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Supermicro X9SCI/X9SCA, video is gone!

As I am still trying to get my computers to work with a dual seat (or multiseat), I did an attempt in using the onboard video (a relatively decent Matrox card.) So I went in the BIOS and changed the setup for the video from Offboard to Onboard. Big mistake!

The video stopped working. On reboot the computer beeped 8 times and booted the OS normally (I have SSH setup so I could access the computer, but absolutely no video on either port: on board and off board.)

I have a Supermicro X9SCI/X9SCA. Searching for "no video" or "missing video on boot"... returned nothing usefull.

There were two things:

1. Selecting the Onboard forces the system to use the onboard video even if a PCI vodeo board is available.

2. If the Onboard jumper is setup to turn off the onboard video, then the onboard video cannot be selected (it is completely turned off!)

The big problem here is the fact that the BIOS does let you change that flag without testing whether the onboard video is available...

The main problem I have is that my PCI video board is an NVidea Quadro 600 which runs using a PCIe x16 slot and that's totally incompatible with the onboard video... so I cannot run both at the same time. It is incompatible at the hardware level (don't ask me for details... I do not understand the real problem.)

So... now I had the BIOS setup on Onboard and on boot I was getting 5 beeps and no video. What to do?

I opened the box, removed the nVidia card (Quadro 600). That did not help.

I then remembered there may be a switch/jumper. Sure enough! Next to the legacy PCI slot, there is a jumper that says: enable or disable onboard video. I had to move it to re-enable the Matrox board. The following boot worked!

There is a copy of the whole board from the board manual, the jumper A on the left is the one we're concerned with:

X9SCI/X9SCA motherboard

The following is a zoomed version of the JPG1 jumper. You'll notice the instructions right above it.

JPG1 zoomed in

As a side note I tried NVRAM against this board and found out that both of the computers I have with the exact same configuration generated a completely different output. Not only that, once I fixed the setup to use the Offboard video, the NVRAM output was exactly the same as when the Onboard selection was set. In other words, NVRAM did not work at all for this motherboard.  Also the coreboot system did not seem to help in any remote way to determine anything in link with the BIOS.

So that means NVRAM is not really up to date for all BIOS CMOS memory handling.

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  • Hylafax
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  • proxy

    In networking, a proxy is an intermediate network connection used to hide a user or computer. Most large companies use multiple proxies to hide all of their different intranets. Technically, when using a proxy you actually send all your network data to that other computer and that computer is in charge of sending that data outside your organization. Very large companies generally have multiple levels of proxies.

  • reboot

    The action of restarting a computer is called reboot. This reloads the operating system and your different auto-start software.

    There are two types of reboots: a cold reboot and a warm reboot.

    The cold reboot is the one where you turn your computer all the way off and back on. It is considered to be the ultimate reboot which ensures that everything is alright.

    The warm reboot is when you just reboot your operating system. This means some of the hardware parts may not be fully reset as expected in a cold reboot. There are several reasons for this, at times the BIOS of your system does not give the correct signals to all the parts, and at times the signal doesn't propagate to all the parts as it should.

    This is why a warm reboot does not always work (i.e. think when you change a driver and the new driver is not able to properly reset the state of a board or chip... turning the computer all the way off and back on may resolve the problem.)