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Discussion Starter #1
I am building a new system with the following "target"configuration:

P4C800Deluxe
P4 3.00ghz 800FSB
2x512 Kingston PC3200 KVR400X64C3

36G WD Raptor SATA
200GB WD 8MB
40GB WD 2MB
Samsung dvd/cdr combo drive
Samsung SFD321B 1.44MB floppy

ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (non xxxx-30 version or later, it is a
xxxx-00)
SB Audigy2 PlatEx

First time around, I tried to install WinXP onto the unformatted Raptor Drive with the following components installed:

P4C800Deluxe
P4 3.00ghz 800FSB
2x512 Kingston PC3200 KVR400X64C3

36G WD Raptor SATA
Samsung dvd/cdr combo drive
Samsung SFD321B 1.44MB floppy

ATI Radeon 9500 Pro (non xxxx-30 version or later, it is a
xxxx-00)

However, after i press F6 to install a SCSI driver, when i insert the floppy when instructed,it says "txtsetup.oem not found"
I tried another floppy drive (Sony one) another floppy disk and I get the same problem.
If i dont press F6, installation either freezes at the "setup is starting windows" screen(sometimes turns red)
or it gives me an error that says setup cannot detect multiple drives message and prompts me to reboot.
BUT when i flash the bios with EZflash, it was successful in accessing the .ROM file on the floppy, thus the bios wasu pdated succesfully.
BUT when i try to boot from a bootable floppy it says to insert bootable media and does not boot from it.
Also when i remove the floppy from my board, the bios still detects a floppy.
The above information was given to an ASUS technician and he concluded that my board was bad thus i RMAed it through ASUS and they exchanged my old board for a new one.

HOWEVER, with the new board i seem to be having the exact same problems, cannot find txtsetup.oem
cannot boot from floppy
ALSO this time i was unsuccessful in using EZflash to flash the bios, it says .ROM file not found.......
(I have used 2 floppy cables and multiple disks and a third floppy drive at this point)

So i tried the following configuration:

P4C800Deluxe
P4 3.00ghz 800FSB
2x512 Kingston PC3200 KVR400X64C3

40GB WD 2MB (formatted and has data, no OS)
Samsung dvd/cdr combo drive
Samsung SFD321B 1.44MB floppy

ATI Radeon 9500 Pro

Since XP should have no probs recognizing the 40gb, I did not press F6, however installation would again freeze at "set up is starting windows" and the screen would turn red
(by the way i have tried multiple XP insstallatin Cds and they work fine on my old computer)

Next, I changed the vid card to my old GEforce2MX, and this time around XP installation actually got past the part where itusually freezes, so I decided to give the SATA another shot since i swapped video cards but that did not work.
So i decided to go back to the PATA 40GB that worked earlier, and install Xp on it,however it does not want to work anymore.
It again freezes at "setup is starting windows"and it sometimes turns red.

I called ASUS RMA dept and confirmed that they sent me a new board... I am out of ideas... is there some kind of compatibility problem that I am not aware of?? or a setting in bios that I am overlooking??
I've called ASUS techsupport several times as they havenot been much help...
Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated...thanks so much for reading .....
 

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Wow, you're right... problems galore! But it sounds like a lot of your system parts are working: at least you can boot from CD! Let me try to give you some ideas...

However, after i press F6 to install a SCSI driver, when i insert the floppy when instructed,it says "txtsetup.oem not found"
Well it's not saying "please hit F6", I know this is misleading. The "Press F6" is just a reminder IN CASE YOU HAVE SCSI devices, and need those drivers in order to put your OS onto a HDD that's attached to a SCSI bus. You don't mention any SCSI devices. So don't hit F6 there.

BUT when i flash the bios with EZflash, it was successful in accessing the .ROM file on the floppy, thus the bios was updated succesfully.
Yeeooww!! Already flashing BIOS before your machine is even working? Brave soul! I'm glad the update was successful. Are you sure you used the BIOS specifically for the "P4C800 Deluxe", not the P4C800-E Deluxe or the P4P800? They're not equivalent. After any BIOS update you should then go back in, set defaults, then re-add all your custom settings, otherwise new BIOS fields (meaning, didn't exist until that version) might be uninitialized, resulting in unpredictable operation.

BUT when i try to boot from a bootable floppy it says to insert bootable media and does not boot from it.
This can happen if the floppy was created on Windows 95. I know that a bootable floppy created on 98SE or XP, will boot the sister mobo, P4C800-E. But my Win95 floppy didn't.... it just got the booting into a loop.

