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  1. #1
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    Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Ok, this is getting to be a pain in the keester. Last year I bought several different motherboards from Giga-byte to use in a class I teach on building computers. They were the GA-7ZXE and the GA-7VKMLS. All of the boards worked OK with Windows 98 or ME (I do mean OK not fine or good just ok) but none work consistantaly with 2000 or XP. I have sent 1 back to Giga-Byte and their response was that there was no problems.
    Here is what happens, you can install the OS (2000 or XP) and maybe run updates but you start experiancing lockups, reboot and the system will lockup quicker until eventually the system will not boot.
    Yes, I have checked for heat and fans (125 F) yes, I have changed all parts and used different brands (RAM, Video, NIC, MODEM, CD-RW, floppy, CPU all fans). The ONLY consistant part is the mother board (these have even been in different cases with different power supplies).
    Here is the kicker, leave the system(s) alone for several days and they will work fine for 1 or 3 days then start up again.
    Now, if I cannot even get the system to boot fully (in regular or safe mode) I can install 98, format to FAT 32 and the system(s) will work ok.
    The reason I say OK is that if you try to run Ages of Empire, Harry Potter or Everquest games they (the systems) will kick you out of the game, back to the desktop at random times.
    I have run and installed the latest BIOS for each board. I did find something about an APCI (or is it ACPI - the power management), Windows 9x used API (or ACI).
    All boards were bought in the spring of 2002 time frame.

  2. #2
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    What Processor are you using? Have you tried a different Processor on those Motherboards? If you have tried different Processors and that didn't work, then I would say you have a bad batch of Motherboards, although I find it hard to believe that all those Motherboards are bad.

  3. #3
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Hey Cowboy,
    I have swapped CPU's around and even used new ones. I have placed Duron 1.1 and 1.3 as well as Thunderbird 1.333 and 1.4, some with factory fans and others with aftermarket fans. All have been swapped and tried in different boards and work fine. I even went ahead and bought another new CPU this week (even though all of the others work in other computer systems) and I still get the same problem. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

  4. #4
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Well Kent, I build Computers and after seeing all the things you have tried I would have to say "Motherboards" or Motherboard and Processors not working good together. Why? Because you have changed everything that can be changed on those Motherboards to no avail. Not only that, but no matter what OS you use, you are having problems. Is it to late to take these Boards back under Warranty?
    I personally would choose a Board that you could use Pentium Processors with.

  5. #5
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    I sent one back to Giga-Byte, it took two and a half weeks to get to the "testing" stage, and another ten days before they contacted me. They said the board I sent worked perfect for them. Now realize that I have been working on this issue since the spring of '02. Needless to say I was verbally aggressive (not abusive) and I insisted on a new board, which they said they would send, I received the old board back two weeks later. It was not in the box I sent and not in a box for its model and had no accessories (of course I sent no accessories). A phone call, 30 minutes on hold and I hung up and have not tried contacting them since.
    At this time two boards have Windows 98SE on them and another will have 2000 partially installed (so I can format to FAT 32) then ME installed or maybe Linux.
    I quite buying Tyan boards years ago because of similar warranty issues and I have not purchased Giga-byte since the summer of '02 because of these issues. ASUS so far has not bitten me.
    By the way, I started contacting Giga-byte the month I received these boards so this has been in their records for over 1 1/2 years. For a while I thought it was an AMD issue so I was buying Intel CPUs and Intel or SOYO boards and never had a problem (for Fall 2002 and Spring 2003 classes). Since I am out an additional $100 per unit for Intel vs. AMD and since I pay for these out of pocket to teach the class. This summer and currently I have used the ASUS with no major issues (one concerning a Barton chip but I wanted an A7S333 and ordered an A7V333 so it was my fault there). I have also built several other PCs for the church and individuals since the fall of '02 with ASUS and AMD without incident.

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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Well then you know as well as I do, you just never know what this dang Computer Hardware is gonna do. But I have to applaud you for your patience with them. I'm afraid I would of been screaming and cussing at the people who sold them to me and demanding my money back. I personally very seldom use AMD or Gigabyte when building, so I don't know a whole lot about there dependability except for what I hear. I like Pentium Processors and Shuttle or Abit Motherboards. But to each his own, and to own, is to not have to rent. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Kent,
    I have used Gigabyte MB's for years now, starting with the 6xxx series, 7xxx and currently using a GA-81DX. I prefer Gigabyte because of their support, documentation, informative website, and reliability. What works for one sometimes doesn't for another? All of them using Intel CPU's, currently a P4, 2.2GB with 512mb L2 cache.
    Questions:
    1. Did you return the MB's WITH the CPU's so that they could test them as a unit?
    2.Are you sure that the MB's are correct for the use of the exact CPU that you have?
    3. I didn't see any mention of using a different HD or testing of same?
    4. How much memory have you been using?
    5. What SIZE power supplies have been tried?
    6."I can install 98, format to FAT 32 and the system(s) will work ok"
    I assume you have the sequence backward here. If you install 98, then format...goodbye install of 98.

