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  #1  
Old 04-13-2014, 11:03 PM
Orion Orion is offline
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New PC extremely slow boot with Interlink attached

Hi folks,

I've built a new PC and it installed RF 6.5 on it. Everything works fine, except for rebooting the PC. It now hangs up in the BIOS for minutes. Eventually it always or nearly always boots. I'm not sure, because sometimes after 2 or 3 minutes I give up - by give up I mean pull the interlink Elite out and then it boots quickly/normally.

I've tried adjusting quite a few BIOS settings related to USB and/or booting but I'm shooting in the dark and haven't found anything that helps. I have found some things that hurt - such as downloading the latest BIOS which slows down even more than the one that came with the board.

On a couple of occasions - maybe one time in 10. Windows just begins to boot, then it reboots, goes through another slow boot cycle and eventually Windows wants to know if you want to repair your installation since it failed to boot last time.

With the Interlink plugged in, you can even see a couple of tiny visual artifacts that just flash nearly imperceptibly on the screen during a normal boot, appear and sit there for seconds at a time. Then, eventually, Windows comes up and you see the various USB peripheral lights go off and on as Windows' own USB drivers come up. Once you make it to that point - all is well/normal/fast.

I've tried the Interlink in a powered USB 3.0 hub, and motherboard USB 2.0 ports directly. Same behavior both ways. The Motherboard is an Asus Z87-Plus.

Even just entering the BIOS (F2) is very slow with the Interlink attached. I can press F2 multiple times and nothing happens on screen, then I pull the Interlink and the BIOS appears.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:20 PM
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Have you tried adjusting the BIOS to disable ALL booting to USB devices.

Also can you boot the machine in non UEFI mode if your drive does not require it?
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Old 04-14-2014, 12:22 AM
Orion Orion is offline
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So far, I haven't been able to find a place where it says anything like don't boot off USB drives. The closest thing I've found to this is the CSM Compatibility Support Module in the Boot screen. In there I've set Boot From Network Devices to Ignore, and Boot from Storage Devices to Ignore. The first time I booted with those settings, it took only 80 seconds and I thought that was progress, but on the second boot with the same settings, I finally gave in and pulled out the Interlink after 3.5 minutes.

I tried completely disabling the Compatibility Support Module but then it told me the VGA card wouldn't work without it and it turned it back on for me.

As far as USB itself, I can find options for Legacy USB Support. Intel xHCI Mode, EHCI Hand-off. There's also a thing called Mass Storage Devices where you can set emulation for USB Storage devices, but there's nothing there about not booting from them.

Also, back on the boot screen, there is a fast boot option which has the option for partial rather than full USB initialization. I tried selecting that and it didn't help and also made it much more difficult to get back into the bios so I turned it back off.

I haven't figured out how to boot in non-UEFI mode, nor have I figured out if my drive requires it. (The boot drive is a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro and the data/user drive is a 1TB Western Digital hard disk.) This is my first UEFI computer and this is the first time UEFI has been a question/option for me so I'm a little confused so far.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:02 PM
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I can't help you with your bios settings, but there should DEFINITELY be something there about disabling booting to USB devices.

The problem is how that is worded.

In some cases you may get an entry about disabling USB Booting.

In others you'll see something about the "boot order" and in the order list you turn off or remove any USB devices.

etc.

It is likely that the BIOS doesn't know what the Interlink is, and it may be waiting for it to "spin up" to see if it is a bootable device.

That is more of a problem with the BIOS mis identifying the Interlink.

You may find that a prior or subsequent BIOS release will fix the issue.

The one other report of this problem involves exactly the same motherboard as yours.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:55 PM
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Unfortunately I picked this motherboard after having worse problems with a Gigabyte motherboard. Since I had had no prior problem with other Asus boards and since a little googling suggested that they are the highest volume motherboard manufacturer, I was hoping for optimal compatibility.

