Frustrated! What motherboard is working 100% w/ WHS for you? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have gone through 5 motherboards and all have had some kind of problem. I have changed almost all of the other components in the systems including the PS to rule out anything other then the MB. I have an AMD X2 3800+, Intel 440 Celeron and an Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo available so I am flexible.


    The first one was a Gigabyte GA-M61P-S3. Evidently the nforce 6100 chipset has compatibility problems with 1TB hard drives. I bought a 1TB Seagate to use as the system drive, BIOS would not see the drive so MB #1 out.


    Second board, Abit AN-M2. When I first hooked everything up (I have 6 hard drives but have only been using 4 on the system SATA ports. Want to get it stable before I add a new card to the mix) the BIOS was intermittently not seeing random hard drives. Went to Abits site and found out there was a BIOS update for this exact problem. Great, flash the BIOS and get WHS up and running. All is seemingly fine for a while, until it starts happening again. The update just made the problem less frequent, MB #2 out.


    Third board, some Asus AM2 board I believe the M2A-VM. Worked great with 3 drives hooked to the MB's SATA ports. When I hooked up the 4th drive the BIOS would not see the system drive. Thinking I may have a bad drive somewhere, I go out and buy 4 new drives because at this point I am getting PO'ed and just want this thing finished. Well it did the same thing with all new drives. MB #3 out.


    Fourth board, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H. Had a little problem getting the gigabit network port working, find a updated driver and ethernet is now working. Now we are up and running everything seems great. I start ripping more of my DVD's and HD-DVD/Blu-Ray discs on my desktop machine. When moving the files from that machine to WHS over ethernet after a while I get BSOD on the WHS - IRQ NOT EQUAL OR LESS blah blah blah, Windows reporting says it is a driver problem. I try moving the files again and after a while it happens again. I try other ethernet drivers to avail. the problem reoccurs, sometimes shortly after I start moving files, sometimes it takes a long while, but it keeps happening. MB #4 out.


    Fith and current board, Gigabyte GA-965G-DS3. I rip this board from another working computer in the house. The board has been rock solid with Vista 32 for about a year now. This boards drivers are all ceritified to work with Server 2003. Get everything hooked up and try WHS server reinstallation. I get a ways into the reinstall and WHS gives me an installation error message. I restart to try again and Reinstallation not an option anymore. The only choice WHS gives me is new install. I disconnect all drives other than the system drive an do a new install. I get error messages during the install and start over. Third time the installation works. I hook up the 1st drive to the system. I do not add the drive to the pool and start to copy the files from that drive to WHS pool. 1st drive everything moves over without a hitch and I then add that drive to the pool (now 2 drives total in the pool) I hook up drive #3, don't add it to the pool just as before. I start to move the files from that drive. After a short time, ah yes BSOD "IRQ NOT EQUAL OR LESS blah blah blah" this continues to happen over and over with all of the drives with exception of one. One of the drives I do not add to the pool after I moved the files over. So for the next drive WHS must store all of the files I  copy on the system drive. Demigrator is not moving them while I copy, no BSOD. After that drive I had to add the drive to the pool to have enough room for all of my files. Of course it continues to happen again sometimes a few seconds after I start to copy sometimes I get 45min. of copying before BSOD. After what seems like a million BSOD's I finally get all of the files moved over. MB #5 on it's way out!


    What is working for you?


    A few things I would prefer in a MB suggestion:

    • Currently Availible
    • Onboard Video (I have cards but would rather not use one in my WHS)
    • Gigabit Ethernet (Same as above)
    • At least 4 SATAII Ports
    • Rock solid with WHS

    Sorry this is so long but any help will be greatly appreciated.




    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 2:52 AM

All replies

  • I suggest you take a look at the thread What's in your server? Probably every motherboard people have had success with is listed there.

