Blew up my MB!(?)
I may need a new motherboard, but would appreciate it if any of you can help confirm or refute my suspicions before I go through the time and expense.
In trying to install Win95 on a replacement IDE drive, I used a "Recovery" CD from a Compaq system. Unfortunately I have Acer AP5C motherboard. I used that CD as a short-cut method to get Windows running so I could load Win95 on my new drive. This was not a good idea. The installation actually seemed to go fine, but when I went to reboot my system, I got a FATAL ROM ERROR from both my new IDE drive, as well as my floppy. I also get this error when plugging that drive into the second IDE controller, as well as with a second drive from another system plugged into either IDE controller.
My first thought was that using this CD messed up my BIOS settings. So I reset the AMIBIOS to fail-safe mode, but no luck. I have tried various combinations of "auto-detect floppy/IDE", but also with no success. I know that my floppy drive is good, as it works in another system. When I reverse the cabling on it on my Acer system, the drive LED stays on as one would expect. So the system does "see" the floppy, it just can't boot off it, or access it in any other way.
I'm stumped. The only think I can think of is that using the Compaq CD blew the UARTS for both the floppy and IDE controllers. If this is the case, I'll bite the bullet and get a new motherboard. It's just that that scenario doesn't seem as likely as having messed up the BIOS settings. I'm reluctant to get a new AMIBIOS as all its other settings seem to work fine. Plus, its from 1994 and I'm having a very difficult time getting the correct part replacement number from AMI. Obviously, I can't even attempt to reprogram it as the motherboard can't access the floppy.
If you have any useful thoughts on this problem, I'd appreciate your input.
I just did in a BH6 motherboard using
a floppy with files from a compaq what
the hell kind of file system does that?
compaq loads the bios in a non dos partition it makes on your harddrive.
When the gentleman above loaded his disk..He added the compaq bios which his mobo has absolutely no idea about.
Kind of like win98s partition that gets added with the boot disk.
Sad to say, it's a big more complex than that. I know what you're saying about Compaq loading some of their BIOS setttings on my HD, but that does not explain why my MB does not recogize my floppy drive,or a HD from an entirely different system! I can't help but think that something on the Compaq CD affected the CMOS settings, but after having reset the BIOS to "safe mode" and still having it fail leaves me mystified.
OK, try this!
I had a similar problem with a Dell.
First UNPLUG the PC.
Remove the battery on the mother board.
Once removed use a wire or something and short the batteries two conections together for a few seconds. Dont worry it wont hurt anything.
This will make sure the CMOS is erased!
Worked for me.
Yours was an excellent suggestion. I was not able to remove the battery, but I dug up the MB manual from the Acer site, and figured out how to short out the BIOS. That did clear it out all the setting (the clock was reset to 1980). Things initially looked promising, but unfortunately neither my floppy or HD is working. I now get this error:
DISKETTE BOOT FAILURE
Insert BOOT diskette in A:
Press any key when ready
This happens whether or not I configure the floppy (manual or auto-detect), or even if I put the boot order in as C:,A: So it appears that the problem with not with the BIOS after all.
Basically, I'm giving up at this point. The whole thing is very bizarre, as I find it hard to believe that the Compaq CD could have done this much damage. But I've spent many hours on something that initially seemed to be simple problem, but now looks like a lost cause. I appreciate everyone's input though, and hope that this experience prevents anyone else from making the same, dumb mistake!
no, if it's working and you have no OS on the hard drive...the machine has no magical way to start..you have to feed it.
It may very well be that your floppy is bad, that doesn't me the hard drive is also.
Can you detect the hard drive in bios?
If you can..the controller is working.
I know you said you couldn't find it before, but what about after you cleared CMOS?
[This message has been edited by bighammer (edited 02-19-99).]
There is magic, but it is bad!
