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Asus Mobo P5E will not continue from BIOS after boot

Posted on 2011-02-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Hi all wizards
I have the following problem.
I built a server in 2008 using a Asus P5E motherboard and a set of 6 disks in a RAID 5.
Just recently my disks failed so badly that I bought a new set. This meant that I had to upgrade from Win XP to Windows 7.
After repartitioning the disks (using Win 7 installation CD) the installation program tells me it will install the system and also warns me that it will reboot several times during this process.
At this point I can observe that it started the job. Some progress-bar went from 0% to 1%.
After a few hours I  went back to check progress.
The screen was black and showed the normal startup-screen when booting. I.e "Press DEL to enter Setup" Press xxxx to...
and on the bottom it showed 4096 MB memory
everything looked normal but nothing happened.
I then pressed DEL. Ths keystroke changed the status on one line telling me "Entering SETUP"
Nothing more happened.
Then I pressed another key and the machine responded in the same way. Status on the screen changed but nothing more happened.
I then thought about clearing BIOS of its setup.
It is a magic trick (from the manual) to remove the battery and move a switch, then wait for 10 sec, move the switch back and reenter the battery.
After this I reboot, a list of my installed disks come up on the screen and asks me to press DEL to enter the BIOS setup.
When I do this I can suddenly enter the BIOS-setup. I change the parameters to what I had before (date, time, disks using RAID,boot-sequence) and tries to reboot.
Same shit happens: Memory is counted and the list of 3 choices is the same as it was before.
Whatever I press nothing happens !
I have also bought a new battery since the old one was apx on 50%.
I have set the boot sequence to start from the CD (first choice) and one disk in the raid-set as second choice.

I can see the light on the CD drive flicker, but after a few seconds it stops.

Is there any chance that the Windows installation could have done anything with BIOS ?
Is the mobo accidentially blown, or ????
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Question by:nbtnt1
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Expert Comment

by:jamietoner
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Looks like it may be the raid controller that failed and not the disks. Onboard raid controllers on consumer grade motherboards, should not be used in a server environment, they just aren't made for it. A 6-disk driver based raid 5 must have been slow and killing overall system performance. For a 6-disk raid 5 I highly suggest using a hardware based raid controller from Adaptec, LSI, or 3ware.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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are you using the intel raid controller and did you load the drivers when you booted from the dvd?
also can you boot at all from the dvd?
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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I am using the RAID controller on the mobo.
During Windows setup I made the installation program read the 64bit dirver which I had on a floppy-disk, and it did not complain.
Right now it is impossible to get in contact with Windows on the CD-drive. At boot I can see the green light on the drive flickering but after apx 10 sec it stops (and no changes on the screen)
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by:nobus
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i would remove everything, and set the bios to non raid, to test the different disk ports with 1 disk
you can run the diags you need from ubcd  : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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by:RobMobility
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Hi,

If you disconnect the drives and insert the Windows DVD, does the BIOS POST proceed beyond where it did before?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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I have now taken out the two sets of SATA-disks (2 x 3 disks) and am now able to boot from the DVD-drive ! Does this mean that the Raid-controller accidentily was trashed during my upgrade process ?
What to do next?
Is it to get hold of a separate RAID controller ?
My pc-pusher has RAID-controllers from the following vendors: HighPoint, Promise, Sunsway, SDM.
Anything I should stay away from ?
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by:RobMobility
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Hi,

Silicon image or raid controllers using their chipsets appear to be well regarded.

Regards.


RobMobility.
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by:RobMobility
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Hi,

Here is a good review of mid-range raid cards (raid 5):

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cheap-reliable-raid-5-storage-compared,832.html

Regards,


RobMobility.
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by:RobMobility
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Hi,

Looking at the costs of decent 6 - 8 port PCIe SATA Raid boards, perhaps a new motherboard with in-built Promise or similar RAID 5 capability would be cheaper?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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It appears that your reasoning to go to win7 due to a drive failure and subsequent problems may have been indicative of a much larger hardware problem. Now comes the time to check each drive and each port to find out where the problem might be.  Not being able to boot from the first boot device (optical) indicates that the post is not completing and hanging at the raid start stage
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by:nobus
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>>  I have now taken out the two sets of SATA-disks (2 x 3 disks) and am now able to boot from the DVD-drive   <<    thi tells you either there is a problem with the controller, or one or more of the disks are bad
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by:nbtnt1
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If I keep BIOS setup to define the disks as IDE the Windows installation starts !
If I set it back to RAID it stops after showing med the "black" startup screen.
What is this indicating ?

