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View Full Version : Is this machine saying "Clear my CMOS"?!



Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 01:06 AM
Ever since I got my new box, a Powerspec 1421, it's been giving me weird problems. To wit:

1. This computer comes without a floppy drive, so I tried to put in one of my old ones. When I told it to boot from my Arch Linux install floppy, it gave me "Verifying DMI pool data" and booted from my CD, or from my hard drive if there wasn't one in the CD drive. No matter what I did, it never booted from a floppy, or even noticed the floppy drive's presence.

Yes, I set the BIOS to have floppy A as a 1.44 MB, 3.5'' disk drive. Yes, I tried 3 different floppies and 3 different cables in all possible combinations. Yes, I made sure they were all polarized correctly.

So I finally looked up "verifying dmi pool data" on Google, as I should have at the start of things.... And discovered that DMI stands for "Desktop Management Interface", and that it's normally used in Windows XP. This is a Linspire box - it came with a desktop Linux distro preinstalled; I'm not sure if Linspire uses it. However, none of the distros that I want to install use DMI...

Oh yes: the instructions for dealing with a computer hanging on "verifying DMI pool data" were so:

a) Reset your BIOS to default settings and start over.

b) If that doesn't work, contact tech support.

c) If tech support doesn't give you an answer, clear the CMOS.

Of course, my computer doesn't hang when verifying DMI data... but it doesn't update the data either. And it certainly does not recognize my floppy drive.

2. When I boot from my DSL live CD (a shrunk-down version of Knoppix), it starts with "error: only one processor found". This seems a bit stupid, since my mobo, a Biostar U8668-D, is made for only a single processor. After that, though, the boot proceeds normally.

3. My 128 megs of DDR266 are seen as only 94 megs. At first I thought this was because of the 32 megs of shared RAM I was giving the onboard video hardware, but dropping that down to 8 megs didn't change a thing.

What's going on here? Has my BIOS become corrupted? Do I need to clear the CMOS? Or is the mobo a bad egg? 8-[

Roving Philosopher
2005-Jan-22, 03:00 AM
One thing I didn't see mentioned. Did you set the boot order to start with the floppy?

Metricyard
2005-Jan-22, 03:12 AM
Roving Philosopher

One thing I didn't see mentioned. Did you set the boot order to start with the floppy?
Always a good thing to check :lol:

Also before inerting your boot floppy, check and see if your floppy light stays on constantly. If the cable is not in the correct position the floppy led will stay on all the time. Also, if you booted with the floppy cable set the wrong way, you can literally chew up the floppy, rendering it useless.

Also, the split end part of the floppy cable always connects to the floppy drive. The red end of the cable will 99.9% of the time point to the right (If you're facing the computer)

As far as the memory goes, try reseating it. Or try another slot. If you have another stick to try, swap it. You may have a bad mobo. I make house callls :lol:

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 03:47 AM
First of all, yes I did.

Second of all, this machine has a boot device selector in the BIOS. If I press F9 at boot, it gives me a list of things to boot from, including a floppy drive (if the BIOS is set to have floppy drive A). Telling the computer to boot from the floppy drive by this method causes it to boot from the CD or hard drive - the floppy drive is not detected.

Metricyard
2005-Jan-22, 04:16 AM
Ah, check and see if theres an option to actually turn on the floppy channel. I've seen some bios's that will let you set the type and size of floppy drive, but you still have to enable the device.

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 04:22 AM
I'm pretty sure there's nothing like that, but I'll check...

Update: Nope... Zilch.

BTW, here's another thing I noticed but forgot to mention:

4. When the floppy cable is polarized correctly, the floppy drives motor fails to start up when a floppy is inserted, and the activity light never lights up - the device acts as though it's got no power, though it definitely does have power.

(Yes, I have tried both power connectors...)

However, when the cable is polarized the wrong way (as indicated by the activity light being on continuously), the drive does respond to the presence of a floppy. The machine still fails to detect it, though.

