I've just sent back my 2nd K8M800-MLVF board to the vendor. They are going to send me a 3rd now, claiming that the second MB had the same defect as the first one.
Thinking that 2 bad ones in a row is a bit suspicous, and that I might have missed something, I thought I'd tell my story here and see if others had had the same problem. It would be odd if I have the problem on 2 (soon 3??) Mb's if noone else had seen them.
OK - here's the thing:
Hook everything up, power up, into bios to make sure cd-boot is enabled etc.
I have numeorus bootable windows cd's and DVDs from an officical MSDN subscription. Since I want to install win xp MCE 2005, I usually boot the dvd since it has boths cd's on it.
Now boot: one of 3 things happen:
1) Tries to boot off cd - I am presented with the boot loader and can pick an OS to install - when I do, Either 2 or 3 happens
2 ) System reboots again
3) I get message saying I need at least 7 mb of extended memory
Now, these are the ususal things that happen. I've also seen "disk read error", "No OS installed" etc.
These things of course suggest bad dvd drive, bad hard drive, bad memory etc, but I've done extensive testing of these things including of course trying same mb with differend cd-drive, different HD, different memory and with and without the agp card installed. No difference. Even tried an IDE drive instead of the SATA - pretty much same story.
also tried updating mb firmware to 2 later versions than the one shipped on the mb. Had to revert before RMA'ing the board
The only success was with a friends IDE drive, that had XP installed. This seemed
to boot. I did not let it finish booting since i didn't want to corrupt his OS.
Also tried using 2 different PSU's (400w and 180w)
The chassis that I got has an 200w psu (I know that DFI rec's 250w for this board, but vendor recommended the board evenso) Swapped the PSU with an HP SFF P4 pc that gave 180w. My PSU could run the HP, but same problem with the HP PSU on my machine. Then tried my 400W PSU on the DFI board with same results.
The second board I got a week after sending it back. Same behaviour, but I did less testing.
I have been told to expect the 3rd K8M800-MLVF tomorrow.
The only thing I have not been able to test is the CPU (amd64 3200+) Somehow I don't think that a faulty cpu could cause this behaviour. Plus, the vendor insists that they did find an error on the first board that I sent in, and that they are certain that the second one also had the same fault.
I'd be happy to hear thoughts on this.
Just want to add, that problem exists with default bios settings. Have of course tried fail-safe defaults + various other settings. At first under the assumption that the PSU underpowered the MB, i tried every powersaving setting I could find + tried with as little hw as possible.
Also tried booting with non Windows bootable cd's with no luck.
Thanks for listening.