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Thread: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6




  1. #1
    panamavibes is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    A few days ago I bought a brand new mobo & CPU to replace my old DX58SO & i7-920. I installed everything according to the booklet and verified it. This is my system:

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bits (installed months ago with the previous mobo)
    CPU: Intel i7-3770
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
    Memory: 1x4GB Kingston KVR1333D3N9H/4G
    Video: nVidia GTX285 1GB
    Power Supply: Cooler Master RS-620 (620W)
    Hard Disks: 2x 1TB Western Digital SATA2
    DVD: 2x SATA2
    Other: USB2 Card Reader

    So Having done everything by the book (this is not the 1st one I assemble) I was puzzled by the fact that this does not work! It is my very first ASRock motherboard and I am getting dissapointed after spending $542 in this mobo+cpu.

    I tried booting with the monitor connected to the nVidia (discrete) card because that is what my Windows installation "knows" but no luck. I also tried booting with the integrated HD4000 video (motherboard D-Sub connector, CPU has integrated video) but no luck either. The single 4GB memory is installed on the DDR3_B1 (closest to the edge) as indicated somewhere in the manual, or at least suggested because the memory section is a bit ambiguous when it comes to single channel configuration.

    In both cases I kept on pressing the DEL key so that I could first enter the UEFI BIOS in order to configure everything but in both cases I got the same result:


    • Fans power up and keep running
    • Discrete card powers up
    • Monitor remains (always) in standby mode (amber light instead of green light)
    • Dr. Debug LEDs cycle through a variety of codes during boot but it always locks up at code A6 "SCSI detection"


    After code A6 it simply stays there forever, no more codes, rest of the system is powered up as well but black screen and no activity. I don't understand why it stays at "SCSI detection" if all my drives (HDD & DVD) are SATA 2, absolutely no SCSI devices.

    I also tried disconnecting the 2 HDD and putting a Live Linux DVD in the DVD bay to boot from there after setting BIOS parameters. In any case it never showed the BIOS screen, only a black standby screen.

    What's wrong with this? I am beginning to think going ASRock was a bad decision.
    Last edited by panamavibes; 11-24-2012 at 05:38 AM.

  2. #2
    incognito7109 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    Quote Originally Posted by panamavibes View Post
    A few days ago I bought a brand new mobo & CPU to replace my old DX58SO & i7-920. I installed everything according to the booklet and verified it. This is my system:

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bits (installed months ago with the previous mobo)
    CPU: Intel i7-3770
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme 4
    Memory: 1x4GB Kingston KVR1333D3N9H/4G
    Video: nVidia GTX285 1GB
    Power Supply: Cooler Master RS-620 (620W)
    Hard Disks: 2x 1TB Western Digital SATA2
    DVD: 2x SATA2
    Other: USB2 Card Reader

    So Having done everything by the book (this is not the 1st one I assemble) I was puzzled by the fact that this does not work! It is my very first ASRock motherboard and I am getting dissapointed after spending $542 in this mobo+cpu.

    I tried booting with the monitor connected to the nVidia (discrete) card because that is what my Windows installation "knows" but no luck. I also tried booting with the integrated HD4000 video (motherboard D-Sub connector, CPU has integrated video) but no luck either. The single 4GB memory is installed on the DDR3_B1 (closest to the edge) as indicated somewhere in the manual, or at least suggested because the memory section is a bit ambiguous when it comes to single channel configuration.

    In both cases I kept on pressing the DEL key so that I could first enter the UEFI BIOS in order to configure everything but in both cases I got the same result:


    • Fans power up and keep running
    • Discrete card powers up
    • Monitor remains (always) in standby mode (amber light instead of green light)
    • Dr. Debug LEDs cycle through a variety of codes during boot but it always locks up at code A6 "SCSI detection"


    After code A6 it simply stays there forever, no more codes, rest of the system is powered up as well but black screen and no activity. I don't understand why it stays at "SCSI detection" if all my drives (HDD & DVD) are SATA 2, absolutely no SCSI devices.

    I also tried disconnecting the 2 HDD and putting a Live Linux DVD in the DVD bay to boot from there after setting BIOS parameters. In any case it never showed the BIOS screen, only a black standby screen.

    What's wrong with this? I am beginning to think going ASRock was a bad decision.
    Check to see if you have anything connected such as USB ports, drives etc. Mine did the same thing with the black screen when my USB blue ray was connected. I uplugged it and it went back to the UEFI. The code your seeing is displayed on mine constantly. I"ve read that its not an error as much as its telling you what the board is looking for or doing at that time. Now if I can just get my case to work with my board I'll be good.

  3. #3
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    Your new board and CPU is failing in the POST phase of starting, so you have no chance of getting into the UEFI/BIOS. The PC has not started to boot Windows at all. POST is stopping in the A6 phase, which is failing, and therefore cannot continue.

