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

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Wed Jun 14 22:19:57 UTC 2006

Garrett Cooper wrote:
> 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.
> -Garrett

Also, I have nothing plugged in (never did) and was strictly using the 
onboard components.

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