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Thread: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?




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    Default N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    I've never done a build before with any ASRock board, and in fact, I haven't done a build in at least a couple of years now, so maybe I am behind the times, but...

    This is REALLY baffling, and I'm not sure if I got a bad board or bad BIOS or what. So far the thing generally seems to be working just fine (with an Athlon II x3 3.0GHz and 8 gigs of Kingston in it), HOWEVER if it is printing any boot-time POST messages to the screen, then it is sure as heck doing that REALLY bleepin' fast, and then, almost immediately, overwriting those messages... so fast that there isn't barely time to even notice them being there, let alone to read whatever the heck they say.

    So, um, is there any way to SLOW DOWN the disappearance of the boot-time POST messages?

    OK, so maybe I don't actually even need to see them, but I am old school, and it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to be able to see stuff, like that the memory all passed the POST quick test, and also the CPU type and the BIOS revision number.

    Normally, I like all my machines to do stuff as fast as possible. This is one exception. I really really want it to SLOW DOWN. How can I cause that to happen?

    Any help appreciated.

    P.S. Yes, I already found out about the OEM flash screen switch setting in the BIOS and I already set that to "Disabled" so that I could have at least some hope of someday seeing a real life POST message out of this thing.

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Slow down the scrolling, no, not that I'm aware

    I do believe IIRC, so long as you have good hand to eye coordination (ie: hair-finger ) the Pause key will pause the progression of POST'ing.
    #1 - Please, when seeking help, enter the make and model of ALL parts that your system is comprised of in your Signature, or at least the model #'s in your System Specs, then "Save' it.
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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    Slow down the scrolling, no, not that I'm aware

    I do believe IIRC, so long as you have good hand to eye coordination (ie: hair-finger ) the Pause key will pause the progression of POST'ing.
    Well, see, unfortunately, even assuming that my specific BIOS implements the PAUSE effect (upon pressing the PAUSE key during POST), that still isn't going to do it for me, for one simple reason... There is no way for me to know the exact moment at which I should press the PAUSE key.

    Let me explain.

    I've now tried connecting the new system that I just built to two different monitors, and via three different connection types. Specifically, I tried hooking the N68C-GS FX to my ASUS VH238H, both via a regular old VGA cable (direct from the motherboard itself) and also via a DVI cable from a modest PCIe Nvidia card I happen to have. Also, as an additional test, I connected the installed PCIe Nvidia card to an entirely different HDMI-only display that I happen to have, using an HDMI cable.

    In all of these three tests I was _only_ able to see POST messages... and even then only for a split second... when I connected the Nvidia card to my HDMI-only monitor via HDMI. And even in this case, the POST messages displayed and then erased so fast that there is no way that I could possibly have been able to react fast enough to hit the PAUSE key while it still might make a difference.

    The important point is that in the case of my ASUS VH238H... which is the monitor that I do actually want to use with this new system I'm building around the N68C-GS FX... the *&^#$@ POST messages are not seen on the screen during boot up, not even for a fraction of a second. Thus, I can never know when the correct moment to hit PAUSE might be. (I tried just holding the PAUSE key down continuously during boot, but that doesn't have any effect at all, apparently.)

    I suspect that what is happening here is that the ASUS VH238H, which is a fairly "intelligent" monitor, requires a couple of seconds, after it first notices a signal on any one of its input ports (VGA, DVI, HDMI), before it is actually ready to display anything other than a pure black/blank screen. Meanwhile, the BIOS of the N68C-GS is apparently assuming that whatever kind of display you have connected to the motherboard is able to fire itself fully up _instantaneously_, the very same millisecond that it first receives a video signal, so that the BIOS can turn on the outbound video signal and then display its POST messages absolutely immediately, without even a fraction of a second delay. But this doesn't work and won't work with newer modern "intelligent" displays... like the VH238H... that need a second or so to power themselves all the way up from their suspended/blanked state before they can actually display anything.

    Sigh.

    As I understand it, ASRock is actually a part of ASUS. Given that, it is more than a little annoying and more than a little frustrating that the ASRock folks apparently never even tested the BIOS on this board with a modern ASUS monitor plugged into it.

