Ever since I got my new box, a Powerspec 1421, it's been giving me weird problems. To wit:
1. This computer comes without a floppy drive, so I tried to put in one of my old ones. When I told it to boot from my Arch Linux install floppy, it gave me "Verifying DMI pool data" and booted from my CD, or from my hard drive if there wasn't one in the CD drive. No matter what I did, it never booted from a floppy, or even noticed the floppy drive's presence.
Yes, I set the BIOS to have floppy A as a 1.44 MB, 3.5'' disk drive. Yes, I tried 3 different floppies and 3 different cables in all possible combinations. Yes, I made sure they were all polarized correctly.
So I finally looked up "verifying dmi pool data" on Google, as I should have at the start of things.... And discovered that DMI stands for "Desktop Management Interface", and that it's normally used in Windows XP. This is a Linspire box - it came with a desktop Linux distro preinstalled; I'm not sure if Linspire uses it. However, none of the distros that I want to install use DMI...
Oh yes: the instructions for dealing with a computer hanging on "verifying DMI pool data" were so:
a) Reset your BIOS to default settings and start over.
b) If that doesn't work, contact tech support.
c) If tech support doesn't give you an answer, clear the CMOS.
Of course, my computer doesn't hang when verifying DMI data... but it doesn't update the data either. And it certainly does not recognize my floppy drive.
2. When I boot from my DSL live CD (a shrunk-down version of Knoppix), it starts with "error: only one processor found". This seems a bit stupid, since my mobo, a Biostar U8668-D, is made for only a single processor. After that, though, the boot proceeds normally.
3. My 128 megs of DDR266 are seen as only 94 megs. At first I thought this was because of the 32 megs of shared RAM I was giving the onboard video hardware, but dropping that down to 8 megs didn't change a thing.
What's going on here? Has my BIOS become corrupted? Do I need to clear the CMOS? Or is the mobo a bad egg? 8-[