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View Full Version : WARNING - Dual Bios & GIGAraid ITE Problems 8KNXP


Mark Taylor
July 21st 03, 03:24 AM
Hello to all

Thought I might share my very unpleasant experience with thso looking at this board as it might help you to avoid the many long hours of frustration I had with this mobo. My main reasons for buying this board was to use the onboard ITE IDE RAID and the dual bios function. Both do not work properly so I will probably scrap thsi baord and buy something else, possibly the Aopen A4C Max.

I have just spent a week setting up this board with an existing Promise RAID 0+1 from my old system onto this board. Lets say along the way trying to get the system to work I managed to screw up the first board and I am now onto the second board. This was mainly to try and get the blue screen stop errors on the ntfs.sys to stop occurring. The onboard ITE IDE RAID controller in my opinion is a dud. I mainly bought this board as I had 4 WD 80GB 8MB 7200 drives for my previous RAID which are IDE and wanted to keep using them. This was one of the few boards that had a RAID 0+1 IDE controller. I now regret buying this board and I am seriously thinking of changing to something else. I am now using it with my original Promise PCI Fasttrak TX2 RAID controller with version 33 bios and 34 driver under Windows XP Pro which so far is quite stable. I have many years experience with PC's and must say I think this board needs some serious BIOS work and driver upgrades if it is going to be useful. The Dual Bios managed to fail, again one of the main reasons for buying this board. The old version had a jumper on the board so you could force it to use the backup BIOS but this one uses software after the pre-BIOS boot. The BIOS EPROM's are also surface mounted so cannot be removed for easy reflashing via an external provider so the board became unbootable after I flashed to version f6e which was mentioned here and thought might fix some of the instability problems. The BIOS failed at the prepost so I could not get into the BIOS to use the software to boot from the good backup or take the chips out and swap them so basically the board was screwed. Whoever thought that idea up certainly did not take all the possibilites into account. I noticed the Aopen A4C Max has two socketed BIOS chips with a jumper on the board to force the system to boot from the backup.

Regards
Mark

Ken
July 21st 03, 07:04 AM
Ive used the backup bios feature. Have had no prob booting off either main or backup bios. Main bios is f5 backup bios is f6e.I used in bios flashing utility to flash main bios to f6e. Ive got 2x seagate 160 gig sata drives in raid 0. Been great here. Havnt tried ide raid. Stable board here.

Ken

Ken


"Mark Taylor" > wrote in message ...
Hello to all

Thought I might share my very unpleasant experience with thso looking at this board as it might help you to avoid the many long hours of frustration I had with this mobo. My main reasons for buying this board was to use the onboard ITE IDE RAID and the dual bios function. Both do not work properly so I will probably scrap thsi baord and buy something else, possibly the Aopen A4C Max.

I have just spent a week setting up this board with an existing Promise RAID 0+1 from my old system onto this board. Lets say along the way trying to get the system to work I managed to screw up the first board and I am now onto the second board. This was mainly to try and get the blue screen stop errors on the ntfs.sys to stop occurring. The onboard ITE IDE RAID controller in my opinion is a dud. I mainly bought this board as I had 4 WD 80GB 8MB 7200 drives for my previous RAID which are IDE and wanted to keep using them. This was one of the few boards that had a RAID 0+1 IDE controller. I now regret buying this board and I am seriously thinking of changing to something else. I am now using it with my original Promise PCI Fasttrak TX2 RAID controller with version 33 bios and 34 driver under Windows XP Pro which so far is quite stable. I have many years experience with PC's and must say I think this board needs some serious BIOS work and driver upgrades if it is going to be useful. The Dual Bios managed to fail, again one of the main reasons for buying this board. The old version had a jumper on the board so you could force it to use the backup BIOS but this one uses software after the pre-BIOS boot. The BIOS EPROM's are also surface mounted so cannot be removed for easy reflashing via an external provider so the board became unbootable after I flashed to version f6e which was mentioned here and thought might fix some of the instability problems. The BIOS failed at the prepost so I could not get into the BIOS to use the software to boot from the good backup or take the chips out and swap them so basically the board was screwed. Whoever thought that idea up certainly did not take all the possibilites into account. I noticed the Aopen A4C Max has two socketed BIOS chips with a jumper on the board to force the system to boot from the backup.

