Bad Motherboard: Will not allow me to change 1st Boot Device option.

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by Tony, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Tony

    Tony Guest

    A customer came into my shop yesterday and said her computer with Win ME does not boot anymore. She
    said she wanted it wiped and Win98 installed. I told her I would do it. When the PC starts to boot,
    the Hard Drive and 2 cd rom drives are detected. Then I get this error message:

    CMOS Checksum error Defaults Loaded

    Press DEL to enter BIOS
    Press F1 to continue

    I pressed F1 and the motherboard completely ignored the A: and started to boot into Windows. I
    turned it off. Restarted and pressed DEL. I checkde the BIOS and saw that the battery is good. The
    date and time are correct. I changed the 1st boot device to A:. Saved and exited. Rebooted. Same
    error message. I remove the battery for a few minutes with the plug unplugged from the power supply
    and put it back. Restarted the PC

    Pressed F1 to continue with a Win98 boot disk in the drive. Goes right to windows and ignored floppy
    drive again. Swapped floppy drive and the same results occured. Inserted a CD Boot disk and changed
    1 st boot device to CD Drive. Re-booted and it ignored the cd and went straight to windows.

    I checked the Bios and I noticed that it still had C: as the boot drive. I tried changing it many
    times and it never changes from C: even though I am definitely saving and exiting. I assume the
    motherboard is shot.

    Any suggestions. I was going to pull the drive and install it in another pc and then replace it

    Tony, Aug 16, 2004
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  2. Tony

    Bill Guest

    Hi Tony,

    Check the cmos battery contacts for corrosion.

    If that doesn't do it, try mounting the drive in a different machine and
    copy the win98 setup files over. Then reinstall the drive and boot to
    command prompt and run setup.

    Bill, Aug 16, 2004
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  3. Tony

    Tony Guest

    The computer never fully boots to WIndows ME so I cannot look at any of the settings. It hangs
    infinitely on pale blue screen. It will not boot into Safe Mode. The customer has nothing on the
    hard drive that she wants and said she wanted it wiped clean, so there is no real reason to find out
    the I/O conflict. The problem is that the conflict is happening immediately upon bootup. I never
    saw that before. This is way before any operating system is involved. The error occurs BEFORE it
    looks for the first boot device. There must be a problem with the motherboard if it will not let me
    change the boot device options. Yet, the battery is working because the time and date are correct.
    Very odd.

    Tony, Aug 16, 2004
  4. Tony

    Nathan Guest

    Is anything plugged into the serial ports? I/O Address 2F8 is COM2 so
    something is having to conflict w/ it. Also, try resetting the BIOS by
    using the reset jumper (if it has one) or pull the CMOS battery. Another
    thing...does it give you a POST error?


    immediately upon bootup. I never
    motherboard if it will not let me
    Nathan, Aug 16, 2004
  5. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I removed the Hard Drive and placed it in another PC and installed Win98. I then put her drive back
    in her machine and it boots great. Everything works once in WIndows. The I/O error conflict is still
    there. But you are wrong... the hardware motherboard problem has nothing to do with Windows booting
    or not because it has worked all day today. You seem to talk down to me like you know more than me,
    but you do not. I know there is an obvious problem with the motherboard if it does not allow me to
    save changes in the Bios. But if the OS works great and the customer does not mind pressing F1
    everytime she boots up, her problem is solved.

    There is nothing plugged into the Serial ports (there are 2). So, nothing is physically causing the
    problem other than the motherboard.

    Wrong. But thanks for the input anyway.
    Tony, Aug 16, 2004
  6. I think he was responding to IMassHOleTech, he tends to have that affect on
    «bonehead;\), Aug 17, 2004
  7. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Yes, I was responding to that tech guy that was just arguing to be an asshole. All of the other
    responses were normal and helpful.

    I do not have any idea why ME failed. It never booted since I had it. I could not boot into it. I
    could not boot into a floppy and I could not boot to a cd. What is left to do? The motherboard has
    something wrong with it in that it will not hold a change of boot device option. I changed it to A:
    and CD and it looked like it took until I re-booted and I noticed it would always revert back to C:,
    which would never be able to boot.

    So, this customer had two problems... the motherboard and the OS.

    By installing 98 on a different machine and transplanting it to hers, I solved her problem, which is
    to be able to use Windows 98 (she hated ME) and use the internet. Neither of us care what happened
    to ME but I know one thing, the motherboard did not stop ME from booting. ME was the problem.

    Problem solved. Everyone is happy except for one or two in this group. My original question was
    regarding the I/O Error at bootup. Nothing more. Thanks to the responses that were of help. You can
    killfile me if you want. There are plenty of helpful people here. No one person makes a difference
    to me or anyone else here.

    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  8. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Hi Nathan,

    Nothing was plugged in the serial ports. I did reset the BIOS and did remove the battery for a few
    minutes and replaced. No POST error aside from the 2F8 conflict.


