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Gigabyte MB - can't access BIOS

This is a discussion on Gigabyte MB - can't access BIOS within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi All, Hoping you can point me in the right direction. First, system specs: Gigabyte M57SLI-S4v2.0 (bought 8/08) AMD Athlon

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Old 12-30-2010, 08:33 PM   #1
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Hi All,

Hoping you can point me in the right direction. First, system specs:

Gigabyte M57SLI-S4v2.0 (bought 8/08)
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 6400+ (6/09)
Windows XP SP3 (8/08)
ASUS NVIDIA GeForce 6200 LE (8/08)
Kingston ValueRam 6400 2x 1GB sticks (6/09)
also - Crucial 6400 2x 1GB -------------not in (8/08)
Western Dig Caviar 7200 400 GB SATA (8/08)
also - Seagate Barracuda 7200 400 GB IDE --------------not in (7/06)
Antec Earthwatts 500W PSU (6/09)

I've had issues with Windows freezing up, not responding when there's a load on the CPU - sometimes with videos, other times simply changing tabs in Firefox. My screen has also been having some wavy verticle lines going through it at times. Lately, the system would hang at the Windows XP start-up screen and would not boot, or would only boot into safe mode (on its own, without it being chosen as an option). I did a system restore and was able to get back to the normal XP boot, without it hanging.

And, for quite some time, I have not been able to get into BIOS. When I hit DEL at the post screen, it goes black with a cursor in the top left corner. I tried resetting CMOS, changing the battery, flashing an updated Bios, but nothing has helped. It now doesn't show the post screen, just runs through the boot-up and will load XP. It does start much slower than before, though, with a 10-12 second delay before it does anything (at which point my stomach tends to tie in knots as I wonder if it's going to brick on me).

So, my questions:
Where's the most likely culprit for these troubles?
Is it the PSU? Would that prevent me from getting to the Bios? (I have an older unit that I could test with but it's lower wattage and quality...) Is this not a good quality PSU? It's only 18 months old.
Is it the MB? I've read that this model has issues with the southbridge loosening and petering out, and I did notice that it was very hot recently after only being on 10 minutes, but I don't know how to test the temp of that component. The CPU temps are running 30-32* C, which I think is acceptable, if I'm correct.
Is it the graphics card? (Unlikely to be affecting the Bios, right? But I've got those wavy lines that are concerning too...)

I've tested the system without the HDs in, and it still won't enter the Bios, so I doubt it's a HD problem. I've scanned everything for malware, bad sectors, adware... system comes up clean. I've checked connections, unplugged and replugged, blew out the dust, etc. I disconnected all unnecessary components (took out the card reader, the DVD drive, all removable drives, etc.) I haven't quite brought myself to the point of bench testing it yet.... hoping I could have a better idea of what's wrong or suspect before I go there.

Hopeful that I can tap into some collective knowledge here. Thanks in advance for your help!

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Old 12-31-2010, 06:30 AM   #2
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You may need to re-flash the Bios -> http://www.gigabyte.com/products/pro...2539&dl=1#bios . Or, live with it as it is until something else major makes it unusable, then try a flash.

That, I believe, is a soldered-on Bios chip but can be replaced.

As for the other stuff, re-pasting your cpu heatsink and cleaning out dust and checking fans and chipset heatsinks are fastened, etc.
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Old 12-31-2010, 06:46 AM   #3
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Since the OS boots and you are able to use windows, then I highly doubt this is a power supply, motherboard, or video problem. And unless a BIOS update specifically addresses this problem, do not go there.

See if resetting the CMOS setup helps. Power down the sys and disconnect the power cord at the wall plug. Clear the CMOS using the jumper or by removing the battery.

PS: Re Power Supply: Though it is not on our recommended list and is underpowered, it should run your system. At one time the EA500 was made by Seasonic, but are now manufactured by Delta.

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Old 12-31-2010, 07:42 AM   #4
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Gigabyte's manual says -> "When the power is turned on, pressing the <Del> button during the BIOS POST (Power-On Self Test) will take you to the CMOS SETUP screen. You can enter the BIOS setup screen by pressing "Ctrl + F1"."

So, try Ctrl + F1 at that flashing cursor.
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. So far, Ctrl+F1 did nothing. CMOS was cleared, didn't help. Running on one stick of RAM. Going to try Memtest86+ to see if it's memory related, but none of the stick-swapping has changed the bios issue.

I am able to boot without problems, except that the system does hang when it's powered on, and also before the XP splash screen comes up. No wavy lines noted today, and no freeze-ups so far.

Thanks again.
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