Next, I changed the vid card to my old GEforce2MX, and this time around XP installation actually got past the part where itusually freezes
Some newer video cards have been problematic with this mobo until you get enough of Windows installed that you can start tweaking video BIOS etc. Older video cards with VGA cores seem to work fine.

Since XP should have no probs recognizing the 40gb, I did not press F6, however installation would again freeze at "set up is starting windows" and the screen would turn red...I decided to give the SATA another shot since i swapped video cards but that did not work. So i decided to go back to the PATA 40GB that worked earlier, and install Xp on it,however it does not want to work anymore. It again freezes at "setup is starting windows"and it sometimes turns red.
Several ideas here...

1. You might want to try running with only one stick of RAM, some have had success with this if the two sticks were not perfectly matched. I'm thinking this is about the point in setup when a whole lot of RAM would first start getting allocated.

2. Have you gone into the BIOS setup and turned off the RAID settings? They are in two places: Main- IDE Configuration, and also Advanced- Onboard Device Configuration- Operating Mode.

3. While in the BIOS find the Advanced- CPU Configuration- Hyper Threading Technology and turn it off.

4. The PATA should work unless the HDD has actually gone bad. The data partition you said is there might need to be deleted, I don't know-- XP Setup's partitioning features are nice to have, but pretty primitive.

5. I had hoped the SATA would work too, but I've not heard of anyone actually trying that yet, though I might just try it myself. One thing about this, the SATA drive would need appear as "1st drive" in the Boot- Hard Disk Drives section of BIOS setup, that's where your O/S will go. I would physically disconnect all drives except the one I want Windows Setup to find and install onto, and make sure BIOS only knows about that one HDD, both in Hard Disk Drives, and in Boot Device Priority. Note: that HDD screen is missing from the mobo manual, but it's in the actual BIOS.

6. You might consider also setting your PC up as a "Standard PC" instead of the default which is ACPI. This is what I did. To do this, first go into your BIOS and turn off all three of the ACPI settings: ACPI 2.0 Support (already off); ACPI APIC Support; and BIOS->AML ACPI Table. Then later, when you get to that "F6" prompt that you so love by now, hit F5 instead, then arrow-up until you see "Standard PC". Select that. See if it gets you any farther.

Hope some of this helps,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
F6 during install:
hmm.. so you're saying that when i want to install XP onto the SATA hd i dont need to press F6 to provide the driver either?


As for flashing the bios....
yup! it was specifically for the P4c800 deluxe, however, that was the old mobo that i RMAed, the one im working with now is not updated. (floppy problem.... says .ROM file not found)

the disk i tried to boot from:
I actually used the western digital data lifeguard tools disk that came with the 200GB hD, i wanted to use it to see if it can format the SATA.. and then try to install XP.. because that was the same disk i used to partition and format my 200GB (although this was done on my old comp)


Eventually i would really like to install my OS's onto the SATA,
but since I have no idea why my floppy drive seems to be not cooperating, i am hoping that if i successfully get XP to install on the 40gb PATA, the floppy will start to behave... then i can hopefully get the XP cd to recognize the drive somehow...

wow this is great advice..i'll try them all and let you know how it goes..
i called asus last friday and they said that their technicians are all busy and they'll call me back... havent heard back from them yet....

thanks a lot clintfan
 

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Experiment completed. Yes, XP Pro installs onto a SATA drive on an Asus P4C800-E mobo just fine. No problems at all, not even one! The fact the disk is SATA appears to be completely transparent to Windows. Which was a primary goal of the SATA technology, anyway: newer, faster, yet compatible.

Here's what I did.

I have 4 HDD's in my machine: 1x PATA and 3x SATA. Two of the SATA's aren't really being used for much yet. So I disconnected all my HDD's, then re-plugged my H: drive (SATA) to the "SATA1" port (not the "SATA RAID1", mind you). So this port had the only HDD in the machine. I think that's important, as there's no gueswork when XP Setup comes around to figure out what HDD choices you can install onto.

Then I went into BIOS.... but didn't need to make ANY changes [in this direction, i.e. going from 4 HDD's to 1]. Evidently when there's only one HDD, the "Hard Disk Drives" link doesn't appear, and the SATA drive becomes the only HDD choice in all the other menus. So I just ESC'aped out, and booted from the XP Setup CD.

