Problems Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2 v2.0 & Samsung HD103UJ

aturdido

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2004
6
0
0
#1
Hi There,

If somebody can help I'll appreciate it.

I have a "Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2 v2.0" with a "Silicon Image SiI 3512 SATALink Controller" included.

I have two IDE HDs and a SATA HD (Seagate ST332062). I tried to add a new SATA HD (Samsung HD103UJ) and the systems stops when the SATA controller detects the Samsung. It recognizes it (show the name) but stops when should show the size of the disc. I changed cables, unplugged the Seagate, cross check everything and nothing works.

I sent the disc to the shop and they tried it and works fine. I upgraded the BIOS of the system form version H to K, one version after antoher, and check if recognizes the disc and it's impossible.

Somebody can have an explanation?

Thanks.

Aturdido.
 

aturdido

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2004
6
0
0
#2
Just for the records.

After searching for all helps I tried several discs and only a Seagate ST375064 worked. Note that this is an IDE disc.

I tried the next SATA discs:
Samsung HD103UJ (1 TB)
Maxtor STM31000340AS (1 TB)
Seagate ST3750330AS (750 GB)

All stoped during booting while the SATA Controller (Silicon Image SiI 3512 SATALink) showed their names but not their size.

Finally an 750 GB IDE disc was recognized by the computer.

So my diagnostic is that the Silicon Image SiI 3512 SATALink Controller embeded in this motherboard can not manage discs bigger or equal to 750 GB.

Why? I do not know.
 
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#3
Most likely, the Silicon Image BIOS version (v4.3.33) is too old. I modded the FK BIOS to update the Si 3512 BIOS.

Some users report better results with SI 3512 BIOS v4.3.79 than newer versions, so I created one for v4.3.83 and another for v4.3.79. Which of the two you decide to try first is up to you.

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4383.zip

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4379.zip

I also changed the flash utility. For some reason, the flash utility that Gigabyte includes is for AMI BIOS, but the actual BIOS type is AWARD BIOS. So I replaced the AMI utility with a correct AWARD BIOS flash utility. I recommend using the parameters that I put in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, which are correct for AWARD BIOS.

Use at your own risk. I have no way of testing this so I cannot guarantee anything, only that I've done this with success numerous times before. It is highly unlikely to result in a non-functioning board, but there is no guarantee that any BIOS flash is perfectly safe.

There is a real chance the new BIOS may not be compatible with RAID arrays created using the older SI BIOS version. It may even be incompatible with the master boot record of non-RAID disks created on the old BIOS version. If possible, I would recommend that you start over completely as though this were a new build; update and configure the BIOS, partition and format the hard drives, and install Windows from scratch.

Latest Silicon Image drivers:

32-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver


64-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver
 
Last edited:

aturdido

Junior Member
Aug 29, 2004
6
0
0
#4
How can I check the BIOS version of the SATA controller? Using Everest it shows me the driver is 1.3.70.0.

Thanks for the help.
 
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#5
If you are running mainboard BIOS release FK, the Si 3512 BIOS ROM is v4.3.33.
 

alanD

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2010
3
0
0
www.photographerskent.com
#8
thank you very much for this updated BIOS - works perfectly, recognises the larger drives on boot.

used the 4379 version on exactly same config as http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2020867
Gigabyte GA-7N400 Pro2 mobo. 1TB WD10EADS (Western Digital Caviar Green SATA).
Have the same problem as owenBau, used the 4379 version as yourself which enabled me to get past the "BIOS recognising the HD's problem", but then it wouldn't recognise my windows installation at all, even after taking out the extra 1TB drive leaving only one drive in the PC. Got the message "NTDLR is missing". Couldn't access the Recovery Console either. Reverted back to my previous BIOS ok which did still recognise Windows OK! But of course not the big HD!
My question is did you do a fresh install of windows after the BIOS update or was your original installation OK? I don't really understand why it should necessitate a fresh install. Any explanations most welcome. Thanks.
 
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#9
As already mentioned:
There is a real chance the new BIOS may not be compatible with RAID arrays created using the older SI BIOS version. It may even be incompatible with the master boot record of non-RAID disks created on the old BIOS version. If possible, I would recommend that you start over completely as though this were a new build; update and configure the BIOS, partition and format the hard drives, and install Windows from scratch...
 

alanD

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2010
3
0
0
www.photographerskent.com
#10
As already mentioned:
Thanks for your reply. I had noticed your comment and I am possibly going out of my depth here, but why does a BIOS update require a re-install of windows on a non-Raid disk? Could a mbr fix sort this? Certainly interested to know for future reference! Many thanks.
 
