BIOS problem

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Blaze163, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    Lali ho!

    A few months ago a friend of mine pitied me over the death of my netbook and gave me his old computer, fairly old machine but sufficient to my needs, runs Linux Mint 15. But there's an issue with the BIOS, or at least that's what we think it is. Here's a brief summary.

    - When booting the system, half the time it doesn't register the monitor, making progress impossible.
    - When it finally recognizes the monitor, in order to have the system actually boot Linux Mint 15 I have to open the BIOS controls and tell it to try booting from CD, then removable drive, and only then from hard drive. Even though nothing is plugged in to any removable drive port and the CD drive has never been used for anything.
    - I save these altered settings and for a brief time, the system will function, but eventually when booting it will go back to the old settings, fail to recognize the monitor, and the whole cycle repeats.

    So my question is simple. What is the problem, and how do I fix it? As an author I'm pretty reliant on this machine, at least until I can find a text editor that works through my PS3, so this issue is bringing my career to a standstill. Something I can't exactly afford now I have my daughter to take care of. Anyone got any ideas how to repair this issue?
     
  2. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    When asking for help on a PC, always list your system specification. For starter, what motherboard are you using?
     
  3. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    Not a damn clue, like I said, not my machine so I actually have no idea what the specs are. Will see if I can find them in the menu somewhere...

    EDIT: OK, seriously, how the hell do you call up the system specs on Linux Mint? I know how to do it on Windows but I can't find anything to let me do it here. I can check through the bootup menu, but there's no guarantee that once I switch this machine off I'll be able to get back online to report anything :/
     
  4. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Is it a pre-assembled machine, like HP, Dell, Acer, etc? If so there should be a model number on the casing.
     
  5. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    I've sent a message to the original owner asking for the specs, as soon as I know, you'll know. I suspect it's one of his old projects though, he quite often switches chips and stuff around.
     
  6. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    In the mean time, what connection are you using on the monitor? VGA? DVI? HDMI? Also what model number is the monitor?
     
  7. Sakitoshi

    Sakitoshi everything is going according the plan...

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    at first sound like the video card isn't plugged firmly, unless you are using a integrated video card.
    the problem about the cmos not saving the settings and don't booting if you don't go to set it sound like a battery problem, motherboards needs a battery to save the bios settings when the pc is off, you can try changing the battery, normally is a button cell CR2032, is similar to the ones on a wristwatch.
     
  8. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    I'd second the CMOS battery. That definitely needs replacing.

    Not showing anything on screen (in this case) sounds like a POST failure. This could be symptomatic of a dead CMOS battery, but it could also be a sign of other components failing (like the motherboard).
     
  9. ILuvGames

    ILuvGames GBAtemp Regular

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    If you go into the bios and check the time, there is a chance that you will see the date as 01/01/1970 or 01/01/2000 with certain bios's. That and date-stamps on files being the same date can also be another indication that the cmos battery is dead or dying. If you are connected to the internet when using the netbook it will try to keep the right time by syncing the time online but you may still find files with that date regardless.
     
  10. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    New information. I'm able to get the machine to work, kinda, but it requires a workaround. I have to power the machine down normally when done, then switch it off at the back as well, then when booting up I have to set the advanced BIOS boot setup to boot from CD, then Removable, then Hard Drive, then reset the system. After all that, it will finally load Linux Mint 15, hence my presence here. Dave has absolutely no idea what the specs are for this machine unfortunately (even though he built it, it was years ago) and hunting for some way to access this information via Linux has so far proven somewhat less than successful.

    Also, I can hook the monitor up via VGA or DVI cable, both present the same result. Extensive tests on another machine have proven the monitor isn't the problem. Dave did say that he had to use a cheap power supply when building it because of budgetary restraints, would that have any bearing on the current situation or is this just the motherboard failing after years of hard servitude?
     
  11. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Have you replaced CMOS battery as others have suggested?

    If you don't mind opening the case up you can take a picture at the power supply unit and the motherboard. There should be some big writing on the motherboard that helps to identify what model it is.
     
  12. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    I'll be able to open the system up as soon as Dave returns with the tool kit, right now I don't even have a screwdriver to spare. Also, I have no idea what a CMOS battery is. I'm a complete techno-newb. I guess I should have mentioned that.
     
  13. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    CMOS battery is a battery that keeps BIOS settings intact. When it is low on power BIOS settings may be lost/reseted instead.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Blaze163
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    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

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    That certainly seems to be part of the problem here. Ok, will open the casing and give it a go as soon as I can get replacement parts.