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GA-7VAX-1394A and USB Boot

Hi,

I've got the Gigabyte GA-7VAX-1394A mainboard (F4 bios rev) and I want to boot from an usb stick. I've tried all possible USB boot devices in the bios setup (USB-FDD, USB-CDROM, USB-ZIP, USB-HDD) with no luck. The stick is bootable on other computers, so that is not the problem.

How can I make this work? Anybody with the same motherboard succeeded in doing this ?
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Dragon_Krome
Asked:
Dragon_Krome
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2 Solutions
 
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
update the motherboard with the latest BIOS.. make sure that you have USB boot as default.
if it doesn't work. then the answer is that you "can't" do it.
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Dragon_KromeAuthor Commented:
i have the latest bios.
i have disabled *every* boot device but the USB ones and it still boots from HDD-0.

well, as for the "can't" part, i'm not giving up yet.
i find it frustrating that a motherboard which has *lots* of possible boot device types (including 4 USB ones) is not able to boot from a stick which, wow, is bootable on other computers :)
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
it's a limit that is a cause by manufacturer design.
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mjcoyneCommented:
I agree, Dragon_Krome -- this should work with your BIOS set to USB-FDD.  What exactly occurs when you set the BIOS this way and attempt to boot from the stick -- what error messages do you get?  During the boot process, does the USB stick's access indicator light go on at any point?

What make/model/capacity USB stick do you have?  How has the stick itself been prepared to be bootable?  Have you tried other USB ports on your computer?  When the computer has been booted from some other device, does it recognize and access the USB stick if it's plugged into the same USB port you're trying to boot from?

It *should* be doable.  I'd be a lot more confident we'll be able to get it to work if we weren't working with a Gigabyte board -- let's just say that Gigabyte is not my favorite brand...
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Dragon_KromeAuthor Commented:
I've tried with ALL four USB types. Basically, nothing happens...absolutely nothing. No error message, nothing, the BIOS just continues booting from HDD-0 (which is weird, because I didn't specify that in setup - i guess it's a fallback if no bootable device was detected, to boot from the HDD even if not specified).

The light on the stick goes up at some point during POST, i guess when the port is activated. Except that, there doesn't seem to be any activity - the light stays up.

It's a Traxdata 1 GB flash, Windows sees it as: Ut161 USB2FlashStorage USB device (i could get the usb ids from linux if it's necessary).
The stick has been formatted and prepared by MySLAX Creator, as far as I can tell it's formatted in superfloppy mode (no partitions), FAT filesystem and it uses syslinux to boot. I've tried it on other systems and it booted just fine (phoenix bios).

I've tried the ports from the motherboard and some others from the back of the computer. Neither worked. I've used an extension cable and once without, i don't think that makes a difference.

As for your last question, yes, the stick works properly under linux and windows both, on all ports i've tried to boot from.

I've posted this problem to Gigabyte's tech support, i'm curious what they've got to say about this.
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mjcoyneCommented:
Here's an off-the-wall suggestion -- what happens when you enable USB Keyboard and USB Mouse support (and set the first boot device to be USB-FDD)?  I'm wondering if these settings function like "Enable Legacy USB Support" in other BIOS chips?
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Dragon_KromeAuthor Commented:
Did that already... nothing. In fact, i've enabled all possbile USB related options and still no result. I don't have a usb legacy option, but I've enabled both USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 options.
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rindiCommented:
Maybe your USB controller doesn't work? Try booting with a knoppix CD, or with a UBCD (full download) and start "insert", which is similar to DSL (Damn Small Linux), then try to use a USB port through that.

http://knoppix.net
http://ultimatebootcd.com

Also try booting from the USB stick with the HD unattached.
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Dragon_KromeAuthor Commented:
I've mentioned this before. All USB ports from which i've tried to boot work perfectly under both linux and windows.
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rindiCommented:
I missunderstood that, sorry.
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mjcoyneCommented:
At this point, I'd consider that the problem might not be with the ability of your computer to boot from a USB stick, but that "the stick has been formatted and prepared by MySLAX Creator, [and is] formatted in superfloppy mode (no partitions), FAT filesystem and it uses syslinux to boot".

Can you try a more "plain vanillia" boot partition (like DOS or WinXP) and give that a go?  If that works, we'd have narrowed the problem down to the particular type of boot partition/OS, rather than just thinking it's an issue with the hardware...
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