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Various S2603 problems(bios/ide/pci)

 
 
daniel@cfbb.net
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      12-30-2005, 05:34 AM
I'm having several issues with my Tyan s2603 Dual xeon Mb. I've had
this board for a couple of years now without too many problems.

I recently tried to add an additional 200gb and 160gb harddrive. This
was before bios ver. 1.11 was release. Unfortunately, the bios would
not support either of the drives. I then tried to add a promose
ultra66 ide controller to the board. Bios would see the controller and
I would get the promise ultra66 bios flash on boot up, but under
windows 2k pro, all I get in device manager is the promise controller
and a "device cannot start" message. I tried another ultra66
controller with the same results. Downloaded several different
versions of the ultra66 drivers, with no help. Google search doesn't
turn up anyone else with a similar problem, so I suspect it's not the
promise card(s)

Then I notice they now have a 1.11 update for my bios. The changelog
only states they updated the cpu microcode, but more has changed. The
reason I was trying to use the promise controller was b/c of the lack
of support for drives > 137gb in bios. So, I remove the promise cardI
update the bios, and now both drives are detected correctly. However,
now if the computer attemps to boot from any cd with ANY harddrives
plugged in, it hangs. Tried multiple cd drives, various configurations
of master/slave/primary/secondary. Re-flashing back to 1.07 eliminated
that problem.

I'm now wrestling with seagate's drive overlay trying to get it to
work on here, but I still haven't had any luck.

Any ideas on how to get Tyan to fix their bios? I've read a few horror
stories on their tech support. I'm looking to buy a new dual MB for
the new 604 xeons, but after this I think I'll shy away from Tyan. It
took 3 years for them to add support for IDE drives > 137gb on a
SERVER board(last bios release was in 02) and the new bios(as well as
older bios') is buggy and featureless.

Oh, one more rant... I can't find anywhere in the bios to view the
event log. I keep getting "Event log messages, enter bios to view" on
startup. I'd like to know what they are but... no dice.

thanks for listening to my rant, if anyone has any suggestions, please
let me know

thanks
daniel

 
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Paul Murphy
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      12-31-2005, 08:00 PM
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I recently tried to add an additional 200gb and 160gb harddrive. This
> was before bios ver. 1.11 was release. Unfortunately, the bios would
> not support either of the drives. I then tried to add a promose
> ultra66 ide controller to the board. Bios would see the controller and
> I would get the promise ultra66 bios flash on boot up, but under
> windows 2k pro, all I get in device manager is the promise controller
> and a "device cannot start" message. I tried another ultra66
> controller with the same results. Downloaded several different


Commonly earlierier ATA66 controllers didn't support 48 bit LBA (support for
this is needed to correctly detect drives over ~ 137 GB with the exception
of a few Intel chipsets used in conjunction with the Intel Application
Accellerator software/drivers). www.48bitlba.com is a good source of
relevant info. If you want guaranteed support for this sized drive, you need
one with ATA133 support which includes 48 bit LBA in the specs/requirements.
Although some slower controllers do support very large drives, its far from
guaranteed. If you want a professional controller board there are more
respected brands for server use. The 3ware one I use in my Tyan SMP machine
runs in a 64 bit slot for improved performance.
>
> I'm now wrestling with seagate's drive overlay trying to get it to
> work on here, but I still haven't had any luck.


That should be a last resort and it would be preferrable to use a cheap ATA
133 controller card rather than that.
>
> Any ideas on how to get Tyan to fix their bios? I've read a few horror
> stories on their tech support. I'm looking to buy a new dual MB for
> the new 604 xeons, but after this I think I'll shy away from Tyan. It
> took 3 years for them to add support for IDE drives > 137gb on a
> SERVER board(last bios release was in 02) and the new bios(as well as
> older bios') is buggy and featureless.


Most people using these boards in a server role would have long since
installed SCSI Controller cards to hang their RAID arrays off though.
Although IDE is becoming more common for budget server use, its still far
from mainstream. A good start would be to email Tyan to explain the problem
and see what they have to say. I've personally found their (European) tech
support to be OK and have had 2 motherboards replaced in a flash by them
without any quibbles.
>
> Oh, one more rant... I can't find anywhere in the bios to view the
> event log. I keep getting "Event log messages, enter bios to view" on
> startup. I'd like to know what they are but... no dice.


Have you tried booting it from the CD with only one (Primary Master) HDD
connected to the board? People commonly only need to boot from a CD to do OS
installations and for this only one HDD is usually necessary. The other HDDs
can always be plugged in after the installation is finished and the machine
powered down.

Paul


 
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