Regards
Mark

Muttley
July 21st 03, 04:38 PM
Hi Mark,

I may be wrong, but........

Am I right in guessing that you transferred an existing array from a Promise
RAID controller to the ITE RAID controller on this new motherboard?

Did you wipe the drives and re-create a NEW array from scratch? - AFAIK,
There's no guarantee that an existing array will still work after moving it
to a different controller chipset. I have also heard that in some cases,
even a simple upgrade of a RAID controller's BIOS can sometimes render any
existing arrays unusable.
Did you do a clean install of Windows XP? - Again, usually a very good idea
when changing the motherboard, especially when changing hard drive
controllers. An existing install of XP will usually refuse to boot if the
hard drive controller setup has been changed.
Another thing, even on motherboards that use an onboard Promise RAID
controller, the driver for the onboard Promise RAID is different to the one
used for a PCI card Promise RAID controller. The PCI card RAID driver will
not work for the onboard RAID chip, and vice-versa.

I'm guessing that if you re-created the array from scratch and did a clean
re-install of Windows using the ITE RAID drivers, that you probably wouldn't
have had any problems.

My apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree with the above.....

Regarding the Dual-Bios problem, I myself have been wondering about the
effectiveness of the Gigabyte software based Dual-BIOS function.
How is the Bios software going to determine that it is corrupt, if the Bios
itself is so totally screwed up that the board can't boot at all.
The Dual-Bios routines must be part of the Boot-Block BIOS that is normally
not overwritten during a flash upgrade. I'm guessing that your upgrade flash
must have somehow overwritten and corrupted the Boot-block portion of the
Bios as well.
I would have thought that a non-flashable fail-safe copy of the original
shipping BIOS that is selected by a jumper might be better.
That said, I have been exclusively using Dual-Bios Gigabyte boards for a few
years now and haven't had a problem with it.
On the few occasions that it has been needed, it has so far always managed
to load the backup BIOS and rescue the board.

John S.

"Mark Taylor" > wrote in message
...
Hello to all
Thought I might share my very unpleasant experience with thso looking at
this board as it might help you to avoid the many long hours of frustration
I had with this mobo. My main reasons for buying this board was to use the
onboard ITE IDE RAID and the dual bios function. Both do not work properly
so I will probably scrap thsi baord and buy something else, possibly the
Aopen A4C Max.
I have just spent a week setting up this board with an existing Promise RAID
0+1 from my old system onto this board. Lets say along the way trying to get
the system to work I managed to screw up the first board and I am now onto
the second board. This was mainly to try and get the blue screen stop errors
on the ntfs.sys to stop occurring. The onboard ITE IDE RAID controller in my
opinion is a dud. I mainly bought this board as I had 4 WD 80GB 8MB 7200
drives for my previous RAID which are IDE and wanted to keep using them.
This was one of the few boards that had a RAID 0+1 IDE controller. I now
regret buying this board and I am seriously thinking of changing to
something else. I am now using it with my original Promise PCI Fasttrak TX2
RAID controller with version 33 bios and 34 driver under Windows XP Pro
which so far is quite stable. I have many years experience with PC's and
must say I think this board needs some serious BIOS work and driver upgrades
if it is going to be useful. The Dual Bios managed to fail, again one of the
main reasons for buying this board. The old version had a jumper on the
board so you could force it to use the backup BIOS but this one uses
software after the pre-BIOS boot. The BIOS EPROM's are also surface mounted
so cannot be removed for easy reflashing via an external provider so the
board became unbootable after I flashed to version f6e which was mentioned
here and thought might fix some of the instability problems. The BIOS failed
at the prepost so I could not get into the BIOS to use the software to boot
from the good backup or take the chips out and swap them so basically the
board was screwed. Whoever thought that idea up certainly did not take all
the possibilites into account. I noticed the Aopen A4C Max has two socketed
BIOS chips with a jumper on the board to force the system to boot from the
backup.
Regards
Mark