I have taken out all the disks and put them back in (one by one) and in any combination with the 6 sata-cables. The machine always comes up with the Windows installation screen.
I believe this indicates that he disk controller and disks are working correctly.

When trying to continue the installation of win 7 it asks for a driver. I tell it to look at the floppy-drive where I have the 64 bit RAID driver. It can't find it. I believe this is because BIOS have these disks setup as IDE.
Am I doing things in the wrong order or ?

(The very first time I tried to do this installation I had my disks set to RAID (in BIOS)  and managed to load the driver from the floppy disk. This should confirm that the driver is OK.)
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by:nobus
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it probably says the disk are not configured to raid, - or there is something wrong in the BIOS
you can use the default settings, or update the BIOS
Testing if it boots from disk a VERY limited way of testing -  better use the diag i suggested - even a Quick test (1-2 minutes) will tell you better if it is working or not
in your manual is described t how to setup raid : you should set them to sata, not IDE :
here the manual : http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx
raid.png
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by:nbtnt1
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I did upgrade the BIOS (which was a bit old), but with no luck. Same thing happened.
I then tried the ultimate Boot CD (ver 3.6) but I can't find anything else on disk-tools than diagnostics on a pr disk basis. Nothing which would give me possibility to check RAID. Probably impossible since I have not set it to be RAID in BIOS. Could you give me an idea which test you were thinking of ?
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by:nobus
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>>  diagnostics on a pr disk basis  <<  ? ?   unknown to me - plse explain - unless you refer to the ubcd4win ?
can you please read what i posted ?
you DO NOT set it to raid, but SATA As
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Diag pr disk = e.g. read / write test or performance test pr disk. And yes I am thinking of ubcd4win.
I did leave it set to IDE in BIOS. The 3 choices I have there is IDE, RAID, AHCI.
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by:nobus
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you should be able to select Sata...it is from the manual of your mobo - or is that model n° bad?
i never use ubcd4win - always ubcd  - much faster bootup for diags
the rest, i use knoppix for
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Exactly, but when I choose RAID in BIOS and save/exit from BIOS it reboots and then it hangs in the "black" screen described above. It count memory, shows 3 options with DEL to enter SETUP. Whatever key I press it accepts the input but nothing happens..... !
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Sorry, some misreading. Just saw you wrote sata. SATA is not an option in the BIOS setup - only IDE, AHCI or RAID.
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by:nobus
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are ther sata connectors?  then you should have sata settings also - other wise the bios -or the board is bad.
you can try a bios update then

**is it the correct model n° ??
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by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
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I think it is time to go back to the beginning.

1) what initially showed you a drive had failed. Was it one drive or more?
if one drive did you replace the drive and from the intel raid menu did you rebuild the raid array?
what was the display from the intel raid controller about this?

Raid 5 can normally rebuild 1 drive failure you may have had to boot from the intel raid disk to do this.

did you try the drive in another machine? and confirm that they were in fact defective? if they show as good as bios detects the drive, using a hard drive test utility did you confirm that the drive was defective. you have to ignore the fact that they may show up as 'raw' unformatted drives.
Steve Gibson's spinrite (http://www.grc.com/spinrite) can rebuild drives but not when in a raid configuration.

did you try checking power and sata cabling for the failed drives?

