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Iwill DK8N Motherboard review


Troubleshooting the Iwill DK8N

 

With such a new platform, users will obviously run into a few hassles with the DK8N: before wasting any of your time with the tips below, we assume you will have double-checked all the usual hardware issues - as much as possible checking them in another known-working PC. The usual issues are: right kind of EPS12V PSU; heatsinks & their fans properly installed; no shorts between motherboard & enclosure; all cables & connections correct & secure; correct kind of memory correctly seated in the correct slots, mouse & keyboard correctly installed w/ no bent pins (if PS/2); floppy cable right way round, & etc & etc

We strongly advise checking your memory as the first suspect if the system seems flaky without specific cause. If any errors shown by repeated runs of Memtest (with 'legacy USB' disabled in the BIOS) do not occur at the same address or addresses in MB (ie appear random but real), especially if using unapproved or low-latency memory; enter the BIOS/Chipset/Northbridge/Memory & relax the timings to (say) 3-3-3-10 - you can also try reseating the memory in its original slots; or indeed try putting up to four sticks of your memory in the bank adjacent CPU#0, with none adjacent CPU#1 - if it only works in this configuration, & you are using approved memory, consider getting a replacement DK8N.

01 - it won't POST (first time you've used your D8N)

02 - it won't POST (you've used your D8N OK before)

03 - it won't POST (you've just flashed your D8N's BIOS from a know-working configuration)

04 - it will POST from cold, but not reboot

05 - I can't install to/boot off a USB-attached device

06 - I can't install Windows 32-bit

07 - I still can't install Windows 32-bit - getting messages about file corruption

08 - How do I enable NUMA? - I installed Windows XP Pro SP1

09 - I don't have any sound from my centre speaker (of a 5+1 setup)

10 - I have CD-burner/DVD-burner hassles

11 - I can't uninstall the NVIDIA IDE drivers & get back to MS originals

1 - it won't POST (first time you've used your D8N)

Unplug from mains & clear the CMOS. simplify configuration to one CPU (in socket #0) & one stick of memory (slot nearest to CPU on upper RH of motherboard); use a known-working 1.5v AGP accelerator (ideally an NVIDIA model), & remove any PCI cards: does it work?

If not try another stick of memory; if still no POST try another CPU in socket #0;  if still no POST try another (approved) brand of Reg/ECC memory, then another PSU. If all this fails get an RMA from your vendor for another DK8N.

2 - it won't POST (you've used your D8N OK before)

Unplug from mains & clear the CMOS. Remove all recently added hardware. We have run into no-POST hassles with newly attached (incorrectly configured) IDE devices, & after fiddling with the BIOS

3 - it won't POST (you've just flashed your D8N's BIOS from a know-working configuration)

Unplug from mains & clear the CMOS; if still no POST you're stuffed - there is no rescue procedure. Either contact your vendor or (best) mail titanwu@iwill.net & ask for a new DK8N EEPROM. 

Safest procedure for flashing the DK8N BIOS is to download a driverless DRDOS image, insert a clean, tested, or ideally new floppy, then double-click the downloaded file, which will write to it. Extract the *.bin & flash executable from the new BIOS you've downloaded form Iwill, copy both to this floppy. Read the readme & make a note of anything tricky you'll need to type. Reboot to the floppy & flash.

4 - it will POST from cold, but not reboot

Enter BIOS & set to 'optimal defaults' - if this doesn't work remove newly installed hardware item by item until you have pinpointed the cause.

5 - I can't install to/boot off a USB-attached device: 

Enter the BIOS; Advanced/USB/Emulation - set this to the appropriate emulation for your device. Reboot, enter the BIOS - check what boot-devices are available. It doesn't work for us with the 21st July 04 BIOS; but is clearly designed to work.

6 - I can't install Windows 32-bit

You'll need a version of Windows 2000 Pro or XP Pro which recognises USB2: this is SP4 for W2K & SP1 for XP - if your install CD is an earlier version you'll need to slipstream it using the network version of the Service Pack.

7 - I still can't install Windows 32-bit - getting messages about file corruption while copying files from CD to target drive  

First check condition of CD & cabling to & jumpering of IDE optical drive, swap the IDE optical drive for another you know to work &/or clean the lens. Also check cabling to & jumpering of your target drive, &/or swap for another known-good HD.

If still getting similar messages remove & reseat your memory sticks, having very gently run a clean & soft india-rubber along the contacts to clean them. 

8 - How do I enable NUMA? - I installed Windows XP Pro SP1 (or earlier - not recommended), & have installed the SP2 patch. 

As well as the correct BIOS settings & correct memory configuration; you will need edit & add a switch to your boot.ini: switch definitions here, example of edited boot.ini here - boot.ini is in the root of your boot drive: if you cannot see it start Windows Explorer, go to Tools/Folder Options/View & tick: 'Show hidden files & folders' & untick 'Hide protected operating system files' - you can edit boot.ini with notepad. 

It is much, much simpler to slipstream SP2 into the files extracted from your Windows XP Pro CD, then make & burn yourself a bootable CD.

9 - I don't have any sound from my centre speaker (of a 5+1 setup)

Download & install Realtek ALC drivers of version 3.61 or higher; you'll need - if you want it - to reinstall NVSOUND afterwards. Both these have a speaker-check utility.

10 - I have CD-burner/DVD-burner hassles

Use the default MS IDE drivers

11 - I can't uninstall the NVIDIA IDE drivers & get back to MS originals

Though tricky, there is a way: this site has a rollback/uninstall utility plus instructions for use; this utility, used together with a special cleaner, will get you back to compatible MS drivers.

 

copyright Stephen Hoar August 2004 for www.burningissues.net - all rights reserved

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