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Bios post problem

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trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
I have a friend with an older Dell XPS machine. It's a Core 2 socket 775 era computer.

A few months ago I helped him with some upgrades. Went from Windows XP to Windows 7. From a spinner hard drive to an SSD. And also went from 2 gb of RAM to 4 gb.

He's been having this problem of late where he has post failure and gets prompted to go into bios upon every boot or hit the F1 key to continue. Hitting the F1 key allows him to boot normally into Windows. He indicates he checked his CMOS battery voltage and it is putting out the normal 3.0+ voltage. He states he has also "downloaded" the latest bios for the board from Dell but it didn't help. Here are his exact words:

A couple weeks back I asked you about my boot notice of 'failure to post' I was getting. Checked the bios battery & it was still strong at 3.1v. Also went to Dell to check for an update, but there was none. Re-downloaded the last BIOS update they showed (IIRC, dated 2009) but that didn't help either. Any other ideas? BTW, I also have gone in to the BIOS from the prompt & loaded default values, but that doesn't help either.

Machine is not overclocked and as he indicates, restoring the bios settings to default doesn't fix the problem.

Does this indicate a bad bios chip? Or could this be caused by say, a bad stick of RAM?
 
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Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
It was running but now doesn't? Mismatched RAM? Clean install of Win7 vs. upgrade (firmware conflicts)? Loose cabling? Lots of potential issues.
 
OP
trents

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
No, it runs fine. It's just that he has to hit the F1 key at every boot. The RAM is not mismatched. Four sticks of Corsair XMS 1066 that I think he is running at DDR2 800 frequencies.
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
It's not a bios issue.
It's a board issue. It's not reading the FID or VID of the processor correctly enough to post. Usually, it's because the VID of the processor is reading too low, meaning, the bios is not reading enough vcore to post. This is generally a degradation issue with the board. If you have the capability to set the vcore manually to a slightly higher voltage, it will probably post. You may also want to try setting the W7 power profile to high performance. That may be enough for it to post.
 
OP
trents

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Can you change the core voltage in a Dell XPS?

At least on some of them you can. The one I had recently had four steps of fixed voltage adjustment.

- - - Updated - - -

It's not a bios issue.
It's a board issue. It's not reading the FID or VID of the processor correctly enough to post. Usually, it's because the VID of the processor is reading too low, meaning, the bios is not reading enough vcore to post. This is generally a degradation issue with the board. If you have the capability to set the vcore manually to a slightly higher voltage, it will probably post. You may also want to try setting the W7 power profile to high performance. That may be enough for it to post.

Makes sense to me, Mr. Scott. Thanks. And it probably wouldn't hurt to bump up the RAM voltage a bit at the same time.
 
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OP
trents

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
So some more clarification after talking to my friend about this problem. He says he cannot save changes he makes in bios. Sounds like a battery issue or a bad chip now. He says he tested the voltage of the CMOS battery and found it to be 3.1v but . . . volts aren't everything.