Step 4: LED and BIOS Configuration

Your system is almost ready for its first "real" power up now, but before you can do that you need to connect a couple of small things that will make the next trouble shooting steps a little easier. Make sure the PC speaker, the Power LED, the Hard Disk Activity LED, and the Reset Button is all connected (you should have connected them in an earlier section). The status of these indicators is crucial to troubleshooting the computer in the event of a problem.
When the computer is first powered on a screen should appear describing the Video Adapter and it should begin a memory test, if you have a very fast computer or a slow video card you may not get to see these things until you push the reset button on your computer (or hold down the Ctrl Alt Delete keys at the same time, and release them). Testing the video card and RAM is called a Power on Self Test, a.k.a. POST. Your keyboard, and basic cabling is tested at this time also (unless it was disabled in the BIOS). If this does not occur consult the troubleshooting section of the motherboard manual or you can scan our Basic Trouble Shooting Section. Listen for beep codes.
After the computer has completed its POST tests it may initiate a CMOS Checksum Error, this is normal for the first time that a computer is activated, and display a message to press F1 to continue. Press F1 (function key F1 - above the number keys and punctuation's).
System CMOS is the utility that allows the user to tell the computer what BASIC hardware is installed. It is where setting for Hard Disk Drives, Floppy Disk Drives, and other information are stored. Some system CMOS's contain a utility called "Auto Detect" for you, otherwise you must enter them manually.
When using a SCSI disk drive, follow the instructions in the manual with your SCSI controller. Normally, you set the Hard Disk Drive Type to 0 or Not Installed.
This does NOT effect most people. (When using an ESDI or other nonstandard drive controller, follow the instructions in the manual with your ESDI controller or non-standard. Normally, you set the Hard Disk Drive Type to 1.)
IDE and EIDE drives are the most common, and probably what you have. They require specific heads, tracks, and cylinder settings, unless you have a previously installed Ontrack's Disk Manager or some other type of configuration software which maybe required to install EIDE drives in older systems. Disk Manager usually requires the Drive Type set to 1 or 10.
Most EIDE (drives larger than 540MB) have the heads, tracks, and cylinder settings written on the top of the drive. On the bottom or back of the drive you will see some jumpers. These jumpers are generally perfect for only one drive in a system. However, with more than one drive, or a CD ROM on the same cable chain, you might have to change these settings. If you followed the earlier instructions, these jumpers are already set. If not, the jumpers are (generally) as follows:
M = Master. Only drive in computer, or the primary drive of the two on that chain. Remember, only two IDE/EIDE devices can exist on a cable. Modern systems have both a Primary and Secondary controller as standard practice. Drive C: is a Master 99.9999% of the time.
S = Slave. This is the secondary drive on a two drive chain. The first drive MUST be set to MASTER. Drive D: is a Slave 99.9999% of the time.
CS = Cable Select. This is a setting that you are allowing the cable to select whether the drive is a Master or a Slave. This, we have found is generally in efficient and fails to work properly all of the time.
Good luck! If there are serious problems, or if you aren't sure you CAN do it... or don't safe guard and take precautions, and can't afford to make mistakes which could cost you money - if you blow up or ruin components. Be careful!!! Our Basic Trouble Shooting section might help you some more.

Note: Western Digital Hard drives do NOT use a master designation (no jumper) if they are the ONLY drive on an interface.

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Copyright 1998 T.E. Mercer, all rights reserved. This page was last updated 16 April 2000

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