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Problems After Power Outage


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#1 bikerbill

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:33 AM

I have a Dell Dimension E510 running XP.  Yeah, I know, I need to get a new system.  The other day we lost power for five hours during a storm (a power pole snapped off).  My computer was running when the power dropped.  When the power was restored two problems appeared.  First, when booting up I get a “floppy diskette seek failure” message.  If I hit F1 for continue the system goes ahead and boots up without any problems.  The thing is, I have no floppy diskette drive.  I’ve done some searching and it seems I can go into the BIOS and disable the floppy diskette drive.  I haven’t tried that yet.  I’m always nervous messing around with the BIOS. 

 

The more concerning issue is that I have no sound from my system.  The speakers don’t work, the headphones don’t work, there are no system sounds, nothing from CD’s, nothing from YouTube, etc.  My sound card is a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS.  I ran through the troubleshooter for it and it could not identify the problem.  Same for the audio trouble shooter in Windows.  I’ve checked all the volume controls and they’re right where I would expect them to be. 

 

Could this business with the floppy drive be affecting my audio?  Is there much risk going into the BIOS and disabling the floppy drive?  What else can I do?



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#2 YeahBleeping

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:44 AM

Well it sounds like your computer's bios was reset.  So I wonder if the battery on the motherboard is no good maybe need to replace that.  You should be able to go into the bios and 'load system defaults' disable the floppy drive if it is disabled and reboot.  This may not fix your sound problem.  For the sound .. try taking out the sound card and re-seating it.  Of course there is the possibility that the power outage surge/ may have taken out your sound card.



#3 Zach6656

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 11:57 AM

^exactly what he said, seems like your battery died via a surge, and it reset your BIOS, going into the bios with F2 and you will see the diskette drive option, just switch it to off and a-oK! even if you messed something up it can always be fixed sy simply resetting the BIOS!


Edited by hamluis, 01 July 2015 - 02:22 PM.
Typo - Hamluis.

always use DD-WRT for all your routers, if you cant get it for them, throw them away


#4 mjd420nova

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 06:03 PM

Power outages and surges can wreak havoc on a system.  The CMOS battery might have been borderline to start and the power loss put you into default.  Replace the battery and reset the BIOS to factory reset/default.  This should get things back on track.



#5 bikerbill

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 08:01 PM

Thanks boys.  I F2'd into the setup utility for the BIOS.  It was set to boot from the floppy drive, which I don't have.  I changed that so it boots from the SATA hard drive.  That got rid of the floppy diskette seek failure message.  It did nothing to fix the lack of audio, however.  I will try reseating the sound card but I have a feeling the power drop/surge maybe did indeed fry the card.  eBay has them for $10 to $15, used.

 

This CMOS battery everyone keeps referring to got me to thinking.  I've had this system for over 9 years and I've never changed that battery.  I did notice after the power drop that the time was way off.  There must be some kind of keep-alive power that the system provides even when it's turned off.  When we come back from two weeks of vacation the time is basically correct.  I'm an electrical engineer so I know that CMOS stand for complimentary metal oxide semiconductor, the technology used in the chips.  What I don't understand is why this battery is called the CMOS battery, and not a backup battery or something else.  Can someone enlighten me on the nomenclature?  As I understand it, it powers the time, date, and system configuration functions.    



#6 YeahBleeping

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 07:33 AM

The CMOS battery has always been called that since I can remember.  Normally these simply do not 'die' since they only draw power when the motherboard does not have power.  (though it does happen)  Yes it saves the configuration of the CMOS BIOS and keeps the clock circuits with power which is why when the system does not keep time when no power is present is a good indicator that the CMOS battery is bad.  Why it was never called a backup battery I don't know.  Enjoy your vacation !



#7 mjd420nova

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 11:55 AM

CMOS refers to the type of chip that is used to hold the configuration and keep the clock running.  Some newer units do have a five volt supply that is always on to power the main power switch, whether it powers the CMOS I don't think so.  Some laptops have the battery built into the chip socket that holds CMOS chip.  These are kept up to voltage by that five volts but when disconnected from AC power but is more of a capacitor than a battery so will loose its charge and default all the BIOS settings.  Most common ate the "coin" type cells (2016, 2025, 2032) that last under normal conditions around four years.  I have seen a few units where the cell leaked unto the MOBO and the corrosion ate some of the traces off the board.



#8 bikerbill

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:11 AM

Thanks for the background on the CMOS battery.

 

So back to my lack of audio.  I just recalled that when I powered up the system after the power drop/surge, I recall seeing a message about needing to do something about a SigmaTel audio codec.  I think I had to reinstall a driver.  It was very quick and easy so I forgot I did anything until now.  I'm wondering if this codec might me at the heart of my no-audio problem.  Is this codec on the mortherboard?  Since I have a sound card would I also have an audio codec on it?  Could there be some conflict between the two.  I looked at Device Manager and it said the SigmaTel codec was working fine.  Any suggestions?  



#9 YeahBleeping

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Posted 03 July 2015 - 07:42 AM

Because you have a sound card the Sigma audio codec should be basically disabled.  Although you could try uninstalling / reinstalling a driver for it I am not sure it would help.(Your speakers should be connected to the sound card) so a onboard sound driver won't help you.  I would concentrate on the sound card (see if it works in another machine) If it does then you may simply need to reinstall the soundcard drivers- but I suspect the sound card is now dead.






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