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Strange BIOS Error - system locked

Hi all

Got a weird one here.

Older machine, IBM Personal Computer 300PL

Basically getting the following message as soon as you turn the machine on.... any ideas or suggestions appreciated.

******************************
The RF-ID Tag has changed.
184 Asset Control Antenna not detected
System-Security - Keyboard is Locked

PXE-M04 - Initialising network boot device using interrupt 18h
System Security - Keyboard is unlocked
176 The System has been tampered with
Turn power to your system off and then on.
Your system is now locked.
**********************************

Any ideas? I am stumped!

Chris
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MisterChris
Asked:
MisterChris
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1 Solution
 
ShmoidCommented:
The 300PL were notorious for bad capacitors on the motherboard. I think there may have even been a class action lawsuit or maybe that was Abit motherboards and not IBM.
 
Check the motherboard for bulging or leaking capacitors. See attached photo. The three green capacitors next to the CMOS batter are bulging at the top. The one furtherest to the back looks like it may even be leaking.

In any event, two things you can try. First the easy one. Just remove the CMOS battery for a while. You may even want to replace it with a new one. Try to boot. You may still get the inital message telling you to restart. Do so. If it works it may only be temporary if the problem is the capacitors. If it doesn't work it's time to try the harder solution.

If you are handy with a soldering iron you can remove and replace the capacitors. It's pretty easy but if you've never done it you may want to get some help.

IBM-300PL--capacitors.jpg
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
hi Shmoid,

thanks for the reply, will take the machine apart now and take a look

Any ideas where I could get replacement capacitors from? or is it really not worth repairing?

Chris
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
lol call me stupid but cannot even get the plastic casing off on this one to see the motherboard.... am I missing something?
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ShmoidCommented:
There are two tabs on the top of the case at the back. Pull them up about half an inch. Once released pull the whole top forward about two inches then up. There are two diagonal slots on the side that guide it. It's a weird setup. I've got six of them in my garage I'll try to get some pictures before tomorrow.

Regarding the caps. They are general purpose so should be available from most electronics sources. If I remember right they are 560uf 25v (that's 560 micro farad, 25 volts.) One source online might be www.digikey.com.

Definetly try the CMOS battery first though. Sometimes it's just a glitch and reseting the BIOS is all it takes.
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ShmoidCommented:
MisterChris,

Here are the pictures I promised. To open the case, pull up on the tabs, then slide the top slightly toward the front and lift.

Tabs.jpg
Side.jpg
Open.jpg
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
wow thank you so much, I am most impressed and really really appreciate the pics!

Gonna go try it right this minute.... will keep you posted.

Chris
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ShmoidCommented:
No problem. Good luck!

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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
OK, so got the case off (cannot believe I couldnt see that!!!!)

Tried replacing the CMOS battery, and getting the following error now....

162 Configuration Error
The RF-ID Tag has changed
184 Asset Control Antenna not detected
System Security - Keyboard is locked
System Security - Keyboard is unlocked
176 - The system has been tampered with
Turn power to your system OFF then on
Your system is now locked.


Any ideas?

Chris
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
oh forgot to mention, taken a pretty good look at the motherboard and no visibile signs of blown or melted capacitors.....
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ShmoidCommented:
The damage may be very subtle. Look at the top of each one. If it is bulging at all it is bad. The top should be completely flat.

The 162 error means that the BIOS settings are different that the computer is expecting. That is normal after making any configuration change as well as after replacing the CMOS battery.

Did you reboot one more time after getting the last error?
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
yes, tried rebooting a few times

Has the machine basically "had it" ????

Chris
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ShmoidCommented:
Can you get to the BIOS setup? If so check all settings and make sure they are correct. Save changes and reboot. If you cannot get to the BIOS setup or If all the BIOS settings are correct it is almost certainly the caps. Even if there is no evident damage to the caps they are probably still the culprit. I say this because I've seen so many 300pl with the cap probems. Unless you want to try to replace the caps I would say the answer to your question is yes it is probably out of commision for good.

Did you notice even slight bulging or dome shaped tops on any of the caps?
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MisterChrisAuthor Commented:
Thank you so much for the help Shmoid, it looks like the cap issue was the problem, although I couldn't visibly see any it wouldn't let me into BIOS setup either, so I decided to make the decision to give the machine the "dead" category and inform my client as such.

Thank you for all the help you have given me, it is most appreciated.

Kind Regards

Chris
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ShmoidCommented:
Thanks for the points!
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