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  1. #1
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    Question CPU/BIOS Problem?

    Hi all. I've started having a recurring problem on my ancient homebuilt desktop. Every time I do a shutdown and a cold reboot/startup, I have to go into the BIOS and re-enter the correct CPU speed. Until I do, it won't POST. Every time I make the change, I save the changes and exit, but the change doesn't stick. No problem on a simple reboot/restart. IMO, it seems to be a MB or CPU problem due to the circumstances, but I'm not sure what. Hopefully, not an imminent failure as I'm broke! Here's the hardware:

    MB - Asus A7V266;

    BIOS Version/Date - Award Software, Inc. ACPI BIOS Rev 1003, 10/29/2001 (taken from MS System Info);

    CPU - Athlon XP 1600 @ 1400 Mhz

    Told y'all it was ancient ! Any ideas? Update BIOS or hardware problem? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If you are overclocking set your BIOS back to it's generalized default and try your previous clock setting(s) again, (from scratch).

    1. Set BIOS to default, boot and see if that rectifies the issue.
    2. Reflash or reset same version, or update BIOS to newer if you are able.
    3. Consider a replacement of the coin shaped battery if it has never been done.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2011-02-27 at 11:23.

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  4. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I agree with Clint, the Cmos battery (watch battery) will not last forever. Most likely needs replacing, then see if Asus or the MB manufacturer has a bios update available.
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  6. #4
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    Thanks for the replies! The original battery was recently replaced, about 14 months ago - maybe it needs to be done again? No O/C. Will check on BIOS update. Any other ideas?

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    Here's the latest. Finally dug up a newer copy of the BIOS, and successfully installed it. No difference, same results. With full power off, it won't POST due to the CPU speed being improperly reported in the BIOS screen - even tried resetting the CPU speed to manual and resetting the frequencies manually as well. Same problem. Enter BIOS; reset CPU speed - all's well. Sounds like a hardware issue - how do I test for that?

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by Patrad; 2011-02-27 at 17:13.

  8. #6
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Are you not able to set the entire BIOS to default clock speeds???

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  10. #7
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    Thanks for the reply, CLiNT. Didn't try to reset the BIOS to factory defaults after the lack of success with everything else. I'll give that a try as soon as I get another commercial break for the NHRA Winternationals! Thanks again.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Are you not able to set the entire BIOS to default clock speeds???

  11. #8
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    Reset BIOS to factory defaults. Same old same old. CPU speed is not detected correctly, and will not boot without manually resetting CPU speed to correct value. Should be 1400Mhz, always shows up as 1050 Mhz. Any ideas?

    Thanks in advance.

  12. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrad View Post
    ...... The original battery was recently replaced, about 14 months ago - maybe it needs to be done again? .......
    As previously suggested, for short money try a new CMOS battery !!

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    Patrad (2011-02-28)

  14. #10
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    That's my next step! Just got back from the store with one - will post again with results in a while. Priorities, ya know. Thanks again.

  15. #11
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    Finally got around to getting the new battery installed, but didn't reset the CMOS jumper to clear it. Got everything hooked up and ready to fire up and noticed that the Northbridge cooling fan was stuck. Hosed it down with air (along with the CPU fan) and fired it up. Had to push it around (the Northbridge fan) several times to get it to spin, but it's working fine now (time for a new one, as well as a new case fan) - like I said, this thing is ancient - but it still works --- usually. POSTed fine. Restarted; and shut down/started up a couple times and all ***SEEMS*** okay. Will try it some more tomorrow and post the results. Y'all keep your fingers crossed for me! Don't know whether it was a bad battery (no other signs of it), or the fan being stuck and causing heat problems - or both. Speedfan shows between 69c - 79c (71c at the moment) so far, which IS a definite improvement. Doesn't matter I guess - it's okay now.

    Many thanks to y'all for the replies and support.

  16. #12
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Hopefully that will keep.

    Speedfan shows between 69c - 79c
    That is hot for a system not under any stress or recently started!

    Bear in mind that with hardware as old as yours you may need to disassemble the processor and heatsink from the mainboard and thoroughly clean
    the area and remove & reapply the thermal grease to the processor heatsink area. A good cleaning or full replacement of the fans may also be needed.
    Take appropriate electrostatic precautions.

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  18. #13
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    Thanks for the reply, CLiNT. I'm somewhat leary of doing the disassembly for 2 reasons. One is age (brittleness), and the other is that I remember reading a while back that this particular CPU fan is a royal P.I.T.A. to remove and remount due to it's design, thereby making the chance of breakage that much more likely. The fan is a "Super Orb". But after seeing those temps, I'm gonna run a game for an hour or so and recheck. Right now it's showing 71c after running for a couple hours. I'm presuming that the 71c is for the CPU, as Speedfan shows 3 temps, and only the HDD is identified showing 43c. The other shows 35c, and is listed as "Temp1". I plan on checking into a new CPU fan anyway, even if I just get a shop to do the swap because of possible breakage. Any recommendations for a fan on something this old?

    Again, many thanks to all who responded.

  19. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrad View Post
    ......... I plan on checking into a new CPU fan anyway, even if I just get a shop to do the swap because of possible breakage. Any recommendations for a fan on something this old?.........
    This may be worth checking ......
    Fans & Heatsinks Featured Items

    On the left, is a choice for CPU Fans & Heatsinks.

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    Patrad (2011-03-01)

  21. #15
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Change the fans ASAP! If you had to start it spinning once, it's only a matter of a short period of time before this happens again. The heat will eat your components. Heat is one of the major enemies of PC's. They generally are reasonably inexpensive. If you wish to keep this old man running you have to treat it gently. You may have problems finding a CPU fan. Search the internet. I can not verify this site but take a look. (It does pass with WOT)
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
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