Asus M5A78L-M / USB3

I am reusing most of the parts from the old vm machine.

Current hardware:

  • box: Core 1000 from Fractal Design (was: PC6070BSCANDV2 black miditower from Lian Li).
  • motherboard: M5A78L-M / USB3 from Asus.
  • power supply: Corsair CX430M
  • cpu: AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz, 6-core, socket AM3+, TDP 95W, was: AMD FX-6100 3.3 GHz, 6-core, socket AM3+, TDP 95W. (List of AMD FX cpus)
  • memory: 32 GB - 2 kits of 16 GB, each kit is 2 x 8 GB Tactical PC3-12800 CL8 1.5v w/XMP Ballistix from Crucial. (was: 8 GB Kit (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL8, Ballistix from Crucial). The motherboard has 4 memory slots. Max memory is 32 GB.
  • hard drive: Samsung SpinPoint T166 500 GB SATA2 16MB 7200RPM, HD501LJ
  • hard drive 2: Samsung SpinPoint 320 GB, HD322HJ
  • hard drive 3: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2TB, HD204UI
  • optical drive: Samsung SH-224BB SATA (was:NEC AD-5170 IDE, DVD+R/+RW/DVD-R/-RW (Dual layer))
  • graphics: integrated ATI Radeon HD 3000 GPU
  • bios version: 2101 build date: 12/02/2014, was:2001, build date: 09/11/2014. old: 1801, build date: 11/12/13 (was: 1503, build date: 11/24/12, previous: 1103, build date: 03/23/12).

hint: this machine is number 1 on the kvm (use num lock + "-" + "1" on the numpad to switch to it)

hints: bios key - DEL, boot key - F8,

Operating systems: FreeBSD, NetBSD, Xubuntu,

back to machines page.

History / worklog

2021-08-21: I re-created this page on my self-hosted web server.

2017-11-30: I shut down the machine, took out the hard drives, removed the Enermax fan, cleaned the machine of dust). I am donating it (the machine) to my local makerspace.

2017-11-23: the side panel fan (Enermax Silence PWM fan 120mm) was making noises (fan blade touching something) so I disconnected it. The machine is mostly idle anyway.

2017-03-24: I powered off and on the machine, this seems to have fixed the network card for now.

2017-03-23: the machine went offline, due to network card problems.

2017-01-27: bios - version 2101 dated 2015/08/05, comment "Improve system stability." is available. I downloaded and updated from a usb stick using EZ Flash 2. Info on the new version is (from dmidecode):

Vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
Version: 2101
Release Date: 12/02/2014


2016-10-05: an unscheduled power outage this evening required a power on of the machine after power was restored.

2015-06-21: after powering down the machine, I first cleaned the front fan and filter, the psu fan outlet and more using a vacuum cleaner. Next, I mounted the fan to the side panel fan grille using the four provided screws. An adapter for pwm-to-molex was included with the fan. I had to replace on type 3 cable to sata on the powersupply with a type 3 to molex, and use a molex-to-sata adapter on the top drive (HD322U). I didn't use the fan controller.

2015-06-20: I bought a fan Enermax Silence PWM fan 120mm (123727) NOK 115.- and a fan controller NZXT Sentry Mesh 5.25 inch fan controller (115760) NOK 295.- from Digital Impuls.

2015-02-23: bios - I changed fan setting from "Standard"to "Silent", fan noise is much lower now.

2015-02-22: bios - version 2001 is still the newest version.

2015-02-22: I mounted the new cpu and cooler, and now the machine boots. Cool! bios version is 2001, 09/11/2014.

2015-02-20: I got a pick up message on my phone, and picked up the package from my local PIB (Rimi Trondheimsveien) while I was walking back home from work.

2015-02-15: the cheapest new CPU with 95W TDP was a FX-6300 3.5 GHz from NetOnNet for NOK 1039.- so I ordered one.

2015-02-15: unfortunately, the machine doesn't boot, not even to a BIOS screen. No lights on the network card either. Perhaps the CPU got fried too?

2015-02-15: Next, I mounted the new motherboard back into the case again (5 screws) and connected up all cables.

