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Thread: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues




  1. #1
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    Default Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Hi guys, I apologise in advance for the length of this post but this one has got me stumped.

    I've got a new build and opted for an Asrock Extreme 6 Z87 and unfortunately, have had issues from the get go.

    My specs are:
    750W HTX PSU
    nVidia 265GTX
    Xonar STX
    4770K i7
    G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-17000CL11Q-16GBXL 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3
    OCZ 60GB SSD (Vertex I think, it's green)
    2TB Seagate
    2TB WD Black
    1TB WD Green

    Initially I had issues with my SSD not showing in the BIOS straight up. To resolve this I simply fiddled with the BIOS settings switching between ACHI and IDE and assigning SSD as the driver. It eventually recognised the SSD but I'd run into issues on restarting where I'd need to boot a few time before it would correctly 'see' the SSD. When it failed to recognise it would simply not show, there was no error associated. The SSD is currently my OS, so I can't update the firmware on it.

    Anyway, last night I restarted and now I get an A2 error code and the PC freezes on the Asrock logo. I couldn't enter the BIOS and clearing the CMOS, removing the battery and switching between A/B Bios also didn't help. So I began a process of elimination.

    I eventually traced it down to the 2TB Western Digital HDD as the culprit. Simply disconnecting the sata cable resolved the issue and I could once again enter the BIOS. However I still had trouble getting the mobo to recognise the SSD at post. It basically still needs 'fiddling' with the storage device settings to be recognised. I can't put it any other way as it's simply intermittent.

    Ok so the point of note is that the 2TB WD drive is not new, it's working fine in my old PC. As is the SSD. So it's clearly an issue with my new setup.

    My process of elimination was:

    Remove graphics card, sound card and HDDs/optical drive one by one. Replace SATA cables with cables which work in another PC. Change/mix up which sata ports are being used. Ensure the 'boot' ports are used for the SSD. Alternate between intel and A-Data (or whatever its called) 'secondary' sata ports. Change the SSD/HDD power cables from using 1 rail to 2 rails on the PSU. Try booting with just the affected drives on their own (separately). Clear CMOS, use A/B Bios/ remove battery and unplug from power for 10 mins.

    I've also updated to the latest BIOS using the network option. It all went fine as far as I can tell.

    So I currently still have issues with the SSD and for no reason at all, issues with a single HDD. The HDD previously worked flawlessly, so I have no idea what has triggered this change. I'm just stumped and at this point.

  2. #2
    Leeds Martin is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Have you installed the latest SATA driver from the download site? - this solved a few detection issues for me.

    ASRock > Z87 Extreme6

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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Yeah I've gone through and installed all the new drivers but the issue is in the BIOS at post so I think it's either BIOS config/firmware or hardware issue?

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    If your OCZ SSD is green, it's an Agility model.

    Which SATA ports are you using, the Intel or ASMedia? The four ports at the top of the stack of ports, as seen with the board mounted in a case, are the ASMedia ports.

    The ASMedia SATA ports do not work as well as the Intel SATA ports, both in speed and stability. Check that you are using the Intel ports and if not, move your cables to the Intel ports and see what happens.

    I have the same board as you, and I use the Intel ports with SSDs, and have never had issues like yours.

    What drivers are you using, and are you using AHCI mode?

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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Ah just checked the SSD and it's a silver vertex (I have a green agility but it's in the old PC).

    I had been testing with both intel and as-media ports without success using either. I'm currently troubleshooting using only the intel ports.

    I'm using the 'latest' drivers off the website although I don't think they come into play as it's not the OS that's exhibiting issues, it's just whether the HDDs are recognised at boot. If it doesn't work I never get into windows at all and when I do, windows works flawlessly. It's just annoying that I've lost my 2TB drive completely now as it basically has all my stuff on it.

    I've tested using both ACHI and IDE mode, neither makes a difference. There is a compatability loader setting in the BIOS under boot, where you can switch between Legacy and UEFI only (spl.?). I found that legacy caused intermittent issues with the SSD and UEFI got the SSD to show 100% of the time. I don't know why or what these settings relate to. Switching them all to UEFI made the PC boot straight into BIOS. None of it helped me with my 2TB Seagate though...

