Rant Motherboard manufacturers

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I'm investigating a computer that isn't handling sleep mode properly.

There's a setting in the BIOS immediately below the 'suspend to RAM' setting labelled 'check ready bit' (which is enabled) and a description which is:

"Enable to enter the operating system after S3 only when the hard disk is ready, this
is recommended for better system stability."

"Why on earth is this an option", I wonder, as the boot device not being available on resume sounds like it would trigger an OS crash. It sure would be nice to have some more information about this.

Below the description is a bit that says "scan this QR code for more information". The QR code takes me to the ASRock website and downloads the manual, but doesn't take me to any particular section of the manual, so I search for 'check ready bit'. I find it, and here's the documentation for this setting:

"Enable to enter the operating system after S3 only when the hard disk is ready, this
is recommended for better system stability.""

<middle finger gesture at ASRock>

I didn't make the thread title specifically about ASRock because it's my experience these days that motherboard manufacturer documentation seems to be getting worse.
 

Geven

Member
May 15, 2023
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I absolutely feel your pain. It's such a letdown when you're looking for a detailed explanation and instead you get the equivalent of "See previous note" – especially when troubleshooting something as complex as BIOS settings.

Unfortunately, it seems like sometimes manufacturers forget that not everyone dealing with these issues is an expert. Clearer documentation would definitely make everyone's life a bit easier.

In the meantime, perhaps someone on this forum has come across this before and can shed some light on the 'check ready bit' mystery?

All I can is offer a general tip. Sometimes, BIOS settings can affect system stability in ways that aren't immediately obvious. If you're having issues with sleep mode, it might be worth trying to disable the 'check ready bit' setting to see if that improves the situation. Be sure to back up any important data before making changes to BIOS settings, just in case.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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All I can is offer a general tip. Sometimes, BIOS settings can affect system stability in ways that aren't immediately obvious. If you're having issues with sleep mode, it might be worth trying to disable the 'check ready bit' setting to see if that improves the situation. Be sure to back up any important data before making changes to BIOS settings, just in case.

Thanks, I'd do that but the BSODs blatantly put a neon flashing sign over RAM being the cause, and while the RAM passed over 14 passes with memtest86 7.4 overnight, it looks like that one module doesn't like being in sleep mode for ten minutes. I'm putting the other through steadily increasing amounts of time in sleep mode to see whether it's just an issue with one module.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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(1) Asrock as a rule blows chunks. (even though they have improved)

(2) "Suspend to RAM" has never worked right on any system I've owned plus it's pretty much worthless.

(3) Turn your PC off to save power .... standby and ALL "suspend/sleep" modes suck a$$.


Just because there's a "feature" in your motherboards BIOS does not mean you need to play with it .... especially when you don't need it at all.
 
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(3) Turn your PC on and off to save power .... standby and ALL "suspend/sleep" modes suck a$$.
I've had good experience with sleep on my Gigabyte Z97 G1 Sniper. It would fail like maybe once a month.

On the ASROCK PG Sonic Z790, sleep wasn't too bad though it wasn't good enough for me to leave it in sleep mode for days like my Z97. I think it came out of sleep once or twice due to some issue (or maybe Windows did that?). Decided not to trust sleep with it.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
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I've had good experience with sleep on my Gigabyte Z97 G1 Sniper. It would fail like maybe once a month.

On the ASROCK PG Sonic Z790, sleep wasn't too bad though it wasn't good enough for me to leave it in sleep mode for days like my Z97. I think it came out of sleep once or twice due to some issue (or maybe Windows did that?). Decided not to trust sleep with it.

If that's a "good" experience I'd hate to see a bad one! ;) (ANY visible "error" ever is one too many in my OCD book!)

Startup from standby saves about 5 seconds over powering up from full-off state and doesn't save electricity over shutting down at all, plus can lead to system instability and corrupted data... REALLY hard to see any reason to use it even in a laptop.

HOWEVER if staying IN "sleep/standby" is the problem try disabling "wake on USB" and "wake on LAN" in the BIOS ... catch is you may need to use the power button to "wake" the machine afterwards.


