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Bios settings won't save


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sitruc sitruc is offline
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26-Aug-2007, 04:51 PM #1
Bios settings won't save
Okay, here it goes I'm kind of new at this and think I'm over my head but... - I have a Intel p4 with an ECS 915p mobo and recently flashed the bios using the win/ami utility from the ECS website and the 060627 update. After doing so, the computer begins to post but stops after "checking NVRAM.." and says "CMOS Checksum Bad" and "CMOS set date/time," "Press F1 to enter set up." If I go into setup and correct the date and save (f10) it restarts but stops at the same exact point. It doesn't seem to be saving any of the changes I make - date/time or any others it reverts back to whatever was there. I replaced the battery on the motherboard but it still won't save the changes. I've tried resetting the CMOS using the jumper on the motherboard then it stops at the same point and says CMOS wrong the first time but then reverts back to the original message after I "save" it (doesn't actually save anything).

The reason I updated the BIOS is because I recently installed a new video card (Geforce 7300 gs oc) which worked but had lines and random falling pixels. I noticed the BIOS update on the ECS site mentioned further support for nVidia cards.

I have tried to put in my old AGP (xabre200) card to see if that solves it but the only difference is that the first boot after I change the card it says "Checking NVRAM okay!" instead of just "checking NVRAM.." that it usually does. It still won't save the date/time and hangs at the same place the next time I boot and no longer says "checking NVRAM okay." I really don't know what to do. I can't try to reflash the bios because I don't have a floppy drive and I obviously can't get windows to load. Is there a way to flash the BIOS from a CD somehow - would that help?

Any ideas would be great. I'm sure I left something out.

Please help.
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jschlott jschlott is offline
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26-Aug-2007, 05:38 PM #2
Hi just noticed that you posted to my thread and had the same problem. You said that you reinput the time and it doesn't save. That happened to me but I had the option to push F1 to enter bios or F2 to just let it load with the wrong date. Do you have that option?
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jschlott jschlott is offline
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26-Aug-2007, 05:46 PM #3
Also- I did not change the jumpers on my board. My boot sector was set so that I could change it through the bios setup screen under bios security. The AMI windows flash utility has all that you need to flash the bios. If you can push F2, try to boot up that way and then set time and date through the applet with the desktop clock. It won't save between power-downs but at least you can get online. Also, I would reset the jumper on the board so that it can save in between.
After that, I will let the forum geniuses help you since I am no expert and these guys really know their stuff.

Oh and I wish I knew about the bios strings prior to flashing but I did research for days the exact bios version that I would need to make sure that once done I would not end up with no bios at all.

I used a program to get my string from my post by googling AMI ECS bios string and it turns out that AMI offered a downloadable program that would find all the info for me so I could cut and paste the results for the helpers here.

good luck- I know your pain.
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sitruc sitruc is offline
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26-Aug-2007, 06:32 PM #4
Unfortunately, I don't have the option of pressing F2 to skip the time/date set. Dang!

I"m not sure which jumpers you're talking about when you said: "Also, I would reset the jumper on the board so that it can save in between." It does lead me to a question however, my "bios write protection" jumper doesn't have a jumper cap on it - I never removed it and noticed that it was missing before I flashed the BIOS. Could the new BIOS require a jumper cap to save the settings? Essentially without the jumper cap my bios is uprotected all the time.

Just a thought.
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sitruc sitruc is offline
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27-Aug-2007, 11:23 AM #5
would it help it I reflashed the bios somehow? I'd have to hook up a floppy drive from an older machine. Would that help things?
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sitruc sitruc is offline
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29-Aug-2007, 05:40 PM #6
Perhaps I posted this in the wrong forum?

...or everyone realizes that I'm out of luck so they don't want to touch it? Do I just chuck the board?

If I buy a new bios chip would that help? Does it come pre-loaded with the correct bios?
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jschlott jschlott is offline
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30-Aug-2007, 03:11 AM #7
Hi have not been able to check up on you lately and know how frustrating this issue is! Since no one else has been able to help (probably got buried since that day there were a huge number of questions...) I thought I would tell you what I would do though please realize I am no expert and could be wrong so perhaps you should take any advice I have an post it as a new thread and ask if it is a good idea or not.

But anyway , if I understood your first post, you cleared CMOS on the motherboard so that you could flash it. If that was the case then did you hold it in the clear mode for a time and then replace? You can clear it and then replace it but once your CMOS is cleared, it aint there any more so that could be the problem. If so you would have to boot from a dist to replace the instruction.

If you cannot even get into the OS then the flash utility does you no good anyway. So ignore that part...

First, before anything else check to make sure your bios settings are correct. make sure your IRQ settings are correct and double check that your didn't accidentally jiggle the cables connecting your hard drive loose. Wouldn't it be nice if the only real problem is that it cant boot cause the HD is not detected because the wire was off? Never know? Just because you updated BIOS doesn't mean it has to be due to that. (Probably is but who knows< easy first.)

