Making a L440GX+ work (was "Trying to revive a server... AIC-7896 freezes pre-POST completion")

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Wed Jun 14 22:18:36 UTC 2006

Derek Ragona wrote:
> The halt could be anything from bad RAM, or other IRQ issues.  This begs 
> the question as to why this board is not in use?
> You should be able to update the BIOS from a floppy or cd-rom boot 
> disk.  You can take your pick at
> The general rule with ram is you can run faster ram than you need, just 
> usually wastes money that faster RAM costs.  But speed isn't the only 
> issue with ram, some are ECC or non-ECC, plus the CAS timing can be 
> different.  So your RAM while it seems to work,may not be quite right.
>         -Derek
> At 03:27 PM 6/14/2006, Garrett Cooper wrote:
>> Derek Ragona wrote:
>>> IF you can find the documentation for the motherboard, see if there 
>>> is a reset jumper.  That jumper should reset the BIOS to factory 
>>> defaults to allow it to get through the post and into setup.  Some 
>>> motherboards actually take you into setup with the jumper moved to 
>>> reset bad configurations.
>>> Also, unplug any cards and drives, leave the system board with just 
>>> ram and cpu and video (unless it is built in) until you get it 
>>> configured.
>>>         -Derek
>>> At 12:11 AM 6/14/2006, Garrett Cooper wrote:
>>>> Hello again all,
>>>>         I know this isn't a FreeBSD question really, but I just 
>>>> started up a motherboard with onboard SCSI (Adaptec AIC-7896), and 
>>>> for some odd reason it freezes pre-POST before it attempts to boot 
>>>> and there isn't any way where I can get into the BIOS to change the 
>>>> settings it seems. Does anyone know how I can maybe disable the 
>>>> onboard SCSI controller since it appears to hang while detecting disks?
>>>>         Thanks a million!
>>>> -Garrett
>>         Thanks all for the help. It turns out after a bit of 
>> researching and seeing some numbers on boot, I was able to find the 
>> documentation for the motherboard. It's an L440GX+ motherboard which 
>> does appear to still work properly, but here's the clincher. I read 
>> that the processors I have installed are compatible (2xP3 600E CPUs), 
>> _but_ only if the BIOS is updated past a particular version and I 
>> don't know if that is true or not. Plus I don't know what is causing 
>> the thing to halt because it appears to work on occasion--got the 
>> system to boot once but halted it since I couldn't get into the BIOS 
>> and change the settings. I cleared the CMOS--both by setting the 
>> jumper and removing the battery, and all it appears to have done 
>> superficially is make the original splash screen come up during boot.
>>         So, my question is has anyone experienced anything like this 
>> and if so how did you solve this problem, or does anyone know how to 
>> fix this situation apart from (maybe) installing Windows and updating 
>> the BIOS with a different processor?
>>         Also, I have a horde of PC133 SD RAM and only one stick of 
>> PC100 RAM, which doesn't appear to work in the motherboard, and the 
>> motherboard is rated to _only_ support PC100 SD RAM. Is it all right 
>> for me to use RAM which is rated 33MHz faster than recommended? I 
>> think it's possible with some motherboards but I'm not sure about this 
>> one.
>>         Thanks again for all your help guys :).
>> -Garrett

Thanks for your concerns. Supposedly when I received it last year in a 
trade, this motherboard was a spare that was not used by the owner 
because I don't think he had a reason to use the antique hardware. The 
thing is that I need a replacement motherboard with working IRQ/PCI 
slots because my previous motherboard (Tualatin ECS board) may have been 
partially fried thanks to a bad PSU and a series of SCSI hard drives 
drawing too much current within the case. Needless to say I fixed the 
PSU issue, but the issue with the original motherboard still may linger on.

I'll see about using a BIOS flash boot disk, but there is a list of 
procedures that Intel gives on their website, which seems to involve 
Windows a bit more extensively than I originally thought.

Thanks again about the RAM part. I know that mixing and matching is the 
only no-no in RAM-land, but other than that the motherboard says it 
supports both flavors--either ECC or non-ECC.


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