Is this a bios or motherboard issue?


J

Jeff

....trying to figure out what might be causing some minor problems with a
fairly new build.
I have a Gigabyte M59SLI-S5 motherboard, AMD FX-62 processor, 10K WD Raptor
for the OS, and 750 Gig Seagate for storage. ...currently running Vista RC1.

All works well other than 3 problems. I don't know if they are related, but
I suspect that they are. They might be related to the motherboard's bios.

1) When the machine is idle for several hours it often locks up. Sometimes
it completely crashes and displays the blue screen. Most of the time when
this occurs, the thing reports something about the bios not being fully acpi
compliant.

2) On occasion, the 750 gig seagate drive isn't found by the system. It
stays missing even after reboot. If I unplug the drive, reboot, and plug it
back in, it is again detected. I'm fairly certain that the non-detection is
occurring both in the bios and the OS, although sometimes I'm not paying
attention to the messages about drive detection that flash by quickly when
the bios is loading.

3) Sometimes that machine hangs at boot, reporting that it can't find a boot
drive, or it takes a considerable time to load windows during which time the
loading graphic (whatever the thing is called that shows that something is
happening) freezes a number of times.

The MB came with version 3 of the bios (dated 6/2006). I've already flashed
it to version 5 (9/2006) shortly after I built the machine. Gigabyte is
already up to version 7 dated last month. That version states that it fixes
an issue where the gigabyte sata2 controller is sometimes lost. ...but the
MB apparently has two sata controllers - one Gigabyte (for 2 drives) and one
NVidia (for 4 drives) (I think that I have that right). Both drives are
attached to the NVidia controller, which isn't mentioned in the updated bios
on gigabyte's web site.

I've checked both drives with Seagate's "seatools" diagnostic software. I'm
not sure how to interpret this: this software says that it finds an "unknown
controller" and lists both drives as "bios drives" showing each partition
separately. It also shows the drives a second time as "Other Seagate Drives"
and "Other drives" For the latter two entries, it shows only the drive
itself but not the partitions. All of the diagnostics appear okay other than
when I check the file stucture under the entries for the "bios drives" -
that returns unknown errors for all partitions on both drives (4 partitions
on the 1 and 2 on the other). Perhaps this is related to the pre-release
version of vista, perhaps to something about the motherboard's controller or
bios.

I'm wondering whether the locking and crashing might be due to something in
the bios related to power-management as that is what acpi has to do with.
I've just changed the OS to stop putting the machine into sleep mode and to
leave it running to see if that solves that part of the problem.

I don't know what to make out of the Seagate diagnostic info. ...perhaps
also related to something about the bios and some type of incompatibility
with how the bios handles the sata controller.

I'll likely try to flash to the newest bios version tonight, but it does
mention only the Gigabyte sata controller and my drives are attached to the
other one.

....mostly, I'm looking to see if anyone can tell me what the strange report
in the seagate diagnostic software about the file structure "not passing the
test" mean. The drives work fine other than the above, so this message must
be misleading in some way.

Any ideas about any of this?

Jeff
 
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R

Rod Speed

Jeff said:
...trying to figure out what might be causing some minor problems
with a fairly new build.
I have a Gigabyte M59SLI-S5 motherboard, AMD FX-62 processor, 10K WD
Raptor for the OS, and 750 Gig Seagate for storage. ...currently
running Vista RC1.
All works well other than 3 problems. I don't know if they are
related, but I suspect that they are. They might be related to the
motherboard's bios.
1) When the machine is idle for several hours it often locks up.
Sometimes it completely crashes and displays the blue screen. Most of
the time when this occurs, the thing reports something about the bios
not being fully acpi compliant.

2) On occasion, the 750 gig seagate drive isn't found by the system.
It stays missing even after reboot. If I unplug the drive, reboot,
and plug it back in, it is again detected. I'm fairly certain that
the non-detection is occurring both in the bios and the OS, although
sometimes I'm not paying attention to the messages about drive
detection that flash by quickly when the bios is loading.

