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Old 04-12-2004, 11:28 AM   #1
Rory in Toronto
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can't engage bios on start-up


This is an odd problem I'm having.

I had an issue yesterday (see backstory) that prevented me from powering down with a forced power off and engaging the bios on power up.

On power down, it would log out correctly and then leave me at a prompt.

MY CURRENT PROBLEM: On power up, the drive kicks in but the screen stays blank, as if the bios hasn't been engaged. I push the little reboot button (not power button) on my server and it triggers the bios and I get in from there without a problem.

Does it sound like my ACPI settings got messed during my crash?

I went in to the "Bootloader" screen and noticed that "enable ACPI" and "Force no APIC" were *not* selected. I'm pretty sure they had been before, when I initially loaded the ISOs. So, I selected both.

Now, on power down, the computer just shuts off, as it should. However, I'm still having the power up problem. Computer turns on, I hear the HD ramp up. Screen black. Bios doesn't appear to be engaged. I have to hit the little reboot button to get it to engage. I've toggled the "enable ACPI" and Force no APIC" selections, but that hasn't helped.

My motherboard is a circa 2000 AOpen AX6BC, in case that helps.

Any suggestions?

Rory

Backstory:
I updated MDK 10.0CE via URPMI yesterday. During the same session, I decided to play with "hotplugging" and tried pulling out my soundcare while KDE was up, to see if it would recognize that and then possibly recognize it when I put it back in (I can't get my sound working).

Instead, my whole graphical interface froze and I had to re-boot. I got back in pretty easily and all seemed fine. I then installed a new version of superkaramba via ./configure. At the end, I went down to to the taskbar and it just disappeared. Everything else seemed okay. A problem with X? So, I powered down. On power up I had a number of issues getting back in that required me to reset my autologin, graphical environment, etc. I eventually did and the HD prompted to be checked on start-up a couple of times, but everything seemed okay.

I then ran in to the power down/power up problem (see above), so clearly a setting got switch when I was getting back up and running and I can't figure out which one it is.
 
Old 04-12-2004, 12:06 PM   #2
michaelk
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Hotplug sound card? Is the soundcard a USB device or a PCI card? Hotplugging is for firewire and USB devices only.

You should not remove PCI cards while power is on. You could seriously damage your motherboard and PC.
 
Old 04-12-2004, 12:53 PM   #3
vdemuth
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Location: West Midlands, UK
Distribution: Slackware 14 (Server),Suse 13.1 (Desktop),, Mepis on the wifes lappy
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Hi,
The fault you describe has all the earmarks of a memory parity error on boot. If you have access to a POST card, then try this in your PC to find the problem. Otherwise, discharge your BIOS (should find a small jumper pin on your mobo by the battery to do this) then setup your mobo again using safe settings initially. I suspect that you may have fried a memory chip when you pulled your sound card. Other than that, you will need to strip your PC and rebuild it to find the faulty component.
 
Old 04-12-2004, 01:05 PM   #4
Rory in Toronto
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Yes, I agree. I believe I blew something when I pulled the soundcard. Dumb, but not something I did not consider. It's my old junk computer I tinkering with Linux on, which allows me to make such dumb choices.

However, the process you described is wayyy beyond my skill set. So, I'll rest easy for now. On boot up now, it's kicking in and booting some times, while others it is a black screen until I hit my little reboot button. So, it's intermittent, which suggests to me it may be the problem you're suggesting. On the other hand, every time I need to press that reboot button, it works 100% of the time.
 
Old 04-12-2004, 01:16 PM   #5
vdemuth
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Nah,
If you can use a screwdriver, you can strip and rebuild your PC. Assuming it's not a big name like HP/Compaq etc. Just make a quick sketch of where everything plugs in, and which way around cables are.e.g. disc drive cables usuallly have a red stripe indicating pin 1, or which way around it should go. Then when youve made your diagram, start to unplug things and try a power up between each step. If the problem remains, then switch off, refit whatever you just unplugged and the disconnect something else, then switch back on etc etc.......
Just remember, all you are trying to acheive is a consistent boot up to the bios screen to start with, all other considerations are secondary for the moment.
 
Old 04-12-2004, 05:47 PM   #6
michaelk
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BTW you can also hotswap IDE and SCSI devices but only with the correct hardware.

Logic states that whatever you last touched is the first place to look. The sound card maybe damgaged which is causing the IRQ controller on the mobo not to work correctly unless a hard reset. However I suspect that the mobo itself was damaged. Either the PCI controller chipset or the IRQ controller. Since memory is not directory attached to the same bus as PCI cards the only way you might of damaged it would be through power. You could run memory tests to verify.

Since its a junk computer and its working when you press the reset button then I wouldn't mess with it. If resetting the BIOS is way beyond your skills then now is the time to learn. Go to your local library or book store and read up on PC repair.

PC 101
BIOS - Basic Input / Output System. Its CPU instructions stored in memory (modern PCs use flash memory but older PCs used PROMs) that get the computer to boot, run through the POST (Power On Self Test i.e. memory tests and other stuff) and provide the glue to interface with the hardware like chipsets etc. With out the BIOS your PC is nothing but a doorstop.

Last edited by michaelk; 04-12-2004 at 05:50 PM.
 
  


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