AwardBIOS Error Messages
When a personal computer is first turned on, the BIOS tests and configures various components to ensure that they are operating correctly. This operation is called POST (power-on self test). If the BIOS detects any problems during this testing phase, it will attempt to continue to start the computer. However, if the problems are severe, the BIOS may be forced to halt the system.
When an error is detected, the BIOS program will:
The only AwardBIOS beep code indicates that a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information. This beep code consists of a single long beep followed by two short beeps. Any other beeps are probably a RAM (Random Access Memory) problem.
The following messages are examples of messages including errors detected by the BIOS during POST and a description of what they mean and/or what you may do to correct the error.
BIOS ROM checksum error - System halted
|The checksum of the BIOS code in the BIOS chip is incorrect, indicating the BIOS code may have become corrupt. Contact your system dealer to replace the BIOS.|
CMOS battery failed
The CMOS battery is no longer functional. Contact your system dealer for a replacement battery.
CMOS checksum error - Defaults loaded
Checksum of CMOS is incorrect, so the system loads the default equipment configuration. A checksum error may indicate that CMOS has become corrupt. This error may have been caused by a weak battery. Check the battery and replace if necessary.
CPU at nnnn
|Displays the running speed of the CPU.|
Display switch is set incorrectly
The display switch on the motherboard can be set to either monochrome or color. This message indicates the switch is set to a different setting than indicated in Setup. Determine which setting is correct, and then either turn off the system and change the jumper, or enter Setup and change the VIDEO selection.
|Press ESC to skip memory test||
The user may press Esc to skip the full memory test.
Floppy disk(s) fail
|Cannot find or initialize the floppy drive controller or the drive. Make sure the controller is installed correctly. If no floppy drives are installed, be sure the Diskette Drive selection in Setup is set to NONE or AUTO.|
Please wait a moment
|Some hard drives require extra
time to initialize.
HARD DISK INSTALL FAILURE
Cannot find or initialize the hard drive controller or the drive. Make sure the controller is installed correctly. If no hard drives are installed, be sure the Hard Drive selection in Setup is set to NONE.
|Hard disk(s) diagnosis fail||
The system may run specific disk diagnostic routines. This message appears if one or more hard disks return an error when the diagnostics run.
Keyboard error or no keyboard present
|Cannot initialize the keyboard. Make sure the keyboard is attached correctly and no keys are pressed during POST. To purposely configure the system without a keyboard, set the error halt condition in Setup to HALT ON ALL, BUT KEYBOARD. The BIOS then ignores the missing keyboard during POST.|
Keyboard is locked out - Unlock the key
|This message usually indicates that one or more keys have been pressed during the keyboard tests. Be sure no objects are resting on the keyboard.|
|This message displays during a full memory test, counting down the memory areas being tested.|
Memory test fail
|If POST detects an error during memory testing, additional information appears giving specifics about the type and location of the memory error.|
|Override enabled - Defaults loaded||
If the system cannot boot using the current CMOS configuration, the BIOS can override the current configuration with a set of BIOS defaults designed for the most stable, minimal-performance system operations.
Press TAB to show POST screen
|System OEMs may replace the Phoenix Technologies' AwardBIOS POST display with their own proprietary display. Including this message in the OEM display permits the operator to switch between the OEM display and the default POST display.|
Primary master hard disk fail
POST detects an error in the primary master IDE hard drive.
|Primary slave hard disk fail||
POST detects an error in the secondary master IDE hard drive.
Resuming from disk, Press TAB to show POST screen
Phoenix Technologies offers a save-to-disk feature for notebook computers. This message may appear when the operator re-starts the system after a save-to-disk shut-down. See the Press Tab & message above for a description of this feature.
|Secondary master hard disk fail||POST detects an error in the primary slave IDE hard drive.|
Secondary slave hard disk fail
POST detects an error in the secondary slave IDE hard drive.
POST Codes are hexadecimal codes generated by the
BIOS during the POST operation. These codes may be monitored on a special
hardware "Post card" which displays them using a two digit
ISA Post codes are output to port address
80h. EISA Post codes are typically output to port
Turn off Chipset Cache
OEM Specific-Cache control
Processor Test 1
(1FLAGS) Verification.Tests the following processor status flags: carry,
zero, sign, overflow.
The BIOS sets each flag,
verifies they are set, then turns each flag off and verifies it is off.
Processor Test 2
Read/Write/Verify all CPU
registers except SS, SP, and BP with data pattern FF and 00.
Disable NMI, PIE, AIE, UEI, SQWV.
Disable video, parity checking, DMA.
Reset math coprocessor.
Clear all page registers, CMOS shutdown
Initialize timer 0,1, and 2, including set
EISA timer to a known state.
Initialize DMA controllers 0 and 1.
Initialize interrupt controllers 0 and 1.
Initialize EISA extended registers.
Test Memory Refresh Toggle
RAM must be periodically
refreshed to keep the memory from decaying. This refresh function is
Blank video, Initialize
Test CMOS Interface and
Verifies CMOS is
working correctly, detects bad battery.
registers with power on BIOS defaults
Memory presence test
to size on-board memory.
Specific-Early Shadow enable for fast boot.
Cache presence test
Setup low memory
Early chip set
Memory presence test.
OEM chip set routines.
Clear low 64K of memory.
Test first 64K memory.
Setup Interrupt Vector Table
120 interrupt vectors with SPURIOUS_INT_HDLR and initialize INT 00h-1Fh
according to INT_TBL.
Test CMOS RAM Checksum
Test CMOS RAM
checksum, if bad, or insert key pressed, load defaults.
Detect type of
keyboard controller (optional).
Set NUM_LOCK status.
Detect CPU clock.
Read CMOS location 14h to
find out type of video in use.
Detect and Initialize Video
Test Video Memory
memory, write sign-on message to screen.
Setup shadow RAM Enable
shadow according to Setup.
Keyboard detect and
Test DMA Controller 1
Test DMA Controller 1.
Test DMA Page Registers
Test DMA Page Registers.
Test Timer Counter 2
Test 8254 Timer 0
Test 8259-1 Mask Bits
Channel 1 masked interrupts by alternately turning off and on the
Test 8259-2 Mask Bits
Channel 2 masked interrupts by alternately turning off and on the
Test Stuck 8259s Interrupt
interrupts then verify no interrupt mask register is on.
Test 8259 Interrupt
Force an interrupt and verify
the interrupt occurred.
Test Stuck NMI
Verify NMI can be cleared.
Set EISA Mode
If EISA non-volatile memory
checksum is good, execute EISA initialization.
If not, execute ISA tests an
EISA mode flag.
Test EISA Configuration
Integrity (checksum &
Enable Slot 0
Initialize slot 0
Enable Slots 1-15
1 through 15.
Size Base and Extended Memory
Size base memory from 256K to
640K and extended memory above 1MB.
POST Codes are hexadecimal codes generated by the BIOS during the POST operation. These codes may be monitored on a special hardware "Post card" which displays them using a two digit alphanumeric display.
ISA Post codes are output to port address 80h.
EISA Post codes are typically output to port address 300h.
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|We would like to acknowledge the help and assistance that we received from the Phoenix technical staff in preparing this information.|
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