BIOS 'interact' with hard drive/OS files

By Mac29
Aug 20, 2013
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  1. So I use a hard drive tray which usually works fine but every couple of months I'll get no boot, no Bios, just a black screen and various led's. You can see a previous post at but Saturday I had my mouse freeze and couldn't get any control. Re-boot attempt gave a DMI pool data error. Surfing yields a dozen possible reasons for that error.

    Ended up re-setting the Bios solved. I use 7 (64b), XP and rarely Linux Mint, all on different drives. The guy who helped me says Bios 'interacts' with data in the MBR on the different drives. I have never read anything stating Bios can get mixed up due to which hard drive or OS, as Bios passes control off to MBR and then OS, regardless of which sata cable being used. I agree the drive tray must be confusing the Bios but don't understand how. Recently I haven't even had Mint installed so I don't think the grub is a culprit.

    Anyone know how using a tray and different drives could change settings in Bios? Goes against what I learned.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    The Boot sequence of a PC has this (legacy) sequence of events
    • Power On Self Test (POST) occurs
    • The video card is found
    • Secondary rom' are found and executed (eg IDE/ATA,...)
    • Bios vga display
    • System inventory of the devices occurs
    • PnP devices are found
    • Using the Boot sequence map in the BIOS, a device that is ready and bootable is found
    • the MBR is read if found
    • and the BOOT.ini processed to locate the kernel
    So the list of ready devices are sampled to find a MBR.
    For UEFI support, the BIOS looks for the /boot partition.
  3. Mac29

    Mac29 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Right, same as I learned. If MBR/MBL is found on the first sector it's data is read into memory. Boot.ini is read, etc. UEFI I don't know as well. Speaking Windows or Linux though, nothing should change settings in Bios. So how could using a tray possibly confuse the Bios?
    If I start switching out drives again then the problem ( if it reappears ) should not be caused by the Bios. It will find 'a drive' on the one channel. All 3 drives are sata. Just don't understand how different drives could possibly screw with DMI pool data or giving me Bios info on screen.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

  5. Mac29

    Mac29 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ahhh, thanks. Seems like reset drive type to Auto or reset the PCN/PCI should solve it.

    Much appreciated.
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,317   +618

    Please keep us updated on your progress - - -
  7. Mac29

    Mac29 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both those settings were already auto. Switching hard drives works as it should so far. Wondering if the bios somehow gets cranky over time. I'll just have to monitor it.

    Really do think drive trays are great: no dual booting, can single partition, can use any OS as long as I back up data, etc.

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