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Can't post, CPU too new for BIOS?

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February 14, 2008 3:23:04 PM

Hello all, and thanks for reading this in advance :) 

I just bought my GF all the necessary hardware to build her a new computer (and i've got the experience/skills necessary to do it for her) and put it together this morning (finally arrived per mail...).

After building it i tried to boot but the monitor wouldn't get a signal at all. The fans go on, the optical drive opens etc. but there's no signal for the monitor and no power LED lit on the case either. So i go into troubleshooting mode - disconnect all devices except mobo/cpu/memory (and the mobo has a built in GPU so i didn't even have a vga card) and triple check all connections while trying again and again, the problem remains.

I know the likely reasons may well be a either a defect PSU (a brand new Antec EarthWatts 380w) or a defect Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H (rev. 1.0)) and was about to rip apart my own rig to try putting my PSU into hers to limit the problem down to the motherboard, when i suddenly realized something...

Now call me stupid, but i ordered a AMD X2 BE-2400 processor for the system, thinking it'd surely fit the Gigabyte Mobo (i checked the supported CPU list and there it was) but upon double checking that list, i realized it's only supported as of Bios version F4.

Now my most likely theory is that the bios cant recognize the brand new CPU, being less than version F4 (i don't know as the manual/box/board says nothing about the pre-installed bios version :S) but since it cant even boot i of course cant flash it. The only choice im left with is go down to the store and blow 60$ on a slightly older Sempron just to be able to flash the mobo, then put the 2400-BE in again - but before i do that (60$ are 60 bucks...) I'd love it if someone could confirm for me that this would indeed be the symptoms, if the mobo doesn't recognize the CPU?

I've never had the problem before and i must admit im not 100% sure how a motherboard reacts when the CPU is "too new" for the bios... Anyone willing to tell me what? And also, how can i find out what bios version comes preinstalled when i cant even get to POST?

More about : post cpu bios

February 14, 2008 4:20:23 PM

I can't flash the BIOS if i can't even get to the POST screen...

Are you indirectly telling me i _should_ be able to get to POST screen with an unsupported processor? if so the motherboard must be defect...
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February 14, 2008 4:51:51 PM

Yeah, unfortunatelly in that scenario; the only thing to do is get a processor compatible with the motherboards current BIOS revision. You must have a CPU to be able to flash the BIOS. Motherboard manufacturers really have not yet addressed this particular issue; and really should because of the rapid release of new processor, and in turn them not being supported most of the time by old BIOS revisions.

Personally I would test the system quickly with a known-good PSU and RAM before buying a new processor to rule out the NO-POST from being a possible bad RAM module, or bad PSU.

That sucks man, only thing I can say is see if you have a buddy that bought an HP from Best Buy or some machine that came with a sempron, and ask him to borrow it for a day lol. Good Luck!

DG6464

February 14, 2008 5:05:15 PM

Thanks for confirming my suspicion, and no it seems all the buddies i can think of are using an Intel machine at the moment, and noone has an AM2 AMD lying around afaik.

I already put in an order for a 3200+ Sempron for about 60 bucks, it sucks having to buy 2 processors just to get 1 of them to work, but ah well, guess i can only blame myself for not having spotted this earlier. Strange though, seems like they dont even really have motherboards for sale (at least not the cheaper models) here in Germany (i study abroad) that support the newish BE line without a bios flash :/  This seems to be the only way after all ...
February 14, 2008 5:45:34 PM

It might be worth a call to gigabyte tech support, to see if the behavior is consistent with your thinking. Generally even when a chip is not supported, if it is not drastically diffferent (one example being the x2 and phenom), it will still work. It will not be recognized properly. I am very curious to hear what you find out with the sempron.
February 14, 2008 6:16:16 PM

How do you know its not the videocard thats the issue?

You said that you are not getting video signal. I would start there.
February 14, 2008 8:42:27 PM

spaztic7 said:
How do you know its not the videocard thats the issue?

You said that you are not getting video signal. I would start there.


The motherboard has an onboard GPU and i bought an ATI 2600xt as well, neither works. Plus the computer speaker doesnt even do the single short beep it should do on a successful POST (or any beep at all for that matter).

Seems like something at the very very core is wrong, and i've narrowed it down to a defect motherboard (which i think is rather unlikely) or the fact it cant run the CPU without a bios update, as the gigabyte site says.
February 15, 2008 11:45:55 AM

It could be the bios, but like someone else said, it would still likely post and just mis identify the CPU. I am leaning toward your problem being a DOA mobo, which I have had happen numerous times, all from reputable manufacturers. It happens, there are so many little components on these mobos, that they are really the most likely thing to have problems. Not say that it couldn't be something else, I just think chances are a bad mobo.

Good luck!
February 15, 2008 12:23:33 PM

Thanks you for the explaination about the videocard.

If you can RMA that mobo.
!