Resurrected Entertainment

Development Hell, Part I

July 3, 2008

The Heart of the Beast I want to build some software I received the other day, and I’ve been trying to resurrect one of my older boxes as a development machine after it failed to boot. First it seemed to be a power supply issue as one of the hard drives was failing to spin up correctly. After changing to a different supply and more power, it still refused to work correctly. I began to suspect the hard drive, so I imaged the disk using Mac OS X via the dd command, which was horribly slow but did make a successful backup. Once the backup was transferred to the new drive, again a very slow process, I shoved it in and turned on the juice. Sadly, it still didn’t boot. By now, my wife is chiding me saying I should just toss it and use something more modern. I immediately reversed my polarity and deflected those negative comments back at the beast (of course, I mean this in the best possible way, like a cute little beasty-weasty for example). Refusing to give up I focused on the new error glowing steadily on the monitor.

“CMOS Checksum error – Defaults loaded”

Usually this is caused by a dying battery. Rolling up my sleeves, I went and bought a replacement, cleared the CMOS, saved a new configuration using Award’s snazzy 1997 BIOS interface and… presto! Nothing changed. I tried this a couple of times with no luck. Before I reset the CMOS, I noticed something odd. It seems the jumper was set in the clear position for a while. I’m not sure for how long exactly, but the last time I exumed the motherboard from the old chassis I seem to remember the jumper falling off. With my attention focused on something else, I guess I just slid the jumper back on without checking the configuration. I’m wondering if that eventually lead to a small corruption in the original copy of the BIOS. Will a simple reflashing solve the problem, or will it lead us down a different path? Stay tuned for another exciting episode!

One Response to “Development Hell, Part I”

stevex wrote a comment on July 3, 2008

I’m with beasty-weasty on this one. Replace the sucker.

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