Tim
July 22nd 03, 10:51 AM
If what Muttley says is at least in part correct - that you have replaced
the m/b on an existing Windows XP system, at the very least you should run a
repair so that XP setup will run throught the motions of re-detecting and
configuring all h.w. Then install all drivers + updated drivers from the CD
that came with the m/b, then - regardless - put XP SP 1 in (if you already
had it in) just to be safe.

Then recreate your raid array. I have read on one hand that raid configs are
'ubiquitous', interchangeable, bla bla bla. On the other hand I have read
repeatedly 'this bios upgrade may break your raid configuration'. Don't
believe either until 2010.

Best option. fdisk the lot and start again - if you can.

To run a repair for XP, insert the CD, run setup and follow the
instructions - you don't want to go into the recovery console, it is the
other option.

Tim.



"Muttley" > wrote in message
...
> Hi Mark,
>
> I may be wrong, but........
>
> Am I right in guessing that you transferred an existing array from a
Promise
> RAID controller to the ITE RAID controller on this new motherboard?
>
> Did you wipe the drives and re-create a NEW array from scratch? - AFAIK,
> There's no guarantee that an existing array will still work after moving
it
> to a different controller chipset. I have also heard that in some cases,
> even a simple upgrade of a RAID controller's BIOS can sometimes render any
> existing arrays unusable.
> Did you do a clean install of Windows XP? - Again, usually a very good
idea
> when changing the motherboard, especially when changing hard drive
> controllers. An existing install of XP will usually refuse to boot if the
> hard drive controller setup has been changed.
> Another thing, even on motherboards that use an onboard Promise RAID
> controller, the driver for the onboard Promise RAID is different to the
one
> used for a PCI card Promise RAID controller. The PCI card RAID driver will
> not work for the onboard RAID chip, and vice-versa.
>
> I'm guessing that if you re-created the array from scratch and did a clean
> re-install of Windows using the ITE RAID drivers, that you probably
wouldn't
> have had any problems.
>
> My apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree with the above.....
>
> Regarding the Dual-Bios problem, I myself have been wondering about the
> effectiveness of the Gigabyte software based Dual-BIOS function.
> How is the Bios software going to determine that it is corrupt, if the
Bios
> itself is so totally screwed up that the board can't boot at all.
> The Dual-Bios routines must be part of the Boot-Block BIOS that is
normally
> not overwritten during a flash upgrade. I'm guessing that your upgrade
flash
> must have somehow overwritten and corrupted the Boot-block portion of the
> Bios as well.
> I would have thought that a non-flashable fail-safe copy of the original
> shipping BIOS that is selected by a jumper might be better.
> That said, I have been exclusively using Dual-Bios Gigabyte boards for a
few
> years now and haven't had a problem with it.
> On the few occasions that it has been needed, it has so far always managed
> to load the backup BIOS and rescue the board.
>
> John S.
>
> "Mark Taylor" > wrote in message
> ...
> Hello to all
> Thought I might share my very unpleasant experience with thso looking at
> this board as it might help you to avoid the many long hours of
frustration
> I had with this mobo. My main reasons for buying this board was to use the
> onboard ITE IDE RAID and the dual bios function. Both do not work properly
> so I will probably scrap thsi baord and buy something else, possibly the
> Aopen A4C Max.
> I have just spent a week setting up this board with an existing Promise
RAID
> 0+1 from my old system onto this board. Lets say along the way trying to
get
> the system to work I managed to screw up the first board and I am now onto
> the second board. This was mainly to try and get the blue screen stop
errors
> on the ntfs.sys to stop occurring. The onboard ITE IDE RAID controller in
my
> opinion is a dud. I mainly bought this board as I had 4 WD 80GB 8MB 7200
> drives for my previous RAID which are IDE and wanted to keep using them.
> This was one of the few boards that had a RAID 0+1 IDE controller. I now
> regret buying this board and I am seriously thinking of changing to
> something else. I am now using it with my original Promise PCI Fasttrak
TX2
> RAID controller with version 33 bios and 34 driver under Windows XP Pro
> which so far is quite stable. I have many years experience with PC's and
> must say I think this board needs some serious BIOS work and driver
upgrades
> if it is going to be useful. The Dual Bios managed to fail, again one of
the
> main reasons for buying this board. The old version had a jumper on the
> board so you could force it to use the backup BIOS but this one uses
> software after the pre-BIOS boot. The BIOS EPROM's are also surface
mounted
> so cannot be removed for easy reflashing via an external provider so the
> board became unbootable after I flashed to version f6e which was mentioned
> here and thought might fix some of the instability problems. The BIOS
failed
> at the prepost so I could not get into the BIOS to use the software to
boot
> from the good backup or take the chips out and swap them so basically the
> board was screwed. Whoever thought that idea up certainly did not take all
> the possibilites into account. I noticed the Aopen A4C Max has two
socketed
> BIOS chips with a jumper on the board to force the system to boot from the
> backup.
> Regards
> Mark
>
>

