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Intel L440GX BIOS cannot see CD-ROms and more

By westaust55
Sep 10, 2007
  1. Hi all,

    I am now trying to set up a second PC based upon a recently obtained two Intel L440GX (100MHz FSB) motherboard with dual Pentium III 550 MHz, CPU’s. Have two, so one will be a possible spare. These have AA#’s of 721242-004 and 721242-005.

    When I first started to test the mobo, with an IDE hard drive and 4 off 128MB PC133 memory sticks, the BIOS would not see/allow set-up of the IDE HDD and CD-ROM drive. In BIOS I have set the boot sequence as (1) Floppy, (2) CDROM, (3) HDD and (4) Intel Boot Agent 4.0. – the last is a default that cannot be disabled.
    I had already flashed Version 14.2 of the BIOS onto both mobo’s (okay have nore recently found that 14.3 also exists).

    When I enter the BIOS (with the F2 key), to set up the hard disk, (I have tried two different 4.3GB HDD’s) they were not found/seen as LBA type or even when the HDD are set the CHS and the settings put in. (I am using these smaller HDD’s out of a spare working PC for testing initially).
    Even though the BIOS cannot see or report the details on the HDD I used a Win98 and later a WIN2000 boot floppy and these can see the HDD. With the Win2000 boot floppy system I can format the HDD and install the Win2000 setup programs. When Win2000 is installed, I remove the floppy (when prompted) but when the PC reboots, the HDD cannot be seen by BIOS and therefore the BIOS stops with the message No Operating System Installed.

    After resetting all the CMOS setting (by the power disconnect and battery removal method) then both mobo’s would then see the IDE HDD but still neither will report the CD-ROM– yet I have managed to get Win XP installed now from the CD.

    Secondly, while both of these mobo’s power up correctly when the front panel power button is pressed, only one shuts down when either the front panel button is pressed or through Win XP.

    The second mobo just keeps on operating if the front panel power button is pressed or starts a shutdown if initiated thru Win XP to the point that the HDD stops but the PC is still energised and left with the Windows shutting down screen. Likewise, seems the reset button cannot reset this mobo.

    I believe that I have the same settings in both BIOS set-up parameters.

    In reading the manuals there seems to be the ability to prevent front panel reset and power down but the only parameter in BIOS is to Enable/disable a Soft Off state which always reverts to disable on both mobo’s.

    Finally, I have a matched apir of 800MZ PIII CPU’s with 100MHz FSB. The Intel data and website suggests that with the mobo’s I have, these will not work even though all versions of the mobo’s are 100FSB. Other versions with higher AA#’s apparently will wiork. Whata re the chances of these 800MHz CPU’s actually working – have not tried as yet.

    A lot of questions but would greatly appreciate any help or explanation on:
    1. How to get the BIOS to report the CD-ROM drive
    2. How to get the second mobo to power down (other than removing mains lead)
    3. Will the 800MHz 100FSB PIII CPU’s work or why not?


    Thanks in anticipation,
    Westaust55
     
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    1: A BIOS of this age may not report a CD drive at all and it is up to the OS to load drivers for it.
    2. Try resetting the motherboard BIOS to default.
    3. You don't say where you got these boards from - is it possible that they are not as good as you expect them to be?
     
  3. westaust55

    westaust55 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    L440GX BIOS not Seeing CDROMs and More

    Hi Albert,

    Thanks for the comments.

    1. While they are old boards, the BIOS under the IDE settings does have setting for ATAPI CD-ROM drives but when I set the secondary IDE master (where I have the CD-ROM drive) as ATAPI CDROM, on the next re-boot it reverts to NONE.

    2. I have already cleared/reset the CMOS settings through battery removal and also loaded the default settings whithout any luck. That was how I got the HDD to show up in BIOS as it also could not be seen but software on a floppy could FDISK and format the HDD even though not reported.

    3. While the issue of one mobo failing to power down maybe a faulty motherboard. I guess I am trying to test them out to see whether they are working properly in the first instance. With both mobo's, once I have WinXP installed they seem to work fine. it is just messy having to load up something like Win98 first and from that position reformat the HDD and perform a fresh install of WinXP because BIOS cannot see a CD to boot from same.

    If at least one can be deemed to work "properly" then I may set it up as a basic server/fle storage box (I have a number of SCSI drives and the L440GZ has onboard IDE and SCSI connections) with a print serve duty as well as there are several other PIII PC's in the house as well as a couple of Athlon XP based machines.

    Found more manuals on the Intel site and seems that the SSU software can make more BIOS seting changes that the Setup accessed by the F2 key during boot-up. May need to do more reading
     
  4. westaust55

    westaust55 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    L440GX BIOS not seeing CD-ROM drives and more

    Hi Albert,

    Thanks for the comments.

    1. While they are old boards, the BIOS under the IDE settings does have setting for ATAPI CD-ROM drives but when I set the secondary IDE master (where I have the CD-ROM drive) as ATAPI CDROM, on the next re-boot it reverts to NONE.

    2. I have already cleared/reset the CMOS settings through battery removal and also loaded the default settings whithout any luck. That was how I got the HDD to show up in BIOS as it also could not be seen but software on a floppy could FDISK and format the HDD even though not reported.

    3. While the issue of one mobo failing to power down maybe a faulty motherboard. I guess I am trying to test them out to see whether they are working properly in the first instance. With both mobo's, once I have WinXP installed they seem to work fine. it is just messy having to load up something like Win98 first and from that position reformat the HDD and perform a fresh install of WinXP because BIOS cannot see a CD to boot from same.

    If at least one can be deemed to work "properly" then I may set it up as a basic server/fle storage box (I have a number of SCSI drives and the L440GZ has onboard IDE and SCSI connections) with a print serve duty as well as there are several other PIII PC's in the house as well as a couple of Athlon XP based machines.

    Found more manuals on the Intel site and seems that the SSU software can make more BIOS seting changes that the Setup accessed by the F2 key during boot-up. May need to do more reading
     
  5. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    If I may make a personal observation - when trying to make something out of old PC bits there are some golden rules:
    1 Do it for fun/hobby/interest and if it does not work don't let it get to you.
    2 Never ever trust it with important data.
     
  6. westaust55

    westaust55 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    L440GX BIOS not seeing CD-ROM drives and more

    Albert,

    I am looking for techncial help not a personal analysis.

    Fail to see why the source of a part is relevant.
    Any 440BX/GX based board or PIII CPU is going to be old and the chances of failure increased.


    We keep all of the important files on the relatively two Athlon XP based PC's.
    I mentioned those PC's in my last post.

    If I get another working from available parts it can act act as a print server rather than having to keep one of the others running all the time.

    Computers are one of my many hobbies. I have been dabbling in computers for years (used to design own PCB's and assemble my own PC's backin the mid 1970's and even fault find componet failures - these days I work more at a board level. But with the advent of the internet and hetic work it can be helpful to see if others have solved the problems as well.

    I like to put in some effort (far less stress than some work I do) and there is a sense of achievement when a problem is overcome.


    But from a techncial view point as there have been no "real" techncial answers then seems noone elose has had a similar problem so it is back to looking for a solution myself.

    Regards to all forumites.
     
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