Tuesday, January 2, 2007

BIOS Bugs, Ethernet Problems

There are two BIOS issues that continue to plague my system.

The first is related to the use of external USB drives. I have an external 200 GB LaCie drive. When it is plugged in and turned on it shows up in the BIOS as a bootable device. By default this drive is booted BEFORE the RAID array. The problem arises from the fact that when the USB drive fails to boot the system it halts the boot process and no other bootable hard drives are checked. You can however, change the boot order in the BIOS so that it prefers your RAID over the USB device. Great, so it would seem there is a way to deal with the problem... And yet, not really. The problem arises when the system does not detect your USB drive - the settings for the USB drive are removed from the BIOS if the system boots and does not detect the drive. When it is connected again you'll find that the system will try to boot from the USB drive (which does not work) and not the RAID array. The only real solution that I have found for this is to leave the USB hard drive off until XP starts to boot.

The second issue is related to USB device initialization. The system seems to hang when initializing the USB bus, usually after a software reboot. A push of the reset button seems to do the trick, however this makes automated or remote reboots difficult.

The Ethernet saga continues. Although, I'm now 90% certain that it is a software issue and not a hardware issue. XP shows that the Ethernet ports fail to get an IP address from the network. However XP also shows that the the interface is receiving multicast packets from the network. So something is working... Windows defender also showed a reference to the ActiveArmor dll - which makes me think that it is the nVidia hardware/software firewall at work. Funny thing is none of the control panels show a way to manage these settings. The only weird thing is that the MAC address for both ports appears in an ASUS product manual (they end in F7:F7:F7). But since I cannot get support for the board at this time I'll have to keep plugging along with my NutGear GbE card. It works - but doesn't have a lot of options (namely frame size adjustment).

Despite these problems, I'm pretty happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy New Years!