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K8-800T Weirdness

 
 
Roger Atkinson
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      12-07-2004, 04:17 AM
Hi All,

I just picked up an FIC K8-800T MB and put a new system together and
have a really strange problem. If I clear CMOS (BIOS) the system comes
up and I can get to the BIOS options. If I save or otherwise reboot, the
system will not come up. No video, no Beeps, nothing.

But if I clear CMOS again, it will come up and I can get to the BIOS
Options again, until I save or reboot.

Anyone?

Thanks, Roger A.
 
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ABoretz
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      12-07-2004, 07:39 PM
On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 20:17:06 -0800, Roger Atkinson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi All,
>
>I just picked up an FIC K8-800T MB and put a new system together and
>have a really strange problem. If I clear CMOS (BIOS) the system comes
>up and I can get to the BIOS options. If I save or otherwise reboot, the
>system will not come up. No video, no Beeps, nothing.
>
>But if I clear CMOS again, it will come up and I can get to the BIOS
>Options again, until I save or reboot.
>
>Anyone?


Google provided this Q&A link with, none other than, a.c.p.m.fic NG
contributor Alex Z chiming in on this MoBo...

http://www.comp-parts.org/FIC_K8-800...16-4574-a.html

....where he writes:

"If the computer still does not start, make sure that the "Clear CMOS"
jumper is set to the "Normal" position. Some manufacturers ship
motherboards with this jumper in the "Clear" position to preserve
battery life. I do not believe FIC does this, but it is easy enough
to check."

-Alex B. (the other 'Alex' here :-)
 
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ABoretz
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-07-2004, 08:04 PM
On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 20:17:06 -0800, Roger Atkinson
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Hi All,
>
>I just picked up an FIC K8-800T MB and put a new system together and
>have a really strange problem. If I clear CMOS (BIOS) the system comes
>up and I can get to the BIOS options. If I save or otherwise reboot, the
>system will not come up. No video, no Beeps, nothing.
>
>But if I clear CMOS again, it will come up and I can get to the BIOS
>Options again, until I save or reboot.
>
>Anyone?


Sorry Roger, my earlier response may not have been exactly on-topic.
But I believe this discussion...

"FIC K8-800T CMOS Problems"
http://forums.viaarena.com/messagevi...&enterthread=y

....more directly addresses your CMOS question.

I hope you find a solution!

-Alex B.
 
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Roger Atkinson
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-08-2004, 04:39 AM
ABoretz wrote:
> On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 20:17:06 -0800, Roger Atkinson
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>Hi All,
>>
>>I just picked up an FIC K8-800T MB and put a new system together and
>>have a really strange problem. If I clear CMOS (BIOS) the system comes
>>up and I can get to the BIOS options. If I save or otherwise reboot, the
>>system will not come up. No video, no Beeps, nothing.
>>
>>But if I clear CMOS again, it will come up and I can get to the BIOS
>>Options again, until I save or reboot.
>>
>>Anyone?

>
>
> Sorry Roger, my earlier response may not have been exactly on-topic.
> But I believe this discussion...
>
> "FIC K8-800T CMOS Problems"
> http://forums.viaarena.com/messagevi...&enterthread=y
>
> ...more directly addresses your CMOS question.
>
> I hope you find a solution!
>
> -Alex B.

Thanks Alex,

This looked like it was going to do the trick, but, as others found out,
the failed BIOS I have, is protected by something called Guardian. The
bottom line is unless I can dis-able the BIOS Guardian, I can't Flash
the chip. However, the only way I can get into the BIOS is to clear the
CMOS, start the machine, which immediately reports a checksum error in
BIOS and then it automatically loads the defaults. Once this is done,
the BIOS can not be flashed. No way to get a boot floppy loaded in order
to do the flash, without it failing. Here is a quote from there own docs:

" If the "Unknown Flash" error occurs, the BIOS "Guardian" feature
should be disabled. This feature is supported by the latest FIC
1stMainboards which have the NOVUS functionality. Older models do not
support NOVUS."

The "Unknown Flash" error is exactly what I get no matter what version
of Flash program / BIOS version I try to use. If I could disable it and
have the machine actually save the configuration, I probably wouldn't
need to re-flash. It's a standard catch 22. I can't re-flash the BIOS
since Guardian is enabled. If I go into the BIOS and try to disable the
Guardian, the machine will not come up again unless I clear the CMOS,
which of course re-enables the Guardian before I can get a floppy
booted. I can either boot a floppy, or get into BIOS, not both.

<rant>

So the bottom line is that there is no fix to the problem I have. I
tried different Flash and .BIN file combinations, just to see if one of
them could bypass the Guardian option, but, no luck. So, I'm within the
Return Policy and like others, I will be returning the MB for a full
refund and I most likely will not buy anything FIC again.

BTW I tried multiple times to contact there Tech Support, and they have
neither returned my emails, nor could I get anyone on the phone. The
option to leave a message was a joke since the voice mail box is always
full. I have pretty much determined that FIC is not a company that wants
to hear from their customers, and evidently they don't want to stay in
business. This is no fluke. The evidence on the Internet pretty much
proves to me that they knew these MBs are defective, but, they are still
allowing them to be sold under the "Buyer Be Ware" clause. I now know,
once again, why I always bought premium MB's from companies like ASUS,
Tyan, and even Gigabyte. Never had a trouble with them, but this has
been four days of hell, trying to get this MB working.

