BIOS lock error when trying to reformat hard drive

  Sparky0138 18:45 01 Aug 2005

I'd like to reformat my hard drive. I paid money for a special backup CD when I bought my PC but when I put the CD in and restart my computer, all I get is the following error message: Unable to determine BIOS lock, please contact your system manufacturer - which I can't do because it's Tiny and they've gone bust. Have Googled this problem but can't find a solution. Anyone? Please?

  Sparky0138 21:48 01 Aug 2005

Quick update on this - removed the CMOS battery as someone on another forum suggested but no luck. Took it out and left it out for a good half hour. The clock was wrong when I turned it back on but the error message still comes up when I restart with the CD in.

  woodchip 22:00 01 Aug 2005

Go into BIOS, make sure AntiVirus is Disablewd if there is one

  pipedream 22:29 01 Aug 2005

Can you borrow a 'normal' Windows XP/ME/98 CD & see if that starts to install? (if it's the latter two you'll need a boot floppy too - I assume you can get into the BIOS). Could be just a duff backup CD?

  Sparky0138 07:14 02 Aug 2005

Sorry but how do I go into BIOS?

  Diodorus Siculus 08:30 02 Aug 2005

When booting the machine, see if there is a command like "press del to enter setup". That will take you into the BIOS.

I doubt that it will have anything to do with virus protection though. The suggestion to boot with a different OS CD is a good one though.

  dan11 08:48 02 Aug 2005

I dont suppose you have updated the bios.

Ths may explain things a bit better.

"The recovery CD must be 'digitally' tied to the PC with which it was distributed, by means of a BIOS lock. The recovery CD contains an alphanumeric string that it searches the PC for, and must find in either a region of the BIOS or (optionally) in a particular sector of the hard disk. If the string is not located during initial execution of the recovery process, the procedure halts with an error message. The Windows setup files on the recovery CD are encrypted to prevent access from outside the recovery setup routine. The aim is to prevent installation of the operating system on a PC for which it was not intended.
"The main problem encountered so far concerns using a recovery CD on a PC whose BIOS has been updated and as a result the BIOS lock string has been overwritten. In this case the OS is, as already described, not recoverable. To date there is no official solution for this problem."

from click here

  Sparky0138 11:16 02 Aug 2005

If I've updated the BIOS I've done so without knowing. I think I may have to invest in a Windows XP CD!

  BigMoFoT 13:06 02 Aug 2005

Work for Time/Tiny and can tell you that it is either the wrong 'reload' disk or the BIOS will need flashing. Bearing in mind that your copy of Windows is activated via a DMI string in the BIOS that is registered with Microsoft. So if you flash the BIOS with your own version chances are you will lose your activation.

An easier solution, albeit not ideal would be to purchase your own OEM copy of Windows...

  dan11 17:35 02 Aug 2005

If Sparky0138 was to "borrow" a XP home disk and complete the installation. Cold he/she use the code supplied with the tiny disk. Or is it one of the systems with a hidden partition, where the operating system lives?

  Sparky0138 18:00 02 Aug 2005

According to the manual the hard drive has a hidden partition.

If I buy a Windows XP disk, will it install okay or will I still get the BIOS error message?

I'm not very pleased with Tiny - I paid about £60 for a disk that doesn't work!

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

See iconic duo Smith and Foulkes' epic animation for the BBC's Winter Olympics coverage

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts