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Bios Freezes


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#1 trevzilla

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:41 PM

I attempted to turn on my computer the other day, and was rudely greeted with a frozen bios screen. The Bios seems to load about a third of the way, when it says "f2=setup, f12=boot menu" and then it loads no further.

I was hoping some other people on the forum may have some ideas of what can be done, hopefully short of buying a new motherboard.

I've already tried the following.
-Removing RAM. (I don't have any other RAM to plug into the computer though,so I don't know if it is officially the RAM causing the issue)
-Resetting the CMOS on the motherboard
-Completely removing the motherboard battery
-Booting with Linux Live CD.
-I can't even get past the bios to where a new boot option could be selected, so I can't boot into linux, or try a memtest.

Following is a picture of where the Bios is freezing.
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/XPB0cJNVTdP1zcQEpyElDmQTbXhO-qKcHL0QpVwxy2k?feat=directlink

I was hoping some body could maybe help me with flashing my bios, or some other crazy hardware trick that might help get my computer up and running again.

If it helps, the symptom isn't completely new either. For about the last month, my bios would freeze after the bar loaded all the way. Generally I just had to wait about 5 minutes, or reset the computer, and it would load fine from there. This is the first time it has not gotten through. :(

Thanks for any help you can offer. I'm all ears!
Trevor

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#2 dc3

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:08 AM

First off, this isn't your BIOS. The only thing associated with the BIOS is the POST (Power On Self Test) which looks at all the peripheral devices to make sure they are functioning properly. If you are getting this far, then it has gotten past the POST.

What happens when you try either of the two options on the screen?

Have you tried to boot into Safe Mode?

What happens when you try to boot from the Linux CD?

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#3 trevzilla

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:32 PM

When I try either option on screen nothing happens. It continues to stay frozen in the same state that is shown in the screen shot.

Same when I try to boot from the Linux Live CD. It simply loads up to that point, then freezes. It never even gets to a point where it'll attempt to read from a CD or a thumbdrive.

I guess I don't even know how to boot into safe mode when it is freezing this early in the game. I was under the impression that the Boot options all came after this "bios" screen loaded. This freeze is happening approximately 1-2 seconds after I hit the power button. I just tried hitting F8 and Del during startup, but it is still loading to the same point and freezing.

#4 Eyesee

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:09 PM

Im thinking that you have a hard drive that is failing.

Whats the make/model of the system?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 trevzilla

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:25 PM

The system is a Dell Optiplex 320. However, the components are pretty mixed and matched. I've got three hard drives in there, A different video card, and different RAM from the manufactured computer.

I guess I could see it being a bad hard drive. I'll try plugging in one of my other drives as the primary master, and see if I can get anywhere. I'll keep in touch.

#6 Eyesee

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:47 PM

Certainly worth a try.
Keep us posted.
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#7 trevzilla

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:45 PM

So here is the news.

First I simply tried unplugging my main hard drive. (SATA0). Froze in the same place.
I tried plugging my secondary hard drive into the primary place. (SATA2 into SATA0). Froze in the same place.
I tried unplugging all drives. (SATA0 SATA2 and PATA0). Froze in the same place.

I then plugged in a monitor that reacts a little more quickly than my first monitor. My first monitor wouldn't turn on until it was already frozen. When I plugged in another monitor I saw the following scrawled on the screen for a split second. I think this is simple POST stuff, but maybe someone knows more about it than me.

It says: X300 SE 128MB BIOS P/N 113-A33406-100

Then it boots into the Dell screen, and freezes exactly where it has in the past.

Any more thoughts?

edit:Changed SATA and PATA numbers to their correct values.

Edited by trevzilla, 04 March 2011 - 05:31 AM.


#8 caperdog

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:13 PM

you could try plugging in a usb keyboard, maybe your keypad is toast.

#9 dc3

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:20 PM

The X300 SE 128MB is referring to your graphics card. Try removing your dedicated graphics card and run the integrated graphics.

Is you clock keeping proper time?

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#10 trevzilla

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:22 AM

Well, I have good news! As caperdog stated, maybe my keyboard was an issue. Funny he says that because a day or two I actually got rid of my ps2 keyboard and plugged in a usb (an usb?) keyboard. I plugged it into a/an usb hub too. Well, looks like that hub was causing issues! After I plugged the keyboard directly into a port, I am now getting past the "bios" screen!

Thank you all for your help!!!

However, now that I've messed with the computer and tried all sorts of things, I'm getting two errors:

First it says: "Floppy Diskette seek failure" - which doesn't bother me, because I have no floppy drive. I hit F1 to continue.
Then it says: "NTLDR is missing - Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

That implies a bad hard drive to me, but I thought I might also ask the internets. :)

I should be able to find this issue on Google, but incase people want to help anyway, I made sure that I plugged my three drives into the correct places. (SATA 0, SATA 2, and PATA 0. (My CD-ROM is in SATA 1)). I've also unplugged all drives, and only plugged in one at a time, and I either get the same error...NTLDR is missing... or I get "Drive 4 not connected, Drive 5 not connected"

Any thoughts on how to complete my boot sequence from here? Oh, and when I checked my boot sequence in BIOS, the only hard drive option available is my PATA drive, which is not my boot drive. For some reason the SATA drives are greyed out and I can not select them as my first boot option.

Thanks again!

#11 killerx525

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:33 AM

If you have Windows 7, you use the disk to a startup repair which should fix that NTLDR message.

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#12 caperjac

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 06:30 AM

First it says: "Floppy Diskette seek failure" - which doesn't bother me, because I have no floppy drive. I hit F1 to continue


simply go into the bios setup and set floppy drive to none !

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#13 trevzilla

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:47 PM

I'm typing this reply on my successfully booted up computer! Thanks everyone for your insight! I'm stoked my motherboard wasn't fried like my initial thoughts were!

Just to tell you how I got it booted up, I took caperjac's thought of turning off the floppy disk. When I went into those options, I noticed that not only was the floppy drive defaulted to "on" but sata0, sata1, and sata2 were defaulted to "off." All I had to do was turn those on, and my computer knew where to boot from. :)

Again, thanks for all the help! It's much appreciated!

Trevor

#14 Eyesee

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 05:06 PM

Good Job!! :thumbsup:
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#15 dc3

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:48 PM

Because these setting changed I would suggest replacing the CMOS battery. A failing battery can reset the BIOS to its default settings.

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