Interesting bug with my Gigabyte – GA-AB350-GAMING 3 ATX AM4 Motherboard

I have been dealing with an interesting bug with my Gigabyte – GA-AB350-GAMING 3 ATX AM4 Motherboard. Each time I upgrade the bios the system forgets my bios settings and I have to reenter them. The Raid setting are maintained, fortunately, so I just have to re-select raid for SATA mode  and it boots again. I’m glad I don’t have a more complicated setup.

Moral of the story: I learned my lesson about making sure to export my bios settings into a profile from now on.

Upgrade after long absence.

I gave my Raspberry Pi 1 B to my nephew for his birthday because he absolutely adores MineCraft. Pis are perfect for children because they are slow enough to not be as addictive as gaming on his mom’s cell phone while still allowing for good educational fun.

And I gave my Raspberry Pi 1 B to my nephew for his birthday so that I could have an excuse to upgrade to a Pi 3. After Christmas I had a chance to put the micro sd card from my Pi 1 into the new Pi 3 and see if it would accept it. It did! I ran updates of raspi-config and apt-get update and apt-get upgrade and all seems to be working well. New hardware would normally be a good time to start a fresh distro but I just recently completed the update to Raspbian Stretch and don’t feel the urge to do it all again.

I am noticing great improvements with the additional 1/2 gig of RAM in the 3. WordPress updates take moments where before I would let them run in the background and move on to other tasks. Also, my backup program, BackWPup would often time out and fail on the Pi 1. I had almost begun questioning if Apache and WordPress on a Pi were good long term solutions. With the Pi 3 I am back on board. I think they are excellent tools for a hobbyist Linixer like me.

Installing Windows on three hard drives

I now have a greater appreciation of how much of a computer’s cost goes into Microsoft Windows. Buying that program pushed me over the $1000 mark on my build. I need Windows on this box though so that I can download and backup One Drive. I will attempt a Linux boot drive later.

Prepared with my new Windows 10 key I sat down with my laptop to download the iso. Interestingly, my laptop would not boot up. I think now that it was in the middle of a major update. Trying to turn it on caused it to lock up hard. Oh well, I have everything backed up I’ll just restore it to factory. I’ve been needing to do a factory restore ever since I was a TA and loaded quite a few random test programs. But now here i was  with two computers and no operating system and no way to download drivers and the iso.

Have no fear, this was not the worst predicament I had been in. Fortunately I had a Kali distro on a thumb drive. It booted right up and I was able to get my downloads but then I could not save them because as soon as I rebooted Kali I would loose everything because I was not set up for permanent storage on my Kali distro. The other problem was that I could not successfully format a boot disk with the iso using linux. I know there are ways to do it but my google skills failed me that night and I was never able to get it to work. Someday I will learn what I did wrong.

I finally conceded failure and used my husband’s laptop to make the iso bootable. (I try not to touch my husband’s laptop. As a tinkerer I’m bound to mess it up in a way he doesn’t like. He doesn’t want bells and whistles, just a computer that works).

I installed windows finally and then tried to set up my raided d drive. Fail fail fail. Nothing I tried worked. I finally realized that I had to set up the RAID before I installed windows. Even though I was not installing windows on a raid disk it still was going to delete my c drive.

I have very little memory of all the steps that I took in the bios menu to get raid set up. It was complicated and mostly done in the late late hours. But I successfully got the two larger drives raided. Then when I installed Windows I was able to choose the non raided SSD to install on. That worked great. What surprised me was that I didn’t have to install the AMD program for hard drives over 2 terabytes. When they were raided the computer saw the drive automatically.

It is now set up exactly how I want it. This is a successful build!

Built my computer!!

Remember my pcpartpicker build post? Here’s what I ultimately ended up purchasing: complete build. I collected parts for a long time. Finally, I had a long weekend at home in mid September so I used that as a good opportunity to start the build. I’m glad I gave myself a whole weekend because it took me longer than I expected to finish. The first evening I stripped the old case. I did my best to wipe the dust out of the fans and even removed the screen covers and washed those under water. I had to let it all dry overnight so that was the end of that day. The next morning I started putting the new components into the box. Of course it started with the CPU onto the motherboard, then installing the power supply and connecting it to the motherboard. The hardest parts were finding where all the fans connected to the board and fitting the cpu. The cpu screws would push the backing plate off the motherboard.

The next morning I applied power and tried to get POST. Couldn’t even get power! After scratching my head I realized that the power supply is upside down. Down turns it on. I’m usually a visual learner so I’m surprised that the symbols didn’t clue me in but they did not that morning. Once I got power and  post started it would show one pass light. The CPU was showing as failed! Out the motherboard came while I scratched my head some more. Finally after searching online I discovered that this mother board has a separate power cable just for the CPU. It was labeled ATX_12V. How was I supposed to know that was the CPU power? Getting the CPU on the second time was just as tough as the first but I think I’m a pro now.

The next failed Post was VGA. Thank goodness for Facebook friends because after a cry for help on there I was informed that not all CPUs support on-board graphics and that I needed a video card. Fortunately I have one. I just hadn’t installed it yet because I wanted to keep my variables manageable. In that went and voila! POST and BIOS!!!. That again was a full day of effort and my weekend was over.

I spent the next few evenings exploring BIOS options and playing with the led light options on the motherboard and CPU. All this fun and I hadn’t even installed an OS. I will need to write about that next!