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  1. #1
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Why is Win7 causing CMOS/BIOS "CPU has been changed" error?

    Here is the error message received at machine startup:

    "Warning! CPU has been changed. Please re-enter CPU settings in the CMOS setup and remember to save before quit."

    note: This has nothing whatsoever to do with the CMOS battery. This is a problem that is somehow being caused by Windows 7...and it began a long time ago at SP1.

    Relative facts:

    Multi-boot system with PATA drives as well as SATA drives, and Win7 is not on the primary startup drive.

    I once made the error of leaving my Win98 startup floppy in the drive and Win7 made the floppy non-bootable.

    Because of whatever Win7 has written to all drives, my XP installation will start only every other time I try it.

    In this latest case, I had deleted the machine's installation of Win7 while preparing the drives for a new motherboard in a few days, then discovered the absence of Win7 made it impossible for the machine to boot at all even though no boot loader had been deleted, changed, altered or anything else.

    Does anyone know what Win7 is doing here? As I had mentioned, this all began way back when SP1 came along, and I have yet to find any way to restore any hard drive to its original state. Win7 is writing-and-hiding something somewhere as if it is the only game in the park...

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I don't think this is the case, but I'd like to ask anyway: Do you have a Skylake or newer CPU, and you have installed a driver whose purpose is to trick Microsoft into thinking it is an older processor, so that you will continue to receive Windows updates?

  3. #3
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    No. I am dealing with some BIOSTAR P4M800 Socket 775 mobos of one version or another and with the best Intel Pentium 4/Celeron D CPUs those boards can handle...but I do think you are seeing the issue correctly as being some kind of conflict or incompatibility between the BIOS for those boards and whatever Windows is trying to do. One thing that happens is that Win7 somehow changes BIOS drive order...and then after it has done that, there is absolutely nothing I can do to make the BIOS drive order what I had wanted it to be and then keep it that way.

    The new motherboard I have coming is a FOXCONN RC4107MA LGA775 so I can use my current CPU, and I do plan to set the SATA drives first-in-line and install Win7 at 0,1 to hopefully end this problem at least with that machine.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Hopefully the new motherboard will clear up the error. If the old motherboard is "cheap" quality, then I would definitely suspect it as being the culprit.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Hopefully the new motherboard will clear up the error. If the old motherboard is "cheap" quality, then I would definitely suspect it as being the culprit.
    I suppose perceptions of "cheap" can very from one bench to the next, but the P4M800 is actually a great board in its class for running XP...and it was fine with Win7 until SP1 came along.

    Changing the motherboard might make the error stop showing up, but changing the motherboard will not fix whatever drive order Win7 has somehow-and-somewhere written-and-hidden on the actual hard drives. In one case I had re-ordered the SATAs to be first...but then still had to switch where each was physically connected because whatever Win7 has done always places a certain one ahead of the other even after a full wipe and re-formatting for each.

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Perhaps "cheap" is not the correct word.

    I wonder if you could get a firmware update for the motherboard? The fact that the error started with W7 SP1 causes me to suspect that the motherboard firmware is out of date.

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Here is the error message received at machine startup:

    "Warning! CPU has been changed. Please re-enter CPU settings in the CMOS setup and remember to save before quit."
    .
    After the above message what do you do to get it to boot?
    Are there any changes is BIOS?
    FYI I would try a refresh of the bios (or install a newer one).
    David

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  8. #8
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    I wonder if you could get a firmware update for the motherboard? The fact that the error started with W7 SP1 causes me to suspect that the motherboard firmware is out of date.
    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    FYI I would try a refresh of the bios (or install a newer one).
    I have the latest (a.k.a. 'last') BIOS for these boards, and I would not know where to even begin at trying to make a custom BIOS or how to do anything about their SATA1 chipsets.


    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    After the above message what do you do to get it to boot?
    Are there any changes is BIOS?
    In this particular case after I had deleted the Win7 installation from drive 3,0 and the machine would only shut itself down at startup after not finding Win7 even prior to running bootmgr > BCD from 0,0 as usual, I first set BIOS to boot from the CD and used Linux puppy to copy files from the first two drives (PATAs) to storage on the others and to then zero those two drives with new MSDOS Partition Tables.
    note: Full "zero" to the entire drive makes no difference in any of this.

    Then after that I used an XP installation disk to 'fixboot' and 'fixmbr', then went back to Linux Puppy to get ntldr and ntdetect as well as to write a new boot.ini since I had not at the time known how to do that from the XP Repair Console. But then even in spite of all of that, sometimes the machine will still restart itself as many as three times before finally trying to boot XP, and then the XP boot still completes only every other time while the machine tries to do whatever I have set in BIOS. And as to changes in BIOS, yes, and nothing I have tried so far can keep whatever is written-and-hidden on those drives from over-riding my settings as just described.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 2017-04-20 at 20:44.

  9. #9
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could try doing a full installation of Puppy Linux on the computer, to see if it behaves in a Linux environment. You're stuck right now anyway, and your drive is empty, so there's no harm in trying Linux.

  10. #10
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    How does it behave with JUST the XP disk installed? If that has problems hardware problems may be indicated.
    BTW I meant reinstall the existing BIOS ver (but I would try setting the BIOS to a "safe default' condition and see what happens, that is good advice before installing a BIOS anyway). This is a BIOS and not UEFI correct?
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    In this particular case after I had deleted the Win7 installation from drive 3,0 and the machine would only shut itself down at startup after not finding Win7 even prior to running bootmgr > BCD from 0,0 as usual
    This seems to match what I found when I removed W7 (on one HDD) from a dual-boot with XP (on another HDD): I had not fully realised at the time that W7 had taken over the boot partition on the XP drive, and was in charge of booting even when I set the BIOS to boot from the XP drive. So after W7 was gone, the W7 boot code on the XP drive had nowhere to go. I fixed that as you did:

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    Then after that I used an XP installation disk to 'fixboot' and 'fixmbr', then went back to Linux Puppy to get ntldr and ntdetect as well as to write a new boot.ini since I had not at the time known how to do that from the XP Repair Console.
    This sorted it for me, and after that I made sure that whenever I re-installed W7 (or more recently W10) I disconnected the XP drive so its boot partition would not get over-written - it gets reconnected after the install and multi-boot (using Grub4DOS) works fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by leejosepho View Post
    But then even in spite of all of that, sometimes the machine will still restart itself as many as three times before finally trying to boot XP, and then the XP boot still completes only every other time while the machine tries to do whatever I have set in BIOS. And as to changes in BIOS, yes, and nothing I have tried so far can keep whatever is written-and-hidden on those drives from over-riding my settings as just described.
    I am unclear whether, having removed W7, you have installed it again? If so, then it has probably taken over the initial boot duties and is messing things up. If not, then I don't understand what is wrong with your setup. If possible, I would disconnect all drives other than XP and see what happens. If that works fine, then you are a bit further forward. Re-connecting drives one-by-one should reveal which one is messing you about. If you have multiple boot partitions on the same drive, this is more tricky, as you really need to clear all bar one (XP for example) to try to create a clean slate from which to start.

    I don't expect to be much help, but will be interested to hear how you get on. Martin

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