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Pulling out my hair!!!

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March 10, 2012 12:26:25 AM

Greetings,

Long time lurker, first time poster. I've searched these forums and found similar issues, but have had no luck fixing my particular issue.

So, 2 months ago I built a computer. Specs are in my profile so they should be visible? Anyway, everything was running fine, when one evening, when I powered up, the trouble began.

When I hit the power button, it beeped, a few lights came on, the fans kicked in, and then it crashed. It waited a few seconds, and then repeated (without me touching anything.) It cycled like this 5 or 6 times and then came to life. However, when it came to life, I got the following error:

Warning: MAIN BIOS CHECKSUM ERROR!
Retrieving recovery source from HPA.... HPA BIOS not available!!
Retrieving recovery source from the Backup BIOS... Done!
Writing BIOS Image.... xxxxK OK


So, frightened, I turned it off, and then back on. Same thing. It cycled a few times, and then brought me to this error.

It was late, I was tired, so I called it a night. The next evening, everything worked fine. Started up normally, the world was back to normal. However, the following night, it happened again.

So after some research, I thought there was a chance that it was my power supply. My brother brought his over, however the issue remained.

Tried removing the vid card, memory, etc, to isolate the problem, with no luck.

So I did some more research and decided to flash my motherboard with the latest software. It took me a while to figure out how to, but using a flash drive, I was eventually able to get into BIOS, and using Qflash, update to the latest version of my gigabyte motherboard.

So, I fired it up, and I thought I was laughing, as it did NOT cycle at the beginning. It went right through the BIOS, but then I hit another snag. The following error:

Loading Operating System ...
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER


OK, so I put my Windows 7 CD back in and changed the boot order to boot from the cd drive first. Exact same error.

Thinking maybe a power surge fried my motherboard (we get power failures here frequently) (and I didn't have a surge protector at the time)
I picked up a new one (same model) and installed it, however the same damn error reared it's ugly head.

So here I stand, with a 2 month old system and a free weekend I had planned on playing Call of Duty with, but will be stuck pulling my hair out instead. I'm heading out for the night, but will be back here first thing in the morning. If you have any advice, I greatly appreciate it, and will be able to respond tomorrow morning.

Thanks in advance, and this is a great forum by the way.

-Mike

More about : pulling hair

March 10, 2012 1:32:53 AM

When you flashed you BIOS, it may have reset to the default settings. One of those being IDE mode instead of SATA or RAID. Try changing that and Windows might boot. I have the same random BIOS corruption error with my Gigabyte EP45 also some times, and have to reflash and redo the settings in BIOS.
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March 10, 2012 1:42:48 AM

RMA your motherboard. Problem solved. The issue is in a bios memory banks that are most likely corrupted.
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March 10, 2012 8:32:31 AM

Ok, as Jrazor said, try flashing and redoing the BIOS.
First check the CMOS battery though, a cheap multi-meter would come in handy here or just replace the battery with a new one. Even if it doesnt fix the issue its nice to have a spare around. Yes, I know the mobo is still new, but who knows how long that battery was sitting waitng to be installed by Gigabyte.
Second, if your equipment is prone to power outages, dirty power or anything like that you need to get an UPS. Surge protectors are nice, but UPS' normally provide better protection.
Third providing you get the BIOS issue fixed, set the machine to stay turned off after power failure.
If all else fails consider maxinexus' suggestion.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 9:05:44 AM

HA! knock on wood, I just made a thread about the exact same error message I'm getting, the difference between you and me though, I havent flashed my BIOS.
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March 10, 2012 9:52:04 AM

Having done some research on this motherboard, I found that over 200 of the 1434 reviews on this board on newegg were bad (1-2 eggs) many people are having the same issues as you and nekulturny are having.
Personal opinnion - RMA the motherboard and try another company like ASUS, ASROCK, Intel or MSI. Do lots of research, DOA and faulty equipment happens, but it should be a rather small amount of the reviews. Much research is required for picking equipment.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 9:58:54 AM

carnage0651 said:
Having done some research on this motherboard, I found that over 200 of the 1434 reviews on this board on newegg were bad (1-2 eggs) many people are having the same issues as you and nekulturny are having.
Personal opinnion - RMA the motherboard and try another company like ASUS, ASROCK, Intel or MSI. Do lots of research, DOA and faulty equipment happens, but it should be a rather small amount of the reviews. Much research is required for picking equipment.



