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Yesterday our fc11 file/print server didn't boot, and had stopped on the BIOS page with a configuration problem. (with a distinct lack of foresight) I reset the BIOS settings to default without recording the message and booted the server.

The server ran until it was to be booted this morning, and it was failing to mount the root partition from the SATA disk. It also failed to boot from a known good diagnostics CD.

After a few more tries, it now fails part way through the Phoenix - AwardBIOS screen where it is listing the SATA/IDE devices, and it is showing garbage for the identity of one of the disks, which should actually be "none"

It looks like the motherboard has gone kaput.

The motherboard is an EVGA NF790i, are there any diagnostic tools that I can use to determine this? (as I would prefer to not send the motherboard back, only to discover that it is the RAM or the CPU) ps I can't get it to boot from the memTest disk, so I can't run that diagnostic.

Thanks!

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The most likely cause of your problems seems to be the HDD controller, so if it is an option, you could try to disable all SATA/IDE controllers in your BIOS, get a SATA addon card, and test if you can boot off that. If it does work, you can send the mobo back. If it doesn't, you will probably need to start swapping out components one by one with known good ones, if you really want to isolate the misbehaving part.

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Thanks! I cracked open the case to reseat the components, and the SATA cable on the back of one of the disks had come loose. After reseating that, the BIOS problems appear to have stopped. Now the problem was that it was failing to get further than the grub stage, it seems that ether my reset of the BIOS or some other change has swapped the order of the disks as grub sees them from hd(0,0) to hd(1,1) so swapping those in grub.conf and rebooting seems to have got the server booting again. –  Tom Mar 31 '10 at 11:24
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