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S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-06-19, 0:13 AM

S30 type 4351

BIOS date 05/21-2014

Xeon E5-1620v2, 64GB ECC

It has been rebuilt (new just about everything but the mainboard), but the hardware seems fine and is stable.

 

But it will not speak to any version of Windows other than Win10, which is unacceptable. Installs hang with messages like "cannot find textsetup.inf", or just stall. Tried cheating around the install problem with a portable-ized Windows; would not run.

 

I've tried every BIOS setting under the sun, no joy. Tried pulling half the RAM, no joy. 

 

I thought it shipped with Win7Pro, but Win7 will not install.

Neither will XP64, nor Server 2008/2008R2. (I'd prefer one of these.) 

 

Win10 installs and runs fine, as does PCLinuxOS. However that's not suitable for its intended new job.

 

Is there a Windows image file that goes with this system, that I could just ghost onto the new HD?

 

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47 Posts

07-26-2015

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-06-19, 6:06 AM

It looks like a MBR corruption.

 

This article could help : https://pcdreams.com.sg/fixing-inf-file-txtsetup-sif-is-corrupt-error-message/

-------------------------------------------------------------
P700 2x2620v3 32GB 1050ti SSD 3xHDD PSU490
W500 P8700 6GB HD3650 SSD
Helix 2 CoreM-5Y71 8GB HD5300 SSD
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02-22-2010

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-06-19, 22:45 PM

What is your setting in BIOS for OS Optimized Defaults?  This setting is found in the exit menu of BIOS setup.

Do you know if you're attempting to install the OS in UEFI or Legacy mode?

What specific port is your boot drive connected to (blue SATA, red SATA, or orange SATA), and is it a single drive or part of a RAID array?

 

Windows 7 should be fairly straight forward to install.  I thought we did a whitepaper during that product's life cycle that walked you through the basic steps to install win7 in UEFI or Legacy mode, but unfortunately I'm unable to find it on the support site right now.  If you're connected to the blue SATA ports for your boot drive, there's a good chance you'll need to provide the proper RSTe driver in order to get the installer to recognize/find your target drive as it might not be native to the OS.  Red/orange SATA ports are routed to the normal AHCI controller, and shouldn't require a driver with win7 from what I can recall.




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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-06-27, 8:36 AM

Thanks for the replies. It is not an MBR issue; this is a newly prepped drive (actually tried several; work fine on an Asus board with same chipset). Boot drive is indeed hooked to the first red port. Initially BIOS was set to defaults, but I tried other settings with no luck. Now back on defaults. Once up and running, it's all dandy and perfectly stable; doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the hardware.

 

I did get it to boot from Win7 and SVR2008R2 cloned from a Dell (identical BIOS settings), but then ran into a different problem: some of the Lenovo-provided drivers are the wrong ones.  In particular the SAS driver on the download page is not for this board. The SAS controller is apparently an Intel C600. I found a Win10 driver that works, but so far no joy on earlier Windows.  (My linux distro has its own driver, which works.)  Its intended mission is partly to host a stack of SAS drives (as single drives, I don't do RAID) as a sort of poor-man's NAS, so I kinda need this to work. 

 

BTW Win8.1 Enterprise also won't install, but 8.1 Embedded does so (tho they don't like each other much; it's very laggy). Yeah, I'm to the "desperate experiments" stage. :)

 

I'd still really prefer XP64 for its intended job... unfortunately it does not clone gracefully.

 

I don't know if this is relevant, but the durn thing thinks it has its own Win10 license, and self-activated. (And only Win10 did this.) I have no idea of its history before I got it. It and Win10 love each other, but I do not love Win10, and have learned to never ever trust it with USB-attached HDs. (Hello, where did my partition table go??!)

 

 

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-06-29, 19:08 PM

Actually it could still very easily be a MBR vs. GPT (partitioning) issue depending on how the image is built, what mode BIOS is in, and the size of the drive in question.  Just because a drive/image worked on an Asus board with the same chipset doesn't necessarily mean you can throw it in a S30 system and it should boot properly.   

 

With regards to your question on SAS support, there were several controllers supported on S30.  If equipped with the proper HDD enablement module, S30 could support SAS using the onboard Intel controller via the blue SATA ports (Intel SCU).  This would require the use of the Intel RSTe driver package.  Alternatively, there were discrete SAS controller options from LSI supported (9240 and 9260 if I recall correctly) and those obviously used a different LSI driver package. 

 

For reference...

Blue SATA ports = Intel SCU routed.  Supports SATA by default.  SAS support added with proper HDD enablement module.

Red SATA ports = Intel ACHI routed.  Supports SATA gen3.

Orange SATA ports = Intel AHCI routed.  Supports SATA gen2.