Metricyard
2005-Jan-22, 04:39 AM
Doesn't sound good.

If the cable is on the wrong way, the led on the floppy will almost always stay lit with or without a floppy disk inserted. And cause all kinds of havoc.

Don't have another floppy drive to try by any chance?

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 04:52 AM
Yep. As I said, I used 3 floppy drives and 3 cables in all possible combinations. I only polarized one the wrong way. The other 2 included the one from my old IBM - a floppy which is definitely, no doubts about it, known to work perfectly well.

Metricyard
2005-Jan-22, 04:54 AM
That pretty much tells me that the motherboard is faulty.
Seems like you did everything properly.

And after trying 3 floppy drives, that pretty much narrows it down.

Damn computers :evil: :evil:

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 05:12 AM
And I don't think there's a chance of returning the box. :roll: The case now has a nice scratch on top from when I put it on its platform under my desk...

(Well I could always get a new mobo. :lol: )

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 06:23 AM
Alright... As a last ditch, I cleared the CMOS and redid the setting for the floppy drive.

No go. :evil:

(Question: is there a way to return the mobo only to Biostar, instead of going through MicroCenter and Powerspec with the whole damn computer? That way I could just replace this faulty mobo with a good one of the same model...)

Joe The Dude
2005-Jan-22, 11:20 AM
Have you tried replacing the cmos battery?
Have you checked the cmos battery to see if the "+" is to the "+" and "-" to the "-"?

An old motherboard of mine had a similar hangup that disappeared after replacing the CR2032 battery.

(Edited for spelling)

Metricyard
2005-Jan-22, 02:14 PM
Here's a link to their service web site.
http://www.biostar-usa.com/servicemain.asp


Could call or e-mail them.

Try getting a hold of the supplier that you bought the system for. I would assume that the system is still under some kind of warranty.

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-22, 08:25 PM
Yes, a one-year warrenty from MicroCenter. But as I said, I don't feel like replaceing the entire damn computer.

Edit: Wait a minute... You guys have noticed that the bottom of a mobo can have bits of metal sticking out of it, yes? Well I wonder if something is touching the machine's aluminum case... :o

Metricyard
2005-Jan-23, 01:50 AM
Yes, a one-year warrenty from MicroCenter. But as I said, I don't feel like replaceing the entire damn computer.

Edit: Wait a minute... You guys have noticed that the bottom of a mobo can have bits of metal sticking out of it, yes? Well I wonder if something is touching the machine's aluminum case... :o

They shouldn't be. Most board throughhole pins are pretty well trimmed down. Of course, it's worth looking into. Might have a short somewhere.

Would help to know the mother board type/manufacturer though. Just for curiosities sake.

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-23, 11:52 PM
It's a Biostar U8668-D. (http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=u8668+d)

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-28, 07:33 PM
Wait a minute...

Sorry I didn't notice this before, but... Does "Onboard FDC Controller" mean what I think it does? :o

(If it does, than I must be really stupid to have missed it - it was right in fron of my nose under "Integrated Peripherals".)

Metricyard
2005-Jan-28, 07:38 PM
Wait a minute...

Sorry I didn't notice this before, but... Does "Onboard FDC Controller" mean what I think it does? :o

(If it does, than I must be really stupid to have missed it - it was right in fron of my nose under "Integrated Peripherals".)


#-o
That would be the one.=D>

Hope that gets you up and running.

Lurker
2005-Jan-28, 07:55 PM
Here's another pretty good LINK (http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/mbsys/cmosClearCMOS-c.html)

Gullible Jones
2005-Jan-28, 08:01 PM
Yep, confirmed by Googling. My floppy drive now works. Well, thanks for the help... #-o :oops:

Metricyard
2005-Jan-28, 09:31 PM
Yep, confirmed by Googling. My floppy drive now works. Well, thanks for the help... #-o :oops:


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