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CAN'T ACCESS BIOS HELP

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August 4, 2006 9:23:56 PM

Ok well i just built my first computer and go figure i have a problem...i have a MSI K8N NEO4-F board AMD Atholon 64 3500 venice core...the problem is, i start up the computer and on the monitor it will show a screen that says hit TAB to switch POST or DEL to SETUP BIOS...now if i hit tab it shows all the hardware i've installed...but when i hit DEL it goes to a black screen...Also i found out that if i hit DEL and turn off my monitor and back on again it will show a blue screen with a white line down the middle, and no writing..I want to install windows xp but can boot start the program, and can't access my BIOS...Please any info would be greately appreciated..thanks

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a b V Motherboard
August 4, 2006 9:52:21 PM

Where is monkey knife fight when you need him?
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 2:30:49 AM

Did you recently attempt BIOS flash?
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 5:11:01 AM

Then that's something I would try. Look on your motherboard and see if you have revision 1.0, or 3.0. This should be found next to the motherboard model number which is printed on the motherboard itself. DO NOT guess. You MUST find out which one you have before attempting this BIOS flash.

Once you have determined which revision you have, go here http://www.msi.com.tw/program/search/ser/SerConDownRes.... and pick the appropriate board.

The zip files provided by MSI should contain both the bios rom file, and the utility needed to perform the flash.
August 6, 2006 7:10:05 PM

i tried to do the bios flash, but nothing came up on the screen, the same things that has always happend , happend. i followed the directions you gave me and it just goes to a black screen
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 9:00:42 PM

Then open up the tower and disconnect EVERYTHING except the necessary stuff (CPU, 1 ram stick, and video card). If it still gives you a black screen, try using the other ram stick (provided you have more than one).
August 6, 2006 9:38:05 PM

tried 3 diff RAM, with only the bare min. in and still can't get BIOS. It will show the RAM and everything on screen when they're installed...
....Also I had a hard drive that my dad got from a friend, and I it has Windows NT or something on it, when i started up with that HD it starts to load windows, but then it freezes, i don't know if this means anything but figured i'd tell you..maybe it will eliminate some problem...
Thanks for helping me by the way, i appreciate the response
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 10:07:31 PM

Well.... now i'm either thinking it's the power supply, or the motherboard. Got any spare power supplies handy?
August 6, 2006 10:11:49 PM

well actually my fisrt power supply just died last night, it was a cheap one though that came with the case, i just bought a new Antec 450 today and thats whats installed now
August 6, 2006 10:13:51 PM

also i was just checking the screen and it doesnt' show my floppy drive in the list with everything else, is it supposed to be there? may sound like a stupid question..but what do i know...
August 6, 2006 10:17:11 PM

Since no one has pointed it out, have you cleared the cmos via the motherboard jumper yet ?

Do you have a floppy drive in the pc ? If so try a win98 boot floppy. If not use a bootable CD.

If it fails then you may have a motherboard/ram fault.

If the system runs whatever is on the disk then there can't be too serious a problem, try the BIOS flash mentioned above.

One last Idea, It could be the monitor (long shot) do you have another to try ?

Dont worry about the CD bit. (I wasn't paying attention when I read your first post. :oops:  )
August 6, 2006 10:20:22 PM

The CMOS button?
August 6, 2006 10:32:43 PM

It resets the BIOS settings to default.

There is a probably a plastic jumper on your motherboard labeled clr cmos or something similar. (It is usually near the battery)

switch off the pc at the wall, move the jumper onto the other position and power on.

The pc wont boot.

Power off.

Put the jumper back in the original position and reboot.

you can download your mobo's manual from MSI's web site and it will show you what to do if the above is not applicable.
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 10:43:49 PM

Actually all he needs to do is move the jumper for 5-10 seconds, then move it back. No need to turn it on.
August 6, 2006 10:46:32 PM

i don't see any jumpers like that, there is the red button for clearing the CMOS, i have pressed it and when i start the computer it says warning in safe mode, CMOS Checksum error (something like that)
August 6, 2006 10:49:00 PM

Can you get into the bios now ?
August 6, 2006 10:50:43 PM

no, but i do feel like ripping my hair out
August 6, 2006 10:57:15 PM

:)  Same thing with the screen ? If so try a bios flash.

The reason I mentioned the screen earlier was because most will turn off the display when put into a mode that they can't handle and TFT's don't like low resolutions.

If its not solved by one of the two suggestions above I guess its time to send the board back.

