problems with Asus M3A78-EM
Here's the system:
Antec Mini P-180
A-Data 2G DDR2 800
FSP BlueStorm 400W
WD 80G IDE
All items new except PS (3 months old) and HD (6 months old). Just got the ASUS today.
Got everything connected but wouldn't boot into WinXP. The message, "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM". Booted the WinXP CD and tried repair. Didn't work, so I installed a new XP. Booted into Windows and ran the Asus CD. Left everything at default. Booted into Express Gate, checked it out and then booted into XP. Weird... no more XP. I got the same message about "file is missing or corrupt." The BIOS 'sees' the HD and the CD/DVD.
Booted from PartedMagic (a Linux live CD utility) but that didn't work. Got the message, "Failed to find the media! Your drive is not supported." Tried the live Knoppix CD and got a similar message, "Can't find KNOPPIX filesystem, sorry. Dropping you to a (very limited) shell." Odd that the WinXP install CD boots fine.
Three days ago I had a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H installed and experienced none of these problems; it booted to the existing XP on the HD before and after installing the drivers... and booted to a Linux live CD. I returned it because the NB (85c at idle) required too much active cooling for a quiet system.
Any idea why XP keep getting corrupted, or why won't it boot to a live Linux CD? Are these known issues that have workarounds?
Well with Nvidia gfx card you could try Ubuntu 8.10 alpha (in forcevesa mode) or you could try 8.04.1 this boots on more systems too.
Appreciate your reply, Kano, but I guess I don't understand the reference to the Nvidia gfx card... this MB has the onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 and uses the Catalyst driver.
This morning, on a whim, I tried a two week old CD of Lenny Beta2. It booted and I installed it on a spare partition. Once installed, I again had access to the HD and my other distros, which also work. I also downloaded the newest version of PartedMagic (v3) and it booted just fine, too. I think the Linux issue had to do with older software, and the newer OS's having the ability to read and work with the newer hardware. My thanks to you and the Debian devs for that!
It still leaves the issue with XP. I found a well know workaround for the 'missing or corrupted file' problem but not why the Asus drivers cause that to happen. Heh, I've got s'more googling to do.
What is your Sata set to in the bios? SATA/AHCI/RAID?
Main > SATA Configuration
OnChip SATA Channel - Enabled
OnChip SATA Type - SATA
SATA IDE Combined Mode - Enabled
Deanjo, with an IDE drive I didn't think I'd need the advanced features of AHCI; there's only one HD and its a desktop setup. Also, the above are the default settings. Since reading your question and looking around, I found a comment about XP needing the AHCI setting for it to function correctly. Is that the problem?
Another setting which may/may not have an impact on this:
Advanced Settings > PCI/PnP
Plug and Play O/S - Yes
Default was No but I changed it to Yes. The No setting lets the BIOS configure all the devices. Yes lets the OS configure the devices not required to boot the OS. I thought Yes would be a better choice for Linux and changed it after experiencing the problem with booting XP. Is Yes the best/appropriate setting for a dual boot?
No on a ATI chipset you definiately want to leave the the OnChip SATA Type set to SATA. AHCI on AMD chipsets is buggy as hell. As far as Plug and Play O/S I would recommend setting it back to no. Now since your harddrive sounds like a PATA drive, I would definately recommend checking that the jumpers on it are set for "Master" and not "cable select". There also have been a few BIOS updates for your machine anda couple of them address controller issues so check to make sure your running the latest.
Originally Posted by xenios
If all else fails I would also suggest trying to set SATA IDE Combined Mode - Disabled as combined mode has a history of causing drives to vanish in earlier kernel history.
And there is one more thing, try new cables. It does not take much for a cable to go bad.
Thanks for the info and support link, Deanjo. I reset the PnP back to 'No' as suggested and when I booted to the OS (Kubuntu 8.04), the screen had a 640x480 res. Fiddled with the OS and the buttons on the monitor (reset, etc) but nothing worked. Changed the PnP BIOS setting back to Yes and its working again with the correct resolution (1680x1050). Also tried the 'old' PartedMagic and Knoppix CDs with the Yes setting and they worked, too... guess I was wrong about needing newer software with newer hardware. Maybe the default setting (BIOS handles all devices) expects to see Vista and messes things up for any other OS? Whatever it is with this board, I found a few others who posted about the same XP/OS problem.
I think its reasonable to expect a new board to work with a simple setup like mine. I don't know how to troubleshoot a MB and have neither the time nor the inclination to do Asus' job for them. I'm returning this board tomorrow.
Which will leave me open for a new MB. Any thoughts on the following list? Aside from Gigabyte and Asus, they're the other mATXs with the onboard Radeon HD3200 graphics. I'm leaning toward one of the first two.
I'm inclined to go with Foxconn because they've got the coolest running NB of all these boards. Though they had a Linux issue with their BIOS, there's a posted workaround as well as an upgraded BIOS version. That said, I'm still open to any info/suggestions. Thanks.
BIOSTAR TForce TA780G M2+HP
Personally, would recommend against a ATI based board, but given from the choice of boards you listed I would have to say go with the foxconn. Biostar and Jetway don't have real great quality control, ASRock is Asus's budget brand, and MSI has a history of really cruddy BIOS's.
Originally Posted by xenios
@ godofinternet: appreciate the thought.
@ deanjo: thanks for the info about godofinternet's workaround.
As to the MB, I took it back to the place I bought it from; its local. As it turned out, the board had an I/O glitch. I decided to go with the Foxconn A7GM-S and it works great.
The only minor issue I have now isn't with the MB; heh, its with Adobe's flash for Linux. Full-screen HD or DVD videos work fine, but online, full-screen video doesn't play too well. In XP its like watching TV. My workaround is running XP in VirtualBox... I was surprised to find flash videos play much better in virtual XP than natively in Linux. Nope, not quite the same as native XP, but close enough to enjoy watching.
You returned your GA-MA78GM-S2H in vain, the 84C chipset temp is wrong/fake, it's no where close to that temperature in reality. Hell it's impossible to my knowledge to get it below 84C in the reading, I never managed and it reached whopping 127C maxxed out in my computer under 100% load whit no problem. Whit extra cooling etc I managed to keep the max temp in the 110s, but the noise wasn't worth it and as I knew the reading was fake anyway I just kept it whitout any special cooling(I didn't burn my fingers that badly on the cooler even when it supposedly was 127C+ >_>; (could keep it about 3secs and fingers where just hot and no irritation or problems afterwards. you would normally burn badly at something at 100C+ whit just touching it!)). had the computer running 5 months until the rev1.0 board got fried for another reason (not because off the "85C or 127C" chipset temp. my Phenom X4 9750 fried the mosfet on the board for some reason when I got hangs on the comp and decided to press the reboot button which gave instant fried burning mosfett anyone? It smells lovely to cause instant cancer! >_>; ). Fried another rev1.1 GA-MA78GM-S2H aswell about a month later in same way as the rev1.0.
Got then a GA-MA78GPM-DS2H rev1.0 as a replacement and this board reports that chipset temperature correctly actually! I have it at 46C right now in idle whit a fan somewhat blowing at it and it reached 70-75C under 100% load. It kept at 50-57C marks when I had no fan to blow on it I think in idle. It's not hot at all. Can if I want keep my hand on it all day... if anything you should be more worried about the mossfets on these motherboards than anything else.
Though there is a problem whit having 4Gb or more memory on this motherboard whit linux stuff. same problem existed whit the GA-MA78GM-S2H rev1.0 and 1.1. It just won't work as far as I can tell. (I've had no luck whit this)