Question Ideapad S145-15IWL restarting ~12 seconds after entering the BIOS menu (and other simple systems)

guferr

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Nov 15, 2009
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I asked the same question in Lenovo Forums, but I'm not very hopeful they'll solve it anytime soon, similar problems began in different ways and had solutions that don't fit me.

I got a brand new Ideapad S145-15IWL around 1 month ago. As soon as I got it I zero-filled the entire hard drive (deleting all partitions) and installed a Linux Mint 19 in a single ext2 partition. It boots in legacy mode and there are no UEFI partitions nor anything UEFI related.

I never updated the BIOS either, it's in the version ASCN36WW.

Everything was running OK. After I got it I tested the hardware using Memtest86+ and some DOS-based utilities, everything alright.

But then, today, I entered the BIOS menu (which I have already entered dozens of times) to change a setting, and it rebooted out of the blue.

I tried entering it again and the same thing happens, always about 12 seconds after powering up (or after rebooting).

And it's not only the BIOS menu: The boot menu (entered through F12), any bootloader (like syslinux), DOS and DOS-based softwares and Memtest86+ will also suffer the same problem: The computer will reboot 12 seconds after power up disregard of anything that's running.

All of that being that those same software were running OK just a few days ago.

None of the diagnostic tools are detecting problems in the few seconds they have until the computer reboots.

Complete operational systems like Linux or Windows still boot and run normally, without any issues. After their kernels take over control, they do something that avoids the rebooting.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I really can't understand why this started out of the blue.

Some other people had similar problems, but always related to an update. One guy tried to correct that making an update and guess what: The computer rebooted in the middle of the UEFI capsule update and corrupted the BIOS. So I'm not trying that.

Thanks!

Ps.: I have already tried cleaning the CMOS memory. I disconnected the battery and the CMOS battery, letting it off for 5 minutes and put all back again: No change. It did clear the CMOS memory but didn't improve it's behavior.

I also tried powering it on without the battery and the hard drive: No change either, still the same behavior.
 
Last edited:

guferr

Distinguished
Nov 15, 2009
29
0
18,530
0
I asked the same question in Lenovo Forums, but I'm not very hopeful they'll solve it anytime soon, similar problems began in different ways and had solutions that don't fit me.

I got a brand new Ideapad S145-15IWL around 1 month ago. As soon as I got it I zero-filled the entire hard drive (deleting all partitions) and installed a Linux Mint 19 in a single ext2 partition. It boots in legacy mode and there are no UEFI partitions nor anything UEFI related.

I never updated the BIOS either, it's in the version ASCN36WW.

Everything was running OK. After I got it I tested the hardware using Memtest86+ and some DOS-based utilities, everything alright.

But then, today, I entered the BIOS menu (which I have already entered dozens of times) to change a setting, and it rebooted out of the blue.

I tried entering it again and the same thing happens, always about 12 seconds after powering up (or after rebooting).

And it's not only the BIOS menu: The boot menu (entered through F12), any bootloader (like syslinux), DOS and DOS-based softwares and Memtest86+ will also suffer the same problem: The computer will reboot 12 seconds after power up disregard of anything that's running.

All of that being that those same software were running OK just a few days ago.

None of the diagnostic tools are detecting problems in the few seconds they have until the computer reboots.

Complete operational systems like Linux or Windows still boot and run normally, without any issues. After their kernels take over control, they do something that avoids the rebooting.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I really can't understand why this started out of the blue.

Some other people had similar problems, but always related to an update. One guy tried to correct that making an update and guess what: The computer rebooted in the middle of the UEFI capsule update and corrupted the BIOS. So I'm not trying that.

Thanks!

Ps.: I have already tried cleaning the CMOS memory. I disconnected the battery and the CMOS battery, letting it off for 5 minutes and put all back again: No change. It did clear the CMOS memory but didn't improve it's behavior.

I also tried powering it on without the battery and the hard drive: No change either, still the same behavior.
I found a way around the problem.

It seems that even thought removing the CMOS and the main battery did reset the clock, it didn't actually clear the CMOS memory.

And although I was pretty sure that I've tried that before, I loaded the default BIOS settings and that fixed the problem.

Then I tested each item and found the culprit: Disabling the PXE boot option triggers this. Leaving it enabled avoids it. No other option seems to interfer.

Maybe someday I disabled the option because I don't use it and after that I never lasted long enough in the BIOS menu to perceive the problem I caused, until I had to today.

This is certainly a BIOS bug, no feature would do that purposefully. It seems that some kind of "timer" is being set to reboot the computer, and this "timer" is either hardware-mediated or part of a BIOS routine, that keeps running even after some simple system (like DOS or Memtest86+) takes control. Those simpler systems will usually not deal with most of the hardware features and won't mess with the BIOS routines either.

Only when a more complete OS, with drivers to take control of all of the hardware loads they stop this "timer" or whatever is the routine making this behavior.
 
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