    The problem of BIOS POST messages scrolling off the screen and disappearing too soon has been a problem with essentially all motherboards and essentially all BIOSes for more than 20 years now. In all that time, you would have thought that _somebody_ would have properly solved the problem by now. I mean this isn't rocket surgery. I mean some intelligent and caring motherboard manufacturer could, theoretically, just add a little option to the BIOS setup screens where the user could select "Leave POST messages on screen for N seconds". How hard would that be, seriously?

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    ASRock is not a part of ASUS now. ASUS started ASRock in 2002, but they became their own company, and are owned by Pegatron. ASUS also started Pegatron, which is now a separate company. ASUS was said to be considering buying ASRock back from Pegatron, but that did not happen.

    Your desire to slow down or view the POST messages, unfortunately for you, is the opposite direction that the BIOS and now UEFI firmware development business/market has gone. The new goal is "fast start/booting", which in meeting that goal, suppresses all the POST messages as much as possible, which is quite simple. You likely recall the days when RAM memory was tested from byte 0 to byte 3,999,999,9999 (given 4GB), which is not even done anymore. No one wants to wait for 8GB - 32GB to be tested. Some ASRock boards have a two digit POST code LED display on the mother board itself, which your board does not have, and would not satisfy your needs.

    Users now complain about long POST times, it is a negative, a point against a mother board, a reason to avoid the product.

    POST goes like this now, every POST process of function either succeeds or fails, and if it fails, POST stops and displays the code of the process or function that failed. POST is ignored, taken for granted, a bothersome formality. The relatively new UEFI firmware POST process can complete in under 10 seconds. Not that you have that now, you must install your OS to start the PC that way.

    Regardless, you are out of luck finding a way to view POST messages with the standard BIOS firmware supplied on newer boards by all mother board manufactures. Even if you could stop the scrolling of the text that seems to be there, what you would find would not begin to provide what you are looking for.

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Not to sound condescending, which my following question is not intended as, but is there a specific problem you're experiencing that it is a must to view the POST?

    Your BIOS doesn't appear to be the UEFI ver, yet as parsec implies, the manufacturers are moving from what we(yea, I'm old school too) became used to in the days of old. The 'kids' of today are spending $150-$200 and upwards on SSDs to have a fast booting system. Yea,, being old school, I'm baffled by this, but it IS the way all board makers and the markets are moving. Never mind UEFI and it's difference from the plain old BIOS that we old schoolers all came to love. And hate.
    #1 - Please, when seeking help, enter the make and model of ALL parts that your system is comprised of in your Signature, or at least the model #'s in your System Specs, then "Save' it.
    ____If you are overclocking, underclocking, or undervolting any parts, informing us of this and their values would prove beneficial in helping you.

    #2 - G.Skill RAM Configurator for your boardSamsung Memory for your boardLatest AMD Chipset Drivers/WindowsLatest AMD Graphics Drivers/WindowsLatest Intel Drivers

    #3 - Please use the eXtreme Outer Vision Power Supply Calculator found HERE to determine if it might be your PSU at issue.
    ____Consider your PSU to be the foundation from which all else is built upon. Anything built upon a weak foundation is poorly built.

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    I know what you mean wardog, but starting a PC has followed the rest of the culture and technology. I know you both recall when cars had an oil pressure gauge, a voltage reading for the alternator, and one of the few remaining gauges, coolant temperature. All of these may be replaced with "idiot lights" as they were called, that only come on when a real problem occurs. Our PC's have POST codes, which are the idiot lights of PCs, or have become that, as the POST codes have been dumbed down.

    Imagine if your car had a screen that, when you started the car, would display a status checklist of all the systems. That could be extensive, and some people would like it. Others would ignore it or turn it off.

    Sure, why not have a BIOS setting that could turn on a full POST display? Very few people care about it. That doesn't make it right, but I would bet the few BIOS code companies have been pushed into taking out POST messages, or the mobo companies know how to turn it off, and provide no settings to enable their display.

    That might be one chance, check with the BIOS source company, that might know a backdoor into the POST messages, but I would not count on it.

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    Post Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Thank you for your comments and your clarity. I suppose that you are correct, and that this is just the way of the world nowadays. Sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    You likely recall the days when RAM memory was tested from byte 0 to byte 3,999,999,9999 (given 4GB), which is not even done anymore. No one wants to wait for 8GB - 32GB to be tested.
    <me --="" raises="" hand="">
    Actually, I do.

