A7N8X Deluxe FAQs (with answers)

“Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for the truth.”

- Disraeli

 

Questions

What is this?
Why are your answers better than anybody elses?
What if my question isn't answered here?
Which drivers should I install?
Which USB2 drivers should I install?
Which BIOS should I use?
How should I flash a new BIOS?
How do I change the SATA Firmware in the BIOS?
Which RAM should I buy?
Do I need Dual Channel RAM?
Do I need identical DIMMs to get Dual Channel?
What should I use to Monitor Temperatures and Fan Speeds?

What is this?

This is my FAQ about the A7N8X Deluxe, the best motherboard I've ever had. Hopefully it will help you find out how to make yours the best you've ever had.

Why are your answers better than anybody elses?

They might not be, I've spent considerable time helping others out with their boards so they should be sane if not ideal.

What if my question isn't answered here?

I spend far too much time hanging out in alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.asus which can be searched at groups.google.com so do a little search first. If you can't find your answer ask the question there, please don't email me, it'll probably get ignored. Somebody else will be able to help if I can't, won't or just get beaten to it.

Which drivers should I install?

Win XPWin 2KWin 98/me
nForce2nVidia ForceWare 5.10nVidia ForceWare 4.27nVidia ForceWare 4.27
3Com LAN3c90x1.exe
SATA RAID1.0.0.51 Driver

Which USB2 drivers should I install?

If you have Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP1, then your OS natively supports USB2. Otherwise I'm under the impression that you should install the latest from Orange Micro available from their website here. They won't work on Windows 95 or NT, upgrade.

Which BIOS should I use?

I'm using the listed in the table as "Mine". It's basically the standard 1008, but I've updated the SATA BIOS updated to 4.2.50, and AWDFLASH to 8.24B.

Rev 2.0Rev 1.0x
Asus 10081008_D.zipAN8D1008.zip
Uber 10071007Dv2.0-Uber.rar1007D-Uber.rar
Mine1008-D-B.rar

How should I flash a new BIOS?

Well I tend to use Alt-F2 on boot with the new BIOS sitting on a floppy.

In case it goes a bit pear-shaped, you'll want to be prepared by having a bootable floppy with a working BIOS image on it, AWDFLASH.EXE and an AUTOEXEC.BAT that contains just this line (with the correct name for the BIOS image, obviously):

 awdflash WORKING_BIOS.BIN /py /sn /cd /cp /cc /cks /R  

How do I change the SATA Firmware in the BIOS?

OK, firstly you'll need to obtain cbrom215 which I have renamed to CBROM.EXE

You can use this to find out useful information about the BIOS by doing:

 cbrom BIOS.BIN /D                        

Next you need to get the SATA Firmware you are interested in, the latest one is 4.2.50 which I grabbed from SiImages website, and can be obtained by doing:

 cbrom 1008-D-B.BIN /pci Extract          

The option ROM in question in all cases I have seen is "A", but it's probably worth checking.

Next you should try to update the Firmware with:

 cbrom NEW_BIOS.BIN /pci 4250.BIN         

If that fails, due to lack of space, you'll need to remove the logo, so do this instead:

 cbrom NEW_BIOS.BIN /logo Release         
 cbrom NEW_BIOS.BIN /pci 4250.BIN         

Or you could remove the EPA logo (I haven't tried this):

 cbrom NEW_BIOS.BIN /epa Release          
 cbrom NEW_BIOS.BIN /pci 4250.BIN         

That should be it, all you gotta do now is cross your fingers and flash the new BIOS.

Which RAM should I buy?

This is a toughy, but generally don't go for no-name stuff, it's false economy. I recommend the following brands:

Corsair XMS
GeIL
Mushkin

Get yourself some PC3200 for general use, that way you can take advantage of 200MHz DDR memory interface on the nForce2.

For those on a budget, people have had luck with Winbond based modules such as those from Twinmos.

Do I need Dual Channel RAM?

There is no such thing. Dual Channel is a feature of the chipset, so there is no requirement to spend more money on a "Dual Channel Kit".

Do I need identical DIMMs to get Dual Channel?

Absolutely not. You can use DIMMs from different manufacturers, with different sizes and different timings.

You will get the lowest common denominator though, which means that timings will be as for the slowest DIMM in there. The first channel is the two slots nearest the CPU, the second channel is the slot furthest from the CPU. You may put 1 or 2 DIMMs in the first channel and as long as there is a DIMM in the second channel, you'll have Dual Channel.

What should I use to Monitor Temperatures and Fan Speeds?

Don't use Asus Probe - it won't tell you the CPU Diode temperature.

I Use Motherboard Monitor 5 available from mbm.livewiredev.com, unfortunately it is no longer being developed, but can still be downloaded.

Go to the article on nForcersHQ for info on configuring your board with MBM5.