As soon as POST starts, you’ll be invited to hit a key – generally DEL – to enterBIOS Setup. You’ve already set the system time, but now’s the time to go through the various functions in detail and make sure they’re set up in accordance with your motherboard User’s Manual.

Go through each of the functions identified in the BIOS’s Main Menu in turn. While it’s likely that most of the default settings will be what you want, it pays to check.

If your BIOS is capable of auto-detecting your IDE devices – most are – set it so to do. In the Chipset Features Setup, you may want to Enable detection of your SDRAM Frequency by SPD (Serial Presence Detect) if it’s not already set to do so.

If your graphics card is an AGP card, be sure to check that your video BIOS settings are configured appropriately. They’ll typically include:

  • AGP Mode: Sets the appropriate mode for the installed AGP card. Usually set to the fastest speed (1X to 8X) your AGP slot/card is capable of supporting.
  • AGP Fast Write: Fast Write technology allows the CPU to write directly to a graphics card without passing anything through the system memory, thereby improving performance.
  • AGP Aperture: Controls how much system RAM can be allocated to AGP for video driving purposes. The aperture is a portion of the PCI memory address range dedicated to graphics memory address space. Host cycles that hit the aperture range are forwarded to the AGP without any translation. Typically configurable in steps from 4MB to 256MB.
  • AGP Master 1 W/S Write and Read: Allows the insertion of one wait state into AGP write and read cycles, respectively.
  • AGP Read Synchronisation: Allows the AGP Read Synchronisation feature to be either enabled or disabled.

When you’re happy everything is set as it should be, save your settings and exit Setup – typically by pressing F10 – and allow the system to continue to boot from Windows on your hard drive.

Some would advise that the only sure way to ensure your system’s integrity following a motherboard upgrade – especially if it uses a different chipset from the former one – is to do a clean install of Windows. If the prospect of doing this fills you with dread – even after reference to the PCTechGuide tutorials telling you how to do this for both Windows 98 and XP environments – or if it’s a course you only want to take as a last resort, it’s worth first seeing how well Windows copes with your new motherboard.

In this case, we have a dual-boot system, so we’ll be doing this for each of Windows 98SE and Windows XP, in turn.

When a PC 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. In this event it will attempt to notify the error by:

  • displaying it on the screen
  • generating a POST beep code using the computer’s internal speaker if it cannot access the display adapter.
  • providing a POST code output that can be read using a special hardware tool.

The most popular BIOSes are those made by Award, AMI and Phoenix.

The only AwardBIOS beep code indicates that a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialise 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.

As for the other manufacturers, refer respectively to the:

As soon as POST starts, you’ll be invited to hit a key – generally DEL – to enterBIOS Setup. You’ve already set the system time, but now’s the time to go through the various functions in detail and make sure they’re set up in accordance with your motherboard User’s Manual.

Go through each of the functions identified in the BIOS’s Main Menu in turn. While it’s likely that most of the default settings will be what you want, it pays to check.

If your BIOS is capable of auto-detecting your IDE devices – most are – set it so to do. In the Chipset Features Setup, you may want to Enable detection of your SDRAM Frequency by SPD (Serial Presence Detect) if it’s not already set to do so.

If your graphics card is an AGP card, be sure to check that your video BIOS settings are configured appropriately. They’ll typically include:

  • AGP Mode: Sets the appropriate mode for the installed AGP card. Usually set to the fastest speed (1X to 8X) your AGP slot/card is capable of supporting.
  • AGP Fast Write: Fast Write technology allows the CPU to write directly to a graphics card without passing anything through the system memory, thereby improving performance.
  • AGP Aperture: Controls how much system RAM can be allocated to AGP for video driving purposes. The aperture is a portion of the PCI memory address range dedicated to graphics memory address space. Host cycles that hit the aperture range are forwarded to the AGP without any translation. Typically configurable in steps from 4MB to 256MB.
  • AGP Master 1 W/S Write and Read: Allows the insertion of one wait state into AGP write and read cycles, respectively.
  • AGP Read Synchronisation: Allows the AGP Read Synchronisation feature to be either enabled or disabled.

When you’re happy everything is set as it should be, save your settings and exit Setup – typically by pressing F10 – and allow the system to continue to boot from Windows on your hard drive.

Some would advise that the only sure way to ensure your system’s integrity following a motherboard upgrade – especially if it uses a different chipset from the former one – is to do a clean install of Windows. If the prospect of doing this fills you with dread – even after reference to the PCTechGuide tutorials telling you how to do this for both Windows 98 and XP environments – or if it’s a course you only want to take as a last resort, it’s worth first seeing how well Windows copes with your new motherboard.

In this case, we have a dual-boot system, so we’ll be doing this for each of Windows 98SE and Windows XP, in turn.

When a PC 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. In this event it will attempt to notify the error by:

  • displaying it on the screen
  • generating a POST beep code using the computer’s internal speaker if it cannot access the display adapter.
  • providing a POST code output that can be read using a special hardware tool.

The most popular BIOSes are those made by Award, AMI and Phoenix.

The only AwardBIOS beep code indicates that a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialise 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.

As for the other manufacturers, refer respectively to the:

 

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