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Erayd
19-10-2006, 02:44 PM
Well this is quite a saga. It all started when I got a new motherboard (secondhand) for my PC. The motherboard is a Soltek SL-75FRN2 (nForce2 based), and it was having this problem before I got it:

* Every 10 bootups or so it required a CMOS reset

Recently it got a lot worse, and needed the reset jumper shorted for ~10 minutes on nearly every bootup - this morning I finally got pissed off with it and decided to fix it properly once and for all. So:

Step 1: Find the BIOS file and flash utility (awdflash and 75frn220.bin)

Step 2: Create a bootable CD with DRDOS and the flash stuff - this machine has no floppy drive

Step 3: Flash BIOS with /sn/py

Finds that nothing has changed, oh bugger

Step 4: Flash BIOS again, but this time with the /cc clear CMOS switch as well

Finds that nothing has changed, oh bugger

Step 5: Try to hotflash another BIOS chip from some random old mobo, but awdflash refuses to write to it

Step 6: Try to hotflash yet another old BIOS chip, same result

Step 7: Do some research, discover that BIOS chips come in different sizes, and I need a 2MB BIOS - which I don't have (other than the stuffed one)

Step 8: Continue trying to salvage the busted one, and flash it again, with the /cc flag set

Finds that nothing has changed, getting quite pissed off by this stage

Step 9: Reflash with /cc and /wb to overwrite the BIOS boot block

Finds that nothing has changed, gets really, really pissed off, and does the BIOS equivalent of hitting it with a sledgehammer (i.e. step 10)

Step 10: Flash AGAIN, with /cc (clear CMOS), /wb (overwrite bootblock), /cd (wipe DMI data), and /wp (wipe EHCD plug & play data)

Finds that it seemes to have worked, but the onboard network has vanished

Step 11: Spend a frustrating 30 minutes trying to find where the network has gone

Step 12: Conclude that the flash has somehow disabled the network (as it still seems to be running, but the BIOS simply can't see it) and repeat step 11 with the /NVMAC:xxxxxxxxxxxx flag. Twice.

Runs out of options, as the network still seems to be disabled, and puts in a PCI card

So the end result of all that is a motherboard that now works properly, but has no onboard network. Any ideas how to get the BIOS to see the network again?

pctek
19-10-2006, 03:36 PM
Buy a new motherboard. Not a used one.

Erayd
19-10-2006, 03:59 PM
Buy a new motherboard.But why would I do that? I got the existing one for free anyway, and all it's taken on my part is some time, swearing, and a spare network card. I'd just like to get the onboard LAN running again, so I can use WOL properly.

Pete O'Neil
19-10-2006, 04:03 PM
The SL-75FRN2 doesnt have onboard LAN but the SL-75FRN2-L does, perhaps you flashed with the incorrect BIOS?

Check out this (http://www.soltek.com.tw/soltek/download_file/Manual/socketA/NVIDIA/series75frn220/series75FRN2-spec.pdf)

or this (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/75FRN2.png)

SolMiester
19-10-2006, 04:08 PM
Nice post Pete!, I was going to suggest checking the BIOS, does it have LAN option at all, greyed out, not there etc.


I reckon Pete's post to be the winner..............

Erayd
19-10-2006, 04:13 PM
Nice one, I bet that's it - I was going by the model number on the instruction book, as I couldn't find it anywhere on the mobo. I'll try reflashing with the -L image and see what happens. If you don't hear back, assume I killed it...

Pete O'Neil
19-10-2006, 04:48 PM
I nearly brought a SL-75FRN2-L back in the day, ended up spending a bit more money and getting the EPOX 8RDA+. Can remember spending a bit of time getting my head around model numbers, the Soltek website doesnt mention that the SL-75FRN2 doesnt have lan, you have to read the manual to find out.

Erayd
19-10-2006, 05:04 PM
Yeehah! Pete, you're an utter legend - that was the problem. Now it's all sorted, and I have a motherboard in perfect condition :D

Also took the opportunity to change the mac address during the reflash - it now officially has the mac address aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff - much easier to remember :p

Graham L
19-10-2006, 06:21 PM
You shouldn't change the MAC address arbitrarily, although it "probably" won't cause any problems. The MAC address is supposed to be absolutely unique. The computer gets packets from the nearest router using the MAC address, not the IP address. But as long as you don't give another card the same MAC address in your LAN it won't matter.

gibler
19-10-2006, 07:05 PM
You shouldn't change the MAC address arbitrarily, although it "probably" won't cause any problems. The MAC address is supposed to be absolutely unique. The computer gets packets from the nearest router using the MAC address, not the IP address. But as long as you don't give another card the same MAC address in your LAN it won't matter.

Absolutely right. Usually, there is a sticker (sometimes on the floppy connector) on the motherboard with the MAC Address.

I once got some new PCs at work and the supplierhad done a bios upgrade (with a bad version) and the MAC addresses were all the same (although they looked "normal"). It was fun figuring out what was going on...

Erayd
19-10-2006, 08:14 PM
You shouldn't change the MAC address arbitrarily, although it "probably" won't cause any problems. The MAC address is supposed to be absolutely unique. The computer gets packets from the nearest router using the MAC address, not the IP address. But as long as you don't give another card the same MAC address in your LAN it won't matter.Yes, I do know this. However let's face it - how likely is it for another PC on my LAN to have that MAC address? Not very. Especially not when I have then all written down in the firewall config anyway. You can't deny that aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff is a much easier address to remember than 00:00:00:21:5f:cc ever could be.

Graham L
20-10-2006, 04:37 PM
But how often do you need to enter the MAC address?

Graham L
20-10-2006, 04:40 PM
But how often do you need to enter the MAC address? But as I said, it's unlikely to cause problems in a home LAN. If it did there would be only one victim: the perpetrator. ;) In a large network user-chosen MAC addresses could be a disaster.

Erayd
20-10-2006, 04:46 PM
Very true. Any admin who tries that in a corporate network deserves to be shot. As for how often I need to enter it - not very. Realistically about once every four months or so. But when I do need it, it'll save the bother of finding out what it is.


Plus, there's that age old geek tradition - if something can be changed, why not change it? As the saying goes: "If it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet" :p