Yea, I agree with you, I thought I had properly vetted my MOBO before ordering as well. But as soon as I googled that "bios checksum error" everything that came up was a Gigabyte MOBOs. As I mentioned in my thread, Tigerdirect was real nice about me exchanging it for a Asus Sabertooth. The only reason I didn't buy the Sabertooth when I bought my system was because at the time the Mobo was over 200 bucks, now its only about 5 bucks more than this Gigabyte.


The only problem I can find on Newegg reviews that seems common with the Asus Sabertooth is that the original BIOS didn't support FX processors (odd considering its an AM3+ board), this has been fixed, but either way it doesn't matter because I'm running a Phenom II.
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March 10, 2012 10:47:35 AM

try setting your cd drive to first boot divice and put your windows 7 bootable dvd in. see if that works.
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March 10, 2012 12:42:32 PM

Morning folks.

First off, thanks for the replies. It's nice to have support during these difficult times. ;) 

To jrazor: I found only one setting that deals with IDE, RAID (XHD), and AHCI, and that setting is:

PCH SATA Control Mode

Is this the setting you're referring to? I tried all three settings with no luck. However, when in RAID(XHD), I get a new error that flashes, before going to the DISK BOOT FAILURE screen, and that message is:

Serial ATA AHCI BIOS, Version iSrc 1.20E
Copyright (c) 2003-2008 Intel Corporation
**This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives**
Please wait. This will take a few seconds.

And then back to the Disk Boot uscreen.

@Maxinexus: What does RMA mean?

@Carnage: My other motherboard was 2 months old. I bought a new one, (with a new battery) and am getting the same issue. I doubt it's the battery.

@a_tractor: Tried that already.
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March 10, 2012 12:53:55 PM

Update to my previous post:

The complete error message (when set to RAID(XHD) is:

Serial ATA AHCI BIOS, Version iSrc 1.20E
Copyright (c) 2003-2008 Intel Corporation
**This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives**
Please wait. This will take a few seconds.

Controller Bus#00, Device#1F, Funtion#82: 86 Ports
AHCI BIOS not installed
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March 10, 2012 1:16:06 PM

$20 donation (with screen cap) to the charity of your choice if you can solve my problem.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 1:21:33 PM

RMA means Return Merchandise Authorization. Basically hes telling you to call the place you bought it from about a return/exchange. The board is probably bad, main BIOS corrupted and the selling point of "dual bios" completely useless.
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March 10, 2012 8:02:14 PM

I doubt it's the board. I bought a second one to see if it was, and the new one has the same issues.

Also, I'm pretty sure the model I have does not have "dual bios", but if I can't fix it I'll see what I can do about returning them.

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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 8:12:10 PM

jonnyhockey said:
I doubt it's the board. I bought a second one to see if it was, and the new one has the same issues.

Also, I'm pretty sure the model I have does not have "dual bios", but if I can't fix it I'll see what I can do about returning them.



Well,, the error says blah blah trying to load HPA BIOS. HPA is hidden-protected area on the hard drive.. So in theory its trying to engage the hard drive to find something it doesn't have (very simplistically put, what can I say? I like simple explanations). And for whatever reason, its not able to communicate with said hard drive. I guess, out of curiosity since you're still having the same problem with a 2nd board, do you have another hard drive to try?

BTW, I looked at Gigabytes website, your board does indeed have their infamous "dual bios"..

From the page:
Quote:
GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ is a patented technology that automatically recovers BIOS data when the main BIOS has crashed or failed. Featuring 2 physical BIOS ROMs integrated onboard, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ allows quick and seamless recovery from BIOS damage or failure due to viruses or improper BIOS updating. In addition, GIGABYTE DualBIOS™ now supports 3TB+ (terabyte) hard drive booting without the need for partitioning, and enables more data storage on a single hard drive.


Yea, and if my aunt had....... shed be my uncle.
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March 10, 2012 8:16:16 PM

Yeah, I do have an old machine I can strip apart. I'm unable to tonight however, so I'll try it tomorrow morning.

Thanks for your help.
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 10, 2012 8:18:05 PM

No problem, I hope we both luck out with our problems.. I'll let you know if my checksum error is resolved with the Asus board I have en routed. Comes Tuesday.
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March 11, 2012 6:42:56 AM

jonnyhockey said:
Update to my previous post:

The complete error message (when set to RAID(XHD) is:

Serial ATA AHCI BIOS, Version iSrc 1.20E
Copyright (c) 2003-2008 Intel Corporation
**This version supports only Hard Disk and CDROM drives**
Please wait. This will take a few seconds.

