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Thread: Back in the saddle looking for tips




  1. #21
    khronoe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    I do have the Secure boot option but from what I've read it doesn't offer much for this system at least. My Surface Pro is configured that way by default as are some of the Dell Latitude 10's we deal with at work and I can see the benefits there since those are production machines. The primary use for this computer is my all around work horse and gaming rig so I think Secure Boot would likely just get in the way for me unless it did offer a significant speed advantage for some reason.

    Understood about the AMD Raid option, that is one major difference but one that I'm not currently using but would consider. I'm experimenting with the Storage Spaces options in Windows 8 and they work really well so far. You gain a lot of flexibility by being able to modify the volume size by adding a drive to the pool and if offers other options for standard RAID type configuraitons as well. It's software raid that works similar to the systems in Drobo units or in FreeNAS's ZFS based system.

    Regarding the CSM option, I've only seen it once on one of my options screens in UEFI and I don't even remember where that was. I don't have that option anywhere at the moment but can enable Secure Boot, which may toggle CSM?

    As this point, unless enabling Secure Boot would resolve my issue, I'm inclined to go back to BIOS booting and switching back to AHCI mode. Ironically enough, this system booted faster using that mode with Fast boot turned on. My only hesitation (aside from another reload) would be the fact that as soon as I do that an update will be released to resolve the problem haha.

  2. #22
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    Secure boot only works with UEFI booting. So when Secure boot is enabled, the CSM option is automatically disabled (recall that CSM enabled causes BIOS booting, really emulated BIOS booting, and only uses the GUI interface capability of UEFI firmware.) Of course, if the OS installation was not done for UEFI booting, it would fail.

    The CSM option is the true switch to enable/disable UEFI booting. That guide I posted the link to about UEFI booting instructs you to use Secure Boot to enable UEFI booting, but I later learned that works because CSM is disabled when Secure Boot is enabled.

    Your board's manual does not list the CSM option, but it's likely not up to date. CSM may be in the ACPI Configuration screen, or the Boot Screen. Some board's UEFIs annoyingly remove the CSM option when Secure Boot is enabled. Secure booting is really a two step process, first it is enabled, and then the security keys must be installed. Given the odd (IMO) CSM disabling done with the AMD RAID utility, who knows what happens to the CSM option.

    Secure Boot won't get in the way, but it also won't solve your issue. Look for the CSM option again, or try to enable it via the AMD RAID utility.

  3. #23
    khronoe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    Secure boot only works with UEFI booting
    . From everything else you've help me with, I did learn that part of it and just opted not to enable it. Regarding the CSM option, I have only seen that one time and it was in the ACPI options but it's not there now. The only time that I saw it was when I was troubleshooting and reset the UEFI options to default. When I saw it I immediately disabled it (this was over the weekend). The quirky part about it is when I was reviewing all of my settings before I saved and exited, that option had disappeared again. I can only assume that when I changed the SATA controller options (which I hadn't done up to that point) back to RAID and configured for UEFI the option disappeared.

    Your board's manual does not list the CSM option, but it's likely not up to date
    You are absolutely correct. Even the screenshots aren't the same as the UEFI that is installed on my board, it's more generic.

    My AMD utility is command line so I'm going to have see if there is a command to enable/disable CSM there.

    Thanks again for all your input btw!!

  4. #24
    khronoe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    So it's been a while since I've been able to reply back to this but I've done more work to the system since then....

    First of all, I'm still getting acclimated to the way the UEFI works on this system. I've noticed that some options aren't available until you make a change, save and reboot. For example, parsec, the discussions that you and I have had about the CSM, I still do not see that option anywhere right now, BUT I have seen it one time and it disappeared and I've not yet been able to track it down. But, I have discovered that I do NOT have to have the system in RAID to do Ultra Fast boot, I can boot it to a UEFI Windows 8 thumb drive and install Windows 8 that way and it works. I just wasn't aware of that at the time. So! I now have the system loaded with AHCI mode set on the AMD controller and booting with Ultra Fast boot enabled. That works great except for the same reboot problem that I've been having all along...

    I did a complete reload on they system last week with fresh Win8 64 UEFI and it's booting great but it still hangs on reboots on the black screen sometimes. I've not nailed down the patter yet either, but about 50% of the time when I reboot it hangs before it posts. Well, technically speaking with Ultra Fast boot on, I power it up and it goes to Windows, no splash screens or anything, just boom and it's in, which rocks. But if I reboot I have a 50/50 shot of getting back to Windows w/o having to power cycle. As a matter of fact now if I use the ASRock Restart to UEFI utility and reboot, I get the black screen every time. So as it stands right now, I can't even get into UEFI w/o having to yank the HDD at least.

    Right now I still suspect it may be an issue with the UEFI Bios in my EVGA 660 but I'm not sure how to test that outside of putting in a different video card. If I can get back to UEFI, I'm going to try changing it to Fast Boot to see if I still have these issues as well. I'm also going to check the error codes on my board LED display to see if there's an issue there but I wanted to see if anyone else had any additional ideas before I did.

    As it stands right now, the problem seems to be the worst on reboots, not fresh power ups. For example, in Win8 if I hit the power button and it shuts down and I push the power button again to power back up, most of the time it comes back fine but it has gotten stuck that way as well.

