Strange BIOS Service

Discussion in 'BIOS Optimization Guide (BOG)' started by Akopian, Aug 26, 2007.

  1. Akopian

    Akopian Newbie

    I had set up nTune on my EVGA 680i for fine tune optimization. I leave and come back later, things look OK, and I reboot after installing a new program.

    During the reboot, before the POST data came up, the system froze for about 3 minutes, then the memtest data and hard drive detection screen showed, and then the bios hung and I got a peculiar message that I cannot remember exactly. I was too shocked to write it down.

    It said something like:

    BIOS has started in Safety Mode. Reset all CPU and FSB timings configurations. Hit ESC to enter Setup.

    Well, I went into my BIOS setup and set everything to default, saved and the computer rebooted. I got the same long delay before the POST data came up and then another long delay after all the POST data showed but before the Windows loading screen showed up (Windows XP Pro). Windows eventually loaded and everything worked out alright.

    I proceeded to undo all the changes made by nTune that I could locate. I rebooted, and they same old delays occurred. Then I started going through all the BIOS optimizations looking in particular for things that would speed up the boot process (e.g Quick Power on Self-Test enabled, etc.). Nothing seemed to help.

    I did some research and came up with a ton of nonspecific suggestions and rumors about ways these problems can occur. What I never saw was anything remotely referencing a kind of "Safe Mode" for a BIOS except something about a BIOS recovery program that didn't know how to turn itself off. Nobody ever told him how to turn it off, but he was having the exact same kind of delays I was having (though the circumstances were a little different for him).

    Is there some setting I don't understand that relates to a "safe mode" that I can turn off? Anybody heard of such a thing for the BIOS? Please understand, all these problems occur way before the OS is loaded up.

    I sure have found that the world of BIOS settings is rather arcane. I did eventually stumble on the manual for my particular version of BIOS (which contains a number of settings not included in the site):

    That's the direct link to the manual. Still, no reference to any kind of safe mode, and of course, they don't explain what all the settings really mean.

    This is my first post here, and I really have to commend The BIOS Optimization Guide as a lonely beacon of light in the seemingly obscure and dark world of BIOS settings. Thank you Adrian Wong and any other people that help out.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2007
  2. Akopian

    Akopian Newbie

    Well, a followup . . . I fiddled with my BIOS some more after posting here from inside windows using nTune. Then I uninstalled nTune. Now, the computer BIOS seems to load almost instantly. I see the POST data for maybe 3 or 4 seconds. Using a little windows boot timer utility I know that windows itself takes about 79 seconds to load.

    I guess the question is now somewhat academic, but it would be interesting to know what you experts think might have happened to have caused the problem in the first place and what could possibly cause the BIOS to load so quickly now.
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    To protect the novice, some BIOSes have a protective mechanism. If it detects changes to critical stuff like CPU clock speed, voltage, etc. when manual settings have not been enabled, it will post a warning just like that and reset all those settings back to default/auto.

    IMHO, something (possibly nTune?) must have effected some sort of change on the BIOS, which resulted in the BIOS "protesting" about the illegal action.

    I suspect that if you set the BIOS to manually set stuff like memory timings, etc. the error message will not appear when you run nTune.

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