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Configuration Error

Posted on 1998-11-24
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am running Win98, Win3.11 and NT4 Server on a Jet motherboard with a LX chipset and a P2 233mhz processor. BIOS is Award v4.51. I have a Graphics Blaster 4mb graphics card, a Linksys 100base TX NIC, and an Adaptec 2940AU SCSI card in the PCI slots. I've used Partition Magic to create a Boot Partition to choose between Win311 and Win98/NT4.

The problem is that when I boot, I get a 'Host Configuration error' and then 'SCSI Bios not installed'. This only happens when the PC has been cold booted and then re-booted a few times. After about 15 minutes of warming up, I reboot with Ctr-Alt-Del and everything is OK. ID numbers are assigned to the SCSI drives and the Adaptec BIOS installs as normal.

I've tried swapping the cards around in the PCI slots, and changing settings in the BIOS but the problem still persists. The problem only started when I installed the NIC.

Has anyone got any ideas about this, because it is very annoying, especially when I have to reboot to different operating systems and the configuration crops up intermittently at each reboot.
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Question by:Laphroaig
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by:swwelsh
ID: 1012979
The fact that your problems started when you installed the NIC would lead me to believe there is a sporadic resource conflict that is causing your problems. See if there are any conflicts listed in device manager, and check on what i/o addresses the NIC and the Scsi card are using. Network cards and scsi adapters tend to default to memory addresses in the 300-388 range, and they may be conflicting, even if windows doesn't say so. See if you can force the NIC to use another memory address or irq, and see if you problems go away.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012980
Hi swwelsh.

If I allow the computer to continue the boot process when the configuration error occurs, then I get a 'Windows Protection error. You need to restart your computer.' message.

I can then only re-start in safe mode, which obviously shows both devices disabled. I therefore cannot ascertain any resource conflicts.

If I boot and the configuration error does not occur and the SCSI bios installs normally, then the system is stabilised and no resource conflicts occur in windows, which boots up normally.

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by:arunm
ID: 1012981
Im inclined to disagree with reagrds to the cause of the problem. The intermittent behaviour is indicative of hardware failure. The fact that it happened after installing the NIC seems to indicate that this is the source of the problem. I suggest that you try to remove the card and conclusively determine whether it is in fact the cause. If it isnt I would then suspect the SCSI card itself.



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by:arunm
ID: 1012982
Im inclined to disagree with regards to the cause of the problem. The intermittent behaviour is indicative of hardware failure. The fact that it happened after installing the NIC seems to indicate that this is the source of the problem. I suggest that you try to remove the card and conclusively determine whether it is in fact the cause. If it isnt I would then suspect the SCSI card itself.



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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012983
I have removed the NIC and re-booted. The problem does not occur despite re-booting many times. I then swapped the NIC's with a working station which had an identical NIC. The problem re-occurred on the System with the SCSI adaptor, but no problems occurred the other station. So to conclude:-
NIC plus SCSI card causes problems.
NIC without SCSI card causes no problems.
SCSI card without NIC causes no problems.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012984
I need a quick fix to this problem so I am increasing the points to 400
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by:Otta
ID: 1012985
Have you tried a different NIC ???
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by:wayneb
ID: 1012986
Try changing the port address and Irq of the Nic card and see if this helps, You will need the configuration disk supplied with the nic card to change it. I believe you have a memory conflict with the scsi card onboard bios and the nic card.
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by:arunm
ID: 1012987
Alternatively, leave the NIC alone and modfiy the settings (IRQ etc.. ) for the SCSI card
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by:aioudine
ID: 1012988
Do not't change SCSI setting (leave it autoconfig)
change setting for NIC only, don't forget disable autoconfig checkbox
BTW what NIC you use?
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by:swwelsh
ID: 1012989
Check out the troubleshooting information at Linksys' web site  http://www.linksys.com/support/solution/lne100tx.htm#general
They mention that the card must be in a bus mastering slot, and recommend a memory address of 6000 or higher, if available. They also mention that if you have a certain chip on your nic, you are supposed to install the drivers for the card, then shut down and physically install it. Since this is a plug and play card, you will have to go into the bios to change the resources the card uses. There seem to be several possible causes of conflict with this card, so I still believe with the other experts that your nic is trying to use the resources of the scsi card. The only other option is that the card is bad, as several have said. I would boot with just the scsi card, write down all the resources it is using, then try to set up the nic in the bios so it doesn't conflict. If this is a common conflict, you may also find more about it on Adaptec's site.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012990
I believe that I mentioned that I already swapped the nic's from one station to the other, so I think that this eliminates a hardware problem with the nic's.

