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messed up my GA-8SQ800

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March 13, 2003 2:12:26 AM

OK so I finally get this board today, and Tom's hardware decides to post that article today about not jumping the gun! I hope that I didnt throw my $$$ away on this board :( 
The competition (cough anadtech cough) seems to have a differnt point of view...oh well...

Anyway my problem: So after putting this all together I found the machine kept hanging during boot up. Even while looking around in the BIOS it would hang. So after process of elimination I found that it was my adaptec SCSI card screwing things up. I had a 6 GB IDE drive lying around and decided to throw it in to verify and it booted up ok. So that would be my first issue. (could this be due to the new PCI standard and this card being old?)

Second I went to flash the BIOS using the DOS util and it said it completed so I rebooted the machine and now it just sits there with a black screen. No beeps nothing. Did I fudge up the BIOS? I tried taking the battery out for like 30 seconds (said in the book). On the board I see a clear cmos in white print but dont see any jumpers anywhear near it. Please tell me that there is light at the end of this tunnel without me having to buy a motherboard again :( 


Any thoughts?

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by melvin13 on 03/12/03 11:24 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : messed 8sq800

March 13, 2003 6:01:50 AM

I don't know what the problem with the SCSI controller was, could be a timing issue or it could be that being a new system, there were settings not yet sorted out.

The bios thing might a real problem...

First off, why on earth would you flash the bios on a brand new board? Really... what's the point? It ships with the latest version anyway.

Ok, you've got the problem, try this...

Get to another computer and download a fresh copy of the BIOS and put the data file on a floppy.

If your verson of the board has on-board video, turn off power at the back of the computer, remove your AGP card and connect your monitor to the on-board connector.

If it doesn't have on-card video, get a PCI --not agp-- card and put it in the pci slot right under the AGP slot and connect your monitor to it.

Now with the power still off at the back of the machine press the END key, (above the up arrow) on your keyboard and hold it down while turning the power back on. This should take you to a safe mode BIOS screen where you can use the ROM's flash utility to relaod a BIOS.

If your version of the board has dual bios, you can reload the backup copy of the bios from the other chip.

If it does not have dual bios, you can load the bios file from floppy.


If that doesn't get you going, you've got a real problem...

Check and see if the BIOS chip is in a socket... if it is you can order a new one from Gigabyte for about $15.00. If not, you will have to RMA the board... but be aware that flashing the bios has likely voided your warranty... you may have to pay to have it fixed.



--->It ain't better if it don't work<---
a b V Motherboard
March 13, 2003 7:02:28 AM

That review was a sham, I'll make a new post so everyone sees it, get ready to read it!

<font color=blue>Watts mean squat if you don't have quality!</font color=blue>
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March 13, 2003 12:48:40 PM

there had been a new release since the version on the board. From what I've read waiting for the board to get here, a few people on this board had done the same (flashing) so I figured why not just flash to get the most current version. This has been the first incident I've ever had when flashing a BIOS. :( 

But thank you for the tip. I will try that out now!
March 13, 2003 5:22:02 PM

I've just built a system based on the Ultra 2 version of this board (GA-SINXP1394 - its basically the same with some frills)and I've got exactly the same problem. I get into the BIOS and it freezes usually after being on for about 5 minutes. All componants are new and are being posted OK by the BIOS. I'm lost as to what the problem can be. Tell us how you get on.
March 13, 2003 6:09:32 PM

well I narrowed it down to my SCSI card. Seemed not to like that. When I had it in, and I was looking aroud in the bios the machine would freeze about after a minute. And during boot it would hang when the SCSI BIOS was initializing during boot. When I took it out it seemed fine. I put in an old IDE drive I had and it booted up (it had linux on it and it started to go through the initialization)

I also used the load optimal settings in the BIOS, so I would say give that a try.

Other than the SCSI card I had:

p4 2.4 533
2x 256 Cosrair 3200 XMS
Geforce 3 Ti 200
Intel NIC

how different is yours? What BIOS version do you have on yours? Mine was F3 and the latest on the site is F4.
March 13, 2003 8:45:53 PM

Mines got,
P4 3Ghz
2 512 Corsair 3200 XMS
Hercules 9700 Pro graphics

Not much different, same spec memory except the 512's although I've got the low latency type.

It's just weird. If it didn't like something you would have thought it would moan from boot up instead of doing the same thing every time. I can manage about 5 mins in the BIOS before the freeze happens. It's almost like something is potentially overheating but the CPU is fine. I've taken out 2 PCI cards, still does it. There's not much left, WD Hard drive on IDE 1, DVD Rom with Zip drive slave on IDE 2, all POST ok. I think I've got v3 BIOS. On the website they say the only add on to v4 is to do with the power management daughter card facilities.
It's really doing my head in as was said above not sure that going through all of the BIOS malarchy will do anything anyway.
Hope springs eternal - bed time in the UK - I'll sleep on it.
All the best.
March 13, 2003 9:30:51 PM

Ok, a few tips here from someone who builds these things for a living...