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#11
Because there is no direct disk access, anymore (except maybe in Linux with some special config/param). Its all handled through BIOS disk services (e.g. INT13 and such). When you change the BIOS or controller option ROM, there may be changes to the geometry and alignment support used for disk access. MBR fix might solve it, might not.
 

alanD

Junior Member
Jan 12, 2010
3
0
0
www.photographerskent.com
#12
Because there is no direct disk access, anymore (except maybe in Linux with some special config/param). Its all handled through BIOS disk services (e.g. INT13 and such). When you change the BIOS or controller option ROM, there may be changes to the geometry and alignment support used for disk access. MBR fix might solve it, might not.
Many thanks tcsenter - appreciate your help.
 
Feb 8, 2010
5
0
0
#13
Because there is no direct disk access, anymore (except maybe in Linux with some special config/param). Its all handled through BIOS disk services (e.g. INT13 and such). When you change the BIOS or controller option ROM, there may be changes to the geometry and alignment support used for disk access. MBR fix might solve it, might not.
First off, you are a genius in my book for modding this BIOS like this.

However...

I also tried to add a WD7500AADS to my system, a GA-7N400 Pro2 v2.0 with a 320 GB PATA bootdisk and a WD6400AACS SATA data disk.

At first, the system kept freezing right after recognising the 750 G disk, no matter which port I connected it to. I even went back to the store to have it replaced, since the 640 G disk was recognised just fine!

When the replacement disk refused to cooperate as well, I started the Google, and ended up here. I couldn't believe my luck! I flashed my BIOS, installed the new disk, and voila! I had 750 G of additional diskspace! Or so I thought...

The first thing I noticed, was the fact that the reported sizes of both disks appeared to be reduced by almost 8% : down to 698 G and 589 G respectively, according to the POST messages...

WinXP didn't seem to mind, though, and installed the new disk properly. The next step was Ghosting the bootdisk to the 750 G Disk. Still, no problem. 3 bootable, primary partitions and 1 big logical partition, all in one go, leaving plenty of unallocated space for the next step. Checking the result in WinXP made me go :hmm: for the first time: Paragon HD Manager 2006 reported both big disks as "WDC WD6400AACS-00G8B1" :eek:

In spite of the confusing descriptions, both disks were the right size, so I didn't pay too much attention to this. Boy, do I regret this now... :rolleyes:

I removed the original bootdisk and set the BIOS to boot from the 750 G disk. It booted right up, however, a few programs had trouble finding essential files to get started. Most worrysome was the fact that my mailclient, Forte Agent 5.0, which is installed entirely on my second disk D-partition, acted like a fresh install, even requiring me to re-enter the activation-key. The kicker: all my mails were nowhere to be found! Thank God for back-ups!:whiste:

After some damage-control, I noticed that the first partition on the second disk was reported by Paragon HD Manager as being "Unallocated". Partition Magic even reported a completely corrupted partition-table! Still, all three partitions (D primary, E and F logical partitions) on that disk remained accessible under WinXP, so I decided to backup the data to the first disk, and recreate the partitions from scratch. After copying partitions E: and F: to the free space on the first disk, I decided to delete both partitions and the extended partition that contained them. Within a second of clicking the "Apply"-button the screen went black, and my computer rebooted.:eek:

The D partition was now completely gone, even in WinXP, but somehow partitions E: and F: were still there! Even "Undelete" from Paragon HDM couldn't find a single trace of the vanished D partition.:'(

I'll spare you the language my lovely wife was forced to endure, but after cooling down a bit, I questioned the Google once more, and gave EASEUS Partition Master a whirl. This program appears to have rescued more than 99% of the missing files, if not everything.:awe:

But here's the rub: how does the modded BIOS handle 2 disks with different geometries? Is it possible to control 2 different disks in a non-RAID situation? I made sure to use the BASE-BIOS and the BASE-drivers, but still came very close to a giant data-disaster!

I will post a follow-up with a few more points I encountered, but these are my first experiences with this, still very impressive, modded BIOS. I hope someone benefits from them, and posts here too.
 
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#14
First off, you are a genius in my book for modding this BIOS like this.
Thanks, but its not warranted because this mod is easier than you might think and can be done by just about anyone if they can follow directions.

I've created another BIOS for GA-7N400 Pro2 v2.0 that contains a newer Silicon Image ROM version 4.3.84 for the Si 3512:

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4384.zip

Note: when you update the BIOS via the command line switches included in the Autoexec.bat that I provided, it will clear the CMOS and reset all BIOS settings to their default values. This can cause problems if you try to boot a configuration that was created using different BIOS values. You'll need to enter BIOS setup after updating the BIOS (first reboot/restart), customize or return all BIOS settings back to the previous configuration, then Save and Exit before attempting to boot into a previous OS installation.


Here are the latest drivers (recommended by Silicon Image for use with this BIOS version):

32-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver


64-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver

I can't help you with problems you might experience because I don't have this board to test with. Sorry. All I can do is recommend that you start from scratch and install everything as though it were a new build (OS, applications, drivers, everything), delete all current partitions, create new partitions on the new BIOS, etc.
 
