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April 8, 2013

Asus P9X79 motherboard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 10:51 pm

Something I did learn about the Asus P9X79 motherboard is that it’s really picky about USB flash drives that you use to store the ROM files when you wanna update your bios.

I made a USB boot drive with windows 8 pro ISO, so I can install windows 8 off the USB drive. You can also copy other files onto it as well like drivers and whatever else if you have the room. I figured I could also drop the ROM files for my bios, rename it and use the Flashback functionality on my mobo.  Nope. So to update my BIOS I ended up using some other USB drive formatted FAT-32 and I was able to update the BIOS. I never could get the Flashback function to work mostly due to newer Flash ROM files being incompatible with my older Bios version. So I had to download a special ROM file that updated the motherboard (almost like updating your OS) which then allowed me to use the most recent version.

Flashback is a very cool function where you can update/change the BIOS with only standby power connected. You just pop in a USB drive with the ROM file on it, press a button at the back and after a moment, bingo! You can even do it with out a CPU or RAM installed on the motherboard. Kind of mind boggling but it makes sense.

I once restored a corrupted BIOS by hot-swapping it into another motherboard already booted and forced a rom flash to get it working again. This was back over a decade ago, on an AMD Athlon XP motherboard, I had a bios update go BAD and the mobo was totally useless. I read on the web about this trick where you use another motherboard that has the same BIOS chip type that’s removable but it’s a completely different brand/make of mobo.  The trick is you boot up in DOS with the working mobo, yank out it’s BIOS chip while the machine is running (GASP!) snap in the BIOS chip that isn’t working into the mobo that’s already booted, running DOS.  Run the BIOS Flash utility with special command line switches that forces the ROM flash even though it’s not meant for that motherboard. Powered down, swapped the BIOS chips back, and it WORKED! I was totally shocked! So Flashback really isn’t that amazing when you consider this, but it’s still fucking cool.

So my P9X79 mobo’s bios is all kosher now, but I still can’t use the PNY Ram I recently bought for it. I paid only $92.99 for this PNY ram, but now when I look on amazon it’s $144! So I’m gonna return it back to Amazon, and order G-Skill F3-12800CL8Q-16GBZH from Newegg. While this ram is NOT listed in Asus’ compatibility list, G-skill’s website DOES list the P9X79 mobo as compatible. Plus there’s many other G-Skill models listed on Asus’ compatibility list, unlike PNY which no PNY model is listed at ALL for the P9X79. Also I’m using G-skill my old Core 2 Quad PC right now so I know it’s good. PNY I’ve never used before, it’s a brand name I’ve seen many times, but I will never use PNY again because of this experience.

Just goes to show if I spend the extra $40 you get what you pay for. Also always RTFM before you buy RAM for your mobo!


Two weeks have past and my order for this ram has arrived, and I STILL have the EXACT same problem. Why are the PC gawds doing this to me? I don’t know if I should buy a third set of RAM or replace the motherboard. I’ve already emailed the folks where i bought my motherboard from so hopefully I can get some guidance.

New PC partial fail :(

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:38 pm

Finally got all my parts delivered only to find out that the RAM I ordered isn’t compatible with my Asus P9X79 motherboard. The RAM I have is a  DDR3 16GB kit by PNY; a decent brand name. But looking up the ram compatibility list for this motherboard, not a single PNY module exists on the list.

So my first though was to update the BIOS in hopes some compatibility was added.  The BIOS download page did mention that more RAM compatibility was added, but I had no luck getting my PNY ram to work fully.

The BIOS version on this motherboard was very old, so old that the new format of the ROM files were incompatible with the BIOS I have. So I first had to flash the BIOS with a special update that actually rebooted and ran some sort of updater which reminded me of Windows update, with warnings about not turning off or resetting the PC. After it rebooted it let me update the bios again with the newest version that was released last month.

I’m actually using this incompatible RAM to type this post, but it’s not fully working. The ram is running at 1333mhz, single channel and with all four ram modules installed but the one module in D1 slot appears “abnormal” to the BIOS. So I’m only running 14gb instead of the full 16gb.

