View Full Version : System hung... improper CPU speed?

12 December 2003, 10:09 AM
My comp wouldn't boot this morning? I haven't used it for around 5 days (which is rare!) and when I turned it on this morning all drives span, cd drives lights flash, fans are spinning but monitor is on standby and no beeps from mb? I turned it off, waited, then turned it back on. It booted, BIOS regestered a P4 1.8 then it jumped straight to BIOS settings which said (something like):
the system hung last time due to an improper CPU speed

This has never happened before... any ideas?

My first thought might be a temp thing... it's cold in my room this morning! Asus probe tells me the CPU temp is 35c and the motherboard temp is 18c - this is pretty much normal and I doubt somehow that the machine is overheating, it's got three 80mm fans in it!

Sys spec is as follows (including everything attached to it!):

Chieftec Scorpio Case w/ 360W PSU
Asus P4PE with Lan/Audio
P4 2.4ghz w/ thermal paste & coolermaster heatsink (can't remember exactly which one!)
1GB Crucial RAM
Quadro 750 XGL
60gb IBM 180GXP
80gb IBM 180GXP
52x CDrom
CD-writer/DVD combo drive
Iiyama 4637
wacom intuos A5
A couple of usb dongles! :p

All this stuff runs from a Belkin 500va UPS.


Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 11:28 PM
Check the CMOS battery, that its properly seated and or replace it
reset the multiplier and FSB to the proper speed in the BIOS

have you ever flashed a BIOS?
was there any checksum message?

12 December 2003, 01:49 AM
I shall preech the GregHess message ...

Check the memory check the memory check the memory!!:wip:

try moving the RAM around and try removing it a stick at a time.

12 December 2003, 02:19 AM
do you / have you overclocked anything?

12 December 2003, 10:17 AM
Just reset your bios and you will be fine.

12 December 2003, 10:58 AM
I've never overclocked this machine and I never will. My old dual pIII was overclocked and stable as anything... for 5 months. After that it just became a pain in the a**e to use. I learnt the 'not so easy' way. Anyhow BIOS is pretty much set to default or automatic settings, don't know what you guys do, but it's worked for me fine since day one. Multiplier and FSB are back to normal. Thing is BIOS automatically sorted this? I can check my memory again using that memtest thingy on a floppy disk, is this how you suggest I test it? It's only done it once but it freaked me out a bit cos I've never had a problem with this machine since day one - apart from the Cdrom drive running at around 8x when it's infact a 52x? Can't seem to sort that but it's no biggie.

was there any checksum message?

Umm... not entirely sure what a checksum message is, are you talking about a memory address message type thing gummy? There were no messages at all, nothing happened on screen untill I turned it off then back on.

Has anyone heard of something called a 'cold boot problem'?
Apartly some P4PE boards suffer from this?


Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 01:24 PM
Your BIOS controls the CPU's Front Side Bus speed, and the Multiplier, which together set the speed (but you knew that having overclocked :p)

from the PC Guide (

BIOS Checksum error (

"Explanation: The system has detected an error within the BIOS ROM. The read-only memory (ROM) containing the BIOS program (which is what is running when you turn on the PC and what generates this error) uses a checksum value as a double-check that the ROM code is correct. This checksum is compared against the values in the ROM each time the PC is booted and if there is a mismatch, this code is generated"

Note: This error is not the same as a CMOS Checksum Error, which refers to corrupted values of the CMOS settings, the ones you set through the BIOS setup program. This error means the contents of the BIOS code itself are damaged.

Diagnosis: The BIOS ROM chip on the motherboard is probably faulty. It could also be another component on the motherboard.

Recommendation: Troubleshoot the motherboard ( It is possible to replace just the BIOS ROM chip but often replacing the motherboard will make more sense for cost and simplicity reasons. actually a new BIOS chip would run about $10 or so from your mobo manufacturer, and isnt that tough to do, but if you didnt get that error, its something else

CMOS checksum errors (

"Explanation: A checksum is computed as an error-detecting code, to protect the BIOS settings stored in the CMOS memory ( Each time the system is booted this number is recomputed and checked against the stored value. If they do not match, an error message is generated to tell you that the CMOS memory contents may have been corrupted and therefore some settings may be wrong. BIOSes react in different ways to encountering this sort of error. Some will warn the user and then continue on with whatever settings were in the CMOS. Others will assume that the settings that were in the CMOS were corrupted and will load default values stored in the BIOS chip "for safety reasons". The error message will indicate which your system is doing.

Diagnosis: The most common cause of checksum errors in CMOS is a battery that is losing power. Viruses can also affect CMOS settings, and motherboard problems can also affect the stored values.

Recommendation: Follow the instructions in this section to address the CMOS corruption. ( You should make sure that all of the BIOS settings in the system are correct, by rebooting the system, going into BIOS setup and double-checking all the values (hopefully against a recent BIOS settings backup ("

Im not familiar with the coldboot issue, but CPU speed is a very low level, BIOS controlled function, so that is where I would start.

12 December 2003, 12:11 AM
Wow... loads of info. This is gonna take me alot of time to go through this - thanks Ice Czar most helpful! :)

I'm sure I'll be back once I know the problem.


Ice Czar
12 December 2003, 02:41 AM
see if you can reproduce the error and write it down ;)

RE: PC Guide read a section or two a day
its a good investment of time, its slightly out of date here and there, but provides a sound base for advanced "modern" studies

12 December 2003, 04:51 PM
I'll have a go at reproducing the error but it's unlikely and I certainly don't want to force it - knowing me I'd destroy my machine... also there is nothing to write down - the screen is blank.

I'll run the memtest this weekend and let you know how I get on.
As for Pc guide - it would probably be to my advantage but I really don't have the time at the mo. Maybe I'll add to 'the list'.


12 December 2003, 11:37 AM
Argh crap, it did it again this morning. I've run this machine solidly for 10 months without a problem! :cry:
Turn on machine, all drives spin/flash, hard drive LED is on permenantly, fans are running. No beep and no vga. Hit reset, boots up as a p4 1800 then memtest then straight into BIOS with same warning as before?

Where's that darn memtest floppy disk...


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