Controller Bus#00, Device#1F, Funtion#82: 86 Ports
AHCI BIOS not installed


Ok, on this did you install SATA controller drivers when you were installing windows? As you may recall in the early days of SATA you had to install the drivers during the windows install like they were SCSI drivers. The only way to avoid this was to use AHCI mode. I got to thinking about that because you mentioned "The complete error message (when set to RAID(XHD) is" So try dropping it into AHCI mode and see what happens.

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March 11, 2012 6:47:52 AM

nekulturny said:
No problem, I hope we both luck out with our problems.. I'll let you know if my checksum error is resolved with the Asus board I have en routed. Comes Tuesday.


The sabertooth boards are really nice, I have a buddy that has one. Installed it myself...and spent hours fixing his jacked cooling system and cable layout. It is normal for ASUS boards to get bios updates to add support for newer CPUs. I had a P5B deluxe that i had to update the BIOS in order to use my core 2 extreme a couple years back. I think you will be very happy with it.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 7:10:19 AM

jonnyhockey said:
Greetings,

So, I fired it up, and I thought I was laughing, as it did NOT cycle at the beginning. It went right through the BIOS, but then I hit another snag. The following error:

Loading Operating System ...
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER


OK, so I put my Windows 7 CD back in and changed the boot order to boot from the cd drive first. Exact same error.



I hate these long threads where it looks like people are missing obvious things. Folks, slow down and read carefully.

Mike, you successfully dealt with your BIOS issue, it would seem. Also, you were able to change the device order in your BIOS, indicating that the BIOS is successfully seeing your drives.

However, you don't seem to be able to read or write to these drives. Changing around your HDD compatibility to RAID did not help at all, and may have corrupted the data on your HDD.

Your configuration details are somewhat lacking.

What HDD?
What optical drive?

Three more questions:
Can you still boot from a thumb drive?
Can you boot from a different disk? Like Ultimate Boot CD?
Did you swap out your data cables to both drives?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 7:23:15 AM

Proximon said:
I hate these long threads where it looks like people are missing obvious things. Folks, slow down and read carefully.

Mike, you successfully dealt with your BIOS issue, it would seem. Also, you were able to change the device order in your BIOS, indicating that the BIOS is successfully seeing your drives.

However, you don't seem to be able to read or write to these drives. Changing around your HDD compatibility to RAID did not help at all, and may have corrupted the data on your HDD.

Your configuration details are somewhat lacking.

What HDD?
What optical drive?

Three more questions:
Can you still boot from a thumb drive?
Can you boot from a different disk? Like Ultimate Boot CD?
Did you swap out your data cables to both drives?



Read the first sentence of your post, stopped, and looked at the quote you posted, and saw it. You're right. *blush*
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March 11, 2012 3:50:54 PM

Proximon said:
I hate these long threads where it looks like people are missing obvious things. Folks, slow down and read carefully.

Mike, you successfully dealt with your BIOS issue, it would seem. Also, you were able to change the device order in your BIOS, indicating that the BIOS is successfully seeing your drives.

However, you don't seem to be able to read or write to these drives. Changing around your HDD compatibility to RAID did not help at all, and may have corrupted the data on your HDD.

Your configuration details are somewhat lacking.

What HDD?
What optical drive?

Three more questions:
Can you still boot from a thumb drive?
Can you boot from a different disk? Like Ultimate Boot CD?
Did you swap out your data cables to both drives?


The HDD is a Western Digital 500GB
The Optical Drive is SuperWritemaster Speedplus

I haven't tried booting from a thumb drive, just the original windows 7 disk. When flashing the BIOS, it did recognize a thumb drive however.
And as for the data cables, no I have not swapped them out. I don't have any extra ones.

Another tidbit: my CD Drive has no power to it. ?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 6:51:41 PM

Could you be more specific on the optical drive? part number?

All the Samsung SATA drives I know of have a power connection. Different than the old type, they are a cable that looks like this

http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/std/sku=SATA_power

Any modern PSU comes with these connectors.
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March 11, 2012 7:07:31 PM

Optical drive is Samsung SH-222BB, DVD Writer, SATA

Yes, it's plugged into the power supply via one of those cables.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 7:10:03 PM

Ah I misunderstood. You mean there's no indication that it's getting power.
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March 11, 2012 7:13:52 PM

Correct. The button to open/close the tray does not function. I tried plugging into another computer, and the button didn't work there either.

I can manually open and close it, but why doesn't it have power? Brand new drive, only ever used once or twice.

This damn computer is falling apart.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 7:22:27 PM

Sounds to me like the hard drive failed or its partition table got blown away, one of the two.

If you can see the dvd drive in the BIOS, that should mean it is getting power and everything.