2015-02-15: I removed the cpu cooler, which was hard as the cooling paste had solidified and acted as glue / cement. I used a plastic card to carefully scrape off the cooling paste remnants on both cooler and cpu, hopefully that won't make to many marks. I moved the cpu from the old motherboard to the new one. I added Noctua NT-H1 thermal paste to the contact surface of the cpu cooler, and spread it evenly before I mounted the cpu cooler and connected the cpu fan.

2015-02-15: I removed the memory, and removed the old motherboard (5 screws).

2015-02-15: cables - SATA3G_1 - boot drive, SATA3G_2 - drive 2 (above boot drive), SATA3G_3 - DVD writer, SATA3G_4 - drive 3 (below DVD writer). I unplugged all cables.

2015-02-15: new motherboard. Serial number: EBM0AB385772, revision 1.00 (same as the old one),

2015-02-15: testing the power supply. First I verified a PC PSU power supply voltage tester from FastTech (SKU 1020400) on another psu. It worked. Next, I tested the PSU in this machine - it also checked out ok. Good to know.

2015-02-12: back home from a short trip, I picked up the package from Proshop at my local PIB (Rimi Trondheimsveien) on my way home from work this afternoon.

2015-02-09: I got a pickup notice from posten for the package from Proshop. I'll fetch it when I'm back home again.

2015-02-05: it looks like micro-ATX motherboards with AM3+ sockets are going out of fashion fast. Luckily still had a couple of Asus M5A78L-M/USB3 left, so I ordered one. Price NOK 518, shipping NOK 125.- a total of NOK 643.- still, cheaper than others.

2015-02-05: the machine died sometime yesterday. First try to power it up today didn't respond, so I took the side cover off it and tried again. One component on the motherboard lit up and burned as I watched. So the motherboard is toast.

2014-10-25: bios - version 2001 (date 2014.10.24) "Improve system stability for FX-8320" is available.

2014-04-23: the GASIA PS2toUSB Adapter acted up again (my fault, I moved the mouse while in console), so I had to unplug and re-plug it. That works, and silences that beeper.

2014-02-23: bios - version 1801 (date 2013.11.21) "Improve system stability" is available. I downloaded and updated from a usb stick using EZ Flash 2. Info on the new version is M5A78L M USB3, version 1801, date 11/12/2013.

2014-02-23: hard drive - I installed a Samsung 2TB hard drive (HD204UI) in the slot below the optical drive, using the adapter plate in place. I had to remove the right side panel (screws for the adapter plate there too), and remove the blanking plate at the front (the hard drive protrudes a bit).

2014-01-15: memory - I replaced the 8 GB Kit (2 x 4 GB) DDR3 1600 Mhz CL8, Ballistix from Crucial with 2 kits of 16 GB , 2 x 8 GB Tactical PC3-12800 CL8 1.5v w/XMP Ballistix from Crucial, for a total of 32 GB.

2013-07-23: powering up for the first time in the Core 1000 case. Everything works (at first glance), but the power LED is a blue super bright, and the HDD LED is red and also super bright. Temporary fix: post-it note (two).

2013-07-22: I powered down the virtual machines and the machine, since it is going to get a new case (not planned, but a workaround, see the core1 machine page). Then I started to move the machine into a Fractal Design Core 1000 case (FD-CA-CORE-1000-BL). I mounted eight (8) standoffs in the Core 1000 case, removed the motherboard and I/O shield from PC6070B case, then proceeded to mount it in the new case. Inserting the I/O shield was a snap, getting the motherboard in was a tight fit, because the front right corner of it touches the storage bay. A bit of wiggling got it in place. I connected up all connectors from the case; front audio (HD Audio), front usb connector, system panel connectors and the system speaker (a tiny piezo thing mounted with wires on the connector), chassis fan connector. Next up is the Corsair CX430M psu. Inserted it, secured with the four screws provided, and connected up the ATX power connectors. I decided to install the Samsung SH-224BB DVD writer as well. Installed in top bay, secured it with only two screws, that way I don't need to take off the right side panel. Hard drives was next, I used the AnandTech review and pictures to understand which way the hard drives were supposed to go. Since the bottom screwholes on a 3.5 inch hard drive is offset from center, hard drives can only be mounted one way, with connectors facing to the front of the case. This means that angled connectors for a hard drive are a tight fit or won't fit at all. Luckily, the angled connectors on the CX430M psu is low profile enough. Another problem is that the psu cables with sata connectors on them have the sata connectors mounted too close - you can't use one cable for the two drives on the vertical tray. I actually had to use two sata cables. The boot drive is mounted lowest in the case. For the DVD drive I used a molex cable and a molex-to-sata adapter.

