Here are our recommendations for the issue:
- Clear the CMOS battery for 1 minute. Test with a different keyboard if possible, try to access the BIOS set up menu and restore to defaults by pressing F9.
- Test the system without memory installed looking for sequence of 3 beep codes. Install minimum memory and swap memory modules.
If the board is not booting at any point and not providing any beep codes without memory, please contact our support group directly for warranty replacement:
I have followed your suggestions, with some variations as well: I tried first with
another keyboard, then with all of the SATA devices disconnected; there was
still no response to the keyboard at all. I did notice that apparently the beep
codes at the end were associated to counting USB devices: adding the mouse
gave one more beep, and leaving it and the keyboard out gave one fewer. Other
than that, nothing changed.
Since the problem was started by removing the CMOS battery, I didn't have high
expectations from the CMOS reset, but I tried that, in several variations as well:
using the CMOS clear jumper, removing the CMOS battery, or both in the opposite
order; still no useful keyboard function, and more or less the same led code/beep sequence.
I did get a different response by removing the memory: it halted with a "no usable
memory available" error, and returned to the previous state when I reinstalled the
The last thing I tried was to retrieve the KVM it was originally attached to, and use
the keyboard through that interface. That was helpful in that the KVM uses USB
power (a nominal amount), and so it verified that at least that part of USB was
Also, there were a few other consistencies that emerged: if I powered the system
down using the soft-power key, then restarted it the same way, it tended to reach
the splash screen and beep code, then pause indefinitely; if I reset the system after that,
it would come to the splash screen, then reboot. The splash screen in the second case
had a curious colored-pixel "hash" in the dark space above the logo, for whatever reason.
Although there did not seem to be any useful behavior systematically associated to the
keyboard, in particular with any hotkeys, one response of a sort did occur: toggling
the CapsLock key while the POST cycled gave a series of "pick-pock" sounds at
the end of the beep codes, and seemed to do so only if not preceded by hotkeys.
The rebooting sequence is now LED: B6, 5 beeps; LED: 98, beep-pause-beep-beep (with variations);
then A2 or A3, with a pause, then reboot. This last case, I believe, was with
a DVD drive connected (no other SATA devices) and a disk in the drive; I wasn't
able to record the codes for each variation.
I went back to check that the POST codes I had transcribed were correct, and
happened to toggle the KVM switch at just the right time; when I tried the keyboard,
the hotkey menu was suddenly displayed (I had not seen it in dozens of cycles). So
I entered Setup. A couple of the settings (I assume they were defaults) may have been
problematic: quiet boot, no pause on errors, and 0 seconds pause to allow for F2 key.
It seems that that and the KVM somehow gave two race conditions, effectively; I still
don't understand why neither keyboard worked when used without the KVM. (Haven't
tried that again, yet.)
There was also a setting to use PCI-card graphics instead of onboard graphics; since
there is no PCI card installed whatsoever, I'm not sure if this applies, or if the KVM
interferes with detecting the monitor somehow. I tested it initially without the KVM,
and put the KVM back into use to restore the conditions it was working in before; so
I am still trying to sort that out.
I was able to boot the Deployment Agent dvd, and a 'live' OS dvd; the remaining
problem (which seems to be the one that preceded the CMOS reset trouble) is in
the keyboard/monitor interaction in the boot process. (Booting the optical drive
seemed to require keyboard input without any prompt or other display on the monitor).
Since the CMOS and the BIOS settings are no longer the issue, I'll open another
thread if the keyboard/monitor issue comes to some characterizable shape.