If they send me a corrected BIOS, I'd even keep the MB and use it. But I
have no doubt that FIC has no intention of supporting this failure. I
know that I can probably buy a new BIOS, but, why should I? It's not my
fault this MB is horked up! I only do business with companies that stand
behind there products with support, not stand aside when a customer has
a legitimate issue.
</rant>

Thanks again, Roger A.
 
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Roger Atkinson
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Posts: n/a
 
      12-08-2004, 06:46 AM
Roger Atkinson wrote:

> ABoretz wrote:
>
>> On Mon, 06 Dec 2004 20:17:06 -0800, Roger Atkinson
>> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>
>>> Hi All,
>>>
>>> I just picked up an FIC K8-800T MB and put a new system together and
>>> have a really strange problem. If I clear CMOS (BIOS) the system
>>> comes up and I can get to the BIOS options. If I save or otherwise
>>> reboot, the system will not come up. No video, no Beeps, nothing.
>>>
>>> But if I clear CMOS again, it will come up and I can get to the BIOS
>>> Options again, until I save or reboot.
>>>
>>> Anyone?

>>
>>
>>
>> Sorry Roger, my earlier response may not have been exactly on-topic.
>> But I believe this discussion...
>>
>> "FIC K8-800T CMOS Problems"
>> http://forums.viaarena.com/messagevi...&enterthread=y
>>
>>
>> ...more directly addresses your CMOS question.
>>
>> I hope you find a solution!
>>
>> -Alex B.

>
> Thanks Alex,
>
> This looked like it was going to do the trick, but, as others found out,
> the failed BIOS I have, is protected by something called Guardian. The
> bottom line is unless I can dis-able the BIOS Guardian, I can't Flash
> the chip. However, the only way I can get into the BIOS is to clear the
> CMOS, start the machine, which immediately reports a checksum error in
> BIOS and then it automatically loads the defaults. Once this is done,
> the BIOS can not be flashed. No way to get a boot floppy loaded in order
> to do the flash, without it failing. Here is a quote from there own docs:
>
> " If the "Unknown Flash" error occurs, the BIOS "Guardian" feature
> should be disabled. This feature is supported by the latest FIC
> 1stMainboards which have the NOVUS functionality. Older models do not
> support NOVUS."
>
> The "Unknown Flash" error is exactly what I get no matter what version
> of Flash program / BIOS version I try to use. If I could disable it and
> have the machine actually save the configuration, I probably wouldn't
> need to re-flash. It's a standard catch 22. I can't re-flash the BIOS
> since Guardian is enabled. If I go into the BIOS and try to disable the
> Guardian, the machine will not come up again unless I clear the CMOS,
> which of course re-enables the Guardian before I can get a floppy
> booted. I can either boot a floppy, or get into BIOS, not both.
>
> <rant>
>
> So the bottom line is that there is no fix to the problem I have. I
> tried different Flash and .BIN file combinations, just to see if one of
> them could bypass the Guardian option, but, no luck. So, I'm within the
> Return Policy and like others, I will be returning the MB for a full
> refund and I most likely will not buy anything FIC again.
>
> BTW I tried multiple times to contact there Tech Support, and they have
> neither returned my emails, nor could I get anyone on the phone. The
> option to leave a message was a joke since the voice mail box is always
> full. I have pretty much determined that FIC is not a company that wants
> to hear from their customers, and evidently they don't want to stay in
> business. This is no fluke. The evidence on the Internet pretty much
> proves to me that they knew these MBs are defective, but, they are still
> allowing them to be sold under the "Buyer Be Ware" clause. I now know,
> once again, why I always bought premium MB's from companies like ASUS,
> Tyan, and even Gigabyte. Never had a trouble with them, but this has
> been four days of hell, trying to get this MB working.
>
> If they send me a corrected BIOS, I'd even keep the MB and use it. But I
> have no doubt that FIC has no intention of supporting this failure. I
> know that I can probably buy a new BIOS, but, why should I? It's not my
> fault this MB is horked up! I only do business with companies that stand
> behind there products with support, not stand aside when a customer has
> a legitimate issue.
> </rant>
>
> Thanks again, Roger A.


OK, now that I've settled down, I will eat a bit of crow. While the
approved and standard methods documented by FIC did not work at all, I
read the whole thread above provided by Alex, and found that if you
connect up, or go through the hassle of Installing a Windows System (yes
it was horrible in that I had to clear the CMOS at every reboot) but
once you load Windows you most certainly can use the Winflash program.
It only runs under Windows, not DOS. Using this tool, it evidently
doesn't care about the Guardian, nd in 2 minutes I had the BIOS flashed.
The K8-800T works just like it should now.

Kind of makes me wonder about just how much protection this Guardian
gives anyway. I mean it works great with DOS, but evidently can be
bypassed completely under Windows. Does this make sense to you? Doesn't
to me!

BTW If anyone else tries this, make sure you download the latest BIOS on
the Taiwan Site. It appears that the US site might not be as up-to-date
even though the BIOS is still listed as created in Dec. 2003. Hhhmmmm!

So, it was a major hassle, I won't ever do this again, but for the price
I paid for the MB, I'll live with it. Besides, I'm setting up this
Athlon 64 3000+ machine for my kids as a present. My next computer, will
be even better! )

I still wish I would have gotten some kind of response from FIC, but at
the moment, I don't need it.

Cheers, Roger A.
 
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