    If it helps, I've used the cheapest Socket A board that PC Chips makes (you don't want this: no onboard graphics, no SATA, no gigabit ethernet), and I've used one almost as cheap in Socket 775 from Gigabyte. The Gigabyte board is in my test server now, and it's been solid for months. For the Gigabyte board, don't bother installing the SATA drivers; you can run your drives in IDE compatibility mode and you'll never see a difference in performance.
    Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:25 AM

    My MB is Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H with a pata 80 gig drive. Will upgrade to larger sata drives after data corruption issue is fixed. I loaded WHS (not connected to lan) and then loaded the Gigabyte "Xp/2000" drivers. You probably noticed your MB came with 2 driver CDs, one for Vista and one for XP/2000. Then hooked up machine to internet and ran the updates. Reviewed the driver details to make sure the Lan/video/audio/chipset drivers were gigabyte's and not original MS drivers from WHS load. Configured WHS and sharing files across multiple OS PCs and XBox.


    After 3 months everything seems to work ok -


    BTW - I use an entirely wired lan - not sure what the impliations are if you have a wireless router in the mix.




    Friday, March 28, 2008 12:58 AM
  • I am using an  Asus P5GZ-MX, on board video and gigibit lan.  I have 8 drives connected, 4 PATA and 4 SATA, 2.22 Tbytes.

    I have an eSATA out board drive that is not part of the storage pool that I use for backup for offsite storage.

    I Iave 2 laptops (windows XP ME and Vista) and a desktop (XP SP2) on the network on a wired gigbit lan and, ocassionally, wireless on the laptops.

    So far I have had few problems and have used all the attributes of WHS (restore, drive failure, system drive frailure, remote access, scheduled computer backups, ..)

    I did have an issue of the system with WHS showing a drive failing but I unplugged the UPS and it has solved the problem.

    I am totally satisfied.  I use WHS for storage only, no media streaming, no editing, etc. I use robocopy for all copy operations and have them scheduled using Windows scheduler.

    I have had it on virtually 24/7 since Jan 07.

    Friday, March 28, 2008 5:51 PM
  • I knew I would speak too soon.  I awoke this AM with the "sys vol failing."

    This is the third, NEW, drive I have installed.  The odds of getting 3 bad drive in a row are very small.  I think this is an operating sys problem.

    I hope is is addressed in the service pack.

    Sunday, March 30, 2008 11:21 PM
  • 6 SATA drive of various size, from 320 to 500gb. Intel E1200 processor, idle the majority of time.  ATI Theater PRO 550 recording TV with SAGE TV.


    I have left only 1 500 gb drive in the managed hard drive and have created a RAID-5 array with the remaining 5 one.  (software array).  They only problem I had was not being able to install the AHCI drivers.  Working in legacy IDE mode. 


    Very stable. 

    Monday, March 31, 2008 4:37 PM
  • Hi

    I´m Using a Gigabyte GA-G31M-S2L which works like a dream! Currently two 750 GB Samsungs and one 250 GB Seagate no Problems at all! Only S3 was not working due to the Grafikdriver -which was the windows Standart but now with the Intel driver no Problem. My Server works now for several month and not even one error occoured.

    And the best it meets all your Requirements ;-)
    Friday, April 4, 2008 10:19 AM
  • I'm using an Asus MN2-LR Server Board with three 500 gig drives.  So far, it's worked flawlessly.




    Saturday, April 5, 2008 7:29 AM
  • I'm using an ECS P35T Motherboard.  It has SIX SATA II ports onboard.


    It does not however have on-board video, but you can get a great PCI-E card for under $50. (Will utilize less CPU & System Memory too)

    It does have onboard Gigabit ethernet, but I have discovered that this too can use a lot of CPU, so I bought (for under $20) a Transcend Gigabit Ethernet PCI card.


    I've been running this setup non-stop for over 3 months now with no problems.




    Intel E6550 Dual Core CPU

    4GB Memory (2 sticks)

    Total of 1.8TB of disk storage (6 disks)

    eVGA 8400GS Video

    Transcend Gigabit ethernet card


    I think the main thing is to ensure that the motherboard you choose has, and has been supporting for some time a series of Windows 2003 drivers.  If they don't then that is one red flag that the board might not work the best for WHS.  Win2K3 drivers means that they have at least tested for compatibility with a server OS.

    Sunday, April 6, 2008 7:22 AM