No BIOS access, and can't boot normally even with new OS o..

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.

Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.

Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
and couldn't complete it.

Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.

I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
HD.

Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
AMIBIOS Gateway.

Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.

Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.

I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.

I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
*Now* what do I do?
9 answers Last reply
More about bios access boot
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. If
    any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or the
    entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.

    "ToolPackinMama" <laura@lauragoodwin.org> wrote in message
    news:40781673.73F01218@lauragoodwin.org...
    > OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
    > and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
    > impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
    > scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
    > then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
    > find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
    > dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
    > work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.
    >
    > Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.
    >
    > Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
    > and couldn't complete it.
    >
    > Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
    > like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.
    >
    > I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
    > the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
    > HD.
    >
    > Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
    > f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
    > AMIBIOS Gateway.
    >
    > Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
    > computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
    > machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.
    >
    > Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.
    >
    > I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
    > CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.
    >
    > I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
    > *Now* what do I do?
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    ToolPackinMama wrote:

    > I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
    > *Now* what do I do?

    OK, I reset the CMOS, and that made it possible for me to access BIOS.
    ::whew::

    I guess the BIOS got scrambled somehow.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    ToolPackinMama wrote:
    >
    > OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
    > and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
    > impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
    > scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
    > then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
    > find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
    > dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
    > work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.
    >
    > Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.
    >
    > Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
    > and couldn't complete it.
    >
    > Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
    > like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.
    >
    > I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
    > the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
    > HD.
    >
    > Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
    > f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
    > AMIBIOS Gateway.
    >
    > Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
    > computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
    > machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.
    >
    > Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.
    >
    > I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
    > CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.
    >
    > I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
    > *Now* what do I do?

    Interesting. Can you boot to floppy and then format the HD and then run
    sys c: on it and then boot to the HD? Also try running fdisk and killing
    all the partitions and recreating the primary. Also try fdisk /mbr.
    There's also a handy batch file out there called killhdd.bat. If your
    boot disk has debug on it you can run killhdd.bat from there and it will
    use debug to completely wipe the HD. You then need to run fdisk and
    create the primary, then format etc. As far as the bios, I've heard of
    some sort of fastboot option in some bios versions that bypasses setup.
    You might be able to reset CMOS and get into bios. Also try F12 and F10
    and see if that gets you in. None of that may help you but it's worth a
    shot.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Sal Monella wrote:

    > Interesting. Can you boot to floppy and then format the HD and then run
    > sys c: on it and then boot to the HD? Also try running fdisk and killing
    > all the partitions and recreating the primary.

    Yeah, as a matter of fact I tried that.

    I reset the CMOS and was able after that to access BIOS via F1. I set
    the boot order to boot to CD, and now can load the OS from the CD.

    >Also try F12 and F10

    Yeah I tried those. I guess the BIOS was just scrambled. I can access
    it now.

    Thanks for your interest.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Tweek wrote:
    >
    > Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. If
    > any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or the
    > entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.

    Really? I didn't know that.

    I was trying to figure out how the heck the BIOS became inaccessible.
    Do you think the problem might recur?
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue, then
    it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on them.
    Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards offered
    by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard ATX
    board (the board with the issue). The problems range from just randomly
    locking up in windows or during boot, to not completing POST, to not
    powering on at all.

    "ToolPackinMama" <laura@lauragoodwin.org> wrote in message
    news:40795A7B.55B7FCDB@lauragoodwin.org...
    > Tweek wrote:
    >>
    >> Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard.
    >> If
    >> any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or
    >> the
    >> entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.
    >
    > Really? I didn't know that.
    >
    > I was trying to figure out how the heck the BIOS became inaccessible.
    > Do you think the problem might recur?
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Tweek wrote:
    >
    > If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue, then
    > it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on them.
    > Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards offered
    > by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard ATX
    > board (the board with the issue).

    This one has a standard full-size ATX.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Are the caps OK? They should be totally flat on top.

    "ToolPackinMama" <laura@lauragoodwin.org> wrote in message
    news:4079B0AE.4BDED4CC@lauragoodwin.org...
    > Tweek wrote:
    >>
    >> If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue,
    >> then
    >> it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on
    >> them.
    >> Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards
    >> offered
    >> by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard
    >> ATX
    >> board (the board with the issue).
    >
    > This one has a standard full-size ATX.
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Tweek wrote:
    >
    > Are the caps OK? They should be totally flat on top.

    I can't look at it now, I already gave it back to them.
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