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

Tyler Aviss tjaviss-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at
Sun Jul 27 21:14:25 UTC 2008

I think the article on slash was about a Foxconn board, and so far as
I can tell it was specific to one board.

Yeah, for the Foxconn board, they had specific BIOS tables for various
OS's, and the linux-specific one was faulty.

I found it interesting to hear the bad news about Foxconn boards on
slashdot, since I seem to remember my former employer (large'ish
school district using a *lot* of linux on both servers and desktops)
having quite a number of machines running without issues (having
Foxconn boards). Other than a few driver issues for built-in
video/audio that were eventually resolved, I've never experienced any
particular board outright disliking a linux install, although I did
have a few issues with those having the Intel HD-Audio chipset until
the newer kernel driver was released...

In regards to the "MCFG area at e0000000 is not E-820-reserved" issue.
This one has cropped up on one of my machines having an ECS board
(foxconn-related brand apparently?), but it's never caused any
outright crashes... though that could be because I don't use any
suspend functions, etc.

Too bad you're having such issues with Asus on this board, as from
what I've heard their support is actually fairly decent (or at least
comparable to various other brands). I was thinking on getting an
Asus-branded laptop to replace my old-and-dying HP, but perhaps now
I'll hold off on this and do some more investigation. Thanks for
keeping us up-to-date.

I'd say post it to slashdot. The worst that will happen is the
submission gets rejected :-)

For companies that can sell tens to hundreds of thousands of boards
claiming that the support Spec or Technology X... it's just plain
ignorance, laziness, or maliciousness to have have bugs like this and
then make customers jump through hoops to deal with the company's
buggy coding. One of the nice things about the internet is one persons
trials and grumbling can quickly become a warning to thousands of
others... which is more likely to make the company in question sit up
and take notice.

- Tyler

On Sat, Jul 26, 2008 at 11:15 AM, Colin McGregor <colin.mc151-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at> wrote:
> 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...
> Colin.
>> 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

Tyler Aviss
Systems Support
(647) 302-0942
The Toronto Linux Users Group.      Meetings:
TLUG requests: Linux topics, No HTML, wrap text below 80 columns

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