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Tag: Bios

Basic simplified Computer Boot process

Today would like to share little, simplified information on Computer Boot process. Before we work on our computers and on GUI (Graphical User Interface) and when the computer is powered on the following series of pre-programmed actions takes place

World of Compters

  1. The BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) does a power –on Self-Test (Called as POST) and initiates the boot process
  2. The Boot-strap process locates the mater Boot Record (MBR) of the primary boot device (HardDisk, cd, floppy disk, USB) as determined by the BIOS
  3. The MBR of the bootable device points the boot –strap to the Boot Sector of the active Partition.
  4. The Boot-strap then loads the OS boot loader in to the computers main memory (RAM). At this point the role of the BIOS is completes and control is transferred to the OS.
  5. The OS boot loader then loads its various components in to the computers main memory completing the boot sequence and providing the user its user interface.

Why windows makes life difficult sometimes?

We know windows is very easy operating system to operate compared to other operating systems due to its Graphical user interface but some times it may make your job worst when you are unable to solve OS issues. Recently I came across the issue with the windows xp activation. This particular problem took my  2 days of time to solve.

At this point I got questions in my mind,

Is windows Buggy……..?

Why windows makes life difficult sometimes……?

The problem was with windows xp activation. On my PC I had installed the trial version of windows xp for some test and went on holidays during the time of activation and when I came back, my windows xp crossed more than 30 days and my trial period got expired. As I was doing some tests, I decided to not to go with the windows xp and decided to install the windows 7. So I went to uninstall the windows xp but my system was not booting using the cd-rom to load the windows 7 setup. The screen always going to windows xp login screen. When I tried entering my password the machine was asking me to activate my windows xp by contacting customer services but I was not at all interested in windows xp as I have the windows 7 and its licenced version. I tried changing the BIOS settings to load using the CD-ROM. I even disabled the HDD boot option but the system still loading in to windows xp.

When my mind reached the status to get help from someone, I thought of looking for answers on internet which could help me to solve the my problem. Thankfully I got some tips from internet and I was able to solve my problem. My concern was to load the new operating system as it was affecting my work and testing. I was not at all concerned about my data as it was on some other drive (This was planned to deal with these kind of disaster recovery situation).

How did I solved this issue?

Well, as my machine was not allowing me to boot using the windows 7 using the cd I copied the setup to an USB and connected to my PC and booted the machine till I get the windows login screen.

Next, click to login as usual. You should get an error from Windows telling you that your Windows has expired and is asking whether you would like to activate Windows now. Click Yes.

A “Let’s activate Windows” window will appear. Let’s minimize it. DO NOT close it.

Now, hold down the Windows Key on your keyboard while you also press the “U” key. This will open up the Narrator program to help assist those with poor vision. It is this program that will help us login to our Windows.

Click the little computer icon in the top left hand side of the Narrator window. A drop down menu should appear. The last option in this menu is named “About Narrator…”. Click it. This should open up another window called “About Narrator”.

In this window, there should be the text “Microsoft Web site”. Click it, as it is a link and will open up your Internet Explorer, taking you to the Microsoft Accessibility website.

In the address bar of Internet Explorer, type “G:” (G: is just an example here which is our USB drive which contains the windows7  OS. You can enter the drive letter accordingly) . This should display all removable drive contents on drive “G”. From there you run the windows setup. The time is very less to perform these steps and you have to try these within 2-3 minutes.

The New windows will load successfully without any issues

Hope the provided information above helps. Happy Troubleshooting 🙂

Disclaimer: This is not to promote piracy, but I do feel people should have access to their personal files, regardless of whether Windows has expired or not.Also no one can force to use only there operating system and should not avoid reinstalling/Upgrading the operating system as this situation may occur accidently (as in my case). This tutorial should not be used to bypass Windows Activation, nor does it restore full Windows functionality, but I provide it to those who are in desperate need of accessing files that are suddenly lost to them through the Microsoft Genuine Advantage activation system or want to install newer version of OS..

