Bios access problem


floppybootstomp

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The problem is that when I enter the Bios the screen resolution is too big so I can’t get the mouse over any menu options, The cursors don’t have any effect. I have re-installed the Bios with the same one which is the latest one via the Windows 7 64 Bit SP1 OS.

I have also tried messing with the monitor settings and tried a different monitor all to no avail.

The computer is seven years old at least – last Bios, the latest, is dated June 2012 – and it’s an Asus P8Z68-V motherboard; Intel Sandy Bridge i7 2600K 4 core 3.4Ghz CPU with 16Gb DDR3. Graphics card is a GTX1050 2Gb and the soundcard an Asus Xonar DGX.

Hard disks consist of the one holding the OS which I can swap in and out between different disks holding different OS’s via a front facing disk caddy. There are 3 x 2Tb storage disks and if I leave those connected the machine won’t boot. If I disconnect those 3 disks it will boot into whichever hard disk/OS is in the caddy.

So in summary – can’t access Bios to change settings including Boot option as the Bios display overlaps screen and machine won’t boot unless only one disk is used.

I’ve run out of ideas and wondered if anybody could suggest a possible solution?

This is the machine, incidentally, I was talking about upgrading earlier this year but cash flow raised it’s ugly head and I had to postpone the upgrade. Now it looks though my hand may be forced.

Interestingly, an Intel i5 CPU based sytem works out less expensive that a system based around the latest AMD range of CPUs which is a shame as I intended to use an AMD CPU this time around.
 
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What is the make and model of the monitor? I suggest you mess with the settings on the monitor to display all the pixels that are being sent.
 
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What type of wire are you connecting to the monitor? I've noticed that the monitor sometimes clips the picture when it's HDMI
 

floppybootstomp

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Clutching at straws I swapped keyboards - no difference.

Removed 1050 video card and connected monitor to motherboard HDMI videos' output and the Bios was there again in full screen display. Reconnected the 3 x 2Tb HDDs and they're all showing ok in Bios and machine is booting with them in place.

So it would seem the video card may be faulty - or is it?

I say that as around 15 months ago an Asus GTX970 went faulty in this machine so I'm wondering if the motherboard has a fault in the PCI-e bus. Tomorrow I will test the 1050 video card in a different machine and if it checks out ok I will dump the machine's motherboard.

If the video card displays the same fault in Bios display on a different machine I will dump that as well and upgrade anyway as I don't want to risk damaging another video card.

Two video cards going wrong (if the 1050 is wrong) could be a coincidence I suppose but... We shall see.
 
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I had graphics oddities when using a 560 GTX in my old motherboard, but fixed when I used a 960 GTX. It had something to do with UEFI mode on a graphics card with a firmware that didn't support it. It took me years to realise this was the problem, but as long as I disabled UEFI mode on that PC it worked fine. I'd never have guessed at the time as both motherboard and graphics card were released at the same time.

If the 1050 works fine once you've booted, I'd chalk it up to some incompatibility, rather than a deeper fault. At least you have the onboard graphics should problems occur and you need BIOS access again.
 

floppybootstomp

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I tried the 1050 in another machine and it displayed that machines' BIOS ok and also worked fine with an OS so I'm assuming the 1050 is OK.

The 1050 had worked fine with the older machine for quite a while, probably over a year and the fault just occurred as I was swapping hard disk for OS so I do rather suspect the motherboard. So I've bitten the bullet and ordered an MSI Z390-A motherboard, 16Gb Corsair DDR4 3000Mhz RAM and an Intel i5 9600K 3.7Ghz CPU. I'm hoping my Noctua cooler will fit the CPU Ok as the i5 is an OEM model.

They should arrive between Monday and Thursday next week according to Amazon.
 
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floppybootstomp

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Eventual outcome, quite a long tale...
I ordered a new motherboard, i5 Cpu and 16Gb RAM from Amazon (MSI Z390-A Pro; Intel i5 3.6Ghz 9th Gen; 16Gb Corsair 3000Mhz RAM, 2 x 8Gb) and they took a week to arrive. Mounted all parts with Noctua cooler in case, fired up – not a peep.

After isolating motherboard, cpu and memory outside case and double checking everything – still not a peep.

Tested RAM in main machine and that’s fine so figured either CPU, motherboard or both must be faulty. Started initiating returns procedure with Amazon and chose the ‘Phone me now’ option. Amazon phoned immediately but the line was bad and I was cut off after about 15 seconds. Intentional on Amazons’ part?

Then chose the chat option and was connected to Norman who clearly knew a thing or two about computer builds as he asked relevant questions including ‘Did you clear the CMOS?’. Norman also asked questions which I’d already answered so wasn’t really keeping track of my conversation imo. The only question I answered ‘no’ to was ‘Did you try a higher powered power supply’ (I’m using a Corsair 650 watt PSU which has worked flawlessly for at least 8 years and is working ok right now).

Eventually our Norman accepted the equipment they’d sold me was faulty and started the returns procedure. He asked ‘The return is for all 3 items isn’t it?’ I replied ‘No, as I’ve already mentioned, the memory is fine so I’ll keep that’.

I wrapped up the CPU and motherboard in the boxes they arrived in and took them to a Hermes collection point nearby on a Saturday. On Sunday Amazon e-mailed me saying they’d received the parcel and had authorised a refund. On Tuesday my money owing was returned to my bank account. So, can’t really fault Amazon on the returns procedure except, perhaps, for Normans’ 101 questions.