I have already considered resource conflicts and believe this to be the problem. If I go to the BIOS and set the resource control to manual under PCI configuration, then I get a choice on IRQ 3 to 15 and DMA 0 to 7. The choice is IRQ* assigned to PCI/ISA PNP or Legacy ISA. Those are the only choices I am given.

Resource control set to auto will blank out these choices.
The configuration problem occurs intermittently when Resource control is set to auto.
The configuration problem occurs continuosly when the Resource control is set to manual.

The SCSI host adapter uses IRQ 9 with I/O set at 6400Hex. This appears to be unchangeable.
I've no idea what resources the nic is trying to use when the error occurs.
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by:swwelsh
ID: 1012991
If you can get the system booted with both cards installed, you can go into device manager and manually change the settings for the nic, but I'm not sure this will work on all OS's. You could check that you have the latest drivers for the NIC, or try to get in touch  with Linksys tech support (if there is such a thing).
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by:wayneb
ID: 1012992
there should be a configuration and test utility supplied with the network card that will allow you to change the irq and port address of the card.  Most cards are jumperless now adays and will need this disk to config the card.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012993
I have had a look through the utility disks that come with the NIC, and there is nothing that allows me to change the IRQ and I/O address.

If I change the NIC settings under device manager in Windows, how will this change what settings the card will try to grab in the boot process. This configuration error occurs before the boot manager partition kicks in and before I get the opportunity to decide which OS I am going to load in.
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by:istal112898
ID: 1012994
UNder PCI configuration,Choose LEGACY ISA for the IRQ that uses the NIC and For the DMAchoose LEGACY ISA.( DMA  set it to an unused or the one that it is supposed to use 1 or 3) make sure is not conflicting with the sound card if it have one. THE SCSI leave it as it shows PCI PNP/ISA LEGACY. just make sure the NIC has the LEGACY ISA configured. I supposed you put the card after the Multiboot creation. check also the BOOT.ini file.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012995
Istal.

I've tried what you suggested, and configuration error still occurs.
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by:j_powers
ID: 1012996
Try this:

I am not sure if you have disabled busmastering, but try that, and see what happens.

Next, try changing the card order. I remember when PCI first came out, they suggested that the Video card should be placed in the far PCI slot away from the power supply, as an example.

Question: are you booting on a SCSI drive?  or is the SCSI used for extra devices?

Let me know

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by:swwelsh
ID: 1012997
The Linksys web site says the card has to go in a busmastering slot - have you checked the motherboard docs to make sure you have the nic in the right slot? The web site also mentioned that there are two different chipsets used in these cards, with two different drivers, and that one has to be installed differently than the other. Have you checked this?
What else is installed in the machine? Maybe there is another device you could remove or reconfigure to free up some resources
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by:rosefire
ID: 1012998
First, depending on how recent you bought, Adaptec has an updated BIOS for the 2940UW controller.  If you are using the latest BIOS you will get more configuration options and the BIOS setup will tell you which IRQ it is configured for. To get into the setup for the 2940 hit CTL-A any time while the driver is loading.  Unfortunatly, the 2940 will reboot after you do this but you might try re-creating the problem and observing if the IRQ differs from one boot to the next. If this is a know problem it may be that the BIOS update will fix it.  It would not hurt to check for a motherboard BIOS upgrade as well it may be that there is a problem in the PnP of the motherboard.