More than 1 drive failure could indicate motherboard hardware failure.  there could be ports that are no good or the raid controller may have failed.  

please detail the exact failure messages and your subsequent actions so we can help diagnose whether this is a motherboard or hard drive issue.
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Assisted Solution

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
David Johnson, CD, MVP earned 150 total points
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when you set the bios to raid you have to enter the intel raid utility first to configure the hard drive raid array, let it build the array, if it completes successfully.. configure to boot from optical with the appropriate intel driver on a usb stick which is plugged into the machine on bootup.  select f6 to load the driver and then install the o/s as per normal.
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by:nbtnt1
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I have now done the folllowing
- set the disks to IDE in BIOS
- partitioned all 6 disks and formatted them. There are now 3 x 250 GB disks and 3 x 2 TB disks
   this was done through the ubcd4win-utilities.
   this should prove that the disks are ok (I think), power and cables are ok.
- i then entered BIOS --> Main -- SATA Cinfiguration: and set them to be RAID (alternative is IDE and AHCI)
- the manual now says that I should do the following: " Select the Onboard Serial-ATA BOOTROM, press <Enter>, then select Enabled from the options"
There is no such options in any of the menues in BIOS. I have checked this several times.
The manual I have came with the motherboard. However I think I did not have to do this 3-2 yrs ago when I first set it up, and I can see other comments on the net experiencing the same behaviour.
- I then reboot with Win 7 installation disk in the DVD-drive. I am now supposed to press <Ctrl>-I to enter "Intel Matrix Storage Manager Option ROM" to create the RAID volume. Nothing happens !
I can see the dvd-drive led is blinking for 10 secs, and the screen gives me 3 other options - one of them is to press DEL to enter BIOS setup. If I do nothing: nothing happens. If I press DEL: nothing happens.
I have also disabled the "quick boot"-option in BIOS to make sure all tests are done.
But no other messages than in the Enabled mode

There was also a suggestion to Enable "Interrupt 19 capture", which I did.
But no change in behaviour. (Default on this is Disable)

Could it be that the ROM is f....ed up or ?
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by:RobMobility
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Hi,

Perhaps you should consider going back to a slightly older ROM?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Que ?
How is that done ?
I guess it is not part of what is in the BIOS, but on a separate chip or .... ?
Am I supposed to bring out my soldering iron or ...  :(
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Assisted Solution

by:RobMobility
RobMobility earned 150 total points
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Hi,

I meant that an older Motherboard BIOS (ROM) might resurrect the CTRL+I option you were referring to?

On servers, this utility (or the RAID array equivalent) can often be executed from within the BIOS - is that perhaps the change here?

Regards,


RobMobility.
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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When I started this update I used a  pretty old BIOS (from 2007) which was installed on the mobo.
Using that version gave me the same problem as now.
I the upgraded to the latest version (for this mobo) but the same problem comes up.
From this I would suspect that the BIOS version is not the basic problem.....
I can see no option to trigger the RAID utility from within the BIOS. If I press Ctrl-I when looking at the BIOS parameters nothing happens.
Sorry,
but any other suggestions are appreciated.
(I can see you are a smart bunch of professionals out there :)
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 200 total points
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time to contact Asus wiht this problem then :  http://vip.asus.com/eservice/cus_suggest.aspx
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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From the experience I can read on the net from unsatisfied ASUS customers it seems there is no point in waiting for them. They (like many other big producers) suck when it comes to support.
I have now ordered a new mobo (Gigabyte) + cpu + mem = apx same price as a decent disk-kontroller for 6 drives :(
This was an expensive experience.

Thanks to you all for trying to help out.
I will try to share out the points if it is possible (without any solution)
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Author Closing Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Thanks guys
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by:nobus
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i have had good experiences with mailing Asus
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Author Comment

by:nbtnt1
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Got my Gigabyte mobo today and installed it with the disks/raids mentioned above.
When trying to enter the RAID-setup the checking of connected disks was "hanging" on the 3'd disk in RAID 1. It was listing on the screen: "Checking port 0.1, Checking Port 0.2 ...."
I found another SATA (Maxtor) which I put in instead and rebooted. In the followiing check all 6 RAID-disks showed up with no problem !!
I.e: IT WAS A DISK PROBLEM !!
but it  never showed any error-messages or similar that could indicate a disk problem using the Asus mobo. That su..ks
It is also a bit strange that the previous partitioning and formatting (in IDE mode) did not reveal any problems ...:!
 
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by:nobus
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well  - i suggested in my first post to test the disks, and ports..
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