 

Windows 8 and Windows 10 use much different licensing methods than Windows 7 and XP.  Starting with win7, licenses from OEMs were contained in an OA2 marker file that was essentially programmed into BIOS.  Win8/10 moved to an OA3 marker file implementation also programmed into BIOS.  You should be able to check in BIOS setup to see if there is valid data present for the OA2 and OA3 marker status.  If your system automatically activated with win10, that likely means there is an OA3 marker present, or a digital license was installed via a win7-->win8/10 upgrade.




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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-07-01, 23:43 PM

320GB SATA HD. MBR, not GPT. Nothing unusual about it. Was perfectly happy with same HD for Win10 and linux.

 

However, I did find info on the problem (also applies to Win7) -- it's apparently due to BIOS bugs or deficiencies:

 

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/314830/stop-error-code-0x000000a5-error-when-you-are-installing-windows-xp

 

Updated the BIOS to the latest (the Windows executable worked; the bootable ISO did not). No change.

 

The F7 trick did not work.

 

Here's what I get:

 

STOP error 0x000000A5

(0x00000000000014

0xFFFFFA800000DF4E6

0x000000000000008A

0xFFFFFFADCBE31A90)

 

 

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-07-02, 13:34 PM

So as I mentioned earlier....what is your current setting in BIOS for "OS Optimized Defaults"?  This setting can be found in the exit menu of BIOS setup.

 




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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-07-03, 22:31 PM

It was set to Disabled. I had not touched anything since updating BIOS a couple days ago.

 

So I tried Enabled, and literally the ONLY setting that changed was Altitude. (Why does it have that?) I checked everything, that was the only thing it changed. So should be good, right?

 

Save and exit.

 

And now it's apparently bricked. It powers on and reboots 2 or 3 times but no screen. (Does not load OS from HD, either, as you can tell by power button still being instant-off.)

 

CMOS 'recovery' (neither jumper alone nor with ISO) did not work (should probably not be surprised since didn't work to update it either). It apparently boots up from the ISO and every couple minutes it accesses the CD, but 20 minutes later still no screen and nothing happens. 

 

I admit I'm starting to have thoughts like "Never another Lenovo." The Asus that's basically the same board (same chipset and features, other than SAS) doesn't give me any of this grief. :(

 

[BTW the DOS BIOS .ZIP download is corrupted. File appears to be truncated on the server. I can rebuild and extract the archive, but who knows what's damaged.]

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-07-04, 15:00 PM

And I see that an assortment of Lenovos have similar issues -- basically being bricked by a BIOS setting (via multiple methods), and not resettable without an EPROM burner. This should be impossible, but is apparently common with Lenovo products. 

 

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-X-Series-Laptops/Thinkpad-X1-Extreme-Black-Screen-Help/td-p/4286292

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/a2g0k4/warning_do_not_change_from_hybrid_graphics_to/

 

and tons more complaints.

 

Yep. Until this issue is fixed, no more Lenovos, for me or my clients. 

 

[I also have a Y50, all factory default, which works fine if you don't notice it runs at about half the speed that CPU should.]

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Re:S30 -- won't play nice with Windows before Win10

2020-07-07, 1:52 AM

If your drive is MBR, then I would not recommend setting OS Optimized Defaults to enabled.  That setting is a global switch that affects other settings within BIOS typically used to support win8/10 when shipped as UEFI/GPT (disables CSM, forces UEFI boot, enables Secure Boot, etc.).  These setting changes don't take effect until after you save, exit, and restart.  For win7 MBR, you'll likely want to stay in full  Legacy mode.

 

Clearing CMOS will reset BIOS to factory defaults.  I'm assuming you followed the guidance found in the HMM on how to do this?  You need to jumper pins 2 and 3, and then power on the system in order to clear CMOS correctly.  This should produce a 2 beep sequence upon startup.  Once that is done, you would need to power off the system and move the jumper back to the normal position (pins 1 and 2).

 

 

If clearing CMOS doesn't work, then boot block recovery would be the next step to recover BIOS to the factory settings.  This is also done by moving the clear CMOS jumper to the clear position (pins 2-3), and the providing the system with a BIOS recovery image (CD/DVD usually works best).  Note that if using a CD/DVD, make sure your ODD can read the media you're using, and make sure you create the disc from the ISO, not simply burn the ISO to the disc (which will not work).  I'd also recommend that your ODD be connected to a red or orange SATA port for this process to function correctly.

 

I do see some sort of issue with the DOS update for BIOS 68A on the support site, which I will follow up on with the BIOS team to get resolved.  In the meantime, you can use this link to get the DOS update for BIOS 67A if you need a functional DOS flash package for S30 - 4351.

 

Since your system was seemingly functional before the BIOS change, either of the two options listed above should help recover your BIOS to a functional state.  Unfortunately due to COVID, I don't have easy access to our lab to be able to double check that the latest BIOS packages are functioning/recovering as they should on a S30 system.




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