Hardware Abstraction Layers - forum advice sought

  dreamer 20:30 26 Mar 2006

I'm about to do a clean XP Home install (from ME). I've read some advice about HALs, posted below. Is this good advice and should I be pressing F5 to manually ensure a specific HAL is picked - or leave well alone and let XP do it's best (worst?)

"When XP is first installed it tries to determine what type of BIOS is available on the computer. Newer systems have what is known as Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) capability. Unfortunately, XP doesn't always recognize a computer BIOS is ACPI capable and doesn't install the support for ACPI. Even more unfortunate is the fact that if ACPI support isn't determined at the initial install it's virtually impossible to correct this at a later time short of reinstalling XP over the top of the previous XP installation. To do so requires changing the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL). The chances of successfully changing a HAL after XP has been installed is pretty close to zilch.

Once you drop the CD in the tray and fire up the computer to install XP, the first thing you'll see at the bottom of the screen is the option to press F6 if you need to install a SCSI or RAID controller. Don't press F6. Press F5 instead. This will take you to a separate menu of Hardware Abstraction Layer's where you can choose an appropriate HAL that supports ACPI. The choices will be:
* ACPI Multiprocessor PC
* ACPI Uniprocessor PC
* Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC
* Compaq SystemPro Multiprocessor or 100% Compatible PC
* MPS Uniprocessor PC
* MPS Multiprocessor PC
* Standard PC
* Standard PC with C-Step i486
* Other

In the majority of installations the 'Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC' HAL is the one you will want to use. A few cautions are also in order:

*Obtain and install the latest BIOS for your motherboard before you begin the XP installation.
*Equally as important as using the proper HAL on ACPI capable systems, is NOT using it on systems that are not ACPI compatible. The install may complete but the system will almost surely fail to start when it reboots.
*There are situations where it is definitely not desirable to use an ACPI HAL even if it is supported by the BIOS. This predominately applies to servers, but to ensure that an ACPI HAL will not be used or automatically detected and used, press F7 instead of F5 as discussed previously."

  Totally-braindead 20:33 26 Mar 2006

I'll be honest with you until I read this I'd never heard of it, I've always let XP do its own thing.

See what the others say.

  ade.h 21:46 26 Mar 2006

Yep, I'm familiar with the F5 trick (out of previous necessity). It can be a good idea to use it, depending on how old your BIOS is and what brand it is. Motherboard brand is less significant in this case.

What BIOS type and revision do you currently have avilable (including any updates)?

  ade.h 21:48 26 Mar 2006

For general info if anyone's interested in this click here

  ade.h 21:49 26 Mar 2006

"What BIOS type and revision do you currently have avilable (including any updates)?"

And what date was it released?

And how old is the board itself?

What model is it?

  dreamer 11:19 27 Mar 2006

using Belarc Advisor I get:
Board: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. GA-7VA 1.x
Bus Clock: 133 megahertz
BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. F9 01/14/2003

Manual & installation guide state GA-7VA-C though....
Checking the Award website for BIOS for GA-7VA-C, I get:
BIOS Date: 01/14/03
BIOS Type: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
BIOS ID: 01/14/2003-KT400-8235-6A6LYG0CC
OEM Sign-On: GA-7VA F9
Chipset: VIA 82C3099 rev 0
Superio: ITE 8705/SiS 950 rev 2 found at port 2Eh
CPU: AMD Athlon(tm) XP 1666 Mhz MAX: 2800 Mhz
BIOS ROM In Socket: Yes
BIOS ROM Size: 256K
Memory Installed: 512 MB
Memory Maximum: 768 MB
Memory Slot 01: 256 MB
Memory Slot 02: 256 MB
Memory Slot 03: 0 MB

What do you think? - and thanks!

  remind 11:45 27 Mar 2006

Let XP get on with it, the board sounds modern enough not to be a problem; most people only learn of that tip when installing XP on an old board and finding the machine won't shutdown properly. Look under System Devices in Device Manager on your current system for anything mentioning ACPI just to be doubly sure.

  dreamer 14:37 27 Mar 2006

Any more views out there? ade.h?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:43 27 Mar 2006

You will not have any problems installing XP on that board, just let XP get on with it.

Have installed XP on numerous boards and never had a problem with Hal.

Hal only becomes a problem if gets corrupted after instal.

  ade.h 16:08 27 Mar 2006

A GA-7 with an Award BIOS dated Jan 03 will pose no problem as far as ACPI is concerned.

You can flash it if you want to - there will be a later revision - but the worth of that depends on what the revisions fix. If they only provide support for certain kinds of new hardware, you'll have to judge for yourself whether to bother. If they fix issues, then it's worth having the latest version.

click here

Personally, I would probably flash it, but are you confident with that process?

  Pineman100 16:14 27 Mar 2006

... is that Hal may refuse to open the pod bay doors.

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