Intel Issues, Alerts and Updates

Intel Issues and Updates

In our continued effort to keep our customers informed of any issues involving the hardware we use in our system and server builds, as well as components sold separately, we will be posting periodically any updates and alerts that we receive from manufacturers regarding their components. If the alert or update directly effects the functionality of your desktop computer or server, we will make every effort to contact our customers long before they have an opportunity to review this information at our Web site. This information will be broken down into three categories, “Critical Issues”, “Alerts” and “Updates and Enhancements”.

Critical Issues:

Intel® Memory Translator Hub (MTH) Reboot Issue (May 2000)

Intel has found that some boards using the MTH (memory translator hub) may be sensitive to system noise under extreme conditions, and this issue may manifest itself in intermittent system reboots or system hangs during operation. This noise sensitivity may result in data loss and/or corruption. Intel has placed the MTH component and an Intel motherboard that uses the part on shipment hold. Read more..

Intel® Ultra ATA Storage Driver and Adaptec Easy CD Creator Notification

When installing the Intel® Ultra ATA Storage Driver after Easy CD Creator* version 4.02c_s10 on systems with Windows* 2000 installed, the system will fail to complete installation of the Intel Ultra ATA Storage Driver resulting in a blue screen error. Following this condition, the system will not be bootable and will report an ‘Inaccessible Boot Device’ error at each subsequent reboot. Read more..

Intel® Motherboards and Slot-to-Socket (SSA) Adapters

Over the last several months several manufacturers have released Slot-to-Socket (SSA) Adapters to enable those who have purchased Slot 1 motherboards to use to use the Intel® Pentium ® III Flip Chip Pin Grid Array type processor.

During our own test trials we have noted that many of the SSA’s that we have tested do not function correctly or do not allow the processor to function correctly when combined with motherboards for which the SSA was not specifically designed. More..

Resolved Microsoft Knowledge Base Article Issues

Q168483 – ATAPI Reports Event ID: 26 Out-of-Date Firmware Error Message Q247951 – HOWTO: Enabling UDMA66 Mode on Intel Chipsets Q269555 – Device Manager Lists ATA-100 Device Incorrectly as Using PIO Instead of UDMA

Q260233 – Support for ATA 100 (Mode 5 ) in Windows 2000

Please review our section on UDMA/ATA and ATAPI Issues in Windows 2000.


Using Memory Configurations Greater than 512MB in Windows 95, 98 and Windows Millennium Edition

There have been numerous questions that have arisen since the release of Windows 95 regarding memory limitations in Windows 9x. These questions resurface with each subsequent release, and cover Windows 95 OSR2, Windows 98, Windows 98SE and the Windows Millennium Edition. Windows 9x does have a memory limitation, however if your needs require in excess of 512MB of physical memory, there are methods you can use to overcome this limitation.

If you feel that you may want to use more than 512MB of memory on your computer, you may want to read this alert first.

Updates and Enhancements:

Intel Rapid BIOS Boot and Express BIOS Update

Intel has recently released an optimized BIOS for certain of its released motherboards. The Intel Rapid BIOS Boot is an optimized BIOS available only for Intel Desktop Motherboards. It significantly reduces the amount of time necessary to boot the system without sacrificing features, quality or reliability. The BIOS Power On Self Test (POST) was streamlined by parallelizing tasks, eliminating redundant code, reduction of legacy features, and selective hardware usage and configuration. The Intel Express BIOS Update combines the functionality of iFLASH and the ease-of-use of Installshield applications by packaging the BIOS file within an automated update utility. Update your BIOS while in the Windows environment without creating a boot disk.

Read more?

What is Intel® Rapid BIOS Boot

Download the Intel® Express BIOS Update

Intel® Ultra ATA Storage Driver

Intel has released an updated Ultra ATA Storage Driver for its latest chipsets in order to enable and improve upon fast Ultra ATA transfers. Before implementing this new driver, we suggest that you read all of the information carefully so that you are able to determine whether or not this new driver can be used on your computer.

The Intel® Ultra ATA Storage Driver automatically enables fast Ultra ATA transfers for a variety of ATA/ATAPI mass storage devices such as hard disk drives and CD-ROMs. This driver has been architected to take advantage of the latest Intel Ultra ATA controller features to improve both storage subsystem performance and overall system performance. Driver installation is flexible and fully automated for Microsoft Windows® 98, Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 2000 operating systems. Also included is the Intel Ultra ATA Companion, a useful diagnostic tool that can be used to view technical details of the ATA subsystem. Read more?

