Very strange bootup problem

This is a discussion on Very strange bootup problem within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I have a Dell XPS. The hard drive is a Hitachi Deskstar 80GB. When I start the system the case ...

  1. #1

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    Very strange bootup problem

    I have a Dell XPS. The hard drive is a Hitachi Deskstar 80GB. When I start the system the case speaker beeps, and it gives me a few options. It says:

    "hit ctrl I to enter the configuration utility, Press F1 to continue, or press F2 to enter setup."

    This has not happened before.

    When I press CTRL+I, nothing happens. Pressing F1 to continue starts up the computer as normal. Pressing F2 brings me to the BIOS setup.

    This is what it lists under drive configuration:

    "SATA RAID ... On (always been this way as far as I know)

    Primary Master Drive ... Hard Drive
    Primary Slave, etc, Unknown*** "

    This is what it says under hard disk drive sequence:
    " 1. System BIOS boot devices
    2. Unknown device (not installed)"

    This is what it says under Boot Sequence:
    "1. Hard-Disk drive C
    2. CD-ROM device (not installed)***
    3. Diskette Drive"




    *** I disconnected the optical drives for debugging purposes. I had been fiddling around with the jumper settings to see if, perhaps, that was the problem. Currently, the jumper settings on the main drive is on 'cable select.' When I remove the jumpers altogether, the system does not start, e.g. hitting F1 to continue repeats the same message, and I cannot ever get into windows, must manually power down, and replace the jumpers.

    I have tried every jumper setting.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Dead BIOS battery?
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  3. #3

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    Is there a way to test it?

    EDIT:
    The time and date is still accurate on the system.
    I'm not immature, I'm refined in the opposite direction.

  4. #4
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    It was a shot in the dark. But a way to test it is to remove it and check if the same boot up message and BIOS settings exist. However, if the system clock is still accurate, that is not the problem. (Since the power requirements are so low, a dead battery is easy checked if you have any device where you can put it. My laptop battery is the same as a small magnetic alarm clock I have on my fridge).

    Anyways, it was a shot in the dark as I said. Try to load the BIOS Factory Defaults and see if they stick. If not, Its a dead battery. Otherwise I'll let someone else step in
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  5. #5
    {Jaxom,Imriel,Liam}'s Dad Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobMcGee123
    Is there a way to test it?

    EDIT:
    The time and date is still accurate on the system.
    Your BIOS battery could still be bad if you have an ATX PS which will continue to provide power to your clock, just doesn't give stable power to the CMOS. I'd guess battery too. And, yes there is a way to test. Unplug your machine hit the power button (you'll have some capacitors with a residual charge and the front leds may light) then plug back in and see what happens. . . . that is, if you don't have a volt meter or the knowledge to use one.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    The only other option is that perhaps there is a small short in the power or signal cable to your SATA which would be the same as unplugging the drive thus resetting the BIOS information for that drive and channel.

    If there is a short in the power cable it would be best to replace it. I used to have an old cable that had this issue and it finally killed my drive when it shorted during a disk access and reset the drive mid-access. Not good.

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