MSI K8T NEO FIS2R causes heavy troubles with the onboard RAID controller

As some of you may have notice, I’ve hardly been active the last few days… I blew up my mainboard (with updating my hacked BIOS :() and I bought a new mainboard (MSI K8T NEO FIS2R with an Athlon 64 3000+). Now I have this very strange issue… :frowning:

As soon as I connect a harddisk to the Promise (378) controller of this board and assign it to an array, the system doesn’t work like it should.

Symptoms:

  • MS Windiag (a memory testing application) reports thousands of errors
  • Memtestx86 causes a spontaneous reset within seconds
  • I can try to install Windows, but the process never completes; during the installation everything works really really slow (partial XP installation takes over 2 hours!)
  • Linux gives me a kernel panic while booting

My system specs:

  • MSI K8T Neo FIS2R (bios 1.5)
  • Athlon 3000+
  • 2x 512MB PQI memory (tested with GEIL/Kingston/Infineon memory as well, the problem persists!)
  • Radeon 9700
  • Levicom PSU (34A RMS on 12V line) (also tried Enermax 460W and Antec tru power 480W)
  • 2x WD Raptor 36Gb (RAID 0 array 1)
  • 2x Maxtor Diamond plus (RAID 0 array 2)
  • 4x optical drive

I just can’t figure out what’s going on here… if I don’t use the onboard RAID controller everything is fine… but I need it for my two arrays… (besides that, it should work, shouldn’t it?).

Is this perhaps just a bug in the BIOS of my system? If so… MSI please resolve this issue, my computer is worthless for the time being… :frowning:

Any thoughts?

Is this promise controller onboard or external PCI card?

If so, was it present on old board, because if this is the case, maybe damage leaked into the promise controller somehow during when you fried the old baord since multiple O/S are reporting errors.

I would try getting a crappy ass cheap controller and test it, maybe then return it if itsfrom a popular store or website.

Aside that, as a last conclusion I would say its the mainbaord or some compatibility issue between the mainboard and controller. But I somehow assume you checked for all latest updates :wink:

Sounds like a definite hardware issue, this is not software related for sure, so at least you posted in the correct forum.

The promise controller is onboard (378 says it all ;))

I doubt there are compatibility problems between the two, as the controller is onboard…

(and yes I know I posted in the correct forum… lol :D)

Can’t think of any other solution, and yes if its onboard it would be very bad for their reputability to have an onboard incompatible hardware. They would go down in books and be a laughing stock.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment to try, aside a replacement board itself.

I’ll do my research on this to try helping you out.

According to her ethe latest BIOS helped someone else:
http://forums.devhardware.com/archive/t-14937

Thanks xtacydima!

I am already running on the latest BIOS version of the board (that’s 1.5).

I just can’t imagine that MSI doesn’t know about this issue if there’s something wrong with all the boards.

A defect board? Could be, but I find it hard to believe.

What I just noticed: the errors I get when scanning the memory always always appear in the same area of the memory map (would perhaps the Promise controller be that part of the memory?). When I connect disks to the Promise controller but don’t assign them to any array (so they are not visible to the system), I don’t get any error. When I set the Promise to function as SATA controller (can be set from the mainboard BIOS) I get a couple of hundreds of errors. When I set it to RAID I get more than 10000 errors! It’s quite clear to me that the Promise controller is causing this… but how.

Just a thought: could it perhaps be that this is a known issue that is resolved by installing the drivers of the Promise controller?

I have (had???) some stability issues as well. Yesterday while setupping, the system crashed a few times. Before I went to sleep I set Prime95 to do a torture test. This morning I saw that the torture test only did about 20min of testing and then the system crashed. Now I restarted the test and it has been running for a couple of hours now (now doing the 448K test). I can’t get 3DMark, PCMark, Prime95 etc to crash… but Notepad did! I feel like I’m loosing it… All the temperatures are ok etc, so that’s not a problem…

If anybody got any thoughts… please!

“Just a thought: could it perhaps be that this is a known issue that is resolved by installing the drivers of the Promise controller?”

Well, I had stability problems with my RAID, but nowhere near what you are experiencing. Interesting you bring this up about the drivers, because for some strange reason, I was able to resolve it by using the latest drivers at the time and although everything worked OK by simply updating drivers in device manager, I noticed much greater stability by runiing my WinXP setup with drivers insatlling from the very beginning. You know, that option to install a 3rd party device such as RAID or SCSI, I think by pressing F6 and then inserting a floppy. I never have any problems when doing it this particular way.