Then, you need to double check is that you downloaded the exactly correct bios. I went to the site and noticed that there were about 4 different 915P versions and I think that you got the 915P-A2(V7.1) based on the number that you gave. Is that correct? and is that the correct version for sure?

do you have the socket 775 by Intel? If you do you need to know if you have:
915P-A (V1.2A),
915P-A (V1.1)
915P-A2 (V7.1)
915PL-A2 (V3.1B)

Could you have downloaded the wrong version? If so not the warning message at the ECS site;
"IMPORTANT NOTE:
* Please do not update the BIOS if your system is running fine.
* Please do not update the BIOS if the BIOS patch doesn't pertain to your current problem.
* Please read the update description and special note carefully before updating the new BIOS.
* Unsuccessful BIOS flash may cause the system fails to boot up.
* Please make sure your M/B PCB version number at first then download the right BIOS for the upgrade. (How to recognize the M/B PCB version).
*.Please use the BIOS flash utility that published in the web site instead of the flash utility in CD driver "utility folder"."

If you did accidentally get the wrong version, I'm not sure if you can even recover from a recovery disk. If you can't then you probably will have to replace the chip and that would probably solve the issue.

Also, do you have your Mobo manual? You can download it from the ECS site at:
http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Dow...uID=73&LanID=9

Providing that is the correct Mobo. Make sure you have the exact version.
In the manual you will find all the setting defaults for bios and you will find this info on updating bios:

"Updating the BIOS
You can download and install updated BIOS for this motherboard from the manufacturer’s
Web site. New BIOS provides support for new peripherals, improvements in performance,
or fixes for known bugs. Install new BIOS as follows:
1 If your motherboard has a BIOS protection jumper, change the setting to allow
BIOS flashing.
2 If your motherboard has an item called Firmware Write Protect in Advanced
BIOS features, disable it. (Firmware Write Protect prevents BIOS from being
overwritten.
3 Create a bootable system disk. (Refer to Windows online help for information
on creating a bootable system disk.)
4 Download the Flash Utility and new BIOS file from the manufacturer’s Web
site. Copy these files to the system diskette you created in Step 3.
5 Turn off your computer and insert the system diskette in your computer’s
diskette drive. (You might need to run the Setup Utility and change the boot
priority items on the Advanced BIOS Features Setup page, to force your
computer to boot from the floppy diskette drive first.)
6 At the A:\ prompt, type the Flash Utility program name and press .
7 Type the filename of the new BIOS in the “File Name to Program” text box.
Follow the onscreen directions to update the motherboard BIOS.
8 When the installation is complete, remove the floppy diskette from the diskette
drive and restart your computer. If your motherboard has a Flash BIOS jumper,
reset the jumper to protect the newly installed BIOS from being overwritten."

Next, do you have the motherboard CD? Or do you have a recovery disk that came with the computer? If yes you may be able to boot from that and return the system to the default boot settings. If the wrong bios was used you might run into problems and the fact that you cant use recovery disks may be a key indicator in your choice to simply replace the chip.

Make sure you put the CMOS jumper back the way it was before and check to make sure you have write protect disabled on the bios setting screen that pertains to that . If you want to you could just apply the failsafe bios setting and make sure to save then exit.

If all of the above doesn't work I would replace the chip and save myself the hassle.

Well at the least you learned a valuable lesson about steering clear of bios when at all possible. Never mess with bios unless you have no other choice! I am on my fourth PC and used the others for many years each and never once until last week had to mess with it. I only did it then under the advice that there was no other way to get my standard VGA and display adapters back so that I could reinstall my graphics card and monitor. (I was stuck with about 4 conflicting devices and the graphics was reverted to only use VGAsave and would not free up resources for any other install. Bios was corrupted and lost whole sections of my system devices. Scarey! I would probably rather just replace the pc instead of mess with the Basic Input and Output System. But I figured that heck I was willing to toss the whole thing anyway, nothing to lose it taking the last resort option.

Hope you have another pc at the ready (then again how do you post here if you don't!)

Let me know if I rambled on and made no sense. I am running on no sleep and can barely see. I have been staring into the bright screen in a dark room now for many hours now.

Good luck and I will check back to see if you are still stuck. Maybe my feeble attempt at helping you will reposition your post back to the top and a real pro can step in to help!
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30-Aug-2007, 10:54 AM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sitruc
It does lead me to a question however, my "bios write protection" jumper doesn't have a jumper cap on it - I never removed it and noticed that it was missing before I flashed the BIOS. Could the new BIOS require a jumper cap to save the settings? Essentially without the jumper cap my bios is uprotected all the time.
The BIOS write protection jumper does not need a cap unless you want to stop data from being written to BIOS. When you flash the BIOS the cap has to be removed for the BIOS to be flashed.

Putting a cap back on after the BIOS is flashed has nothing to do with the BIOS being saved.
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sitruc sitruc is offline
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30-Aug-2007, 02:51 PM #9
Wow! Thanks for the replies! Unfortunately, I think I've tried all of that. I can't get it to boot from ANY source really. It sees all the devices - Hard drives, DVDs, etc. but I can't get it to save any settings so I can't change the boot device and it won't get past the same "CMOS checksum bad press F1 to change settings' screen anyway.

It looks like I'll have to just get a new bios chip or perhaps scrap the whole thing and get a new motherboard. How sad.

I'll post back here if I have success with anything else. I'm still open for suggestions tho...
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jschlott jschlott is offline
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31-Aug-2007, 02:25 AM #10
Wow is right. Well that is the limit of my ability to help and maybe over the limit anyway. Good luck to you and I hope you can resolve it. If you like your mobo maybe just the chip would be cheaper, but if I could I would up grade out of the ECS mobos and get something snazzy! What I could not tell you but someone here would know.

Again good luck.
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