Question about EliteGroup nForce3-A Motherboard

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Can't Enter Setup/Can't Access BIOS

NForce3-A (ver 1A), Sempron 3100+, 160 gig HD, 2x1G Kingston ram (DDR400). I had it running on a SATA drive for a while. Moved the SATA over to a server to RAID with another drive. Put the new HD in (PATA) and can't boot to CD/Floppy. CANNOT access the BIOS! I hit DEL, it says entering setup and I get a black screen that never changes. I have got the floppy to recognize a WIN 98 boot disk (it reads it) but nothing ever happens. I've tried umpteen times. Reset the CMOS twice still no change. Are their any other key combo's to make this beast wake? If I hook the SATA drive back up, it boots fine. I even loaded a fresh copy of XP on the PATA drive, put it in the machine and it won't boot off the HD now. I'm so screwed....

Thanks
TJ

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  • TJ May 01, 2008

    OK, I'm currently running a ps2 keyboard but swapped another in. No change. While back there, I yanked all the USB cables. No change. Forgot to mention previously, I have a Thermaltake 550 watt PS and also pulled all the cards save nic and video.
    The PATA drive works in all other computers except the one I want (of course!). In combination with a SATA that has only data on it, no change. With a SATA that had the OS on it, still no change (won't boot). When I swapped a PATA that had Server 2003 and no other drives, it booted!
    Still, can't access the BIOS under any circumstance or condition. I've got a request in to tech support at ECS. Hopefully their tech support is better than the QA on their MOBO's. At least now I can change BIOS if only by the windows tool from ECS. That's better than nothing. How the hell, you can't get into the BIOS is killing me. Better yet, for the lousy $75 I gave to Fry's for this, I should just scope out a replacement that will use my hardware and save myself the aggravation...

    Thanks,

    TJ

  • TJ May 01, 2008

    Something is pooched for sure. I tried 4 other HD's (same manufacturer-WD) and not one of them worked with this rig. They ALL worked on others but not this one. Also, while cruising for BIOS versions, I came across the Overclockers forum for this board and found that Biostar has (had) the same board but the bios allows for more options. I took a risk and went for it. I was able to upload using the ECS windows based tool for bios updates utilizing the one PATA dirve that does in fact work (could be a controller issue but just one drive-weird). Well, the risk paid off a little. I was FINALLY able to enter the BIOS but for now, just once. I changed the boot order to Floppy, CD, HD but the machine still won't boot from the disk so something is AFU. At least I was able to make the setting correct and I can boot to the machine but I'm still stuck. More than anything, it's very unreliable as I have to reset it 3-7 times just to see the flash screen on boot and get video after that. I will try a different v-card but I'm just happy it's running. I need to transfer data and have to have both rigs running to do it.

    Thanks again, you folks kept me movin'!

    TJ

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I would argue that it is more likely the pata controller on this motherboard that is "pooched" as you say this drive works in other machines. It would be worth a shot to check for firmware updates for this motherboard, or buy a pci pata controller.

Posted on May 01, 2008

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Could be that your PATA drive is pooched. Have you tried accessing the bios with the sata drive in, how about with both drives connected, how about with none.

Try a ps2 keyboard as well, as it may work on the legacy bios option.

Posted on May 01, 2008

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