Various S2603 problems(bios/ide/pci)

Discussion in 'Tyan' started by daniel, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. daniel

    daniel Guest

    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

    daniel, Dec 30, 2005
    1. Advertisements

  2. daniel

    Paul Murphy Guest

    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). 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.
    That should be a last resort and it would be preferrable to use a cheap ATA
    133 controller card rather than that.
    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.
    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 Murphy, Dec 31, 2005
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.