booting 8.2 on Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4

Jeremy Chadwick freebsd at
Wed Oct 19 20:37:41 UTC 2011

On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 10:11:35PM +0200, V?clav Zeman wrote:
> On 10/19/2011 06:26 PM, Torfinn Ingolfsen wrote:
> > On Tue, 18 Oct 2011 21:17:58 +0200
> > V?clav Zeman <v.haisman at> wrote:
> >
> >> I am having problems booting the FreeBSD 8.2 CD image on 
> >> GA-790XTA-UD4(rev. 1.0). The last thing that I can see is "BIOS drive A: 
> >> is disk0". Is this completely not supported? Can I do anything to 
> >> install FreeBSD on such box?
> > Have you done the usual stuff?
> > - if not running the latest BIOS, try to update
> I did update from revision F2 to F3 of the BIOS.
> > - try to fiddle with relevant settings in BIOS
> I did try to turn the HDD setting to IDE from SATA
> > - Try another release of FreeBSD (older or newer), or a new snapshot
> The FreeBSD 9 BETA3 DVD image does not boot either.
> > - Google "name of board + FreeBSD"
> I have not found anything using that search.

Here we go again, with manufacturers shoving 6 bazillion ICs on a
motherboard, doing nothing but making a mess...

The GA-790XTA-UD4 has a three (3) SATA controllers on it, and one
IDE/PATA controller on it.

* AMD SB750 southbridge
  - 1x IDE/PATA
  - 6x SATA ports (labelled SATA2_0 through SATA2_5 on the board;
    these are the light blue SATA ports)
* Marvell 88SE9128
  - 2x SATA600 ports (labelled GSATA3_6 and GSATA_7 on the board;
    these are the white SATA ports)
* JMicron JMB362
  - 2x eSATA (SATA300) ports (on backplane)

So which SATA ports is your hard disk hooked up to?

If the drive is hooked to the Marvell or the JMicron, you probably won't
get anywhere.  Hook it to the light blue ports, preferably port SATA2_0.

Next comes the insanity that is the system BIOS for this board, given
the number of SATA controllers on it.

* OnChip IDE Channel --> Enabled, assuming you plan on using
  the IDE/PATA port, otherwise you can safely disable it
* OnChip SATA Controller --> Enabled
* OnChip SATA Type --> AHCI
  - The above 3 are controlled by the AMD SB750 southbridge
* Onboard ESATA Controller -> Disabled
  - This is the JMicron JMB362 chip
* Onboard SATA3 Controller --> Disabled
  - This is the Marvell 88SE9128 chip

Also, any reference you see to something called "GRAID" or
"GigabyteRAID" is 100% in reference to the Marvell chip -- on this board
anyway.  Don't mess with it.

Next question: what *exact model* of hard disk are you using?  Please be

Next question: do you actually have a floppy drive hooked up to this
system?  If not, please disable it in the system BIOS and see if you get
further.  If so, please make sure the floppy cable is connected properly
(when its backwards, usually the drive LED will be lit at all times, and
any disk you have in there will be completely destroyed).  BTW, the
floppy is controlled by the iTE IT8720 chip on the board and nothing

You should also disable the "Onboard 1394 Function" (used for Firewire),
as this has caused some problems in the past for FreeBSD users (myself
included).  Maybe it has since been fixed, but it's one thing to disable
as a precaution, though it shouldn't affect things during boot-up.

Finally, you can try disabling the "Onboard USB 3.0 Controller" to see
if somehow that's causing problems (especially if you have a USB-based
storage drive (Flash, etc.) hooked up at the time -- that might appear
as a bootable device to the bootloader).

All of this info, BTW, is in the user manual.

| Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at |
| Parodius Networking              |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                   Mountain View, CA, US |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.               PGP 4BD6C0CB |

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