Lock up at BIOS... What gives? Help me!


I am running an AMD Athlon 2500+ (Barton 333 fsb) on an Asus A7NX8 Deluxe (nForce2-S chipset) mobo. I've got 512 megs of Corsais XMS DDR PC 3200. I've got one 30 gig ata133 7200 rpm HD runnning on parallel IDE.

My problem is occasional -- most of the time, my computer boots just fine and runs nice and quick. However, sometimes, the computer will lock up at BIOS, when the ASUS graphic is up. The computer requires a restart at that point, and then it boots up just as normal...

But, I'm bothered by this occasional mistake! What causes it, and how do I eliminate it? Do I need new drivers for my mobo? I'm using the ones that came with it at purchase. Is this fortelling of future problems -- a physical problem with some of my hardware? If it's no big deal, I can deal with it, but I can't help but being worried... the PC is homebuilt, and I'm certain I've done something terribly wrong!

Any advice?
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  1. Since it is intermittent, I doubt you've "done something terribly wrong" :-)

    First, if you haven't already, flash the newest BIOS from the asus website. Second, if you're overclocking at all, back off to standard settings and see if that fixes it.

    If, after loading the new BIOS it still happens, I would look at bios settings, particularly memory timings. Make sure they match the exact memory you have (these timings are easy to find on the corsair website).
  2. I would take a guess at your power supply being a little on the borderline side... What make & wattage is it? Although if it doesn't crash when it's up and running then I wouldn't really worry about it...

    You could possibly try updating the BIOS, but if you're happy to live with it then I'd leave it, as a BIOS update can [rarely] screw up and leave you unable to use the PC at all.

    My brother's old Pentium 100 (this is a few years ago mind) would not POST, or do ANYTHING when you first switched it on, but if you left it for ~5 minutes, it would 'warm up' and suddenly come to life, and be fine.

    <font color=red>The preceding text is assembled from information stored in an unreliable organic storage medium. As such it may be innacurate, incomplete, or completely wrong</font color=red> :wink:
  3. I suppose now I must admit that I don't really know how to flash my BIOS -- I know that with XP, things have changed... I don't have direct access to the internet, but would have to download elsewhere - so the autoupdate tool would not apply! What are the PCB versions I see on Asus's website? What does that mean, and how do I know what PCB version I have? They have one driver for PCB 2.0, and another for PCBs of the 1.x variety! And, then too, how do I know what version of the BIOS I have on my system already? This seems a whole lot more complicated than your average patch!

    Also -- I've looked on corsair's website, but I can't find anything about proper memory settings -- any more info on that, and what particular thing in BIOS settings that apply to memory? I haven't changed a thing! I don't overclock because I have no idea how to!
  4. Your revision should be printed on your motherboard. If you look (I think it's between the AGP slot and the first PCI slot, or around there somewhere) you should see "A7N8X 1.03" or something.. the number is the PCB revision.

    If it doesn't crash when in Windows, and only rarely does this, then don't be too concerned. It's quite easy to make things worse for the sake of such a comparatively minor problem.

    It is always worth upgrading to newer drivers, so you could do that if you like, but as the drivers are only used by the OS, they'll have no effect on the start of bootup..

    Your motherboard manual should tell you where in BIOS the memory timing settings are. (probably under 'Advanced Chipset settings' or something similar). Generally lowering timings increases performance, and raising them increases stability, but if windows doesn't crash, you don't need to change them.

    <font color=red>The preceding text is assembled from information stored in an unreliable organic storage medium. As such it may be innacurate, incomplete, or completely wrong</font color=red> :wink:
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