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Asus M4A89GTD Pro possible sata controller issue

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September 27, 2011 8:58:18 AM

I think that I might have a bad sata controller, but I was hoping that after providing the following information someone more knowledgeable than myself could either confirm my assumption, or help me discover what is going on. As the thread title says, the motherboard I am using in my rig is an Asus M4A89GTD Pro. At first I simply thought the issue was with my hard drive. About two days ago I decided to delete a file that was around 8gb in size and the process took an incredibly long time, so long I decided to cancel the process so I could go ahead and get in bed. My attempts at canceling had no luck and after a few more long moments the file was in my recycle bin. Same thing happened when emptying my recycle bin. The computer ran fine for the next day or so.

Yesterday I left my rig running so I could run a virus scan while I slept. When I woke up the scan had completed and I closed the application. When shutting down my computer it seemed to get stuck on the desktop and went no where, so ultimately I had to do a hard shutdown. When I came back in the afternoon and turned my rig on, Asus Express Gate took an obscene amount of time to load. Normally Express Gate is the first thing I see when my monitor warms up, this time I watched the loading message for quite some time before it loaded up. After exiting Express Gate the computer got stuck on a blank screen right before Windows began to load. On another attempt, I was able to see the Windows loading screen, but again, the computer ultimately got stuck on a blank screen. On another attempt, I tried browsing the web on Express Gate after it loaded up. Again, the computer took a long time, but ultimately I got a message about Express Gate not being installed.

After this I decided to boot up using an Ubuntu livecd, which took forever, but I was ultimately able to get into Ubuntu, and at that point everything worked fine. I was able to browse the web, and spent most of my time backing up files that I wanted to keep from my hard drive to a usb jump drive so I could try formatting and reinstalling Windows to see if my Windows installation was to blame. I put my Windows installation disc in the drive, and more of the same. Multiple attempts, long periods of time, computer got stuck at certain points. In between attempts at one point I received an error message that the media was unreadable (or something along those lines), but on the next attempt the disc worked fine. Also in BIOs I could see one of my optical drives, but not the other.

I was able to get part of my hard drive formatted during that process, but after all of the aforementioned, I felt confident that it was a sata controller issue and not a windows installation or hard drive issue. Seeing as the only issues I ran into were when my computer tried to load something from the hard drive (sata) or from the optical drive (also sata).

Can anyone shed some light as to what might be going on here? I have had an issue with this same model board. The first one I had to RMA for different reasons, and this is the replacement one I got (it has been running fine in my rig for probably 8 or 9 months now).

If this is a sata controller issue I think I will most likely just buy a new board. Besides having to RMA another board of the same model, I have had to RMA an XFX Radeon 5850 (when I got the replacement board and put the Radeon 5850 back in, it was not working, so I am guessing either the motherboard or graphics card went bad and took the other one with it when it died) and I had to RMA the replacement Radeon 5850 they sent me because it was DOA. So I'm not really interested in any more RMAs.

I like Asus, the laptop I am using to write this post is an Asus, but assuming this is a motherboard issue, that makes two Asus motherboards, and I am seriously considering other brands. Are there any boards anyone wants to recommend? I am running an AMD Phenom II X6 1075T, 8gb G.Skill ram (F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - a 4 gb kit, I have two of them), Corsair TX950W PSU (not modular or even semi-modular sadly), a Sapphire Radeon 5850 1gb, will run that in crossfire with my XFX Radeon 5850 1gb when the second replacement arrives, a regular old WD 7200rpm 1tb hdd, and a dvd-rw and LG bd-r.

That was a lot to read and I greatly appreciate any person who can give me his or her input on this issue. Thanks for your time.
September 27, 2011 3:36:52 PM

I had the exact same board with the exact same problem. Re flash the bios and see if that fixes it. What bios version are u running?
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September 27, 2011 6:47:44 PM

itzdanielp said:
Your reasoning definitely seems spot on, it looks like the SATA controller to me... :( 

Asus usually makes solid boards, but I understand you being hesitant. I would suggest Gigabyte if you want to go with a different board :) 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Gigabyte was the brand I was considering, so Gigabyte will most likely be what I'll try next. Thanks you for the links, those look great.
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a c 121 V Motherboard
September 27, 2011 6:52:48 PM

No problem! good luck! :) 
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September 27, 2011 7:10:46 PM

jchambers2586 said:
I had the exact same board with the exact same problem. Re flash the bios and see if that fixes it. What bios version are u running?

Was running 1456, just flashed to 2301 - the flash was successful, but I am still having the same issues.

Another thing I have noticed is that with my computer off, if I press a key (any key) on my keyboard the back-light comes on, if I press another key (any key) it goes off. Is this tied in with my other issue or indicative of something else perhaps?
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September 27, 2011 8:54:38 PM

have you tried pulling the battery on the CMOS to clear it?
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September 28, 2011 1:34:29 AM

jchambers2586 said:
have you tried pulling the battery on the CMOS to clear it?

Yeah, I cleared CMOS with the jumper, but sadly no improvement.
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September 28, 2011 2:17:44 AM

I would grab the gigabyte board and RMA the asus one and sell the Asus one.
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