[Techtalk] Nforce A7N8X motherboard forgets clock multiplier on reboot

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at edsons.demon.nl
Sat Dec 4 19:15:45 EST 2004

Mary wrote:

>Hey everyone,
>I've got an NVidia nforce A7N8X motherboard. I know now that they're not
>exactly famous for their Linux compatibility, but I don't want to get a
>new motherboard for obvious reasons unless this one is unrepairable.
>The Linux machine running on it crashes every few days: or rather it
>hangs needing a reboot. I'm not sure whether this is the motherboard or
>not, and neither the consoles after the hang, nor /var/log/syslog,
>reveal anything out of the ordinary or note the hang itself. (My
>hardware-fu is not hugely wonderful, and the only thing I've ever seen
>cause this is bad RAM. But I doubt that's the only possible
>However, the real problem is that when this hang occurs, the BIOS
>forgets the clock multiplier: after the memory check part of startup
>(which completes without error although it reduces the memory speed to
>100 MHz) it immediately gives an error message about not knowing the CPU
>speed. Entering the BIOS and exiting it without any changes fixes the
>problem as does setting the multiplier to 11x by hand.
>We have not been overclocking it, or otherwise giving it settings that
>might damage it. I didn't build the machine though.
>Anyone got any clues? I don't like having to drag a monitor and keyboard
>over to it every time it crashes in order to get it to actually boot.

I do not have a real anwer for you. I *can* relate to your feeling, 
having recently had a system with a broken mobo.
 From your description i get some suspicions:
- you are using this one in a server
- you have several computers in use
- this mobo might work correctly is not in use 24/7 (it reminds me of an 
infamous IBM disk)

So could you exchange motherboards with a system that is used only 
during the day? I know its a hassle, but might be a workaround.

Alternatively, check whether you are running the latest BIOS on it.
Question: Is it losing only this BIOS setting or all settings? Can be 
checked by changing a non-vital setting and checking on next occurance 
of the problem

Good luck,


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