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Thread: Locking the BIOS?

  1. #1
    petersmart is offline Junior Member
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    Default Locking the BIOS?

    I have the ASRock B75 PRO3-M mobo which is a UEFI mobo.

    Is there any way of locking the BIOS to prevent it changing when running

    I have just spent over an hour trying to find why it suddenly refused to boot properly, getting as far as the Win XP first screen (with the little blue bars going across) then re-booting.

    It turned out the BIOS had altered and had set the sata 2 slots to AHCI instead of IDE.

    Also is there any way to stop it re-setting the boot sequence when adding another drive?

    .

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    AHCI mode is the default UEFI setting for the Intel SATA ports. It sounds like default UEFI settings are being applied due to your boot problems with XP.

    If you are not rebooting by pressing a Clear CMOS button, if your board has that and would reset the UEFI settings to default settings, then it sounds like whatever boot problem you have with XP (an OC that fails?) is causing the UEFI to change to default settings. There is no way to lock settings in the UEFI. If your UEFI has this option, you can save a profile of your needed settings, and with one or two clicks, apply it to the changed UEFI. You would still need to go into the UEFI to do that.

  3. #3
    petersmart is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    AHCI mode is the default UEFI setting for the Intel SATA ports. It sounds like default UEFI settings are being applied due to your boot problems with XP.

    If you are not rebooting by pressing a Clear CMOS button, if your board has that and would reset the UEFI settings to default settings, then it sounds like whatever boot problem you have with XP (an OC that fails?) is causing the UEFI to change to default settings. There is no way to lock settings in the UEFI. If your UEFI has this option, you can save a profile of your needed settings, and with one or two clicks, apply it to the changed UEFI. You would still need to go into the UEFI to do that.
    No you don't understand, the boot problem is not causing the problem in UEFI, it's the problem in UEFI which is causing the boot problem.

    Normally XP boots with no problems at all unless the SATA 3 ports are set to IDE.

    The SATA 3 ports are at AHCI normally because I have a 128Gb SSD as the boot drive so that and one other drive (also a SATA 3) use AHCI.

    But the other drives (storage) are all set to IDE and connected to the SATA 2 ports and formatted in IDE (using NTFS.)

    The PC booted normally until I turned it off - then when I turned it on the problem occurred.

    But thanks for your help.

    .

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Your board has two SATA controllers, the main one an Intel SATA B75 chipset, that provides one SATA III port, and five SATA II ports. They are the group of six at the bottom of the board, one port is gray, the other five black.

    The second SATA chipset is the ASMedia 1061, that provides the two gray SATA III ports next to the 24 pin power connector.

    The two controllers are independent of each other, and can be set to different SATA modes, such as IDE and AHCI. You cannot set individual ports on one controller to a different SATA mode, they are all either IDE, or AHCI. So the six Intel SATA ports can be all IDE or all AHCI, but not mixed. The same is true for the two ASMedia SATA ports.

    There is no such thing as formatting a drive in IDE or AHCI. Those are modes of operation of the SATA controller itself, with the appropriate driver for the controller. A change of the SATA controller mode in the UEFI only causes problems with the OS drive.

    Which SATA controller is your SSD boot drive connected to, the Intel or ASMedia? Windows XP does not natively support AHCI mode, so you must have installed XP with a different procedure. Did you install XP in AHCI mode?

    Your storage drives will work fine if the SATA controller is operating in AHCI mode, and actually perform better than in IDE mode.

    If the SATA mode of a SATA controller actually does change after a shutdown and reboot, that is very strange and does not make sense. A bad mother board battery can cause things like that to happen, but IMO something else actually happened.

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    petersmart is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Your board has two SATA controllers, the main one an Intel SATA B75 chipset, that provides one SATA III port, and five SATA II ports. They are the group of six at the bottom of the board, one port is gray, the other five black.

    The second SATA chipset is the ASMedia 1061, that provides the two gray SATA III ports next to the 24 pin power connector.

    The two controllers are independent of each other, and can be set to different SATA modes, such as IDE and AHCI. You cannot set individual ports on one controller to a different SATA mode, they are all either IDE, or AHCI. So the six Intel SATA ports can be all IDE or all AHCI, but not mixed. The same is true for the two ASMedia SATA ports.

