ASRock N68C-GS FX issues - Reboot/Poweroff freeze, No LAN
I was excited to start the new year with a system upgrade (yeah, I know to a previous generation hardware, but an upgrade from my last, nontheless), so I got an AMD 6100 FX CPU, 12 Gigs of RAM (thinking about the "2Gigs per core" rule) and a motherboard to support it (well, most of it). I ended up getting an ASRock N68C-GS FX (I did not know about the difference between the -GS and -S was the onboard graphics [GeForce 7025]), since it is based on the nForce chipset, and my previous hardware was nForce, I thought I'd go with it as the last one was so well supported.
Well, long story short, I hooked up all the components, I ended up adding a few extra ones (my old and trusty Audigy 2 ZS and my GeForce 9800GT, MUCH better than the on-board graphics! ), disapointingly found out the motherboard only supported 8 Gigs of RAM out of the 12 I got. At any rate, I primarily run Fedora, in the current version, 17, until 18 is officially released, and got hit by two apparently different issues...
First, no LAN. Linux does recognize and configures the LAN driver as forcedeth, as it is the known driver, but the network doesn't come up! I thought, well, no problem, I have a wireless USB dongle lying around somewhere, which does the trick at getting me on to the internet, at least (Linksys WUSB54GC, based on Ralink RT2070L).
Second, and the worst one: Trying to reboot or poweroff the system results in the system freezing and a kernel panic (WTF?), this bit obviously makes me think that the problem may lie somewhere within the ACPI/APIC code, which I intend to find out before I put this baby through its paces... I first have to find out what exactly is the kernel reporting when booting. But the problem is NOT local to Fedora 17, I've tried a few other disributions in LiveUSB (Fedora 18, Mint, Ubuntu, Slax, etc), all with the very same results, no matter stable/pre-release... Which makes me think that there might be a serious regression... Will have to test with a previous version, of course (like Fedora 14 or 15), and see if this is still the case there, in which case the problem might lie in a kernel regression (hopefully)
At any rate, I was wondering if anyone else has a motherboard of this model and had these issues with it... I should add that I have updated the BIOS to the latest available version in the ASRock website (1.40) to no avail.
Best return your board+cpu and get intel i3/i5+b75, btw. i would use 8 or 16 gb ram, then you have got 2 or 4 of the same not differnet modules, much simpler.
Run latest linus' kernel, complain to lkml with the panic backtrace, ???, profit.
I would go ECC unbuffered if you select AMD, because Intel does not provide this advantage. Also, ASRock is the dumbest manufactuerer here - no forums, officially no ECC support and no Linux support. Also, it looks like ACPI problem to me too, I suggest you contact the kernel mail list to help fix both problems so that Linux is usable on more (buggy) boards, so people do not resort to one manufacturer as Kano suggests and so that Linux gets larger marketshare and not shrinking one.
To my surprise this has got to do with the onboard LAN being enabled in the BIOS! It would seem as if the forcedeth module doesn't properly set some features/firmware on the NIC. The power management issues also go away when it is enabled, so the logical explanation is that this particulare model is not properly supported by the driver or there is a bug in the driver with this particular model. When I get the time I'll try to hunt down the issue so other nForce users would also benefit... I thoguht it might be damaged, in some way, however just for kicks I attached a drive with Windows XP on it and (after an endless cycle of installing ONE driver and rebooting), lo and behold, the NIC DOES work... So no hardware damage I'll file the necessary bug reports...
In the end I may end up buying another board (this particular setup was a gift based on some requests from me)... But since I'm space constrained (given my current case "box"), now to figure out which manufacturers offer a Pro/Deluxe MoBo version with a MiniATX form factor... That might be available down here in Mexico... I intend to keep this CPU and maybe use it for my home server...
It's unlikely that onboard nic works when it is DISABLED. What logic would be behind that?
Indeed, my bad. It does not. I meant that the ACPI issues go away when the on board NIC is disabled, not that it (the NIC) worked being disabled. Which leads me to believe that either the BIOS or Linux are doing something wrong to set the NICs interrupts or the like.
Originally Posted by Kano
New build freezing for 2 months
Yes, I have the fx 6100 and the n68c-gs fx as well in a custom build that I threw together almost 2 months ago. I have had the worst random freezing I have ever seen and I am absolutely dumbfounded with what is wrong. What I know with certainy is the following: it is not a RAM issue, it is not a HDD or SSD issue, it is not a PSU issue, it is not a GPU issue, it is not a jumper issue, it is not a bios update issue. I have been experimenting with swapping parts in and out and toying with every single bios setting for the last 2 months. No matter what I do, the computer still freezes randomly, it also makes some of my usb devices go on and off back and forth while letting others work properly. For instance, this morning I installed Windows 7 and updated it and used it for 3 hours before the freezing began, and I have rebooted about 30 times over the course of today and it freezes at the Windows loading screen. I have also tried booting straight from a Linux disc and it freezes as soon as I click something on the desktop screen. I am able to stay in the bios with no freezing, and I can run my super fdisk bootable partition manager disc just fine. The compatibility list for this mobo says it can use a fx 6100, but it seems to me that it can't. I don't know what to do. I've already gone $100 over budget on this PC build from misdiagnosing the problem. Let me know if you figure it out. It doesn't matter if I install XP, 7, or Linux Mint. They all freeze randomly. Sometimes it takes hours to freeze, sometimes it won't turn on for days. I was even able to install and play black ops II for an hour or so once before the freeze happened. I'm very confused. I don't know if I need to return the processor and/or motherboard or if I just need to replace one or the other; it doesn't make any sense. So, there are a total of 5 things the problem can be: 1) motherboard, 2) cpu (doubt it), 3) heatsink/fan (doubt it), 4) the case (doubt it), 5) bios settings (doubt it). I got the motherboard and the cpu and the headsink/fan all used from 3 different vendors online, so it is hard for me to narrow down which one is the problem. I have read that processors usually don't go bad and if they do then they don't even post at all which is why I doubt it is the cpu since I get the post always. The headsink/fan has one groove bent but seems fine. Is it possible that this motherboard actually does not support the fx 6100 even though asrock says it does?
Last edited by adrenaline; 03-13-2013 at 10:40 PM.
That chipset is really old, AMD 970 would be old as well but maybe you can get a new revision board with UEFI support. I don't see a reason to buy the cheapest crap and then wonder why it does not work. When you buy a board with a chipset from 2006 and a cpu from end of 2011 then this is maybe not the best possible combination - it is just cheap.