Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

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Saist
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#11 Postby Saist » Thu May 03, 2012 6:45 pm

janthree wrote:Based on everyone's comments, maybe our BIOS section should be subdivided into a comprehensive list of possible settings. That way, instead of being BIOS specific, users could look up settings that are specific to their BIOS configuration.

janthree


Not really possible.

Most non-OEM motherboards come with a manual to describe everything in the BIOS.

Depending on who actually supplied the BIOS hardware and who did the programming, different people can have two different BIOS layouts and exposed functions for the same motherboard.

Ergo, our BIOS data cannot be thorough. There is simply too much ground to cover.

What we can cover is specific case/by case points and or generics that users might run across, e.g. setting front audio headers.

Beyond that, we really need to refer users to their own manuals.

And if they didn't get a manual, point them in the right direction to find a manual online.

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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#12 Postby Jerry3904 » Thu May 03, 2012 7:16 pm

I'm all about sending them to a manual...
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#13 Postby uncle mark » Thu May 03, 2012 7:33 pm

Jerry3904 wrote:I'm all about sending them to a manual...


Does this mean RTFM will finally be an acceptable response...?
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#14 Postby lucky9 » Thu May 03, 2012 7:43 pm

No, it means that RTFM will be in the wiki. :bagoverhead: :rofl:
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#15 Postby richb » Thu May 03, 2012 7:53 pm

No it means a statement:

Due to the variety of motherboard manufacturers and configurations, please read your manual for specific settings that apply to your system


This after general comments indicating, video, sound and whatever issues may be corrected by BIOS settings.
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#16 Postby uncle mark » Thu May 03, 2012 8:25 pm

lucky9 wrote:No, it means that RTFM will be in the wiki. :bagoverhead: :rofl:


Sweet. I'll use that link often then.
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#17 Postby Saist » Thu May 03, 2012 10:12 pm

Off the top of my head the most common issues that the user will encounter:
  • Hard-drive boot order
  • SATA type :: IDE, AHCI, RAID
  • Front Panel audio setting:: AC97 / HDA
  • Onboard GPU

Hard-drive boot order tends to be fairly self-explanatory. About the only real problem users will run into now is when they mix SATA and IDE drives.

SATA type can be a bit more difficult. In the past most non-OEM motherboards defaulted to IDE for compatibility purposes. With the rise of SATA 3.0 motherboards the trend is drifting towards defaulting to AHCI to expose SATA 3.0's advanced capabilities. Updates to Debian/Linux should address most of the problems that users have had in the past trying to run Mepis on AHCI.

Audio / AC97 - HDA :: For the most part the underlying Debian/Linux and ALSA infrastucture shouldn't have any problems with audio chipsets that are compatible with Intel HDA. However, there can be issues when multiple sound devices are exposed to the /Linux base. Case in point, all RadeonHD graphics cards have an onboard HDMI audio chip. KDE's Phonon seems to handle disabling devices that aren't being used fairly well though.

The front panel connector is a different matter. Depending on the physical chassis in use external audio-ports on the motherboard can be pinned for either AC97 or Intel-HDA compatibility.

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For what it's worth:

#18 Postby jam » Sat May 05, 2012 9:41 pm

Within the last three months my wife and I have bought two new HP laptops. They both have 750GB GFT hard drives and Win 7 installations and are otherwise similar except that hers has an Intel processor and mine has an AMD. Hers is a nightmare for me; it will not boot anything from an USB device, which shoots down my plans for automatic backups. Mine is a dream; it boots any USB device that is bootable under the legacy BIOS/MBR system.

Right now I have HP's Win7 installation on the internal HD (surely you know that Windows is notorious for being unwilling to run except from the first HD) and the 500GB drive from my deceased laptop in an external case connected through USB. When I want to boot MEPIS I plug in the external drive and when I want to run Win7 I unplug the external drive. I can live with this.

The two points I want to make are:
1. The imposition of the UEFI/GPT travesty upon x86_64 boxes has not waited for Win8; it is here on at least some Win7 installations now.
2. It appears to be true that AMD did not join the UEFI/GPT conspiracy (forgive me; clearly I meant consortium) and therefore remains a refuge for us Linux users.


Addendum:
I neglected to mention optical disks & drives. My wife's HP *will* boot from a BIOS/MBR bootable optical disk in its own internal optical drive. If such a disk contains a distro that supports persistent writable storage (e.g., on a USB flash drive) and the backup program that I prefer (rsnapshot), then I may well be back in the backup business, at least at home.

.
Last edited by jam on Sun May 06, 2012 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#19 Postby lucky9 » Sun May 06, 2012 12:02 am

There's no real reason for HP to have a lousy UEFI implementation except their own people. UEFI can do anything a traditional BIOS can and probably more. I should also point out that a laptop's BIOS/UEFI is usually limited as is the one in a pre-built HP, DELL, or other branded Desktop.
As for AMD I suspect they're just behind the curve and will eventually have their own implementation.

And as for the GPT switch, it's similar to losing the old ISA or PATA interfaces. Just bringing hardware into the 21st century by being able to handle big hard disk, more partitions, etc. See: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... tion_Table
for an explanation.

There are distros out there (Windows XP through Windows 7, 32 bit. and some 64 bit implementations of Widows) that will have trouble with a GPT partitioned disk. The latest GRUBs should not. Linux will since 2.5.8, although some tools like fdisk will not. See the link.
Yes, even I am dishonest. Not in many ways, but in some. Forty-one, I think it is.
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Re: Need a new Manual article on BIOS settings

#20 Postby Saist » Sun May 06, 2012 2:16 am

Lucky: AMD's been pretty clear that their "reference platform" for UEFI is Coreboot: http://www.coreboot.org/Welcome_to_coreboot

However, motherboard vendors seem to be using UEFI payloads from AMI or Phoenix for shipping AMD motherboards.


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