3) Sometimes that machine hangs at boot, reporting that it can't find
a boot drive, or it takes a considerable time to load windows during
which time the loading graphic (whatever the thing is called that
shows that something is happening) freezes a number of times.

The MB came with version 3 of the bios (dated 6/2006). I've already
flashed it to version 5 (9/2006) shortly after I built the machine.
Gigabyte is already up to version 7 dated last month. That version
states that it fixes an issue where the gigabyte sata2 controller is
sometimes lost. ...but the MB apparently has two sata controllers -
one Gigabyte (for 2 drives) and one NVidia (for 4 drives) (I think
that I have that right). Both drives are attached to the NVidia
controller, which isn't mentioned in the updated bios on gigabyte's
web site.
I've checked both drives with Seagate's "seatools" diagnostic
software. I'm not sure how to interpret this: this software says that
it finds an "unknown controller" and lists both drives as "bios
drives" showing each partition separately. It also shows the drives a
second time as "Other Seagate Drives" and "Other drives" For the
latter two entries, it shows only the drive itself but not the
partitions. All of the diagnostics appear okay other than when I
check the file stucture under the entries for the "bios drives" -
that returns unknown errors for all partitions on both drives (4
partitions on the 1 and 2 on the other). Perhaps this is related to
the pre-release version of vista, perhaps to something about the
motherboard's controller or bios.
I'm wondering whether the locking and crashing might be due to
something in the bios related to power-management as that is what
acpi has to do with. I've just changed the OS to stop putting the
machine into sleep mode and to leave it running to see if that solves
that part of the problem.
I don't know what to make out of the Seagate diagnostic info.
...perhaps also related to something about the bios and some type of
incompatibility with how the bios handles the sata controller.

I'll likely try to flash to the newest bios version tonight, but it
does mention only the Gigabyte sata controller and my drives are
attached to the other one.

...mostly, I'm looking to see if anyone can tell me what the strange
report in the seagate diagnostic software about the file structure
"not passing the test" mean. The drives work fine other than the
above, so this message must be misleading in some way.

Any ideas about any of this?

Looks like the usual gigabyte problem, they release stuff
too early and then attempt to fix that with bios updates.

That doesnt always work and you often see later revisions of the
motherboard which have become necessary to make it work properly.

Which is why I avoid gigabyte motherboards.
 
J

Jeff

Looks like the usual gigabyte problem, they release stuff
too early and then attempt to fix that with bios updates.

That doesnt always work and you often see later revisions of the
motherboard which have become necessary to make it work properly.

Which is why I avoid gigabyte motherboards.

Unless someone has had some different experiences, I may have to agree with
you. This was my first full build so I've never purchased an actual
motherboard before (but one since then and I'm about to purchase a 3rd).
I've flashed a few bioses before, but don't ever recall seeing 7 different
bios releases within that short amount of time (of course I've never looked
before). ... this is the first time that I've heard that this is typical for
Gigabyte (but I've never asked before). ...don't look like a good practice
to me. I just flashed the thing about a month ago and now I'm already 2
versions behind.

At this point I think that I might go with MSI for the next motherboard
(probably by the end of Feb).

Does MSI or anyone else do anything like this? ...don't want to start
another motherboard feud, but I think that I may wish to stear clear from
those that have this many bios updates with such a short period that are all
fixing things that appear to be basic functionality.

Jeff
 
R

Rod Speed

Jeff said:
Unless someone has had some different experiences, I may have to
agree with you. This was my first full build so I've never purchased
an actual motherboard before (but one since then and I'm about to
purchase a 3rd). I've flashed a few bioses before, but don't ever
recall seeing 7 different bios releases within that short amount of
time (of course I've never looked before). ... this is the first time
that I've heard that this is typical for Gigabyte (but I've never
asked before). ...don't look like a good practice to me. I just
flashed the thing about a month ago and now I'm already 2 versions
behind.
At this point I think that I might go with MSI for the next
motherboard (probably by the end of Feb).

Does MSI or anyone else do anything like this? ...don't want to start
another motherboard feud, but I think that I may wish to stear clear
from those that have this many bios updates with such a short period
that are all fixing things that appear to be basic functionality.

