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No BIOS access, and can't boot normally even with new OS on HD



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 10th 04, 04:44 PM
ToolPackinMama
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Default No BIOS access, and can't boot normally even with new OS on HD

OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.

Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.

Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
and couldn't complete it.

Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.

I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
HD.

Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
AMIBIOS Gateway.

Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.

Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.

I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.

I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
*Now* what do I do?
  #2  
Old April 10th 04, 05:28 PM
Sal Monella
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Posts: n/a
Default

ToolPackinMama wrote:

OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.

Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.

Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
and couldn't complete it.

Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.

I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
HD.

Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
AMIBIOS Gateway.

Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.

Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.

I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.

I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
*Now* what do I do?


Interesting. Can you boot to floppy and then format the HD and then run
sys c: on it and then boot to the HD? Also try running fdisk and killing
all the partitions and recreating the primary. Also try fdisk /mbr.
There's also a handy batch file out there called killhdd.bat. If your
boot disk has debug on it you can run killhdd.bat from there and it will
use debug to completely wipe the HD. You then need to run fdisk and
create the primary, then format etc. As far as the bios, I've heard of
some sort of fastboot option in some bios versions that bypasses setup.
You might be able to reset CMOS and get into bios. Also try F12 and F10
and see if that gets you in. None of that may help you but it's worth a
shot.
  #3  
Old April 10th 04, 05:38 PM
ToolPackinMama
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

ToolPackinMama wrote:

I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
*Now* what do I do?


OK, I reset the CMOS, and that made it possible for me to access BIOS.
::whew::

I guess the BIOS got scrambled somehow.
  #4  
Old April 10th 04, 05:53 PM
ToolPackinMama
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Sal Monella wrote:

Interesting. Can you boot to floppy and then format the HD and then run
sys c: on it and then boot to the HD? Also try running fdisk and killing
all the partitions and recreating the primary.


Yeah, as a matter of fact I tried that.

I reset the CMOS and was able after that to access BIOS via F1. I set
the boot order to boot to CD, and now can load the OS from the CD.

Also try F12 and F10


Yeah I tried those. I guess the BIOS was just scrambled. I can access
it now.

Thanks for your interest.
  #5  
Old April 10th 04, 06:25 PM
Tweek
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Posts: n/a
Default

Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. If
any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or the
entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.

"ToolPackinMama" wrote in message
...
OK, I'm working on a friend's WinME Gateway (1 Ghz. Athlon, 512 MB RAM),
and it's showing all the signs of massive virus infection and/or
impending HD failure. For example, Norton auto-protect and email
scanning were disabled and couldn't re-enable them. Uninstalled Norton,
then machine refused to allow a reinstall. Numerous annoying "can't
find bizzarro.ink", "can't find bogus.ink" popups blocking the road,
dozens of them, if you dismiss them all, the machine locks up... if you
work around them you can function, but not well, etc. etc.

Can't access msconfig - machine locks, even in safe mode.

Tried to do a Housecall online virus scan, machine locked during scan,
and couldn't complete it.

Later, could no longer access internet (they've got COX cable). It's
like the machine had a rapidly progressing case of Alzheimer's.

I managed to save their backups to CD, a miracle, and tried to boot to
the rescue CD, but it kept wanting to boot to the (apparently crippled)
HD.

Tried to access BIOS to reset boot order, and can't access BIOS. Tried
f1, f2, and Del, one of which is certainly supposed to work with an
AMIBIOS Gateway.

Since I can't access BIOS and boot to CD, I put the HD on a different
computer, formatted it, and loaded a new OS (XP). It boots fine on my
machine, but won't boot on theirs. Not even in safe mode.

Tried the same with a new HD. Same results.

I can boot to a floppy on their machine, and I can read the HD and the
CD, but I can't boot to the CD OR the HD.

I have NEVER had such problems with a PC. What the hell ~is~ this?
*Now* what do I do?



  #6  
Old April 11th 04, 03:47 PM
ToolPackinMama
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Tweek wrote:

Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard. If
any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or the
entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.


Really? I didn't know that.

I was trying to figure out how the heck the BIOS became inaccessible.
Do you think the problem might recur?
  #7  
Old April 11th 04, 09:44 PM
Tweek
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue, then
it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on them.
Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards offered
by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard ATX
board (the board with the issue). The problems range from just randomly
locking up in windows or during boot, to not completing POST, to not
powering on at all.

"ToolPackinMama" wrote in message
...
Tweek wrote:

Open the case and look at the electrolytic capacitors on the motherboard.
If
any of them are bulging or leaking at the top, either the capacitors or
the
entire board needs replaced. It is a common issue with this board.


Really? I didn't know that.

I was trying to figure out how the heck the BIOS became inaccessible.
Do you think the problem might recur?



  #8  
Old April 11th 04, 09:55 PM
ToolPackinMama
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Tweek wrote:

If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue, then
it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on them.
Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards offered
by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard ATX
board (the board with the issue).


This one has a standard full-size ATX.
  #9  
Old April 12th 04, 01:35 AM
Tweek
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Posts: n/a
Default

Are the caps OK? They should be totally flat on top.

"ToolPackinMama" wrote in message
...
Tweek wrote:

If the motherboard has already been replaced for the capacitor issue,
then
it is unlikely to reoccur, the new boards don't have the bad caps on
them.
Now that I think about it, there were two different Socket A boards
offered
by Gateway, a micro ATX board (does not have the problem) and a standard
ATX
board (the board with the issue).


This one has a standard full-size ATX.



  #10  
Old April 12th 04, 08:40 PM
ToolPackinMama
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Tweek wrote:

Are the caps OK? They should be totally flat on top.


I can't look at it now, I already gave it back to them.
 




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