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Skyefirecat
Bronze

CMOS Display type wrong -- after hard reset of NVRAM on Dimension 4400 model

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Hi,

I did a hard reboot on my mom's Dimension 4400 (which means I took out the battery and RAM and put them back in again) effectively resetting the board.

I had to do this because my mom put it into hibernate mode and we couldn't get it out (of hibernate).  So I did, and it didn't do anything for hours, then suddenly booted up and made all kinds of noise and came on with the POST screen, but with 2 errors: "CMOS display type wrong" and "CMOS date/time wrong".

I was able to change the date/time but have no clue about the other error;  I've never encountered it before.  The other post on this forum related to this error message says to do a hard reboot to clear the error, but as I've already done that, do I have any other options?
It also gave an error message about "battery low" right after it finally booted, but now it's not saying that any more.  Could the battery be low?
I've also read that this error could be related to the video card.  But I'm afraid to touch the video card....
Please help!  I don't want to crash my mom's computer!
Thanks, Susan-Skye
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4 Replies
Mary G
Diamond

Re: CMOS Display type wrong -- after hard reset of NVRAM on Dimension 4400 model

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You should replace the old CR2032 coin cell battery on the motherboard. It's a $3 battery sold in any store. To reset the cmos to the correct settings you have to enter the bios and change the settings that were changed when you  reset the bios to the defaults. Not all of the defaults are correct for your computer. Tap F2 as soon as you reboot. Don't wait for any screen, just start tapping as soon as you reboot. If you are not familiar with resetting the bios values, get someone to help. You can cause major problems and complete failure if you change something you shouldn't. BTW, a hard reboot is forcing the computer to shutdown by holding down the power button until it shut off, not reseating memory and removing the battery.

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Skyefirecat
Bronze

Re: CMOS Display type wrong -- after hard reset of NVRAM on Dimension 4400 model

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Unfortunately, another problem is that it won't accept any key input except "delete" when it's first booted up.  Then, it won't let me change any values that might actually matter, like the boot sequence or the peripheral settings.  In the BIOS, it just won't let me go into certain menus -- almost like it's locked or something, which I didn't think was possible. Once, I got past the BIOS, and then it popped up with a dialog box asking which drive it was supposed to boot from -- only, there weren't any drives displayed that I could select!  I have no idea what's wrong with this machine.  It was working absolutely FINE until my mom put it into hibernate....

RoHe
Diamond

Re: CMOS Display type wrong -- after hard reset of NVRAM on Dimension 4400 model

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Power off and unplug

Press/hold power button for ~15 sec

Open case and remove motherboard battery

Press/hold power button for ~30 sec

Leave unplugged and without battery for couple hours or overnight

Install a fresh CMOS battery (right-side-up!)

Boot with only mouse, monitor and keyboard connected and see what happens now.

Ron

Forum Member since 2004
I am not a Dell employee

Skyefirecat
Bronze

Re: CMOS Display type wrong -- after hard reset of NVRAM on Dimension 4400 model

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Just replacing the battery helped.  I don't know why, but afterward, CMOS let me change settings that it wouldn't let me change before I'd replaced the battery.  So I changed certain settings, saved, and it booted Windows right up.  I immediately change the hibernate setting.... no more hibernate for this computer!!!!!!!

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