I still haven't found additional USB options. The interlink does not show up in the USB storage drives area and if I use the BIOS flash utility, (allows flashing from flash drives, hard drives etc.) that doesn't show the Interlink in its list of possible sources.

There are several screens for boot order but on these screens the only things that appear are the SSD boot drive, the hard disk drive and the Blu-ray drive.

On the boot order screen, if I plug in a card reader, each of its empty bays shows up as a device that I could add to the boot list. Disabling or enabling these doesn't change the boot time. The Interlink never shows up in this list either. Nor can I find and "global don't boot from anything USB."

Simply moving from one BIOS screen to another with the Interlink plugged in causes occasional delays of ~20 seconds.

Unfortunately, everything was going so well with the Asus board that I bought 2 more for family members. RF was one of the last things I installed and because I've had to move stuff around to build multiple systems, it was quite some time before I ever did a reboot with the Interlink attached.

I'll probably just deal with mine if I can't think of anything else to try. Another one won't be running real flight so it's probably not an issue. However, my father does want to run an RC flight simulator and being close to 90, I don't think I want to make him deal with this. However, he did say that he was impressed by Phoenix at Toledo. I was going to suggest RF instead but it might be best to let him try what he wants and see if it goes any better.

I've tried 2 BIOSes so far. The latest does seem even slower but there is some randomness to the boot times so I'm not sure. I may try going back to a few others.
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Old 04-14-2014, 04:55 PM
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I don't think you'll find anything to specifically identify the Interlink as a boot device or not, which is the problem.

The bios doesn't know what kind of device it is, so it may be waiting to see if it reports a ready state before moving on.... that is your timeout.

Which reminds me of another thing to try, if the bios lets you set a global hard drive timeout value or delay, instead of the default of zero, try setting it to 1 second.

As annoying as this is you could always just unplug the Interlink when it is not in use.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:14 AM
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I've tried 4 BIOS versions now and every setting that seems remotely related. It's frustrating because I'll make a setting and have it hang up for only a minute and think that's progress but the next reboot on the same configuration hangs for 3 minutes, then crashes in the windows start up, then takes another 2 minute run through the BIOS. So I don't really even know if any BIOS version or any setting is really any better than any other.

I've set it to do partial USB initializations. According to the manual, this means it only sets up mice and keyboard devices in the BIOS. This still slows it down implying that the BIOS does see it as a keyboard/mouse/HID-type thing. This makes me think that actual attempts to boot from the Interlink is not the problem. Other things that make me think this:

It slows down in well before booting. For example, it displays the logo screen for half a minute to more than a minute (normally 3 seconds) and doesn't respond to keyboard attempts to get into the BIOS during this time. (If you press F2 while the press F2 message is up for the half minute or more, it does nothing - but if you pull the interlink it immediately responds to that queued F2 key and goes into the BIOS.)

Once you do manage to get in it even occasionally hangs for a while at points inside the BIOS human interface.

After Windows starts to boot it continues to be slow until Windows sets up it's own USB stack. It also sometimes crashes in the early part of the Windows boot process, causing Windows to ask if you want to try a repair on the next boot. It seems unlikely that it is still trying to boot from the Interlink after it is already running the Windows bootloader from a SATA drive.

Also, while USB devices do show up in a list of devices that could potentially be booted from, they always are added to the end of the list after the existing BD and SSD. For example, I just put a Bootable Win 7 USB flash drive in, rebooted and the BIOS did not try to boot from it. (Though if you go into the BIOS it does show it as the last option to boot from. - And by the way - it adds the UEFI logo to the flash disk - my normal Sata SSD doesn't have that so I guess it was booting in normal BIOS mode all along.)

So while there is something going on between the BIOS and the Interlink, I don't think it is an actual boot attempt. My gut feel is more along the lines that it is installing a generic mouse type driver that then gets confused/overwhelmed by messages from the Interlink.

Yeah, I can live with this by pulling it out. But I'm hoping my father doesn't have to deal with that. When I build PCs for family members it feels like all the bugs from Asus, Microsoft etc. become mine. When it's my own PC, the bugs remain theirs.

