Compaq Presario 2190US slow boot + garbled BIOS setup info

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ohaya
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Wed Dec 15, 2010 5:49 am

Hi,

My son brought his Compaq Presario 2190US over, and it has multiple problems ...

I think that there's a problem with the power connector. I have to jiggle it until I can get it to power on. I'll fix that eventually, but that's not the reason for this post...

The problem is that when I do get it to power on, it is taking about 5 minutes to get to the initial HP screen.

Then (for example), if I select to go to Setup, it displays "Entering Setup" and then takes about 2 minutes to get to the BIOS setup.

In the BIOS setup, on the main screen, there are a number of fields (SERIAL, UUID, etc.) that have garbled characters.

So, I did a set defaults, then saved that, and the machine rebooted.

I configured a bootable floppy with the BIOS flash, and was able to boot to that, and it said that it flashed the BIOS successfully.

However, even after it rebooted the system, when it started, it again took about 5 minutes to get to the HP logo page, and when I go into BIOS setup (again 2 minutes more), it's still showing the garbled characters for the same fields.

Also, when the laptop is powered on, and (eventually) starts, it displays the memory test during the BIOS startup, but then there's a message before it boots into Windows or a bootable floppy:

WARNING: HP EEPROM has been re-initialized

I was really hoping that the BIOS flash would have taken care of the garbled characters, and mostly, the really slow boots, but it didn't, so I'm wondering what else could be causing that, and what to do about it?

FYI, I can get it to boot into Windows XP, and it runs fine under Windows. Also in the BIOS, I ran the hard drive test, and that worked ok.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Jim
edwin
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Wed Dec 15, 2010 10:23 am

Sounds like the bios battery is low. Replace it first with a new one.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
ohaya
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:13 am

Hi,

Something strange, but wonderful :)!!

Ok, so I started to disassemble the laptop.

First thing was to remove the battery, right?

So I did that.

When I pulled the battery, I noticed that it smelt "burnt" (you know what I mean), so I then try to power up the machine, with just the adapter, but no battery.

Darn!

The thing powered up IMMEDIATELY, and got to the BIOS screen within seconds.

And, when I went into BIOS, the SERIAL, UUID, etc. no longer show as garbled characters!!

Rebooted multiple times, because I thought I was imagining it, but it boots to WinXP now in less than a minute.

So, I have to guess that (1) the battery is bad, and was causing the BIOS to maybe loop for the 5 minutes, etc.

That's about it.

Jim
edwin
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:24 pm

:D
I love my intuition sometimes
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
ohaya
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Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:21 pm

edwin,

Sorry. I wasn't clear. I didn't get to disassemble the laptop. The battery that I removed was not the CMOS battery, but the *main laptop* battery :).

The laptop booted ok after that.

Jim
edwin
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Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:52 am

oh. thanks for the info, will think of that when I encounter something similar.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
gabiz_ro
BIOS Newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:28 pm

Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:53 pm

Most batteries are so called smart battery.
Communication is done through SMBUS.
In event of defective one that must somehow to short circuit smbus signals or garbled communications.
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