Ps. A question i should have asked at the start.

When you said that if you dont try to go into the bios the pc boots 'normaly'.
Does it display a message asking for a boot drive or a similar message or does it freeze at the Logo/information screen ?
a b V Motherboard
August 6, 2006 11:07:52 PM

Quote:
no, but i do feel like ripping my hair out


If you notice in my sig, I have an MSI K8N Nf4 Platinum SLI MB. I also have three other MSI N3 Platinum MB. I can tell you the boards are somewhat quirky with RAM and RAM settings. Try using one Dimm of RAM in slot one. Use other RAM than you have been using if you have other RAM.

If it doesn't work you might try the following 440dx suggested. HTH

Disconnect everything from your motherboard except,

a. Power supply
b. PS2 Keyboard and PS2 Mouse.
c. Power Switch and Power light indicator
d. External speaker (if it uses it, I don't think it does but just in case)
e. CPU, heatsink and fan

In other words, there should not be any IDE cables plugged into the motherboard nor any other cable whatsoever for USB ports or any other interface provided by the motherboard. That also means, no video card or any other card on the motherboard. Nothing but what is explicitly listed above.

Note that the *memory* should *NOT* be on the motherboard either. Keep reading you'll know why.

Second,

Power your system ON.

You should hear your system emitting one long beep every other second. If it does not do that then your motherboard is defective (it is not detecting that there is no memory!)

Test 2.

a. Turn the system off.

b. Plug your monitor into the VGA connector from your installed video card.

c. Install the 512MB memory module

d. Power the system ON. and *very quickly* do step e.

e. Press the "Del" key a bunch of times for the next 3 to 5 seconds

f. Wait patiently a maximum of 5 minutes.

The screen should appear and after a while (maybe as long as 5 minutes) it should get into the BIOS setup. The reason it may take that long is because a lot of motherboards will attempt to sense the presence of a floppy drive and some will wait "forever" (5 minutes) or so before giving up and deciding that there is no floppy.
August 7, 2006 12:56:11 AM

Ok, well i did what Badge told me to do- When i took the RAM,VideoCard,and all that stuff out and turned on the computer it did the continous beep every other second..But when i turned it off put Vid Card and 512RAM in, I hit DEL a bunch of times, and waited like 10 minutes and nothing came up...
Also like said when i started this thing, If i turn the monitor off and on again while the computer is running, it will turn from the black screen into a blue screen when i turn it back on (if i hit DEL @ the first screen)...i don't know if that means anything , but figure everything is nothing or something
Thanks everyone for your ideas and help, i honestly didn't think i would get a response from anyone on these things, and if it weren't for ur ideas i woulda tossed this thing out the window already..I just hope i can get this thing running, my first comuter i've built and i don't want it to be a failure..ahhhh...any other suggestions? thanks guys
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 1:28:11 AM

Test 3 (continuing from the senario of badge's tests):

Now take out the ram, leave the video in.... see if it does the continuous beep every second. If it does, pull the video out and put the ram in. If it doesn't beep at all this time, you have bad ram.

If it did not beep when you had the video card in, pull the video out and put the ram in.... see if it posts. If it does, you probably have a bad video card.
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 4:39:31 AM

Quote:
Ok, well i did what Badge told me to do- When i took the RAM,VideoCard,and all that stuff out and turned on the computer it did the continous beep every other second..But when i turned it off put Vid Card and 512RAM in, I hit DEL a bunch of times, and waited like 10 minutes and nothing came up...
Also like said when i started this thing, If i turn the monitor off and on again while the computer is running, it will turn from the black screen into a blue screen when i turn it back on (if i hit DEL @ the first screen)...i don't know if that means anything , but figure everything is nothing or something
Thanks everyone for your ideas and help, i honestly didn't think i would get a response from anyone on these things, and if it weren't for ur ideas i woulda tossed this thing out the window already..I just hope i can get this thing running, my first comuter i've built and i don't want it to be a failure..ahhhh...any other suggestions? thanks guys


Try unplugging the following from the power supply:

Do not power on:

NO OPtical drives (DVD, CD etc.) unplug all of them
NO Floppy. unplug the power
NO Hard Drives. Unplug all HD's from power
NO Lights, fans etc. unplug all fans except the CPU.

Unplug you monitor from the socket. Plug it into another socket. Any other socket.


Boot your computer with ONLY:

one dimm of RAM in number one slot
Video Card
serial keyboard and mouse
CPU fan plugged in


I am having trouble following you. If you can get to BIOS load DEFAULT settings and save and exit.

