First off, a disclaimer (has to be done):
This is an account of my own personal efforts with this motherboard I understood that there was a significant chance that I could permanently damage the motherboard by shorting components. Therefore, I cannot advise you to also take these actions. If you do attempt similar actions, you do so entirely at your own risk – I accept no responsibility or liability for any damage, problems or warranty violations which might occur should you attempt these modifications.
EDIT (March 15th, 2011): I recently updated this machine to max out the RAM (6 x 2GB) and this appears to have solved the looping issue for good. I will continue to check (power suspend, full power off for extended period) and report back if this is a false dawn. (end EDIT).
EDIT (July 11th, 2010): The machine ended up in the endless loop again after this fix following several reboots and other work in the OS. In my particular case it seems to be caused by the machine going to sleep. I altered the Power options in Windows to prevent this from re-occurring. In addition, unlike the previous issue, I was able to resolve the looping with a CMOS reset using the switch on the back of the motherboard. However, this only worked if the button was pressed and held at the start of the loop (while the LEDs were flashing and the fans beginning to spin up). It is possible that I did not try this exact sequence previously and that the shorting below was not necessary – sadly we shall never know. If the CMOS reset does not work for you, please read on (end EDIT).
I recently built a new system around the Socket 1366 Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R motherboard and for once, everything went fine. I had Windows installed, benchmarking done and began installing applications and transferring everything from my old Vista machine – I even went as far as to post success messages, boot times and successful overclock boasts on the various Social Networking sites.
However, despite the apparent success the machine remained “in progress” due to previous experiences – I don’t complete cable management, put it in place and close up the case until the machine has been running and stable for a week. This has turned out to be a good practice once again. I left the machine to install some updates and reboot and went to bed and the next morning I found it powered down (uh-oh).
Here is the spec of the machine:
- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R
- RAM: 6GB Corsair Dominator Memory ()
- PSU: Corsair HX850
- Hard Disk: 2 x Intel X-25M SSD in RAID0
- Graphics Card: 2 x XFX Radeon 5850‘s in Crossfire config
- Case: Corsair 800D
That morning, when I attempted to boot the never ending loop started, the LEDs on the motherboards would flash, the drives would spin up and the fans would cycle, then it would reset and do it all over again. I hooked up a case speaker to see if there were any audible beeps to indicate the problem but there was nothing. It was necessary to turn off or unplug the PSU to stop it. I went through all the usual troubleshooting, but for the record here is a summary of what I tried without success:
- Disconnecting various components (graphics, drives etc.)
- Moving RAM modules around and attempting to boot with single modules in each slot
- Clearing CMOS (switch), removing the CMOS battery and holding in the Power switch etc.
After a *lot* of this troubleshooting I was no closer to breaking the loop – frustration is not the word. I eventually came across this post describing how to “un-brick” a different Gigabyte motherboard by causing the motherboard to think the main BIOS is corrupt and use the secondary. Sadly, this was not the same model so I had to figure out how to do it on mine. In this case, for a revision 2.0 motherboard, see the picture below to locate the dual BIOS chips:
Then, the pins you want to short in this particular case are on the left chip and are the two pins on the top right of the chip, or to show it visually – this is the part where you should re-read the disclaimer at the top again and be very, very careful – this worked for me, but I cannot guarantee it for any other case:
Once I had I bridged the two pins and powered up the box the looping stopped immediately – it worked! For reference, the high tech tool I used to perform this restoration of my motherboard (and sanity) was a spare bit of coax cable pictured below for posterity, I just tweaked it and used it to bridge the pins highlighted above