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BIOS Re-Flash Disabled P6X58D - Yikes!!

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September 13, 2010 11:41:33 PM

I have just assembled a brand new system with the following configuration:

MB: ASUS P6X58D Premium
Proc: Intel i7 930
Memory: 12 gb OCZ OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory
Model OCZ3G1600LV6GK
System Drive: Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s 64MB Cache 3.5 Inch Internal Bare Drive ST32000641AS
Data Drives: 3 - Seagate 7200.11 ST31500341AS Barracuda Hard Drive - 1.5TB, 7200RPM, 32MB Cache, SATA-3G (OEM)
Video Card: Asus ATI Radeon CuCore HD5770 1 GB DDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card EAH5770 CUCORE/2DI/1GD5
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply
Case: Cooler Master 932-HAF

I assembled the system and it booted without issue. Once booted I could not load the OS to the Barracuda XT drive, which was plugged into the SATA III Marvel on-board controller port. I realized that the Barracuda drive was not recognized in the BIOS. I posted the issue to the ASUS forum and it was suggested that I reflash the BIOS as the most recent rev contained upgrades to support the Marvel SATA III controller.

I took a deep breath and reflashed with the 0904 version (most current) from ASUS using the EZ Flash utility. All went well. A couple of reboots later I decided to set up my RAID 5 array using the 3 7200.11 drive. Configured the storage using the Intel storage manager. Seem to go fine - HOWEVER....

Next reboot the machine went through the POST and the BIOS then dropped the following message during NVRAM check:

"NVRAM not enough space in runtime area!! SMBIOS will not be available".

The board is now completely disabled. I reflashed with the original BIOS (saved before reflashing), the 0904 BIOS, reset the CMOS using the on-board switch. Nothing helps. There is a "Crash Free" utility that is supposed to reflash the BIOS if the support DVD is in the optical drive on boot up - no luck.

I'm completely stuck and sitting here with an expensive motherboard and not sure where to turn. This is my 1st post. Hoping the forum can help!!

Thanks!

Best solution

a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 12:15:30 AM

^ Unplug + Remove the CMOS battery ~ 15 minutes.

Recovering the BIOS
To recover the BIOS:
1. Turn on the system.
2. Insert the motherboard support DVD to the optical drive, or the USB flash drive
containing the BIOS file to the USB port.
3. The utility automatically checks the devices for the BIOS file. When found, the utility
reads the BIOS file and starts flashing the corrupted BIOS file.
4. Turn off the system after the utility completes the updating process and power on
again.
5. The system requires you to enter BIOS Setup to recover BIOS setting. To ensure
system compatibility and stability, we recommend that you press <F2> to load default
BIOS values.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 12:35:20 AM

BTW -
Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s
is the same as...
Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB 7200RPM SATA3
is the same as...
Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB 7200RPM SATA3 Controller = has nothing to do with speed of the HDD; just the controller type and SATA3 is backwards compatible.

SATA2 3 Gb/s ~ 300Mb/s per device limit which X2 {twice} the Seagate Barracuda XT 2 TB limit of 138Mb/s.

So my question, is why put/get a HDD with SATA3; about the only SSDs on the planet that break the 300 Mb/s SATA2 are the C300's.

Meaning, you can install and/or keep the HDDs on the SATA2 Controller and you'll not see any difference with speed and it will FIX the Install Problem.
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September 14, 2010 1:43:11 AM

Jaquith,

Thanks for the prompt reply. Great advice on the hard drive situation. I expected that the Barracuda XT hard drive would provide the 6 gb/s speeds at the interface level given that it's SATA III rated.

Regarding the BIOS problem. I took the battery out, unplugged the box and left it for an hour or so. Put the battery back in and booted the machine with the support DVD. Same issue.

The CMOS had been cleared (in the same manner as it clears with the onboard switch) and the BIOS requested F1 to continue or F2 to reset the BIOS to the default settings. Choose F2 thinking that I would like to get back to factory settings and it threw the same NVRAM issue and halted the boot process.