    It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

    But I guess I am a dinosaur now.

    P.S. Actually, it just now occurred to me that the vendors might have another reason (other than just apparent boot speed) for getting rid of the "T" in POST. Reliability of PC components has most certainly come a long way in the past 30 years, and most stuff these days is reliable most of the time. With that as the cultural backdrop, I imagine that the vendors would like to see traditional self-test messages (and perhaps the self tests themselves) go away in order to lull the general populace into the naive and mistaken belief that hardware never fails anymore. Either that or perhaps this is just one more back-door sneaky way of cutting down on the expense of fielding support calls. If the user is never even told that some component is failing, then the vendor can cross its fingers and hope that the schmucky end luser will never call the support hotline.</me>
    Last edited by ronbaby; 04-09-2013 at 05:33 PM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    Not to sound condescending, which my following question is not intended as, but is there a specific problem you're experiencing that it is a must to view the POST?
    Don't worry. I am not offended by the question.

    The answer to your question is no, there isn't, as yet, any specific hardware fault for which I might find boot-time POST messages at all helpful or enlightening. That is the case today. I don't know if it will be the case tomorrow. But even this is not the main issue. Read on.

    To be clear, the cold-boot-time messages that, it appears, I am now being deprived of seeing altogether... depending upon which monitor I use... are not entirely and only messages relating to hardware power-on self-tests. Several of them, I have have learned, tell me specifically which button I need to press to initiate various power-on-time options, the most notable of which is the option to enter the BIOS setup screen. OK, yes, I was lucky with this board. The vendor and the BIOS manufacturer were kind enough to not screw around (as some do) and thus, the DEL key was in fact the right one (and was my first guess). This critical tidbit of information is, I kid you not, not present anywhere in the user manual for the board. Also and separately, what I did not know, and what I only learned by looking an an actual image of what the power-on screen messages for this board are supposed to look like (courtesy of Youtube and some kind fellow who posted a video there) was that another power-on-time option is to press the F11 key, which will bring up a boot device selector menu. Apparently, there is even yet another option (and yet another magic keystroke) that does something else too, but I shall never know what it is because (a) it also isn't in the user's manual and (b) it was too blurry for me to read what it was from the YouTube video I saw and (c) last but by no means least, as I have said, the power-on message that talks about it never appears, at least not on the monitors that I am using, or else it appears only for the flash of a split second, which hardly even gives my retinas time to register the scant few photons before they peter out into darkness again.

    In addition to all of the foregoing, there is also the question of the exact timing of these power-up special keystrokes. In the total absence of any messages on my (utterly black) screen... until the OS is actually being booted... I have no idea when, exactly, I am supposed to... or permitted to... hit either DEL or F11. I did nonetheless manage to get to the BIOS setup menu, but only by the expedient of simply hitting the power switch and then banging continuously on the DEL key... once or twice a second... until the bloody BIOS Setup menu appeared.

    I am guessing that I do not have to explain why this is entirely sub-optimal, on multiple levels. (If my keyboard could talk, I feel sure that it would be directing various epithets my way.)

    So you see, there are plenty of reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with PowerOnSelfTests per se that cause me to still have a serious and what I feel is a reasonable desire to see some power-on messages on my screen before the OS starts to boot.

    The manufacturers are moving from what we(yea, I'm old school too) became used to in the days of old. The 'kids' of today are spending $150-$200 and upwards on SSDs to have a fast booting system. Yea,, being old school, I'm baffled by this, but it IS the way all board makers and the markets are moving. Never mind UEFI and it's difference from the plain old BIOS that we old schoolers all came to love. And hate.
    See above.

    I myself may soon be buying an SSD, even though I am an old fart. Speed is always good... as long as it doesn't break stuff. Unfortunately, it seems that some unwise and careless person decided to speed up the disappearance of the power-on BIOS messages for this specific board, and as I have noted above, this quite definitely has broken stuff.

    I hold out some vague hope that perhaps some engineer from ASRock might perhaps see this thread and actaully do something about this problem, but given that the first thing that I encountered when I came to this site and these messages boards was an admonition not to talk about ASRock RMA problems, I supposed that I don't have any real basis for optimism.