    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  9. Tony

    David Hough Guest

    David Hough, Aug 17, 2004
  10. Tony

    Nathan Guest

    If you don't have anything plugged into the serial ports...I would disable
    them. That would free up the I/O and IRQ resources for another item that
    must insist on using it (just as David said).


    Nathan, Aug 17, 2004
  11. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Since she had an old computer built around 1998. There were 2 serial ports and she plugs nothing
    into them, ever. I do not fix motherboards on an electrical level. It isnt worth my time or anyone
    else's. A new motherboard costs me $55 or so. My hour of working on a bad one is worth a lot more
    than that. So, I did what the customer wanted. I gave her a price of what it would cost to replace
    the motherboard, case, CPU and memory. She weighed it out and she wanted me to go with my suggestion
    and install win98 on her hard drive in a different pc and bring it back to hers. It works
    completely. Her motherboard error and the OS problem she brought it in for are completely unrelated.
    The customer knows her motherboard has something wrong with it. I explained that it appears to be
    flakey and is starting to go. For that reason, I wrote on her receipt that the motherboard may be
    bad and can go at any time. If it happens, I will do what replace all of the parts that I gave her
    the option to do but she declined at this time. I cannot be blamed because I informed her about the
    situation and she signed the paper acknowledging it. So, again, the bottom line is she got her pc
    back in one day and it works better than it did before she brought it in to me. She also got it at a
    couple of hundred bucks less than if she had me replace the parts. She knows it can go at any time
    and is not concerned. She loved the service and my honesty. You just like to argue. I like to
    satisfy my customers.

    Why would anyone spend more than an hour fixing something that costs less than an hour's work (other
    than to fix it later on just to find out what the problem was for future reference)? I used to
    worry about those things but it is not economically feasible to find out why a floppy drive is not
    working for more than 3 minutes when they cost $7 for a brand new one. Some day, you will figure
    that out. Replacing something is usually my last resort but after a while, it is not worth it.
    Actually, responding to your meaningless, argumentive posts are not worth my time so this will be
    the last one.

    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  12. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I tried disabling both serial ports in the bios but, like the other problem where I could not change
    the 1st boot device, this setting didnt stick either. I could make no changes in the bios.

    Thanks for the suggestion anyway,

    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  13. Tony

    TechGeekPro Guest

    I know this was probably mentioned before but doesn't that usually indicate a
    bad CMOS battery?
    TechGeekPro, Aug 17, 2004
  14. I'm way over you, I was just trying to point out to the uninitiated, that
    his response
    was in reply to your snide, arrogant, flame, and the following response, was
    in fact a
    response was provoked by the previous response to your flame.

    Hope that clears everything up....

    «bonehead;\), Aug 17, 2004
  15. Tony

    Tony Guest

    Hi Michael,

    I removed the battery, replaced it. Removed it again and replaced with a new one. Since the customer
    uses neither of the 2 serial ports (9pin and 25 pin), it is not an issue with her. Her only problem
    is she must press F1 to boot. I talked to her today and everything works fine. Her problem is
    solved. THE problem may not be solved but her problem is solved, which is all she wanted at this

    Thanks again for the suggestion though. Everything that could have been done to diagnose the problem
    in a reasonable amount of time (between 1-2 hours) was done. Anything beyond that was not worth her
    money and, therefore, my time. I can only do what the customer pays me to do. I also have a video
    production company and I get requests to transfer video to DVD. My instincts are to edit out the bad
    footage (usually the majority) and add titles, some background audio, and make Menus for the DVD.
    When all the customer wants is a straight copy, I cringe, but I do it because it is all they pay
    for. Same here. I suggested the new motherboard, cpu, memory and case. It would be a good time to
    upgrade anyway. But, she didnt want to spend any more than the original estimate of what I said it
    would be to wipe and re-install Win98, which is what she wanted because she hated Windows ME and had
    no data to save.


    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  16. Tony

    Tony Guest

    You might have missed one of my earlier threads but I did try to do that. However, the motherboard
    will not accept any changes to the bios settings. It looks like it is changed but after I saved it
    and restarted and went into the Bios again, it was back to the original settings.

    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  17. Tony

    Nathan Guest

    Have you tried flashing the BIOS as an option? If that doesn't work...I
    would just get a new mobo. Charge her for the board and your time.


    Nathan, Aug 17, 2004
  18. Tony

    Tony Guest

    I didnt try flashing the board. In it's flaky state, I was afraid it would fail and render the board
    useless. I gave her the option for the new motherboard but it wouldnt accept her old AMD K5 chip and
    SDRam and the case was an old AT case. So it was almost an entire upgrade. She wanted the cheapest
    way out, and I gave it to her. It is working fine so far on day 2.

    Tony, Aug 17, 2004
  19. Tony

    TechGeekPro Guest

    Isn't calling someone a "clueless twit" a "flame"?

    "Flaming is the practice of posting messages that are deliberately hostile
    and insulting to a discussion board." wars
    TechGeekPro, Aug 17, 2004
  20. Tony

    Thumper Guest

    A hardware problem that prevents ME from booting may not prevent 98
    from doing so.
    Thumper, Aug 18, 2004
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