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Gigabyte 965P-DS3 ignores boot priority?

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July 17, 2010 5:17:07 PM

My Gigabyte 965P-DS3 ignores boot priority. This motherboard uses the standard Award BIOS in which you can set 3 boot device and their order. I set it to (1) USB-HD, (2) CDROM, (3) Harddrisk.
Alternately, at the Gigabyte Startup Screen the following runs across the bottom of the screen:
TAB: Post Screen; DEL: Bios Setip/Q-flash; F9: Xpress recovery 2; F12: Boot Menu; and END: Q-flash
Boot menu (F12) allows changing the boot sequence without entering the BIOS setup.

No matter what I try, it ALWAYS tries to boot my SATA Harddisk first. Thus, I cannot boot the USB-HD (which stores all of my boot utilities). I have to pull the harddrive's power or the SATA cable before booting. To image/restore the HD, I have to put it in an external USB dock. I didn't have to do this before - it just started a few days ago.

I built this computer almost 3 years ago. It has worked good except for warm boot problems (it will NOT warm boot -0 I always have to wait 15 minutes for it to cool down before rebooting). I've always ran this system overclocked, but this problem occurs whether its o/c'ed or not. I have highly sufficient cooling - CPU maxes at about 46 C, system a few degrees higher.

My setup:
MB: Gigabyte 965P-DS3 rev 1.33 with F13 BIOS
PS: Antec 520W TruPower (brand-new)
CPU: Intel E2160 @ 1.8GHz (o/c'ed to 3.15GHz at stock voltage)
CPU Cooling: Noctua NC-12 (the big boy)
RAM: Patriot DDR2 800 Mhz (2 x 2GB)
HD: SATA 750GB Seagate
Video: Radeon 5770 (also tried Intel GMA on-board)
Optical: Asus & Pioneer DVRs (both SATA)
OS: Win XP SP3

Things I've tried:
- Safe BIOS settings. No overclocking anything.
- Every combination of SATA cables and SATA ports.
- RAM is OK (low level diagnostics ran)
- Power supply is brand new. (I was having other problems and thought it was power - it wasn't)
- Ran some low-level motherboard diagnostics - everything checks OK (however, can't check SATA as the computer will _not_ boot to anything other than SATA harddisk)
- Disconnected _everything_ (USB headers, audio header, IDE PATA drive) - behavior is unchanged
- Tried various BIOS settings - safe, AHCI (which I've never used) - no change
- Reset BIOS via jumper on motherboard - no change
- Tried Radeon X600 video card - no change
- CMOS battery seems OK - it holds settings after being disconnected from power overnight

I am guessing at this point that the Gigabyte motherboard has just gone bad and developed this unfriendly quirk.
Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
July 17, 2010 8:35:47 PM

Have you tried flashing the bios? Also, have you tried hitting F12 to bring up the boot menu and selecting your usb-hd?
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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 17, 2010 10:11:49 PM

To get a GB to 'see' a USB stick at boot, you must have the stick formatted to FAT-32, and, on the "Integrated Peripherals" page of the BIOS, the "USB Controller", "USB 2.0 Controller", "Legacy USB storage detect", and likely "USB Keyboard Support" items all need to be "Enabled"; also, have you succeeded with this stick prior to this problem? If it's a new stick, there are some that the GB BIOS just 'doesn't like', and simply won't work - or worse, can corrupt CMOS...
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July 18, 2010 2:16:10 AM

jdog2pt0> I haven't tried reflashing - I will post an update after I try it. I have tried the F12 boot menu - I just failed to mention it. It just completely ignores even that!

bilbat> I am not booting a USB stick, but a USB harddrive. It boots that harddrive just fine - but only if I disconnect the SATA harddisk.

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a c 177 V Motherboard
July 18, 2010 2:54:01 AM

Ackk - dammit - the Tom's 'search' facility and I just can't seem to cooperate - I can never find anything!! I'm not positive what the original problem was, but someone, I believe, just reported some kind of wierd boot order problem, and GB tech told him to insert 'boot from bootable card' (or whatever the wording is - it's not documented in the manuals, so I always have to reboot to look at it to get the wording - and I can't right now...) as the second item. I remember the incident, 'cause it made me thing, once again, "I'd kill for source code to a modern BIOS!" - anyhow - something to try...

What I know about booting GB's from a USB HDD could be engraved on the head of a pin, and leave room for the Gettysburg address, but I do have one, it's not currently doing anything, 'cause I just fried a router, and haven't gotten the new one to 'like' it - and a lot of the movies on it have been recoded anyhow - if the problem persists, I could probably fit in some testing tomorrow or Monday...

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July 18, 2010 4:22:18 AM

bilbat> I will try that and report back....

Funny thing is, this board was working OK (as good as it always has - read below) until just a few days ago. I never has a boot priority problem and the F12 boot menu always worked as it should. Now it just doesn't want to respect boot priority at all and always seems to forget my o/c setting so I have to re-enter them upon every boot. Frustrating!

I am a long-term victim of the dreaded Gigabyte boot-cycle problem. However, mine has always been a failure of warm booting, not cold booting. First thought is 'heat related' but I have a huge Noctua-12 heatsink/fan combo on the CPU and the northbridge never gets above 58C (it just has a passive heatsink so wouldn't be affected by no-fans on startup). It never fails though - I ALWAYS have to wait about 15 minutes before I can boot again.
It is interesting to note that I've changed powersupplies and has similar issues with another Gigabyte board. All I know is that this is definitely the last Socket 775 system I would ever own - too darn flakey! The AMD AM3 systems seem to be much more stable!
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July 18, 2010 3:42:31 PM

Flashed to the latest BIOS version, F14. Everything is back to "normal" (still suffer from not being able to warm boot and it always loses the o/c settings) - however, this appears to be as good as can be expected from a Socket 775 system + Dual Core CPU + Gigabyte board.

All I can figure is that when the computer crashed several days ago, it somehow, inexplicably, corrupted boot sectors of the harddrive and somehow messed with the BIOS. Harddrive corruption I can understand, but not messing with the BIOS. Oh well....

Moderator, please make this as SOLVED.

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Best solution

July 18, 2010 7:00:00 PM

Lol, I had some RAM one time that f-ed my bios up, no idea how but I had to flash it to get it normal again. To mark as solved you have to click best answer on one of the, people's who responded to you, post.
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July 18, 2010 9:02:37 PM

jdog2pt0 said:
Lol, I had some RAM one time that f-ed my bios up, no idea how but I had to flash it to get it normal again. To mark as solved you have to click best answer on one of the, people's who responded to you, post.


Thanks. I didn't see any way to mark as Solved.

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July 18, 2010 9:02:48 PM

Best answer selected by icester1973.
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July 19, 2010 4:24:38 AM

I have narrowed the fix down further....

In the BIOS, set the USB-HDD ahead of the other harddrives in the harddisk priority menu. It is not enough to just select USB-HDD in the boot priority menu.
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