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Bios Checksum Error - Troubleshooting

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
On Sunday I did a clean install of Windows XP64.

Sunday night, I flashed my bios from 0901 to 1002. This allowed me to OC to a 400x4 FSB. After working on the stability for a while and making some progress, I decided to celebrate and play a little FEAR.

After a couple of crashes, I set the entire bios to known stable, stock settings so I could play for a while. That worked fine.

I have had to correct my Windows clock twice today, as I noticed it was wrong.

While websurfing (mostly on OCN) my computer locked up (no BSOD, just a 'hang').
I rebooted and it happened again within a couple minutes.

I've been suspecting a RAM problem for a few days, but no errors were reported in testing (Memtest+86) over 10 hours. With that in mind, I decided to try another known stable setting that would underclock my RAM a bit and allow me to troubleshoot it that way, but the boot failed.

I reset the bios to stock values again and this time, after the ROMSIP update, I got (and keep getting) the following message:
Award Bootblock v1.0
Bios Checksum Error

I have cleared the Bios on the mobo while unplugged and with the battery removed. Same Error.

The Google knowledge base seems to think it is either a bad mobo battery or bad RAM. At this time I'm inclined to think it's the battery based on the clock needing to be reset and the unlikelihood of two separate sticks going bad at the same time.

I apologize for the length, but I have changed a lot of things recently and didn't want to leave out any pertinent info.

Is there something else I should check/try?
Edit
I've already tried different combos of slots and single RAM sticks.
My USB devices (keyboard/mouse, headset, card reader) have been acting strangely lately
I'm beginning to suspect the mobo (I just got it back from an RMA a couple of weeks ago)
[Edit Update - I metered the battery and it's showing proper volts.]

Thanks
Edited by Aardobard - 12/16/08 at 6:03am
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Nacho Rig
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post #2 of 5
When you did a cmos reset did you have the power supply unplugged?
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response.

Yes, the PSU was unplugged and the battery was removed when I reset the bios.

I'm also remembering a couple of other things. My USB devices have been acting odd recently. My keyboard/mouse set almost got thrown away because the keyboard lost the ability to type and the mouse was very sporatically non-responsive. After changing channels (they are wireless) and USB ports and batteries, there was no change. On a whim, I tried them on another computer and they are working flawlessly. My USB headset has been loosing connection or playing hide and seek with my windows settings.

I'm playing House now, here's my whiteboard:

System clock random change
USB circus
Operational instability at stock and overclock settings
RAM DIMMs test individually solid over ten hours each in two different tests.
Fresh Windows Install
Fresh flash that executed and operated fine and was restarted several times.
Bios Checksum Error (Award Bios Boot Block v1.0 - looking for a CD or Floppy)

I am investigating using the Award Bios boot block reboot option. Before I do though, I'm going to buy another battery, even though it seems to test fine, because they're cheap and it's the simplest thing to change, and at least two separate symptoms above point to a battery problem.

Any other thoughts?
Is this fun yet?
Nacho Rig
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Nacho Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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2x WD 640 Blue RAID0 ASUS DVD+-RW WIN7 / XP 64 / Linux ACER 23" 
PowerCase
Corsair HX750 Custom CM690 
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post #4 of 5
Have you tried running with the bare minimum to boot. Which would only be RAM, video card, and CPU.

I had an issue with my mouse and keyboard and that it wouldn't boot with them plugged in.

I would try and get a hold of another stick of RAM to check and see. I know you didn't come up with any errors, but it's a possibility that it may still be your RAM. I had the same error which turned out to be dying RAM.
    
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Samsung EVO 250GB. Samsung F3 1TB, Seagate 2TB LP Corsair H80 Windows 8.1 LG M2352 23" IPS 
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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Again thanks for all the help

While troubleshooting on my end, I went to back to the manual (RTM) and discovered that the mobo driver disk has a flash repair utility just for this sort of thing.

The program executed, the bios was flashed; it finished and rebooted; and now it's a brick. Not even a checksum error, just a big fat pile of brick.

I'm so happy I could knit.
Nacho Rig
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
q9550 4.0GHz @1.3v GA-EP45-UD3P MSI 460 810/1800 2x2GB Gskill 800/894 
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2x WD 640 Blue RAID0 ASUS DVD+-RW WIN7 / XP 64 / Linux ACER 23" 
PowerCase
Corsair HX750 Custom CM690 
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Nacho Rig
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
q9550 4.0GHz @1.3v GA-EP45-UD3P MSI 460 810/1800 2x2GB Gskill 800/894 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x WD 640 Blue RAID0 ASUS DVD+-RW WIN7 / XP 64 / Linux ACER 23" 
PowerCase
Corsair HX750 Custom CM690 
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