Since my BIOS was already set for non-ACPI, I did hit F5 when the F6 prompt appeared. Note I figured out there's a timeout here... if you don't hit F5 within about 2 seconds, Setup moves on ahead anyway. I selected "Standard PC" as before, then continued. Next it did "Setup is loading files (file name xxxx) for a while, then it said "Starting Windows", as you have seen.

Now here's where it was different from me than you: a few seconds later a screen appeared, "Welcome to Setup". After that, you get into partition formatting dialog and the remainder of the installation. I went on with the full installation and completed the whole thing. It took about an hour, including several breaks to work with the kids. After that I booted XP and poked around for a few things I wished I'd written down when I did my first install 2 weeks ago.


So that answers the question about installing the O/S on SATA. Yes,you can with the P4C800-E Deluxe. The untested corollary to that is that it should also work with your P4C800 Deluxe, since except for LAN and ICH5R, they are architecturally equivalent.


For the backend of this test, I replugged my HDD's again, and went back into BIOS. This time I had to go back into the Hard Disk Drives configuration and take out all the disks except the PATA: evidently the BIOS automatically adds new drives it finds, if they weren't in the config before. I made a slight Boot Device Priority adjustment to delete the SCSI card as a boot device, and that was all I had to do. I'm typing this reply on the PC as we speak, so obviously it came back fine.

I'm leaving the H: drive I just installed tonight, disconnected for now, until I decide I'm done poking around on it.

-clintfan
 

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F6 during install:
hmm.. so you're saying that when i want to install XP onto the SATA hd i dont need to press F6 to provide the driver either?
That's right. You don't need to provide any drivers at that stage. Together XP and the BIOS provide all the necessary software to install to the drive. After XP install, you would then put in the Asus CD and run the Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility as the very next thing you do, and after a reboot, XP would know absoultely everything there is to know today, about running that SATA port optimally.

As for flashing the bios.... yup! it was specifically for the P4c800 deluxe, however, that was the old mobo that i RMAed, the one im working with now is not updated.
Good, you got the right version. But it went back to the factory. Now, do it again...

(floppy problem.... says .ROM file not found)
For the P4C800 series, you want to be using the AFUDOS utility, not the AFLASH.EXE. This is very important. The instructions which Asus links off the BIOS download page, are bogus in all ways except mentioning that you need to use AFUDOS.

A bit beyond the scope of this thread, but here you go, do please see my new thread for details,
Asus P4P800/P4C800 Series: How to Update BIOS .

(18Sep2003- replaced old text block above with link to new post -clintfan)

the disk i tried to boot from:
I actually used the western digital data lifeguard tools disk that came with the 200GB hD, i wanted to use it to see if it can format the SATA.. and then try to install XP.. because that was the same disk i used to partition and format my 200GB (although this was done on my old comp)
You do not need to format your SATA, or whatever HDD you choose for your O/S, using any funny utilities. If you boot XP Setup from CD, after the "Welcome to Setup" the very next thing it will do is give you some commands to partition the drive and format it as NTFS or whatever. It's all built into the Setup. "D" to delete whatever partition is there, "L" to confirm that, then... it's GONE. Then "C" to create a new partition and give it a size, I use 20480 MB which is 20GB, but with only 36GB to play with, you could probably justdefault it to use the whole thing.

I don't know what those WD tools do, but almost nobody needs to do a low-level format of a HDD anymore, for 200GB it would take all day anyway. All the formatting you need is of the high-level variety and is done by Setup. Later you can go get PartitionMagic 8 and use that to do any additional formatting you need to, on the rest of the SATA or on your other drives. It will all be high-level formatting.

Eventually i would really like to install my OS's onto the SATA, but since I have no idea why my floppy drive seems to be not cooperating, i am hoping that if i successfully get XP to install on the 40gb PATA, the floppy will start to behave... then i can hopefully get the XP cd to recognize the drive somehow...
As my test showed, "eventually" seems to be NOW. As my last reply mentioned, I recommend you pull out the data cables to all your non-SATA HDD's, and plug your SATA onto the "SATA1" connector, it'll be the second one down from the memory DIMM's. After O/S is installed, and the Chipset Utility is applied, you can hook the other drives back up.

wow this is great advice..i'll try them all and let you know how it goes..
I would really like to hear about that. I'm new here but I'm trying to give everybody the same level of service. I just get real wordy.

i called asus last friday and they said that their technicians are all busy and they'll call me back... havent heard back from them yet
Yeah yeah and the check is in the mail, wink wink.

