Erratic retention of boot order in BIOS

Kick

Active Member
Aug 12, 2014
Dorset, England, UK
Linux
Linux
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Thread starter #1
Hi,
I have just purchased an Ubuntu 18.04 desktop computer with a GigabyteH310M H motherboard.

All worked well for the first few weeks but a certain lack of reliability has crept in regarding booting. It may be coincidence but generally the failure to boot happens when the room temperature is lower than normal at around 18 degrees C or lower (first thing in the morning). When this problem occurs, I enter the BIOS and reset the boot order as the SDD with the Ubuntu operating system has been demoted in the boot order and the system tries to boot from UEFI:pXE IP$ RealtekPCIeGBE FamilyController which is at position #1. When I move ubuntu(P1:ADATA SU650) to position #1, save the changes and exit the BIOS, the system boots correctly. Any system restarts and reboots from a powered down situation are generally normal during the rest of the day.

I have been in touch with the manufacturer who sent me a link for a BIOS update file. I have carried out the update and all seemed well for a few days with the the system even booting correctly one morning with the room temperature at 17.8 degrees C. However the problem returned with a failure at 18.1 degrees C one morning. I had previously changed the CMOS battery (with the permission of the manufacturer) just in case that was the centre of the problem but that made no difference.

I carried out further tests and entered the BIOS to find that, sometimes after a boot failure, the only item listed in the boot order is UEFI:pXE IP$ RealtekPCIeGBE FamilyController and ubuntu(P1:ADATA SU650) does not appear at all. Fortunately ubuntu(P1:ADATA SU650) is still listed in Boot Options and I have been able to boot the system from there. On reporting back to the manufacturer, they suggested that, in the light of what I had observed, the problem was likely to be with the SDD and that I should return it to them for a replacement. They wanted me to open the case and remove the drive rather than return the complete computer to their base. If I were to do what they asked, I would want to create a system backup image (since carried out) and I would want to be able to boot the computer from my live Puppy Xenial DVD in order to access data on my internal HDD. (The Puppy Xenial DVD has all the necessary programs to view and edit my data files). To test how effective this would be, I first booted Ubuntu, opened the DVD drive and inserted the the Puppy Xenial DVD. I then entered the BIOS on a restart and moved UEFI:DRW-24D5MT (the DVD drive) to position #1 in the boot order with ubuntu(P1:ADATA SU650) now at #2 and UEFI:pXE IP$ RealtekPCIeGBE FamilyController at position#3. When I restarted the system, the Puppy Xenial DVD booted as one would normally expect. However, I have since noticed that once I remove the Puppy Xenial DVD, entering the BIOS reveals that UEFI:DRW-24D5MT is no longer listedin the boot order. Inserting the DVD and opening the BIOS once more still does not list UEFI:DRW-24D5MT in the boot order. To me, as a non-expert, this would seem to suggest the erratic boot problem I am experiencing is not just an SDD problem but something to do with a component on the motherboard or the SATA links.

As many of the contributors to this forum are professional experts, I would welcome comments as the symptoms I am experiencing may be familiar. I have the option to return the computer to base but obviously I would prefer a resolution that obviates the need to do that.

Thank you.
 

Kick

Active Member
Aug 12, 2014
Dorset, England, UK
Linux
Linux
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Thread starter #3
Hi Tony,

Thanks for your suggestion, but I did think the battery might be the problem so did change. I stated this in paragraph three of my original post but you missed noticing that as this was put in as an afterthought in a throw away sentence at the end of the paragraph.

I have since run various boot tests and room temperature appears not to be a direct cause of the problem - I've booted successfully in the past at the start of the day with room temperatures lower than those where booting failed this morning. There's a possibility, I suppose, that humidity/condensation when combined with a lowish room temperature may be a contributory factor although I have no such problems with another desktop computer running Windows 7 in the same room. The manufacturers are now suggesting the problem may be related to the Dual Bios Setup that Gigabyte uses but they need to research that possibility. I will report back when they get back to me and I have tried any suggestions they may make.

I realise that these problems can be difficult to pin down as there are so many variables but wondered if the professional computer technicians, who regularly give advice on this forum, may have come across similar problems on their customers' systems.

Cheers.
 

Rustys

Super Moderator
Jan 6, 2017
Escaped Mental Patient
Linux
Linux
Firefox 63.0
Firefox 63.0
Moderator #4
Have you tried clearing the CMOS Values through the Jumper?

Then go into the BIOS and change the boot order and correct the time and date setting.

You might also try reseating all data and power cables on may have come loose.
 

Kick

Active Member
Aug 12, 2014
Dorset, England, UK
Linux
Linux
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Chrome 70.0.3538.103
Thread starter #5
Hi Rustys,

Thanks for your suggestions - before I do those things, I need to get approval from the manufacturer because they are dealing with my problems under warranty. They seem OK about me opening the case but I need to have a record of their permission for each thing I try so as not to compromise my warranty. I will pass on your suggestions to them to see what they say. If this can be resolved without returning the computer to base would be in their interest as well as mine.

Cheers.
 

Kick

Active Member
Aug 12, 2014
Dorset, England, UK
Linux (Ubuntu)
Linux (Ubuntu)
Firefox 64.0
Firefox 64.0
Thread starter #7
UPDATE:

Hi Rustys and Tony D,

Sorry to have taken so long to get back but my update of the situation will explain why.

The computer manufacturer suggested I return the computer to base so I arranged this. Unfortunately the technicians could not replicate the problem I was getting but they updated the BIOS and returned the computer. For a few days it booted correctly so I thought that the BIOS update had removed a bug. However the boot problem returned. The manufacturer then arranged to collect the computer for further testing - this was just a couple of weeks before Christmas so I guessed it would be a little while before i got the computer back again. As before, the technicians could not replicate my boot problem so eventually decided to replace the motherboard and the SSD (the computer's operating system and programs are on a 120gb SSD and there is a 1tb HDD that holds my data files). The computer was then returned last week (23 January).

Other than an initial problem when I tried to restore the SSD to its previous state using a backup image file but only succeeded in wiping the drive, the computer has behaved perfectly since. That problem was my fault and was easily rectified was I realized what had happened - I did think 'they've made it worse', panicked a bit and was prepared to ask for a replacement or my money back. When I calmed down and checked the BIOS, I could see the drive was not recognized at all - using good old GParted on a live usb flashdrive I saw the SSD was completely empty. Running the backup image software a second time successfully restored the the SSD and the computer has booted correctly ever since.

I have now updated the software, updated the Clam anti-virus and updated all my data files with the changes that happened during the period of the computer's Christmas holiday. My learning experience continues as I increasingly get to grips with Ubuntu. What a relief, I'm so pleased things are resolved but it is still a mystery as to what was the actual cause of the boot problem.

Cheers and a belated happy new year.
 

plodr

Active Member
Oct 3, 2016
USA
Windows 7
Windows 7
Pale Moon 28.3.1
Pale Moon 28.3.1
#9
Running the backup image software a second time successfully restored the the SSD
You were wise to think of that.
I was restoring an image to a mechanical hard drive (on a laptop with a battery that would no longer hold a charge). I had the laptop plugged in and it was a clear day with no storms. Unexpectedly, the power went out! I was upset for 2 days thinking I now owned a brick. I finally thought to try the restore again. It worked and I used that laptop for quite a few more years.
When people post that something went wrong with restoring an image, I usually suggest that they try it again.
 
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