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BIOS Troubleshooting

Because the BIOS is the essential "glue" that joins hardware to the operating system, you need to know how to deal with errors. Follow these steps to solve BIOS problems.

Incorrect CMOS Configuration

If the system can't start after a BIOS upgrade or a battery replacement, the CMOS might be corrupted. Re-enter the correct settings, save changes, and restart. An onscreen error message will usually indicate a CMOS problem. Otherwise, the settings might have been adjusted by a user. Try using the BIOS Setup auto-configure options, double-check drive configurations, save changes, and restart.

Incorrect Flash BIOS or Failed Update

If you use the wrong flash BIOS file to update your BIOS, or if the update process doesn't finish, your system can't start. You might need to contact the system or motherboard maker for service. Some BIOSes contain a "mini-BIOS" that can be reinstalled from a reserved part of the chip. Systems with this feature have a jumper on the motherboard called the "flash recovery" jumper. Micro Firmware's Web site lists popular motherboards using Phoenix BIOSes that have this feature.

To use this feature, download the correct flash BIOS, make the floppy disk, and take it to the computer with the defective BIOS. Set the jumper to Recovery, insert the floppy disk, and rerun the setup process. Listen for beeps and watch for the drive light to run during this process, because the video won't work. Turn off the computer, reset the jumper to Normal, and restart the computer.

If the update can't be installed, your motherboard might have a jumper that write-protects the flash BIOS. Check the manual to see if your system has this feature. To update a BIOS on a system with a write protected jumper, you must

  1. Disable the write-protection.

  2. Perform the update.

  3. Re-enable the write-protection to keep unauthorized people from changing the BIOS.

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