Author Topic: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment  (Read 1605 times)

Offline sirean_syan

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Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« on: Wednesday, April 09, 2008, 08:24:12 PM »
So, there have been some strange computer troubles going on around my apartment the past week.

1st: Aimee's computer pretty just started refusing to boot without warning. It starts to load windows, but then flashes this screen for less then a second (thank you continuous shoot mode camera) and restarts. Upon restarting, we're given the "Windows did not boot properly last time it tried to" screen, but selecting any of the opens gives the same error and restart problem. As far as we can tell, we've made no changes to the system since well before the error, so I'm pretty lost what could have caused this.



2nd: Booted my computer up tonight when I got home and boot up screen looked different than normal. When Windows came on, it detected all sorts of new hardware... stuff that I had disabled on my BIOS. So, I restarted everything and it turns out all my BIOS settings were gone. Since then I've put everything back into place and have tested doing a full shutdown to see if the problem came back to indicate that maybe the battery died or something. Everything started up just fine from what I can tell. From what I can tell, we didn't have any power outages together either since all the clocks are fine.

I don't even really know if this is asking for help, but this just seemed the most appropriate place to put this stuff. Maybe someone has faced these sorts of things before, at least the problem Aimee seems to be facing. I'm willing to accept that my stuff was just a random fluke. Even then, Aimee doesn't seem like she's in any sort of a hurry to fix her system. I know she's been planning on getting something new soon and this may be the thing to finally get her to stop putting it off.

Offline scottws

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #1 on: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 05:26:21 AM »
1st problem:  Looks like your boot sector got corrupted somehow, or your hard drive has bad sectors.  So you can't even boot to a command line?  If you can, try running chkdsk /r and see if you get anywhere with that.  If you have a BartPE disc, try to run some of the utilities you have on there on the PC.  You can also download hard drive diagnostic utilities that run from the CD-ROM or floppy.

I wouldn't wipe the drive just yet if you can't get it to work.  It might simply not be bootable.  You might be able to pop it into another PC and pull any data off you need.

2nd problem:  CMOS battery is probably dying.

Sorry, I can't offer any more help than that.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #2 on: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 09:50:33 AM »
Yes, the amazingly idiotic use of a battery for low-level settings in PCs.  I'm amazed mine hasn't gone out yet.  My remaining PC is getting near 8 years old.  7 years is the usual limit on these batteries.

Edit:  Quick question:  Is that safe to change preemptively, or will the settings go bye bye as soon as the battery gets pulled?

Offline scottws

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #3 on: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 10:16:50 AM »
I'm pretty sure they are lost when you take out the battery.  It's generally not a big deal to set it all back again.

Offline Cobra951

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #4 on: Thursday, April 10, 2008, 10:51:26 AM »
Searching for the settings text file I know I saved once upon a time, I stumbled into my PC's "birth certificate".  It's only a little over 7 years old.  I thought I got it in 2000, but it was actually near my birthday in '01.

I figured removing the battery wold instantly kill the settings.  That's why I'm looking for the text file.  I know I can go into Setup and get them that way.  I would rather not do that.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #5 on: Friday, April 11, 2008, 01:08:28 AM »
Weird problems.  But I can attest to a dying CMOS battery causing all kinds of havok.  That was one of the early lessons I learned when I had one that leaked on my old 486, and other problems on another aging PC I had later.

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野

Offline sirean_syan

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Re: Grelmins Running Around my Apartment
« Reply #6 on: Friday, April 11, 2008, 06:04:07 PM »
Well, problem solved... sort of. It turns out I was right and this has prompted Aimee to move ahead and get that new computer. She'll be ordering a new laptop sometime next week, so yay for her.

As for my problem, no new news. The BIOS settings have held since the first time of the problem. If the battery is dying, it must be just starting to die. My system is nearing five years old now and I've never actually had to replace a CMOS battery, which includes the 7ish year old backup system Aimee and I put together from spare parts. Seems kinda crazy that the thing would go out so fast. I'm still hoping it was just a random glitch, but if I have to replace the thing I can deal with it.