Author Topic: BIOS Won't Post...Help?  (Read 506 times)

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Offline Flimsy Fox

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BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« on: August 06, 2017, 11:01:46 pm »
So, I've recently installed new parts into my PC, and for some reason it won't start up. The power turns on, but nothing happens after that. The CPU fan just turns on and off, which I assume means the BIOS is attempting to restart the system over and over unsuccessfully. I've installed the debug speaker from my last motherboard(The new one didn't come with one, but fortunately the new one did have speaker pins), but nothing happens. Not a peep from the speaker. I've tried resetting the CPU, graphics card, and RAM more than once, each try unsuccessful. The new parts are a Ryzen 5 1400, Gigabyte GA - A320M - HD2 motherboard, and 4 gigs of Pacific memory. The old ones are a Lepa 500 Watt power supply, an AMD R7 250 graphics card, and a Seagate 1 Terabyte hard drive, and they all worked in my old system. So, what has gone wrong? Do I have a faulty part? If so, which one? If not, then is it a BIOS update I need, or something else?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 09:20:56 am »
It might be that you need a BIOS update (not every couple is compatible with ever motherboard). But then, most motherboards have a low capability system "hardware-coded" on the board, designed to check if the BIOS chip is working and if not to turn off the computer. Sometimes there will be motherboard beeps identifying an error (if it beeped can you say how many times and how frequent?) But beyond several issues that could be wrong with the motherboard and connections on it, you could have a bad CPU also going to failsafe and rebooting the PC. Anything higher up in the chain would output some data. Do you have a monitor connected?

Also, there's a way to check if your BIOS is working (assuming it's not EFI or UEFI). If you have a hard drive connected (CD drives work as well, and Floppy drives almost always work for checking this), the BIOS tells the system to send a ping of power to each port, for it's IDE check, so that when it comes up, it can show users the drives, cards, CPU, in some cases the GPU, cooling, and any internal speakers. The drives' electric motors will spin for a moment during the ping. If none of the drives perform that operation, then depending on how your BIOS prioritizes things (each BIOS is different, but the CPU is always the first check), it's either something wrong with the chip, or something is holding it up (most likely the CPU) before it gets to the auxiliary parts (drives, PCI cards, video cards, and sound cards.)
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 01:08:19 pm »
It might be that you need a BIOS update (not every couple is compatible with ever motherboard). But then, most motherboards have a low capability system "hardware-coded" on the board, designed to check if the BIOS chip is working and if not to turn off the computer. Sometimes there will be motherboard beeps identifying an error (if it beeped can you say how many times and how frequent?) But beyond several issues that could be wrong with the motherboard and connections on it, you could have a bad CPU also going to failsafe and rebooting the PC. Anything higher up in the chain would output some data. Do you have a monitor connected?

Also, there's a way to check if your BIOS is working (assuming it's not EFI or UEFI). If you have a hard drive connected (CD drives work as well, and Floppy drives almost always work for checking this), the BIOS tells the system to send a ping of power to each port, for it's IDE check, so that when it comes up, it can show users the drives, cards, CPU, in some cases the GPU, cooling, and any internal speakers. The drives' electric motors will spin for a moment during the ping. If none of the drives perform that operation, then depending on how your BIOS prioritizes things (each BIOS is different, but the CPU is always the first check), it's either something wrong with the chip, or something is holding it up (most likely the CPU) before it gets to the auxiliary parts (drives, PCI cards, video cards, and sound cards.)

Thanks for the info! I just checked, and the hard drive is spinning up. I guess that singled out the motherboard itself. Then remains the question: How do I update the BIOS? The motherboard did say it was compatible with Ryzen, but it may need an update anyways.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 01:17:12 pm »
Well, assuming the BIOS has never been updated before, find the manufactury date of your motherboard, usually somewhere on it. If you can find it get an update newer than that date, and download it to a working computer. If you can't get the newest update that matches your model. In most cases you'll need a floppy drive (on the working computer, and the computer to be updated), a blank, 1.44 MB, 3.5" writable floppy disk, and your update. Follow the instructions with the update, to put it on the floppy. And place it in the computer needing the update. If you did that correctly the BIOS should boot an 8 or 16 bit updater from the floppy, and update the BIOS. Then you've a working BIOS, that understands the newest hardware and should properly operate the CPU to boot an operating system off of one of several bootable devices.

(Always configure your settings and run a manual IDE check, first boot after the update.)
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 02:30:48 pm »
Well, assuming the BIOS has never been updated before, find the manufactury date of your motherboard, usually somewhere on it. If you can find it get an update newer than that date, and download it to a working computer. If you can't get the newest update that matches your model. In most cases you'll need a floppy drive (on the working computer, and the computer to be updated), a blank, 1.44 MB, 3.5" writable floppy disk, and your update. Follow the instructions with the update, to put it on the floppy. And place it in the computer needing the update. If you did that correctly the BIOS should boot an 8 or 16 bit updater from the floppy, and update the BIOS. Then you've a working BIOS, that understands the newest hardware and should properly operate the CPU to boot an operating system off of one of several bootable devices.

(Always configure your settings and run a manual IDE check, first boot after the update.)

