Friday, November 2, 2007

I Didn't Clear the CMOS - D'Oh!

At work this week a computer was hit by a power surge and it wouldn't come on, though the lights would light up. "Aha," I said, "I know just what to do!" I suspected that the power surge might have corrupted the CMOS memory. Back when I used to be in electronics class at Vo-Tech, I often ran into computers that appeared totally dead because of something as minor as a corrupt CMOS setting. They often had nothing major wrong with them once the CMOS was cleared.

I wasted no time in opening up the work computer that had been scrambled by the power surge, and I set the jumper to clear the CMOS. When the procedure was finished, the computer magically came back to life.

Later that day I got to thinking... Isn't it strange, I told myself, that the computer at work which I fixed by clearing the CMOS had exactly the same symptoms as my dead motherboard at home. For some reason, though I instantly knew to clear the CMOS on the work computer, when my home computer had had the same problem, it had not even occurred to me to check that!

My computer has been dead for a month while I struggled to find the time to set up a new motherboard and hard drive with it. I pulled my old motherboard out of the trash and set the jumper to clear the CMOS. I had already parted out all the pieces of the computer that the motherboard went in; I would feel like a fool if a 2 minute procedure could have saved that computer. "If this works, I'm won't know whether to be happy or pissed at myself."

I cleared the CMOS. The motherboard, which I had thrown away, the loss of which had thrown me off work and gaming for a month - the motherboard worked.

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