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GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached

GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« on: November 20, 2011, 11:56:08 am »
Hello everyone,

I have just rebuilt our Linux HTPC around a GA-970A-D3.  For a few days everything seemed normally, apart from occasional random freezes which I put down to the FOSS nouveau graphics driver.  However I now cannot get past POST with any SATA storage attached.  BIOS level is F7.  CPU is a Sempron 140, though I get the same outcome with a FX-6100.

I have 3 SATA devices - OCZ SSD, Samsung 1TB conventional HDD and DVD drive.  Without these devices attached I can POST and get as far as an (unsuccessful of course) attempt to load O/S.  With storage attached the system gets stuck at the point of scanning storage devices.  The same thing happens regardless of whether the controller is in AHCI or Native IDE mode, though the on-screen messages vary of course.  In IDE mode the devices are identified correctly.  The furthest I have got is booting off a Fedora install DVD with just the DVD drive attached, but couldn't actually load the installer due to what looks like I/O errors.

I have tried clearing CMOS both by removing the battery and shorting the jumper pins.  On re-booting I get a CMOS checksum error, but after reloading the default profile I get stuck at the same point.  Interestingly, I now never get any speaker beeps on booting, and USB interfaces appear not to be working - at least if I try to re-update the BIOS from USB memory stick I get told "No drive found" whichever port I use.  Both of these were working normally when I set up the system last week.

Any ideas or suggestions anyone?  Or is the board hosed & I have to RMA it?

Thanks,
Andrew

absic

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Re: GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2011, 12:38:45 pm »
Hi there,

have you tried running the F6 BIOS to see if this helps?
You can flash back using the QFlash Utility and it maybe worth trying just to see if there is a problem with the F7 BIOS. If you do try this I would also recommend that you disable the "Keep DMI Data" on the QFlash homescreen prior to running the update.

Are you installing the OS onto the SSD?
Have you checked that the firmware is up to date on all of the SATA devices?

In the beginning would recommend attaching the SSD (assuming you are installing the OS onto this device) to SATA3_0 and the DVD/CD Drive to SATA3_4 do not attach the Samsung at this stage.
In BIOS under integrated Peripherals set OnChip SATA Type to AHCI
OnChip SATA Port 4/5 to IDE

Does this help with installing the OS?
« Last Edit: November 20, 2011, 12:44:45 pm by absic »
Remember, when all else fails a cup of tea and a good swear will often help! It won't solve the problem but it will make you feel better.

Re: GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 12:40:55 am »
Hello absic & thanks for the reply.

Are you saying it is possible to revert to the previous BIOS version within Q-Flash, other than by reinstalling it?  I don't see any option to do that in Q-Flash.  I would happily reinstall F6 BIOS, but always get "No drive found" when I try to.

It looks like USB ports are not working now.  However I have all the "USB" functions enabled in BIOS Integrated Peripherals, the USB drive is always inserted before POSTing, and it is the same USB drive as I used to install F7 so cannot be issue with filesystem type etc. (+ the USB drive works fine in other computers).  In fact my USB keyboards are not recognised either - I can only do anything at all because I still have a PS/2 type keyboard.  The motherboard doesn't have any FDD or PATA connectors, so there is no other way of loading the BIOS.

I am quite prepared to believe that both the SATA and USB issues are due to an issue with F7 BIOS.  However I can't see any way to get back to F6.

I don't want to install anything on the SSD.  The new M/b is because the old GA-MA78G-DS3H eventually failed.  Everything on it (and the Samsung, which holds user home directories) worked fine during the brief time the new M/b was working.  So long as it stays on the same architecture (x86_64 in my case) Linux doesn't mind fairly radical changes in hardware...unlike Windows!

Thanks,
Andrew

Dark Mantis

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Re: GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 08:15:48 am »
Hi

Unless you have updated your Backup BIOS that should still be running the earlier version of the BIOS anyway and so you can just use that to reflash the Main BIOS to boot with Follow these instructions and you should find it will work. It might take a few tries to get the timing right though.

You can kick in the backup BIOS by shutting down the PSU from the wall, then hold down your case power button in and then turn on the power supply button, a few seconds later the board will start, shut off the power supply then.   Then you can turn on the power supply again and power up the board normally and DualBIOS will kick in.

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Re: GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2011, 10:30:11 am »
Thanks Dark Mantis,

I tried the following procedure - I recall now seeing your method described before as a way to force a restore from backup BIOS.
  • Turn off power at wall & hold in case power switch to clear any residual voltages
  • Turn on wall power with case switch held "on" continuously
  • System powers up, then shuts down again automatically
  • Release case switch, then power on again normally
After that the system won't POST at all now - in that nothing appears on screen.  It seems unlikely the graphics card would also fail at that precise moment.  I have waited at least 5 mins after this before rebooting again, in case the system is doing a "blind" BIOS restore.  I tried a few minor variation e.g. powering off & on at wall before 2nd start up, powering off at wall while case switch held "on" but makes no difference.  Is there any vital detail in the procedure I have missed?

IIRC the BIOS was only updated once from F6 to F7 so the backup should still hold F6.  But in any case there should be something in the backup, and if not surely the main BIOS should remain on F7?

Confused..
Andrew

absic

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Re: GA-970A-D3 not POSTing with SATA storage attached
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2011, 10:50:58 am »
Hi Andrew,

I think the best way forward is to arrange to RMA the motherboard as, from what you are saying, it shouldn't be doing this.

When I suggested reflashing the BIOS I thought you were still able to get the system to BOOT but obviously, that wasn't the case. But for future reference, you can flash the BIOS with an earlier version if you find that the latest one is causing problems.
Remember, when all else fails a cup of tea and a good swear will often help! It won't solve the problem but it will make you feel better.

 

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