Time has stopped. No, really, it has.


— 12:27 PM on December 13, 2000

Those of you who have been keeping up with the back and forth battle that Matt Geary (and in some small part myself) has become involved in (with a co-worker's Abit BX133-RAID) know that the story is one befitting "The Young and the Restless."

While I managed to help Matt circumvent a few of his problems, the board still taunts him. In an effort to help him some more, I was digging around the Abit USA website FAQ. I know that Abit houses their IRQ breakdown per PCI slot and other external devices for just about every motherboard there. What surprised me the most though was the fact that a VP6 FAQ is already up—one of the largest FAQ's for any of their available boards, as far as I can tell.

Among the many gems that abound in the FAQ is this massive diamond.

Q. Why do I get the Blue-screen of death after loading Liveware 3.0 for Creative SBLive! Sound card under Windows ME?

A. It's caused by a conflict between Liveware 3.0 and the HPT driver. Please manually reserve IRQ5 for legacy ISA in the BIOS PnP/PCI submenu. Please refer below:

PnP/PCI configurations->Resources controlled by ->manual->IRQ->IRQ5 assigned to ->legacy ISA-> Save & Exit Setup . One more suggestion, disable unused COM ports and the LPT port to release more IRQ resources.

Well, doesn't that sound familiar. This also came to me just after recommending that Matt try setting up the system with the HPT370 disabled. But ultimately, something else bugged me about this.

Off to HighPoint's website I went. It was then that my ire at HighPoint instead shifted into anger at Abit. Not sure what I mean? Check this out. The archive contains a readme.txt that lists all fixes that have occurred throughout the life of the HPT370 BIOS. Of particular interests are the dates of those fixes.

rev 1.0.622---22June2000

To my understanding this is the highest non-beta BIOS release for any Abit motherboard. Seven whole months? Our own Dissonance has suffered dearly at the hands of this old and buggy BIOS. His recent review of the Abit KT7 felt the sting of Maxtor oddity. Initially, Dissonance blamed this Microsoft support article provided courtesy of Apu's Hardware. But Apu and now Dissonance quickly discovered something I pointed out months ago and have since recanted and pulled the article from the Unofficial KT7-RAID FAQ. To truly add insult to injury, though, the readme.txt came with one more surprise.

rev 1.0.2---10Aug2000
Fix compatibility issues with Maxtor ATA-100 disks

Hell, that was only four months ago. In that time frame, HighPoint has already managed to release yet another BIOS. The very BIOS version you downloaded if you, too, are looking over the read me file in question.

With all that in mind, I took a trip to the Unofficial KT7-RAID FAQ at Apu's Hardware which continued to lead to more and more interesting material. It seems that the IBM DeskStar has intermittent success on the HPT370. Even more intriguing was the information that these issues were resolved by some of the beta BIOS versions with the higher revision HPT370 BIOS built in.

Well, Matt, it seems my guess that the IBM Deskstar might be having trouble on the HPT370 of the BX133-RAID may have been closer to the mark than even I realized.

With it all said, done, and out in the open now, I have a couple of questions for Abit. When are you going to release a non-beta BIOS to all your HPT370 users? Don't you think that seven months has been a long enough wait? Do us all a favor and bring in this new Millennium with some HPT370 BIOS loving.

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