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PCBUILD  July 2003

PCBUILD July 2003

Subject:

Re: ASUS PB2-LS SCSI problems

From:

"Paul A. Shippert" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

PCBUILD - Personal Computer Hardware discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 14 Jul 2003 16:00:02 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (113 lines)

Greetings Mark and list--

My responses are interspersed.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Rode" <[log in to unmask]>



> I am working on a ASUS PB2-LS. Everything works fine except for the
onboard
> Adaptec 7890 SCSI controller.
>

I used to have a similar board (ASUS P2B-S) and it seemed to "die a slow
death", as did an IWILL integrated SCSI board which preceded it.

> When the SCSI BIOS scan begins, it does not see any drive. It makes three
> attempts  to find a drive, which takes it  2.5 to 3 minutes before it
> fails, and then continues with the boot. It does this even if there is no
> drive or cable plugged in. With no drive or cable plugged into the
> controller, the result is the same, ... a two and a half minute scan.
With
> no cable plugged in, the SCSI BIOS device scan should take no more then 5
> seconds. And when I use CTRL-A to enter the SCSI BIOS it takes around 45
> seconds for it execute.
>
> I have tried it with a SCSI drive plugged in. The scan tries to find a
> drive for 3 attempts which goes on for 2 and half minutes, and there is
no
> way to stop it. After the scan failed with the drive, I removed the SCSI
> drive and  cable. Then I disabled the onboard SCSI and plugged my AHA
> 2940AU into the Asus,...then plugged the cable into the 2940AU and
powered
> on. There it is .. the drive is seen and works normally. It is not the
> drive, it's not the cable.

I did not have the prolonged scanning problem, but I had application errors
in
MS Word (it would "black out" when doing any kind of merge document,
then network printing), and received "gray-outs" when editing video with
Pinnacle Micro's StudioDV. Eventually, the computer would not boot using
the
SCSI or even POST.  Like your situation, it was not the drive, and it was
not
the cable, though I did replace the cable as the clear plastic outer sheath
had
developed a couple of rips.

> The first thing I did  to troubleshoot this, was to clear the BIOS, and
> flash it to the latest ASUS posted version. This ASUS flash updated both
> the BIOS and the SCSI BIOS. But I have the  same problem.

My problems also were not cured by BIOS update, and the results were
similar; both board and SCSI BIOS were updated.

> Next I pulled everything out of the board, and pulled the board from the
> case. I then pulled and shorted the battery. and then I let it sit
> overnight, before hooking it back up on the bench with basic components,
> ....CPU, RAM, Video, Floppy. As soon as I powered on I entered the BIOS
> loading defaults..exited out and as soon as the SCSI BIOS started I
entered
> it and loaded defaults.
>
> Then I powered off. When I powered back on I had the same problem. There
> was no SCSI drive connected and yet the SCSI device SCAN took 2 min 37
sec.
> It took 47sec just to enter the SCSI BIOS. I then powered off and plugged
a
> known to be working TEAC SCSI  CDROM and cable. Powered on, made BIOS
> adjustments and rebooted. Same problems.

I did not do the above steps, as my board appeared to be completely toast,
with no entrance to setup and no POST.  (There were also no improperly
grounded mounting screws or wires.)

> The Adaptec Controller is probably toast, but Is anybody familiar with
this
> Adaptec onboard controller, and has anybody seen this sort of behavior
> before. Anybody know of a solution?

I am sorry to say but I believe the problem may lie in asking too much of a
motherboard by integrating the SCSI controller.

My solution/upgrade involved the purchase of a solid Intel motherboard
(not one raved about for high performance or ease of overclocking, but
one considered to be a good stable board, very compatible with an Intel
P4 processor),a P4 2.4 GHz processor, 512 MB of new DDR RAM
(2600, I believe), and an Adaptec U-160 controller to run the storage
devices.
(I had earlier bought a U-160 Cheetah, thinking perhaps the original drive
was going south, but this was not the case.)  I also purchased a new 500W,
two-fan power supply, just to be certain I wasn't stressing the original
250W
supply's limits. I also added a case fan to increase the air flow through
the case.
As of this writing, the unit runs quite well, with none of the application
error problems mentioned above.

Just my experience and $.02.

Paul A. Shippert
Media Specialist
Margaret Brent Middle School
--------------------------------------------------------------
"and your wise men don't know
how it feels...
to be thick as a brick."  Jethro Tull
---------------------------------------------------------------

                         PCBUILD's List Owners:
                      Bob Wright<[log in to unmask]>
                       Drew Dunn<[log in to unmask]>

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