Before you plug everything back in make sure of the following:

If you have IDE hard drive the IDE cable must be plugged into the MASTER plug of the cable and the red line (number one pin) to number one pin on the HD.

Same for the DVD/CD. If you have two DVD/CD's the first player has to have the pin in the back set to master to master and the second to slave. The IDE cable must be plugged in master to master and slave to slave with the red line at pin one on each.

If you have only one DVD/CD set the pin on the back of the player to single I believe.

Be sure and connect all the power and ide cables correctly. Check your installation manuel.

I sure hope this helps. Like I said I'm having trouble following everything you have done. And I know you have tried everything you know.
August 7, 2006 5:36:14 AM

So far, it is still not possible to conclude with certainty the reason why you cannot get into the BIOS.

You will need another computer to perform these tests, if you don't have the necessary hardware, hopefully a friend of yours can help you. Carry out the following steps,

1. Plug your monitor into a different machine and try to get into the machine's BIOS.

If you get a black screen then it is very likely that the problem is caused by your monitor (I don't think your monitor is the culprit but this test would almost eliminate it from the list of possibilities)

2. Install your Video card in a different machine and try to get into the machine's BIOS.

Again, a black screen in this case would make the video card highly suspect. (I doubt your video card is the problem but it should be tested anyway)

3. Install your video card AND monitor in a different machine then try to get into that machine's BIOS.

If you can get into that machine's BIOS then neither your video card nor your monitor are responsible for the problem.

4. Borrow a video card known to work from a friend and install it in your machine.

If you cannot get into the BIOS of your machine then I would strongly suspect that you got a motherboard with a defective BIOS chip. If you can get into the BIOS, I would conclude that there is some sort of incompatibility between your motherboard and the video card. In this case, I would replace the motherboard.

Hopefully you have the necessary hardware available to carry out the above tests. If not, I'd suggest you either take it to a repair shop ($$$) or simply guess that the source of the problem is the motherboard (that would be my guess at this time but, that's all it is, a guess.)

HTH.
August 7, 2006 6:13:48 PM

I did the test that Prophecy sugested, when i took out the RAM and left the video in it did the beep every other second..When i took the video out and put the RAM in it did a long beep after a second, then it stopped and didn't beep again, i tried 3 diff. RAM and it was the same for each..since it didn't beep every other second does that mean the RAM is bad, or since it beeped once does it mean i have good RAM?
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 8:27:21 PM

The MSI Neo4-F uses the Award BIOS. After looking around, the single Long beep seems to indicate a ram issue. Make sure you are properly seating them when you attempt these tests. If both locking latches at the ends of the ram slot are down all the way, you probably have bad ram. I am 90% certain about this right now, because like you said, you got the continuous beeps after insertng the video card, which according to badge indicates the BIOS knows there is no ram installed. If the video card was the problem, you would have recieved a different beep code. If a friend has a known working ram stick you can use to definitivly say your ram sticks are the problem, call that friend. It must be DDR ram (either DDR266, 333 or 400).
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 8:47:18 PM

Quote:
The MSI Neo4-F uses the Award BIOS. After looking around, the single Long beep seems to indicate a ram issue. Make sure you are properly seating them when you attempt these tests. If both locking latches at the ends of the ram slot are down all the way, you probably have bad ram. I am 90% certain about this right now, because like you said, you got the continuous beeps after insertng the video card, which according to badge indicates the BIOS knows there is no ram installed. If the video card was the problem, you would have recieved a different beep code. If a friend has a known working ram stick you can use to definitivly say your ram sticks are the problem, call that friend. It must be DDR ram (either DDR266, 333 or 400).


Yeah, when you get to this point trying to troubleshoot an issue like this, especially with a new build you are unfamiliar with, having spare parts or or a second working computer with known working compatible parts is really essential. All the OP can do if He continues is be sure to connect all his drives and components correctly. 440DX mentioned OP may have a bad BIOS chip. It would take a spare MB to check for sure.