I don't have a floppy disk nor a floppy drive, so is that the only way to install it? I can probably buy it, but I don't want to spend money if there are other practical ways. The website also says to press the END key during POST to enter the update menu, but since my keyboard doesn't seem to get any power until after POST(That's how it worked with my last motherboard), I can't seem to get into the menu...Do I need a PS/2 keyboard for it to work?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 02:35:19 pm »
In the Zip file for the BIOS there are three files:
One named "A320MHD2.F3"
Another one named "autoexec.bat"
And another one named "Efiflash.exe"

They are all in one folder. Which ones do I use?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 03:00:53 pm »
Okay. About the keyboard, USB keyboards don't get power until drivers are started, so PS/2 or Serial is the most effective connection.

About the BIOS .zip, there are more than those files, but some of them are hidden system files. As anyone who used Pre-7 Windows, or DOS knows "autoexec.bat" is an instruction batch file that starts the DOS shell (COMMAND.COM) or a custom shell. "Efiflash.exe" is understood to me as being a flash utility for EFI, in which case, either your BIOS is EFI/UEFI or you have the wrong zip. "A320MHD2.F3" appears to be a resource file. They all appear very necessary. It appears to be a 16 bit DOS system, built to flash something (in this case, your BIOS.) Some will have a backup utility which means you can keep your old BIOS, and ask the system to reflash it, if after testing, this BIOS doesn't work either.

Now about using something other than floppy disk(s). In every computer I've ever worked with, it requires a 16 bit system to flash, and can't boot that from CD or USB, but to be certain, do your research.

Disclaimer (I kinda have to say this legally): This is from my personal experience. I haven't worked on devices manufactured any later than 2010. Attempt an update at your own risk. I'm simply interpreting it using my knowledge of low-level systems and the BIOS. I am not responsible for any damage that you perform on your PC.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 03:12:49 pm »
Okay. About the keyboard, USB keyboards don't get power until drivers are started, so PS/2 or Serial is the most effective connection.

About the BIOS .zip, there are more than those files, but some of them are hidden system files. As anyone who used Pre-7 Windows, or DOS knows "autoexec.bat" is an instruction batch file that starts the DOS shell (COMMAND.COM) or a custom shell. "Efiflash.exe" is understood to me as being a flash utility for EFI, in which case, either your BIOS is EFI/UEFI or you have the wrong zip. "A320MHD2.F3" appears to be a resource file. They all appear very necessary. It appears to be a 16 bit DOS system, built to flash something (in this case, your BIOS.) Some will have a backup utility which means you can keep your old BIOS, and ask the system to reflash it, if after testing, this BIOS doesn't work either.

Now about using something other than floppy disk(s). In every computer I've ever worked with, it requires a 16 bit system to flash, and can't boot that from CD or USB, but to be certain, do your research.

Disclaimer (I kinda have to say this legally): This is from my personal experience. I haven't worked on devices manufactured any later than 2010. Attempt an update at your own risk. I'm simply interpreting it using my knowledge of low-level systems and the BIOS. I am not responsible for any damage that you perform on your PC.

Thanks! One last question(I think): Do I use all the files in the Zip? As for your personal experience, I confirmed on the website that booting from a floppy disk IS going to work, which means it must still work on most systems.

So, here's the things I'm going to do: First, I'm going to buy a USB to PS/2 adapter, plug it into my motherboard, and see if the USB stick works. If not, I'm going to buy a floppy drive and disk. I'll post any questions I have as I go.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 03:14:48 pm »
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 03:19:04 pm »
Yes and it's best to extract the zip so all the data gets transferred, but if you plan to copy-paste the files, make sure you can see "hidden" and "system" files and folders.
A USB to PS/2 cable probably won't work, because the contact with the computer is still USB. At least that's what I see, but it may be different.
Hope it works for you.

Also, a hint. It says it supports FAT 32/16/12, but by far the most compatible will be FAT16 for most computers.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 06:35:11 pm »
Ok so an update: I've tried the adapter solution of powering my keyboard. There seems to be still no power to the keyboard. However, that would not be the problem, since you stated that the adapter would not work. I think that I might have a bad motherboard. I removed every connection except for all the power connectors, the CPU, and the debug speaker. On Tom's Hardware, it says:



"Pull everything except the CPU and HSF. Boot. You should hear a series of long single beeps indicating memory problems. Silence here indicates, in probable order, a bad PSU, motherboard, or CPU - or a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU.

To eliminate the possiblility of a bad installation where something is shorting and shutting down the PSU, you will need to pull the motherboard out of the case and reassemble the components on an insulated surface. This is called "breadboarding" - from the 1920's homebrew radio days. I always breadboard a new or recycled build. It lets me test components before I go through the trouble of installing them in a case.

