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Thread: POST Error BIOS Interpretation, Please ?




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    85

    Default POST Error BIOS Interpretation, Please ?

    [edited May 12-09]

    I've been working on this problem since last November. I think I'm fairly close, but I don't understand what the BIOS popup is asking me.

    system: see signature
    mobo: Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H rev 1.1
    BIOS Award F8a (Feb 10-2009)

    — To restart my computer, you simply restart it. (Windows XP SP3 32-bit or Windows XP SP2 64-bit). No problem.

    — To start my computer on a power-up from a cold (unplugged) start, the system requires you to press F1 when the BIOS alerts you to a POST error by popping up a message.

    SEQUENCE:

    1.
    Screen displays Memory Info (DDR2 800, Dual Channel, 128-bit)

    2.
    Long wait that I've set myself in the BIOS, which seems to help give the computer time to find its drives. At the moment, it is at max 15 seconds. This is not a problem in itself. It keeps the startup going ahead, whereas previously it would recycle back and start again.

    3.
    The familiar POST beep is a single beep, not a double beep—but it is not your usual single beep. It is a BE-BEEP! as though it trips over itself. This happens on all cold starts. On REstarts, it is a "perfect" single beep. But I emphasize that the cold start beep is NOT 2 beeps; it is one beep broken, as though it stumbles.

    3.
    Screen display: Detecting IDE drives [there are 2, a HDD and a CD]. . .

    4.
    ===============
    POST error occurs!

    Profile 1) : Default
    Profile 2) : Custom 1
    Success Boot Record : Last Known Good
    Success Boot Record 1) : 2 times
    Success Boot Record 2) : >5 times
    Success Boot Record 3) : 3 times

    DEL : setup ^v : Choices
    F1 : Continue to boot
    Enter : Select Profile

    System continue in [8] sec. . .

    ===============

    5.
    Using F11, I have saved a preferred Profile ["Custom 1"] but this had no effect. And yet, if I press F1, things will keep going OK. But F1 tells it to simply "continue to boot", so although the computer runs okay, the offending "POST error" which "occurred" must still be there.

    I'd much prefer to have things set properly, and not have to fuss with that popup on every cold start.

    6.
    Screen displays AHCI Drive Init. . . .

    7.
    Screen displays PCI Devices Listing, and Verifying DMI Pool Data. . . .

    8.
    Screen displays NTLDR OS Menu (multiboot)

    9.
    Bootscreen, Welcome Screen, Windows Desktop.
    —This part is reliable but slow, and Windows loads very slowly too. So slow that the "welcome" musical notes play while the Welcome Screen is still showing, well before the desktop screen appears.
    _______________

    Because I've worked on this so long, I'm fairly sure it's a motherboard problem. Not RAM, not PSU, and not the opticals or the HDDs.

    I traded in my original mobo for this identical version 1.1. In February I flashed the BIOS to its present version, which is the current most recent version.

    At the moment, I'd like to know what the BIOS popup, "POST error occurs", is complaining about. It tells me the error exists, but it lists nothing but "success" configurations. I'd prefer for the popup not to pop up on every cold start. What am I doing wrong? Or what is the mobo doing wrong?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Groonx2; 05-12-2009 at 09:04 PM.
    AMD Athlon 64 x2 5600+
    Gigabyte AM2+ GA-MA78GM-S2H ver 1.1. BIOS (newest) F11
    NB: AMD780G. SB: AMD SB700
    RAM 8GB (2 kits @ 4GB each) G.Skill DDR2-1000 (F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ PC2-8000 x2 CL5-5-5-15) running as DDR2-800
    Case Antec P150
    PSU Corsair HX520W. (PSU calc by Corsair + NCIX; tested by TT Dr Power.)
    Cooling Xigmatek HDT-S1283 heatsink (Arctic Silver 5); 6 fans
    HDDs usable 1.7 TB (4 Seagates—3x 500GB SATA ST3500320AS w/SD1A + 1x 320GB PATA ST3320620A)
    Floppy
    Opticals (3): Pioneer SATA DVR-212D; LiteOn/Sony PATA CRX230AE; external USB Samsung SE-S204S DVD Writer
    Video ATI Radeon HD4670
    Monitor 22" LG W2242TQ w/Belkin DVI-D
    Sound Altec Lansing 5.1
    Mouses (2) Logi MX620 + Logi V220
    KB Simple Perfection backlit USB
    XP64
    No gaming; heavy simultaneous use of big programs
    System built Nov 2008