Last edited:
Feb 8, 2010
5
0
0
#15
I've created another BIOS for GA-7N400 Pro2 v2.0 that contains a newer Silicon Image ROM version 4.3.84 for the Si 3512:

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4384.zip
Thanks, I'll try that, when I have cleaned up the mess from my last attempt. However, from your previous options I found that the 4.3.79 ROM works better for me than the 4.3.83 version. I don't remember the exact problem I had, but I agree with the other reports you mentioned.

Note: when you update the BIOS via the command line switches included in the Autoexec.bat that I provided, it will clear the CMOS and reset all BIOS settings to their default values. This can cause problems if you try to boot a configuration that was created using different BIOS values. You'll need to enter BIOS setup after updating the BIOS (first reboot/restart), customize or return all BIOS settings back to the previous configuration, then Save and Exit before attempting to boot into a previous OS installation.
No problem. The only settings I usualy customize are the boot sequence and the unused legacy ports and periferals, like COM, PAR, and onboard audio. Also, I always check all major settings after every flash.

Here are the latest drivers (recommended by Silicon Image for use with this BIOS version):

32-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver


64-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver
Does any of these drivers resolve the issue of reporting both disks as being exactly the same type and serial number, even though both are different in size and type, not to mention the serial number? I can elaborate if you want me to, but I found several topics discussing this very issue with this 3512 controller. Only the Silicon Image ATA Controller in the Control Panel manages to report the right disc parameters reliably.

Also, do you have any idea why the reported disc sizes are off by such a large margin, almost 8%?

I can't help you with problems you might experience because I don't have this board to test with. Sorry. All I can do is recommend that you start from scratch and install everything as though it were a new build (OS, applications, drivers, everything), delete all current partitions, create new partitions on the new BIOS, etc.
I was already planning on this, but first I'd like to resolve the issues I ran into so far. I mean, losing <100 GB and not being sure which disc will respond to my partitioning attempts, and how, somehow keeps bothering me a bit...
 
Feb 8, 2010
5
0
0
#16
OK, here's a quick update: I flashed the 4384 BIOS, and noticed no difference from the 4379 BIOS. I had allready installed the latest BASE-drivers, so WinXP didn't even notice any new hardware. No new fix, but also no new bug, as far as I can tell.

That means it also doesn't fix the 8&#37; disk size reduction. Kind of sad, really, because I bought the larger 750 GB disc to add to the 640 GB I allready had. I expected to get 1390 GB of total disk space, but because of the unexplicable size reduction I appear to have "only" 1295 GB available. That's just 15 GB more than I would get with a second 640 GB disk on the *original* FK BIOS. Kind of disappointing, considering the trouble I had to get the 750 GB disk running at all...

BTW, I really started to appreciate the F8 DualBIOS/Q-Flash Utility of this board. I even get to store the DMI settings for every flash. Saves a ton of time every time...

One more point: the Silicon Image ATA Controller in the Control Panel is still the only tool that manages to report the correct disc parameters, like name, type, size and serial number. No other tool seems to be able to do that, including WinXP's own System Management Console.

Update: The inconsistant reporting of disk paramaters appears to be a little more complex than I first thought. In the XP Harddisk Manager the details of both disks are actually reported differently, the only problem being that the reported sizes are still off by 8%. Paragon HD Manager however still reports both disks as having the exact same properties and model/type descriptors, namely those of the 640 GB disk. The reported disk sizes are the same (too small) as in WinXP.
 
Last edited:
Sep 7, 2001
17,837
0
81
#17
Last edited:
Feb 8, 2010
5
0
0
#18
HDD manufacturers calculate advertised disk capacity using decimal (base 10), BIOS and OS use binary (base 2):

Why does my hard drive report a lower capacity than what is on the drive’s label?

e.g.

Decimal v. Binary (reported by OS or BIOS)

200GB = 186GB

320GB = 298GB

500GB = 465GB

640GB = 596GB

750GB = 698GB

1000GB = 930GB

1500GB = 1395GB
Well, that appears to explain a thing or two...:sneaky:

Funny, I seem to remember that POST and Windows used to report a disk size a little bit closer to the advertised size. I knew about these differences before, I just never realised they could get this big. Thank you for the reminder.