    Your memory is not in your board Memory Compatibility list, which may be a future issue for you. BTW, a single DIMM should be in slot B2, according to the manual.

    My guess is you are using the top SATA port(s), as you look at the board mounted in the case. Those are for the secondary, add on ASMedia SATA controller, which has no chance of working without a driver installed. Use the two gray ports below it, or any of the black SATA ports, all of which are for the native Intel SATA controller. The "SCSI" thing is referring to the ASMedia SATA controller itself, not your HDDs.

    If you do manage to get the board to POST, and can use the UEFI, do you plan on using the OS installation from your previous PC?

    Things have changed since the X58/i7-900 series CPU boards. Reading the manual will save you time and grief.

  4. #4
    panamavibes is offline Junior Member
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    Question Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    I think I made a typo error, my single memory module is indeed in slot DDR3_B2. My drives are currently all SATA2 so and they are setup like this:
    Code:
                       ---------+
                    [ ] |
            [CPU]   [ ] | <----- Memory slots A1/B1/A2/B2
                    [ ] |
                        |
              [Z77]     |
                            [1][2]| <------ Grey SATA 3 ports.
                            [3][4]| <------ Grey SATA 3 ports
                            [5][6]| <------ Black SATA 2 ports
                            [7][8]| <------ Black SATA 2 ports
              ----------------+
    SATA 3 port #1 I have left without cable because I want to use the eSATA port on the I/O panel for an external HDD.
    SATA 3 port #2 is currently not used (probably buy one today)
    SATA 3 port #3 n.u.
    SATA 3 port #4 n.u.
    SATA 2 port #5 main HDD (WD Caviar Black). Contains OS boot partition (C:)
    SATA 2 port #6 secondary HDD (WD Caviar Black). Contains user data & partition for disk images.
    SATA 2 port #7 Media DVD tray 1 (F:)
    SATA 2 port #8 Media DVD tray 2 (G:)

    I finally got it to work after much grief. Don't know whether it was a badly seated memory or a D-Sub connector not making proper contact.

    It boot Linux now but.... Windows doesn't boot, it attempts and then resets saying it was unable to start. It offers me to do a recovery. Since my last image is from way back I didn't opt to use the disk image. I tried however to go back in time using the restory points, I selected to going back before the installation of several Intel drivers (Desktop Control S/W, network drivers, etc.) and it says it was "successful" but as all things Windows go, when I reboot it fails to boot again and shows that those restore points are still there.

    I tried Safe Mode with no luck, it simply refuses to boot the Windows OS though as I mentioned I can boot Linux just fine (some things have not changed...)

    Apparently I will have to reinstall and reconfigure everything (this was my gaming & development machine) and that means I will have troubles reactivating Windows & Visual Studio, I had a single license for both and they are both tied to the Motherboard & CPU that are no longer operational (either of the two was damaged and caused sudden system shutdowns). This is very frustrating, I spent the good part of 2 months rebuilding & reconfiguring my system when it started exhibiting problems and now I have to start from zero again.

    Since I don't want to wipe out my C: drive as I need it to "reconstruct" the new installations (is that the only way to go?) I will need to buy a new 1TB drive to replace C:.

    My question is.... Can I boot in this board from a SATA 3 port? Previously my Windows performance index was limited by the lowest index which was the Hard Disks (both Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB ). Since both were SATA 2 (3GB/s max), I figure that if I upgrade the OS drive to SATA 3 (6GB/s max) I would boost up the system index. But there is a strange label in the mobo SATA ports about booting from SATA 3 saying that for increased performance use the SATA 2 boards?!!! what's the purpose of having a mobo with SATA 3 if they suggest using old technology for better performance????

    Please advise, I need to buy the HDD today and I would like it to be SATA 3.

  5. #5
    InlineR is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bits (installed months ago with the previous mobo)

    you didnt re-install windows on this new motherboard? if not this is your issue 100% your previous install of windows was for your previous motherboard and CPU combo this will be completely different from this one unless it was a VERY similar board and CPU.

    reinstall windows on a new HDD so you can later recover any info from your original drive


    also if you call Microsoft and activate by phone tell them your replacing the motherboard due to catastrophic failure they will let you activate it, I'm not sure about visual studio.
    Last edited by InlineR; 11-25-2012 at 12:44 AM.

