Kevin Vance - The new computer I built in January can be a bit.. quirky, to put it…

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06:04 pm

Friday, February 27th, 2009
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The new computer I built in January can be a bit.. quirky, to put it nicely. One quirk is that after rebooting, the power LED will blink as long as the computer is on, until the power is cut to the motherboard. That was supposed to be fixed in the BIOS, so I attempted to upgrade.

That's when I found out another quirk is that if you press the wrong button during BIOS bootup, it can select a broken, preloaded overclocking profile that creates keyboard/mouse lag for DOS and other programs that interact on a BIOS level. Another side effect of this is to make flashing the BIOS impossible.

There is a long thread about this on the motherboard manufacturer's forum, which eventually has you pull the BIOS battery for a while to reset whatever's gone wrong. I tried this earlier in the week with no luck. It booted up to the same lag and the same inability to flash the BIOS. I even tried booting a WinXP PE CD to run the windows flasher, but it just pegged the CPU until I killed it.

Today I tried again, this time disconnecting everything from the motherboard except the video card, a USB keyboard, and the USB stick with the BIOS flasher on it. I also made sure to erase all of the preset overclocking profiles. Success! No more keyboard lag (now I can use grub again!), no more power light flashing.

While this hasn't affected everyday use, it has made me more appreciative of the system I built last year using established technology rather than the bleeding edge stuff.
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[User Picture]From: wikle
2009-02-27 11:49 pm (UTC)
I put the blame for this squarely on DFI. My own motherboard experience with them has been strange as hell. Its just openly accepted on their forums that the release drivers are utter crap and the betas (any of the betas) are the only way you can actually make your computer function on a regular basis.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2009-02-27 11:54 pm (UTC)
My last board was a DFI too, and it was the best system building and using experience I've ever had. From what I've read though, DFI is usually late with their boards but they weren't this time. So I'm guessing it got very little QA. That on top of it being a new CPU and new chipset.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2009-02-27 11:57 pm (UTC)
I did not have to touch the BIOS on that older board btw. It's still running whatever it came with.
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