If so, I would try to reinstall Windows.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 7:49:58 PM

A corrupted BIOS, a HDD gone bad, and a failed DVD drive all at once? That does sound like a failed PSU or some sort of power spike. Did you have a bad storm?
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March 11, 2012 8:23:51 PM

No bad storm, however we do get power outages every few weeks. Can't recall if we got one around the time this happened.

So, in BIOS it doesn't seem to recognize either my HDD, or CD drive. Plugged in an old HDD and it was recognized.

Tried plugging my HDD and CD Drive into an old Computer, and neither were recognized.

So, is it possible that a spike in power fried both my HDD and my CD drive?
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 11, 2012 10:28:50 PM

Seems like it. I suggest a power conditioner or a good UPS, but I don't have current knowledge on those products to recommend anything.

You do have to worry about the board still also. RMA whatever you can at this point.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2012 12:11:42 AM

We use an APC UPS in the wall and a surge protector plugged into that. On the other side of that is our computers.

This is the best way to protect yourself and the best way to configure the items if you are going to use all of them.

However, I am not sure the motherboard's BIOS ever failed.

The BIOSs these days are chain loaders. In times past, you could fit the whole BIOS in a couple K of memory on the motherboard, now all you can fit in that space is a call to load from somewhere else.

So you might end up going through 3 or 4 separate BIOSs before you get into the OS.

It is my guess that all the ones on the motherboard are/were fine and the one(s) that were on the hard drive were the ones that failed as a result of the whole drive failing.

It could be that the hard drive's hardware failed or it could just be that the partitions got blown away by the power problems.

We can't know all that till we get the CD drive thing sorted, though. If we can get a working drive and a bootable CD in there, we should be able to try and install Windows. If the file system is gone it will still be able to re-partition it and install Windows new. If the whole drive is gone then it won't see it or the install will fail partway through.

I would recommend acquiring a new CD drive as the next step. If a new one is to be bought, the Asus one in my signature is the best of the best.
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a c 113 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2012 3:49:32 AM

That seems reasonable :) 
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March 12, 2012 5:17:39 PM

Well, I took both the hard drive, and the cd drive into NCIX to be tested, and was told that both are shot.

Next step is sending them in to the manufacturer to see if there's any chance of warranty covering them. Thoughts on that? Am I SOL?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 12, 2012 5:46:36 PM

jonnyhockey said:
Well, I took both the hard drive, and the cd drive into NCIX to be tested, and was told that both are shot.

Next step is sending them in to the manufacturer to see if there's any chance of warranty covering them. Thoughts on that? Am I SOL?


http://support.wdc.com/warranty/rmapacking.asp

http://support.wdc.com/warranty/policy.asp

Well, I checked that link out, I can't see any related to a bad PSU voiding the warranty. I would just call them and tell them "look, Linus (bad youtube reference) from NCIX told me my hard drive is bad, its under warranty, gimme a new one"

When you call them, treat it like a police interrogation, don't volunteer any more information than you have to in order to get an RMA. That may seem unethical to some people, but lets face it, manufacturers look for any reason they legally can to void your warranty. If they weren't shady, their customers wouldn't have to be either.
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March 12, 2012 6:00:51 PM

Haha, thanks.

Ya, I've already filled out the RMA form and they'll be sending me one soon. Next is Samsung.

Next up is my laptop overheating issue, but I've tapped your services dry for now, and will allow a 30 day cooling off period. :) 
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March 12, 2012 6:43:29 PM

Just realized that my Samsung drive retails for about $20. It's going to cost me that much to ship it back to them. Not worth the hassle.

@Raiddinn, the ASUS drive you suggested is on sale for $19 right now, so I went ahead and ordered one. Thanks again.
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March 17, 2012 1:23:11 PM

Update:

New HDD and optical drive have arrived. As it appeared that my issue was with the drives, and not the motherboard, I returned the new motherboard, and went back to my original one.

Well, now when I power up, I'm back to the original cycle of, lights come on, fans start spinning, and then it goes dead. This repeats over and over, and never does fire up.

This would appear to be my PSU would it not? The only reason I'm intrigued by that is, it had no issues getting to the BIOS screen before, both with this motherboard, and PSU.

:pt1cable: 
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2012 1:34:58 PM

That would appear like a PSU problem yes, just for shits and giggles have you tried a different outlet? Another surge protector strip even?

When a computer fires up, it checks to make sure its receiving a stable current before firing up the main components. If it doesn't find relative stability it may begin to cycle endlessly.

