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"American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

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"American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:58 pm

Hello. I got a startup error for the first time on my Window 7 Ultimate PC (purely for audio, no internet connection.) The error pertains to the motherboard (ASUS® P7H55D-M EVO: DDR3, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x PCI, 2 x PCI-Ex 2.0) and says:

"American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted" and also said "New CPU installed".

Searches online suggest changing the CMOS battery, which makes sense given the PC is 10 years old, so I've ordered one. However, I don't want to waste too much time if this doesn't solve the problem, because it appears to have caused a problem with the OS itself, forcing the system to recover Windows 7.

When I managed to start Windows 7 normally, I noticed the fan was just full on constantly, so there doesn't appear to be any power/fan management running.

Does loss of power to the BIOS mean that essential background programs like power management have been reset or are not being booted? I noticed the startup now says "loading ASUS Express Gate" which I don't remember happening before.

Will I need to re-install or re-configure the BIOS or just change the date and time properly, save and exit bios?

Incidentally, I did clone my SATA hard drive onto an SSD about 5 months ago, but I've not had any problem with it until now.

Thanks for any info or help!

_______________________________________________
System Details:

*Motherboard: ASUS® P7H55D-M EVO: DDR3, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x PCI, 2 x PCI-Ex 2.0
*Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™i5 Processor i5-750 (2.66GHz) 8MB Cache
*Memory (RAM): 8GB CORSAIR DDR3 DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY!
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby James Perrett » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:27 pm

Did you set this machine up or did you buy it ready built? Do you have a record of the previous BIOS settings. Either the BIOS settings have become corrupted which means you have some strange settings or the settings have been reset to the default. It is probably safest to reset to the default settings and then change whatever needs to be changed each time you boot up until the battery is replaced.

The popular CR2032 battery used by many motherboards is available almost everywhere nowadays so there should be no need to order one.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:43 pm

James Perrett wrote:Did you set this machine up or did you buy it ready built?

It came ready built (by PCSpecialist.co.uk) but I've added extra HDDs and an SSD over the years.

James Perrett wrote: Do you have a record of the previous BIOS settings?

Does the computer know which hard drive order to use without BIOS, because I've cloned the system drive to a new SSD...? I must have edited the BIOS to boot the new system drive by default, because I didn't delete the old system files until I knew the SSD was working okay. I should keep notes and back stuff up, but it seems weird for the system to rely on a little non-rechargeable battery, but there you go. Seems crazy not to have two battery slots, so that one can be changed while the other keeps the BIOS settings intact. I suppose people are expected to replace the PC before it's necessary.

James Perrett wrote: Either the BIOS settings have become corrupted which means you have some strange settings or the settings have been reset to the default. It is probably safest to reset to the default settings and then change whatever needs to be changed each time you boot up until the battery is replaced.

I've downloaded the latest BIOS from ASUS.com, so I'll try installing that from a flash when the battery's replaced maybe? I've downloaded all the last driver updates too in case it's necessary to reinstall them.

James Perrett wrote: The popular CR2032 battery used by many motherboards is available almost everywhere nowadays so there should be no need to order one.

I ordered a decent brand one, but if it doesn't arrive tomorrow, I'll try to buy one. I didn't know how easy it would be.

Thanks!
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Feb 17, 2020 11:16 am

Elephone wrote:Does the computer know which hard drive order to use without BIOS, because I've cloned the system drive to a new SSD...? I must have edited the BIOS to boot the new system drive by default, because I didn't delete the old system files until I knew the SSD was working okay. I should keep notes and back stuff up, but it seems weird for the system to rely on a little non-rechargeable battery, but there you go. Seems crazy not to have two battery slots, so that one can be changed while the other keeps the BIOS settings intact. I suppose people are expected to replace the PC before it's necessary.

The reason I would imagine is that the boards are rated to have a lifespan of about 3 years in most instances, or at least that's the length of the longest warranties, unless you start delving into more specialist industrial board ranges.

Those batteries are rated between 5 - 10 years, so they are already exceeding the lifecycle of the board itself. The last place they are going to spend money is on a component that is at least in their minds already exceeding spec requirements.

