Last week we reported that the nForce chipset does in fact have a PCI writes issue. NVIDIA informed us that a fix was available in the form of a BIOS update. A quick look at the handful of nForce builders revealed that Abit, Asus, and Leadtek had already implemented the fix. Since that only left MSI without a new BIOS available, we again attempted to contact MSI for more info. Shortly after our second contact, we received a response along with Beta 3 of the 2.5 BIOS, which we are told has the fix implemented.
We asked for permission to host the file for MSI nForce users and to allow people test what difference the fix made. While we awaited approval, I turned my own system into a guinea pig for the BIOS. Here's what I found: The menus and options within the BIOS have not changed since BIOS 2.4. On flash, I used the /cc, /cd, and /cp switches to clear the BIOS, then I reconfigured the new BIOS to the same settings I had used in 2.4. I saved and exited the BIOS and began booting into Windows 2000 SP2. During boot, I was greeted with a blue screen explaining that my BIOS was not ACPI compliant.
Since then, I've been working with MSI in an effort to resolve the ACPI error and to see if I can get a few of the other smaller errors in the BIOS addressed. It seems my difficulty resolves around having APIC 1.4 enabled. It's possible that doing a fresh OS install might alleviate the problem, but since I know more than a few people are taking advantage of the extended IRQ's provided by APIC, I am hoping to avoid that step.
Despite the difficulties, this is a very good situation. MSI is aware of the problem and is actively working to get the fix out. I have been assured that I will be contacted once the next BIOS build is ready. I hope to have something to share with you all very soon.
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