Sorry you're still having problems, I managed to get my new mobo in, very happy with it, was able to achieve my first overclock as well. Now lets get yours running!
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March 17, 2012 2:13:22 PM

Just tried a few outlets, with and without the surge protector. Nada, same problem.

I'll have my brother bring over his PSU again and see what happens.
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March 17, 2012 5:13:47 PM

Question, does a power supply either work 100%, or be completely useless?

I kept friggin' around with the power button and cables and what-not, and eventually it booted up. So I'm in the middle of installing Widows 7 onto my new (replacement) HDD, but am left with wondering what the future holds for the machine, as I don't want to live with the fear that at any moment, my computer is going to go belly up again?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2012 5:23:44 PM

jonnyhockey said:
Question, does a power supply either work 100%, or be completely useless?

I kept friggin' around with the power button and cables and what-not, and eventually it booted up. So I'm in the middle of installing Widows 7 onto my new (replacement) HDD, but am left with wondering what the future holds for the machine, as I don't want to live with the fear that at any moment, my computer is going to go belly up again?



Depends on whats wrong with it, I want to say technically yes.. It can not work 100% and still function adequately, but no, I would not trust my computer components to a power supply that has demonstrated faults, no matter how insignificant. Not only does it present a hazard to the computer components, but a fire hazard as well, again depending on why jostling the wires was able to get it working. Sounds to me like maybe some of the pins in the power supply might not be making good contact for whatever reason.

What specifically were you foolin around with when it started working?

But in the meantime, good to know that its running!

BTW, I know how you feel about that paranoia of something else going wrong. I had mobo and one of my RAM sticks die week 3 of my build, it happens, but.. better sooner than later I suppose.
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March 17, 2012 6:09:06 PM

Basically I just un-plugged, and re-connected everything.

Actually, I only have one of my two memory sticks seated right now. I'll put the other one in and try booting it up.
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March 17, 2012 6:11:44 PM

Hmm, it won't start with the second memory stick attached.
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2012 6:13:02 PM

If the computer restarts over and over after you turn it on, its often a problem with RAM.

Not pushing it far enough in could cause this sort of situation. Sometimes you gotta push hard to get it all the way in the slot.

It could be just that you didn't push it far enough in for it to get a solid connection to the slot.

- Edit - After you insert a new stick, the BIOS may not update itself correctly right away. You may have to take the battery out for 30 min and put it back in to get it to rebuild itself from scratch.
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March 17, 2012 6:16:08 PM

With one memory stick in, and one out, it starts after 5 or 6 cycles. With both in, it cycles endlessly.

Raiddinn, I'll try to push them in again, although the latch seems to snap shut when I put them in.
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March 17, 2012 6:17:41 PM

I have the two sticks in DDR3_1, and DDR3_2. Does it matter if I use DDR3_3, or DDR3_4?
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a c 118 B Homebuilt system
March 17, 2012 6:24:48 PM

jonnyhockey said:
I have the two sticks in DDR3_1, and DDR3_2. Does it matter if I use DDR3_3, or DDR3_4?



I would set it up in whichever configuration your Mobo's owner's manual recommends for "Dual Channel". 1 and 3 for example.

If you have a board with multi colored RAM slots that makes it easy, you want RAM to be in the matching color. If the picture of your board that I'm looking at is right, either the 2 white slots or the 2 blue shouldn't matter which you pick.
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March 17, 2012 6:25:49 PM

OK, so it seems like DDR_2 is shot. Using DDR_1 and DDR_4 it works fine.
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March 17, 2012 6:27:25 PM

1 and 2 are white, 3 and 4 are blue. It didn't work with one of them in 2, but now it's working in 1 and 4, (white and blue). :S
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March 17, 2012 7:05:04 PM

Next issue:

Plugged in an ethernet cable, green light came on, seems fine, however, no connection to the internet made.

Clicked on 'Troubleshoot', and "Install a driver for your network adapter" appeared. I shouldn't have to install any drivers, should I?
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March 17, 2012 7:26:08 PM

im not going to read all the posts here just going to comment. with computer off reset cmos. start and go to bios and load default to be sure this is done. if you get a load disc shut off by switching off power supply. start,if it wants to check system and system restore do it. if it loads system restore anyway. go to command promp.open as adminastrator and type in the command sfc/scannow and hit enter. if it does not say there errors you are in good shape. donot run checkdisk. unlest you have hours to sit around and twirl your thumbs. ill check the posts later to see how you are doing. hope this helps abit. been there before with gigabyte mobo. if you ate running an fx cpu with a 970 chipset and you umped to bios f6 or f7 from f3 we may have to flash back and start again. perhaps someone else knows more good luck.
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