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Old 07-22-2013, 06:27 AM   #1
bobbyrae
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Cool ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

This seems too weird to me. Around a year ago I couldn't save the CMOS settings, it kept forcing me to pull the battery and reset to defaults. But when it would run, everything else was fine. I swapped out everything one at time to isolate the problem, including the motherboard, but when I put in a new power supply, the problem went away.

But wait! It turned out I had a Seasonic PS (supposedly bad) and when I pulled the motherboard cable out of it and reinserted, then put it back in the case, the problem was still gone. So I decided it had to be some weird minor corrosion on the cable contacts.

But wait some more! The problem is now back again and the newer power supply and playing with the cables does NOT solve the problem this time. CPU is now at half speed. I can live with that, but, does this sound like a cap problem???

Last edited by bobbyrae; 07-22-2013 at 06:28 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Here's an update: I got things working again by swapping the EEPROM chip from the other board. I think maybe after ten years the contacts get a bit of corrosion. Luckily (or unluckily?) that chip socketed.

Any ideas on THAT? I know this has nothing to do with caps now, but since I'm here...
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

I have that same main-board.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

So u got the origanal eeprom working?
For crosion often reinserting fixes the issue.
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Old 07-26-2013, 02:45 AM   #5
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

When you removed the battery to force it to reset the cmos, and it insisted not working properly, it wouldn't save any of the settings you made or just a few?
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:50 PM   #6
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Thumbs down Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick6 View Post
When you removed the battery to force it to reset the cmos, and it insisted not working properly, it wouldn't save any of the settings you made or just a few?
I suppose I wasn't real clear initially. I would go into the BIOS setup by pressing DEL right after the POST. I make changes and tell it to save. Upon rebooting, I get NOTHING - blank screen. From experience, I know that I may have set the CPU too fast, but I try again by just setting some on/off option and it still does this.

Now, here is the lastest:
After reseating the BIOS chip, I was able to make changes and get booted, but this didn't last but a day. Then I tried to make some more changes, primarily as a test, and then it did some weird things like a message saying that "BIOS settings weren't saved correctly, please try again" , then I had some weird colors on the video, and eventually could not get any video at all no matter what I did. And the weird thing is that swapping in an identical (previously good) MOBO gets the same results. I'm starting to wonder if there might be some problem that I'm just looking past. Then I wonder if maybe 10 year old MOBO's just go bad like this. Does this sound like a cap problem?
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Thumbs up Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Here's another update... just 3 hours later!

I was browsing around here and looking at people's comments about recapping, etc. and someone said that maybe the heatsink compound was shorting things out on the surface of the CPU, so I took off the heatsink and noticed a SMALL amount of compound that MIGHT be a problem so I cleaned the thing up with alcohol. I honestly didn't expect this to make any difference, but much to my surprise I got the splash screen!

At this point I had ALL the drives disconnected, no network, etc. to simplify things, so it could not boot. I WAS able to get into the BIOS settings and make some changes and then boot again, but then I got numerous confusing error messages. First it said that memory had a memory failure. The next time it said I had a VGA failure (it has voice reports), and after pulling one RAM card and wiggling the video card, it wouldn't recognize the drives that I had hooked back up.

So then I moved the SCSI card over one slot and then it started booting up! But then, because of all the hardware changes, Windows decided that I needed to get activated again! Then I decided to spray some contact cleaner in the expansion slots and move everything back to the original slot. And it's working.

Here I am using the system that I was convinced was totally fried. Yesterday I was lamenting how it might be a month before I could even get my data off this thing and I just HAD to get a new system. Could it just be dust getting into the expansion slots? It almost seems like it has to be a ghost in my case!

Still, I wonder about replacing those caps. After 10 years, isn't that just smart? I mean, couldn't aging caps explain a lot of this weirdness?
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Well, back in December, 2012, my Asus P5QL Pro was acting bizarre.

The Parted Magic Linux distro started freezing at random places of the loading routine.

It would freeze at "Setting up system devices" and sometimes freezes at "Starting the HAL daemon".


Sometimes, after trying again, I would get a random kernel oops, after another reboot, would get a kernel panic and after another reboot, it looked like the boot routine was going to complete, then X crashed, after another reboot, I got tons of bogus "no such file or directory" error messages.

I was like, "I had it!" and disassembled everything! I also cleaned the board with a paint brush. I reseated all cards and RAM. I also cleared the CMOS.

Then it was good again.
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Today's problem...

...is that I set the CPU speed back at it's rated value (the one in there now is 1.6GHz) and whenever I would do anything memory and CPU intensive, like reading in a set of JPEG's to convert them, the system just stopped (i.e. it shutdown, no reboot, just dead). It did this twice in a row at about the same point, so then I slowed the FSB and CPU down, then the shutdowns stopped.

The cleaning definitely seems like a good idea. Contact cleaner, toothbrush, compressed air. I don't smoke so I shouldn't need to get too aggressive, right?
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Old 07-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: ASUS A7N8X: can't save to CMOS!!

Do not be too aggressive with the toothbrush. It is possible to break off small smc parts from the board, I made that mistake once. Try using good quality cosmetic brushes, one that do not shed fibers lightly dipped in denatured alcohol then blow dry.
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