I use Asus myself and while I would prefer that they didnt need any
bios updates ever, thats very rarely seen with any manufacturer
except those that dont bother to fix problems when they show up.

While its a nuisance to have to flash a later bios if the motherboard
doesnt perform properly, you dont see too many example with
Asus of them having to revise the motherboard itself to get it to work.

Its obviously a lot more of a hassle to have to return the motherboard
and get it replaced by a later revision, if they will even do that.
 
J

Jeff

Rod Speed said:
I use Asus myself and while I would prefer that they didnt need any
bios updates ever, thats very rarely seen with any manufacturer
except those that dont bother to fix problems when they show up.

While its a nuisance to have to flash a later bios if the motherboard
doesnt perform properly, you dont see too many example with
Asus of them having to revise the motherboard itself to get it to work.

Its obviously a lot more of a hassle to have to return the motherboard
and get it replaced by a later revision, if they will even do that.

Your point is good. In looking over the Gigabyte page (and below was a
copy/paste so it was them who misspelled their own name). There were
actually 6 updates (2 through 7) and a few look like they are not functional
issues (e.g., update the dual bios logo). A few other look more like fixes
to substantial problems, however.


F7 2007/01/02 Fix GIGABTE SATA2 controller ROM sometimes lost
F6 2006/12/20 Update CPU ID
F5 2006/09/20 Improve DDR2 compatibility
F4 2006/07/18 Improve CPU fan regulation method
F3 2006/06/19 Added DualBIOS Logo
F3 2006/06/19 For MP release
F2 2006/06/13 Update Audio controller SSID
 
K

kbatyuk

here is the deal, scew Gigabyte and use Asus or MSI. Gigabyte
deffinately known for their crap with bios and as someone mentioned
already in order to fix their original mistakes they revise bios every
other day)) If you really wans some stability ASUS is the way to go. I
myself had used Asus for a very long time and never had any major
problems. Anyways there can be one more thing that you possible did
not set up right, check and see how is your raid set up, i had couple
people who screwd up in the raid confis and this was their problem of
loosing one HD all the time.
 
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J

Jeff

here is the deal, scew Gigabyte and use Asus or MSI. Gigabyte
deffinately known for their crap with bios and as someone mentioned
already in order to fix their original mistakes they revise bios every
other day)) If you really wans some stability ASUS is the way to go. I
myself had used Asus for a very long time and never had any major
problems. Anyways there can be one more thing that you possible did
not set up right, check and see how is your raid set up, i had couple
people who screwd up in the raid confis and this was their problem of
loosing one HD all the time.


....don't have raid on this machine. ...was planning on putting in raid 0 for
the OS at the same time I installed the full-release version of vista, but
at the moment I'm just running a single WD raptor for the OS and the 750 gig
seagate sata for video storage.

....had essentially no real problems with the server I just built on a tyan
board. The more I'm reading, I may look at another tyan for this next
machine that I'm about to build. It is a few bucks more expensive, but
handles ECC memory and I don't need the dual PCIe video slots on many of the
boards that are oriented toward gamers (the tyan comes with only a single
PCIe16).


Jeff
 
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R

Rod Speed

Your point is good. In looking over the Gigabyte page (and below was a copy/paste so it was them
who misspelled their own name).

Yeah, that sort of thing is a real worry.
There were actually 6 updates (2 through 7) and a few look like they are not functional issues
(e.g., update the dual bios logo).

Dunno, few updates ever document everything that changed.
A few other look more like fixes to substantial problems, however.
F7 2007/01/02 Fix GIGABTE SATA2 controller ROM sometimes lost
F6 2006/12/20 Update CPU ID
F5 2006/09/20 Improve DDR2 compatibility
F4 2006/07/18 Improve CPU fan regulation method
F3 2006/06/19 Added DualBIOS Logo
F3 2006/06/19 For MP release
F2 2006/06/13 Update Audio controller SSID

And it will be interesting to see how many motherboard revs they end up with too.
 

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