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A7N8DX2 SATA Need fix, close!!

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  • Boot
  • Motherboards
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Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2004 4:49:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

I am getting closer to fixing this prob but stuck right now.. at least
I have it narrowed down to what is left.. But need help!

when I boot the system up with this Sumsung installed, with the mobo
jumper enabled, and the drivers installed, the system takes for ever
to boot up.. I mean hours.. take the drive off (unplugged) and it
boots up.. The system sees the drive at boot up.. but bogs right
down.

The MoBo Bios is 1008 and serial controller is 4.2.47 (shows at
bootup)

When I first got the drive the system was able to format it but it
hung up and then never been able to get the system back on track with
this HDD. I took to a friend's house and he's been able to install it
ok and reformat it.. but I have the same probs anyway..

So NOW, it's gotta be due to something I did when the original format
pooched and has nothing to do with the HDD in place right now..

is there something in the registry, Devices etc etc that I need to
tinker delete or massage to get it to work? I don't know if I leave
the computer try to boot on it's own, and maybe it's trying to sort
out it's original issues.. takes time but will work..

Ack.. annoying as hell, I don't know what to do next.. =/

More about : a7n8dx2 sata fix close

September 20, 2004 7:43:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

In article <3tjsk09sgfl2geag5ea562nc0tc6vajqp8@4ax.com>, Seaking
<Seaking@-NOSPAM-eastlink.ca> wrote:

> I am getting closer to fixing this prob but stuck right now.. at least
> I have it narrowed down to what is left.. But need help!
>
> when I boot the system up with this Sumsung installed, with the mobo
> jumper enabled, and the drivers installed, the system takes for ever
> to boot up.. I mean hours.. take the drive off (unplugged) and it
> boots up.. The system sees the drive at boot up.. but bogs right
> down.
>
> The MoBo Bios is 1008 and serial controller is 4.2.47 (shows at
> bootup)
>
> When I first got the drive the system was able to format it but it
> hung up and then never been able to get the system back on track with
> this HDD. I took to a friend's house and he's been able to install it
> ok and reformat it.. but I have the same probs anyway..
>
> So NOW, it's gotta be due to something I did when the original format
> pooched and has nothing to do with the HDD in place right now..
>
> is there something in the registry, Devices etc etc that I need to
> tinker delete or massage to get it to work? I don't know if I leave
> the computer try to boot on it's own, and maybe it's trying to sort
> out it's original issues.. takes time but will work..
>
> Ack.. annoying as hell, I don't know what to do next.. =/

As I understand it, a BIOS call is used to operate the disk while
the OS is booting. It is possible this mechanism (INT13?) is used
to read the disk, up to the point that the Windows desktop first
appears. I think the drivers get instanciated (i.e. driver starts
running the hardware) just before the Windows desktop pops up, and
just before that, the OS is probably still using the BIOS call.

So, it is likely the BIOS call is being used while you experience
a slow boot. There are a couple of ways to attack this problem. On
the one hand, the problem could be an "interrupt storm". If an
exception condition arises, like an interaction between the disk
and the motherboard controller, they could go into a loop where the
disk asks for service, the motherboard responds, only to find there
is nothing to do. This wastes processor cycles, and makes the
rest of the software appear to be slow. Sometimes this is a function
of the interrupt logic, like APIC. Disabling APIC in the BIOS might
cure it.

As to your theory about the motherboard "remembering" something, that
is possible in the BIOS. The BIOS flash chip has two areas called
DMI and ESCD. DMI holds a text based inventory, and is used in
big companies with thousands of computers, to keep track of what kind
of hardware is in the box. DMI can be editted with the right tools,
and I think the company that built my computer, but their company
name in the DMI area. The ESCD, on the other hand, is info used by
the BIOS. It is a cache of what hardware was discovered on the last
POST. Some BIOS have an option to erase DMI/ESCD, but that option was
removed from the A7N8X. The only other way I know of, to erase the
whole thing, is to flash the BIOS chip.

ESCD also gets refreshed, whenever hardware changes. If you had two
SATA ports, for example, you could move the drive from one port to
the other, and that looks "different" to the BIOS. The info associated
with the old port should get cleared when the hardware goes missing.

