Friday, September 23, 2011

Gigabyte Motherboard Reboots Multiple Times Before Loading Windows

This is completely unrelated to Dynamics GP, but since I just resolved this issue after HOURS of frustration, I wanted to share it in case some other unfortunate individual is experiencing the same issue.

I recently built two new PCs.  One desktop with a Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 motherboard, and one "server" with a Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 motherboard.  Both have Intel Core i7-2600 processors.

As always, after getting everything installed, the first thing that I did after powering them on was update the BIOS.  I then set the BIOS CMOS settings the way I liked, and then went to install Windows.

But when I tried to install Windows, I noticed something strange.  When the system was powered on, it would display the POST screen, then display the AHCI controller screen and drive listing, and then reboot.  It would repeat this process and keep rebooting after the AHCI screen.  Sometimes it would just start to load Windows, and then reboot, causing Windows to detect a boot failure.  Sometimes it would reboot 3 times, sometimes 8 times, sometimes 2 times.  Rarely just once.  It would even reboot from within the BIOS configuration windows.

Something definitely felt wrong, but I didn't know where to start.  I tried removing some memory, unplugging and disabling any peripherals, changing CPU and memory voltage settings.  Nothing seemed to make the systems boot properly.

I even ordered 24 GB of new RAM, thinking that maybe the memory I purchased wasn't incompatible.  But I received the new memory yesterday, plugged it in, but the multiple reboots still persisted.

Fortunately a friend of mine was available, so he stopped by to help me troubleshoot.  After trying everything we could think of, with no success, he suggested that we try the "Reset to factory defaults" option in the BIOS.  The Gigabyte boards have a "Reset to Fail Safe Defaults" option, so we tried that.  Magically, the system would reboot fine.

After that, I was able to use the "Optimized" default settings and adjust the other options, and the machines worked fine.

It seems that after a BIOS update, some invalid values or corruption may exist in some of the CMOS settings.  Resetting to a default configuration appears to clear all of those values, reset everything, and provide you with a stable configuration.  I've never, ever used that option previously, so it would have never occurred to me to try it, but I'm now a believer.  He said that he's seen that recommendation previously from some other motherboard manufacturers, so that is how he was aware of it.

So, the bottom line is:  After updating your BIOS, make sure to reset to default values, and then reconfigure your settings.

And now I'm off to fill out the RMA form for the extra RAM that I didn't need...

Steve Endow is a Dynamics GP Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is also the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

1 comment:

unka said...

thank you for sharing! :)