powers up. no boot. no POST. dead mobo?

Hot-swapping and Boot-Block flash & Boot block flash and floppy support
Post Reply
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

Computer won't boot up.
Got a bit of a problem. I spent the afternoon deleting and formatting two hard drives and preparing a dual boot. One drive with Linux and one with WinXp. Both drives had Linux before I started this. I used a boot disk and got the DOS prompt and went to Fdisk. This allowed me to remove the partitions that had been created. Then when I tried to go back and format the drive it informed me that it wasn't suitable for format!
That seemed kind of weird so I tried the other drive and got the same response.

Anyway I thought the best thing to do was head off to Seagate's website and I downloaded a utility that ran off a floppy when booted and check the disk etc. Booted up and the Seagate splash screen came up. Then nothing. The top of the screen said "C:\xbios.exe" which the file it must ahve been running. The hard drive light was on as if it had hung or something. I waited and waited but nothing. Reset but the screen was just blank. Done a hard power down and booted up again but nothing.
My first suspicion was "b****x, the disk is screwed." So i tried the other drive - same deal. :?

To be specific: The computer powers on. There is no POST and no familiar motherboard beeps. I feel the BIOS may have been damaged somehow but since i can't get it to access the floppy i can't reflash it. The monitor stays in standby. The hard drive momentarily spins and then stops. She's in a coma. Maybe dead.

I've taken everything apart and put it back together in every combination.

Anyone with advice? I gotta say my gut feeling is the mobo. Is there any way to check this. I'm off to write a stern letter to Seagate. Doubt it'll get anywhere......
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Only the sort of things no doubt you'll have thought of. Disconnect all drive cables from the motherboard, remove any add-on cards apart from graphics, reseat (remove and reinstall) the RAM, check the seating of the graphics card in its slot, clear the CMOS. If the CPU fan keeps running after power-on I guess there's no fan failure detection involved. Then you're into substituting components. Is your BIOS chip removable ?
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

disconnected everything and put it together again. no joy.

how exactly do i clear the CMOS? Remind me what it does again.

Not sure where my BIOS chip is located, so not sure if its removable. Gonna have a look now.

By the way, i removed the battery for a while to see if that works, does that clear the CMOS?
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

quarryman wrote:By the way, i removed the battery for a while to see if that works, does that clear the CMOS?
It can do, although Deniss has found it necessary to short the contacts of the battery compartment with some boards - and you should disconnect the PSU to prevent any stored charge from overriding what you are trying to do.

The CMOS stores configuration information and if it gets corrupted - or if you flash a BIOS which does not store the data in the same locations - it can try impossible configurations and fail to boot.
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

ok i may have made some progress. I removed the battery and the power for about 15 mins. I also located som jumper settings. there was three pins.
Options
1-2
2-3
none - recovery

so i removed the pin connector altogether. I powered up and the motherboard gave a short beep and then after a few seconds began to read the floppy disk. it seemed to be reading the disk for something. i had the boot disk in but nothing on the screen.
any sugestions? should i have the bios on the disk?
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Yes! Sounds like you have an Intel motherboard then; you'll find the details of the recovery procedure somewhere on the net (I haven't done it for about 3 years), but basically you need the BIOS on the diskette, and it should flash itself - leave plenty of time for the flash to complete after the diskette stops.
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

that's great. yeah i do have an intel motherboard. Now i just need to figure out which bios i need. i found the intel site with the bios downloads but can't figure out which i should get. Can you tell me where to look on the board for the chip/bios number?
tia.

ps can you tell me what the file extension for the bios should be? ie bios1.xxx since i'm downloading files and am not sure if they are correct. I'm trying to make a bootable upgrade diskette but can't figure out how. there doesn't seem to be any program on the web that will do it. i have a Dell by the way if it helps, so the motherboard is whatever intel mutation they put in....
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6274
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

It would help if you gave us the series/model e.g. Dell Dimension XPS T series.

Check the board top surface for an AA xxxxxx-xxx code somewhere, this might help greatly if present.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

Dell make a lot of P.C's yet you managed to guess my model exactly! Its a Dell XPS T500. the number is AA 722394-112. I got onto the Dell site and downloaded a utiity that made some sort of boot disk.

Set the mobo jumper to Recovery and booted up. After a minute floppy disk was read but then the computer started giving a low repeated beep. I saw this mentioned happening to someone else in a previous post, its kinda like an alarm clock.

I'm going to have a look at mobo beep info now. Sounds like the bios was wrong.

ok i think my board is SE440BX and the bios is A11. however when i download the bios from dell it is the form of an exe file. I want to put the bios itself on the disk and boot it so it will flash the rom with the file. Surely this shouldn't be an exe file? Can anyone tell me how to extract it to the disk?
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6274
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

By executing it from a seperate folder. It should ask you for an empty formatted floppy.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

Yes it does ask for a floppy and i made one of these disks. This was the contents of the disk:

release.txt 10k
XPST_A11.exe 421k

When i try to run the XPST_A11.exe it throws up the DOS Command screen for a second and then nothing. So its trying to perform the action that it would run at boot up.

However when i boot up the computer in Recovery mode it readds the disk and then give that low repetive buzz. Someone must have seen this before?

Can you tell me how to extract the exact BIOS file??!!
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

Nobody knows or can help with this?!!
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6274
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Argh. The st*pidity of some OEMs will never cease to amaze me. You need a recovery set of bios files on the disk, obviously that's not what Dell is putting on the disk. Things would be easier if you owned another Dell Dimension XPS T series, we could try and make a recovery set and use the Intel bios flash utility with that set to recover the bios.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
quarryman
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:26 pm

Especially when help is in the form of:

Dear Paul,

The only way you can get the bios file is from the link that
was given in my previous mail.

To upgrade the bios you have to go to the link.

its been a pleasure assisting you
Thank you for contacting dell

Kind Regards
Ms. Sheral. Martin
Dell E support and Services

....they had sent me a few replies before that but nothing more than 1. go here. 2. click this 3. download that etc
might try give Dell Support a call. Gonna buy a new computer anyway.

Just a pity I have no choice now......
Post Reply