This is probably not the problem, but the most recent ASPI layer should be 4.57, I believe.  You might grab this if you go to the adaptec site and get an updated BIOS.  I don't think this will solve your problem because your problem appears to start before windows is loading and the ASPI layer hasn't entered the picture.  The problem is probably hardware.  Most likely it is in your motherboard BIOS or the BIOS of one of the other cards.

I have heard that some controllers/motherboards require the disk controller to be in PCI slot 1 though I have never seen this and I know that the 2940UW will work in any slot on all the PCs I have installed it in.  This doesn't seem like the problem because it should either work all the time or not at all.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1012999
To JPowers.

The Card will only work in a Bus mastering Slot, so disabling Bus Mastering will not solve the problem. I have also changed the cards around in different configurations in the PCI Slots and this has also had no effect. Secondly, I'm not booting from a SCSI drive, so I dont actually need to enable the SCSI Bios. However, even disabling the SCSI Bios produces a configuration Error which means that the SCSI devices are not enabled in any operating system that I boot into.

To swwelsh.

I have checked the Mother board manual, and the Nic is definately installed in a MASTER slot. I have also been to the Linksys Web site and identified the Chip on my card as being LC82C169. I downloaded the drivers and installed but too no avail. These drivers are the same as the ones that I already installed originally. I have also disabled both serial ports in the system Bios to free up resources. Despite many cold boots, the problem still exists. On the occasional time when I get a successfull boot into Win98, I now noticed that I now have got some free resources. Surely with auto-configration in the system Bios, I should get a clean boot with resources to spare.

To Rosefire.

I hav'nt as yet, gone to Adaptecs Web site to see what is available for my SCSI Host Adaptor. At the moment, It will only go for IRQ 9, with no options on changing this. I will try for a Bios upgrade on the card and see if changing the resources it tries to grab, makes a difference. Hopefully it will. I will let you know as soon as I have done this.

Thanks to all.

Laphroaig.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013000
To Rosefire

As a follow on from my last. Is the Bios on the 2940AU card flash upgradeable. Also is it safe to do so with configuration errors occurring. If I scramble the Bios on the Card, then I basically lose the card. I guess the only way around this problem is to remove the NIC and then try a Bios upgrade, because then the system is sound. Your advice would be appreciated.
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by:j_powers
ID: 1013001
Next bombardment:(LOL)

You cannot disable Busmastering for the NIC, but do you have an option to seperate the video from the other PCI slots?

Next: how old is the motherboard. This may sound odd, but I did have a friend that had similar problems once the PCI slots were filled. We found that the version of PCI was the culprit (it was an older MoBo, and could only get up to 133), it was v. 1.0, and now PCI is on 2.0 or 3.0.

Finally, you mentioned earlier that the other machine sees no problems in booting up. How alike are these two computers? Do they have the same BIOS ver? Same partitions?

Let me know
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by:rosefire
ID: 1013002
At first I thought your 2940AU was a typo and that what you wanted information about was the 2940 UW.  Since you repeated 2940AU, I am now wondering. There is no AU card listed at http://www.adaptec.com/support/files/drivers.html#scsi.

Lets make sure I am not talking about a different card first. Do you really have a 2940-AU?  IF there is an AU I am unaware of it.

At any rate, if there is an Adaptec BIOS update, it will check to be sure you are trying to install the upgrade to the right card.  It must be done from a DOS floppy boot, not from windows or DOS running under windows.  

This is a pretty safe action.  I did this myself recently on my home system.  I updated BIOS on my Motherboard, 2940UW SCSI Controller, and the Matrox Mystique.  What is upgraded is the flash memory used to store the BIOS, not the copy in memory at the time so there should be no problems so long as you are running normally and not in a DOS session under windows either full screen or otherwise.
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1013003
You can bump the controller off of IRQ9 by setting IRQ9 to "Used by ISA".  Then if it takes care of the problem, most of the time you can change the setting back, and the card will remain where it landed.

Try disconnecting the SCSI cable from the card, and see if you still get the error.  If not, check SCSI ID's, Termination, Termination Power settings.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013004
The configuration problem is solved. During a lengthy session of card swapping around the 4 PCI slots that my motherboard has, I noticed the following problems with cards inserted in PCI Slot 2:

When the SCSI Host adaptor was fitted in Slot 2. 'Configure/View host adaptor settings' would work, but SCSI Disk utilities would freeze the system.

