There goes my Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H BIOS

The computer time was not up to date for the pass one week or so, and I wondered what was wrong with my PC. Usually if the time was not keeping, it meant that the CR2032 flat button battery in the Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard was either weak or dead. So I went out to get myself a new battery.

Changing the battery wasn’t so difficult. Just unscrewed the screws holding the side panel, slide it out, with a torch and mini screwdriver, I pried the old battery out and replaced with the new CR2032 battery that I bought. Closed back the casing and fire up the computer.

As usual a warning came because the BIOS CMOS settings was cleared, so I entered the BIOS setting page to re-adjust the time and did other minor settings like boot priority of storage device. Saved and rebooted the PC.

Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H finally gave way and conked out!

That’s when the screen just remained black as though I was staring at dark matter out in space. Not even any warnings or beeping at all! I looked at the PC; the drives were running and all seemed alright. Tried to reboot but it didn’t work. Maybe I set something wrong in the BIOS settings? I thought. So I pulled out the battery again to clear the CMOS and rebooted.

This time the welcome screen showed up, and I could re-enter the BIOS again. This time I just readjusted the time and reboot to see what happens. And there it went, the blank screen again! Funny. I cleared the CMOS one more time and this time I didn’t even enter the BIOS and let the boot process played itself out after the warning page. A sigh of relief when the usual Windows startup screen showed up.

So I concluded that the BIOS was definitely faulty. It can’t be written to; if it did it just got corrupted and would not run. Though I could still boot, the time will reset back to factory settings, and my system was not running at optimum.

I have a few options here. Either I sent the motherboard back for warranty claim, if it was claimable (it has a three year warranty, but may not cover BIOS damage, however I was very sure I didn’t touch the BIOS since I last configure it when I bought it last year), or get myself a new AMD motherboard, or live with this irritating situation. If I claim it might take several weeks before I get back the motherboard and left me without a desktop PC to use, but if I just buy a new one I could use my computer straight away.

First thing first was to call up Gigabyte office in Malaysia and see what the procedure was. Since the motherboard was more than one year old, I could not send it over to ALL IT for warranty claim. I have to contact Gigabyte agent directly. If I have to bring over my whole PC, I will need to take out my precious data first. Not wise to have people looking through my work and private and confidential stuff.

Looks like one of those days. They don’t make things like they use too, and electronic equipment gets more and more sensitive with each new make and model. And the defective rate is rather high at about 5%. Just a matter of luck (or bad luck?) whether your digital equipment did not function at par.

I will have to consider what to do next…

[update: 18/Sep/2012]

Saw this old post, to continue where I left off. I did send it back to All IT, paid them the RM30 service fee to send the motherboard for warranty claim. Since the Gigabyte office was very far away and it would be too time consuming to drive over. Besides RM30 was not too much considering the time and cost to go over there for warranty repair and then went back to collect it.

Gigabyte brand / logo on motherboard

GA-MA69G-S3H Finally Gave Way and Passed On

And yes, I have very good run with this motherboard. I bought it way back in January 2008. So a 4-1/2 years run was pretty good run. It would have been nice if it could have lasted longer as I have PCs in my office running for far longer period. I guess in my home environment without the cooling effect of air-conditioning, the durability of house PC would be poorer than my office.

My Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H motherboard died while doing some file transfers a couple of nights back, the PC just went dead! Smelt something like burn smell coming from the PC and knew something went kaput. I hoped it was the power supply but after sending it to All IT technical support department, found it to be the motherboard that went dead.

Ouch! If the motherboards goes, it meant changing the complete set – motherboard, CPU and RAM as the new motherboard would not support the old hardware. I could still recycle the casing, DVD-RW, a recently purchased SATA hard disk and media card reader plus a PCI express USB 3.0 card slot.

I could have the replacement cost kept low with just a basic motherboard and CPU, but was thinking may as well upgrade to a little better after all I’m going to be using it for quite some time anyway. This time round I went for Intel Core i3 which was a dual core processor. The All IT sales guy figure with my basic usage of just browsing / emailing and file management, and no gaming, it should just do the trick. I think so too.

Even for such a simple replacement, it still set me back about RM700+ (USD234) poorer. I would be collecting my PC back later. Then see how was the upgrade. And of course, the next few days I would be very busy reinstalling Windows 7! Usually you can’t just pop back the good old Windows back into a new motherboard as the installation would go crazy. A clean install would be the recommended way. On the other hand, I was kind of lazy to do all those tedious stuff, so I may pop it back and see how it went and see whether I would really need to reformat and reinstall the operating system.

My review of Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3V motherboard for Intel Core i3

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2 Responses to “There goes my Gigabyte GA-MA69G-S3H BIOS”

  1. rfkw says:

    well…well…well
    who was the one asking me to buy gigabyte or asus.
    i’m not even sure whether mine will last. heh
    anyway, back to your case, did you check the connections? there might be smth loose. is everything inserted correctly. probably you overlooked smth when u were changing the battery? accidently knocked over some jumpers?
    any other things loose? RAM, PSU, sata, PCI cards?
    there should be a master reset button somewhere on the mobo, maybe you can try that also.

  2. rfkw says:

    you might hav accidently set some settings wrongly either in the BIOS or the jumpers.
    because, like mine, if it detects some too extreme OC in the BIOS, it’ll display an error saying previous overclocking failed. so that might be what that is resetting your bios everytime.

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