Re: P4P800 SE -- drivers for networking?

In article <nojunk-3001061625360001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
nojunk@xxxxxxxxxx (Chris) wrote:

> In article <nospam-2901062117100001@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, nospam@xxxxxxxxxx
> (Paul) wrote:
> >
> > Your manual should have a drawing of the motherboard, and you
> > will see a 88E8001 drawn in the picture.
> >
> > The motherboard CD supports multiple motherboards, and when
> > you insert the CD into the computer, autorun should bring up
> > a dialog. Section 5.2.1 in the manual, shows a Marvell driver
> > offered as the last menu item. Try installing that.
> >
> > Of the drivers, the motherboard CD might well have a 7.x
> > version driver. Be aware that there was one bad driver from
> > Marvell, something like or so. That one will cause
> > the machine to freeze at random times. Drivers earlier or
> > later than that should be OK.
> >
> >
> >
> > There is one setting in the BIOS, "Onboard LAN" [Enabled],
> > and that is the default. You might check that it is
> > at that default value.
> >
> > The Gigabit Ethernet interface on your new board, will
> > support the ability to roll the cable automatically. When
> > connecting to your Mac, it won't matter whether you use
> > a straight thru cable, or a crossover cable, it should
> > still make the connection. To connect at gigabit rates,
> > the cable should have eight wires, at 10/100BT only four
> > are required.
> >
> > Paul
> Paul,
> I checked in the BIOS and the on-board LAN is enabled but the onboard LAN
> boot ROM is disabled. What is the LAN boot ROM? Would enabling that make
> any difference? Presumably is is not strictly needed or else it would be
> enabled by default?
> I tried manually installing the Marvell driver but it did not work. I'll
> try downloading the driver from ASUS and see how that goes. Interestingly
> the support CD does not bring up the Marvell driver as a menu item so I
> don't know what is going on there because the motherboard definitely has
> the LAN chip.
> Chris

That could mean the autorun thing has checked the motherboard
identity and it doesn't match the set of motherboards the CD
was prepared for. Is this a new board, or a refurb ? What
are the odds it has been forced flashed with some other
motherboard BIOS ? (Does it even say P4P800 SE in white
letters on the motherboard ? Do you see the Marvell
chip over near the LAN connector stack ?)

Even with all of that, if the Marvell chip is truly enabled
(and it might not be if a foreign BIOS is loaded), then
the installer for the Marvell chip should work. The boot
ROM option only registers the LAN as a net boot device,
so if you were booting the computer from some other
machine, the Ethernet interface could be used for that.
The ROM option shouldn't prevent the driver from
being installed, so whether enabled or disabled, shouldn't
stop the driver installer from working.

If it was my motherboard, I'd probably start by making an
archival copy of the BIOS in the flash chip. The manual should
explain several methods for flashing the BIOS, and one of the
tools used should have an option to copy the file in the flash
onto a floppy. With the flash file in hand, some identity info
for the flash file is right among the last few bytes of the file.
A hex editor can be used to look at the last part of the file and
see what BIOS was used to flash the board. This method doesn't
guarantee that someone didn't use a hacked BIOS on the board,
but it will give you some idea as to what BIOS is in there. (You
can also look at the paper label stuck on the flash chip, and
compare to the info from the file, as a way of seeing if the
board has been flashed after it left the factory.) What
is printed on the screen can also contain unique info, so during
POST have a look at the screen for any identity strings.

(A sample BIOS screen during POST)

This is an example of the text strings in the last 80 bytes of a
BIOS file I have here.


At least the first string tells me the BIOS file was
P4C800ED.ROM . The date of release is probably a lot more
reliable piece of info in the file, than any other release
numbers. At least some tools that are supposed to extract
version numbers, get the same number for two different BIOS
files, which is not a good thing.

Could it be a dead chip ? Sure. But the failure is just as
likely to be a problem with the BIOS image flashed into the
board not enabling the Marvell chip.

One thing you could try is clearing the CMOS (unplug the
computer before following the procedure in the manual). When
the computer POSTs after you do the procedure, go into the
BIOS and "Load Setup Defaults" or whatever the equivalent
option is in your BIOS. That should reload sane options for
the BIOS settings. Since the LAN chip is enabled by default,
is should be enabled by the Load Setup Defaults. Then see
if anything has changed at the OS level.