With the NIC inserted in Slot 2 and SCSI Host card and Graphics card inserted in Slot 1 and 3, then the NIC was not recognised when booting into Win98, but was recognised when booting into Win3.11.

When the Graphics card was inserted into slot 2 then it was not recognized in any OS irrespective of the other card positions.

When the Graphic Card was inserted in Slot 1, the SCSI Host in Slot 3 and the NIC in slot4, then there was no configuration errors and all OS's booted normally.

As long as there is nothing in PCI Slot 2, then everything boots up as normal. This leads me to believe that slot 2 on the motherboard is not functioning correctly.

Any ideas?
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013005
To Rosefire,

The card is definately a 2940AU. The chip on the card confirms this.
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by:j_powers
ID: 1013006
What if there is only one card in the system, and it happens to be in slot 2?

I would suggest finding some updated BIOS or even getting a hold of the manuf. of this PC to make sure there is no known problem with the PCI on that board.

I have seen PCI go, but I don't think that I have seen just one slot go out. It doesn't mean that it cannot happen, it's just that the PCI slots share soo much that if one PCI went, all would be affected.

Also, there are a couple programs out there that check on performance of a MoBo. Norton Utilities is one of them, QA5 is another. There are even shareware programs out there that would telll you what your computer is doing.

I believe if you go to www.download.com, and search on PC diagnostic, you will find a program. NUtils may have a trial version of their program at www.norton.com.

Let me know.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013007
To J_Powers

If I put only one PCI card in the system, then it has to be the graphics card. When I do this, then the display opens up in Win98 in default resolution with 16 colours rather like Safe Mode. When I check the driver settings, it is in default VGA mode. I then try to change the drivers back to my Graphics Blaster one's, and the system returns an error stating that the Graphics Card is not SVGA compatable. Also changing the monitor settings from default to optimal produces a similar error and resets them back to default again.

I also noticed at the time, that the Graphics card had been allocated IRQ 9. Now thinking about it, IRQ 9 was allocated to the SCSI Host card when that was in Slot 2. Now IRQ 9 is a window for IRQ 2 as far as I'm aware, And IRQ 2 is used by the system and cannot be reconfigured through the system BIOS. If IRQ 9 and IRQ 2 are in use, then I think that there is going to be a conflict.

I changed the system BIOS to make IRQ 9 a legacy ISA allocation only. On the next re-boot to Win98, the display defaulted to basic settings again, and the sound had disappeared. However this time around, I could change my Graphics Drivers to the correct ones, and get my original display back. However, the soundcard under device manager, had the yellow exclamation mark on it. I checked the IRQ allocation and, lo and behold, the graphics card was given IRQ 10, and the sound card in an ISA slot, was given IRQ 9.

I'm running out of breath here.

I can only assume, that the system is determined to give any card in PCI slot 2, the fatal IRQ 9, unless you tell it otherwise, where it will then go and give some other poor unfortunate card in the ISA slots, the infamous IRQ 9.

The sound card does'nt have jumper settings to make it grab a particular IRQ, so I can't configure it to accept another IRQ and hence lose IRQ 9 from the system forever.

I think that I am going to have to accept the fact that I can't put anything in PCI slot 2, unless it does'nt require an IRQ. There are no PCI cards that fit that description that I'm aware of.

The manual for the Jet motherboard, was written in a mixture of English, Chinese and Klingon so I don't think that I am going to have much success trying to track down a patch or a Bios update  to fix this little problem.

Thanks to all for your help.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013008
I am not going to close this question because a lot of people have put their time and effort into trying to sort this problem out for me, and it is greatly appreciated.

Although the system is now running normally with an empty PCI slot 2, it is still not the ideal solution.
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by:rosefire
ID: 1013009
Perhaps an upgrade to your motherboard's BIOS.  It couldn't hurt if you have not done so already.

You said: "The card is definately a 2940AU. The chip on the card confirms this."

