System board failed during BIOS update and now just beeps instead of booting.
Tried to update the BIOS from UBCD4Win Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (because the hard drive only boots to a blue screen, and there's no floppy drive). So, (1) booted from CD, (2) downloaded BIOS update from web to flash drive, (3) ran BIOS update, got first screen, then nada, (4) powered off. (5) After power cycle, no boot, no screen info, no CMOS access, just beeps.
Will the RTCRST jumper on the system board reset the CMOS if moved to 2-1 pins and powering on? If so, how long should the system be on during this reset before powering off again? Then, after power off, and moving the jumper back to "normal" 3-2 pin non-reset position, and then powering back on, will it offer the normal boot screen and CMOS program setting options once again? (So we can try to update the BIOS and kill it once again?!?)
Should the CMOS coin-battery and /or system power also be removed for a time, if so, how long? Before or after or instead of RTCRST jumper setting changes?
The marking on the system board jumper is "RTCRST", but Dell web documents for this and other systems show the following additional descriptions:
CMOS reset (RTCRST)
RTCRST 3-2 The real-time clock has not been reset.2-1 The real-time clock is being reset (jumpered temporarily). [how long is temporary, and what happens?]
Does this or does this not reset the active CMOS to a look like a stored copy of the board's original BIOS?
System: Dell Dimension 5150 E510
"Connolly" SMB system memory bus board ("mother" board)
You can try this but don't think it will fix your issue. Power off the system. place the jumper on the 1-2 pins, count to ten then place it back on 3-2 try to boot.
My guess it won't as most time when a bios flash goes bad the motherboard is toast, and will need to be replaced.
A new one looks like it will run you around $100 see HERE for some places to get one.
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Forum member since 2003
Thanks for your leads on cheap replacement boards.
Okay, RTCRST worked perfectly, here's what I did:
1 - Remove CMOS battery and unplug power and power supply cable to system board, let sit for 1/2 hour.
2 - Move RTCRST jumper from 3-2 to 2-1, plug power supply back into system board, plug AC into power supply, turn on system (touch power button on front panel). Immediately, I saw some numbers in the black-out on the front panel, but I figured BIOS copying from archive to access locations takes time, so I kept busy with other tasks for about 1/2 an hour. I did not even have screen, keyboard or mouse, or drives installed, just power supply, system board, and memory.
3 - Half an hour later, unplugged the computer, moved the RTCRST jumper back to 3-2, set up the computer with a screen, mouse, keyboard, drives, and reconnected the AC power ... and turned it on == VIOLA, BIOS A05 was back in service. I confirmed that everything worked, then updates the BIOS to A07 by rebooting to a USB floppy drive and running Dell's BIOS update from diskette with NO WINDOWS confusion getting in the way.
It's too bad Dell does not advertise this information and make it findable on the web, but perhaps they make money swapping non-defective system boards because people can't find instructions on how to RTCRST.
Peter Blaise dot com
Ooops, in step #3 above I forgot to include that I reinserted the CMOS coin battery before reapplying AC power.
All is perfect, failed BIOS update recovered via RTCRST jumper on the system board.
Glad to hear that. Count your blessings as this does not always work and more times then not if fails..
"... this does not always work and more times then not it fails ..."
Oh? Why would you say that? I found NO references to RTCRST when searching Dell's support site for help with refreshing a failed BIOS update.
My problem is that RTCRST was not mentioned or documented at all, not that it was mentioned a lot but had failed,as you suggest.
So far, my post here makes a 100% success rate for the RTCRST jumper fixing a failed BIOS update AND my post above includes the only instructions and successful example of implementation for RTCRST jumper use on Dell's support web site, and perhaps anywhere on the Internet.
How cool is that?
I hope this helps the next frustrated person solve a challenging problem. It might even refresh an intermittent BIOS after virus misbehavior, who knows?
And thank again for your leading example finding alternative Dell system board suppliers for as little as 40% of Dell's retail price -- great value!
As noted it is rare that a failed/corrupted BIOS can be recovered. The overwhelming majority of documented posts on this forum with BIOS corruption has ONLY led to a motherboard replacement. I've been on this forum since 2002 and can only remember a small handful of successful recoveries from a BIOS corruption.
The RTCRST reset jumper is listed in the documentation (Dell users manual) on systems that have it, on every one that I've researched. On some models there is no RTCRST reset and in those models removing the BIOS backup battery for a certain time period is the "reset" for these models.
Bottom line you were extremetly lucky that you were able to recover.
I am not a Dell Employee
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Great points everyone. Thanks.
