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COMPUTER SYSTEMS

Fundamentals
By: O'Reilly Media
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    2004-12-01

    Table of Contents:
  • Fundamentals
  • Why Build a PC?
  • Designing the Perfect PC
  • Designing a quiet PC
  • Designing a small PC
  • Things to Know and Do Before You Start
  • Good Advice for First-Time System Builders
  • Getting to Know Your Motherboard
  • Troubleshooting
  • Problem: When you apply power, nothing happens.
  • Problem: The system seems to start normally, but the display remains black.
  • Problem: The optical drive appears to play audio CDs, but no sound comes from the speakers.
  • Problem: The monitor displays BIOS boot text, but the system doesn’t boot and displays no error message.
  • Problem: The monitor displays a No Boot Device, Missing Operating System, or similar error message.

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    Fundamentals - Problem: The monitor displays BIOS boot text, but the system doesn’t boot and displays no error message.


    (Page 13 of 14 )

    1. This may be normal behavior. Restart the system and enter BIOS Setup (usually by pressing Delete or F1 during startup). Choose the menu option to use default CMOS settings, save the changes, exit, and restart the system.

    2. If the system doesn’t accept keyboard input and you are using a USB keyboard and mouse, temporarily swap in a PS/2 keyboard and mouse. If you are using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse, make sure you haven’t connected the keyboard to the mouse port and vice versa.

    3. If the system still fails to boot, run BIOS Setup again and verify all settings, particularly CPU speed, FSB speed, and memory timings.

    4. If the system hangs with a DMI pool error message, restart the system and run BIOS Setup again. Search the menus for an option to reset the configuration data. Enable that option, save the changes, and restart the system.

    5. If you are using an Intel motherboard, power down the system and reset the configuration jumper from the 1-2 (Normal) position to the 2-3 (Configure) position. Restart the system, and BIOS Setup will appear automatically. Choose the option to use default CMOS settings, save the changes, and power down the system. Move the configuration jumper back to the 1-2 position and restart the system. (Actually, we do this routinely any time we build a system around an Intel motherboard. It may not be absolutely required, but we’ve found that it minimizes problems.)

    6. If you are still unable to access BIOS Setup, power down the system, disconnect all of the drive data cables, and restart the system. If the system displays a Hard Drive Failure or No Boot Device error message, the problem is a defective cable (more likely) or a defective drive. Replace the drive data cable and try again. If the system does not display such an error message, the problem is probably caused by a defective motherboard.

    Problem: The monitor displays a Hard Drive Failure or similar error.
    1. This is almost always a hardware problem. Verify that the hard drive data cable is connected properly to the drive and the interface and that the drive power cable is connected.

    2. Use a different drive data cable and connect the drive to a different power cable.

    3. Connect the drive data cable to a different interface.

    4. If none of these steps corrects the problem, the most likely cause is a defective drive.

    This chapter is from Building the Perfect PC by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman Thompson (O'Reilly, 2004, ISBN: 0596006632). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.

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