July 23rd 03, 05:54 AM
I totally agree with you guys. When I upgraded my motherboard from an
Asus P4B533-E to the Gigabyte GA-8KNXP, I had to recreate my RAID and
then reinstall WindowsXP. This new motherboard didn't even see my
Promise array, and said the hard drives were "raw" - meaning they
didn't have anything on them. Luckily I backed up my info prior to
the upgrade in hardware.

When you think about it, it actually makes sense. Why would a Promise
RAID work on a Silicon Image or Intel RAID controller? It's just like
DVD burners at present (DVD+RW or DVD-RW) - they both do the same job,
and do fall under a DVD standard of some kind, but they are not
compatible with each other (not 100% anyway). AFAIK, there is no RAID
standard in that respect (they are not interchangable with other
manufacturers). I wish there was a standard, like IDE, but you can
only pray that the new controller will see your existing RAID. I
wouldn't be surprised if a standard does appear over the next few
years, since RAID is becoming more prominent in homes now - not just
for businesses anymore.


>If what Muttley says is at least in part correct - that you have replaced
>the m/b on an existing Windows XP system, at the very least you should run a
>repair so that XP setup will run throught the motions of re-detecting and
>configuring all h.w. Then install all drivers + updated drivers from the CD
>that came with the m/b, then - regardless - put XP SP 1 in (if you already
>had it in) just to be safe.
>
>Then recreate your raid array. I have read on one hand that raid configs are
>'ubiquitous', interchangeable, bla bla bla. On the other hand I have read
>repeatedly 'this bios upgrade may break your raid configuration'. Don't
>believe either until 2010.
>
>Best option. fdisk the lot and start again - if you can.
>
>To run a repair for XP, insert the CD, run setup and follow the
>instructions - you don't want to go into the recovery console, it is the
>other option.
>
>Tim.
>
>
>
>"Muttley" > wrote in message
...
>> Hi Mark,
>>
>> I may be wrong, but........
>>
>> Am I right in guessing that you transferred an existing array from a
>Promise
>> RAID controller to the ITE RAID controller on this new motherboard?
>>
>> Did you wipe the drives and re-create a NEW array from scratch? - AFAIK,
>> There's no guarantee that an existing array will still work after moving
>it
>> to a different controller chipset. I have also heard that in some cases,
>> even a simple upgrade of a RAID controller's BIOS can sometimes render any
>> existing arrays unusable.
>> Did you do a clean install of Windows XP? - Again, usually a very good
>idea
>> when changing the motherboard, especially when changing hard drive
>> controllers. An existing install of XP will usually refuse to boot if the
>> hard drive controller setup has been changed.
>> Another thing, even on motherboards that use an onboard Promise RAID
>> controller, the driver for the onboard Promise RAID is different to the
>one
>> used for a PCI card Promise RAID controller. The PCI card RAID driver will
>> not work for the onboard RAID chip, and vice-versa.
>>
>> I'm guessing that if you re-created the array from scratch and did a clean
>> re-install of Windows using the ITE RAID drivers, that you probably
>wouldn't
>> have had any problems.
>>
>> My apologies if I'm barking up the wrong tree with the above.....
>>