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    I know you both recall when cars had an oil pressure gauge, a voltage reading for the alternator...
    FYI -- I personally still drive a stick. I wouldn't buy a car that didn't have one. I like to be in control of the machine, rather than the other way around.

    All of these may be replaced with "idiot lights" as they were called, that only come on when a real problem occurs. Our PC's have POST codes, which are the idiot lights of PCs, or have become that, as the POST codes have been dumbed down.

    Imagine if your car had a screen that, when you started the car, would display a status checklist of all the systems. That could be extensive, and some people would like it. Others would ignore it or turn it off.
    Yes.

    Words cannot express my horror when, whilst on a trip out of town on family business, a light I had never even known existed in my car before then came on within the dashboard... ENGINE CHECK. Not exactly informative.

    The real horror was yet to come however. It landed with a distinctly unpleasant thud, both upon my consciousness and my wallet, when I was informed by a friendly fellow at the nearest authorized Mitsubishi Service Center that there was be a non-refundable charge of $70 simply for them to plug in their "computer" to my car so that it could "read" the nature of the actual problem.

    It may go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. This is not progress. This is highway robbery. It is technology in the service not of mankind but of screwing people.

    That there are certain parallels between the preceding story and the evolving disappearance of POST tests and/or messages should be apparent, I think. I am not empowered when people hide information from me. I am subjugated.

    Sure, why not have a BIOS setting that could turn on a full POST display? Very few people care about it. That doesn't make it right, but I would bet the few BIOS code companies have been pushed into taking out POST messages, or the mobo companies know how to turn it off, and provide no settings to enable their display.

    You're probably right, and it sucks.

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    Default Re: N68C-GS FX -- Where are the POST messages?

    First, the key you are looking for that you could not see in that video is the Tab key. Or at least it was the Tab key that would cause POST messages to appear. Just as you did with the Del key, ride that Tab key a few seconds after to press the power button, from a cold start of course, or some POST tests will not be done.

    The keys for entering the BIOS are either the Del or F2 function key. Both work on some boards. BTW, my ASRock board has this in the manual, in the introduction to the BIOS/UEFI section:

    This section explains how to use the UEFI SETUP UTILITY to configure your
    system. The UEFI chip on the motherboard stores the UEFI SETUP UTILITY. You
    may run the UEFI SETUP UTILITY when you start up the computer. Please press
    F2 or Del during the Power-On-Self-Test (POST) to enter the UEFI SETUP
    UTILITY, otherwise, POST will continue with its test routines.

    If you wish to enter the UEFI SETUP UTILITY after POST, restart the system by
    pressing Ctl + Alt + Delete, or by pressing the reset button on the system
    chassis. You may also restart by turning the system off and then back on.


    Your quest for POST text will be taking yet another turn for the worse, once true UEFI booting of a PC becomes commonplace. A UEFI is the replacement PC firmware for the standard BIOS firmware, and currently is defaulted to run in "BIOS mode" by enabling the CSM, Compatibility Support Module, which then runs POST and boots a PC in the standard way a BIOS does. The only new thing it allows is the GUI for the BIOS/UEFI configuration, a feature supported by UEFI firmware. BIOS firmware is based on the x86 architecture of the 1980's, with 16 bit addressing and 1MB of addressable memory, and using a single core processor. That has not changed until we finally have UEFI firmware with 64 bit addressing.

    The advancements of UEFI firmware, and fast processor technology using all the cores available, cause the POST process (or what is left of it) to execute in a few seconds. Output to a monitor at a speed a human can comprehend has always been magnitudes slower than a PC system, but with the new firmware and SSDs, a PC is up and running in ten seconds. Gazing at POST messages is not a priority or a necessity, as you alluded to yourself.

    IMO, POST output has been simplified long ago, with "beep codes" instead of text, and the two digit display being used now instead of the more complex four digit codes that exist. I hope you can find what you are looking for, but I wouldn't count on it.

    BTW, some GM cars allowed you to short two pins on the plug you mentioned, and a problem code would be displayed which could then be referenced to a malfunction. Your car may have a similar procedure.

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