EDIT: This is different than setting an HD/SSD to "sleep" ... with mechanical drives in particular this can save a lot of wear and tear. (and make you freaking nuts waiting every time that dog-slow POS has to spin back up!)
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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(1) Asrock as a rule blows chunks. (even though they have improved)

(2) "Suspend to RAM" has never worked right on any system I've owned plus it's pretty much worthless.

(3) Turn your PC off to save power .... standby and ALL "suspend/sleep" modes suck a$$.


Just because there's a "feature" in your motherboards BIOS does not mean you need to play with it .... especially when you don't need it at all.

1) I avoid ASRock myself, partly because it was one of those 'capacitor plague' brands.

2) Really? The only times it hasn't worked for me IIRC are times that I've found a faulty component. In this case I have since found the cause, a faulty memory module.

Sleep mode can be pretty handy, for example if I'm at home all day I let my PC go to sleep after 15 minutes idle time, so if I did get side-tracked with something I'm not thinking "damn, I left it running all that time". If I'm going out then as a general rule I shut down my PC because as you say, I'm not so impatient that I can't wait the maybe 30 seconds at most to cold boot my PC from SSD (ten seconds wait at the boot loader screen, dual-booting).

This PC I've been working on belongs to a customer, it originally was booting Win10 from a HDD and a Haswell-era Celeron processor. If the customer was on a tighter budget, then fixing sleep mode might have made the difference between "christ this is slow I have to do something about it" and "it's slow but I can live with it". Win10 off a hard drive takes at least 10 minutes to reach optimal speed after a cold boot, maybe longer with a crap processor.

I also have customers on super-slow Internet connections due to where they live, so if a desktop computer can go into sleep mode, it can wake itself up during the night and do updates, or the sleep timer can be set sufficiently lax to leave it running for a few hours after the user has gone to bed to continue doing whatever.

I'm surprised by both igor's and your experiences, I agree with you insofar as if a PC fails to resume from sleep mode once then I'd investigate it (ie. one failure is enough), it's usually a pretty bad sign (if not caused by an external factor such as a power outage), but I'm kinda curious just how much bad luck you've had to never see sleep mode working properly! How many PCs have you used in the last twenty years?
 
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I use sleep on my Ivy Bridge Core i7 Thinkpad ALL the time for many years now coz I have tons of browser tabs open (don't ask me to count 'em!). It didn't fail per se but recently the RAM was above 90% when I put it to sleep mode. Came home at night, opened the lid and I saw it was struggling to bring the locked screen up for display because the SSD was getting hammered. I waited a minute or two and when the lock screen came up, I walked away and the SSD was still being hammered. That's nothing unusual.

But this time, when I came back, Windows had restarted. So I lost all the tabs open in Tor browser (not that big a deal), the bookmarks I had saved in Tor (big deal) coz I keep Tor on a RAM drive, and a folder of pictures of beauties I collect from the spam I get in my email :p big deal too, since I have to click maybe a 100 spam emails to find new pics that I haven't seen before. Some of them are very juicy NSFW. I don't waste time searching for pics. Why do that when spammers send them to me? :D And the hundreds of tabs? Thankfully, Chrome/Firefox and Brave all ask to restore the previous session so at least, that's a relief.

I'm seriously thinking of replacing the RAM drive with a USB Optane drive for Tor and my temporary stuff that I tend to sift through later to decide what I want to keep. Or I could replace the internal WD 240GB Green SSD with a Kingston DC500M 1.92GB. That would be expensive but the performance would be the best possible for a laptop this old. I dunno.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,995
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To be fair I've had better results with "suspend to RAM" using Intel chipsets then AMD. (or other)

To me the biggest knock however is that it's just dumb .... you gain nothing and introduce potential problems.
 

manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,328
1,556
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Suspending a PC is about preserving state, not about saving on the electricity bill. Mac laptops have reliably suspended for 20 years, and Windows laptops for many years as well.
The nearest alternative, hibernate to disk, requires jumping through hoops (CLI command) just to enable, so it wasn't really intended for non-geeks.