    There is no such thing as formatting a drive in IDE or AHCI. Those are modes of operation of the SATA controller itself, with the appropriate driver for the controller. A change of the SATA controller mode in the UEFI only causes problems with the OS drive.

    Which SATA controller is your SSD boot drive connected to, the Intel or ASMedia? Windows XP does not natively support AHCI mode, so you must have installed XP with a different procedure. Did you install XP in AHCI mode?

    Your storage drives will work fine if the SATA controller is operating in AHCI mode, and actually perform better than in IDE mode.

    If the SATA mode of a SATA controller actually does change after a shutdown and reboot, that is very strange and does not make sense. A bad mother board battery can cause things like that to happen, but IMO something else actually happened.
    The SSD boot drive is connected to the SATA 3 port in the Intel Controller and was therefore installed in IDE mode and runs in IDE mode - I did not really realise about the 2 different controllers.

    However it DID change after a re-boot which is what caused the trouble - it changed to AHCI mode which stopped it re-booting properly - but I was wrong about saying it re-booted - it actually only got as far as the Windows screen which was very weak so I surmise the screen had just started to appear then everything froze, and then I had to re-boot it by turning off and re-starting, when the same thing happened again until I re-set the (Intel) SATA mode to IDE.

    I have obtained exactly the same thing today by re-setting the Intel SATA controller to AHCI.

    I assume the battery is all right because I bought the mobo as part of a brand new bundle - i7 3770, mobo and 8 Gb memory.

    I will have to try installing XP under AHCI and see how I get on, If I do that I'll let you know how it goes - but once again thanks for your replies - and you have certainly clarified a few points for me.

    .

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Is the IDE/AHCI "swapping' you describe the only thing that's being changed within the BIOS when this happens?

    Or is it, say, possibly changing a Serial Port or LPT Port that you have disabled and after this anomaly you find it/them changed too?
    ie: Anything else in the BIOS that you may have changed from its Default setting, and afterwards find reset back to Default.

    And pardon me, but for the price of a CMOS battery it isn't worth assuming it's good.

    Even on new MB installs I replace them with a new known fresh one. Over there where our MB's are assembled, if there ever was a commodity item, button cells are certainly to be considered as one.
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    Is the IDE/AHCI "swapping' you describe the only thing that's being changed within the BIOS when this happens?

    Or is it, say, possibly changing a Serial Port or LPT Port that you have disabled and after this anomaly you find it/them changed too?
    ie: Anything else in the BIOS that you may have changed from its Default setting, and afterwards find reset back to Default.

    And pardon me, but for the price of a CMOS battery it isn't worth assuming it's good.

    Even on new MB installs I replace them with a new known fresh one. Over there where our MB's are assembled, if there ever was a commodity item, button cells are certainly to be considered as one.
    I agree, when I read "everything is fine until i shutdown the pc, and then bios settings change" screams dead cmos battery to me.
    To the OP, does your clock lose it's date/time as well? BIOS' don't typically have a habit of changing themselves. While it IS possible for the OS or an application within the OS to change BIOS settings, that is also pretty rare.
    it is however extremely common for battery issues.
    Also please make sure your "clrcmos" jumper is not in the "clear" position. (refer to your MB manual, PDF download also available here)

    Edit: I have seen on one or two occasions, where a misinstall into a case had a standoff short out the cmos battery and exhibit the same behaviors. Not necessarily with this board, but I have seen it happen. and judging by the picture of your motherboard, the CMOS battery IS approximately in the vicinity of a possible standoff.
    Last edited by synack; 11-27-2012 at 03:46 AM.

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    petersmart is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by synack View Post
    I agree, when I read "everything is fine until i shutdown the pc, and then bios settings change" screams dead cmos battery to me.
    To the OP, does your clock lose it's date/time as well? BIOS' don't typically have a habit of changing themselves. While it IS possible for the OS or an application within the OS to change BIOS settings, that is also pretty rare.
    it is however extremely common for battery issues.
    Also please make sure your "clrcmos" jumper is not in the "clear" position. (refer to your MB manual, PDF download also available here)

    Edit: I have seen on one or two occasions, where a misinstall into a case had a standoff short out the cmos battery and exhibit the same behaviors. Not necessarily with this board, but I have seen it happen. and judging by the picture of your motherboard, the CMOS battery IS approximately in the vicinity of a possible standoff.
    If by standoff do you mean the back of the mobo shorting out against a metal backplate - if so and because of this possibility I always put a piece of thick cardboard under the mobo to prevent this (assuming the backplate covers the whole mobo).

