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First boot successful. Some BIOS questions.

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  • Gigabyte
  • Motherboards
Last response: in Motherboards
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September 26, 2010 1:57:13 AM

Assembled the rebuild I'm doing and system booted 1st try! That's a relief for me (2nd build)! Thanks to those on this forum who helped me with information and suggestions. System is as follows:
New components
Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H Micro ATX Motherboard (rev.3.3)
AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor 3.0 GHz 2x1 MB L2 Cache Socket AM3 65W Dual-Core CPU (stock cooler)
Rosewill Green Series RG430-S12 430W Continuous @40°C, 80 PLUS Certified, Single 12V Rail, Active PFC Power Supply
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit CL5
Noctua NF-B9 - Case fan - 92 mm
Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium OEM (not installed yet)

Recycled components
HP a1712n case
TSST H-652 IDE DVD/CDRW burner
WD 320 GB 7200 16 MB cache SATA HDD
15 in 1 USB card reader module (not connected yet)
2xUSB 2, 1xIEEE1394a, headphone and mic input module (not connected yet)
Antec Cyclone Blower case fan (mounts on back panel in an expansion slot)

At power up all fans spun, case speaker short beeped and I entered the BIOS setup. Immediately set Load Optimized Defaults, saved and exited. Entered BIOS again and checked settings. CPU, HDD, memory and DVD burner all recognized and PC Health showed the following:
vcore=1.488V, DDR2 1.8V=1.952, +3.3V=3.408, +12V=12.175V. System temp=42C, CPU temp=45C (probably a bit deceptive as I still have the side panel off), CPU fan speed=2750-2780 RPM and system fan speed=1460-1490 RPM.

Per some suggestions made on this forum I set Floppy A drive to none since the system doesn't have a FDD. I also attempted to Enable USB keyboard but could not find that setting in any of the BIOS menus. I had also read in the Gigabyte guide to disable Legacy USB Storage Detect but that also did not show in any of the menus. In the Integrated Peripherals menu there are settings for USB Legacy Function and USB Storage, both of which were enabled. Any suggestions?

I ran Memtest+86 two full cycles and then test #5 for about 40 minutes. No errors shown. I feel confident enough in the memory to go ahead and install Windows 7. One thing I noticed on the boot up is that if I didn't hit Delete soon enough I would get a message about the HDD running in IDE mode and whether I wanted to set it for AHCI mode. I understand that Windows 7 has the AHCI SATA drivers and I don't need to install them from a floppy during Windows 7 install. Since this motherboard has a eSATA port on the rear panel and my friend (whom I'm doing this build for) might eventually get a eSATA external HDD should I enable this option before installing W7?

Does anything look unusual about my first boot info that I should look into? Also, I'd like to know what the BIOS version is but the post screen is so fast I cannot read the info. Any way to change that so the initial post screen stays up a little longer?

TIA for any suggestions.

More about : boot successful bios questions

a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2010 4:19:17 AM

For advanced options in a Gigabyte motherboard's BIOS, press Ctrl+F1 when you're on the main BIOS menu. Why Gigabyte continues to choose to initially hide "advanced" features is beyond me. I own 3 Gigabyte boards, and it just pisses me off... Anyway!!!

Once you hit Ctrl+F1, you'll see more menu options, and you'll also get more options within some of them. Within "Advanced BIOS Features" menu, disable "Full Screen LOGO Show" and extend the "Delay for HDD (Secs)" to 5 or 6 seconds. (Default time is 4 secs.) This should allow you to see the BIOS version in the initial POST report, which should appear as "GA-MA785GM-US2H F*" where * is the BIOS version number. It's probably F6 or F8, which were the initial releases for the two revisions of that board (Rev. 1.1 and Rev 3.3, respectively). You should flash it to at least F10 or F11 for CPU support and stability updates, especially if your CPU is the C3 stepping model. Just be sure to look on the actual motherboard silk-screening for your board's revision, then download accordingly here:
http://www.gigabyte.us/products/list.aspx?s=42&jid=10&p...

