GA-K8NF-9 problems

Introduction

This is a new nVidia nForce 4-4X chipset motherboard that supports the AMD 64 processor and forms my current PC. Whilst setting up this system I experienced a few issues that I am documenting here to hopefully help others.

I will point out that since I fixed the niggles, the system has been very stable. The system was built in January 2006.

Problems encountered

The first issue was that the Motherboard had an old BIOS, rev F4, which by default enabled the SATA RAID function. I was not aware of this (or what to set it to) and I proceeded to install Windows XP on my new SATA hard drive.
Windows XP installed fine but after the many install reboots it eventually loaded and tried to install a RAID driver. Another reboot and Windows was dead!

Disable the SATA RAID function in the BIOS unless you plan to use it! Since BIOS version F9, this function is disabled by default.

Once I had got the SATA hard drive configured in Windows all was fine, for a while. Noticably on first power up, the computer would freeze for 1-2 minutes whilst loading Windows, then resume. I originally thought this was a DHCP network issue, so I configured the PC with a static IP address. This did not fix it.

After digging around in some support forums, I found out that the nVidia nForce 4 chipset had an issue if the 'Enable Command Queuing' option was set. To disable this, setting, goto Device Manager-> IDE/ATAPI controllers and follow the picture below.

Once I unticked the 'Enable Command Queuing' option, my PC boots in 45 seconds from cold!

PC Specification

AMD Athlon 64 3500+,
1 GB of 400 MHz 128 bit  DDR RAM,
nVidia GeForce 6600GT+ graphics card with 128MB RAM,
1 x 160 GB SATA HDD, 1 x 160 GB ATA HDD,
2xDVD writers (one Dual layer capable),
10 USB 2.0 ports, 7 in use ;)
19" HP vs19 TFT Monitor,
HP Laserjet 1020 printer.

Updated 08 July 2017