Foxconn A79A-S BIOS update fixes some issues

Foxconn recently announced a firmware update to BIOS 782F1P06 for the A79A-S.

On the positive side, my Corsair 1066MHz DDR2 memory now works (I previously had to use an unreleased beta BIOS) and support has been added for the new Phenom II processors.

However, the board continues to have massive problems with USB devices, with even USB mice and keyboards not always being detected at boot and sometimes dropping out during use – after which only a hard-reboot will bring them back (even if unplugged and reconnected to a different socket).

(Annoyingly, the BIOS update is only available with a DOS-based flash utility which won’t run under Windows. Now I’m all for this being available, as I recently had a difficult job updating the firmware of my Mac-running Samsung NC10 from a Windows-only installer – but is it really too much to ask for an update utility which can run on an OS released within the last 15 years?)

I’m now keeping an eye on the Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P, as it’s one of the only SB750-based motherboards I’ve seen which doesn’t have an AMI BIOS, as I’ve still not convinced myself that the problems with the Foxconn board aren’t down to a deficient BIOS.

(As evidence to support this point of view, I submit that recent Linux kernels have specific checks for AMI BIOS – which are known to corrupt the first 64k of memory on suspend/resume. Even excluding this, Linux kernels report a setup bug with the SATA controller and the DSDT tables are compiled with Microsoft tools and therefore junk.)