Re: AHA-2940UW Nightmares - Mainboard & BIOS rel. Info.

Keith Rohrer (
Fri, 31 Jan 1997 09:24:08 -0600 (CST)

> On Fri, 31 Jan 1997, Marco Bravi wrote:
> > Hey! I am using an ASUSTeK PVI-486SP3 with an Intel i486DX4-100
> > BIOS:
> >
> > Award Modular BISO v. 4.50G
> > #401A0-0203
> Yes, I had the same BIOS version.
I've got a PVI-486SP3; my stepping uses the A4 chipset, so the built-
in EIDE controller doesn't like to (can't?) do more than PIO mode 2.
It (EIDE chip) also doesn't behave at any setting but "slowest" with a
bus speed of 50 MHz.

> > > Ok, take a look into the PCI-HOWTO. There are many tips about different
Last I looked, the PCI howto was horribly out of date; the last modification
seems to be mid-1996 and much of the information is stale. But you can try
it anyway.

> > > main boards, their buggy EIDE chipsets, and how you can make workarounds.
> > I will be looking there for a possible workaround---I can't get a new MB
> > immediately. Did you find a workable solution for your former
> > configuration? Or did you have to fully upgrade your MB?
> Yes, I changed MB + Processor. All other components are the same.
> For my old board I found no workaround. Because you have the same MB but
> an other controller I'm very sure that the problem lies in the board.
> I tried the following:
> Changed quite all BIOS parameters
> Tried the kernel parameters from 2.0.25
> Tried different SCSI drivers from Linux (NCR has two of them)
> No success.
I'm not sure what you were trying to do, but I've had zero problems
getting my NCR 810-based adapter and my IDE drives to get along.

> Dos and OS2 worked fine. Win95 had minor problems. Win NT crashed just
> after installation. Linux crashed when I used SCSI and IDE at the same
> time but it worked, when I used only one type at one time.
I regularly copy files back and forth between EIDE and SCSI drives
under Linux, since two summers ago...

> I didn't try a BIOS upgrade. You can get it from But I'm
> not sure if it helps because Linux doesn't use the BIOS for accessing the
> disks -- does it?
It might be a setup thing. I'd certainly figure out which version of the
chipset you're using, and/or make sure hdparm says you're using PIO 2
mode or slower unless you've got the B4 stepping...

> An other point:
> This main board has a NCR Bios included, which supports my SCSI card (NCR)
> directly. Because you are using a ADAPTEC, there may be a conflict.
> Search through the ASUS home page for supporting information. I remember,
> there where an information about this topic.
There shouldn't be; the NCR BIOS ought to only deal with detected NCR
chips, and the Adaptec BIOS ought to only deal with that card.

> Somone mentioned that the onboard EIDE controller has problems with a
> second busmastering device. But I don't know how you can fix this.
> I never figured out, which EIDE chipset this board is using. Does anybody
> know?
It's part of the SiS 496/497 chipset, if I recall. I think somewhere
on ASUS's web site (if not, then on Patri(c?)k Duffy's Motherboards
for OS/2 page) it tells you what markings to look for on the chips to
determine your chipset stepping. If your board came with BIOS
version 2.anything, then you've probably got Bsomething, especially
if EIDE works at all under, say, DOS...