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  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
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    One of our computers, a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop running WinXP-SP3 has begun displaying a black screen at start-up with the BIOS details then "Invalid Configuration please run Setup" - then a line saying it is resetting configuration and finally invites to press F1 to continue of F2 to enter Setup. Once I ptess F1 the computer starts normally and seems to run without any other problems. I updated the BIOS to the latest version (A03) and that appeared to fix the problem for a few days then it recurred.

    I am beginning to suspect that the hard drive may be about to die - the computer is four years old, but only runs three or four days a week for say 6 - 8 hours each time. Is that likely to be the cause?

    Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

    Noel

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    I moved your post to WinXP Forum where it might get the most XP experienced viewers (just in case it IS an OS problem!)

    I wouldn't think it's a hard drive problem because you're getting a message at POST time and I don't think the hard drive has yet been called. But, you should run a CHKDSK c: /f or whatever drive it boots to, just to make sure.

    Have you gone into and looked around in the BIOS? Can you tell us what the message actually says - maybe there's a clue in that for someone here.

  3. #3
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    [quote name='NoelM' post='781165' date='23-Jun-2009 14:28']One of our computers, a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop running WinXP-SP3 has begun displaying a black screen at start-up with the BIOS details then "Invalid Configuration please run Setup" - then a line saying it is resetting configuration and finally invites to press F1 to continue of F2 to enter Setup. Once I ptess F1 the computer starts normally and seems to run without any other problems. I updated the BIOS to the latest version (A03) and that appeared to fix the problem for a few days then it recurred.

    I am beginning to suspect that the hard drive may be about to die - the computer is four years old, but only runs three or four days a week for say 6 - 8 hours each time. Is that likely to be the cause?

    Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

    Noel[/quote]
    In the past I have experienced a similar problem caused by a failing CMOS battery. I think most BIOSs still use these. Changing the battery solved my problem. At four years, perhaps this battery is due for replacement? Sadly they are sometimes soldered in, making replacement a challenge...

    Chris

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    [quote name='NoelM' post='781165' date='23-Jun-2009 03:28']Any other suggestions would be most welcome.[/quote]
    The suggestion by Chris seems the most likely thing to check, since it appears to keep the new settings for a little while but then gets memory loss and the CMOS is changed somewhat.
    BOB
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  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    [quote name='NoelM' post='781165' date='23-Jun-2009 03:28']I updated the BIOS to the latest version (A03) and that appeared to fix the problem for a few days then it recurred.

    ...the computer is four years old, but only runs three or four days a week for say 6 - 8 hours each time. ......

    Any other suggestions would be most welcome.

    Noel[/quote]
    These symptoms scream CMOS battery.
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  6. #6
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    [quote name='DocWatson' post='781283' date='24-Jun-2009 03:21']These symptoms scream CMOS battery.[/quote]
    Thank you all - must say I suspect that the comment that the CMOS battery is the problem sounds right to me - now that I think about it!

    In the meantime - the messages on start up are -

    Phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A03
    Copyright 1985 - 1988 Phoenix Technologies Ltd
    Copyright 1990 - 2004 Dell Computer Corporation
    All Rights Reserved
    Dell System Dimension 3000 Series
    BIOS version A03
    Invalid Configuration please run setup

    Then without my doing anything the messages continue -
    Performing automatic IDE Configuration
    Primary Master: Disk Drive
    Secndary Master: CD-ROM Device
    Time-of-day not set - please run SETUP program
    Strike F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.

    When I press F2 sure enough the time is not set but the date is correct.

    I did run CHLDSK c: /f - but got called away before it finished. When I returned Windows was showing the log in screen - do I guess all is well there.

    I will try to replace the CMOS battery - will let you know how I get on.

    Thank you again for your help

    Noel

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    Well, Problem Solved!

    I replaced the CMOS battery and all now works as it should.

    The voltage on the old battery was 0.25 volt - so no wonder it would not work!

    Thank you very much for the good advice.

    NoelM

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Glad you got it sorted out.
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