What the chip says isn't alwasy the name of the card.  What does the BIOS say when it installs?

Just crurious since I still can'f find a 2940AU at adaptec after much time there.

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by:j_powers
ID: 1013010
Yes, a BIOS update may be the solution, but I would still see if there were any known issues with your MoBo from the manuf.

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by:rosefire
ID: 1013011

A close inspection of that slot with a bright light could be worthwhile too.  Perhaps there is a metal shard in the connector or on the board.   Are there signs of corrosion, or some other obvious defect.  

If you can see the solder joints, do they all seem to be completely covered and do they look like the solder flowed/wicked to the pins completely?  A "cold" solder joint or broken solder joint would be a great source of intermittant problems. (If you want to know how to tell, ask.)  Since it sometimes takes a lot of force to insert a card, it is possible to break a marginal solder joint and this can be very hard to see, but there are some tricks you can use to locate them.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013012
To Rosefire.
I will take the Motherboard out over the weekend and look at the slot carefully. Is it worth doing continuity checks between the connectors and the board, or will the small voltages used, kill something else on the board.
If I use Ctrl-A during boot, the Adaptor Card Bios configuration window opens. At the top it say's:-
Adaptec AHA-2940AU -SCSISelect (TM)- Utility v1.21
It's narrow Ultra SCSI that supports 7 devices at upto 20Mbs transfer speed.

To Jpowers.
I will check with the manufacturer's to see if there are any known issues with this board. I will also if a Bios upgrade is available.

Cheers

Laphroaig.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013013
AHA 2940AU SCSI Host adaptor.
If you go to Adaptec Home site and in the search box, type 2940AU, and then click on the top line of this comment, it will tell you all about the card in question.
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by:rosefire
ID: 1013014
Well, I wonder what the AU stands for. U is Ultra SCSI.  W is wide.  What is the "A" I wonder.  I still have not seen a reference to it at Adaptec and I just looked again.  Oh well, that isn't the problem anyway.

To answer your question, as long as you are not charged with static electricity (ground yourself to the case before touching the board and don't walk around with the board if you can help it) you can use a volt-ohm meter on the board with no concern about the meter doing damage.  (I am an electrical engineer and I do this all the time).  

If there is a physical problem with the board that is an intermittant connection, measuring from pin to pin has a low probablity of finding your problem.  It is possible that you have a pin shorted to another that is seldom used and the output drivers reach the threshold voltage of the reciever most of the time.  The problem is, there may be some pins connected together on the motherboard deliberately (power and gound pins, for example).  To do this right, you would need a schematic and check all the traces against it.

An intermittant solder joint would explain why the problem happens only sometimes and more when the board is either hot or cold (you said hot was the problem in your case).

Assuming the problem is in the construction of the board, the most likely cause of an intermittant failure like the one you describe is a bad solder joint.  These can be easy or very hard to identify and very good lighting is needed.  All the solder joints should show that the pin is completely surrounded with solder and that the surface tension of the solder makes the surface concave.  A convex joint is very suspect.  A joint with a black ring where the pin meets the solder is also probably bad.  If you are really good with a solder iron you could touch up the joints yourself.

Sometime, if a connector is not soldered firmly to the board, when you insert a card it will lift a trace of the board.  With time, the trace can fatigue and break  You can look for this by pushing and pulling with moderate force on the connector and see if it seems to move or cause the pins to move or lift traces.

If you want more info, let me know.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013015
Rosefire. Thanks for your advice on checking the Motherboard.

If you are really curious about the SCSI adaptor and still can't find it on Adaptecs website, then add me to your ICQ contact list and I will auto send the URL which you can then connect to. The address is too long to type in here.
My ICQ number is 341993.
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1013016
I believe the 2940AU is an OEM designation.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013017
2940AU is not an OEM designation.
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by:mwakefield
ID: 1013018
Have you tried updating the driver for the NIC card?...

when you install it it seems to conflict with something else...sounds like a driver problem at this point...

Have you tried another NIC card?...

