CMOS Clear required when reinstalling Windows

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Feb 12, 2012
MSI Z77A-G45
GTX 660
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
  3. Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I recently had a need to go to Windows for some software to run on. I would have thought it be easy after sticking in a new (other) hdd but that wasn't the case. I will spare you the details of the 3 day odyssey but before you stick in the new disk or you want to overwrite your harddrive anyway, then please do this:

Remove the battery
Press the ON button for about 30s. They say 15 is enough but why take chances.

This clears the CMOS.
After that it will recognize the hdd again, and more importantly when setting up Windows 7 or 10, it will also be fine with the graphics chip drivers. Before the CMOS clear the driver could be loaded but upon reboot would crash and go back to the last known good configuration (well that's at least a PRO for Windows). I also flashed the BIOS to the latest F62 image but I don't think this was the actual issue. As I did the CMOS clear for good measure straight afterwards I have no way to tell what eventually did it but a CMOS clear is the LEAST dangerous.

So, if you can't install Windows anymore as the HD-3000 graphics card drivers will torpedo and crash Windows 7... even with original CDs doing a restore with original chipset drivers... it will crash, if you don't clear that CMOS, and you might have to flash the BIOS.

Just warning you and putting this out there for the public at large as it cost me more than one grey hair and 3 days to finally do what nobody really likes to do, and that is flash BIOS and clear CMOS and start again. On a laptop it's slightly less dangerous due to the battery but still... if there is any good way to brick your machine... that's it...(Flashing BIOS that is).

I now have the keyboard and mouse lag again. But that's another issue, and I think it is hardware really.

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