The following issues are not indicative of a typical user experience of the SY-KT880. This is my own personal experience that I wish to share with you so you can be aware of some potential issues and how to overcome them if you run into them.
No Fan. No Service.
The installation of the Soyo SY-KT880 Dragon 2 was rocky. My first problem was with a motherboard that won’t power-on. The system would power-up for about 3 seconds and then turn off. I puzzled over this by resetting the CMOS, doing the power-reset button trick, and even removing unnecessary hardware to no avail. Eventually I figured it was because I had no fan plugged into the CPU fan header (the manual documents this in their troubleshooting section).
The intention is to ensure that a fan is attached to the heatsink to avoid accidentally destroying the CPU due to overheating. However, not everyone will have a 3-pin fan to plug into the header (i.e. you use all 4-pin or you watercool your system). Unluckily, there is no way around this. You must have a 3-pin fan to turn the motherboard on for the first time. So if you don’t have one, make sure to borrow or buy one so you can make use of your investment.
On a few occasions, my keyboard failed to work when turned on. This occurred while I had only a single DIMM installed on the board (using two DIMMs fixed this oddly). Another time the keyboard would remain on (all 3 LEDs lit) after the computer has shut-down, and won’t work on the next boot. The most recent incident occurred after I installed Wasay Pro Magic Plus. Sometimes the solution would be to do a hard reboot, but other times it requires physically unplugging and re-plugging the keyboard from the back even though the connection was not loose.
Wasay Pro Magic Plus — Warning to all users!
Continuing on the trend established by the Wasay products reviewed on the previous page, Wasay Pro Magic Plus is another ambiguous and undocumented piece of software that comes a ‘bonus’ on the Soyo CD. Judging from one of the installation screens (see below), it sounds like some drive protection software, maybe something like a virtual RAID without having to have seperate drives. But that’s just my guess seeing that the software is undocumented (getting the idea? :).
I went through the installation procedure and rebooted when prompted. Upon rebooting I was presented with the following mostly harmless error message. It wasn’t even using the Windows interface which had me a bit puzzled. This was beginning to feel like exploring a dark room with nothing but a lit match.
Go ahead, press the mysterious button. I dare you.
After seeing this, the software automatically uninstalled itself from my drive and I never had a chance to examine it further. So the mystery of Pro Magic Plus remains.
Little did I know that things were going to get interesting… very interesting.
Upon restarting my computer, I started to process the photo I took above using my 5-in-1 media reader. So you can imagine my surprise when my smart card was being mounted on a drive letter that used to be a 30GB drive partition. It turns out that Wasay’s Pro Magic Plus unallocated the 30GB partition without warning or explanation. POOF! All of it was gone!
Drive Manager showing the void where my 30GB partition used to be.
After a few moments of panic, disbelief, and intense anger, I proceeded to recover what I could from my now unallocated drive space. I used a tool made by Stellar Information Systems Ltd. that restores files on damaged or lost NTFS partitions. Stellar’s Phoenix NTFS software managed to identify the missing partition and restore my files onto my 2nd physical drive. I lost my partition, but at least I retrieved the files.
Wasay’s software appears to revolve around hard drive security and data integrit – the irony is pretty thick when one of their products clobbers a partition. So when one of Wasay’s products destroys a partition, you have to wonder if this was even tested by the parties involved. In my case, I was very fortunate to have my boot partition intact (Pro Image Plus could have easily removed my boot partition instead) and managed to fix the problem, but there will be situations where Soyo customers won’t know how to restore their data or know what to do when “Invalid System Disk” is all they see.
I am not impressed with Wasay’s products at all.