Things are popping here
at The NOSPIN Group, taking up a great deal more time than I had
imagined. That is
why I am a day late getting this weeks installment online.
One issue I have not
mentioned is accessing the CMOS settings.
Most standardized motherboards used today simply use the
[ DELETE ] key to open the CMOS settings during the POST, (Power
On Self Test), process. This
is the period when you will see the memory check run, hard
drives activated and just prior to the system starting the
Operating System or Booting.
So, how do you access
those computers or older motherboards that do not use the now
standard [ Delete ] key to open the CMOS?
You can try this options, as I believe they are a fairly
good representation of all the options used at one time or
del during boot (AMI, Award).
Esc during boot-Toshiba.
F1 during boot (Toshiba; some Phoenix; Late PS/1 Value Point
F2 during boot (NEC, newer Phoenix).
F10 when square in top RH corner of screen (Compaq).
Ins during boot-IBM PS/2 with reference partition.
reset twice-some Dells.
Alt ?-some PS/2s, such as 75 and 90.
Ins-some PS/2s when pointer at top right of screen.
Alt Esc -AST Advantage, Award, Tandon, older Phoenix.
Alt S-older Phoenix.
Alt Ins (Zenith, Phoenix)
Shift Esc-Tandon 386.
Ctrl Alt + Num Pad del-Olivetti PC Pro.
disk-Old Compaqs, Epson (Gemini), IBM, IBM PS/2, Toshiba,
AST Ascentia 950N
The best place to pick this discussion up is the CMOS settings.
One of the most important tools inside of the CMOS is the
option: Load Setup
Defaults. If you or
anyone has been tinkering around inside the CMOS, trying out new
settings with a little too much zeal, this can put you back to
point zero. By
using this option it will return the computer to the basic
Is this all you need to do to reboot?
will need to add just a couple of basic settings to at least
reboot the system:
HDD Auto Detection (this is required to allow the system to
find and use the hard drives)
CMOS Setup & be sure the floppy drive is right.
This at least will remove
any settings you have changed that you no longer can remember.
I had decided to plunge
into depth about the myriad of other settings in the CMOS, but I
have been reminded that I am getting too far a field for the
average trouble shooting novice.
So, I will add in a few other settings you should be
aware at this point and then move on.
Be sure you have set your
CMOS to Boot from a Floppy, since this is a non-standard
also need the set the “Boot Order” to A-C, so that the
system will look first to the floppy drive for a boot disk and
then to the hard drive. Otherwise,
you will not be able to use a Floppy boot disk at startup,
should the need arise.
You should also disable
the Virus Protection Feature.
I know this sounds scary, a virus will get your computer.
But, in the real world this feature causes far more
problems than it is worth, mostly with hardware incompatibility
If your system uses USB
devices, such as a printer, camera, zip drive, be sure that you
have enabled the USB ports in your CMOS.
Finally, if you have an
internal modem, enter the Special Features section and disable
either Com1 or Com2 that your modem will be using.
This only disables the motherboard’s com port, freeing
it up to be used by the modem.
Some people will tell you that their modem resides on
Com3 or 4, hence this is not important.
However, if Com3 is in use by a modem and Com1 is used by
your mouse, they are forced to share IRQ 4, with different
memory addresses. Sharing
this IRQ is mostly a formula for problems.
Keep your system to as few Com ports as possible and try
not to share IRQs between them.
I realize I have kept
this very simplistic and I hope everyone has been able to follow
me so far. If you
have any questions, be sure to write to me so I can improve on
the quality of these newsletters.