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Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by ZodaEX, Oct 27, 2018.
Well, I see an original poster dropped off the planet, again.
Principally it just rubs me the wrong way that i'd have to go to such lengths to get this machine working again under one of it's only two officially supported Operating Systems. (it shows right in the bios and on the freaking box that it supports Win7/Win8.) I already had all of the latest drivers installed from Gigabyte and just feel that it shouldn't be as big of a hassle to simple install Windows as it is.
I've decided to just sell this computer. I ended up cobbling together a full sized Athlon II X4 based system to use while I was working on this Gigabyte computer and I might as well just continue to use it. I ordered some Startech rubber feet for this big thing so i'm just going to put feet on it and lie it on it's side under a table to where I won't be able to see it. I'm sure it probably uses 3-4 times the electricity, but screw it, it's user friendly to me. Thanks again so much for the great help you guys have offered here.
On the one hand, that is unfortunate as I was really very curious if the integrated installer would get it done. On the other hand, you can almost certainly put a stronger CPU in that Athlon II system for next to no money. You should be able to use any Phenom II chip except * maybe * the 6-core Thuban ones as a straight-up chip swap. Phenom II may have been slower than Intel's Core 2, but it was still in the same ballpark.
What mainboard are you using, and what firmware revision is it at? I have a LOT of experience with AMD systems and might be able to point out where you can improve it easily and cheaply.
Hell, I'll buy it from you if the price is right. I have a thing for attempting to fix unfixable shit.
$50? Keep in mind that it does run Win10 perfectly fine so i'm sure it would be of some use regardless to someone. I'd include the 4GB of laptop RAM that's in it, but I took out the SSD.
Well I just shipped the computer out to Ryan_975 today, so this project is in his hands now lol.
mvmiller12 My newly constructed HTPC is using an Asus M5 A97 AM3+ board with an Athlon x4 610e CPU & 16GB of Single channel DDR3. It's got 6 great sata3 ports, unlike my main PC and the one it replaced so i've taken advantage of that and loaded it up with a bunch of hard drives for media. I originally bought this board back in I think 2013 or 2014 just in case my cheapy Biostar board I was using at the time ever failed, and it eventually did so i'm happy I had this spare available to save me from the hell of working on this micro Gigabyte computer. At this point it probably isn't worth pouring any more money into the machine. I've got a personal machine and a guest PC that are both faster than this thing is ever going to be, so if I ever needed at some point to do some serious gaming, i'd use one of my more powerful Sandy Bridge machines. One thing I would like to add to it eventually, is a videocard that can decode H.265 video in hardware because the CPU isn't powerful enough to play the brand new 4k remaster of Star Wars, but the only cards that can do that now seem a bit outside of my price range. I actually stupidly bought a Nvidia 1030GT videocard for it, foolishly assuming that it could decode H.265, but it can't so i've been waiting for another newer card to eventually be released that can do it that's not a super expensive gaming card.
I have the EVO version of that board in my media center PC running an FX-8350. That board will easily take a either a Phenom II x6 chip or the FX-8350. The reason you would consider this is if you're using Plex. The FX-8350 may be a lackluster CPU in a lot of ways, but it actually makes for a pretty potent Plex server. Plex actually plays to the chip's strengths. The Phenom II x6 is also good at this, but the FX is actually better at it (and can generally be found for cheaper, believe it or not - AMD sold a ton of FX-8350's and not all that many Phenom II x6's, it seems).
I'm fairly certain that the new remasters of Star Wars and Return of the Jedi would be even too much for a FX-8350 to decode. I say that because my Sandy Bridge i5 can't even come close to playing them smoothly, maxing out at 100% usage and I think they are probably more powerful chips than the FX-8350 (i'm assuming). Really that's the only thing this machine could use some more power for. Right now the only way I can play watch the two films is by H/W accelerating them on my main gaming PC's Nvidia 1050ti. For years i've been using the 1.2GHZ dual core Celeron in the Gigabyte mini PC for my HTPC without complaints, so the Athlon II was actually a pretty big step up.
I should probably look into this "Plex" program some day. I've just always used a PC with keyboard and mouse directly hooked up to a TV, but i've heard people mention the Plex software many times before so it must be worth looking into.
Oh, no. the FX-8350 will not smoothly decode h.265 video. Not at all. It's strength is with Plex.
Plex transcodes video on the fly and then sends it on demand across the network - or the Internet - to other devices. With the right hardware, Plex can even be used to watch your Live TV channels on your cellphone while you are away from home (like the old Slingbox). It can act as a DVR and has it's own Guide data (for Live TV, like Windows Media Center). It also has Media Library functions (in that it automatically downloads the metadata for your videos and categorizes them). The downside is that Plex Server is a subscription service, and you have to purchase some of the client apps EXCEPT they offer a pricey lifetime subscription (usually $150) that makes all the client apps you need free. Plex does, however, offer a free trial period so you can see if it meets your needs.
I ended up with the Lifetime subscription when a couple of weeks after the trial ended (and I had not pursued a subscription) I was offered a 1-day only coupon to get it for $75. I didn't really need it at the time, but I'm glad I got it because I use it a lot now.
ryan_975 did you fix this yet? We must know what fixed it.
Not yet. Haven't had much time to work on it.
Boo. Get to work, inquiring minds want to know.
Okay so when I first got it in, I tried Windows 7 SP1 from my USB stick and couldn't get the keyboard to work, just like Zoda. It didnt matter what settings I changed in BIOS, whether I was booting UEFI or CSM, or which port I was using for the flash drive or keyboard. I pulled the BIOS battery for a while and it still wouldn't let me use the keyboard.
Fast forwarding to today, I tried flashing back to the F2 BIOS version (he sent it to me with F9), and promptly bricked the board. I couldn't get the recovery to kick In, so I broke out my trusty old SPI programmer and test clip and reprogrammed the chip back to F9. It didnt boot at first, but yanking the battery for a bit fixed that.
Now the keyboard is working and Windows 7 is installing as I post this.
One dead hard drive swap later, and we have Windows 7 up and running on this little box.
I really dont know why I keep junk drives around.
Wow you got it working on Win7! It's impressive how few steps it took you to get to the bottom of it. It sounds to me like either something was a little off about the bios image for some reason that Gigabyte's own flasher was unable to fix it's self. Thank God I didn't go any further with this myself then. It sounds like I wasn't even equipped to fix the thing seeing how your SGI reprogrammed fixed everything without needing to slipstream new drivers into the install- which I believe was the main running theory of why it wasn't working at the time. I guess it probably wasn't some big conspiracy to force people onto Win10 after all.
And now Linux Mint is installed and working just fine on F9. I assume that Ubuntu would work fine as well, but I don't have time to test that right now.
So I can only guess that Gigabyte's flash tool doesn't properly update the BIOS and left something crusty in there that was mucking things up, and pushing the raw BIOS image directly into the chip cleaned all of that up.
Sweet. Nice to know that in this day and age that jacked up BIOS flashes are still a thing. Honestly it has been a super long time since that thought ever entered my troubleshooting equations...