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Failed Flash Update Error

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by drdoug, Mar 2, 2007.

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  1. drdoug

    drdoug Thread Starter

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    I have a Pentium 4 system I built about 2 years ago. The system has been stable and running smoothly...until today. There were a number of XP Security updates that needed to be installed, so while I was working on a different PC I decided I had time to install these updates. The update installation routine ran without problem until time to reboot. I gave the okay to reboot, and returned to my work on the second PC.

    After several minutes I noticed that the screen was blank, as if the PC had shut down. I started to hit the start button, but noticed that the power light was on. After checking things out (all cables plugged in, etc.), I hit the start button. The PC shut down and then restarted. I got the intel boot screen, heard a single beep from the motherboard and then...nothing. I repeated these steps twice with no change.

    Finally, I unplugged the PC, waited 30 seconds, plugged it in and rebooted. This time, after the intel screen and beep I see text that says "Flash Update Failed. Press F4 to continue" or something very similar. I pressed F4, but nothing but a black screen with a horizontal cursor flashing in the upper left corner.

    This sounds like a failed bios update, except that I was not updating the bios. There were no disks in any drive and I had not downloaded a bios update. I also keep my PC reasonably secure, running ZoneAlarm, Symantec A/V Corporate, and WebRoot SpySweeper with fresh updates and recent scans.

    So....does anyone have any ideas here? Does it sound like the bios is dead...and with it the motherboard? I can live with replacing the board and cpu if I have to, but I would really like some ideas as to why this might have happened.

    Thanks!
     
  2. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    11,670
    Which P4 processor and what make and model board are you using?
     
  3. drdoug

    drdoug Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
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    Here is what I am running...or was running. :(

    Intel Pentium 4 3.0C Northwood 3.0GHz Socket 478 Processor Model BX80532PG3000D
    Intel D875PBZLK Socket 478 Intel 875P ATX Intel Motherboard
    CORSAIR XMS 512MB 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) X 4
    Western Digital Caviar SE WD800JB 80GB 7200 RPM IDE Ultra ATA100 Hard Drive
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 ST3160023AS 160GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive X 2
    Antec Performance Plus PLUS1080AMG w/ 430W TruePower Power Supply

    Thanks for your help!
     
  4. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    11,670
    Restart the machine and as soon as it starts, start tapping the F2 key continously before the Intel splash screen and see if you can access BIOS. If you can access BIOS write down the BIOS string so we can see what version BIOS you are using.
     
  5. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2000
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    45,855
    I would also try physically resetting the CMOS by using the jumpers on the mobo -- or removing the battery for a minure or so.
     
  6. drdoug

    drdoug Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Messages:
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    Here is my BIOS version. I am also going to attempt a reset now.

    BZ87510A.86A.0068.P14

    Thanks!
     
  7. drdoug

    drdoug Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    If beeps codes are the same when attempting a BIOS recovery, then my problems may have been even greater than I thought. I start the recovery process, the floppy spins for about a second and then I get five beeps. The process repeats for as long as I leave the floppy disk in the drive. According to Intel, 5 beeps...

    If this sounds correct to you, then I will begin looking for a processor and motherboard...or buy a new machine.

    Thanks!
     
  8. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Have you taken the removable side off the machine and looked at the processor heatsink to see if it is clogged with dust? Have you pulled the front air filter on the case to see if it is clogged with dust? If the heatsink fins are clean and the case air filter is clean go to the next step.

    I don't believe the processor is the problem. Let's try a little basic troubleshooting.

    Access BIOS and set the boot sequence to 1st floppy drive, 2nd CD-ROM and 3rd Hard Drive. After you set the boot sequence, save the changes and exit BIOS.

    Since the machine is not booting to Windows you will need to make the following diagnostic floppy disc on another machine.

    Download Memtest86+ V 1.70 and build a bootable floppy;

    http://www.memtest.org/

    After you download Memtest, to make the bootable floppy For Windows, unzip the package into a directory like C:\memtest, insert a blank floppy into your a: disk drive and run the install.bat file. Follow any prompts and this will build the bootable floppy disc.

    After the floppy disc is constructed, insert it in the troubled machine and re-start the machine. The machine should boot from the floppy disc you created.

    After the machine is running on the floppy let it run for a minimum of 4 hours and see if you come up with any memory errors.
     
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