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A8N32-SLI Deluxe BIOS corruption - i4memory.com - different look at memory

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Old 18-05-2009, 04:56 PM   #1
Ray Sheppard
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A8N32-SLI Deluxe BIOS corruption

I switched off a perfect working A8N32-SLI Deluxe system and next day it failed to post, with the message 'bad BIOS checksum' ...starting BIOS recovery. I used the Asus CD and that went through the motions of rewriting the BIOS, switched off and restarted but was just the same. Took the battery out, switched the jumper to pins 2-3, tried without any RAM, then one stick but no BIOS beeps at all, although the Fans and CPU were running.

I ordered a new BIOS Chip (and chip extractor) from Grains Bios Repair. (http://bios-repair.co.uk/index.htm) The new BIOS eeprom had just the same error message and it still failed to enter the BIOS set up screen. The very helpful guy at Grains BIOS Repair UK asked me to send both my original eeprom back and the new one he sent me and he would run a test. I received the following email...

"Very strange. Both your eeprom are failing validation in the same spot. From what I can see I would suggest you disconnect your hard drive next time whilst testing the machine. Both eeprom have been reprogrammed with the latest bios. Something has written to the prom I sent you and its was failing validation in exactly the same location as your old one. Sorted again now though. Both eeprom have been reprogrammed and will be posted back ASAP. There was indeed a discrepancy with both eeprom, in the exact same location. Disconnect hard drive to test machine boot to dos floppy disk first"

Thinking my original board was dead and before I received the email from the BIOS guy, I managed to buy a two year old A8N32-SLI Deluxe Motherboard, with original box and complete with everything as new, for 37 off ebay. The snag that crossed my mind was if I had a piece of hardware at fault, it would possibly corrupt the BIOS again and I would be back to square one. I have never heard of a BIOS being corrupted by faulty hardware but didn't have enough knowledge of the inner workings of a BIOS to hazard a guess on what could be causing it.

Before trying the second replacement eeprom in the 'defective' board, I tested the 4800+ CPU and HDD in another system and that was perfect, so I tried the RAM in the working system and although the one stick of TwinX C2 3200 memory was fine, the other stick failed Memtest. Then tried some old Crucial RAM in the 'defective' board and with the replacement memory and yet another eeprom, it worked perfectly!

The company I bought the memory from confirmed the Corsair RAM is faulty and with the 'lifetime warranty' will hopefully send me replacement FOC but knowing what I know now, I could have saved the money I spent on replacement Motherboard and eeprom's...another lesson I won't forget and you may find this post helpful if you have something similar happen.

What I would like to know please, is it possible for faulty RAM to have caused the re-writing of the BIOS to become corrupt at exactly the same spot?

Ray
PS...I had used the 1405 BIOS version on the A8n32-SLI Deluxe but had a BlueScreen with the message ERROR - " The BIOS in this system is not fully ACPI compliant " For a workaround I disabled APM and that got me into Windows. I have heard that the later 1409 may have corrected that error?
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Old 18-05-2009, 07:47 PM   #2
eva2000
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Hi Ray and welcome to i4memory.com

Yup faulty ram would be the #1 cause for bad bios checksum errors similarly lack of ram voltage for memory can also exhibit same error i.e. if ram is rated to run at 2.2v but on clear cmos the board gives 1.8v default, the lack of ram voltage could give you a bad bios checksum on first reboot from exiting bios. If you raise back ram voltage after this first boot, bad bios checksum will disappear.

Now for faulty ram, it cause what you experienced. No idea on 1405 vs 1409 bios as no longer have this board.
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Old 18-05-2009, 08:36 PM   #3
Ray Sheppard
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Cheers and thanks for taking time out to reply. Happier now that it looks like the RAM did cause my BIOS corruption with the system still running fine since the problem.

Apart from one system, that I use O/C, I usually run BIOS settings at default. Corsair TwinX PC6400 C4, at the default settings on one PC, did give the symptoms you mentioned but increasing the voltage to 2.1v (manufacturer advised setting) fixed it. I always spend extra cash on Motherboards capable of good O/C potential but it's really a waste as I rarely push the limits. My main E8500 @ 4.0GHz, using a P5N32-E SLI Plus, is the most extreme and changing the RAM settings is a little above my head so tend to leave what I don't understand...well alone.

Thanks again for your help.

Ray
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