Note: If you have installed Windows 2000 on a computer that utilizes any of the following Intel motherboards: 810, 815, 820, 840 or 850, and you are experiencing any of the difficulties describe in these Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles:

Q168483 – ATAPI Reports Event ID: 26 Out-of-Date Firmware Error Message Q247951 – HOWTO: Enabling UDMA66 Mode on Intel Chipsets Q269555 – Device Manager Lists ATA-100 Device Incorrectly as Using PIO Instead of UDMA

Q260233 – Support for ATA 100 (Mode 5 ) in Windows 2000

Please review our section on UDMA/ATA and ATAPI Issues in Windows 2000.

The Intel® Motherboard Monitor

The Intel® Active Monitor is a new alerting utility created by Intel and available exclusively on Intel Desktop Boards As personal computers increase in performance and decrease in size, monitoring the cooling and overall system health becomes more important. The Intel Active Monitor works with specialized sensors on your Intel Desktop Board to constantly monitor the system’s temperatures, power supply voltages, and fan speeds. If temperatures become extremely hot or a system fan or power supply fails, the user is immediately notified. Read more about and download Intel’s Active Monitor.

The Intel® Desktop Motherboard Software

There is little question that Intel, the world leader in desktop PC technology, offers you desktop boards that optimize the power and performance of their latest Intel processors and chipsets. In addition to hardware reliability, Intel® Desktop Boards come with the necessary software quality and solutions that are essential for your PC. Read more about the software included with each Intel boxed motherboard.

The Intel® Processor Frequency ID Utility (MS-DOS Bootable Version)

The Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility is a nifty little tool developed by Intel to check your Intel Pentium Processor. Intel Processor Frequency ID Utility reports the processor frequency for supported processors, the utility runs a speed test algorithm to determine the processor’s operating frequency and compares it to the processor’s expected frequency. Both the reported frequency and expected frequency are displayed on the Frequency Test Tab. If the processor is determined to be running as expected, the utility shows positive test with a “pass” icon. If the utility determines that the processor is running above it’s expected frequency, it cautions the user that the tested processor appears to be running above its expected frequency – a condition commonly referred to as “overclocked”. More…

The Intel® Processor Frequency ID Utility (MS Windows Version)

The Intel® Processor Frequency ID Utility was developed by Intel Corporation to enable consumers the ability to identify and, in some circumstances, determine if their Intel processor is operating at the correct and rated frequency intended by Intel Corporation. The Windows version of the utility can be used with systems that support the Windows operating system environment. More…


Pentium 4 Processors

If you are considering an upgrade to the new Intel Pentium 4 processor, there are some issues that you should consider, regardless of whether you purchase your upgrade from us or someone else. There are many AMD processor users out there that state that the Pentium 4 really doesn’t stack up. We disagree! Factually, processor, motherboard and memory selections should be determined based upon the intended end-use of the computer. Problems occur when you try and run software on a computer not optimized for the intended use.

In the interest of fairness though, we felt that it was important to note some of the potential negative aspects of moving to the new Pentium 4 processors.

  • It cannot be used in multi-processor configurations
  • It requires a BIOS dated 11/20/00 or later
  • It “may” require updates to Windows NT 4.0 in order to use SSE2
  • It requires DirectX 8.0 in order to use SSE2
  • It does not support CPU Serial Numbers
  • There are problems with older video drivers and Adaptec SCSI Controllers
  • It doesn’t use a 400MHz Front-side Bus (FSB), but rather a quad-pumped 100MHz FSB

Here are some not-so-well known issues that should be factored into your decision to purchase a Pentium 4 processor. Most of the low and mid-range systems available today are being sold stock with PC600 RDRAM (or PC700), which is considerably slower than the intended PC800 Rambus DRAM, but still expensive in comparison to PC133 SDRAM or even DDR-SDRAM. A measurable improvement is seen with PC800 RDRAM.

Laying aside all of the rhetoric, it really comes down to two general issues.

  • In most situations, a properly optimized Pentium 4 gaming system will keep pace with any other machine out there, give or take a couple of percentage points.
  • If you’re running standard desktop applications and not a big user of multimedia, the Pentium 4 is a hot performer. Intel banked on multimedia performance being in hot demand, but that hasn’t proven to be the case. To pick up the slack in demand and reduce prices, most top of the major OEMs are combining the Pentium 4 with cheap graphics card solutions, but this actually introduces a performance penalty. If you decide to opt for the Pentium 4, go with the best video card you can afford.

Notice: Intel®, Pentium®, Celeron® are trademarks of the Intel Corporation. Windows® 95, Windows® 98, Windows® NT, Windows® 2000 and

Microsoft® Office are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.

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