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Unable to enter BIOS setup - HELP!!!!

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May 16, 2012 11:12:26 PM

I have an older HP Pavillion desktop (a406x) which suddenly stopped booting and will no longer even let me enter BIOS SETUP! When I turn it on, no matter what else I do (hit keyboard keys until my fingers fall off), it lights up the monitor with a blue screen with the HP logo in the center and "INVENT" below that, and then some geometric icons in the upper left hand corner (triangle, square, arrow, etc.)

Since I cannot get it to enter BIOS SETUP (usually by hitting the DEL key as you press start), I am thinking my BIOS has been corrupted - one of the users carelessly visited websites that have viruses, so, I am wondering if a virus could somehow clobber the BIOS chip? I used the jumper to CLEAR CMOS and then use DEFAULTS CMOS, but it made no difference. I disconnected the H/D's also - no difference - still that blue screen. Both the CD and DVD doors open and close, all fans spin up, and the floppy door opens but no attempt is made to boot from the floppy.

There is a VIA chip on the ATVBX-LA motherboard (I don't know the brand) with the number VT8237 - could that be the BIOS CHIP - I hope not because it seems to be soldered onto the motherboard and not removable to be replaced.

If anyone has any experience - please respond - any advice would be greatly appreciated.

I am wondering if this motherboard is still available, in case I have to replace it - overall, the various components seem to be in good shape, so, I would like to fix it if whatever part I need can be identified and obtained.

Thanks, guys.
a b α HP
May 17, 2012 12:27:49 AM

Any chance you swapped out an original PS2 keyboard for a USB keyboard? I've seen older bios that will not respond to USB.

Download and burn a CD boot disk. (google ultimate boot CD or pick your own) See if it will boot with a CD.

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May 17, 2012 3:52:12 PM

I tried to boot from CD - system will NOT commence with power-on-self-test (POST). It is hung at the very start showing the HP logo screen.
I tried both PS2 and USB keyboards - no change. The motherboard is ASUS A7V8X-LA - can anyone comment about a replacement to that will be compatible with everything else? I don't know what model CPU it is, but it is square and is probably a Celeron from 2001. I am looking for either a compatible mboard, or a replacement mboard/cpu combo that will accept the RAM from this one, and have DMA0 and DMA1 since all peripherals are IDE. What a shame - sure wish I could figure out what happened here.
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Related resources
a b α HP
May 17, 2012 4:42:48 PM

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en...

The motherboard is very old and the link above will give you the spec's of the motherboard and what it has. It's an AGP video and the ram is 184 pin. You will have a hard time trying to find a compatable board that will take the components that you have .

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?rls=com.microsof...

http://www.pacificgeek.com/product.asp?c=211&s=1046&ID=...
This might be the same as what you now have and you will have to look and see if it's the same.
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a b α HP
May 17, 2012 11:37:30 PM

leatherbury said:
I tried to boot from CD - system will NOT commence with power-on-self-test (POST). It is hung at the very start showing the HP logo screen.
I tried both PS2 and USB keyboards - no change. The motherboard is ASUS A7V8X-LA - can anyone comment about a replacement to that will be compatible with everything else? I don't know what model CPU it is, but it is square and is probably a Celeron from 2001. I am looking for either a compatible mboard, or a replacement mboard/cpu combo that will accept the RAM from this one, and have DMA0 and DMA1 since all peripherals are IDE. What a shame - sure wish I could figure out what happened here.


K.

So there are a number of possibilities.

1. a bad memory dimm is keeping the system from posting
2. a bad PCIPCIe/Mini-pci card is keeping the system from posting
3. a bad hard drive, optical drive, etc. is keeping the system from posting
4. other attached peripherals, network, external drive, etc.
5. bad motherboard
6. bad power supply
7. something else. e.g. cpu (but it's never CPU).

Suggest you do some debugging before trying replacement MB.

Std debugging is to pull parts until it posts, or until you are down to just the MB, PSU and CPU. Once at MB, PSU, CPU it's usually the PSU, followed by MB. rarely the cpu.

gl.

here is a good ref:. http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-ste...
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May 18, 2012 2:50:56 AM

To my utter surprise, it started booting! What I had done was to remove the CPU fan and heatsink in order to see what model CPU was there and what type CPU socket (462). I also disconnected the 20-pin power plug, the cmos battery, and removed the memory chips (2). After I put all these things back together, to my dismay it started up when I hit the "start button". It actually booted up to windows home. So I am confounded as to what I did that made the difference, but, such is the life of a PC hobby buff.

Since the system had been infected with a debilitating virus that slows down any and all inputs (to an infuriating crawl), I decided to use HP's system recovery option (F10 on startup), to restore the system back to factory conditions. We had already agreed to dispense with any files saved since factory settings. I was very impressed with how HP's system recovery re-installed windows xp home, until the very last step ("Finish"), from where it hung endlessly. Every time I tried to boot, it would go right back to that last "system recovery" screen announcing that I had succesfully resotred the system to factory status, and offers me only one option, to click the "finish" button, after which it hangs - every time. So I booted up with a different CD containing XP, and used the repair console to run fixboot and fixmbr, but, they didn't help except it allowed me to select "safe mode", or "last known good configuration", and these options informed me that one of my system files was corrupted (C:\Windows\System32\Config\system).
So, I went ahead and installed a 2nd windows xp onto the same hard drive (in a new WINDOWS2 folder), which ran just fine and works OK except I am having fits trying to get all the drivers installed for this 2nd XP (which comes up as the default boot selection after POST). I tried to copy the good version of "system" from my WINDOWS2 folder onto the corrupted version on my WINDOWS folder, but, it refused, saying that the file ("system") was in use and could not be copied.

The main problem I have now is getting the remaining drivers for the 2nd XP system installed - ethernet controller and USB2 controller). The HP website had no drivers specifically by those names, but they did have a "chipset" driver for download, but, when I downloaded it and ran the ".exe file, all it did was to copy a set of drivers onto a folder on my C: drive and instruct me to use Control Panel to update the drivers. I tried every way from sunday but none of the drivers provided under "chipset" were found to be for either "ethernet controller" or "USB2 controller".

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can get the drivers for these two remianing "yellow" markers (in Device manager)? I really need USB to be able to use thumb drives, and, I think I need the ethernet controller, but, I really don't know what it is for. HP's website did provide good drivers for Video, Sound, LAN, and Keyboard.

The motherboard is ASUS A7V8X-LA, if anyone has the drivers for USB2, please respond.
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