Elephone wrote:I've downloaded the latest BIOS from ASUS.com, so I'll try installing that from a flash when the battery's replaced maybe? I've downloaded all the last driver updates too in case it's necessary to reinstall them.

Be aware that Asus doesn't maintain their drivers outside of a board cycle in most cases and that means the chances are that they'll be way, way out of date by now. The last drivers published are normally handy as they'll work, but there may well be more suitable drivers out there published by the hardware manufactuers. Checking for later updates directly from your chipset/gpu/whatever provider is worthwhile normally.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:39 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Be aware that Asus doesn't maintain their drivers outside of a board cycle in most cases and that means the chances are that they'll be way, way out of date by now. The last drivers published are normally handy as they'll work, but there may well be more suitable drivers out there published by the hardware manufacturers. Checking for later updates directly from your chipset/gpu/whatever provider is worthwhile normally.

Okay thanks for that. I thought ASUS were the manufacturers. When I've replaced the battery and done what's recommended, will the machine still have "Window 7" and "Windows 7 Ultimate (Recovered)" options at start up? Is there anything I need to know about this recovery version or the other. I'm not sure exactly what it's 'recovered'.

(I'll research it and get the most up-to-date drivers but it probably only had those old drivers anyway, and worked fine for me. The PC as it was is fine for my purposes, at x64 it's 16GB RAM that's already overkill. I don't do any overclocking stuff, but I wish there was better eco power management, the stock software caused blue screen.)

Cheers.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:47 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:Be aware that Asus doesn't maintain their drivers outside of a board cycle in most cases and that means the chances are that they'll be way, way out of date by now. The last drivers published are normally handy as they'll work, but there may well be more suitable drivers out there published by the hardware manufacturers. Checking for later updates directly from your chipset/gpu/whatever provider is worthwhile normally.

Thanks. There are no driver downloads on the Intel website for the H55 Chipset, at least not for Windows 7 but I did find a 2016 beta driver update for the GPU. I got a battery so I'll try to get it working tonight.

Is there any reason why Windows 7 had to be 'recovered' that could be to do with the BIOS failure? Could this resolve itself after I've installed the BIOS update and drivers?

Cheers.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:56 pm

James Perrett wrote: It is probably safest to reset to the default settings and then change whatever needs to be changed...

This is what I want to do to remain safe rather than update the BIOS. So do I simply:

1. Power up and press <DEL> to enter UEFI
2. Press F9 to load default configuration
3. Press F10 then ENTER to save and exit?

I'm scared of "bricking" my motherboard.

Thanks
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby James Perrett » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:45 am

The defaults are usually the safest settings which work in the majority of cases. You may need to change them for optimum performance in certain circumstances or to boot from a different device but the default settings ought to at least get you started.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:36 am

Cheers! I got it working as normal. The battery obviously died and all the Bios settings were lost, including time/date, primary drives, fan management, etc. All sorted.

Thanks for the advice... I nearly updated the BIOS at unnecessary risk!
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Feb 18, 2020 11:03 am

Elephone wrote:Okay thanks for that. I thought ASUS were the manufacturers.

Of the board yes, of the components on the board, only some of them. Anything badged "ASMedia" is their component arm.

Elephone wrote: When I've replaced the battery and done what's recommended, will the machine still have "Window 7" and "Windows 7 Ultimate (Recovered)" options at start up? Is there anything I need to know about this recovery version or the other. I'm not sure exactly what it's 'recovered'.

I can't recall myself, I've seen it before but years ago.

(I'll research it and get the most up-to-date drivers but it probably only had those old drivers anyway, and worked fine for me. The PC as it was is fine for my purposes, at x64 it's 16GB RAM that's already overkill. I don't do any overclocking stuff, but I wish there was better eco power management, the stock software caused blue screen.)

That's the sort of things we update drivers to fix, you might get lucky here.

Elephone wrote:This is what I want to do to remain safe rather than update the BIOS. So do I simply:

1. Power up and press <DEL> to enter UEFI
2. Press F9 to load default configuration
3. Press F10 then ENTER to save and exit?

