Er...what does this mean?

  bunchman 09:22 15 May 2007

When switching on my computer, 9 times out of 10 I get a page that I don't understand that asks me to enter my processor speed (I think! - you can tell I don't do computers can't you?) It gives me various options that start with manual and then various Mhz options. If I power down and start again immediately it does not show up but once the computer has been off for a while, this page comes up. Does anyone know from my poor description what this page is, why I get it and what I need to do about it. A message to the right of the screen also mentions something about the computer re setting to default after a cpu has been change. The hard drive was renewed approx 1 year ago but all was fine until recetly. The computer had probably been off for a couple of months at that point so does this have anything to do with internal batteries or anything? Thanks in advance for all help.

  Graham. 09:25 15 May 2007

Is there a box to tick 'Don't show this message again'?

  Technotiger 09:28 15 May 2007

Hi, what OS are you using? If it is XP you could try a System Restore back to before this problem started - Start>All Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore .... follow the on-screen prompts and choose a date which is shown in BOLD print for the restore.

  bunchman 09:50 15 May 2007

Thanks for the quick responses. The system is windows 98 so there is no system restore and there is no tick box. It actually happens before the OS has loaded, it's a page in bold blue type and looks like the kind of page that you first get when the system is booting up, under normal conditions these pages just fly by but in this instance it stops and asks you to select a cpu frequency (I think). It has various options and F10 to save etc

  MAJ 10:00 15 May 2007

It sounds like a BIOS screen. The fact that you say the PC hasn't been used in months would lead me to guess that the CMOS battery is dead or dying, so the BIOS isn't retaining it's settings necessitating you to verify the settings on startup. Try installing a new CMOS battery on the motherboard, I'm guessing that will cure the problem. The battery is silver and about the size of a ten pence piece, it looks like a large watch battery and you can get one from any computer shop. Normally they are very easy to replace.

  TonyM 10:02 15 May 2007

What you are seeing is the system BIOS screen, which is where all the settings that set up the hardware of the computer are held. The settings are "remembered" by a chip on the motherboard which is powered by a small battery. I would bet the battery has died, which means the machine can't store the BIOS settings and keeps asking for is a simple job to replace - they are usually the same type of battery as many watches/car alarm key fobs etc. but you need to have a look and check.

  bunchman 10:31 15 May 2007

Thanks very much for the info, that does sound like it could be the problem, however, I have a cople of other questions if you don't mind,1) where is this battery and 2) I am assuming all the details will need putting back in after battery replacement so where do I get the info that the system needs? Thanks again paople, it's the first time I have used this forum and I am impressed.

  MAJ 10:37 15 May 2007

1. The battery is on the motherboard, here's a picture of it click here And no you wont have to enter any info, the BIOS chip will remember it, you just need the new battery to kick the BIOS chip into operation.

  MAJ 10:38 15 May 2007

Here's a wider shot of the motherboard and battery, bunchman. click here

  Technotiger 10:40 15 May 2007

This shows a pack of Motherboard batteries, of course your pc will only have one of these.

click here

Just replace the battery, usually held in with a simple clip. Then reboot pc.

  MAJ 10:43 15 May 2007

If you are going to replace the battery yourself, bunchman, make sure to earth yourself first, just in case a charge of static electricity from your body damages something on the motherboard. To earth yourself, turn off the PC but leave it plugged in and touch the bare metal on the back of the PC case. Remove the plug from the wall socket and replace the battery. You should take the side of the case and have a look for the battery first, just to familiarise yourself with the layout.

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