A7A266 MB -1 Ghz AMD 266 w/ Crucial Technology (2 - 256Mb) PC2100 DDR, PCI video card and a 30Gb ATA100 Maxtor HDD. I rececently purchased ASUS A7A266 (1.03); 1ghz TBird cpu - 266mhz 'C' ; (2) 256mb PC2100 DDRam (Crucial Tech) and a Sparkle 350w power supply, to install into an existing tower case. To keep it simple, I further installed a Graphics Blaster PCI video card, 30 gb ATA/100 Maxtor HHD(primary master), a FDD and an HP 9100 series CDRWriter(secondary master).
I went into the Bios and made the changes so devices would be recognized-saved changes and booted the system with my Win98 SE setup disk, to set the partitions and continued to format w/s.
On boot up it appeared that everything was reporting okay. I re-booted with a Win98 SE setup disk asked for CD support, directories and started the win98 setup. The setup process initialy reached about 18% before the system locked up, no KB, mouse or ctrl-alt-del would respond - system reset and started again. After several of these exercises, I was able to get ~80% of Win98 installed before receiving a write access error that I could get around. AHA!! a bad HDD out of the box. I obtained a new HDD of the same type (mfg and model) and started the process over. Strangely enough I am seeing the same symptoms. Discouraging.
Since then I have: 1) Removed (1) 256mb stick of DDRAM and flashed the bios with aa261004.awd. This has improved the process to where I have successfully installed Win98 SE and can boot my system. However, in less that 5 minutes, after reaching the desktop, the systyem will either generate a 'Windows protection error' and lock up the system or reset the system on its own. 2) Ordered PC133 SDRAM to test if the system will work, I would even settle for a functional system at a slower speed.[still waiting for order] 3) Read several postings about the A7A266, which have not been very encouraging. 4) Made attempts to get tech support feedback from the reseller. 5) Left a posting with ASUS forum (to date no response from 4 & 5) 6) Moved the jumper next to the AGP port from 1-2 to 2-3, with no obvious change. 6) Become very discouraged about the performance of the product.
Is there something that ASUS is not dribbling down to the users re: Problems with the A7A266, and what recourse is there for the users?
Tom recently did a bench test on this chipset and basicly said it was or is unstable.
From what you are saying, it seems that once again TOM is correct, why didn`t you wait at least for some benchmarks and comments before buying this M/B?.....I know it`s none of my business, however I would have thought that this would be important before paying over your hard earned cash.
ASUS are a good M/B manufacturer but rely on chipset manufacturers to run on the M/B`s and Ali have NOT had what I would call a great rep till now, TOM`s experiance was so devistating, that he had Ali come up with a new BIOS for the test board, before he got anything like stability!.
Is there a issue.....YES but it is not really with ASUS, still, the M/B is new, take it back for a refund and either wait for the nForce chipset or, try the A7M which seems to be a little more stable.
On the Edge of Extremity
Microsoft Registered OEM,DSP,MCP
Custom Building of PC`s.
I'm one of those with "random crash problems", but I'm still confident that it is something I am doing wrong! If you read TOM's review further, you will see that with an updated BIOS he stated that there were no more problems. i've read posts from many Happy A7A owners, (crashman, Lamer_gamer, are two that come to mind right now).
I've got a theory, is perhaps the A7A, quite a power sapping motherboard, and therefore everyone who thinks they have an adequate power supply, in fact do not?
I've been unable to get onto the Asus Forums, which is making my life more difficult, thus resorting to Toms.
Reading other reviews around the net, the opinion seems to be that the A7A, is slightly slower than other boards (5%) but has NO compatability problems. As for stability, there seems to be a debate about that one, although many of the detractors say it is not based on either a pre 1.004 BIOS or from past experience of Ali chipsets. So I'm still eering on the side of this board being stable.