1 Copper

BIOS error code: "cmos checksum error" from log

History of the work done on this computer: the hard drive hosting the OS was taken out of this Dell Dimension 8100 and was put in another computer to have the OS (Windows XP with SP3) re-installed. Actually the drive had the partitions deleted and one created and then Win XP-SP3 installed on it. I then put it back into the Dim. 8100 computer, but it failed to boot. Here is the screen I usually experienced:

Further information about the Dim. 8100 is that it had a second hard drive for data and the former user of the computer had the machine utilizing a dual boot with Ubuntu 9. The dual boot was thought to the cause for not allowing us to boot from a Windows XP setup disk and, therefore, we took the hard drive to another machine to install the OS. This is one of the reasons for a clean install of Windows plus the fact that the computer was getting slower and the hard drive space was very low despite trying to perform a disk clean procedure and do house cleaning on it, the space would fill up quickly afterward (???).

I also flashed the BIOS from the "XP" to the one recommended, "A09." I checked to see if it needed the "XP" version by searching in the list of back up driver files made before starting the whole reinstall procedure for the Audigy sound card files. I did not find any.  I was very relieved that I finally got the machine to boot from a bootable 3.5 diskette since many previous attempts I was unsuccessful with the 3.5 diskette and a bootable CD. What may have been the reason for being able to finally boot from the diskette is that I was clearing the NVRAM by removing the battery, etc., and doing a reboot, BIOS setup. Also I changed from a USB to a PS2 keyboard since I read in another post that it recommended this. This allowed me to see the following screen at which the machine locks up:

So I believe that switching the keyboard to a PS2 and choosing (perhaps now that I could) to boot using "Safe mode with DOS prompt" allowed me to see this screen above. I think was the case because before when the first screen on this post timed out (after 30 seconds) I never saw the driver files loading, but I did here the hard drive working for a few seconds.

The last thing I tried was to remove all the PCI cards thinking that it had to have some driver loaded initially in the boot process or the machine would freeze as I am continuing to experience ( no such luck).

So I found in the BIOS setup menu the place to view the error log. A very handy tool! It reads that "cmos checksum error" for the times I have been trying to boot the machine. The BIOS time and date is saved from boot to boot and with the power cord detached (?). Perhaps it is slowly draining to a non-working state(?).

Here is my thought: I am doubting that it just  needs a new CMOS battery. Why does it not continue to load the drivers?

May God bless the soul who can help me.


Brother John

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7- Thorium

Re: BIOS error code: "cmos checksum error" from log

Hi Brother John,

Three things I would try first:

1. Reset BIOS defaults (there is a jumper on the motherboard to do this, check your manual)

2. Flash the BIOS to a newer or older version

3. Replace the battery (yes, this can cause that error)

Finally, you should install the OS on a drive in the 8100. Installing on a different machine and then moving the drive can lead to problems.

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