I will try to be as succinct as possible. Here's the short version:

We have a 3-5 year old Google search appliance that doesn't post after I tried to update the BIOS. The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-8IPXDR. We want to salvage the system but I don't know where to start. It's a 2U box. Do I have to buy the exact same motherboard to ensure it will fit the case? I've never put a 2U box together and have no idea how customized the interior of the case is, regarding the rails and fans, etc. I'm afraid I'll buy a socket 603 (?) board that theoretically accommodates all of the parts we have but then it won't actually fit the case. Basically, we hate to waste all of this RAM and disk but we can't spend a lot of money to put this system back together. It would be great if we could salvage the CPUs as well.

Impossible? Unlikely? Tell me about it!



The BIOS chip on that motherboard seems to be removable, so you could replace the chip with a known working version, there are companies here in the UK that supply working BIOS chips for this very purpose, at a cost of about £15. If you are not in the UK I am sure there will be companies in other countries who offer a similar service.

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  • Cheers! This place seemed very talked-about, if nothing else: biosman.com (FYI, they ship internationally, it seems.) – hourback Jun 2 '09 at 13:40

Are you sure Google didn't put some semi-proprietary BIOS on the board? If I remember right, don't they typically lock down those boxes so you only can use the webgui to manage it?

I'd check with Google first...

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  • You are right about that, I think. They told us to clear the CMOS in order to do anything with it after they wiped it. However, even then the BIOS menus looked different than they do in the Gigabyte manuals. I do think Google put modified BIOS on the board. – hourback Jun 2 '09 at 13:35

I'd try contacting Gigabyte for a way to update the BIOS. Years ago (maybe 7) I was able to send the motherboard in and they were able to reflash it with some specialized tools and send it back to me. I forget the cost associated, but it couldn't have been more than $50 at the time including shipping.

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  • Thank you! I am awaiting Gigabyte's response regarding the cost, especially since I'm assuming nothing is under warranty. – hourback Jun 2 '09 at 13:36

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