Is it a CMOS/BIOS Problem?

  mjh65 10:54 11 May 2004

Last week my sisters PC stopped working for no reason. Push the power button and all the fans jumped into life and the motherboard light came on, but that was it! Nothing appeared on the screen and no noise came from the hard drive to suggest it was starting.
Someone suggested resetting the CMOS/BIOS, so I browsed the net till I found details of a similar board by the same manufacturer and this indicated which the CMOS reset jumper was. I moved the jumper, then returned it and restarted: everything burst into life and all was well. I say WAS because it has all just stopped again.
The symptoms are the same as before, but moving the jumper now is having no effect.
Was I lucky last week or was I right and there is something more serious wrong now. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

  Taff36 11:20 11 May 2004

Could it just be the battery is flat and needs changing? (Did you notice if your computer was losing time before this happened - it`s a good clue)

  mjh65 12:05 11 May 2004

Thanks for that idea, but this doesn't appear to be the problem. I took the battery out of my PC (which is running fine) and put it into the faulty one, but there was no difference.
Any other ideas?

  dave_the_red 13:30 11 May 2004

My first check would be all cables, power leads etc are in. Are there any beeps when you start up. If there is count how many and whether they are long or short beeps. Then tell me which bios your motherboard uses, eg award bios. I may be able to work something out from that.


  mjh65 14:49 11 May 2004

dave_the_red: thanks for your input.
There are no beeps at all, which is what is so wierd. I checked all the cables when the problem first occurred, but that made no diference.
The label on the BIOS says "PheonixBios D686 BIOS"; is that what you were after?

  dave_the_red 18:46 11 May 2004

Think this will help you find out what the problem is.

click here

Let me know what happens.


  dave_the_red 23:33 11 May 2004

Also check that your memory is seated correctly in the motherboard. If it is just out by a fraction it can stop the pc booting up.

Good luck

  woodchip 23:35 11 May 2004

PSU problem maybe

  mjh65 08:17 12 May 2004

dave_the_red: good advice and a good link.

Got all the cards out, memory out, disconnected hard drive, floppy and CD drives: turned on and there were beeps.

Steadily refitted everything and it continued to work.

Got EVERYTHING back as it was and the PC started perfectly.

I was just going to put it all down to experience and a lose connection somewhere. So I set about tidying the cables to return the computer to my sister. One last start before it went and IT DID EXACTLY WHAT IT HAD DONE BEFORE! The fans all fired up and that was it!

So I did it all again and it has started up fine. I have tidied the cables and it has started up fine.

I have seen woodchip's suggestion that it could be something to do with the power supply, but there has always been power to the fans and the motherboard lights is on. How would the power supply be affecting this if everything is receiving power?

I am not convinced that I have actually resolved anything, but don't really know where to look now if it happens again.

Your further ideas and explanantions would be much appreciated.

  dave_the_red 09:49 12 May 2004

I definitely suspect the memory, maybe the connectors are dirty on the memory sticks or even in the slot itself, preventing it from connecting properly. That would be my guess anyway.
Have you got any other memory you can try in it if it ever happens again?

Hope it continues working


  woodchip 15:21 12 May 2004

I would suggest you remove say CDdrive and try it with a little less load It may start ok then if it does you know it needs a bigger PSU

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