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: POST Error BIOS Interpretation, Please ?

    I'm responding to my own post here, as my original question seems to have stumped any takers.

    I have solved parts of it.

    — The CMOS Error! popup itself is actually governed by the option in the BIOS > Standard CMOS Features to HALT ON, or not to halt on, the user's choice of any of 5 contingencies. In choosing his option here, the user is telling the system not only to HALT, but to DISPLAY THE CMOS ERROR! POPUP if or when it does halt. Nothing informs anybody of that—you just have to "know".

    The choices in the BIOS > Standard CMOS Features are to HALT ON:
    • No errors — continue to start no matter what
    • All errors — on detecting any error at all, display the CMOS Error! popup
    • All, But Keyboard — pretends to be English for "Halt on any errors detected during startup except errors relating to the keyboard". A USB keyboard might seem to be "missing" during startup when it is not; so you might want to ignore such a false-positive "error".
    • All, but Diskette — samesame but different
    • All, but Disk/Key — you got it


    At least this information let me control the error display. The CMOS Error! that I was getting resulted from my having set the DRAM Trfcs to any manual setting at all, whether 105ns, 195ns, or 327.5ns. In every case, the setting reports as an error during POST. POST is quick enough, but "halts on" the error and displays the CMOS Error! popup.

    Now I could simply set it at HALT ON NO ERRORS and it would continue to boot without the CMOS Error! popup. But I'd be operating in ignorance of an unknown problem; I'd have merely shot the messenger.

    Unfortunately, although leaving my DRAM settings on AUTO (which gives a default Trfc @ 127.5ns) incurs no CMOS Error! popup, my times from a cold power-on to the POST BEEP are an agonizing 3 to 12 (typically 4˝) MINUTES. If you know why, I would sure like to hear from you. I built my computer last November, and now it is July.

    I hope this information helps someone else.
    And I sure hope that one day my computer starts properly. 4 or 5 minutes just to get as far as the POST BEEP is no fun at all.
    Last edited by Groonx2; 07-27-2009 at 05:13 AM.
    AMD Athlon 64 x2 5600+
    Gigabyte AM2+ GA-MA78GM-S2H ver 1.1. BIOS (newest) F11
    NB: AMD780G. SB: AMD SB700
    RAM 8GB (2 kits @ 4GB each) G.Skill DDR2-1000 (F2-8000CL5D-4GBPQ PC2-8000 x2 CL5-5-5-15) running as DDR2-800
    Case Antec P150
    PSU Corsair HX520W. (PSU calc by Corsair + NCIX; tested by TT Dr Power.)
    Cooling Xigmatek HDT-S1283 heatsink (Arctic Silver 5); 6 fans
    HDDs usable 1.7 TB (4 Seagates—3x 500GB SATA ST3500320AS w/SD1A + 1x 320GB PATA ST3320620A)
    Floppy
    Opticals (3): Pioneer SATA DVR-212D; LiteOn/Sony PATA CRX230AE; external USB Samsung SE-S204S DVD Writer
    Video ATI Radeon HD4670
    Monitor 22" LG W2242TQ w/Belkin DVI-D
    Sound Altec Lansing 5.1
    Mouses (2) Logi MX620 + Logi V220
    KB Simple Perfection backlit USB
    XP64
    No gaming; heavy simultaneous use of big programs
    System built Nov 2008




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