Again, my HD is a working drive from another system with DOS loaded. This (Acer) system doesn't see the HD with "DETECT IDE" selected in the BIOS, or when I set it up manually. When I try with the floppy, I have a boot floppy in. I know the FD and floppy are good, as they boot when installed in another system.
Clearing the CMOS didn't make much difference. Before, I was getting NO ROM BASIC INSTALLED, and now I'm getting the above error. So this leads me to believe that the problem is not with the BIOS at all.
I would have to agree that the onboard controller is bad.
Just a note to all of this. The Acer or Aopen ap5c was kown to have a large batch with defunct controllers that were unreliable. It could be that this was all a coincidence. I would also try buying a new floppy, transplanting the board and flashing the bios, as well as the same for the hard drive and formating it.
I'm happy to report I found a workaround for my problem. The solution also verifies that the problem was with my on-board controllers, rather than the BIOS. Actually, the BIOS seems to have be very resilient in spite of what I've been doing to it.
A friend of mine had mentioned that it's possible to get an auxiliary controller card for a floppy drive. I didn't pursue this as what I really needed was my HD drive to work. But while cannibalizing two other 486's to get my 586 working, I noticed that they did not have on-board floppy/hard drive controllers, but rather had separate daughterboards for that function. So I decided to install one on my Acer system, and lo and behold, my system now sees my HD!!! It also seems to see the floppy, although it didn't want to boot off of it(BOOT DISKETTE error). However, that's a secondary issue as I can now use my system again. I noticed that when I booted the first two or three times, I did get a BIOS error: SYSTEM BOARD DEVICE RESOURCE CONFLICT. Fortunately that didn't stop the system from booting, and apparently the BIOS updated itself as the error no longer occurs.
In case you were wondering why I didn't just take my HD and put in one of the 486's I had, the reason is that this IDE drive is my boot disk only. My OS (NT) lives on two other SCSI drives that are connected to an Adaptec PCI card. Those systems have no PCI slots, so there was no way for me to use to move all my drives over to them.
Raffie, what you say is entirely possible. I've had stranger coincidences. But in this case it seems more likely that the controllers were affected by the Compaq CD utilities. I'm just happy I have a usable system again. In the interim, I've done a lot of research into the new ATX MBs, processors, memory, cases, etc. I will eventually put one together, but am glad not to feel compelled to make a rush decision.
Feines, Raffi, Bighammer...It's 2000 and this problem has reared its ugly again. A friend of a friend passed along a pc for me to examine. Seems it wouldn't boot. I agreed to look at because the "friend" had all of the docs and utility/driver disks neatly packaged and labelled.
Turns out, he also had a AP5C/P mobo running with a P166 chip. After switching cables, HD's, and controllers, I realized that the onboard IDE controllers were toast(in this case, the floppy was unaffected). I haven't been able to contact the friend to find out if he did anything out of the norm like trying to boot with a Compaq floppy, but he did tell me that I'm the second person to troubleshoot his system.
There are still 2 things that I havent' tried yet, and judging from this thread it may be a TWOT. But I'll try them anyway if for no other reason than to reaffirm your preliminary findings. One is flashing the bios and the other doing the cmos reset thing.
One last note. I searched the web (search engines) for an hour yesterday trying to diagnose this problem...to no avail. I've had this page bookmarked since '97 when I last purchased a mobo(it was tons of help then) and was hoping to find a forum(like this) or some other mechanism to fire off my problem. To cut to da quick, I just want to say thx to all who replied to this. This thread and others like are invaluable to folks like me....sincerely, tycly.
Had same problem with my AP5c/p in December of 1999 (spooky, hah?). It would not recognise the HDD, so I installed a HDD controller card to get it running again then downloaded the BIOS files and flashed the BIOS. It's been running perfectly since then. Possibly the BIOS got corrupted enough to mess things up. BIOS files are on the AOPEN site. No guarantee it will work for anyone else. Good Luck!
Remember, with the old systems sometimes the hdd needs to be configured manually...
I betcha I coulda got them thar systems workin...
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