Good luck,

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well, good to know it works...
but...
i tried everything you said and nothing worked...

i'm using one dimm, moved it around the sockets...
turned off Raid, disable hyperthreading.
didnt work.. gave me red screen at "setup is startingwindows"

then did the "standard PC"stuff.. same results..
sometimesi it freezes with a blue screen instead of a red tho..

its strange cuz when it freezes red, the power on/off buttonworks,
but when it freezes blue, the power o n/off button doesnt work,
so i'd have to unplug the power cord.....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
clintfan said:
So I disconnected all my HDD's, then re-plugged my H: drive (SATA) to the "SATA1" port (not the "SATA RAID1", mind you). So this port had the only HDD in the machine.
yup, this was what i did before i decided to just install on the PATA becuase i thought it would be less problematic.
however, when I do specify a driver which i shouldnt, it fails to find the files from the floppy, when i dont hit F6, it freezes at "setup is startingwindows".
Also i think the reason you did not need to specify any drivers is because all the components on your mobo already have the updated drivers...
when i called ASUS tech support they said i needed to supply a driver for the SATA to install XP.... does that sound about right to you?
 

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i think the reason you did not need to specify any drivers is because all the components on your mobo already have the updated drivers...
No, you misunderstand. Mobos don't have drivers on them, they're just chips. There is one little flash memory to contain BIOS code for the Promise chip, and a bigger flash memory to hold BIOS for the mobo itself, but there are no drivers there. "Drivers" are what get loaded into Windows, or in the old days, DOS. And you can't load drivers until after Windows has been fully installed, and you can get into the Control Panel- Hardware area.

Therefore Windows Setup is smart enough to build itself up in onion-skin fashion , and a lot of basic standards, established over the years, let it get a very, very long way just operating chips in generic ways. To quote the ICH5 datasheet Section 5.17, the chip that drives the SATA port in question...

"The ICH5 SATA controller interacts with an attached mass storage device through a register interface that is equivalent to that presented by a traditional IDE host adapter. The host software follows existing standards and conventions when accessing the register interface and follows standard command protocol conventions."

Translation: the SATA controller looks and acts just like a regular IDE/ATA controller.

In my test, it was like I took a fresh mobo and HDD out of their cardboard boxes, hooked 'em up, and installed. There was no prior state there, no drivers I had loaded such that they were already there. Only a few custom "settings" I had made in the BIOS Setup.



Have you tried a different video card yet? Video cards are causing a lot of trouble. People with the 9500 are having everything from horizontal lines running through the screen to screen size trouble to basic conflicts-- just try a Search for "9500". The "red screen" is a clue to me that video is the next thing to try changing. Can you borrow another card for a while? Myself, I found a 5-year-old PC and got a PCI video card from it that I used to help me in my bringup. I'm hanging onto it.

when i called ASUS tech support they said i needed to supply a driver for the SATA to install XP.... does that sound about right to you?
No they are wrong, that is not true. This is a good example of why I see people saying it is generally agreed that Asus' customer support is worst in the business. I'll bet they just have too many new products coming out and probably no new training to go with them. I'm sure it's not their fault they're not up to speed, I'm sure they would take training if it were offered to them. But they do represent the company in a customer-facing environment, so this stuff makes the company look bad. Yet people keep buying the products because they typically do work, which for those folks makes direct support unnecessary.

-clintfan
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ya..i've been working with a geforce2MX..
I've only got it to get past the "starting windows" screen once last week, and it prompted me to install.. this was RIGHT after i switched from the 9500 pro to the Geforce2Mx. (this was on PATA)

I did not install becuase iwanted to give SATA a shot, since
i thought i solved the problem with changing the vid card...

but.. the SATA did not work.. and when i switched back to PATA..
never worked again...


Might i have bad RAM??
 

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Bad RAM? No, I don't think so. You get this far. And you said you already tried first with one stick and then the other. It's a possibility I guess, but the system's still hardly doing anything at that point. SO I think the RAM is OK, and it's similar to mine, Kingston #KVR400X72C3A/512.

Check your SATA HDD strappings. The SATA should have "a jumper shunt in the Default position (across pins 1 and 2). It is not necessary to move the jumper shunt on the drive for workstation/ desktop use."