DMI and ESCD are actually segments of the BIOS flash chip. A third
area that stores info, is the CMOS RAM. That is a small piece of
static RAM in the Southbridge, and it is backed up by the CR2032
coin cell battery. CMOS RAM can be cleared by unplugging the computer,
and then using CLRTC jumper or the like, as detailed in the manual.
AFAIK, it holds info on what the settings are currently in the BIOS.

Hope that gives you a few ideas to play with:

1) Try moving the disk to the other port. Not likely to
help, but easy to do. Otherwise...
2) Disable APIC in the BIOS. And if that doesn't work...
3) Clear the CMOS. Write down any custom settings before hand,
on a piece of paper. You will need the settings, to be able
to setup the BIOS again, on the next POST after clearing the
CMOS with the CLRTC jumper. And if that doesn't do it...
4) Try reflashing the BIOS, using the same version of the
BIOS as you have currently installed. This will effectively
erase the DMI and ESCD segments, as they are zeroed out in
a BIOS file downloaded from Asus. If you archive a BIOS, then
AFAIK, you get to keep a copy of the DMI and ESCD in that
archived copy. So, if you are having DMI/ESCD problems, an
archived BIOS is not the one to use for reflashing the BIOS.
A fresh copy from Asus is much better for the job.

Oh, another question for you. Are you using any PCI cards in
the motherboard PCI slots ? Is one of your PCI cards sharing
an IRQ with the SATA controller or something ? If you are using
PCI cards, in your next post, make a list of what PCI card is
plugged into each slot. PCI slot 1 is the slot nearest the
processor.

Good luck,
Paul
Anonymous
a b V Motherboard
September 20, 2004 8:14:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus (More info?)

On Mon, 20 Sep 2004 03:43:22 -0400, nospam@needed.com (Paul) wrote:




>> Ack.. annoying as hell, I don't know what to do next.. =/
>
>Hope that gives you a few ideas to play with:
>
>1) Try moving the disk to the other port. Not likely to
> help, but easy to do. Otherwise...
>2) Disable APIC in the BIOS. And if that doesn't work...
>3) Clear the CMOS. Write down any custom settings before hand,
> on a piece of paper. You will need the settings, to be able
> to setup the BIOS again, on the next POST after clearing the
> CMOS with the CLRTC jumper. And if that doesn't do it...
>4) Try reflashing the BIOS, using the same version of the
> BIOS as you have currently installed. This will effectively
> erase the DMI and ESCD segments, as they are zeroed out in
> a BIOS file downloaded from Asus. If you archive a BIOS, then
> AFAIK, you get to keep a copy of the DMI and ESCD in that
> archived copy. So, if you are having DMI/ESCD problems, an
> archived BIOS is not the one to use for reflashing the BIOS.
> A fresh copy from Asus is much better for the job.

I read what you mentioned about the bios etc.. I have since the first
time and now reflashed the bios from 1003 to 1008 and that should have
cleared out some of the old info.. but I booted the computer up this
mornign and went to work.. 8 hours later it's still doing the same
thing.. HDD light comes on.. goes off..... nothing more happening..
So something if definetly stuck somewhere. GAH

I don't know about actualy clearing out the CMOS with the jumper, that
would be the last resort. I don't have too much altered on the BIOS..

Stupid question, does having the SerialPorts disabled factor into
this.. Yeah I know, not the same SERIAL as the SATA but ?


>Oh, another question for you. Are you using any PCI cards in
>the motherboard PCI slots ? Is one of your PCI cards sharing
>an IRQ with the SATA controller or something ? If you are using
>PCI cards, in your next post, make a list of what PCI card is
>plugged into each slot. PCI slot 1 is the slot nearest the
>processor.

Keep in mind that when I first connected the SATA HDD it actualy
worked but the formatting was interupted and now there is no going
back..

I have 2 Promise cards in the PCI, ATA66 for the opticals and ATA100
for the extra HDD's. I am not seeing any IRQ conflicts at all..

Dang.. starting to look like I will have to either (A) format C: and
start over, or (B) get a new drive and install that one.. Seriously!
!