    Just a few for starters. BTW, I run Age of Empires without a hitch.

    I don't think you have a MB problem here, unless it's a compatibility problem with your CPU and/or Memory types.

    Bob
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  8. #8
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Viking,
    I did NOT return the Motherboards with CPU's, Giga-byte stated not to.
    Yes, the CPU's are for the Motherboards, I checked and double-checked their (Giga-bytes) web site.
    I have tried about 9 different hard drives from new 120 GB Maxtor to new 20 and 40 GB Maxtor and Western Digital to use what ever I had on hand.
    As for RAM I have used "via" specific 512 MB Sticks (don't make me go there) to Kingston (checked on their web site to be compatible with the boards to crucial (again checked) to what ever I had lying around. Quantities ranged from 128MB to 512MB per stick with a minimum of 256MB being used.
    The power supplies have been 300, 330 and 450 watt that I can think of plus I did some swapping with misc ones that I have at the house and at the college.
    Yes the sequence was incorrect, when I go from XP or 2k, I have tried to start installing 2k, tell it to format to FAT32 and then interrupt and install 98, to be sure that was not the problem, and I also have run FDISK with a 98 boot disk then formatted with a 98 disk.

    I have lots of people I know that love Giga-byte, that is why I started using them when I left Tyan.

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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    I remember having some similar problems one time with some Mainboards and I finally figured it out. It was Memory settings in BIOS that was messing me up. I had to make some changes with 3 or 4 things in BIOS associated with the Memory Type, speed, timings and such. Worked like a charm after that. Seems like there were a couple other settings In BIOS I changed too, but I can't remember now what they were. Wished I had one of those Boards of yours, I bet I could find the problem. Well I would have fun trying anyway. <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Cowboy,
    ----------------------------------
    from my other post:
    I don't think you have a MB problem here, unless it's a compatibility problem with your CPU and/or Memory types .
    ---------------------------------
    Looks like we are in agreement as to the possibility of a compatibility problem rather than a true "hardware" failure.

    Bob
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  11. #11
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Yep I agree with you Viking.

  12. #12
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    I have tried "Safe" and "Optimal" BIOS settings as well as a few of my own personal tweaks. I had not thought of messing with the memory setting since they can be finiky (I have on other machines). Even though RAM is up I think I will order another crucial 512MB stick.
    Don't tempt me to send one to you! <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Viking and Cowboy, I am in 100% agreement with you on the compatibility issue. This is why I have been trying different brands of each part (NIC, Video, RAM yadda yadda). I have even had two of the systems stripped down and supplied the "stuff" to a friend of mine so he could rebuild and we still ended up with the same problems.
    The thing that bamboozles me is that every part that has been purchased for these computers has been installed on other computers and woks fine (I have sold the PC's but people are more than happy to call or email and complain.)
    I was gone yesterday, the 7VKLMS systems have been sold (with Windows 98) and are working fine. The 7Z.. board is the one I have left to experiment with. Cowboy just might get a shipment in the mail!
    <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>

  14. #14
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    Bring it on. If I can't figure it out, I will pull out my Shotgun and kill it for you and me. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  15. #15
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    Re: Giga-Byte mother boards and 2k or XP

    I'm not a professional PC builder but I have put together a few systems for me and the family. I've never had a smooth, "no problems" build. But I was always able to pinpoint the problem to one of the following:

    1. Overheating - I use Abit motherboards and they come with a CPU temperature monitoring device. Makes it possible for the system BIOS to monitor the temp and the user can set the options of what the system should do if and when a specific temp is reached; shut down, audible alarm, etc. Does your motherboard come equipped with this function? Or have you otherwise been able to check the temp of the CPU. Maybe your systems are shutting down when a specific temp is reached?

    2. Incompatible Devices - The motherboards I use have an L.E.D. (on-board diagnostics) that will display a numerical code. The code can be looked up in the manual to reveal startup problems, bad devices, bad memory, etc. Not sure, but I think other mother boards (if they don't have the LED OBD) perform beep codes or startup codes of some sort to help identify problems. So, using this tool, you could build your system, bare-bones, start it up, and check for problems. Then add one device, or change at a time and restart, checking for startup issues each time. This should help identify a bad or incompatible device. You never know. Even if your graphics card and your NIC work well with your main board, it's possible that the two add-ons won't work anywhere, together.

    3. BIOS - make sure you have the latest version and as a starting point, set everything to "default values". You can always go back and make individual changes, one at a time until you find something that causes an issue.

    Good luck.
    - Ricky

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