Startup issue on nSpire 2430

Hi,
I’m sure there’s a simple solution that’s staring me in the face, but I’ll be chuffed if I can see it. Anyways, just as I’ve ordered my new laptop from Novotech, my current one has started to play up, and my problem is this.
My laptop will only boot if I press F1, that can sometimes signal a CMOS battery failure I believe, but since the time and date have not been affected, I’m convinced it’s not.
I’ve been into the bios and tried every different boot sequence but to no avail, almost to the point where the laptop gained the gift of flight. I know it’s laughing at me, so please, someone out there tell me what I’m missing before I get grief off the missus and grandkids.

Cheers

Johnsan

Custom nSpire 2430
Capture

Is the unit reporting an error during POST which is being cleared by F1. If so what is the issue that is being reported??

Hi,

Thanks for the response. In regards to your question, there is no indication on screen as to what the issue is, only the Novatech logo is visable. If I then press F1, it goes into normal startup, and from thereon, everything works as normal, it’s just getting past the initial Novatech screen. It doesn’t appear frozen, something is going on but it will only continue startup after pressing F1, then as I say, everything is fine. If it’s trying to wind me up, it’s succeeding, but I know it’s something simple.

Cheers

Mick J

Do you have an external USB Devices currently connected to the laptop??

Only a USB receiver for a mouse / keyboard.

Can you confirm, does this F1 error happen if the USB Receiver is not connected to the system during power on.

Yes my friend, already tried that.

OK cool, worth just clearing that up. I will check with Clevo and see if i can find out what things can cause F1 prompt as clearly its not happy about something hence the F1 requirement but as we cannot see what it is it makes it harder to figure out.

Ok thanks. I took pictures of the boot sequence in the bios, will that help?

Also when was CMOS battery last changed. If unit AC Is disconnected for 15 minutes. Does BIOS retain all configured BIOS options or do they return to default settings. To check date and time do this by entering BIOS before Windows loads otherwise Windows will update time and date from its own source back in to BIOS. So its better to power on and go straight in to BIOS to see if date and time accurate or have been lost. If they have been lost then this would suggest CMOS battery flat.

Hi,
CMOS battery never changed, some 9-10 years now, and that was my first port of call, but since the time and date was unaffected, I ruled that out. I’ve looked at the boot sequence, tried many different sequences, and loaded the optimal defaults which the BIOS retains. Still same result. As for the battery, I’ve had the back access panel off, but I’ll be chuffed if I can locate the CMOS battery.

Hi,
Not sure if this helps, but I’ve just restarted the machine, checked the boot sequence which has changed itself to this.

Still wont startup though.

Optimal settings will always be the ones that it defaults to. So would need to change something off of that to see if it keeps it or reverts.
Please also be aware that AC Adaptor will maintain CMOS Settings so when testing performance of CMOS Battery do not do it with AC Adaptor plugged in otherwise settings will be held by AC Adaptor rather than by CMOS Battery.
However CMOS Battery of 8-9 Years is well passed its prime. I really doubt it still has enough voltage. Most last roughly 5 years depending on time on and off mains

Hi,
Despite running on battery alone for over 30 minutes, and several restarts, nothing has changed and the date and time remains correct. So, onto plan B, I’ll try a new CMOS battery to eliminate that likelyhood, then we can see from there.
Thanks for your help, and I’ll get back to you once I’ve sourced and fitted the new battery to give you an update. In the meantime I would like to ask one more favour please.
Where the chuff is the CMOS battery located? I mentioned before that I had already removed the access panel to locate it, only not to see it. Is it hidden under something or on the opposite side of the board which I assume will be a bugger to get to. It’s not under the HDD, looked there already, or if you could confirm the board I can suss it out myself.

Many Thanks

Mick J

Hi, ok now that i see picture that is a Pegatron A15x series unit. You are also going to assume correctly I’m afraid. The CMOS battery on the A15x mainboard is located directly behind the USB3 Ports on the reverse side of the mainboard. So basically its going to need to be disassembled to be replaced. Let me check with Service guys and see if they have any tricks to getting at the battery other than taking it all apart.

Yeah, saw that coming, thanks for the confirmation.

OK so i have spoken to the service guys, They said it is indeed under the C cover, this the keyboard side. It requires the keyboard to be popped out and cables disconnected that are underneath for KB, Touchpad and buttons. Then from the underside of the unit the D Cover all the screws need removed. Then back on the C Cover side remove 3 screws that were under keyboard and then the C Cover can be removed revealing the backside of the mainboard. Once Battery replaced you can then fit C Cover back in, install 3 screws. Flip unit back over and install all screws removed from D Cover and then refit keyboard back in to C Cover making sure all cables are reconnected for touchpad, keyboard and buttons.

Mr Coops,

It appears you have a sense of humour, and it would probably have been easier to write the instructions in Chinese. :slight_smile:
I have now just extended my alphabetic knowledge to the letters, W - T and F, so I may be able to suss out this little conundrum by the end of lockdown 2022, but if I fail, expect all the parts in the post.

As such, I have decided to leave this piece of major surgery until after the arrival of my new system, then I can at least present a working machine to the family without fears of retribution while I’m sleeping. Desktop towers I am quite familiar with, having built and dismantled a few in my time, but laptop surgery is new to me so wish me luck.

I will inform you when the deed is done…or not, and thanks again for your assistance.

Cheers

Mick J