Comment 6 for bug 445889

Jim Lieb (lieb) wrote :

Dan, You can't really read the nvram, actually this is battery powered CMOS RAM in the RTC, because every bios puts its own version specific stuff in there. A bios flash usually keeps those values or at the very least resets them to the factory default if the new version re-shuffles the memory structure. The flashing does not touch the rtc ram in any event.

Sure, flashing bios is dangerous in that if it gets interrupted, you have a silicon brick on your hands although you can get a bios back/re-flashed on some southbridge implementations if they implement a bios bootstrap that can load an image from floppy/cd.

Does Win/XP still not recognize the speakers or did that get fixed? If Win/XP now works properly, we can address the Linux issue. If not, your bios settings are still hosed and will need to be reset.

Most BIOSs have a "factory settings" menu option. If they didn't have you do that, give it a go after noting and saving what you changed. If that doesn't do it, go to the next step...

NOTE!
The following procedure is based on what has been around for ages on deskside/top PCs. I have an HP laptop whose wireless access went over the edge and resetting to factory didn't do the deed, requiring this procedure to bring it back. This may not be the case with your netbook. The mfr's cut corners everywhere on these little boxes and this may not be possible and/or require the customer to be taking bits apart which makes any tech support person queasy. This may be why they wanted you to RMA the unit. They know where the secret snaps and buttons are to crack the case without damaging the plastic. Check with Acer first!

You clear the settings completely by removing the chicklits battery on a conventional mboard. Some boards may have a "clear cmos" jumper to do this. How this is done on your laptop/netbook, I don't know. What you are doing w/ this procedure is discharging the CMOS RAM power which clears it. The bios checksums this data every time you make a settings change so clearing ram is detected by the bogus checksum. This will cause the bios to re-init the ram to factory defaults. Win/XP *should* work after this.