BIOS and its Beep Codes

Standard Original IBM POST Error Codes

Code Description

1 short beep System is OK

2 short beeps POST Error – error code shown on screen No beep Power supply or system board problem Continuous beep Power supply, system board, or keyboard problem Repeating short beeps Power supply or system board problem

1 long, 1 short beep System board problem

1 long, 2 short beeps Display adapter problem (MDA, CGA)

1 long, 3 short beeps Display adapter problem (EGA)

3 long beeps 3270 keyboard card

IBM POST Diagnostic Code Descriptions

Code Description

100 – 199 System Board

200 – 299 Memory

300 – 399 Keyboard

400 – 499 Monochrome Display

500 – 599 Colour/Graphics Display

600 – 699 Floppy-disk drive and/or Adapter

700 – 799 Math Coprocessor

900 – 999 Parallel Printer Port

1000 – 1099 Alternate Printer Adapter

1100 – 1299 Asynchronous Communication Device, Adapter, or Port

1300 – 1399GamePort

1400 – 1499 Colour/Graphics Printer

1500 – 1599 Synchronous Communication Device, Adapter, or Port

1700 – 1799 Hard Drive and/or Adapter

1800 – 1899 Expansion Unit (XT)

2000 – 2199 Bisynchronous Communication Adapter

2400 – 2599 EGA system-board Video (MCA)

3000 – 3199 LAN Adapter

4800 – 4999 Internal Modem

7000 – 7099PhoenixBIOS Chips

7300 – 7399 3.5″ Disk Drive

8900 – 8999MIDIAdapter

11200 – 11299 SCSI Adapter

21000 – 21099 SCSI Fixed Disk and Controller

21500 – 21599 SCSI CD-ROM System

AMI BIOS Beep Codes

Code Description

1 Short Beep System OK

2 Short Beeps Parity error in the first 64 KB of memory

3 Short Beeps Memory failure in the first 64 KB

4 Short Beeps Memory failure in the first 64 KB Operational of memory

or Timer 1 on the motherboard is not functioning

5 Short Beeps The CPU on the motherboard generated an error

6 Short Beeps The keyboard controller may be bad. The BIOS cannot switch to protected mode

7 Short Beeps The CPU generated an exception interrupt

8 Short Beeps The system video adapter is either missing, or its memory is faulty

9 Short Beeps The ROM checksum value does not match the value encoded in the BIOS

10 Short Beeps The shutdown register for CMOS RAM failed

11 Short Beeps The external cache is faulty

1 Long, 3 Short Beeps Memory Problems

1 Long, 8 Short Beeps Video Card Problems


PhoenixBIOS Beep Codes

Note – Phoenix BIOS emits three sets of beeps, separated by a brief pause.

Code Description

1-1-3CMOS read/write failure

1-1-4ROM BIOS checksum error

1-2-1Programmable interval timer failure

1-2-2DMA initialisation failure

1-2-3DMA page register read/write failure

1-3-1RAM refresh verification failure

1-3-3First 64k RAM chip or data line failure

1-3-4First 64k RAM odd/even logic failure

1-4-1Address line failure first 64k RAM

1-4-2Parity failure first 64k RAM

2-_-_ Faulty Memory

3-1-_ Faulty Motherboard

3-2-4Keyboard controller Test failure

3-3-4Screen initialisation failure

3-4-1Screen retrace test failure

3-4-2Search for video ROM in progress

4-2-1Timer tick interrupt in progress or failure

4-2-2Shutdown test in progress or failure

4-2-3Gate A20 failure

4-2-4Unexpected interrupt in protected mode

4-3-1RAM test in progress or failure>ffffh

4-3-2Faulty Motherboard

4-3-3Interval timer channel 2 test or failure

4-3-4Time of Day clock test failure

4-4-1Serial port test or failure

4-4-2Parallel port test or failure

4-4-3Math coprocessor test or failure

Low1-1-2System Board select failure

Low1-1-3Extended CMOS RAM failure