  6. #6
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    Quote Originally Posted by InlineR View Post
    OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bits (installed months ago with the previous mobo)

    you didnt re-install windows on this new motherboard? if not this is your issue 100% your previous install of windows was for your previous motherboard and CPU combo this will be completely different from this one unless it was a VERY similar board and CPU.

    reinstall windows on a new HDD so you can later recover any info from your original drive


    also if you call Microsoft and activate by phone tell them your replacing the motherboard due to catastrophic failure they will let you activate it, I'm not sure about visual studio.
    I asked this very question in my last post, no reply, but obviously he did. I agree with you 100%. He went from an X58/i7-920 PC, to Z77/i7-3770. Just think of the inf files from the old PC, the night and day IME software, who knows what SATA driver, the network chip driver is incompatible, etc. Also, all the incompatible mother board software trying to run. Even if it did boot, Windows would try to update the drivers, but without a driver for the Broadcom network chip, that would go nowhere.

    panamavibes, you can put a SATA II drive on a SATA III port, or a SATA III drive on a SATA II port, it makes no difference and nothing is incompatible or will be damaged. All DVD drives are SATA I, but they work on SATA II ports just fine too. But, the top gray SATA III ports are provided by the ASMedia add on SATA chipset, do not use those to boot from or install Windows. They are secondary, and do not provide full SATA III performance.

    The two gray SATA ports between the top gray ports, and black ports below, are the Intel SATA III ports. Those and the black SATA II ports below them are the main SATA interface on your board. Please check the manual for your board, it will save you so much time and pain.

    You will need to do a fresh installation of Windows for your new CPU and board. There is no way you can avoid that.

    Do not bother buying a SATA III HDD, and I mean a standard, mechanical hard disk drive, not a SSD. There are NO SATA III HDDs that provide performance beyond the limits of SATA II speeds. Actually, the majority of SATA II and SATA III HDDs do not surpass the maximum speeds that SATA I provides.

  7. #7
    panamavibes is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    I wonder why they evolve SATA standards if the speed cannot be attained? sounds weird to me. I would like to believe that IF they HDD is SATA III and the connection is SATA III as well then it should be possible.

    As for the reference to "top grey connectors" that depends on what you mean by "top" is it top as in top row of SATA connectors with bottom row being the ones closest to the motherboard face? or top as in the two SATA closest to the Z77 chip?

    Closest to the Z77 chip is the SATA3_A0_A1 connectors with A0 that I left unconnected to a cable because if the eSATA on the I/O panel is connected externally then the internal connector is not usable.

    Then there is the SATA3_0_1 (grey as well). However the manual (which is ambiguous in several sections) seems to indicate (not explicitely) that the SATA3_A0 & A1 connectors are from the ASMedia.

    The OS reinstallation is going to cause me major problems too, I will have to reactivate: Windows 7, Microsoft Office, Visual Studio, Kaspersky, Microsoft Flight Simulator X and a few other s/w packages.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    SATA standards evolve, but not all technologies keep up. SSDs are now at the SATA III speed limit for sequential read speeds, and close to it for writes. HDDs are far behind SSD speed in every way. Check any HDD advertisement or the specifications, see any read or write speed specs? They say SATA II or SATA III, which is also a protocol, but nothing about performance. Try a benchmark program on a HDD, I was surprised too. My "SATA III" 64MB cache 2TB HDD, brand new and empty, so fastest part of the drive, did not reach 150MB/s sequential read speed.

    Here's the SATA port layout of your board:

    Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6-asrz77pic-png

    By top I meant the the top pair of the stack of SATA ports, as the board is viewed mounted in a PC case.

    11 is the two ASMedia SATA III ports.

    12 is the two Intel SATA III ports.

    13 and 14 are the four Intel SATA II ports.

    Regarding booting from your OS installation done on your X58/i7-920 PC: You can try it, your hardware won't be damaged but consider this. So much has changed in three CPU generations, Intel has evolved from two CPU support chips, the X58 and ICH10R on your Intel board, to one chip, the Z77 on your new board, and moved most of the functions of the X58 chip to the CPU itself. The software and drivers have changed along with the hardware. The list of the support software that won't be changed is much shorter, if any at all, than what will change. Most of the Windows registry will need to be updated. Etc, etc, etc...

    But do yourself a favor before you try it, if you do. Create an entire backup image of your current OS on another drive, since even if the moved OS worked, it won't work on the old system anymore.

    What am I thinking, geez! A Windows installation is "connected" to a mother board. When moved to another, it will detect that and force you to reactivate Windows anyway, and probably everything else you mentioned too.

  9. #9
    panamavibes is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Can't boot new ASRock Z77 Extreme 4 with i7-3770 Dr. Debug code A6

    Thanks, all connections are properly installed. As the previous installation refused to boot with my new ASRock motherboard and I needed my old drives to recover the data, I was forced to buy a new HDD (got the SATA III after all, 1TB) and reinstall EVERYTHING.

    Obviously I am still in the process of reactivating all my payware software and copying my data that was in that drive (configurations) as well as reconfiguring my whole development & gaming rig. A big task but at least so far no problems.

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