleggee
ID: 17817065
Good idea. I think then that I'll connect it as a slave, partition it to 120GB (I can use the other 180 as an XP partition), then format it & install W-98. That *should* work ... yes?
0
 
LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 17817100
As I noted ... you can only create a 32GB FAT-32 partition with XP.  How large is the hard disk?  (You said 200GB, but in your last post you said the "... other 180GB ..." after talking about a 120GB partition --> for a total of 300GB)

Are you familiar with Boot-It NG??  (free demo at www.bootitng.com) ... it will let you do just about anything you want in terms of creating the partitions, etc. (and formating them).   The interface is a bit "geeky" ... but it's an excellent tool.
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17817836
i would certainly test that disk, since it is the disk info that gets stored in the BIOS.
I would also check the cables and connectors, maybe one loose ?
here the manufacturers utilities for testing :  http://www.disk-utility.com/hard-disk-low-level-format.html
0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 17819997
I would have thought that the disk info as read by BIOS is not on the platters or depending on logical layout of the disk (partitioning etc). Garbage entries in the drive department of BIOS setup is very probably a CMOS confusion issue. Reset and/or get a new battery. Comments about loose cables/connectors are of course valid...
/RID
0
 
LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17824713
imho it is not on th platters but in the logic
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:bleggee
ID: 17827065
Hi "garycase" - Correction: It is a 300 GB drive, Maxtor 6B300R0 ...

I want to partition it to 120GB to use for W-98 ...

I have connected it as a Slave & partitioned it with XP.

Bought a new UATA cable & CMOS battery, just in case.

What should I use to *format* it, based on your comment "The downside of that is you can't create a FAT32 partition larger than 32GB in XP ==> if that's an issue, post back and I'll suggest something else."
I do have Partition Magic ver 8 if that's useful.
0
 
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 17827208
I don't use PM but IIRC it can format a drive -- right?    If not, just boot to a Windows 98 floppy and "format" the disk ==> it will REPORT what it's doing incorrectly (because of the drive size) ... but it will WORK fine  (just wait for it to finish).
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: SSL Checker

Scans your site and returns information about your SSL implementation and certificate. Helpful for debugging and validating your SSL configuration.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Article by: SHIELD1
The 5 R's 1. Repair 2. Restore 3. Reinstall 4. Remote admin 5. Run away OK so I'm not the most skilled engineer around but I definitely have an abundance of experience: electronic repairs since I was 13 and PC and computer hardware repair…
Windows 7 does not have the best desktop search built in. This is something Windows 7 users have struggled with. You type something in, and your search results don’t always match what you are looking for, or it doesn’t actually work at all. There ar…
In an interesting question (https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29008360/) here at Experts Exchange, a member asked how to split a single image into multiple images. The primary usage for this is to place many photographs on a flatbed scanner…

856 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question