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BIOS Resets because of surge protector?

Tags:
  • Chipsets
  • NAS / RAID
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
February 12, 2008 3:46:33 PM

I have an ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP motherboard and 2 160GB WD Caviar SE SATA II drives in a RAID 0 using the motherboard's built in RAID controller. I've had this system up and running since 12/06.

This week it started losing the CMOS settings. Sometimes when cold started it goes past the BIOS screen and then stops with an error reading the disk. When I go into the BIOS settings, I see that it has forgotten about the RAID. I can start the system up successfully by re-enabling the RAID.

This has happened 3 times in the last 5 days.

The vendor (AVADirect.com) says I should solve this problem by removing the surge protector and plugging the computer directly in to the wall outlet. They claim that they have had compatibility problems caused by surge protectors.

To me, that sounds insane. It is not plugged in to a UPS, and there's no USB connection, it's just providing power. I don't see how that could cause the CMOS settings, especially since that did not happen until after the system was running for 15 months using the same surge protector. Oh, and the surge protector's "protection good" light is still on, so it does not appear to have been blown.

I would think the problem would more likely be the battery on the motherboard, but I'm a software guy. If it matters, this system is used every day for 6-18 hours, and is shutdown the rest of the time. And also in case it matters, these are the specs, just copied off the invoice.

INTEL, Core™ 2 Duo E6600 Dual-Core, 2.4GHz, 1066MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache, 65nm, 65W, EM64T EIST VT, Retail
ZALMAN, CNPS9500 LED Copper CPU Cooler, Blue LED
ASUS, P5N32-SLI Premium/WiFi-AP, LGA775, nForce 590 SLI, 1066MHz FSB, DDR2-800 8GB /4, PCIe x16 SLI /2, SATA RAID 5, 2x GbLAN, WiFi, ATX, Retail
CORSAIR, 2GB (2 x 1GB) XMS2 PC2-8500 DDR2 1066MHz CL 5 SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
BFG TECH, GeForce™ 7950 GT OC™, 512MB GDDR3, PCIe x16 SLI, 2x DVI, HDTV-out, Retail
WESTERN DIGITAL, 160GB WD Caviar® SE, SATA II 300MB/s, 7200 RPM, 8MB cache
WESTERN DIGITAL, 160GB WD Caviar® SE, SATA II 300MB/s, 7200 RPM, 8MB cache
RAID, RAID 0 (striping), min 2 hard drives required
LINKSKEY, LKA-CR15BW Black/White Internal 52-in-1 Card Reader/Writer Drive, 3.5" Bay, USB
SAMSUNG, Super-WriteMaster SH-S182M Black 18x DVD±R/RW Dual Layer Burner w/ Lightscribe, IDE/ATAPI, OEM
RAIDMAX, Saggita ATX-921WSP Silver/Red Mid-Tower Case w/ Window, ATX, No PSU, Steel
HIPER, Type R Blue 580W Modular Power Supply, ATX, Dual +12V, SLI Certified

More about : bios resets surge protector

February 12, 2008 4:40:11 PM

I would be very curious to hear from that technician exactly what specific electrical characteristics of a surge protector cause the dirty, ~120v 60 Hz AC power (or 220v 50 Hz, if you prefer) from the wall to make the BIOS settings revert. Unless it's a grounding problem, I just don't see it.

Does it ever forget anything other than the RAID? Does it forget everything, or just that one thing? Can you set some useless setting to test?

IMO, I think the CMOS battery charging subsystem on your mobo is dying, and it's causing the battery to get to a low enough level to lose your settings. You could check the battery with a volt-meter, but then you'd lose your settings...
February 12, 2008 5:06:17 PM

I have not noticed any other changes to the BIOS, but I suspect everything else is at default settings anyway. I'm sure I can find something silly to change to see if more than just the RAID settings are lost when this happens.

Of course I can't predict when the next time it will decide to happen, but I certainly will notice when it does.
a b V Motherboard
February 12, 2008 6:41:25 PM

Very unlikely. There is a very small posibility of of the surge protection circuity inducing noise on the line. However, most quality PSUs utilize a input filter to reduce high freq noise. Easy enought to verify (replace it with a cheap one, or plug into wall (assuming no thunderstorms for a few days).

If it is only affecting your Raid array, My first check would be to demate/remate the data/power connectors and demate/mate the data cable connectors on the motherboard.

Reference to TerMeidea
Not positive (I have gigabye MB) but I think your CMOS battery is a standard Li 3 volt nonrechargable battery (similar to a watch battery).
Normally they last 3 to 5 Years. On a new system that translates to 1 -. 5 as you have no idea how long it has been sitting on the self.
$3 -> $5 and relatively easy to replace.