"The computer book of the month is The Bios Companion by Phil Croucher. Long-time readers of this column will recall I have recommended his book before. This tells you everything you ought to know about the BIOS in your system. Post codes, options, upgrades, you name it.

Years ago, I called an earlier edition of this invaluable and I see no reason to change my view. Recommended.

Jerry Pournelle
Byte Magazine

"Croucher's book was invaluable 20 years ago and remains so today...... Every one of the 468 pages holds useful information, the author having zero tolerance for padding."

Davey Winder
PC Plus Magazine

"You've completerly impressed me with the quality and scope of your guides - extreme care has obviously gone into their research and preparation."

Jeremy Fleming

"His style is lovely: clear, jargon-free where possible, chatty and friendly with beautiful short paragraphs. It [Communications & Networks] joins my list of 'I wish I'd written it' books. I haven't come across such a good subject book in a long time at this price."

Lorna Kyle
Personal Computer World

"To any micro owner who wants to know what this comms business is all about, [Communications & Networks] is certainly one of the best around. ... Croucher is not only knowledgable about his subject, he's interested in it and communicates that interest to you. "

Ron Peck
New Computer Express

"There are few books about which explain as accurately and comprehensively as [Communications & Networks] does what communications are all about. The glossary is excellent."

Micro Decision

"...any PC user with a genuine interest in using his machine to its full potential will recognise [Communications & Networks] for the completely invaluable tool and often the inspiration that it is."

Yvonne Taylor
Which PC

"[Communications & Networks] is the type of book you can read on a bus or train without getting a headache from trying to understand what it means."


"As a recently reformed computer illiterate myself, I appreciated the author's straighforward yet humourous and light-hearted style of writing. He manages to strike the balance between too much and too little information. ... [Computing Under Protest] is never in danger of either boring or confusing the reader."

Emma Tyrrall
Practical PC

"Good documentation is important for any software, but even more so for an operating system - the documentation [for DOS 386 Professional] has some exceptionally clear explanations. Altogether, the documentation is an example of the right way of doing things, and other software manufacturers would do well to take note."

Matthew Holbrook
Computer Shopper

"The DOS 386 Professional manual sets arrived at 2130 local time today. We have had a brief look at them and wish to congratulate IMS on the excellent, clear and concise manner in which they have been presented."

Fred Parker
ETL Soft

"I remain impressed by Mr. Croucher's fluid writing style, practical orientation, enthusiasm, and strong technical knowledge."

Lance A Leventhal
Slawson Communications, Inc

JAR Professional Pilot Studies

"Its real value lies in taking the plethora of booklets and ring-bound photocopies associated with commercial examinations and condensing them into an attractive and portable form. The guy really does deserve a medal ~ he has made a genuine contribution to the body of professional aviation literature assembled during the course of the last century.

I heartily recommend it to students of commercial flight, if only as a souvenir of their efforts... "

Colin Hilton
Pro Pilot's Rumour Network

"(The) Book is quite a good compliment to our notes for students. We will be recommending all our students buy the books.... "

Naples Air Centre

"I got your book last month and am in the process of ploughing through it! Actually, I really like it and find it very interesting and easy to read."

Simon Rouse

"So far I have found your book an extremely helpful reference manual to carry around in my flight bag."

Blair Clubley

"I wish to commend you on a "work of art". I wish the CAA would produce a quick reference easy to read manual such as yours. Truly wonderful!"

Ebrahim Parkar

Post Codes

 Chips & Technologies
 Faraday A-Tease

Faraday A-Tease POST Codes

Owned by Western Digital.

Note: Not all POST codes are included below - the latest information is in the The BIOS Companion, which contains over 100 pages of them.

01 CPU test failed
02 BIOS ROM checksum test failed
03 CMOS shutdown byte failed
04 Testing DMA page register
05 Testing system timer, programmable interrupt timer
06 Testing system refresh
07 testing system refresh
08 Testing lower 128KB of RAM
09 Testing video controller
0A Testing RAM 128KB to 640KB
0B Testing DMA controller #1
0C Testing DMA controller #2
0D Testing interrupt controller #1
0E Testing interrupt controler #2
0F Testing control port
10 Testing parity
11 Testing CMOS RAM checksum
12 Testing for manufacturing-mode jumper
13 Configure interrupt vectors
14 Testing the keyboard
15 Configuring parallel ports
16 Configuring serial ports
17 Configuring lower 640KB RAM
18 Configuring RAM above 1MB
19 Configuring keyboard
1A Configuring floppy drive
1B Configuring hard-disk drive
1C Configuing game-port adapter
1D Testing and initializing math co-processor
1E Checking CMOS real time clock
1F Calculate and verify CMOS RAM checksum
21 Initialize PROM drivers
22 Test parallel-port loopback
23 Test serial-port loopback
24 Test CMOS real time clock
25 Test the CMOS shutdown
26 Test memory above 1MB
80 Error...divide overflow
81 Error...single step fault
82 Error...NMI stuck on error
83 Error...breakpoint fault
84 Error...Int. 0 detect fault
85 Error...bound error
86 Error...Invalid opcode (BIOS or CPU fault)
87 Error...processor extension not available
88 Error...double-exception error
89 Error...processor extended-segment error
8A Error...invalid task state segment
8B Error...needed segement not present
8C Error...stack segment not present
8D Error...general-protection error
8E Error...general-protection error
8F Error...general-protection error
90 Error...processor-extension error
91-FF Error...spurious interrupts
F3 Error...CPU protected-mode fault
F9 Error...virtual-block move error


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