Unless you are working with a "known good" configuration (i.e. one you've built several times before) start off very carefully...

First... read <b>ALL</b> manuals and supplied information.

When you are first getting things going, build to bare minimums... power supply, mobo, cpu, heatsink, one memory strip, video and keyboard. If your system has integrated video use it during the testing period... get into the bios and set everything that will go on AUTO onto AUTO, if it isn't already. The goal here is to create a safe mode for testing and to get a look at voltages and temperatures.

Leave it sit in this configuration for a couple of hours, displaying the hardware monitor and checking voltages and temperatures every few minutes. Any problems that show up at this point amount to protecting the rest of your investment from disaster.

Once you are sure things are sane enough to continue, leave everything on Auto and move on to the next step.

While testing and for several days after do not do any tweaking or BIOS changes that aren't absolutely necessary. If you have integrated chipset video, use it during the testing period.

Continue your build adding one or two components at a time. Hard disk and floppy first, cd-roms next, then interface cards last... making sure the BIOS is detecting them correctly and rebooting several times at each step.

Once you have your system fully assembled and working, tell yourself that you won't tinker for a few days (at least a week) while you assess the stability of your marvelous new toy.

Once you are ready to start tweaking, do one thing at a time, taking several hours to assess the stability and worth of each tweak within your system.

By going at this slowly, one step at a time, you will have considerably less problems and you will have immediate evidence of what works and what doesn't... To just slap it all together and fire it up beggs scarey disasters like no-boot and weird behaviour... Slow and cautious wins the day every time.

As for flashing the bios... this is not an update procedure, this is a problem solving procedure. You absolutely do not need to keep it current if your system is working and stable. You would only flash a bios if you are updating to a cpu or memory not supported in the current version or if there is a documented bug that is fixed by the newer version. The bios in my current system is 3 generations old, everything works and the system is rock stable... and I'm not even tempted to mess with it.

Hope this helps...



--->It ain't better if it don't work<---
March 14, 2003 2:30:43 AM

No that board was actually faulty. I called gigabyte tech support and we walked through some procedures and even he was scratching his head. So They will be shipping me a new one.

In a perfect world yes all that time would be great to build piece by piece and testing as we go. But seriously that just doesnt happen. And as for "tweaking" I'm not one for tinkering around and overclocking. And its not like I'm a stranger to building PC's myself. I work in IT and build stuff too. This just happened to be a "bad board" Thats why these forums are great, as we can ask are fellow tech junkies and pass on knowledge :) 


An Amateur built the Ark
Professionals built the Titanic
March 14, 2003 2:34:35 AM

No that board was actually faulty. I called gigabyte tech support and we walked through some procedures and even he was scratching his head. So They will be shipping me a new one.

In a perfect world yes all that time would be great to build piece by piece and testing as we go. But seriously that just doesnt happen. And as for "tweaking" I'm not one for tinkering around and overclocking. And its not like I'm a stranger to building PC's myself. I work in IT and build stuff too. This just happened to be a "bad board" Thats why these forums are great, as we can ask are fellow tech junkies and pass on knowledge :) 

Thank you for your advice :) 


An Amateur built the Ark
Professionals built the Titanic
March 14, 2003 1:56:56 PM

I took away all of the hardware and still no joy so contacted Gigabyte (UK) and have filled in the problem form for them to chew over. Looks like I may have the same problem the reviewers here had as I think its the memory it doesn't like. Ho hum - suppose I'll have to go back to gardening for a while.
March 16, 2003 2:25:33 PM

For the 655 based boards more relaxed memory timings are necessary, especially the DRAM RAS Active Time. Apparently this cannot be set to 5 no matter what...you need to set it to 6 and everything should be better. 7 may be necessary when over 400mhz on the memory. No big loss though, I've been told that this setting doesn't really affect performance, but affects stability. In any case, the extra bandwidth from dual chanelling more than compensates. The memory controller on these boards are very fast. When using High Speed Low Latency memory the SPD can and will set the timings too aggressively for Dual Channel Mode. Perhaps this was part of the issues with the memory in the review? If you have problems getting into the BIOS, then try removing one memory module to get into single channel mode, reset CMOS, boot into BIOS, set Memory timings Manually in Advanced Chipset Options (ctrl + F1), power down and put your other memory module back in and hopefully she'll fly.

P4 1.6a (155fsb @ 1.55v)
512mb Corsair XMS PC2700 (DDR412 2.5-3-3-6)
Gigabyte SINXP1394 F5
ATI AIW 9700pro
40gig WD Caviar
431w Enermax PSU

Sandra Mem Bandwidth: 3700mb/s buffered - 2200mb/s unbuffered
3D 2K1 - 14600 (no video OC)
3D 2K3 - 5000 (mild video OC)



<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by absurd_username on 03/16/03 11:33 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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