How can I access the error log of my BIOS in Ubuntu?

11/2bits July 28, 2010
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I’ve been having some computer trouble lately, with it not even getting past the BIOS screen. Not even completing the inventory, it seems.

I would like to know if the BIOS leaves an error log somewhere, and how to access it in Ubuntu (Or GRUB). It’s an HP Pavilion DV60000 with a Pheonix BIOS.

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  1. 11/2 bits
    August 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

    It usually does it when coming out of sleep mode while booted in vista.there are no error beeps or anything, but the built in sd card reader light stays on for a very long time when this happens. I'll try flashing the bios. I read on the hp site that this particular model communicates error codes with the caps lock and num lock lights, but of course neither of these work.

  2. Anish
    August 6, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    I have a dv6000e Pavillion Laptop and the only time it did not complete the bootstrap was from a bad memory module. ( it failed)

    After removing one of my 2 SoDimm ram modules, i quickly eliminated which one was faulty. (since I was able to boot with only one of the 2).

    I then installed a new ram SoDimm module from HP recommended list of memory suppliers list.

    I also found a new Bios Update on HP support and later flashed my bios as well.

  3. Jeff
    August 4, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    If it's a BIOS problem during POST (Power On Self Test), then there is no log of the error. However, there are other ways of figuring out why your computer is not booting. Does it make a beep or multiple beeps while booting? Here are some POST beep codes and what they mean: http://www.pchell.com/hardware/beepcodes.shtml

  4. Foo
    August 4, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    dmesg will show you relevant hardware info
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dmesg

  5. nixnoob
    August 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    load a live cd and mount the drive, check /var/log/messages with something like;
    tac /var/log/messages |grep less
    it should show you errors from/during bootup

  6. 11/2 bits
    August 2, 2010 at 7:45 am

    thats all very well, as far as it goes, but not what i'm looking for. my computer sometimes fails to even get to the point where is begins to load an OS. it fails in that little bit of time between pressing the on button and being able to access the bios. (no idea what thats called,) What is the machine doing in that slip of time? why does it fail? is there some sort of pre-boot error log, and how do i access it? It seems to me to be a physical problem, and that this fanciful log would help diagnose it.

  7. Rdsheets
    July 31, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Have you tried the system log file viewer? From the menu click on System->Administration->Log File Viewer. There are many logs listed but I'm not sure if any of them can help you or not. Best of luck...

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