Motherboard Grrrr: the ASUS M2N-MX SE PLUS -- BAD news...

Colin McGregor colin.mc151-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Sat Jul 26 15:15:14 UTC 2008

On 7/26/08, phiscock-g851W1bGYuGnS0EtXVNi6w at <phiscock-g851W1bGYuGnS0EtXVNi6w at> wrote:
> I wonder if Slashdot would publish this? Now *that* would get their
> attention.
> There is a precedent for this: Slashdot listed another mobo that had bios
> issues - it would boot windows but not linux.

Well, I doubt Slashdot would be anywhere near as interested in the
story of this motherboard, which will boot Linux off a hard drive
and/or optical drive, just not off the network. Further unlike the
Foxconn attitude that seems @#$% Linux users, the attitude I seem to
be getting from ASUS is pleasant, clueless, but pleasant.

Any event I did post the letter as one of the comments in the Foxconn
story, and shall see where that goes...


> Peter
>> Just to continue the grumbles I have been having with ASUS re: the
>> M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard, below is an e-mail I sent to the staff I
>> have had contact with at ASUS. Anyone have the e-mail addresses of
>> senior staff as ASUS that I could forward this on to?
>> -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
>> Dear Kara Renner, Elijah Alexander and Blanca Ortiz;
>> This e-mail is to note and explain my current unhappiness with the
>> experiences I have had with  purchase of one of your M2N-MX SE PLUS
>> motherboards. I have normally been happy with ASUS products, something
>> I have been very willing to note in publications I have written for,
>> such as .
>> Before purchasing the M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard I did take the
>> precaution of reading the motherboard manual to make sure it supported
>> net booting, and according to your documentation it does.
>> After purchase it took me some time and effort to determine why this
>> new machine would not net boot. The diagnose process did include
>> downloading and installing the latest available BIOS. In the end the
>> issue turned out to be a multicast MAC address burned into the
>> motherboard. This multicast MAC address makes successful net booting
>> out of the question. Having determined why the motherboard would not
>> work, I called your firm, obtained an RMA number (EL864256) and I
>> shipped the defective motherboard to your facility in Indiana (this in
>> spite of the fact that your Canadian office is less than a 1 hour
>> drive from my home). The motherboard was then returned to me,
>> apparently untouched, as the MAC address on the motherboard had been
>> not been changed. Further a secondary issue of concern, noted in the
>> cover letter included with the motherboard, a BIOS bug, "MCFG area at
>> e0000000 is not E-820-reserved" was not touched.
>> Further telephone complaints triggered the shipping of a replacement
>> BIOS ROM, which by the time it arrived at my location had be knocked
>> around in transit. After some effort, bending pins I was able to
>> install the ROM, but found that the motherboard would not even get to
>> the POST messages after this change. Returning to the original BIOS
>> ROM would at least allow the motherboard to display the POST messages.
>> Additional calls resulted in my obtaining a second RMA number
>> (2EL874667) and the shipping the motherboard yet again to your office
>> in Indiana. This time I trust the motherboard will be repaired or
>> replaced with a AMD AM2+ supporting microATX motherboard that does
>> actually work.
>> Going forward, regardless as to the result of this latest repair
>> effort, this motherboard is a complete and total failure.
>> My goal with this motherboard was to build a prototype basic "dumb"
>> remote multimedia terminal that could be inexpensively, quickly built
>> in significant numbers.  For inexpensive, we are talking over $95, $55
>> for the motherboard, then over $40 for shipping multiple times to your
>> office, plus a number dollars for incidental costs like long distance
>> phone calls. The M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard compares very badly
>> against your competitors in the $95 price range. In terms of time,
>> this is not a system that can be assembled quickly. Not only have I
>> had to spend significant amounts of time assembling / disassembling a
>> PC around this motherboard. I have also had to spend time
>> troubleshooting, packing / unpacking and waiting for the repair. I am
>> now looking a minimum of about two months between purchase and being
>> able to actually use this motherboard, a figure I do not have the time
>> to repeat. In other words, this is a prototype I can not repeat. I
>> will have to look to another motherboard, most likely from another
>> manufacture, to achieve my original goals.
>> You can assume this is the last M2N-MX SE PLUS motherboard I will
>> purchase, and may be the last ASUS product I will ever purchase. You
>> can also assume that I will passing word of my poor experiences on via
>> a number of routes, my writing, my presentations before local user
>> groups and the mailing lists / web forms to which I belong. This way
>> the people I know or come in contact with will not make the same
>> purchasing error I made.
>> Sincerely,
>> Colin McGregor
>> --
>> The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
>> TLUG requests: Linux topics, No HTML, wrap text below 80 columns
> --
> Peter Hiscocks
> Syscomp Electronic Design Limited, Toronto
> USB Oscilloscope and Waveform Generator
> 647-839-0325
> --
> The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
> TLUG requests: Linux topics, No HTML, wrap text below 80 columns
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
TLUG requests: Linux topics, No HTML, wrap text below 80 columns

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