Any other suggetions would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 2:01:47 AM

Last chance is doing the USB method. but

If the Recovery Procedure fails .... sorry expensive paperweight ... RMA the MOBO.

or Pixie Dust
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September 14, 2010 10:19:42 AM

Jaquith, Unfortunately I think that you're right. There is no possible way to reset the board. After a long discussion with an Asus tech I've come to the conclusion that the RAID controller on the board is faulty and not playing nice with the BIOS chip. The problem started immediately after I enabled the RAID chip. :-(

The board is DOA so I'm going to ship it back and go from there. Will definitely follow your advice on the drives, however I'm still confused by the fact that the SATA III drives are not registered in the BIOS and are unavailable to the OS. Could be symptomatic of the bad board but I don't think so. I've seen other postings with this same behaviour. Your thoughts?
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September 14, 2010 10:20:09 AM

Best answer selected by ready4fun.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 1:49:24 PM

Opinions, yes I have many... The issue with SATA3 - doesn't matter what MOBO - is that the drivers are very immature and there's sooo many changes, compatibility issues, firmware updates and alike that make SATA3 a pain. I've been "Learned" to always verify that the SSD/HHD/HDD firmware + BIOS + Drivers be checked prior to any install.

RAID 1 or RAID 0 "should" be okay by itself on an on-board RAID controller. However, I myself had to RMA -> 10 GA-X58A-UD3R with SSD {primary} + RAID 1 HDDs {data} running on the SATA2 ICH10R; BSOD + Shutdowns. It wasn't anything I or You did incorrectly. Crappy on-board Controllers.

In the replacement you "may" want to consider a dedicated RAID controller, I have no idea which flavor you're running but if RAID 5 then NEVER use an on-board. Also, run them on the SATA2 - you'll see no difference in speed.

Good Luck!

BTW - Things are not always what they seem to be, and tests or benchmarks are often "rigged" - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/windows-7-ssd-trim,... if you research you'll determine the test MOBO is SATA2 but they're testing SATA3 SSDs - REQUIRING a ± $1,000 Dedicated SATA3/RAID Controller. Making it virtually impossible for anyone to achieve these R/W numbers. :pfff: 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 2:13:28 PM

One other point.
Did you verify Your memory prior to flashing your Bios (ie run Memtest 86 from a bootable drive.

All to often, in the zeal of getting that bright shinny new system up and running, this is often overlooked. When a new system is built and BEFORE (1) updatiing the bios and 2) before trying to install the operating system. The memory should be verified. All sorts of nasty things can happen if memory has errors. Memory errors can easily corrupt a bios update, or corrupt a OS installation (I know you did not even get to installing OS).

On a new build, the first thing I do is run Memtest86 from a bootable disk for a Min of 4 hours (preferabaly longer). with the Minium memory (ie in your case 6 gigs). Then if needed flash the bios. Then install the rest of the memory (you said 12 gigs in your case) Rerun memtest. Then move to installing Operating system. Once it is installed I reverify memory by runing prime 95 for a min of several hours.

If you did that ignore this post, But others reading this should understand that attempting to update bios and NOT checking the memory can lead to a non recoverable CMOS error.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 2:34:11 PM

^ +1 Memtest86+ (ISO/bootable zip) - http://www.memtest.org/ - NO COMMENT on my habits there!

Also, since we're talking about Good Practices; I will never flash a BIOS w/o running off an UPS {battery back-up}.

Only update the BIOS if it is required {fix} or notable improvement.

Most importantly, only flash BIOS while under WARRANTY PERIOD.

And take some Prozak or a few shots of whisky - every pause/movement of the status bar....?!?!?, you'll need it.
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a b V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 3:03:32 PM

Hey, jaquith - make that a double jack, I'll skip on the prozak.

Concur with what you said, I do continue to flash the bios after warranty period, if have a reson - By then it would be a good excuss for a "Newer" MB. Have never distroyed a BIOS (Built my own since the 386SX days), But almost wish they would return to the Socketed CMOS chip which my 386SX had.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
September 14, 2010 3:43:05 PM

^ Boozin BIOS Buddies

The ONLY advantage of Gigabyte - Dual BIOS. Needs to become the standard practice. There's one more to the list - Default the BIOS prior to flashing.

I haven't had a failure knock on wood, but I often leave the room.
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September 30, 2010 1:41:18 AM

All good advice. Thanks everyone!! I did not run the memcheck but will when I get the system back up and running. Ran some more diagnostics and with the help of an ASUS tech determined that the root cause is a bad RAID controller. The issue started when I enabled the raid array and exited the BIOS. Given that I had reflashed I thought that was the issue, but was really a red herring. The RAID controller somehow stepped on the BIOS memory and disabled the board. Just processed the RMA (was out of state for a while) and will be returning the board. Hopefully better luck next time. Seriously cosidering the advice to get an off-board RAID controller as I wanted to set up RAID 5. Ticks me off though, because that is one of the primary reasons I purchased the more expensive mobo.

Oh well, too bad, so sad. Thanks again. Great forum.
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