I put the new memory in my main gaming machine where they reside alongside two more sticks of Corsair 3000Mhz RAM giving that machine a total of 32Gb Memory.

I thought for the time being I’d put the old Asus motherboard back in and use the machine using only the CPU graphics for now but when I did that it wouldn’t power up. After lots of troubleshooting I decided that the motherboard was probably now completely dead so it was put into the local recycling bin.

Then I got to thinking that I actually have all the parts for a complete machine for my bedroom (which isn’t used for anything that strains its’ potential), all I’m missing is the motherboard. The new parts for the new build had cost £354 and as I could do without that expense I figured I’d try and find a new motherboard suitable for a 2nd Gen i7 CPU and 16Gb DDR3 RAM. Of course I still wasn’t 100% sure the i7 CPU; 16Gb memory and GTX1050 vid card were in good working order but decided to take a chance.

I found a used Asrock H61-M DGS Rev 2 motherboard on Ebay for £24 inc postage so ordered that and it arrived in three days. Assembled all parts and accessed motherboard BIOS ok. The BIOS was set to ‘Enable numlock on POST’ which threw me and caused problems at first but eventually I sussed it and disabled that option.

This board only had 4 x USB ports at the rear but I added a powered 4 port USB device which took care of that. I used the 2 onboard USB headers to connect the 4 x front mounted case USB ports. Also this motherboard only had 4 SATA ports whereas the former board had six so had to lose one 2Tb HDD and one empty case-mounted HDD caddy. Still, not bad for £24.

I had fitted the Noctua CPU cooler with 2 x 120mm fans to the CPU which is huge but that didn’t allow me to fit the 1050 graphics card in the video card slot, not enough room. So I used the standard Intel cooler which is keeping the CPU between 42 and 44C which isn’t as good as the 30C the Noctua kept the CPU at.

The board had just the one PCI-E slot where I fitted a Xonar DGX soundcard.

I had previously bought a Windows 10 activation code for £4.95 on Ebay so attempted to install Win10 to an old SATA 80Gb HDD. The activation code was accepted online but partway through install the monitor screen went black and things ground to a halt. Tried again with a Kingston 240Gb SSD but just the same result. It’s possible the activation code was iffy but it came with lots of Ebay recommendations so will have to check that out.

Next tried a Win 7 install and – success! Maybe this board is too old for Win 10, it dates from 2013 and I think Win 10 arrived in 2015. Or maybe the 80Gb HDD was too small and then entering the activation code a second time disagreed with Microsoft, I dunno. I will come back to this issue, will try another Win 10 install but this time proceed without adding activation code and also not initially supplying my Microsoft member details.

My Win 7 install is now running fine and I seem to have solved this motherboard failure problem for a little less than 30 quid which is a bit good, albeit at the sacrifice of losing a few USB and SATA ports.

Final note: I’d come to like MSI boards, have used a couple before this purchase of a faulty one but since 1996 when I started assembling computers the only new faulty motherboards I’ve had have been MSI – 3 in total. No comment, just stating a fact and also figuring no more MSI for me.

After Win 7 was installed here’s a list of software and drivers either already on the machine or yet to be installed. Note how old some of this software is, it all still works and I can’t be bothered forking out for new stuff.

Windows 7 64 Bit installation:
Win 7 Service Pack One
Win 7 updates
Internet Explorer 11
Nvidia GeForce Experience & video drivers
K-Lite Codec Pack & Media Player
dbPowerAmp & Aux module
Behringer audio interface drivers
foobar 2000 & burninate add-on
Audacity
Asus Xonar Uni soundcard drivers and audio panel
Brother printer drivers
Epson scanner drivers & software
Privazer
Speccy
Libre Office
Microsoft Office 2007
Foxit PDF reader
Avery Design & Print

To install:

Dazzle video capture module & Pinnacle studio editing software
Microsoft Xbox 360 game controller drivers
Leawo Bluray Player
Thunderbird email client
Nero 12
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Adobe Lightroom 5.4
Acronis True Image 2013
Steam Game client
GoG Galaxy Games client
Canon printer drivers
More Win 7 updates

Maybe install:

Origin (EA) Games client
Uplay (Ubisoft) Games client
Epic Games client
A freebie antivirus program
Malwarebytes
Opera browser
 
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floppybootstomp

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Glad you've finally got this sorted @floppybootstomp. How many PCs have you got up and running right now? Do you still have the old (Windows 98?) machine for games?

When I tallied up the amount of machines here I was quite surprised, they number five. And yes, I still have the old Win 98 setup though I can't remember the last time I switched it on.

Briefly, the computers are:

Main machine in living room, i5 based.
Secondary machine in bedroom, as detailed above, 2nd Gen i7 based.
Spare room/workshop setup. i3 based, only used for digital oscilloscope and music playback.
Socket A based Win 98 machine in bedroom set up initially for old games.
An Asus netbook, about ten years old, used only for programming public address amplifiers.

When you installed Windows 10 on the machine, was it using the latest version from the USB/ISO tool page?:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

Yes, that's the one. I still haven't installed all software to Win 7 but when I've finished I'll try and install Win 10 again and if it fails to load from DVD again I'll try the Win 7 upgrade method that Mucks linked to.
 

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