I’ve tried swapping the ram modules around into diffident slots, but which ever module I put into D1 always came up abnormal. This slot D1 is apparently the “master” slot you need to use if only had one ram module; which oddly is the 6th RAM slot out of all eight. So if I only put in one stick of ram into D1, it won’t post. RAM in any other slot just won’t be seen by the motherboard, as if it was empty.

So it seems all four ram modules are fine, just not kosher with my Asus P9X79 motherboard. So I’m gonna return them and order some ram that IS on the compatibility list. Perhaps some Corsiar Vengeance? Or G-skill Ripjaws? I’m not exactly looking for high end performance, just something that fully fucking works!

Fortunately the new i7-3820 works fine, and I also got a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO HSF which is a friggin MONSTER! It barely fits in the cheap-ass case I bought a couple months ago. It looks exactly like the Hyper 101 I have for my old Core 2 Quad rig, but at least 2.5x bigger. Then again the 3820 is a GIANT CPU with a double latching deal on the LGA 2011 socket and built-in screw hole mounts for your HSF so there’s no need to mess with a backplate since it already has one stock.

It did take me a while to figure out how to mount the Hyper 212 Evo, and it did come with the extra parts needed for a LGA 2011, so I’m happy with that. I just need fully compatible RAM.

May 20, 2012

More Mac Woes

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:18 am

Never ending issues with this thing. There was a recent OS update about a month ago and for some reason it just failed on me during the update but it didn’t seem to effect anything. Then weeks past and apps started taking FOREVER to load up, bouncing on the dock 100 times before the app loaded. iTunes would load up fine then just quit out unexpectedly no error messages. iCal wouldn’t run at all but it at least it kept the current date as it sat on the dock.  Apps were disappearing from my Dock as I try to lunch them and fail for whatever reason. I guess the OS thinks that if it app is broken remove it from the dock. WTF?

Turns out there were permission settings fucked up. Some how the last OS update fucked things up, so running disk utilities seems to have some of those issues but it ended up making the the entire computer useless.  It got to the point where I said fuck it, wipe the drive and re-install the OS. However installing the OS from the DVD would just fail. After a certain point it would error and say it couldn’t copy files to the harddrive anymore. I was trying to install OS X Lion, so i tried using the discs that came with my mac that had Snow Leopard, same problem,  Was my harddrive bad?  granted i did drop my mac a few times and laptop harddrives (and macs) are prone to HDD failures due to this.

So then i tried using the diagnostic tools that came on the 2nd DVD. Hold down D key while it boots into this odd little mode where it does hardware tests. I’ve done this before and had no issues.  But the moment I START the test it just freezes.  Mouse cursor won’t move, i can’t abort the test.  I even let it sit there for about 20 mins but nothing.  The first test it does is memory test and the last thing I need is the 8gb i just bought 2 months ago to crap out on me. So i figured well lets try this copy of MemText +86 v4.0 (yeah slight older version).  The moment that fires up there are errors ALL OVER THE PLACE.  Constant stream of errors that never end.  I still had the original 4gb of ram my Mac came with. I popped those in, ran Memtest +86 again and same problem.

So what the fuck?  Memory controller fucked up? When running Memtest +86, I noticed both times that the memory settings were way off.  It was showing running at 2051mhz listing as DDR3 4123.  WHAT? Both pairs of ram are only DDR3 1067. That’s twice as fast as this ram is supposed to run at.  How in the fuck did my Macbook Pro get overclocked?

Since Mac’s use EFI it’s not like I can just dump into Bios setup and reset it.  There is no OS on my harddrive anymore, and I haven’t been able to check to see if the HHD is bad or not. So I have no way of getting into guts of this Mac and reset it self so it sees the RAM properly.  I thought maybe swapping back to the old 4gb memory it came with would make the system reset.. but it didn’t.  so what the fuck can i do?

So any information would be helpful here.  I don’t want ppl telling me to take it to a mac store, I DO NOT have the money for that.  I barely have any money for anything anymore.  My tech gut tells me it’s just a FIRMWARE problem that just needs to be RESET. The RAM is fine, and likely the harddrive is fine too.  I just need to reset it’s EFI but who the fuck knows how you do that on a fucking Mac.

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