Also of note, Gigabyte's @BIOS program and CPUID's CPU-Z will allow you to see what BIOS version is installed while in Windows, but getting it updated prior to OS install is usually the route I take myself and recommend.

The extended BIOS options should also allow you to disable Legacy USB support, as well as fine tune your memory timings, and much more. However, you may want to consider keeping it enabled so the system is capable of booting from a USB device.

As for the readings from PC Health Status, they look pretty normal. The temp readings are warmer than the idle temps on my similar systems (MA785G-UD3H and MA780G-US2H), but my home is kept a little on the chilly side. The RAM voltage reading will never drop to 1.8V though, even when using 1.8V RAM. I've gone back and forth with Gigabyte, G-Skill, and OCZ about that issue. Gigabyte tech support hasn't a freaking clue and wasn't helpful at all. However, both G-Skill and OCZ said not to worry about it.

As for eSATA support, you may as well enable it now if you think he/she is going to use it. I don't believe it'll make any difference if it's done before or after the OS install, though.
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September 26, 2010 5:15:01 AM

Thanks for the reply. Yes, I did the Ctrl+F1 on the main BIOS menu and the only new menu was one called Advanced Chipset Features (nothing in there relavant to USB Legacy Devices) and the Advanced BIOS options doesn't have Full Screen Logo Show at all.

I'm pretty sure that the BIOS version is F8 as the Gigabyte page for this MB (rev.3.3) shows that was the initial release. Latest update is F12A which I've downloaded already. Since this system doesn't have a floppy drive I assume I'll have to flash it using Q-Flash and a USB thumb drive, correct? Also, not sure whether the CPU is C3 stepping or C2. How would I determine that?
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2010 2:41:18 PM

Ctrl+F1 doesn't just open up one or two more menus, it also opens up further options within the existing ones. Adv BIOS Options should have that LOGO option afterward, and Integrated Peripherals should have the USB device support settings.

And yeah, you'll have to update the BIOS via Q-Flash and a USB drive, which means Legacy USB Detect will actually need to be Enabled, not Disabled, as you were intending to do. See here:
http://www.gigabyte.us/support-downloads/faq-page.aspx?...

To check an AMD CPU's Stepping, you'll need it's full model number either from the box or the chip itself. Once you have that, find it here:
http://products.amd.com/en-us/DesktopCPUResult.aspx

Yours is either the C2 ADX250OCK23GQ (also denoted as ADX250OCGQBOX), or it's the C3 model ADX250OCK23GM (ADX250OCGMBOX). So, what you're looking for is a Q or an M in the model number to identify it's Stepping. Not that it's truly that important, other than the C3 models are newer and have slight changes to voltage tolerances and things like that.
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September 26, 2010 6:41:37 PM

RazberyBandit said:
Ctrl+F1 doesn't just open up one or two more menus, it also opens up further options within the existing ones. Adv BIOS Options should have that LOGO option afterward, and Integrated Peripherals should have the USB device support settings.

And yeah, you'll have to update the BIOS via Q-Flash and a USB drive, which means Legacy USB Detect will actually need to be Enabled, not Disabled, as you were intending to do. See here:
http://www.gigabyte.us/support-downloads/faq-page.aspx?...

To check an AMD CPU's Stepping, you'll need it's full model number either from the box or the chip itself. Once you have that, find it here:
http://products.amd.com/en-us/DesktopCPUResult.aspx

Yours is either the C2 ADX250OCK23GQ (also denoted as ADX250OCGQBOX), or it's the C3 model ADX250OCK23GM (ADX250OCGMBOX). So, what you're looking for is a Q or an M in the model number to identify it's Stepping. Not that it's truly that important, other than the C3 models are newer and have slight changes to voltage tolerances and things like that.

I have double checked the BIOS menu after Ctrl+F1 and there are no options for the LOGO display in Adv. BIOS options or USB device settings in Integrated Peripherals, just the ones I posted. See screen shots (taken after Ctrl+F1 on main BIOS menu).