STR isn't a new feature at all (20 years old? LOL). if it doesn't work well, blame the implementation rather than claiming the feature has no merit.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,051
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I've been shutting my home pc down for a long while now. With ssds, it isn't much of a problem to just restart. I can set everything to be exactly the way I left it on login. It won't preserve unsaved data in applications, but leaving data hanging is a silly thing to do anyway. Save early, save often. It was the rule when floppies were king, and it doesn't apply any less today.
 
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manly

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
10,328
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I've been shutting my home pc down for a long while now. With ssds, it isn't much of a problem to just restart. I can set everything to be exactly the way I left it on login. It won't preserve unsaved data in applications, but leaving data hanging is a silly thing to do anyway. Save early, save often. It was the rule when floppies were king, and it doesn't apply any less today.
@igor_kavinski leaves hundreds of browser tabs in the background. He loses all that state if he shuts down. :tearsofjoy: (OK so tabs can get restored but it's still unnecessary work.)
 
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@igor_kavinski leaves hundreds of browser tabs in the background. He loses all that state if he shuts down. :tearsofjoy: (OK so tabs can get restored but it's still unnecessary work.)
There's another solution that I used to do: Put everything in a VM and save the state of the VM. But then I need a bit more powerful laptop and LOTS of storage space to do that.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
16,910
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If you think my number of tabs is absurd, my bookmarks total is next level nightmare.
So what's the upper limit of the bookmarks file? :D

It sounds like you need to do a purge. I'd probably export the bookmarks file first, then Ctrl+A the entire list and press delete. If there's anything you need to get back, you can always open the bookmarks html export file, Ctrl+F the bookmark, click on it and bookmark it again.
 
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So what's the upper limit of the bookmarks file? :D
I did actually run into the exported HTML file size limit in Chrome once. It wouldn't export more than a 5MB HTML file and crashed hard. Submitted a bug report to them. In the next release, it was fixed.

I prefer not to go into the bookmarks manager or bar. It's not as easy to navigate as a horizontal pane of tabs. What I would like is a session saver (no extensions. You never know when an extension will be abandoned and left unsupported by the developer).

I tried to use the Collections feature of Edge Chromium for a few days. It was not bad. Problem was, it would get slower the more collections I saved in it. So had to abandon that.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Can't chrome just open the tabs from the previous session?

IIRC you have to be careful to open the browser, do an immediate restore or lose the option to restore?

Also I'm not sure just how good a restore is, doesn't it reload the pages rather than remembering the state each page was in (e.g. long web page that takes half an hour to read, user is 60% of the way down, doesn't want to lose their progress).

---

chrome's bookmark support historically hasn't been as strong as Firefox's IIRC, I migrated to Chrome in the era that FF's multithreading wasn't good then migrated back once it was fixed to get the better bookmark system. Given how these days software makers copy the crap out of each other, it wouldn't surprise me if FF's bookmarking system has been nerfed to make it look/work more like Chrome.
 
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IIRC you have to be careful to open the browser, do an immediate restore or lose the option to restore?
Yeah. Something like that. In earlier versions, sometimes Chrome would crap out and not remember that it was rudely task killed. Haven't lost a session in years. Firefox session handling is more robust.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
16,910
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Firefox session handling is more robust.

No idea, I live by the minimum in a lot of ways, as if I'm still running an Amiga 500 with 512KB RAM :) There are times when I have more than 30 tabs open but they're shut down as soon as I don't need them any more.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,051
7,074
126
I currently have 9 pinned tabs, and 20 regular tabs. I use the regular tabs as temporary bookmarks so they stay in mind, but not cluttering up my bookmarks. That's close to a permanent situation. They increase/decrease over time, but that's close to the permanent number.
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
11,201
2,517
136
AsRock is YMMV.
My board is about 12 years old and hasn't had major problems, but it was defective because the headphone jack is screwed up. Doesn't make a reliable connection and might be crossed up with a different port. Not worth a RMA at the time.
 
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