2013-03-29: bios - newest available is 1503, released on 2012-12-03. I updated (from version 1103) using EZ Flash 2 and an usb memory stick. When upgrading, the info on the new version is M5A78L M USB3, version 1503, date 11/14/2012.

2012-11-21: ad4s4 - temporary move of the machine to a different room, because of house upgrades.

2012-11-18: ad4s4 - the usb-to-ps/2 adapter acted up again, fixed by unplugging and replugging it. From /var/log/messages:

Nov 18 19:25:42 kg-vm kernel: ugen1.2: <GASIA> at usbus1 (disconnected)
Nov 18 19:25:42 kg-vm kernel: ukbd0: at uhub1, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected)
Nov 18 19:25:42 kg-vm kernel: ums0: at uhub1, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected)
Nov 18 19:25:49 kg-vm kernel: ugen1.2: <GASIA> at usbus1
Nov 18 19:25:49 kg-vm kernel: ukbd0: <GASIA PS2toUSB Adapter, class 0/0, rev 1.10/2.80, addr 2> on usbus1
Nov 18 19:25:49 kg-vm kernel: kbd2 at ukbd0
Nov 18 19:25:49 kg-vm kernel: ums0: <GASIA PS2toUSB Adapter, class 0/0, rev 1.10/2.80, addr 2> on usbus1
Nov 18 19:25:49 kg-vm kernel: ums0: 5 buttons and [XYZ] coordinates ID=1

That's all.

2012-10-29: ad4s4 - the usb-to-ps/2 adapter I use for connecting the mouse started acting up, causing a lot of beeps (keyboard / mouse buffer full?), and on the console keyboard only the enter key was working. No messages in logs. Fixed by unplugging and replugging the adapter. From /var/log/messages:

Oct 29 08:36:44 kg-vm kernel: ugen1.2: <GASIA> at usbus1 (disconnected)
Oct 29 08:36:44 kg-vm kernel: ukbd0: at uhub1, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected)
Oct 29 08:36:44 kg-vm kernel: ums0: at uhub1, port 2, addr 2 (disconnected)
Oct 29 08:36:50 kg-vm kernel: ugen1.2: <GASIA> at usbus1
Oct 29 08:36:50 kg-vm kernel: ukbd0: <GASIA PS2toUSB Adapter, class 0/0, rev 1.10/2.80, addr 2> on usbus1
Oct 29 08:36:50 kg-vm kernel: kbd2 at ukbd0
Oct 29 08:36:50 kg-vm kernel: ums0: <GASIA PS2toUSB Adapter, class 0/0, rev 1.10/2.80, addr 2> on usbus1
Oct 29 08:36:50 kg-vm kernel: ums0: 5 buttons and [XYZ] coordinates ID=1

That is all.

2012-10-13: bios the newest version available is 1401, released on 2012.09.12.

2012-10-12: I picked up the new PSU at the post office (Sofienberg) this afternoon. After installing it, I could finally boot the system. Note: testing showed that the old motherboard is still working, it was only the PSU that was defective. Still, the capacitors on the old motherboard isn't looking great, so I'm replacing it now.

2012-10-10: I ordered a new PSU: Corsair CX 430W V2 (NOK 330.- and NOK 99.- shipping).

2012-10-10: the new motherboard doesn't have and IDE / PATA connector, so the optical drive isn't connected.

2012-10-10: installation. The motherboard is secured with only six screws (not 8), because I could not find two more standoffs. cpu: I'm using the stock cpu cooler. Connectors: the power and reset button connectors are mixed up: the one labeled "reset" is actually the power switch, and the one labeled "power sw" is the reset switch. Hmm, it looks like the PSU is not working too.

2012-10-10: I picked up the package at the post office.

2012-10-09: The motherboard of my vm machine died, so bought a replacement. I ordered 1 x ASUS M5A78L-M/USB3 760G AM3+ M-ATX (NOK 599.-) and 1 x AMD FX-6100 BE 6-CORE 3.3GHZ 14MB SOCKET AM3+ BOX (NOK 839.-) from Dustinhome. Shipping was NOK 99.- I already had memory (8 GB kit DDR3).