“Verifying DMI Pool Data…” then nothing!

If you get this message (or a subtle variant thereof) on your computer screen just before it locks up on you than you could have a pretty seriously problem on your hands. As always the best way to figure out the problem is to work the problem carefully and methodically!

DMI stands for Desktop Management Interface and this is the part of the system that stores a lot if the configuration information of the system's hardware components.

Possible reasons for this problem: 

  • Hardware change
  • BIOS settings change
  • Improper connection of hard drive IDE cables
  • Corrupt Master Boot Record (MBR) of the hard drive
  • Defective hard drive 
  • Defective motherboard

Possible causes of the problem: 

  • Hardware incompatibility
  • Virus damage
  • Damage to internal circuitry
  • Corruption of data
  • Improper BIOS settings
  • Damage to the system from overclocking the CPU

Print this page out as a reference before beginning work ... just in case!!!

Possible solutions:

  1. Undo any hardware change you did and see if the system works again. 
  2. Check all the cables and expansion cards for proper contact. 
  3. Try setting the “Reset Configuration Data” (also known as “Force Update ESCD”) BIOS option in the BIOS “PNP/PCI configuration” to “Enabled”, save and exit the BIOS. After a reboot the option is set to “Disabled” again. 
  4. Check your motherboard manual for information about the “Clear CMOS jumper” and then clear the CMOS. Please note that with ATX power supplies based systems the power cord must be disconnected or the mechanical switch of the PSU (Power Supply Unit) must be set to “Off” or “0” before the Clear CMOS jumper is used. 
  5. Disconnect all IDE cables and enter the BIOS. From there set the boot sequence to start with the floppy drive. Try to boot from a bootable floppy with the proper BIOS update files for your BIOS and update the BIOS. After the update is finished clear the CMOS again and after booting set the “Reset Configuration Data” (also known as “Force Update ESCD”) BIOS option in the BIOS “PNP/PCI configuration” to “Enabled”. 

If you can boot from floppy but the BIOS update does not help then the problem is corruption of the MBR. You can try to fix this using a partitioning application. On a Windows system this is called FDISK and you would need to start the system up using a bootable floppy with that program on it. To run FDISK type this at the command prompt:

fdisk /mbr

Another option is to go to the website of the manufacturer of your hard drive and download and run a copy of any drive diagnostic tools that they might have on offer (all the major manufacturers have them nowadays).

Failing that, you could test the hard drive in another system. 

If all of that fails it is more than likely that the motherboard is defective and needs to be replaced. :-(

Good luck!

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
Last updated: May 4th 2004
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