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Thread: z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up




  1. #1
    peckham is offline Junior Member
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    Default z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up

    Gather round and I'll tell you a story about a man and his computer.

    It all started about 2 weeks ago.
    First thing to go was the ssd, crucial m4 hit the 5000 hours uptime bug, fixed this with a firmware update but upgraded to a larger Samsung drive anyway. (Fresh windows install at this point)

    About 2 days after that was sorted the waterpump, a corsiar h60, died. This caused the system to overheat and shutdown.
    After a quick swap for a stock intel cooler whilst the h60 is away for rma, the system seems fine, atleast for a few days, but then...

    BSOD! 0x124, hardware error. Turns out to be the cpu, i7 2700k 3.5ghz (brilliant overclocker, it will be missed ;_;), taken down (as we believe) by the failure of the cooler. This gets replaced with a shiny new i7 3770k 3.5ghz which luckily turned up on the same day as the replacement cooler. (Another fresh windows install, and a borrow of an i5 off a friend to flash the bios upto 2.30)


    (Seasons change, time passes by, as the days become the months become the yeaaaarrrrs! (actually about a week))


    A while passed whilst waiting for the cpu and cooler to arrive which brings us to the present. Our hero spent most of yesterday getting it running stable at 4.6ghz (damn 3rd gens are hungry for vcore). Stress testing was fine, no stability issues. Today turned it on, started getting applications installed, when the sound is noticed acting strange. It would play a few seconds then hang for a second, then play a few more and repeat.

    A little background here, the audio is run through a creative x-fi, attached in pci-e slot 5, which is using an optical cable to supply surround sound to a pioneer 5.1 system. The pioneer system has an lcd on the front which shows 'Optical' when it can't detect a connection, and usually displays 'DTS 3/2.1' when the computer is on, in this case it was flickering between the two.

    From this point our hero tries removing and reinstalling the drivers (custom drivers are used (google for creative pax) as the offical drivers are terrible), but twas met with a blank look from windows when trying to get the device manager to recognize the card. Easy fix, or so he thinks, "I'll just reinstall windows, that'll learn 'em." However, during the install he noticed the mouse was acting pretty much the same as the audio was, hanging a bit every few seconds. So he tried a new mouse, to no avail, and tested the mouses in another computer, no problem. "huh."

    He managed to stumble his way through the install via the keyboard, and got the pc booted into windows. Installed the audio drivers again, same issue as before. "o..k....."
    At this point he noticed the keyboard had also started acting up, basically the same as everything else.

    Now not many would call our hero a paranoid man, but he tried every damn thing he could think of to fix the strange problem he was having, eventually finding the only thing that rendered the computer usable was using the front mounted USB3.0 ports for his keyboard and mouse. He would just have to do without his awesome surround sound system for now.

    So dear reader, what can our courageous hero do to win the fair maidens heart and save the day?


    tl;dr start here.

    i7 3770k (prev 2700k)
    asrock z68 ex7 gen3
    creative x-fi titanium pci-e


    ssd died (probably unrelated)
    new ssd
    cooler died
    cpu died
    flashed to 2.30
    new cpu, new cooler
    fresh windows install
    pci-e sound card stutters (front audio ports are sort of working, but a 'clicking' noise can be heard in background audio)
    fresh windows install
    all usb 2.0 ports cause devices to stutter in some way (even during windows install, although there doesn't seem to be a problem whilst in the bios)

    I would think the usb2 host controller is faulty except for the sound card playing up, so probably the southbridge giving up the ghost? thoughts?

  2. #2
    peckham is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up

    Forgot to add, I've tried loading uefi default settings, clearing the cmos and even reflashing the bios. Currently not running overclocked.

  3. #3
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up

    Hmm, so you flashed to BIOS 2.30, skipping 2.10? Did you install the new, required version of the Intel ME software, which is actually a part of the 2.10 BIOS update? That can be seen here: ASRock > Z68 Extreme7 Gen3

    No mention of these things in your story. BIOS 2.10 is the "transition" version BIOS, to support Ivy Bridge CPUs. There is some controversy (and missing documentation) whether or not you must apply these BIOS versions on Sandy Bridge chipset boards, or can skip them to the next BIOS version, so hopefully if you did not install the IME software, doing so will solve your problems.

    Have you checked Device Manager for any problems, or unknown devices? Many of your symptoms seem to be IME related.

    Be careful with the Vcore with IB CPUs, they are NOT the same as SB, and it is not safe to operate them at the same Vcore as SB CPUs.

  4. #4
    peckham is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up

    Flashed to 2.10 updating ime and then flashed to 2.30. If it's a problem with ime is it possible to reflash 2.10? Will it reflash ime too?


    Vcore is fine, had to throttle back for heat waaay before getting to any particularly high amount. My comment was more about the wall at <4.6ghz, sudden increase in vcore you would need to get stable, but the h60 isn't really enough to get that high on a 22nm anyway.

    No unknown devices, and as I said, problems persist even during the windows install. And there wasn't a problem during the previous installs. So I don't think it's a problem with drivers or windows. I have also tried installing from a pen drive to make sure it wasn't a corrupt disc.

    On that point, pen drive was before the keyboard joined in with the shenanigans, haven't tested to see if it's still usable since. I'll have to test it tomorrow.
    Last edited by peckham; 03-25-2013 at 10:43 AM.

  5. #5
    peckham is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: z68 extreme7 gen3 acting up

    Still looking for help with this issue.

    Trying to find out if it's safe to flash from 2.30 back to 2.10, and if this will reflash intelme or not (asrock really need to improve their documentation), but on the plus side, it hasn't gotten any worse today.

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