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BIOS Checksum Error during POST

This is a discussion on BIOS Checksum Error during POST within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Clean instal of OEM XP Pro + SP3 on new mobo/cpu. Activated OK. Then BIOS checksum error, message "attempting recovery


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Old 08-24-2013, 06:16 PM   #1
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Clean instal of OEM XP Pro + SP3 on new mobo/cpu. Activated OK. Then BIOS checksum error, message "attempting recovery from HPA..BIOS recovery" during POST. So cannot get into BIOS set up.
History : Needed to migrate XP Pro uptodate to new mobo Gigabyte GA MA770 S3P due failure of old. Got BSOD with error code 7B. Bit the bullet and did clean instal from OEM CD, added SP2, SP3. Activated but on restart, BIOS checksum error... Can get into BIOS set up with no HD connected to set defaults but same error when HD reconnected... Got into Qflash at POST to flash BIOS this loaded OK with successful flash/checksum. But still same error during POST.
Two images available, pre and post activate using Paragon Backup 2013.
1) Does Windows change data in HPA on activation to always produce this error ?
2) How can I recover this system ?
MS said get another product key from original supplier. No hope after 11 years. MS said XP now obsolete so cannot get new CD. Would value any help to recover this system.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
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BIOS checksum error Has nothing to do with Windows, It usually means the coin cel battery on the motherboard is bad.
Is the hard drive SATA or IDE?
Is the motherboard a exact replacement for the previous board?
Is you version of Windows OEM or Full Retail?
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Old 08-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
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Hi wrench97,
1) Battery was first thing I checked and OK.
2) HD is SATA. Does this make a difference since it is set up in BIOS as native IDE ?
3) No, mobo is different hence MS comments cannot implement OEM on different hardware. But I have another system XP Home where I just wanted to speed things up and did not realise the implications of changing mobo. So changed from ASUS board to the same model Giga board above on XP Home. Just transferred HD and reactivated and all OK. So I thought this could be done again for the XP pro system using same model Giga board.

IMHO, since I can get into BIOS set up if there is no HD connected, I presume BIOS is checking hardware against a checksum presumably in HPA. I think this because in POST, as soon as HD, CD ROM detected, it goes straight to BIOS checksum error. Then it attempts to recover BIOS from HPA. It recovers BIOS and on next startup produces same error.
The fact I was able to flash BIOS successfully, (since I thought the BIOS really had been corrupted) leads me to above conclusions.
Also, I had no poblems at all in the clean instal, XP Pro + SP2 + SP3 and the system was OK until I activated it. So another reason to conclude Windows altered something in HPA during activation so that it would always produce a BIOS checksum error and not get to boot.ini. Maybe just paranoid
This mobo has dual BIOS so I am thinking the BIOS goes to a shadowed copy of the BIOS in HPA as I suspect this option was enabled in BIOS set up. But I am wary of altering anything without understanding why.
If my conclusions are correct, it follows that I will need to edit HD data using Disk Doctor or equivalent. To do this, need to know location of data to change. Just cannot understand why MS would not realise that occasionally a mobo goes down and reinstalling on a new mobo, (absolutely no chance of getting identical replacement) will not affect the situation ie an OEM instal on one PC.
Thanks for your quick reply.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:21 AM   #4
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XP does not change any Bios data, it's not until you get to Win 8 and UEFI do you see any interaction between windows and the bios.

MS does make provisions for failed motherboards but there is a limit to how much newer and how many hardware items can be changed that it is considered a new PC.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for that info. But it really doesn't explain why this problem occurred immediately following activation and why, when the HD is disconnected, I can get into BIOS set up without any checksum error. If it is concluded that it is a new PC because of too many changes, is activation inhibited ?
These changes are new mobo, and cpu (dual processor) and because I did a successful changeover for Home XP using the same model mobo and cpu, I presumed all would be OK with XP Pro. Since Pro activated successfully, does this mean Windows was happy with the hardware changes ? I do really appreciate your help and please excuse my negative comments, just under a lot of stress to get this system up and running.
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Old 08-28-2013, 01:08 AM   #6
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What I'm saying is activation has nothing to do with the check sum error, the check sum error is related to hardware only not software.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks again for your comment. I don't want to draw this out but BIOS does check hardware status during/after POST but before the bootstrap loader starts. I know the BIOS is OK, it can be flashed so this checksum error is an indication that the hardware BIOS finds does not match some other comparison it makes. If the HD is disconnected, this error disappears allowing me to get into set up. Hope you can understand my reasoning and thanks for your patience.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:30 PM   #8
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Try another hard drive.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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As indicated, I have images pre and post activation so this is an option I have considered. But since this is a new HD I thought it unlikely that this was the problem. Additionally, it seemed very unlikely it would fail immediately after activation. I have an XP Home system so will do a chkdsk on this pro HD. Can you confirm that since this system activated OK, Windows found no problem with the changed hardware ?
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:45 PM   #10
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No I can't, but I can tell you that a bios check sum error would not be the result if it was not ok, you would have a system that says non genuine in the lower right corner.
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Old 08-28-2013, 04:56 PM   #11
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Thanks for that and all your help. If you are interested, will let you know result of HD test. This really has been a big issue for me since it just doesn't seem to make sense.
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Old 08-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #12
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Yes let us know the result.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:08 PM   #13
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Now seem to have some resolution. Removed all components but HD and Graphics card and XP Pro booted OK. Replaced items, eg FD, LAN and various errors including a new one at boot, long and two short beeps indicating graphics card problem. So fault was dependent on movement of mobo caused by removal and insertion of components so have presumed mobo intermittent fault since all symptoms not consistent with component content. But can repeat some errors with different configurations so it does appear mobo was the problem. Sorry to have doubted your comments re activation but the seed was planted by conversation with Microsoft tech. In addition, the resulting BIOS error occurred immediately after activation with no changes to mobo and this was after hours of use with no problems in flashing BIOS, loading system, updating to SP3, activation etc. So, new mobo coming and hope all goes well. Many thanks for your comments and help, kind regards, Dave
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