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Okay, I did kill it - What's dead?

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April 7, 2006 4:43:04 AM

It does appear that my idiotic upping of the FSB to 233 when trying to get it to recognize my chip this morning fried something, but I'm confused as to what.

First, for those with enough sense to ignore this clueless newbie before, a recap of the system:

Athlon XP 2600+ Barton
MSI K7n2 Delta-L MB
1 gb ram

When I got home from work, I tried resetting the jumpers to safe mode, but the system would not boot (things would power up normally, but there was a repeating clicking noise). The D-Bracket showed that the CPU had malfunctioned.

I pulled out the CPU to look at it, and it looked okay, so I re-inserted it and turned it back on. The clicking was gone and it booted up. I was able to enter the bios and attempt to set things to defaul, but it would not let me save my settings and exit (the "Do you want to save your settings and exit" window could not be pursuaded to leave and actually save my settings.

I pulled out my BIOS flash floppy, rebooted, and it did it's thing, appearing to flash the bios nicely, but then the system wouldn't boot. I looked at it for awhile, in an effort to will it to work, but this was unsuccessful, so on a whim, I reset the jumpers to normal (non-safe) mode. It booted right up, and the BIOS even detected my chip settings properly (but I did have to go tell it to put the ramclock at 1:1 with the FSB).

Elated, I saved my settings and attempted to boot into Windows XP (home edition). After the white progress bar filled up, the screen went black and at about the time the windows logo with the waiving flag would appear, the system rebooted itself.

Since then, I have been able to reboot and get to the "Windows didn't start successfully" screen, but no matter what option, I get the same result (even with the various safe modes and even the recovery console).

Some things - I cannot make it boot to the DVD-drive (where I have the windows CD, hoping to maybe find a solution, even if that means formating). If I tell the BIOS to boot 1st, 2nd, and 3rd to the DVD-drive, it still jumps straight to the 'Windows didn't start correctly" screen. A floppy override works, but XP dos disks don't seem to do me any good.

The BIOS does detect the DVD drive, and even ID's it properly. The Drive is getting power as I can open/close, look at the pretty lights, hear it spin, ect.

It could be that my hard drive died, but it's apparently doing something as the system recognizes that I have windows. It could be corrupt, but I don't think it's completely dead.

It could also be that my BIOS is really messed up still and it's just telling me what I want to see without actually making any changes. One strange problem it has is that if I load the BIOS defaults, it reboots and gives me a "ROM Checksum error" and I cannot do anything else until I reboot and re-flash with my floppy.

How can I tell what's busted? Should I cut my losses?

If it's useful, I have another system that's very similar to this one. Same MB, the chip is a XP 2500+ Barton, and the ram is the same. I'm afraid to use it to test some of my components because I fear harming the computer that is working.

Any suggestions? If it's dead, it's dead, and I'll harvest it for parts and move on, but for some reason, I'm attached to the little box. It's the first computer I built...

I appreciate the replies.

- Nil

More about : kill dead

April 7, 2006 5:16:25 AM

Did you try setting the DVD to the first boot device? If it works repair your windows with CD. If you are fimiliar with installing the OS you can repair windows without having to do a complete re-install with all it's updates and driver headaches. Might be your windows is corrupted but still starting to boot which cuts off the CD as your 3rd device. I would check this 1st.
April 7, 2006 12:49:33 PM

Hatsurfer,

I did try setting the first boot device to CD (then I got frustrated and set 1st, 2nd, and 3rd boots as CD), but it refused to look there. I was hoping that it was just a windows corruption (this computer doesn't have anything on it that reformatting would cause me to really care about losing (except my Oblivion character, but oh well). I was never able to do so, though.

Wusy,

I was afraid of that, but feared the MB was the likely culprit.

Thanks for your imput, guys.
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April 7, 2006 1:23:03 PM

I don't read anywhere (maybe it is just me..) you actually either remove the battery to clear the CMOS or used the jumper. When messing with BIOS setting, clearing the CMOS in mandatory to properly set the default. Sure enough, this has to be done with the power cord unplugged.

Maybe the battery is simply not good anymore, to retain all the settings, but only a few. Try another one.
April 7, 2006 1:28:34 PM

You want 266 FSB, not 200 or 233.

It may have been listed in the BIOS as 100, so you want 133 (pre-DDR 'base clock speed').
April 7, 2006 1:43:18 PM

Quote:
I don't read anywhere (maybe it is just me..) you actually either remove the battery to clear the CMOS or used the jumper. When messing with BIOS setting, clearing the CMOS in mandatory to properly set the default. Sure enough, this has to be done with the power cord unplugged.

Maybe the battery is simply not good anymore, to retain all the settings, but only a few. Try another one.


No, I never did replace the battery - I just used the jumpers. I can give that a try.

Quote:
You want 266 FSB, not 200 or 233.

It may have been listed in the BIOS as 100, so you want 133 (pre-DDR 'base clock speed').


Yeah. The 233 was just pure idocy on my part. I had forgotten what little I knew about how that worked and tried to set it to 333 FSB because my card has a 333 FSB. It didn't go to 333, so I tried 233. Just dumb. I won't deny it.

