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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a P4C800-E with bios updated to 1010, I have been setting up a S-ATA Raid along with a S-ATA 1 drive for program and system files. I also have a Asus V9950 VG card. While loading programs my boot up screen went to a single line vertical so I cannot see the boot screens and cannot re-enter the bios set-up. I tried clear the CMOS and now it won't even boot from the floppy. It just hangs after the raid bios screen pops up. IS there any way to get back to full screen during boot up and to reset the bios. It will not even boot from the floppy drive??


I guess I am satrting over. This is one flaky Mobo.

regards
 

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It sounds like your rig is pretty messed up. What model video card are you using?

From what I have seen while wading through the BIOS screens, there is almost nothing for video. There is an AGP/PCI toggle and something for AGP graphics aperture size. Other than that, only an IRQ thing and a snooping thing; not much. So even if you blindly step your way through BIOS using the keyboard, sorry but it probably won't help.

From what I learned yesterday, the BIOS on this board will send something called VESA VBE signals to your video card, who will then try to display on your monitor. Your monitor may be incompatible with your video card, it may be unable to display this ancient format, or your monitor or video card may be dead. I've only seen this sort of vertical line thing when I tried to force-feed an incompatible monitor, like a Unix RGB monitor, onto a PC video port, but I can't describe the exact cause-- they simply don't mate. Can you borrow a dirrerent model of monitor for testing?

First, try swapping in a different video card. Maybe borrow a cheap PCI video card from a friend. FWIW I've been swapping an 8-year-old one into PCI slot 3 (after removing my AGP), and that worked fine. I didn't have to configure anything. Be sure to pull the power cord then wait 15 secs. before swapping any cards.

Also make sure the floppy you're trying to boot from is a boot floppy, i.e. was formatted with an Add system files option. You will need to set this up on a different PC that's running Windows or DOS. I created one from 98SE and it worked well enough on this mobo until I got XP up. In contrast, a Win95 boot floppy didn't work well at all.

Since you're having bootup trouble, before booting, try physically disconnecting your hard drive and CDROM data cables. Make sure your floppy data cable isn't backwards, this is apparently a common problem-- red stripe should go to pin 1 on both ends. Then try booting again. With only the floppy online, it should be able to find and boot it. On my P4C800-E, the Boot Device Priority initially defaults to something that didn't let my booting from floppy or CD work right. I think it was trying the HDD, and getting stuck there.

Did you make a backup copy of your BIOS yet, using the A:\AFUDOS /oFilename.rom method? AFUDOS comes from the Asus download site under the BIOS tab.

Did you know you have a "Crash Free BIOS 2" on this board (whatever that means)? The manual says if the BIOS actually thinks it has a bad checksum, it will automatically try to reload itself from floppy, or from the CD that came with the mobo. The BIOS will look for a file named "P4C800ED.ROM". Without a bad checksum, though, it won't would bother reloading. But manual sec. 4.1.3 suggests you can force it, by pressing Alt+F2 during POST with a sutiable floppy installed that has this filename on it. I've used AFUDOS, but haven't tried this recovery mode.

To prep for this auto-recovery mode, you would need to download the 1010 BIOS file, unzip it, then copy it to a floppy using that filename. I bet it needs to be a boot floppy too, though they don't say. I'd put AFUDOS on as well, for later use.

So maybe armed with a different video card, monitor, BIOS floppy, and some disconnected cables, you can get this puppy going. If not, you may need to "start over", as you said.

Hope this helps, let me know if anything worked...

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you might be my savior. Your suggestion about the Alt-F2 at least got my PC to boot from the floppy. Asus has posted yet another bios 1011 as of 2 days ago which I just flashed to the MOBO. I am still getting vertical lines but at least I have the floppy back. Maybe I can get my harddrives back on line now?

I already tried an older PCI VC but it did not chnage the stripes. I am pretty sure it is not the video card. I have also swapped ram around and that has not helped. I was pretty sure it was the bios but after trying three versions I am at a loss. The monitor is a LCD Viewsonic and it sees the tect just fine. I juts cannot get the BIOS screen to appear. I think I am getting the ASUS screensaver but blurred into these vertical lines?

What a mess.

Thanks for the help though.
 

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Believe it or not that little nudge did it. I have all my drives back on line.

I still cannot see the boot screens though and cannot enter the bios. This will be a big problem later but hopefully I can get that figured out.

Do you know anyway to enter the bios other than the delete key during boot up. I guess there is no way from inside Windows XP.
 

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Well, I'm really glad you got the thing to react. You made my day. Now you are partway there.

I still need to ask you what model video card you have. Reason is, I have the similar problem with my Matrox P750 card, check out my Video thread here. But Matrox gave a workaround for the Asus incompatibility, and for me at least it seems to have worked-- I can now use my BIOS Setup without swapping in an older video card first. But the patch is for the Matrox, only the new, advanced Matrox P650/P750 cards and the like. Also, it's being patched only from the Matrox side out of the goodness of their heart; Asus, as I understand it, has been unresponsive about their end of the problem, and this is to be expected I guess. I don't know how wide-ranging this problem is.

So I'm curious, let me know exactly what video card model you've got. Maybe your video card's manufacturer has a "mode 101" patch like Matrox has provided. Or, hate to say it, you could buy a P650 or P750 and put the patch on, that should work too. Plus I heard the G550 works fine already.

-clintfan
 

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Well the nightmare continues. The card I have is an Asus v9950. I did try an old PCI card which still had the same problems but that thread you sent sure sounds like my problem.

I have toatlly messed myself up though as during one of my tear downs yesterday I cleared CMOS resetting the system clock. Last night I updated my Windows clock and since I had not registered XP yet Windows now thinks it is 2 years later and locked me out. It just keeps re-booting . Is there any back door to the system clock or other way to get to BIOS from Dos?
 

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This "clearing CMOS" deal sounds like it's nothing but trouble, I guess I will probably never try that! :confused:

No you cannot access the regular BIOS screens from DOS --sounds like a great idea though, and if you could, everybody would use that instead.

But from DOS you do have access to "time" and "date" commands. I think these commands must be calling the BIOS to obtain and/or change the time and date. Each command will print the current time or date, then ask for the new value. If you hit return, no change will occur.

You need the "date" command. I am not sure of the input syntax for the change, but with a few tries you will get it right.

Hope this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well what a weekend I had. I was totally convinced that it was the video card and I am still not sure it isn't a contributor but after getting everything running with my oldest VGA card (Graphics Baster) it crashed again and "Blue Screened" every time I tried to reboot. I did get by boot screens back though and could enter the bios.

I finally decided to re-install my IDE drives on the primary EIDE connection and leave the raid on S-ATA 1& 2 taking them off the Promise RAID controller. I reloaded Win XP and so far it is totally stable. I think it might have been the S-ATA drive on S-ATA 1 vs the two other S-ATA drives on the Promise Raid Controller.

Now I am using the Intel Raid Controller and seems to be fine.

Just 48hrs and a lot of frustration.

Thanks for the advice, It was the Alt-F2 that pulled me out of the fire.

Best Regards
 
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