Yes, my resolution wasn't very scientific in that I did two or more things at once. What fixed it? Was it the RTCRST jumper moved to pins 1-2 for a while, or was it the CMOS battery removal for a time that reset the system board BIOS to original default? Or would it have resolved on it's own with mere unplugging the AC for a while? I'll never know until I play with other system boards.
My chagrin is that Dell's own web site does not describe the features and benefits of Dell's own RTCRST jumper, and the presumed payoff of removing the CMOS battery for a while is anecdotal, also. I'm just glad something worked, but I wish Dell was more forthcoming on their own intended functions here. Yet, I've had difficulties with Intel and Microsoft not documenting included functions. Heck, IBM was a leader in hidden features from the start. Apple is no exception, either. I'm glad for user communities like ours trying to overcome such manufacturer myopia.
I have another Connolly system board (for 5150 / E510) that is totally dead to check out next, and will report back what I find.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and insights.
I'm a retired Federal Civil Service manager and I've dealt with IBM for many years. IBM has the documentation, just you need to know how it works in order to find anything in the IBM documentation overload that comes with an IBM device.
I'm thrilled that whatever you wanted to know about IBM gear you found in the IBM documentation. I do not doubt nor challenge your experience.Sorry, I should have been specific about my own experience.
I've been dealing with IBM PCs since 1969 (documentation, ha, we told them more about what it could do than they imagined!), eventually becoming an "authorized" dealer and servicer in the early 1980s when the PC rose to address the competition from Apple (I supported Apple, too), and I remember every compromised switch chart that told only half the story (yes, 640KB would fit even though only 256KB was documented, and so on -- I built my own extended switch charts), lack of hard drive interleave data (so I worked with Steve Gibson on his incredible http://www.Spinrite.com/), on up to modern Thinkpads with IO ports incompatible with IBM's own prior standards (NOT accurately so identified in IBM's documentation).
And on and on for every maker out there for the past 30 some odd years.
I have found that nearly all PC products arrive with undocumented features and benefits extant that are not documented simply because the documentation writers have different assignments from the programmers and designers, and seldom work directly with the programmers and designers, so the documentation is always a subset, not the whole story, and is often simplified for marketing purposes.
Sometimes they fail to tell us about a feature because then they'd have to guarantee it and support it, so if a feature isn't required to "make the sale", then they simplify and leave it out of the marketing and documentation, even if the programmers and designers already included it.
So, here we are, trying to share our real-life field experiences to help each other, and thereby complete the missing elements of the documentation.
Good for us.
I have been in computers in some capacity, whether maintenance, operations or programming since 1962. My IBM experience goes back to 3725 and 3745 comm processors, 3270 systems, PS/2's, Token Ring LAN and IBM LanNetwork Manager LAN management software.
Cool. We're a bunch of oldies, and risk being considered curmudgeons, then!
My "first" hands-on computer was the 1130 in the early 1960s, we made stacks of punch cards that played music on an AM radio sitting atop the console.
Funny, we treated it like a personal computer. I've always treated computers as my personal toys, even the 360, which we had running APL with author Kenneth Iverson, and his kids playing along, too -- the world's biggest (at at the time in the late 1960s, the world's only) personal computer! (IBM Re$earch, Yorktown, NY, US)
In the mid 1980s, I built the first IBM-brand broadband PC network here in the Washington, DC, US area for Crown life insurance, and it was a bore because it wasn't personal! Now I have more computers networked at my home than I had in that first network, and it's mostly for photography and personal correspondence -- what fun. Arcnet, thick and thin, coax and twinax, Laplink (2 PC's at a time), and finally twisted pair, then finally finally wireless -- been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
I have always helped others use computers as their own personal toys, too, never really working on or with computers as business servers. Who cares about the big thing in the basement that provides payroll? I want to play! Virtually all my customers use their computers for personal expansion, not for business services. I find it fun and inspiring to work with individuals, for instance helping someone master the philosophy of these new fangled memory typewriters or chemical-free darkrooms, then have then become published authors or sell their photographs, and know that I helped.
I think what we are doing here now is off topic, but essential. If we don't share our resumes and our war stories, we have scant little chance of appreciating who we are corresponding with, and what incredible resources and wealth of experiences we each bring to the discussion.
Thanks for the spark!
Worked for me without any issue many times!
Thanks for you posts, it reminded me of removing the CMOS battery which helped clear a failed CMOS update on my OptiPlex 780.
I agree there should be more information on this even if it only works a small percentage of the time, don't let the doom and gloom bunch dissuade you!
You replied to a three year old thread. This thread is now locked due to age