I was able to grab a screen shot of the logo screen and my BIOS version is F11. Latest BIOS update is F12a and that is to correct an audio problem in Windows 7 when using EasyTune 6. I don't think it's necessary for me to flash to F12a as my friend will never use ET6

Thanks for the tip on determining the Stepping Version. My box showed that it was ADX250OCGQBOX so it's C2.
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September 26, 2010 7:23:18 PM

Thought I'd throw in the screen shot of the first screen seen when hitting the power button or rebooting into BIOS. Sorry about the quality but it only appears for a couple of seconds and my old digital camera is a little slow. Red arrow points to BIOS version.



Is this the normal Logo screen ?
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a b V Motherboard
September 26, 2010 8:11:06 PM

That's the standard POST screen. I guess your board doesn't have the Logo crap, which is just an image shown when the system starts instead of that screen. It's usually a pic of a motherboard along with the Gigabyte brand logo, Ultra Durable 3, board model number, etc.

The USB Legacy Function setting is right there on the Integrated Peripherals page screenshot... When I said "USB device support settings" I meant whether or not the USB controller and/or Legacy support were Enabled/Disabled. There are no actual settings that can be tweaked, only the Enable/Disable options, which is basically just a fancy On/Off switch. I'm sorry if that caused confusion.

Everything looks in order.
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September 26, 2010 8:45:01 PM

The one thing I'm concerned about is that I have been advised to disable the option entitled Legacy USB Storage Detect. Does that function translate to USB Storage Function in my screen shot? If so, should I disable it?

The fact is that some of the other setting options that have been discussed, like Enable USB keyboard, Full Screen LOGO Show, etc. are not available even after accessing the hidden menus and options (Ctrl+F1). Could that be because this version of the BIOS, F11, has altered the BIOS menu structure?

I don't really want to beat this to death, I'd just like to make sure I have the right settings before proceeding to the Windows 7 install. I will enable AHCI support before doing the install.

Thanks again for your help.
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a b V Motherboard
September 27, 2010 12:31:01 AM

The system needs Legacy USB enabled in order to boot from a thumb drive, USB floppy, USB CD/DVD ROM, etc. If you disable it, you or the user you're building this for will be unable to boot from or access a USB device prior to OS startup, including BIOS updates. Who suggested you to disable it and what was the reasoning behind it?

I'd disable ancient and unused crap, like COM ports, printer port, 1394, etc, but not Legacy USB (for the reasons I mentioned above).

That particular BIOS version may have removed those options, or that board may have never had them included. I don't really know... Unfortunately, I don't have the exact same motherboard, I only have two similar ones. Both my similar boards do have those options, though.

Also, remember that AHCI only becomes a truly beneficial factor if the installed HDD(s) support(s) NCQ (Native Command Queuing), and/or you intend to hot-swap HDDs.
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September 27, 2010 2:56:59 AM

RazberyBandit said:
The system needs Legacy USB enabled in order to boot from a thumb drive, USB floppy, USB CD/DVD ROM, etc. If you disable it, you or the user you're building this for will be unable to boot from or access a USB device prior to OS startup, including BIOS updates. Who suggested you to disable it and what was the reasoning behind it?

Per the GIGABYTE Guide posted by Bilbat, about 3/4s down the page under USB Woes.

RazberyBandit said:
That particular BIOS version may have removed those options, or that board may have never had them included.

That's my opinion also.

RazberyBandit said:
Also, remember that AHCI only becomes a truly beneficial factor if the installed HDD(s) support(s) NCQ (Native Command Queuing), and/or you intend to hot-swap HDDs.

The WD HDD supposedly dose support NCQ and he has an external backup drive that supports USB and eSATA connections. I've found that backups to my external hard drives are substantially faster using eSATA.

BTW, in the guide mentioned above Bilbat does say On the BIOS' "Integrated Peripherals" page, set "Legacy USB storage detect" (later BIOS say "USB Storage Function"). I totally missed that!