    Additionally, and I suspect unrelated, I'm still having problems with the Marvell SATA controller as well. One of the reasons I wanted this board was because of the eight SATA ports even knowing the Marvells weren't going to be the best. But now, everytime I attempt to install the Windows Driver for that controller, my system bluescreens and reboots. It does this with no devices connected to the internal SATA ports or the eSATA ports or whether or not I have it set to AHCI or IDE mode. I've nearly just chocked it up to defective unless someone else has a better idea about it. I'm not sure if I even want to fool with an RMA on the board if those ports aren't working, I just hate that I don't have the use of two ports.

    Thanks again for everyone's feedback thus far!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    I figured the RAID thing for UEFI booting made no sense, but sometimes who knows.

    The black screen on restarts is mysterious, not sure what to tell you about that one.

    I've noticed that when using Windows 8, as I am, trying to use the secondary SATA controllers like Marvell or ASMedia, with their own "Windows 8 compatible" driver, fails miserably. My ASRock board will not even boot when using the ASMedia driver with Windows 8, and that is booting from a drive on the Intel controller, with one drive connected to the ASMedia ports, just an empty drive. The UEFI/BIOS sees the drive on the ASMedia port fine, but try to boot with it, no chance, Windows even starts a repair on the OS drive in that situation. I must disable the ASMedia controller in order to boot Windows 8, which then works fine.

    As of now, I think it is the drivers that are the problem. I'm going to try the standard Windows 8 AHCI driver, storahci, and see it that helps. You should be able to do a manual driver update through Device Manager to change to the storahci driver, which should be listed as a driver option.

  6. #26
    khronoe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    Interesting, that sounds somewhat related to my issue. I did some more testing last night and found out something interesting. I watched the codes on the board when it was posting and it got stuck on A6, which according to the manual means it's looking for SCSI drives/interfaces. I can only assume that since I'm obviously not using any SCSI devices that it's looking for addon cards or that's part of a subsystem. Again though, this only happens when I'm trying to boot from the UEFI Restart utility in Windows or randomly on a reboot.

    So! I decided to toy around with this some more and reset my settings and started over in the UEFI from scratch. On a fresh UEFI load, I do find the CSM option in the ACPI settings. The tooltip info says not to disable it unless I'm running a WHCK check. That's just FYI mostly.

    What I've done now is completely disable Fast Boot and UltraFast boot and the problem seems to have mysteriously gone away. My Marvell controller recognizes the drive with no problems and I can reboot as normal now (so far anyway). I can only speculate that the UltraFast boot is causing the system to bypass something that it needs to recognize the drives. This problem occurs even when the ONLY drive connected is my SSD. Note that this is happening with my AMD SATA controller set to AHCI and the AMD AHCI BIOS enabled as well as the Marvell controller enabled in AHCI mode.

    As of right now, I'm not going to go back to UltraFast boot until I figure out a few more details, if at all. This by no means is needed, I just want it to work but I can compromise. It's nice because I can do a 3 second UEFI start to Windows login screen boot, which is amazing! Even cold booting it's 5-6 seconds total. Right now without Fast or Ultra Fast boot enabled I can boot in 12-13 seconds, so I can't complain at all but man it's nice to be able to tout a less than 10 second boot time!!!

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    The "help" about the CSM setting is basically worthless IMO, mine says the same thing, and does nothing to explain its function to enable UEFI booting.

    Once I researched UEFI booting and experimented with it, I learned the CSM setting is the switch to enable a UEFI booting installation/system. Some guides said to use the Secure Boot option to enable UEFI booting, which works but only because enabling Secure Boot also automatically disables CSM. Once I was able to use (find) the CSM option, I found I could control UEFI booting with it, and have Secure Boot disabled, as I currently do on three PCs. The behavior of the BIOS/UEFI interface is critical for being able to use the CSM option, which ASR has improved with updates, but I have no idea how your board's UEFI interface behaves.

    On my system, I have Fast Boot disabled, and I still have the problems with the ASMedia controller.

    The POST error code description text is less than accurate IMO, and I don't take the description at face value.

  8. #28
    khronoe is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    Haha, well that all makes me feel better. I suspected as much on all fronts but thought I was missing something.

    I think the UltraFast boot would probably be ok for someone who wanted a single SSD and additional mechanical drive in a standard setup, meaning no raids, multiple additional HDDs, etc. Essentially a very fast standard use system or gaming system (which on this board pretty much defeats the point of the additional ports). My machine is not only my gaming system but my workhorse too, so I need it to be robust. So I think I'm just going to leave Fast Boot on assuming that doesn't screw up booting too, will test this evening.

    This has all been very helpful to plan future builds though! For example if/when I build a new system for my wife and/or kids, I thought about doing an AMD A10 on a FM2 Mini ITX system. In that instance, I think using a SSD and install drive in UltraFast boot would work great.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Back in the saddle looking for tips

    My usage is such that I rarely use large (or any) HDDs, and have basically moved to all SSD PCs. My SSD... collection has enabled that, as well as my interests not requiring me to purchase the latest video cards. Frankly I've never tried Ultra Fast boot with any HDDs attached, if POST or booting would wait for them is something I don't even know.

    RAID volumes of SSDs don't slow down the fast boot process, even when used as the OS volume.

    Don't forget that Ultra Fast boot is a purely Windows 8 feature, although Windows 7 still starts fast when UEFI booting. I've noticed that when using Ultra Fast with Windows 8, I won't get all my fan speed readings in some monitoring programs, and a restart is needed before they all show up.

    A fine detail for you, the mechanism for Windows 8 Ultra Fast boot is a specialized hibernation type file that stores Windows kernel parameters and other data, that enhances the startup speed. But that only works from a cold boot/power off startup, Windows 8 restarts do not have or use that file, so are not as swift.

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