Step 4: LED and BIOS Configuration

Your system has survived its first "real" power up, CONGRATULATIONS!
When the computer is first powered on a screen should appear describing the Video Adapter and it should begin a memory test or systems check (depending on the BIOS make and model). 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 then release those keys). 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 try to look through 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, on laptop computers you might need to hold down the FN key to press the F1 key).
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, any other 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 as a boot drive, follow the instructions in the manual with your SCSI controller. If the SCSI drive isn't going to be a boot drive, DO NOT EVEN TRY TO INSTALL THEM YET! Normally, you set the Hard Disk Drive Type to 0 or Not Installed. Most drives these days are aSATA, and more stable than the drives from the 90's.
The SCSI stuff does NOT effect most people. (When using any drive controller, follow the instructions in the manual with your controller.)
Most 'new' drives ship ready to go these days, or with a 'built in' pre-installed setup utility. If that is the case, follow the instructions accordingly. If there isn't a setup program installed on the new hard drive, you might need some additional setup proceedures. Most drives have specific heads, tracks, and cylinder settings, some allow multiple options... most have 'recommended' settings for that specific make and model of drive. Unless you have a previously installed Ontrack's Disk Manager or some other type of configuration software, like Disk Manager, you might need to bring in some experienced help. The set up tools should be there for most disk drives made in the last decade.
On the bottom or back of the drive, usually near the power plugin, you will see some jumpers. These jumpers are generally perfect for only one drive in a system. However, with more than one drive, or some other drive 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. 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 inefficient 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.

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

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