I got an RMA approval for my MSI MB today. I'll be tearingit down tonight and installing a new ASUS board tomorrow. The MSI RMA board will become a spare part. :wink:

I have RMA'd to MSI several times. If OP needs the information to do so ith his board ask. I'll post it for you.
August 7, 2006 9:03:12 PM

what does it mean to RMA? I contacted MSI for support yesterday, and they pretty much emailed me the same things you guys have told me to do. So I don't know what else to do, I don't have another computer that i can swap stuff between, except for the Gateway laptop im using to talk to you right now. Although i could make another one if i had another MB cause i got enough spare parts to make one..But any ways I guess I should return it? Is that what RMA means?
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 9:06:18 PM

Quote:
what does it mean to RMA? I contacted MSI for support yesterday, and they pretty much emailed me the same things you guys have told me to do. So I don't know what else to do, I don't have another computer that i can swap stuff between, except for the Gateway laptop im using to talk to you right now. Although i could make another one if i had another MB cause i got enough spare parts to make one..But any ways I guess I should return it? Is that what RMA means?


RMA means 'Return merchandise Authorization'. I'm at work, but this evening I will post the MSI online page to fill out an RMA request. I did it last night and got approval my for MSI NF4 board in my sig this morning. After you get a RMA number by email, just pack up your board and ship to them. They will fix it or send a repalacement.
August 7, 2006 9:21:47 PM

alright, thanks...i'll let you guys know how this whole thing turns out..hopefuly this will end up fixing the problem...thanks for all the help
a b V Motherboard
August 7, 2006 9:22:40 PM

Quote:
alright, thanks...i'll let you guys know how this whole thing turns out..hopefuly this will end up fixing the problem...thanks for all the help


Be sure and let us know.
August 8, 2006 12:31:33 AM

Personally, I don't think your RAM is bad. Particularly 3 sticks in a row. If you can, I suggest you perform the tests I outlined in my previous post.
August 8, 2006 12:38:10 AM

I have 2 video cards and have tried them both (they're both new) and still wasn't able to get into the bios..I hooked the mointor up into my landlords computer and was able to get into his bios (but thats as far as i can go w/ his computer...i can't test other components on his computer cause he doesn't want me to) so from what im getting i suppose it's the motherboard...im going to send it to MSI tomorrow..
August 8, 2006 12:44:44 AM

Quote:
I have 2 video cards and have tried them both (they're both new) and still wasn't able to get into the bios..I hooked the mointor up into my landlords computer and was able to get into his bios (but thats as far as i can go w/ his computer...i can't test other components on his computer cause he doesn't want me to) so from what im getting i suppose it's the motherboard...im going to send it to MSI tomorrow..


I concurr. The motherboard is likely to have a defective BIOS.
August 8, 2006 10:11:37 PM

Just an unrelated question...since im sending my mobo to MSI, I took out the cpu and was wondering how i should go about cleaning off the thermal gel (or whatever it's called) on the cpu and the heatsink....
a b V Motherboard
August 8, 2006 10:38:58 PM

Quote:
Just an unrelated question...since im sending my mobo to MSI, I took out the cpu and was wondering how i should go about cleaning off the thermal gel (or whatever it's called) on the cpu and the heatsink....


Use aklcohol and just wipe and dab it off. Be careful not to bend any of the gold pins underneath. Handle the CPU by the edges. And don't stand on a rug.
August 9, 2006 12:43:25 AM

I use alcohol just as Badge mentioned in the message above but, I leave the CPU in the motherboard socket so I don't have to hold it (and run the risk of bending pins). I use a lint-free small piece of terry cloth or strong lint free paper wetted in alcohol.

HTH.
August 11, 2006 9:46:07 PM

well im impatient and can't wait to get my motherboard back from MSI so i bought another MSI board... the MS RS482M4-ILD... with this one im using all the same hardware and the same AMD Atholon 64 3500 and i am able to access the bios and everything else... I know this probably is the right forum for this question but i figured i'd ask you guys since u've been so helpful so far
My problem this time is i can't get my Windows XP Home CD to boot and install....the manual that came with my Maxtor HD told me to format the hard drive w/ the MaxBlast4 CD which i was able to do...but when i reboot my computer and put the XP Home CD in i can't boot it (or reboot with the CD in i get nothing) ... my bios recongnize everything and show the boot order and all that... any ideas?
a b V Motherboard
August 11, 2006 10:08:56 PM

Quote:
well im impatient and can't wait to get my motherboard back from MSI so i bought another MSI board... the MS RS482M4-ILD... with this one im using all the same hardware and the same AMD Atholon 64 3500 and i am able to access the bios and everything else... I know this probably is the right forum for this question but i figured i'd ask you guys since u've been so helpful so far
My problem this time is i can't get my Windows XP Home CD to boot and install....the manual that came with my Maxtor HD told me to format the hard drive w/ the MaxBlast4 CD which i was able to do...but when i reboot my computer and put the XP Home CD in i can't boot it (or reboot with the CD in i get nothing) ... my bios recongnize everything and show the boot order and all that... any ideas?