Last edited by Orion; 04-15-2014 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:12 AM
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There are many reports of this issue. I simply have to remember to yank out the Interlink before starting or restarting the PC. Hopefully whatever it is can be corrected in future Interlinks. I've never seen another USB device do it so it's obviously something going on with the Interlink.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:57 PM
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Zelatio

Other reports confuse inherent USB problems with the BIOS/USB issue.

That makes the count of occurances seem artificially high.

To date this is only the second such report that does NOT seem to be a USB power/grounding issue ( e.g. he has a new motherboard, etc.. ) and is consistent with the other ASUS motherboard report.

I had a boatload of older computers that had their USB buses get quite flakey after about a year or so of use. The exhibited similiar no booting problems when any 100mA or higher load was placed on the USB connector.

We traced it down to the power regulation IC's ( specifically the power shunt transistor ) going bad after a while, even though power draw was in spec.

Plugging in an Interlink to those machines would result in the same no-boot state, but the problem was squarely NOT with the Interlink, as other devices could produce the same result.

In the ASUS reports, power draw does not seem to be the issue. The BIOS actually starts the POST process and throws up a message that disappears too quickly to read.

The latter is more closely tied to an BIOS / Interlink interaction as opposed to a physical problem.
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:41 AM
Orion Orion is offline
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After several exchanges with Asus, we have come down to:

Quote:
Currently I am afraid to say that our test department doesn't have this device
on their hand?
If possible, can you borrow the device with the whole computer to us for a check?
Or if you could just borrow the RealFlight Interlink Elite , it would also be
just ok.
I'd prefer not to send my own since the weather is getting good and I have a bunch of flying goals to work on. What's the best way to connect Asus with KE/GP? Is there anything better than pointing them at the GreatPlanes support page which is more for consumer support?
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:30 PM
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For the record I am running a "used" PC purchased from another forum member
whom also used it for RF
it has an Asus Mother board
I have been running RF on it since December 2012
I have never had any problems booting the PC with the interlink elite connected to the machine
Nor has the previous owner ever mentioned that he had any of these issues when he had it either
if you need to know exactly what Asus mother board is in my PC I can check for you let me know
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:59 PM
Orion Orion is offline
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Hi Maj.,

My two previous motherboards were also by Asus and didn't have booting issues with this interlink. I think the Z87-Plus was only introduced last year. I think the Z87 chipset itself only dates back to last year.

New platforms - new BIOSes - new bugs. Always a pleasure.
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:22 PM
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Maj. Numbskully Maj. Numbskully is offline
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with out opening the case and looking for the model # on the Board where would I find out what Asus MB I have and /or which chip set is on it?
I looked in the device manager and in "System" in the control panel but do not see any of that information listed
csgill do you know or remember?...Its more of a curiosity thing on my end now..no biggie
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maj. Numbskully View Post
csgill do you know or remember?...Its more of a curiosity thing on my end now..no biggie
Here it is the M4N78 Pro

Its a pretty solid board or atleast it was for me. I ran it when I first got it as my Main PC after my Intel system went belly up for about 6 months. Then I ran it as a Server with Windows Home Server for about a year and a half 24/7 with UPS so it didn't shut down. I ran it briefly with a 6 core CPU for a while so it can handle up to a Phenom II X6 1100T processor.

Now you have it.

I think i still have the original CD that came with it (might have thrown it out) and I know i just threw out the green box it came in.

Have you ever tried the Hybrid SLI thing it does with the 8300 graphics chipset onboard? Last I remember you had 8600 GTS which would help that card get an extra few FPS....

I think you have to enable it in the BIOS to try it.

Last edited by csgill75; 05-06-2014 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 05-06-2014, 02:03 PM
Orion Orion is offline
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From googling, it looks like that one came out around 2004ish. I think the Asus MBs that worked for me were from 2001 and 2008. I think the problem is probably quite specific to the new stuff.
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