BIOS setting changes in unwanted way.

  Dae 19:08 26 Mar 2004

Three times in the last three months, one of my BIOS settings has changed seemingly without my intervention.

The computer works all right one day, and it is closed down without problem at the end of the day. When next switched on it will not boot into Windows, and shows the message “Error loading OS”.

I have found why it will not boot. It is because the Device Boot Order in the BIOS has mysteriously changed without my intervention.

The Bios allows for three boot devices. When all is working well, the First Boot Device is set to 1st floppy drive. The Second Boot Device is set to a Sony DVD drive. The Third Boot Device is set to a HDD, PM-Maxtor.

Also installed in the computer is a second HDD, which shows in the BIOS as SM-Maxtor. The PM and SM are the labels for SATA drives.

The device with the OS on it is the PM-Maxtor. When all is working well, this is one of the three boot devices, and the computer boots. But when I get the “Error loading OS” message, I have discovered that the third boot device has somehow changed in the BIOS from PM-Maxtor to SM-Maxtor; consequently the computer does not boot.

Can you tell me why this should happen, and how to prevent it?

WindowsXP. Intel D875PBZ motherboard with Intel/AMI BIOS

  Paranoid Android 20:42 26 Mar 2004

PM and SM refer to primary master and secondary master. It is odd that your BIOS is intermittantly mis-detecting the drive.

When this problem occurs, does your secondary drive try to take over the PM position, or just disappear ?

Do you have any ATA drives connected ?

I don't know the specific answer in your case, but you could try the following :

1) Change the CMOS battery

2) Re-install / update your motherboard SATA drivers

3) Check for a BIOS update at the mobo manufacturer's website

Hope you find the problem.


  Dae 21:09 26 Mar 2004

Thanks for the response, Paranoid.

No ATA drives.The PM SM change places.

  Paranoid Android 21:43 26 Mar 2004

Shot in the dark.

Try setting boot devices as CD-Rom, PM-Maxtor, SM-Maxtor, see how you go.


  Dae 00:39 27 Mar 2004

I will certainly try altering the boot device sequence. As this fault is (very) intermittent, it could be weeks before I know what difference the alteration makes. Thank you for the suggestion.


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