eMachine -Phoenix Bios - ACPI problem

APM/ACPI BIOS questions
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Nivuahc
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Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:42 am

Hi,

I have spent the past several hours trying to figure out, simply, which mobo I have. I know that it's an Intel motherboard and I am sure that it is either an Anaheim-3 or a Whitney System CR. That, however doesn't help me much.

Let me explain the problem I'm having and maybe one of you can tell me what I need to do in order to fix this problem.

A co-worker had an eMachine T1100 on his desk and, not long after upgrading to XP SP2 his machine started acting strange. It would, periodically, simply shutdown for no reason.

I initially thought that he was having a power supply problem so I put another one in. That didn't seem to do the trick.

I loaded Knoppix on his machine and let it run for several hours. Not once did it power down on him so I figured that, perhaps, he was having a software problem. I re-installed XP Pro and upgraded to SP2 via the Micro$oft site.

About an hour after that, what do you know, his computer shutdown for no reason.

My boss' decision (which is pretty common in a situation like this and, I have to say, much to my liking) is to forget about it and buy a new computer. His reasoning is that, for all of the time that I could spend trying to fix that one and my co-worker would be sans computer, it would less expensive to just buy him a new one. As an added bonus (for me) my boss lets me have all of the 'broken' computers to take home for parts.

Well I took this machine home and agreed to try and fix it for my co-worker. He can't afford a home computer and I've already got 7 of them so I don't mind that kind of thing.

I brought it home, jacked up the RAM to 512MB, put in a larger (30GB) hard drive and decided to install XP SP2 straight from CD.

I get an error during install that tells me that the BIOS on this computer is not fully ACPI compliant. It recommends that I upgrade my BIOS or disable it by hitting the F7 key when setup starts again.

I try disabling it first because, who wants to go around flashing a BIOS if you don't have to? Anyway... it gets much further in the setup process when ACPI is disabled but, when it gets to the point where it tells me "Starting Windows" it halts and tells me that it cannot continue because it can't find a keyboard attached to my computer.

Well, I decided to disable ACPI in the BIOS directly instead of using the Micro$oft solution and, would you believe it, I get that same 'no keyboard found' error.

So I try the setup again, this time with ACPI enabled, and I get my 'BIOS is not fully ACPI compliant' message.

So, what the heck, I'll flash the BIOS.

After several hours of useless attempts at trying to identify, with any specifics, my BIOS 'number/version/ID/whatever' I finally managed to get this bit of information using ASTRA:

Mobo: Intel Whitney System CR
BIOS: Phoenix 31571.EM.0000.D.0108291038

Well, a quick look at Intel's website for a BIOS upgrade and I should be good to go.

Right.

All of the motherboards listed on Intel's website are listed by a number, which I can't seem to find anywhere. This, from what I understand, is pretty important because I don't want to render this machine completely unusable.

Further searching leads me to find that the 31571.EM in the BIOS ID tells me that this is an Anaheim-3 mobo in an eMachines PC. Now that goes directly against what ASTRA tells me... but I'll keep looking anyway.

I found quite a few BIOS ID's that start out
31571.EM.0000.D.

but the 0108291038 part?

Can't find that anywhere.



And, after hours of frustration, I've decided to ask someone who probably knows more than I.

So... any help here would be hot.

Thanks in advance.
Nivuahc
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:14 am

Sat Jan 29, 2005 6:34 pm

Surely I haven't stumped the geniuses here?

I'm at the point where I'm considering installing Window$ 98 on this thing and just telling him he's out of luck.

Am I looking at the wrong thing?

Am I not seeing the real problem?

Should I even be worried about the BIOS at this point?

Should I have become a Fireman instead of a computer geek?