I want 440bX to answer you. But I'll throw in my two cents. You are using all the same parts as before with new mb. I would think you have a hardware problem. RAM is often the culprit.

I built two systems this week. The first system would not load windows XP. Kept getting 'operating system failed'. I stuck in an entirely different Windows CD and the system loaded right up. I felt the MB was not right so I returned it. Built the system in my sig yesterday and the windows xp pro disk that would not load on the prior Mb is on there installed in full.

Let's see what 440bx says. You have a piece of hardware that is not cooperating :wink:
August 11, 2006 10:16:39 PM

alright thanks
a b V Motherboard
August 11, 2006 10:20:18 PM

Quote:
alright thanks


My MSI SLI NF4 board was recieved at MSI yesterday. Hope it beat yours there and gets fixed first! Kidding, I don't need it anymore except for spare parts. Got the new ASUS! :D 
August 12, 2006 3:00:05 AM

Quote:
well im impatient and can't wait to get my motherboard back from MSI so i bought another MSI board... the MS RS482M4-ILD... with this one im using all the same hardware and the same AMD Atholon 64 3500 and i am able to access the bios and everything else... I know this probably is the right forum for this question but i figured i'd ask you guys since u've been so helpful so far
My problem this time is i can't get my Windows XP Home CD to boot and install....the manual that came with my Maxtor HD told me to format the hard drive w/ the MaxBlast4 CD which i was able to do...but when i reboot my computer and put the XP Home CD in i can't boot it (or reboot with the CD in i get nothing) ... my bios recongnize everything and show the boot order and all that... any ideas?


Make sure the boot order is set properly in the BIOS, it should look someting like this,

1st Device - CD ROM
2nd Device - Floppy (or hard drive/HDD0 if you don't have a floppy)
3rd Device - Hard Drive/HDD0 (if you do happen to have a floppy)
4th Device - Other (or Disabled, up to you in this case)

Also, to boot from a CD you very often have to press a key (any key) after the initial post messages.

Try the above, it might the answer to the problem.

HTH.
August 12, 2006 7:37:38 PM

i set the boot order cd-floppy-hard drive and it wont boot my XP Home cd..i've tried another xp cd and it wont boot so i dont know..i switched out RAM and it doesnt work...but i mean i was able to boot the Maxblast4 cd to format the hard drive...
a b V Motherboard
August 12, 2006 8:00:27 PM

Quote:
i set the boot order cd-floppy-hard drive and it wont boot my XP Home cd..i've tried another xp cd and it wont boot so i dont know..i switched out RAM and it doesnt work...but i mean i was able to boot the Maxblast4 cd to format the hard drive...


Have you set the jumper on your CD player? Check the IDE cable or better yet use a different cable.
a b V Motherboard
August 12, 2006 8:19:07 PM

Quote:
i set the boot order cd-floppy-hard drive and it wont boot my XP Home cd..i've tried another xp cd and it wont boot so i dont know..i switched out RAM and it doesnt work...but i mean i was able to boot the Maxblast4 cd to format the hard drive...


Have you set the jumper on your CD player? Check the IDE cable or better yet use a different cable.
August 12, 2006 8:22:52 PM

yea the jumper is set to master and the drive is plugged into the second IDE socket on the mobo..
a b V Motherboard
August 12, 2006 8:33:49 PM

Quote:
yea the jumper is set to master and the drive is plugged into the second IDE socket on the mobo..


So you can run a floppy disk Maxtor HD utility, but when you put Windows xp CD in the tray you can't access it? Well. You have to go into your BIOS and find BOOT PRIORITY. Set the FIRST boot device to CD ROM. Save and exit. You must do this to boot to the Windows CD. When prompted PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM CD.

Do this and let me know. Thanks.
August 12, 2006 8:39:38 PM

no the Maxtor HD utility is a cd, i can boot with that cd but not the windows
a b V Motherboard
August 12, 2006 8:42:20 PM

Quote:
no the Maxtor HD utility is a cd, i can boot with that cd but not the windows


Enter your BIOS and find BOOT Priority. Set the FIRST boot device to CD. Save and exit. Put the windows cd in the tray. When the computer restarts watch for the prompt PRESS ANY KEY TO BOOT FROM CD. PRESS!

The MAXTOR UTILITY is programmed to boot that way. Windows CD is not the same. We are almost there!
!