What drivers are you using for the card?
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013019
It has already been determined that the NIC driver is not the cause of the error. Please read through the comments to the original question.
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by:jlove1
ID: 1013020
Another thing.. I'd check the total length of the SCSI bus (internal cabeling + external cabeling)... If it's over 6 feet long, try getting the length back within the scsi spec..

Secondly, I've had problems with BAD TERMINATORS before.. try getting a new terminator (or checking that the current terminators are seated properly).. I've had a TON of problems that were terminator related.

Hope I can help..

Joe Love / Collin Phromafonebuth


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by:rosefire
ID: 1013021
Laphroaig, are you still working on this problem?  Do you want more ideas?  
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013022
Sorry about the delay. I was called away on business for a few days.

With regard to jlove1's comment about the termination and cable lengths. I did follow someones earlier suggestion of unplugging all SCSI drives from the host adapter and rebooting. (The PC boots from an IDE drive). This was when the card was in PCI slot 2. The configuration error still occurred.

I've done a thorough check of the Motherboard last weekend, and found no dry joints, broken tracks etc. I've also tracked down the manufacturers of the Motherboard, and there are no known issues relating to PCI problems on this particular board. They also stated that IRQ's are issued on the following priority basis during boot-up.
1. System IRQ's allocated.
2. Legacy board (non-plug-n-play) IRQ's allocated.
3. Plug-n-play board IRQ allocation's last.

So i'm still in the dark.
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1013023
Is there an upgraded BIOS for this motherboard?
It's possible the motherboard is a bit flakey, and causing the problem.
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by:j_powers
ID: 1013024
Or reflashing it (to the same level) may help, too.
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by:rosefire
ID: 1013025
At this point this has been diagnosed to boards not working in  PCI slot 2.  Here are the possibilities I can think of:

1. The motherboard is defective: avoid slot 2, send for repair, or replace it.
2. The board is buggy: update BIOS (as suggested  above)
2. The BIOS is partially corrupted: reflash or update  the BIOS (as suggested above)
3. Laphroaig's sample size is small and it only seems like that one slot is bad when it isn't.
4. The cards in that slot are not getting seated properly and nothing is really wrong with the motherboard.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013026
Well I've managed to obtain another Motherboard and have inserted all cards in original configuration with no errors occurring. The problem was definately related to the previous motherboard. It could of been the Bios or some other error. But the problem is now solved.

I would like to award the points on the following basis:-
Rosefire     150
j_powers     150
jason_s      100

If anyone has a problem with this then I am open to debate, if not then if one of you claims the points first, then I will re-open the question until all points have been allocated.

Thanks to all for your help.

Laphroaig.
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1013027
If you wish to split up the points like this, go to the Customer Service area, and post a zero point question asking for help with this.  (Refrence: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Q.10101881)It is ultimately up to you how you want to do this.  I think there were allot of good points made here by all involved.

Glad to hear your up andd running.
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by:Laphroaig
ID: 1013028
Jason,

If you post an answer then I can allocate your points and then repost the question to allocate points to the other people. If this is wrong then please correct me.
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by:rosefire
ID: 1013029
No, you should contact (post to)  the customer service thread and they will do it all for you.  That is what is usually done,  just like Jason suggested.

RoseFire
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by:Jason_S
ID: 1013030
You can only accept one answer from one person on a question.  To split up points, follow my previous directions.
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Accepted Solution

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linda101698 earned 400 total points
ID: 1013031
I am posting the final solution found by Laphroaig so this question can be saved in the previously asked questions. There seems to be a lot of information at this question that could be useful to others.

I have added 400 points to Laphroaig's account for him to use to post questions awarding the points as he suggested above.  

Laphroaig,
Directions on how to post the questions are at your customer service question.  Thanks for wanting to award the experts for their help.

Experts,
Thanks for the COOPERATION on this question.  I really like to see everyone working together :-)

Linda Gardner
Customer Service @ Experts Exchange
     
Final Solution:
     I've managed to obtain another Motherboard and have inserted all cards in
     original configuration with no errors occurring. The problem was definately related
     to the previous motherboard. It could of been the Bios or some other error. But
     the problem is now solved.
0

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