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, will Micro$oft apply for a patent on the method and concept of soundless falling trees?
NickS
BIOS Bodhisattva
Posts: 3145
Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Sat Jan 29, 2005 7:41 pm

Hey, some of us have a life! Work, housework, shopping, tax returns, washing, ironing etc - OK, maybe I don't have a life.
The 0108291038 could be a Date-Time Group meaning 10:38 a.m. 29th August 2001.
You "jacked up the RAM". Is the original RAM still in the machine? Try checking that - a cause of all sorts of weird behaviour when I upgraded my neighbour to XP was that some of his RAM was actually faulty.

Fireman - hmm. How about lumberjack? You seem to have a thing about falling trees. :wink:
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
Nivuahc
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Joined: Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:14 am

Sat Jan 29, 2005 10:31 pm

I always wanted to be.... a Lumberjack!

Leaping from tree to tree...



Thanks, I tried changing it out to completely different RAM and I'm still stuck in the same spot.

In fact, I put the RAM back in and, using the latest Ultimate Boot CD, ran several memory tests and the RAM checks out just fine! :)


Lucky me.


Thanks for trying to help, though.
arddrea
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Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:03 am

There is a known bug in Phoenix BIOS's where, for whatever reason, windows corrupts the ACPI Table. The problem is that the ACPI Table is considered (By Phoenix) to be DMI (Desktop Management Instrumentation) info so we you reflash it the tables are not reset. Only way I can think of is a utility that allows you to directly edit the ACPI table, but I have yet to find one. At work we have to RTV about 1 out of every 50 NEW IBM desktops that use Phoenix. Our repair center then replaces the mainboard under warranty. This may be one of the reasons HP and IBM are starting to phase out Phoenix.

PS The Unit I'm trying to fix is a HP Kayak XW7 550.
subreption
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Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:27 pm

I have a T1100 emachine that has certainly been a great performer, but when I upgraded to SP2 I got frequent shutdowns. Very similar symptoms to power supply issues but definitely that is not the problem. If you can back out SP2, I will guarantee you will not have the problems any more, because I have peformed that experiment THREE times. Each time, after applying SP2, I get the shutdowns (maybe one per hour). When I uninstall SP2 the shutdowns stop. I have very little installed (Lexmark x83 print control program and mcafee antivirus) and have reinstalled them AFTER applying SP2 upgrade and have the same result. So....I'm fine for now but I don't think I'll waste any more time with SP2.
Ratskill
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Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:23 am

I ran into the same problem when trying to install XP on my hp system running 98. Im not sure whats inside of my machine since the man I bought it from could have modified it however he wanted, but I found a few programs that helped me out. eSuport.com has a couple programs BIOS Agent and BIOS Wizard that will tell you what you need to know, mostly - i guess its like ASTRA. http://www.esupport.com/biosupgrades/ Then they gave me a number to call after some emails and I called the company. I didnt have to wait long. They explained to me that my PhoenixBIOS wasn't going to be able to handle XP because it wasnt ACPI complaint. They then gave me an offer to buy the upgrade through them or call someone else and get it discounted. i lost track of what the guy was takling about and I didnt have a good understanding of what was wrong in the first place. I am now looking for a site that will give me the upgrade for my BIOS to make it ACPI complaint. Im afraid that Phoenix technologies thinks that its BIOS is already ACPI compliant enough to run XP. At their site i didnt find any way to upgrade my BIOS yet it seemed like I had the latest version anyway. Intel and HP had no information on upgrading my BIOS either. I did read somewhere that Phoenix BIOSes change to work with whichever mobo its assigned and that tells me that there may not be any specific upgrades for Phoenix BIOSes. It sounds like to me Phoenix technologies is discontinuing their work on BIOSes and anyone with a PhoenixBIOS is out of luck. I dont understand how BIOSes work with the rest of the system but I think if you buy another modern BIOS ($60 maybe?) the system will work. Good luck Im still working on it.
NickS
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Joined: Fri May 03, 2002 10:34 am
Location: Thames Valley, UK

Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:03 am

Ratskill,
did you try a non-ACPI XP install? That's what I had to do for an older Dell Pentium 233
Tested patched BIOSes. Untested patched BIOSes.
Emails *will* be ignored unless the subject line starts "Wim's BIOS forum"
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