I don’t know why this happens, but I suspect it has something to do with th way the O/S is written during the setup of Windows to the disk and the area in which critical files are stored for access.

I guess you can try this, but I would feel bad if you tried it and it didn’t help, and you format for nothing. Maybe you have spare HDD you can torture?

Best of Luck!!!

Well guess what… when I just place one DDR chip in DDR slot 2 or 3, every thing works flawless. With 1 chip in DDR slot 1 and the RAID controller enabled, I can’t do a thing. By placing a seond chip in 2 or 3 (so slot 2 and 3 are in use) I get “only” 32 errors…

I hope I can narrow this down to a compatibility issue between this mainboard and this RAM… so that when I buy new RAM (I’m looking for PC3700) I can use 2x 512MB in DDR slot 2 and 3 without a problem.

Still a pretty stupid problem this is :wink:

I’m already running on the latest drivers for now. Perhaps an older version of the drivers would do my system good…?

Gonna (re)install Linux now, let’s see how that turns out :slight_smile:

I was also thinking it could be RAM but since the RAM worked on your previous system I eliminated the idea, and completely forgot about the trivial rule that RAM isn’t always compatible with every board. You never mentioned if the old board was an MSI. I know they have a compatibility list somewhere on their website because I had a problem when getting a new MSI board for my gf and her old RAM just didn’t go. I can tell you when I tried my Corsair RAM it worked fine, and I also tried Micron-PC RAM which she uses now and that works fine too. I got the Micron-PC from Crucial. I think all their RAM is Micron-PC and most of it uses the Mushkin chipset.

I think you’ve finally narrowed down the problem, but this baord and setup may now cost you more now that you also need to change RAM. But you can always sell the old RAM.

Hoping for the best for ya!!!

Yes, the old board was a MSI as well… but I guess this doesn’t matter, as it’s the memory controller that does it. I went from NForce2 to Athlon 64…

I find it pretty strange that MSI has a list of compatible memory, as the memory is directly controlled from the CPU…

I find it pretty strange that MSI has a list of compatible memory, as the memory is directly controlled from the CPU…

Why? It’s not just the controller itself that affects compatibility, design of PCB is one of many…
btw, getting PC3700 is probably just a waste of money. Get yourself a pair of reliable PC3200 sticks from manufacturers such as Crucial, Corsair (their Value Series is a good one),Micron, Winbond (chips) etc.
//Danne

Originally posted by DiiZzY
Why? It’s not just the controller itself that affects compatibility, design of PCB is one of many…/QUOTE]

After reading up on this I realise this is a point of discussion… some manufacturers claim so, others claim the other way around…

[QUOTE]Originally posted by DiiZzY btw, getting PC3700 is probably just a waste of money. Get yourself a pair of reliable PC3200 sticks from manufacturers such as Crucial, Corsair (their Value Series is a good one),Micron, Winbond (chips) etc.
//Danne

Nah… I just found that my local shop only asks $10 more for PC3700 over PC3200. For the money I can get either Kingston HyperX or GEIL Golden drageon (I guess I’ll go for the GEIL memory, as it has heatspreaders and nice leds on it :))…

But still thanks :slight_smile:

Every mainboard has a memory compatibility list, look at mine for example:

A good mfg will have a list anyway, and I am sure MSI does too somewhere in their site.

[add]
its controlled by the CPU but the MB has a controller and a north bridge which also access it and thats hwere things can go worng:(
[/add]

Just a quick one guys on the K8T Neo board.

What I’ve found with this board is if you use the via controllers with sata drives XP will reboot after a few weeks use. Not only that it seems to be affecting data on the hard drive! So be warned!!

MSI have finally admitted in a round about way to a problem and will be issuing an update for the via promise controller in the mean time my advice to anyone is avoid this board!!!

Kind regards,

Acki.

What are your sources?

And what controller are you referring to? My board has both the VIA and the Promise SATA/RAID controller… but that’s only the FIS2R version; the normal version only has the Via controller.

My board is working perfect now. XP Never allows my system to stay up over 2 weeks (and to be honest, I’m happy when I run a couple of days without -software- problems) and I didn’t install Linux yet. I replaced my memory for Geil PC3500 memory (even running at high performance settings), replaced my PSU with a 500W model (doing 34A on the 12V line!) and I’m fully back in business. I didn’t suffer from any data corruption this far (and I hope to keep that so).