Lost BIOS and MBR

Home build / HOME PREMIUM
May 15, 2009 at 22:34:21
Specs: XP Pro/Vista (Dual), P4/3.1 3gig
Essentially I seem to have lost my BIOS and in order to explain my problem some idea of my setup is necessary.

My tower has two fixed drives, one is a 160Gb and the other is a 320Gb divided into three partitions. I use both these fixed drives to store a variety of back-ups, music, home movies and personal data. My motherboard is a DFI Infinity 975X/G. My video card is Nvidia and I can’t remember the specs except that there is a G600 in the name.

I also use a drive caddy so that I can swap between XP on a 160Gb drive and Vista on a second 160Gb drive. In the BIOS the two system drives use CH0 depending on which is loaded and the two fixed drives use CH1 and CH2 respectively. This morning I booted up using Vista and I downloaded a Vista update and upgraded my Avira Virus Checker to version 9. Avira asked for a reboot which I ok’d and rebooted at the end of POST my monitor was not only green but the system advised that it was unable to read the MBR and to press ENTER to boot from the floppy. I powered down and swapped to my XP drive… booted up and received the same message regarding the MBR.

I cleaned all the contactors in the box, all the drive connections, all the memory contactors, and all the contactors on the video card. All to no avail. I thought that restoring an earlier Macrium image would solve the problem. Macrium did not see the drive I wanted to restore to [C:] and it was at this point that I found that the BIOS was not reading CH0. As a last resort I loaded the XP install disk and using the “R” function I typed “fixmbr”. The system warned me that the partition structure would be altered and was I sure this is what I wanted to do. I typed “Y” and this is where my problem starts.

I can no longer access the familiar BIOS screen… instead I get a grey box on a black screen with a number of options on it and even if I select the hard drive option the system will not boot.

I have two problems therefore… a) how do I repair the MBR that I have damaged and how do I recover my BIOS screen. I cannot get into the BIOS to load the default. I should mention that I have hooked my laptop to the monitor and the screen is normal.

The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money!

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May 15, 2009 at 22:49:35
Use the CLR CMOS jumper on the motherboard or remove the CMOS battery for a minute and re-insert it.

Do all this with power disconnected.

That should restore your BIOS to default settings.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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May 15, 2009 at 23:43:51
Thank you Richard... you are advising a rank amateur here but I've done so much damage here already I doubt I can do any more. I have located the jumper on the BIOS diagram in the user manual and I'll give it a go. I presume that will allow me to check as to what has happened to CH0.

I'll report back as soon as possible. Thank you for your advice.


PS: I meant to mention earlier that I had already removed the battery. Do I do the same with the jumper?

The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money!

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May 16, 2009 at 01:14:03
Thank you Richard... I followed your help and I am now able to boot into both my systems. I set the BIOS to "optimum" defaults and all seems to be well. Is there anywhere I can refer to to establish the proper procedures?

Thank you again.

The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money!

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