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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I have a diagnostic from my HP Pavilion a708.uk. Sometimes it used to boot up after a long period of inactivity. This prompted me to check the CMOS, and check the settings in the BIOS. I got it to boot up windows but after 3 or 4 minutes it hung up! It would not boot up after that. I tested ALL componenets in this system apart from PSU and they are all OK.

Now the system would not even go into POST screen. The CD Drive lights blink at me as if waiting to read from the drive? When I put any bootable CD and repower the system nothing happens.

Then I power down, unplug, take out CMOS battery, reset CMOS with jumpers, reconnect everything back and reboot. It then goes into POST and at the end outputs this message: "default bios settings have been loaded due to bios update or checksum issue". When I reboot, again nothing happens and the cd lights blink...

I fear the CMOS was probably corrupted somehow and I have an unbootable BIOS. Can anyone help please?

Is it possible to get a replacement BIOS chip? Interestingly, on the screen the BIOS reports a revision 3.08, while that on the actual BIOS chip on the mobo is stamped Rev. 3.07?! Has the previous owner had a faulty BIOS upgrade attemp? Can I reflash the BIOS to the old stable version, assuming I can find out the right link to the manufacture'rs website?

Incidently I have tracked the motherboard ID as being ECS, but the BIOS update does not seem to be compatible with HP's motherboard BIOS?!

Any coments and help would be greately appreciated.

Cheers!

CPU Intel Cel D 2.66GHz
256 MB DDR 333 (PC2700)
80 GB WD HDD
HP DVD RW
Motherboard SF2/661FX v2.2a
(Sis Real256E chipset) 32-64 shared RAM for onbaord video
PUS BESTEC 250W max output
 

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this to me sounds like the battery is dying and yes you can get them from any proper computer hardware place.

The message you were receiving is notmal this is due to the bios recognising the cmos reset.

Your psu could be faulty see if you can borrow one to try or use a multi meter to test wether it is operating correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks greenbrucelee!

What I further attempted, which may have been very daft, was to retry to flash the bios update I downloadd from ECS. When I entered the details for the .bin file the flash utility said that the file identity does not match my system and exited to DOS. IS this because HP had this BIOS modified ffrom the ECS normal batch?

I then in a desperate move tried to reflash the BIOS with the old 'saved' BIOS and it was a disaster .... the utility showed a bad 'failed' block during the write prcess and terminated normally. After I rebooted , a brief POST message indicated BAD BIOS DATA or somthing then tried to boot off the floppy. A few seconds then it froze (which it used to do aften anyway).

Now all I get is a kind of a long tone followed by two quick beeps and nothing else!

I think I finally killed a long suffering BIOS :)

It is very frustrating trying to find a backup BIOS (i.e. revert back to the old revision 3.7 in this case either from HP or ECS). I don't think it is worth my while spending $20-30 for a BIOS chip which may or may not work. If it is a PSU issue then all this is in vain!

Any ideas or comments would still be very welcome indeed!

Cheers.
 

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you need to get the bios in order. Get it from the computer manufacturers website and put it on a flash drive and flash through the bios.

did you flash from windows?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi greenbrucelee,

Yeah, that's the problem, u c!

It is damn awkward to get the POST screen to fully complete, and when entering BIOS set up, it often freezes up a couple of seconds later. :(

Occasionally after resetting the CMOS memory, and leaving the PC unplugged for a while I can get to the BIOS set up but then it freezes up again and I have to restart.

Since I tried to re-flash the CMOS chip unsuccessfully, from a possibly infected BIOS backup file, my next alternative may be to get a replacement chip since now I don't even get POST screen and only get one long beep then two short ones!

As to the flash process I could not use Windows so I did it from a DOS boot up disk. The flash almost completed then near the end it showed a red write block (fail) but it carried on writing to the end.... the result was of course a dead CMOS I think :(

Is it time to ditch this motherboard?

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi, wrench97!

Thanks for your reply, but there is nothing apart from the audio signals (one longh followed by two short).

After reflashing with a backup BIOS (probably infected) it would not go into the POST screen.

Either the backup contains corrupted data or the BIOS-CMOS chip is toast!

I hope I can find a replacement BIOS - I can't afford to upgrade just yet nor splash out for a replacement BIOS - they damn near costs the price of a new 'low end' MoBo !

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is that an AMI, Award, Ast or IBM bios? if so 1 long 2 short is video failure.
Hi There wrench97!

Actually it's a Phoenix-Award BIOS v6.00PG
(OEM- Copyright 2004 by HP Co. Rev. 3.08)

It has Real Sis Chipset 256 (with 32-64 shared video RAM).

Do you suggest I try an AGP or PCI card to boot with if the integrated AGP is at fault? Somehow I am more likely to suspect the BIOS is corrupt since this code only appeared after reflashing.

Cheers!
 

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you could try a video card to see if it works.

when you flashed did you do it through windows or the bios?

viruses in BIOSes are very very rare and is more of a myth these days than a reality.
 

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if there was a read/wrire failure this could be either the disk you used had bad sectors on it or that the flash process finished before the disk did.

See if you can put that disk into another pc and virus check the disk.

you could try this to repair the floppy disk I used it about 8 years ago and it worked http://www.sharewareconnection.com/flobo-floppy-bad-sector-repair.htm
 
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