I can currently (from when I flash the bios, to when I try to load defaults) get it to find my chip a the appropriate speed and FSB, and then save. When I come back in (after it reboots itself), it still shows my BIOS settings as correct, but it refuses to boot windows (anything past the gray progress meter that starts the process).
April 7, 2006 2:26:06 PM

I would certainly clear the bios first. Changing the battery shouldn't matter because that is just there to save the settings when the power is off, but it certainly won't hurt.

I have a hard time believing that any damage was done to anything as long as you didn't start monkeying with the voltages, with the exception that the disk might have been corrupted.

Any other suggestions are rather meaningless until you reset the bios and see where you are from there.
April 7, 2006 2:31:27 PM

Is it possible that flashing to the original BIOS would help? First, I'd try clearing the CMOS and then seeing if Windows will re-install. But here's my story: :-)

I have an ASUS A8N32SLI Deluxe. I installed the board into the case, added memory, video, cpu, heatsink, and my Adaptec SATA Raid 5 adapter. Using a driver floppy, I was able to install windows XP on the raid array. So far so good. I rebooted, installed drivers, and everything was working. Then I remembered that I hadn't flashed to the newest BIOS. So I did that. It went perfectly. Then I rebooted. Windows was missing a critical file and refused to boot. I was thinking... WHAT?!?!?! I tried different BIOS settings, going to default settings, disabling most of the add-in devices (thinking that maybe it was an interrupt issue). Nothing worked. So I decided to re-install Windows. Just as the CD was starting to boot, I'd get a dump on the screen (lots of hex values) and it would reboot. Nothing I did would make it install.

Now out of options, thinking I must have damaged something inadvertantly, somehow, I decided I might as well go back to the BIOS that was in there when I received the board. The flash went successfully (same as before), and when the system rebooted, it went right into Windows without any problems.

My best guess now is that there is a problem with the newer BIOS and my Adaptec SATA Raid. It was really weird. Needless to say, I'm running the older BIOS now with no plans to upgrade it unless I replace the raid controller. It must have been that controller that the BIOS was complaining about, because the only other card in the system is the PCIe video card, an NVidia 6200.

I suppose this is a long winded way of saying, once you've removed all hardware except what is required to install windows, and cleared your CMOS, if it STILL doesn't work, you might want to try going back to the BIOS that you originally had windows working with.
April 7, 2006 2:47:33 PM

Quote:
Is it possible that flashing to the original BIOS would help? First, I'd try clearing the CMOS and then seeing if Windows will re-install.


I'd love to, but I'm not sure how to get back to the original BIOS. Thoughs?
April 7, 2006 2:50:03 PM

I honestly think you cant, You can try to dovnload the original bios on the website and burn it to a boot disk, otherwise your mobo is pretty much history :twisted:
April 7, 2006 2:58:46 PM

Yeah, you can flash it to an old version, no problem. If you can find it on the manufacturers website that is. Usually when flashing the bios it gives you an option to backup the old version first. That's always a good idea just in case, but I guess might be a bit late now if you didn't do it.
April 7, 2006 3:26:04 PM

Quote:
Yeah, you can flash it to an old version, no problem. If you can find it on the manufacturers website that is. Usually when flashing the bios it gives you an option to backup the old version first. That's always a good idea just in case, but I guess might be a bit late now if you didn't do it.


By the way, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the help you all are giving me.

And yeah, I didn't back it up. Lesson definately learned.

Based on:

http://www.msi.com.tw/html/support/bios/note/award.htm

it appears I can't flash an old BIOS if I can't get something to the C:, which I can't do, I can't flash it.

I can try doing this: http://www.msi.com.tw/html/support/bios/note/boot.htm (edit: this link doesn't work for some reason, even though it's correct - it's the recovery link at the bottom of the the flash proceedure page), but I'm a little confused as to how to name the files.

Here are the lists of BIOS
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_....

I can go all the way back to 5.0, which is pretty old. It looks like the file itself is called 6570v50.exe Any idea how the naming convention is supposed to work?
April 7, 2006 3:31:05 PM

The 6570v50.exe probably means model number 6570 bios version 5.0. It doesn't matter what you name the files as long as you know what you named them. You could name the files newbios and it will work the same way. It's just a filename.

In step number 6 of that flash instruction page, substitute c:test for the A drive, and put the file on a floppy. It should work fine.
September 26, 2007 10:40:16 AM

It seems that the troubleshooting has gone beyond the boot sequence problem, and I agree with the others who are working with you on reflashing the BIOS, but just in case it is simply a boot sequence problem.....

1) Most MBs have a boot menu that you can load during POST that will let you select which boot device to use, maybe that will work even though changing the automatic boot device is not

2) If you do have another identical system, why don't you put in the HDD from the busted system into the working one, install windows on it, and then move the HDD back into the busted system?

3) Some MBs get confused if they have USB sticks in them during startup, and will try to boot from them even though you don't want them to. Make sure you don't have a USB thumb drive in, or even an external USB enclosure.

Hope this helps!
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