I'm scared of "bricking" my motherboard.

Newer BIOS builds will add support for newer power features too, as well as support newer hardware better, so there might be some point to doing the upgrade, but I would check the release notes first and see if anything in the updates makes sense to you. For an easy example memory compability causes a lot of these updates, so if there is only a few since the last one you did and they all say "memory compability" then you probably ignore them if your system is otherwise working with the memory in there.

Just adjusting the settings in there can normally be fixed/reversed without any real fuss, as the only real way you can brick a motherboard is to disconnect the power during the flashing process. I've had it happen once in 20 years (someone else turned off the wrong plug socket mid flash), so unless you've got a rogue toddler/pet that likes to yank out the psu leads randomly, I'd hazzard saying you haven't much to worry about.

Saving/changing/tweaking won't cause it to brick, generally the worse that can happen is that you redline the voltages and upon saving & restarting where it might black screen and fail to post.

Should that ever happen, unplug the system, pull the CMOS battery out and make a cup of tea whilst you wait for the mainboard to drain itself of all power. With the battery removed it'll clear the settings after about 10 - 20 seconds and then you can plug the PSU back in, push the battery back in the slot and try again.

(Choice of Tea is optional, all other beverages are permitted. Although, I don't recommend doing shots whilst performance tweaking for reasons that become obvious after about half an hour of doing so)
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby ef37a » Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:15 pm

Caution! Old valve jockey about to butt in...

Bit surprised no one mentioned making an image of the C drive once things are settled? I have just done this to an external USB drive for W10 and it was really simple even for me!
Not sure how easy W7 would be?

Re BIOS updates. I recall on of my PCs had an option to save the existing BIOS setup on a thumbdrive before you hack.

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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Pete Kaine » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:08 pm

ef37a wrote:Re BIOS updates. I recall on of my PCs had an option to save the existing BIOS setup on a thumbdrive before you hack.

The key reason the BIOS flash wipes the profile from the system is that profiles are not applicable to any BIOS build other than the one they are generated within.

So if you flash from 1.2 to 1.4, the older profiles wouldn't work regardless, hence the system wipes them entirely.

But yes, otherwise you can backup profiles to external drives for safe keeping, just be aware that if you're going to flash, then find a safer way to store your settings, I find a phone camera tends to be the least problematic solution in this instance.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:50 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:I find a phone camera tends to be the least problematic solution in this instance.

Because it has a flash? Is just a [.ROM] file in the phone memory? I'm not sure if me updating the BIOS would help with my SSD, but nothing else has been installed hardware wise. Not sure if new software would benefit from different settings, maybe over-clocking, etc but that's set to auto I think.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Pete Kaine » Wed Feb 19, 2020 2:19 pm

Elephone wrote:Because it has a flash?

Because it's in my pocket and looking for a real camera is going to take too long!

This isn't a hightech solution I'm afraid. A BIOS update wipes all settings, so if you want a record of those settings it's pen and paper or take a picture.

Elephone wrote: Is just a [.ROM] file in the phone memory? I'm not sure if me updating the BIOS would help with my SSD, but nothing else has been installed hardware wise.

You mentioned that you had a power/sleep issue that you'd tried to get to the bottom of regarding "ECO power management".

That's dealt with by C-states/P-states which is a combination the BIOS features and Driver management.
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Re: "American Megatrends, Chassis Intruded, Fatal Error, System Halted"...?!

Postby Elephone » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:46 pm

Pete Kaine wrote: Because it's in my pocket and looking for a real camera is going to take too long!

Ah! Sorry, I thought you meant you store the [.ROM] file on you phone's memory or something! I was joking about the flash. Yes, I might do that. Cheers.

Pete Kaine wrote: You mentioned that you had a power/sleep issue that you'd tried to get to the bottom of regarding "ECO power management". That's dealt with by C-states/P-states which is a combination the BIOS features and Driver management.

The bundled ASUS software that offered ECO power management caused blue screen crashes that went away when I uninstalled it. I just pay the extra electricity instead I suppose. Not a hi-tech solution either.
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