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

Derek Ragona derek at
Wed Jun 14 22:39:55 UTC 2006

Look for just the DOS flash update.  It will be smaller and from intel 
comes with its own boot image.  You will have to run that on a windows PC 
to make the floppy.


At 05:18 PM 6/14/2006, 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!
>>>         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 :).
>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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