Precision T3400 BIOS A11 problem

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Precision T3400 BIOS A11 problem

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I'm using a Precision T3400 with a Core 2 Duo E6550. Windows XP SP3 runs fine, but I've discovered some problems with the diagnostics that appear to be related to BIOS A11.

When I select Diagnostics from the F12 boot menu, the system locks up almost immediately at the start of the PSA. Here's the error message:

Running MATS Test
Test Result : System Error
Error Code: 2000-0111
Msg: CPU 0 : General Protection Exception Occurred

When I boot a diagnostics CD (ver. 1322.1) most of the tests pass, but some of the processor and system board tests cause the system to lock up. All the multiprocessor cache tests cause the following error:

Exception occurred in module MPCACHE.MDM file "IOAPICSP.asm". Line 1645!

For the system board, the I/O APIC MP Test causes the following error:

Exception occurred in module IOAPIC.MDM file "IOAPICSP.asm". Line 2918!

I reverted from BIOS A11 to A09 and all these problems went away.

Just thought someone might like to know.

 

All Replies
  • I flagged this thread for the forum Liasions. They may be able to get the Dell techies to look at BIOS A11.

    I suppose it's possible you just had a bad flash update to A11 and reverting to A09 replaced that faulty update. I'm not suggesting you try A11 again. There's always a (small) chance that a BIOS update will brick the motherboard, so it's not worth the risk to you.

    And in general, it's not worth updating BIOS unless the new version fixes a problem that you actually have. In other words, if it ain't broke, don't break it! Stick out tongue

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Thanks for the reply, Ron. I actually did try to reflash A11 again after I ran into the problem. It didn't change anything.

    The funny thing is that I was running A11 for a couple of months (having updated to it directly from A1). It seems to run XP Pro SP3 without a hitch. It was only when I tried to run the diagnostics to look at a disk problem that I ran into the errors.

    - Rick

  • Hi, Thanks for posting this issue; we ran into it yesterday. I was ready to swap out the motherboard, but booting from a USB boot drive and rolling back to A09 corrected the original problem. However now the primary hard drive failed; it's clicking, threw beep code 1-4-1, and gave the error code 2000-0141: No Drive Detected. Pretty odd that both issues occurred at the same time, but either way, still has 15 days left of warranty.

    Source for creating USB boot drive:

    Download WinSetupFromUSB0.1.1 : http://www.datafilehost.com/download-288440e0.html

    Download and install WinSetupFromUSB0.1.1. Run app.
    Select HP Format Tool
    Format Options - Create a DOS Startup Disk, using DOS system files located at:

    I pointed the path to a USB FDD which had a dos 6.22 boot disk inserted. Whola!

    This creates a USB Boot stick with only command.com, IO.sys and MSDOS.sys. I used this on a SUN Server so I could upgrade the Firmware on a PCIe Qlogic HBA.

    http://blogs.sun.com/dragonfly/entry/dos_bootable_usb_flash_drive

  • And you did unplug that USB drive before rebooting..?

    Before you toss the hard drive, you may want to clear BIOS.

    Power off and unplug

    Press/hold power button on tower for ~15 sec

    Open the case and remove the motherboard battery

    Press/hold power button again for ~30 sec

    Reinstall the battery (right-side-up!)

    Reboot and open BIOS setup. Make sure the boot hard drive is first in the boot sequence. Save any changes and exit setup.

    Does it boot up now?

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Thank you RickA3 for the post.

    I encountered the same problem today. I started having problems with a different machine and thought I would run diagnostics on the T3400 just as a precaution.

    I cannot recall for sure but I thought I ran Dell's diagnostics on the T3400 before without any problem (maybe I did before upgrading to A11).

    I have not yet flashed back to A09. The A11 version does fix some problems that I would like to keep fixed but the diagnostic failures do concern me.

    I hope Dell will fix this -- it's a tough decision whether to stay on A11 or rollback to A09.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • @RickA3

    Did a Dell forum Liasion ever contact you about this issue? I flagged it for them, but I don't see any posts from them. Maybe they need another poke.  Lightning

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Consider them poked.  Big Smile

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Ron,

    Thanks. I've never heard anything from them.

    Rick

  • All,

    This was escalated awhile back. They are working on a new Bios to address this. No ETA on a release date.

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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  • DELL-Chris M

    All,

    This was escalated awhile back. They are working on a new Bios to address this. No ETA on a release date.

    Chris- Thanks for the status update. Yes

    Ron

    If this answers your question, please click  Yes  

    Ron

    Forum Member since 2004

    I am NOT a Dell employee

  • Howdy!

    I've also got a Dell Precision T3400 that has been having this identical error. The workstation just went out of warranty in January of this year but, regardless, I called Dell Gold Support and talked to them about the issue. The tech told me that this error indicated a bad motherboard.

    I had a spare T3400 available so, I swapped the users hard drive from the bad machine and put it in the spare. The T3400's were purchased at the same time so I know the guts are identical.

    I made the change yesterday and, today, the user called and told me that the workstation crashed again with the identical error.

    My question: If this is a BIOS issue, why did this happen to the same user with her hard drive installed in a completely different machine? All BIOS settings are stored on the motherboard on a non-volatile ROM chip. So, why would a different machine exhibit the same behavior? I don't think this is coincidental...

    In addition, the BIOS version on her original [bad] machine is A09 which I've heard is what people downgraded to after having similar problems with A11...

    With this in mind, is Dell absolutely sure that this is a BIOS related issue?

    Thanks!

    Roger

  • Hi Roger,

    The situation you report seems to indicate the problem is not due to a bad motherboard as tech support said but is instead caused by a flaw in hardware and/or firmware.

    Did the crash occur during normal use or while running diagnostics? RickA3 and I encountered it during diagnostics but the system seems to run OK during normal use. I am not sure about OrangeBeard's case.

  • Any further word from Dell about a new BIOS?

  • Not a word...at least in response to my previous post.

    Thanks for the follow-up though...

    Roger

  • Having same error.  

    I leave my workstation on all the time so I can remote in from home.  Last night and the night before I come in with the workstation at a Hardware Halt.  and F5 Diagnostics  comes back with.

          Running MATS Test

          Test Results : System Error

          Error Code 2000-0111

          Msg: CPU 0 : General Protection exception occurred

    It is a Precision T3400  no hardware or software changes for the last 6 months.     The warranty expired 24 days ago on 8/20/2011