    Nothing else seems to have happened just the IDE changed to AHCI on that occasion when I had finished rendering some videos.

    But I will get another battery and install in just to be safe.

    Must say though that out of dozens of computers I've had none have ever had battery problems even after 6 - 8 years.

    .

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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    wardog and Syn, I agree 100%.

    Now that I have further information, a battery problem seems more likely. But as wardog said, you would think everything would change to default settings in the BIOS if the battery was bad. Also, most boards would display a screen with options to load BIOS defaults, or to enter the BIOS to change settings, when a BIOS clear occurred. Since a shutdown was done, and not a complete removal of power from the mother board when the PS is turned off or unplugged from AC power, that might cause weird things to happen with a bad battery, as I have seen myself in the past with other boards.

    petersmart, I have an ASUS board that would not maintain the BIOS settings when I removed power from the PC, to work on it. It was a new board for a new build, and drove me crazy. The board was a new model at the time, so not old stock. Turned out that the battery from the factory was bad, I replaced it a month after I got the board, and no more BIOS setting problems. As said above, well worth trying it for $2.

    An OS installed in IDE mode will not boot if the SATA mode is changed to AHCI or RAID, that is normal and happens with any version of Windows. XP did not support AHCI mode when introduced, and it still takes some extra effort to get AHCI mode working in XP. I know there are methods of doing that, but I've never done it myself. Your SSD will perform better in AHCI mode, and it is worth it to change. You may not need to reinstall your OS to accomplish that, at least with Windows 7, but I'm not sure about XP.

  10. #10
    - wardog -'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Locking the BIOS?

    Quote Originally Posted by petersmart View Post
    If by standoff do you mean the back of the mobo shorting out against a metal backplate - if so and because of this possibility I always put a piece of thick cardboard under the mobo to prevent this (assuming the backplate covers the whole mobo).

    Nothing else seems to have happened just the IDE changed to AHCI on that occasion when I had finished rendering some videos.
    And this only happens after some strenuous activity that would generated heat on the mb? Can you elaborate or further describe this piece of thick cardboard, and where it is placed for me(us?) because what I understand you to have said there is you to have fashioned a thick piece of cardboard filling the space between the mb tray and the back of the mb itself nearly as thick as the standoffs are tall.
    EDIT: ie: no ventilation or circulation or cooling air behind the mb.

    Something crawl in between there looking for warmth and die? Shorting something(other than itself :)) while doing so?
    #1 - Please, when seeking help, enter the make and model of ALL parts that your system is comprised of in your Signature, or at least the model #'s in your System Specs, then "Save' it.
    ____If you are overclocking, underclocking, or undervolting any parts, informing us of this and their values would prove beneficial in helping you.

    #2 - G.Skill RAM Configurator for your boardSamsung Memory for your boardLatest AMD Chipset Drivers/WindowsLatest AMD Graphics Drivers/WindowsLatest Intel Drivers

    #3 - Please use the PSU Calculator found HERE to determine if it might be the PSU causing issues. I do(Lifetime PRO ver.) and will mention so if it is marginal for your build.
    ____Consider your PSU to be the foundation from which all else is built upon. Anything built upon a weak foundation is poorly built.

    ASRock Z77 Extreme6, i7-3770K, 16GB F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR, Seasonic SS-660XP2 Platinum, On-die HD 4000, Corsair H80i, Antec Spot Cool, Fractal Design R4 Black Pearl w/Window
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    Server 2: ASRock FM2A88X Extreme6+, A10-6800K, 16GB F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL, Seasonic X750 Gold, IBM ServeRAID M1015 (IT Mode), On-die HD 8670D, Corsair H80i, Antec Spot Cool, Fractal Design Arc Midi R2

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