Anyway, I went ahead and installed W7 with no hitches. Attached the rest of the peripherals and everything was recognized with no problems. All ports (USB and eSATA) are working. Now just have to install the Gigabyte driver updates I downloaded from their website. Strange though in Win 7 Device Manager there are no missing devices. The LAN and HD audio both had drivers from Win 7 I guess. The only question I have is whether to install the Chipset driver. Any suggestions?

Appreciate the time you took for responses, very helpful for a person new to this.
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Best solution

a b V Motherboard
September 27, 2010 6:16:54 AM

First, the thanks is appreciated, and you're welcome. Onto the meat of the meal, so to say.

Disabling Legacy USB support is a suggestive measure to stop boot looping, which can be (often is) caused by USB devices. I've experienced it myself, and even discussed it with Bilbat prior to his writing his GB Guide. My issue wasn't actually caused by anything connected via USB, though. I had my USB KB & mouse connected to PS-2 ports via PS-2 port converters when it happened, and connecting them directly to the USB ports actually solved it. Go figure, right?

As for the Win7 install and driver updates, Win7 actually has very extensive built-in device driver support. It's far better than any previous Windows version. That's why you didn't see any yellow *!* alerts.

And yes, I'd update the chipset drivers. But, when updating my chipset drivers, and this is especially true when actually using the on-board video, I get them directly from AMD here: http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/downloads....

Click on Motherboard/Integrated Windows 64, or just head to this page http://sites.amd.com/us/game/downloads/Pages/integrated... for your Motherboard/Integrated Windows 7 64-bit drivers. Download the full suite, and you may as well grab the South Bridge and the AHCI "Optional Downloads" while you're there.

As for LAN and audio drivers, much like my chipset drivers, I get them directly from the manufacturer, Realtek, instead of from Gigabyte. The version available directly from Realtek is often a revision or two (or more) ahead of what Gigabyte has available. Here are some examples of how Gigabyte can be behind when it comes to drivers.

Audio - Currently, Realtek has R2.52 HD Audio drivers available for my boards. But, Gigabyte has R2.51 available for one, and R2.49 for the other two boards, easily a step or two behind Realtek's release.

LAN - The LAN driver is no different - 6.242 is available from Realtek for Vista, and 7.026 for Win7. Meanwhile, Gigabyte is still listing 6.236 for both Vista and Win7.

Chipset - AMD offers an updated package monthly. Generally, the actual update only pertains to the on-board video though. But, Gigabyte has chipset drivers dated 8/14/2009. That means even if only the graphics driver was updated, it's still more than a year behind, and who knows what else might be?

Anyway... It's up to you where you get your drivers. I've simply always preferred getting them directly from the device manufacturer, not the board maker.
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September 27, 2010 2:11:33 PM

Good advice on the drivers. Have downloaded from manufacturer's websites. Not to try your patience but any suggestions on installing any of the Gigabyte software such as EasyTune 6, XpressRecovery 2, etc. I know ET 6 is for overclocking and XpR 2 is a backup utility. My friend will never use them but just wonder if there is any advantage to having them on the system? Are there any of the GB CD included software you would recommend?

Actually, I just answered part of my own question. I have Acronis True Image 10 and like it. I'll throw it onto his system, create a partition on the HDD and image the system to it before he has a chance to start screwing things up! At least we'll have a go-back-to point instead of having to start over in case of a problem.

Learned a ton from this experience and it will be invaluable when I actually build a system for myself!
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a b V Motherboard
September 27, 2010 11:04:37 PM

I've never used XR2, so I can't comment. But, ET6 was an absolute piece of garbage the last time I gave it a go, which was about a year ago. The damn thing would only OC the first core of any CPU I threw at it, and I threw 4 different CPUs at it! Gigabyte tech support was again, lacking in almost every way imaginable... Sad really. They can't even support their own software. So, I gave up on ET6 and set about overclocking the old-fashioned way - within the BIOS.

Great idea to image the initial OS install as a back-up. I do it as well, usually after I update the OS, complete driver installs, and things like that.
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October 3, 2010 3:02:56 AM

Best answer selected by highcountryrider.
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