>> Regarding the Dual-Bios problem, I myself have been wondering about the
>> effectiveness of the Gigabyte software based Dual-BIOS function.
>> How is the Bios software going to determine that it is corrupt, if the
>Bios
>> itself is so totally screwed up that the board can't boot at all.
>> The Dual-Bios routines must be part of the Boot-Block BIOS that is
>normally
>> not overwritten during a flash upgrade. I'm guessing that your upgrade
>flash
>> must have somehow overwritten and corrupted the Boot-block portion of the
>> Bios as well.
>> I would have thought that a non-flashable fail-safe copy of the original
>> shipping BIOS that is selected by a jumper might be better.
>> That said, I have been exclusively using Dual-Bios Gigabyte boards for a
>few
>> years now and haven't had a problem with it.
>> On the few occasions that it has been needed, it has so far always managed
>> to load the backup BIOS and rescue the board.
>>
>> John S.
>>
>> "Mark Taylor" > wrote in message
>> ...
>> Hello to all
>> Thought I might share my very unpleasant experience with thso looking at
>> this board as it might help you to avoid the many long hours of
>frustration
>> I had with this mobo. My main reasons for buying this board was to use the
>> onboard ITE IDE RAID and the dual bios function. Both do not work properly
>> so I will probably scrap thsi baord and buy something else, possibly the
>> Aopen A4C Max.
>> I have just spent a week setting up this board with an existing Promise
>RAID
>> 0+1 from my old system onto this board. Lets say along the way trying to
>get
>> the system to work I managed to screw up the first board and I am now onto
>> the second board. This was mainly to try and get the blue screen stop
>errors
>> on the ntfs.sys to stop occurring. The onboard ITE IDE RAID controller in
>my
>> opinion is a dud. I mainly bought this board as I had 4 WD 80GB 8MB 7200
>> drives for my previous RAID which are IDE and wanted to keep using them.
>> This was one of the few boards that had a RAID 0+1 IDE controller. I now
>> regret buying this board and I am seriously thinking of changing to
>> something else. I am now using it with my original Promise PCI Fasttrak
>TX2
>> RAID controller with version 33 bios and 34 driver under Windows XP Pro
>> which so far is quite stable. I have many years experience with PC's and
>> must say I think this board needs some serious BIOS work and driver
>upgrades
>> if it is going to be useful. The Dual Bios managed to fail, again one of
>the
>> main reasons for buying this board. The old version had a jumper on the
>> board so you could force it to use the backup BIOS but this one uses
>> software after the pre-BIOS boot. The BIOS EPROM's are also surface
>mounted
>> so cannot be removed for easy reflashing via an external provider so the
>> board became unbootable after I flashed to version f6e which was mentioned
>> here and thought might fix some of the instability problems. The BIOS
>failed
>> at the prepost so I could not get into the BIOS to use the software to
>boot
>> from the good backup or take the chips out and swap them so basically the
>> board was screwed. Whoever thought that idea up certainly did not take all
>> the possibilites into account. I noticed the Aopen A4C Max has two
>socketed
>> BIOS chips with a jumper on the board to force the system to boot from the
>> backup.
>> Regards
>> Mark
>>
>>
>