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Urgent help!!! Please!!
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Jim Hillier
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March 17, 2011 - 4:57 am
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Number 2 son's Vista Home Premium 32-bit machine.

I set this second hand machine up for him. Re-installed Vista from scratch and set it all up. At first it was doing something really strange....when you pressed the 'on' button, the HD busy light flashed for a couple of seconds and then nothing. Power was all OK; optical drive door operated OK, fans were spinning, etc but the monitor stayed black and the OS would not boot.

After much checking and double checking, I ended up taking the CMOS battery out and tried to boot again and....blow me down it booted up fine. Tried rebooting several times, all went fine so I replaced the battery (with a new one), reset the time and date and handed the machine over to my son.

He has since booted it up a couple of times, no worries but then he tried to boot it this evening and the exact same thing happened. He brought the machine over to me and sure enough, identical symptoms. So I removed the battery again and, low and behold, again it booted up fine.

What is going on....any clues???

Cheers....Jim

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Chad Johnson
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March 17, 2011 - 9:29 am
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It sounds as though the battery is causing a short somewhere that is completing a circuit when the battery is in place. Short of replacing the motherboard, I am not certain how one would fix this.

You can run the computer just fine without the CMOS battery. With two caveats: one) your BIOS runs fine with the default configuration (otherwise you have to change it with every boot) and two) you can get into Windows without the time and date being set correctly (otherwise you have to set it with every boot). Windows should update the time based on the Internet time once everything has loaded.

I wonder if rebooting causes the BIOS / CMOS to reset? If not, then just keep it on all the time.

Either way, it would seem to be baremetal exposure in the CMOS battery area. If you're good with a saudering gun and have a wiring diagram you could probably fix it, but you'd be better off with the new motherboard.

:/

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David Hartsock
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March 17, 2011 - 7:55 pm
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Have you checked the voltage of the batteries with a multimeter? That would help point a finger at hardware or BIOS - probably hardware, but anything is possible. Also, have you checked for BIOS updates or downloaded the latest BIOS and reflashed?

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Jim Hillier
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March 17, 2011 - 8:51 pm
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Thanks for the responses guys.

Zig - You could well be right (you often are ) but this issue seems to be connected to BIOS in some way. Removing the battery resets BIOS to default settings and then everything is OK again, even after putting the battery back in. Although, what settings could change (and how) in BIOS to make it go wonky again is beyond me (all I have ever done is reset time and date). I can't see the son (who is not at all computer literate) continually resetting everything, and a new mobo (or paid repairs) isn't on the cards.......if money is going to be spent, would prefer to invest in a completely new tower.

Dave - The son is going to try a new battery and let me know. He works for his older brother in the motor dealerships and apparently the CMOS battery is identical to the ones used in remote controls for motor vehicles. I [i:3tkgnjen]had[/i:3tkgnjen] thought of updating/flashing the BIOS....thanks for confirming. I'll try that if the new battery does not make any difference (which I'm pretty sure it won't).

The most frustrating aspect of this fault (apart from it being intermittent) is that the machine is either running 100% perfect or not running [i:3tkgnjen]at all[/i:3tkgnjen]!!

Thanks again...will let you know.

Cheers....Jim

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Chad Johnson
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March 17, 2011 - 10:34 pm
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The most frustrating aspect of this fault (apart from it being intermittent) is that the machine is either running 100% perfect or not running [i:1twfohxy]at all[/i:1twfohxy]!!

Thanks again...will let you know.

Cheers....Jim[/quote:1twfohxy]

The best issues are always the one you can't reproduce on purpose.

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