Now check the straps for your 40GB ATA drive, if it's gonna get an O/S it needs to be Master, and attached to the PRI IDE port at the end of the cable, cable no longer than 18 inches. Usually the straps are shown on a sticker diagram plastered to the top of the HDD can. Or give me the WD model# and I'll check it tomorrow.

Now go to bed, it's after 11 in CA and your mobo is going nowhere tonight!

-clintfan signing off
 

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Two ideas I had later...

That GeForce2 MX -based video card... is it AGP? Is that an AGP4X or AGP2X card? The Geforce2 MX chip supports both, but the mobo doesn't support 2X! So if the video board has a 2X/4X strap on it, make sure it's set to 4X.

Also, the AGP voltage: the mobo also doesn't support 3.3V AGP cards: the AGP4X has to run at 1.5V (doesn't say what happens when you try), but the chip overview doesn't say what voltages it can run at. Any clues about that board?

What about the amount memory on the video board? If it is 32MB, try reducing the BIOS setup Advanced- Advanced Chipset Settings- Graphics Aperture Size to 32 or maybe 16 and see if that gets you any further.

Is your memory in slots A1 and B1 of the mobo, or if running only one stick, in A1?

-clintfan
 

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the Geforce2/MX400 came with a dell dimension 8100,
and the specifications say the video type is either AGP4X or PCI,
so the card is AGP4X.
As for the voltage it runs at... I am not sure yet...

Right now i'm only using one stick of RAM in B1...
 

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Right now i'm only using one stick of RAM in B1...
Well I would move that RAM to A1, I think. Shouldn't matter. If you haven't tried in in A1 yet, try it there instead.

I checked the Asus DDR400 QVL (memory qualification) and your specific KVR400X64C3 memory wasn't tested, they tested the KVR400X64C3A. No great surprise. But again it should be close enough, except that you've got a 3.0-GHz CPU, which might need the extra speed rating of the -A. I really don't understand the nuances of RAM speed ratings, so not much help there.


the Geforce2/MX400 came with a dell dimension 8100,
and the specifications say the video type is either AGP4X or PCI,
so the card is AGP4X. As for the voltage it runs at... I am not sure yet...
I know I'm focusing on the video a lot here, but video problems will impact the entire PC experience. For instance the PC might be running OK and asking you a question, but if the video isn't working, you won't know this. You mentioned that swapping video cards did get you a bit further along, if only to hang again, so in my mind video has something to do with this.

For the Dell, I went probably to the same support website as you, not much there uner "Video". But under "Expansion bus" I dug up "AGP bus protocols 4x/2x modes at 1.5 V". The user guide says the slot is 2X or 4X, but the card is 4X.

So again, you need to be sure that if your video card has jumpers (which I hear was typical of 2X-era cards), it's set for 4X. If you can get it to 4X/1.5V it will be compatible with your mobo. Whether it works in the mobo, that is clearly not yet proven. Otherwise I hear the Matrox G550 works fine, though I haven't tried it myself, but the prices are down.


If it's a MX400 then the thing I said about graphics aperture size setting probably is no help, 64 is probably the matching number to have there. You could still try 32 to see what happens.

-clintfan
 

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ok so...

HDs:
Sata: jumper across pins 1, 2
40, 200GB PATA: i've been trying to install XP onto both, one at a time, so they are primary master in the bios,
jumper settings "single"(across pins4, 6)

updating bios:
I tried it with both AFUDOS, and EZflash, but neither works.
AFUDOS does not boot from the floppy and when i try to do EZflash, it says ROm file not found... (this is consistent with the problems i had before)

Vid card: there are no apparent jumpers (the card is 32MB, so in bios it is set to 16MB right now)... although I am going to see if i can find the G550

RAM: one stick on A1( ihave moved this around). Also going to compusa to see if they have the -A ones...


Thank you so much for all your suggestions....
 

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40, 200GB PATA: ...they are primary master in the bios,
jumper settings "single"(across pins4, 6)
Try it as a Dual Master (across pins 5,6) instead and make sure the cable is not backwards end-for-end. I don't trust the "single" or "cable-select" stuff, always gotta make sure what is what. On your cable, either it only has 2 connectors which are marked something like "drive" and "motherboard"; or the end with 2 connectors on it 6 inches apart, should be the end that goes to the drives, and the opposite end to the mobo PRI IDE.

mobo PRI IDE <--------------------------slave----master-> HDD

I tried it with both AFUDOS, and EZflash, but neither works. AFUDOS does not boot from the floppy and when i try to do EZflash, it says ROm file not found
You should not be using EZFlash at all with this mobo. Only AFUDOS.

