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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...

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    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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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    Gold 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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    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.

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    Gold 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.

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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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    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Perhaps you could try doing a full installation of Puppy Linux on the computer, to see if it behaves in a Linux environment...
    Whether Puppy or any other distro and whether full or frugal, Grub4Dos and/or Grub2 always work as they should...and I think that is because Linux loaders typically play by all the rules -- not messing with BIOS settings -- where later Windows loaders do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    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... This is a BIOS and not UEFI correct?
    Yes, BIOS only, and I actually think that is a complicating factor here since Windows seems to try to impose UEFI and/or some kind of comparable code on my old motherboards by using some kind of BIOS format. I know nothing about UEFI, but I do know all this trouble began at Win7 SP1...and I believe that is when UEFI entered the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by mngerhold View Post
    This seems to match what I found when I removed W7 (on one HDD) from a dual-boot with XP (on another HDD)...

    ...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.
    That works best if XP is on the second drive since Win7 cannot fix its loader unless it (Win7) is on the boot (first) drive, and that complicates things when XP exists prior to Win7. So, most recently I put XP at the beginning of the second drive so it will always be "D:" no matter what I do anywhere else.

    More and an update later...

  13. #13
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    My latest efforts here have now brought out a new twist: unexpected-and-inexplicable restarts and shutdowns.

    I purchased a FOXCONN RC4107MA-RS2 motherboard (without paying that much for it), and that has worked out perfectly for me -- socket, slots, etc. -- as far as hardware is concerned. I installed XP at "D:" and all was well, so I next added Win7 at "C:"...and all was still well until I began adding Win7 updates. Following just a few Win7 updates, the machine still runs perfectly in Linux Puppy and LXLE, but it only runs for a few minutes in XP or Win7 before either restarting or shutting down...and no, it is not a thermal issue. The problem did not appear in XP prior to Win7, and it never appears in Linux.

    Today I updated the BIOS, but that has made no difference. So at the moment, my plan is to remove the BIOS-protection jumper to see whether doing that might stop the restarts and shutdowns...

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    Gold Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    With the new m/b I would run a burn in test for a day

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/20288...-hardware.html

    https://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm

    With new problems cropping up you need to delimit the problem. Run your burn in on a fresh install with one disk or a live usb with a burnin program.

    BTW convention says install XP first the old OS may not recognize the newer boot mechanism in W7. With Grub variants I do not think any windows will "fix" its boot loader. That latter part I may be off a bit I don't use an alt boot loader to dual boot, just Bios/Uefi to switch.

    David

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

  15. #15
    Star Lounger leejosepho's Avatar
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    I thank you, Mr. Wavy! Following a lot of tweaking and even trying different versions of BIOS, I now think my restart/shutdown problem with the new motherboard is likely related to (or at least aggravated by) its own BIOS rather than being the fault of Windows. Even when the machine is cold my Linux distros will throttle the CPU over the matter of temperature, so I suspect some faulty sensing is somehow going on somewhere.

    Returning to the initial problem mentioned in this thread...

    Firstly, and for anyone like me who might actually enjoy all of this stuff, here is a previous thread elsewhere that I had forgotten about:
    https://www.sevenforums.com/hardware...-7-states.html

    Having now switched back to working on that original machine, I am absolutely certain Windows 7 somehow-and-somewhere writes custom BIOS drive orders to system drives. To illustrate as simply as possible, here is my default BIOS "Hard Disc Boot Priority" and the best screenshot example (not my own) I could find:

    >> Award BIOS "Hard Disc Boot Priority"
    Ch0 (PATA) Master: (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    Ch0 (PATA) Slave: (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    Ch1 (PATA) Master: (Does not show here when optical CD/DVD is connected)
    Ch1 (PATA) Slave: (Does not show here when optical CD/DVD is connected)
    Ch2 (SATA): (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    Ch3 (SATA): (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    USB-HDD0: (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    USB-HDD1: (Hard Drive ID details when present)
    example (not my own): http://www.nastrojkabios.ru/images/s...Priority-2.jpg

    I have only ever installed Windows 7 on a SATA HDD (Ch2 or CH3), and yet Windows 7 has nevertheless written something to each-and-every bootable drive -- all of them everywhere -- in order the change the above by pushing its own drive to the top.
    note: I once inadvertently left my Win98 startup floppy in the FDD drive and Windows 7 even made that floppy non-bootable.

    In order to keep my default HDD order in place so I can boot into XP on it own HDD that *must* remain at its specific place in the machine's "Hard Disc Boot Priority" order, I have had to replace the "infected" PATA drives with drives that have never been exposed to Windows 7. To continue using the "infected" drives, I have moved them to USB-HDD0 and USB-HDD1 that are not checked by Windows during machine startup since Windows would not be installed there anyway...and now here is the smoking gun:

    Booting from USB-HDD0 or USB-HDD1 (either of the "infected" drives) results in my BIOS "Hard Disc Boot Priority" being altered just as it was while either of those drives had been connected at Ch0 (PATA) Master and/or Ch0 (PATA) Slave.

    note: I no longer have Windows 7 anywhere on this machine and will not be re-installing it.
    Last edited by leejosepho; 2017-05-21 at 10:30.

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