If you get the long beeps, add a stick of RAM. Boot. The beep pattern should change to one long and two or three short beeps. Silence indicates that the RAM is shorting out the PSU (very rare). Long single beeps indicates that the BIOS does not recognize the presence of the RAM.
"

I do not receive any debug beeps from the speaker. In fact, I tried everything in this tread(which is here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-perform-steps-posting-post-boot-video-problems#t1895014), but it didn't solve anything. So, I've got either a bad motherboard, or a bad CPU(if it was bad RAM then the motherboard would've indicated it via the debug speaker). That's my question: Do I have a bad motherboard or CPU?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 06:42:00 pm »
Well, despite many people's understanding, the beeping does not come from the speaker. Most of the time, the BIOS puts out motherboard beeps. If you're getting nothing at all, and the RAM is not connected, that means the BIOS isn't getting far enough to check the RAM. Otherwise it would return an error that says "No RAM." or "Bad RAM." respectively. Since you don't hear that, you either have a bad BIOS (indicative of a bad motherboard), the motherboard isn't receiving power, but your CPU, you said starts up, and your HDD spins a moment, so that can't be. CPU is the only thing that could be stopping it. I don't know what priority your motherboard uses, but if it's like the computers I've seen, the CPU is the first thing that's checked. Either something's stopping it at the CPU, or your motherboard (or just the BIOS chip) is bad. To my knowledge you'd have to test both the parts individually to be certain which it is, but that's what I know. I wish you luck.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 06:47:53 pm »
Well, despite many people's understanding, the beeping does not come from the speaker. Most of the time, the BIOS puts out motherboard beeps. If you're getting nothing at all, and the RAM is not connected, that means the BIOS isn't getting far enough to check the RAM. Otherwise it would return an error that says "No RAM." or "Bad RAM." respectively. Since you don't hear that, you either have a bad BIOS (indicative of a bad motherboard), the motherboard isn't receiving power, but your CPU, you said starts up, and your HDD spins a moment, so that can't be. CPU is the only thing that could be stopping it. I don't know what priority your motherboard uses, but if it's like the computers I've seen, the CPU is the first thing that's checked. Either something's stopping it at the CPU, or your motherboard (or just the BIOS chip) is bad. To my knowledge you'd have to test both the parts individually to be certain which it is, but that's what I know. I wish you luck.

Unfortunately, I do not have an additional AM4 CPU and motherboard, so I'll see if I can issue an RMA(Return Material Authorization) on both parts, but I've lost the receipt, so I'll see if I can still get it.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 07:12:56 pm »
You know what I think I'm going to give it another shot. So, here's my idea:
First, I put all of my old parts in my PC. Then, using that computer, I access the BIOS from the new motherboard externally somehow, and update it. Is this possible?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 07:21:42 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2017, 09:17:18 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.

Ok. I'm going to return the motherboard, then.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2017, 01:29:21 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.

How would I change the boot device if it doesn't POST? And can it still boot into a USB stick or a floppy drive if it doesn't POST? Also, I really don't know what to do. What do you think I should try first?
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 01:34:01 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.

How would I change the boot device if it doesn't POST? And can it still boot into a USB stick or a floppy drive if it doesn't POST? Also, I really don't know what to do. What do you think I should try first?
It will run the main priority. You can't change boot order if you can't get into system settings. On older systems it was Floppy A, Floppy B, Hard Disk C, D Drive (if it exists), ODD, USB (if it could boot from USB).
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2017, 01:39:15 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.

How would I change the boot device if it doesn't POST? And can it still boot into a USB stick or a floppy drive if it doesn't POST? Also, I really don't know what to do. What do you think I should try first?
It will run the main priority. You can't change boot order if you can't get into system settings. On older systems it was Floppy A, Floppy B, Hard Disk C, D Drive (if it exists), ODD, USB (if it could boot from USB).

Ok. The motherboard website said that you had to press the END key to go into the update window. Should I get a PS/2 keyboard and try it out? However, my motherboard did not seem to activate the speaker attached to it on the board. Do you think that could be a sign of a bad motherboard? The internal speaker is from an old motherboard, but I never used it because I never needed it until now.
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Re: BIOS Won't Post...Help?
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2017, 02:00:13 pm »
Not according to my knowledge. You have to boot with the motherboard being updated, and update it by booting from a disk. But as I mentioned my knowledge is horribly old, so I very well could be wrong.

How would I change the boot device if it doesn't POST? And can it still boot into a USB stick or a floppy drive if it doesn't POST? Also, I really don't know what to do. What do you think I should try first?
It will run the main priority. You can't change boot order if you can't get into system settings. On older systems it was Floppy A, Floppy B, Hard Disk C, D Drive (if it exists), ODD, USB (if it could boot from USB).

Ok. The motherboard website said that you had to press the END key to go into the update window. Should I get a PS/2 keyboard and try it out? However, my motherboard did not seem to activate the speaker attached to it on the board. Do you think that could be a sign of a bad motherboard? The internal speaker is from an old motherboard, but I never used it because I never needed it until now.
Could be. I don't know what type of speaker it is, but try flipping the connection around. If the speaker still doesn't activate there's a good chance you have a bad motherboard. But then again a speaker is an auxiliary component, and it could just mean it's caught at the CPU when loading. The only way to properly test the EnD key command is using a PS/2 keyboard. To my knowledge USB won't work. So you're down to very limited things that it can be. CPU, BIOS chip (which is on the motherboard), or motherboard.
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