I was not clear on how you are trying to use AFUDOS, but you cannot boot straight from it. You need to format a floppy with the "add system files" option that lets you boot to a DOS A: prompt. On this same floppy you place the AFUDOS.EXE file and the xxxxx.ROM BIOS update file. You boot the floppy to A: first, then you type the "afudos" command(s) I gave, at that A: prompt. That's how it works.

Vid card: there are no apparent jumpers (the card is 32MB, so in bios it is set to 16MB right now)
OK, 32MB, that's good to know. I'm not sure how to use that Aperture setting, but the way it's described it sounds like it indicates the maximum graphics memory, so 32 would be the highest you would probably want this. I'll bet it's detected automatically by the BIOS, but you're allowed to change it too.

I am going to see if i can find the G550
I really do think it's a video issue. I hope that's not a wild goose chase.

RAM: one stick on A1( ihave moved this around). Also going to compusa to see if they have the -A ones...
I really don't think it's the memory. Hate to send you to KnowledgeMicro for this matched pair, since they're not as smooth as Newegg, but Newegg doesn't seem to carry the -A. From Newegg you could try these single 2.5's which should be even faster, or these single HyperX's but I've not used either.

-clintfan
 

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I created an MSDOS bootdisk with XP, and copied AFUDOS.exe and the ROM file on to the floppy and tried to boot from that, did not work.

I could not find the G550 anywhere locally, so i tried a Geforce4 mX400, but it gave me the red screen and froze as well so i switched back to the geforce2.
I could not find the RAM anywhere locally either.

HOWEVER, I did have a breakthrough! kinda of..
when unplugged all the hds... the installation actually got past
the freezing spot and asked me if i want to repair or install..

but i dont seehow the hds could be causing the problem since i'm sure the cable is oriented correctly (BIOS are detecting them)
Are there IDE settings that I might need to change?
I should also try to boot from the floppy without the hard drives attached...
 

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I could not find the G550 anywhere locally, so i tried a Geforce4 mX400, but it gave me the red screen and froze as well so i switched back to the geforce2.
I could not find the RAM anywhere locally either.
No big surprises there, especially at CompUSA. I only go to stores to browse these days, but find myself buying everything over the web-- the stores have no selection or prices. But I digress...

I did confirm over at the Matrox forums, that three different users reported their G550 worked fine with their P4C800x mobo's (they were complaining that the newer P650/P750 don't, for which there is a fix). It's an older board, but seems solid with the mobo. If you're an extreme gamer (I'm not) you might not be happy with it. I wanted the P650 but it wasn't out yet. Later I settled on P750 only for the future possibility of running 3 heads on my Nascar game.

I created an MSDOS bootdisk with XP, and copied AFUDOS.exe and the ROM file on to the floppy and tried to boot from that, did not work.
Arrghhh! I really do not understand that. It should work fine, this is really basic stuff.

What happens if you just create the floppy-- forget AFUDOS etc.: can you boot from just the floppy that you made?
What is the process you are using to create these boot floppies? You should highlight the A: in My Computer, then
  • On Win98, 95 choose File- Format then (a)if the disk is pre-formatted, choose "Copy System Files Only", or (b)if unformatted, choose "Full" and checkbox the "Copy System Files".
  • On XP you choose File- Format or rightclick- Format then (a)if pre-formatted, choose "Qquick format" and "Copy system files" I think; or similar to 98 process if unformatted.
  • On Win2K and NT4 they made it almost impossible to create boot floppies, it seems you have to do back flips using the install CD. From DOS you are supposed to be able to do "FORMAT A: /S" but they made this not work in Win2K. So don't use 2K/NT.
You should be able to put the resulting floppy in your new box, power up, and after a minute or so, see "A:" on the display with a cursor.
If you cannot get this yet, you're not going to get far enough to use AFUDOS.

If you can, then just copy AFUDOS onto the same floppy. Then try it in the "/o" mode I described before. There should be no problem.
You did unzip AFUDOS first right? You're not, like, trying to execute the ZIP file under DOS (an honest mistake)?