That leaves one big concern, as described in my earlier post: the fact that both disks are being reported as "WDC WD6400AACS-00G8B1" by Paragon HD Manager, even though the first disk (on channel 0) is definitely a "WDC WD7500AADS-00M2B0", and even MS Management Console Disk Manager seems to be able to tell them apart. I blame this ambiguity for the catastrophical partitioning-malfunction I experienced. All by its own the 750 GB disk gets reported and labeled exactly as it should be, no matter the BIOS version, and no matter which connector I hook it up to. However, as soon as I add the 640 GB disk, the 750 GB magically turns into a second 640 GB disk, again, no matter the BIOS version, and no matter which connector I hook them up to, or the sequence I hook them up in. At least, according to my partitioning software. This is really starting to annoy me...:twisted:

Anyway, thank you for your help so far. I learned a lot in a short time.:biggrin:
 
Feb 8, 2010
5
0
0
#19
Well, I gave up...

I had been pushing off a full system update for the longest time, and after tinkering with the old GA-7N400 for three, long nights in a row, flashing and re-flashing it 'till the chips were smoking, I still couldn't convince it to report two different SATA disks correctly.

I went and bought myself a reasonably priced GA-MA785G-UD3H, hooked up both disks, and presto! It booted right up, and reported both disks correctly at first try! Without even re-installing WinXP!!!:awe: Of course Windows complained about a ton of new hardware to be installed, but that it booted up at all was a small miracle to me! After all, it is quite a leap from nForce2 to AMD785!

After backing up essential documents and settings I installed a clean (nLite-slipstreamed) WinXP Pro SP3, and all the problems I had with the GA-7N400 are gone for good.

@ tcsenter: great thanks for your help, I learned a few neat new things from you. Maybe I can return the favor sometime! ;)
 

panjeh

Junior Member
Jul 3, 2010
1
0
0
#20
Most likely, the Silicon Image BIOS version (v4.3.33) is too old. I modded the FK BIOS to update the Si 3512 BIOS.

Some users report better results with SI 3512 BIOS v4.3.79 than newer versions, so I created one for v4.3.83 and another for v4.3.79. Which of the two you decide to try first is up to you.

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4383.zip

http://s89934018.onlinehome.us/BIOS/7n4pt2_4379.zip

I also changed the flash utility. For some reason, the flash utility that Gigabyte includes is for AMI BIOS, but the actual BIOS type is AWARD BIOS. So I replaced the AMI utility with a correct AWARD BIOS flash utility. I recommend using the parameters that I put in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file, which are correct for AWARD BIOS.

Use at your own risk. I have no way of testing this so I cannot guarantee anything, only that I've done this with success numerous times before. It is highly unlikely to result in a non-functioning board, but there is no guarantee that any BIOS flash is perfectly safe.

There is a real chance the new BIOS may not be compatible with RAID arrays created using the older SI BIOS version. It may even be incompatible with the master boot record of non-RAID disks created on the old BIOS version. If possible, I would recommend that you start over completely as though this were a new build; update and configure the BIOS, partition and format the hard drives, and install Windows from scratch.

Latest Silicon Image drivers:

32-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver


64-bit XP/2003/Vista

SATA RAID driver

Non-RAID SATA driver
Hi tcsenter and Hi everybody
i have similar problem, but my motherboard is version 1.x (GA-7N400 Pro2 (rev. 1.x)) and i am going to run 1.5 terabyte seagate.
in addition i have encountered another big problem. after contacting to gigabyte and the others and flashing many bios' i faced a confusing thing. some one told me to flash a bios from the version 2.x family!!!!

now i have two problem. first i couldn't use 1.5 terbyte Hard drive and second is that

i couldn't get any good response using the fb to fk bios versions.
then i preferred to flash it to the last bios that i had.
i mean 7n400p2.f11 compatible with GA-7N400 Pro2 (rev. 1.x)
response was: bios id error!!! the first time confusing in my history!
after that i opened the dual bios (f8 in setting) that my motherboard supports.
i tried to use the backup bios but i saw the similar response, bios id error!!!
after two days i understood this fact that when i open the setting i see a new thing, i didn't have such icon in the booting priority part (floppy, CD, HDD) before all of these options there is another option (Silicon.../Raid...) you can see this item only in the version 2.x as i attached the picture from its manual.
it seems my motherboard has upgraded itself !!!:eek: to the upper version (GA-7N400 Pro2 (rev. 2.x) and doesn't listen to me to flash it by one of the version in the 1.x family!!
for example when i flash it by 7n400p2.fb, it accepts without error in bios but it has problem in boot . and so it doesn't accept the f1 to f11 related to the version 1.x
now i couldn't do anything. please help me. i am really in danger! ::eek:
there are 4 pictures that may be useful.
please kindly download them.
http://ifile.it/p64mrkv/4.zip

for more information i attached two more pictures that i have gotten from the manuals of two motherboard version. 1.x and 2.x

first picture is the setting for 2.x (the current setting that i see unfortunately)
and the second is for 1.x, the proper setting for my motherboard that i had when all the thing were well.
www.image-share.com/ijpg-291-195.html
www.image-share.com/ijpg-291-196.html
 
Last edited:

Similar threads



ASK THE COMMUNITY