HOWEVER, I did have a breakthrough! kinda of..
when unplugged all the hds... the installation actually got past
the freezing spot and asked me if i want to repair or install.. but i dont seehow the hds could be causing the problem since i'm sure the cable is oriented correctly (BIOS are detecting them)
Are there IDE settings that I might need to change?
That IS very interesting.

I should also try to boot from the floppy without the hard drives attached...
Yes, try it (see the formatting discussion above) and let me know the results.

-clintfan
 

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i created the boot disk in XP using right click->format-then I checked quick format and create MS-DOS startup disk.


i tried to boot from the floppy without the hds connected.. no luck..

i also tried connecting both the 200 and 40GB PATA as master and slave respectively on primary IDE.
windows installation gave me this error:
"Setup either detected multiple disks in your machine that are indistinguishable or detected raw disk(s).
Setup has corrected the problem but a reboot is required.
Set up cannot continue. Press any key to exit."


I've gotten thiserror message before. However when I reboot it still gives me the same error.

At this point do you still think it is the video card?( no more red screens just freezes)
 

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Oops, I misspoke about the EZFlash thing. That's what they called the built-in piece that does the auto-recovery, which I described last night.

I also gave you the wrong filename, for yours it should be P4C800.ROM. Sorry about that. All this stuff is in Section 4.1 of your mobo manual.

But it's not clear whether that autorecovery disk should be a boot floppy or a formatted floppy with just that file on it.

Try putting 1010 or 1011, renamed as P4C800.ROM, onto a non-boot floppy by itself, put the disk in, and hit ALT+F2 just after powerup (i.e. during POST). If that fails, try it again, but with a boot floppy instead, again using the corrected filename. If your BIOS is behind the boot problems, either one might be the trick that gets your BIOS updates working. (If it does begin updating, don't interrupt it! Let it run to completion then it will reboot automatically.)

If you are successful in updating the BIOS, you will need to go into the BIOS Setup, do Exit- Load Setup Defaults- then go back and apply the non-RAID, No-hyperhtreading, Boot Device Order customizations again.

If all fails, we need to concentrate on other things. Dang! I can't believe all this hassle! I had very little of this on my bringup, which is why I'm here.



i created the boot disk in XP using right click->format-then I checked quick format and create MS-DOS startup disk.
i tried to boot from the floppy without the hds connected.. no luck..
That is terrible! You used the right process! How about this... on the machine you created the boot disk on.... can you shut down that machine and boot it from that floppy you made on it?

If not, find another machine and try making a boot floppy there, make sure that machine can boot its own boot floppy, and if so, bring that floppy disk back to yours and try it.

If even that doesn't work, we'll just have to abandon this floppy-boot deal for now, and concentrate on the CD and HDD's. Unless you think the floppy drive is bad, which I doubt; they're pretty indestructible.


"Setup either detected multiple disks in your machine that are indistinguishable or detected raw disk(s). Setup has corrected the problem but a reboot is required. Set up cannot continue. Press any key to exit."
I've gotten thiserror message before. However when I reboot it still gives me the same error. At this point do you still think it is the video card?( no more red screens just freezes)
Well you might still have video problems, RAM problems, floppy problems, and.... wait, what else is there? But after you've taken care of the floppy questions above, for now I'd agree we should shift focus to those hard drives. (Do you feel like I do, that we're almost going in circles here?)

Next I would pull off all the HD's except the 40, which you said has only one partition. Attach that to PRI IDE, jumpered as Master like I said before. You must already be using a double-connector cable, so make sure the two-connector end is at the drive end. Or swap that cable with one of the other 80-conductor cables that came with your mobo kit.

Power-up and hit DELETE. Go into BIOS Setup.

On the Main screen, the 40GB drive model now should appear as the "Primary IDE Master" (I think you said it was there before). I assume your CD should appear as the Secondary IDE Master. There should be no other devices appearing in any Slave, Third, or Fourth IDE fields.

Now go out to the Boot screen and go into Boot Device Priority. it should list the CD, then the Floppy, then the hard disk you saw on the Main screen.

Now hit F10 and choose Yes to save. Another reboot will occur. Now, how far do you get in XP Setup?



(Btw, if this fails, the next thing I'll ask you to do is go into BIOS, visit the Exit screen, choose Load Setup Defaults, and start over with the custom settings.)

How much more of this can you take? Would you consider taking the beast to a respected small PC repair shop, for some customer-focused local help? They'd have stuff like extra floppy drives to swap in.

-clintfan
 
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