    I'm going to take the HDD that's giving me grief into work tomorrow to test it in a few other PCs, just to check compatability. I will take the SSD with me as well to test it out. If it's a specific incompatability issue I can probably replace the drive with a different brand. I really don't want to have to pull down this PC without some pretty solid evidence pointing to issues with the hardware. If it's BIOS/firmware related I'd likely have the same issue with a replacement.

    I may try to roll back the BIOS to a previous iteration as well, after that, I'm out of ideas.
    Last edited by PaperMacheMan; 09-05-2013 at 07:40 PM.

  6. #6
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Do you have the option, "Aggressive SATA Link Power Management" enabled in Storage Configuration in the BIOS? If so, disable that, it causes problems with drives when I tried it.

    BTW, what OS are you using?

    If you have the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver and utility ver:12.6.0.1033 installed, there should be an option in Storage Configuration called "Dynamic Storage Accelerator", which is just for the Intel ports and that IRST driver. If DSA is enabled, try disabling it. It acts as a power saving option on Haswell systems, and may not be playing nice with some drives.

    Do you have the Fast Boot option set to anything but Disabled? If so, try disabling that, the fast POST may not allow enough time for the drives to wake up.

    The compatibility settings in the Boot section are hard to explain in a few words or sentences. They are not like the usual compatibility settings found in the drive configuration part of a BIOS. They are used with UEFI booting, which involves installing Windows with the OS drive formatted as GPT. They allow you to select which Option ROM is used during POST. The only one you should try is Launch Storage OpROM Policy, if that helps, leave the others set to Legacy. The boot right into the BIOS is caused by setting all of them to UEFI, but not having a UEFI booting OS configuration, and the BIOS wants you to fix those settings.

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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Parsec, thanks for your input, responses below:

    Do you have the option, "Aggressive SATA Link Power Management" enabled in Storage Configuration in the BIOS? If so, disable that, it causes problems with drives when I tried it.
    It's disabled but I have tried both and it does seem more stable (re SSD recognition) with it disabled. It still doesn't fix the issue though.

    If you have the Intel Rapid Storage Technology driver and utility ver:12.6.0.1033 installed, there should be an option in Storage Configuration called "Dynamic Storage Accelerator", which is just for the Intel ports and that IRST driver. If DSA is enabled, try disabling it. It acts as a power saving option on Haswell systems, and may not be playing nice with some drives.
    I'll look into this. If this is in the OS, I can't get there with the 2TB drive (it freezes on the BIOS splash screen if it's connected) and with the Vertex it either gets recognised and works fine, or doesn't and then of course I can't get into the OS (it's my boot drive).

    Do you have the Fast Boot option set to anything but Disabled? If so, try disabling that, the fast POST may not allow enough time for the drives to wake up.
    This is disabled.

    The compatibility settings in the Boot section are hard to explain in a few words or sentences. They are not like the usual compatibility settings found in the drive configuration part of a BIOS. They are used with UEFI booting, which involves installing Windows with the OS drive formatted as GPT. They allow you to select which Option ROM is used during POST. The only one you should try is Launch Storage OpROM Policy, if that helps, leave the others set to Legacy. The boot right into the BIOS is caused by setting all of them to UEFI, but not having a UEFI booting OS configuration, and the BIOS wants you to fix those settings.
    I'll be the first to admit I still don't quite understand this. What's GPT stand for? General Partition? The options are disabled, legacy or UEFI. They are all set to legacy generally. You can disable the whole 'tree' of options but the BIOS recommends against this. I tried it though and it didn't help.

    I've tested all my drives at work in two seperate PCs and they work fine. So now I'm back to thinking it's the board that's the issue. I've ordered a new 250GB SSD to replace the vertex, so that might be a 'part' solution. That is, as long as it's specific incompatibility that's the culprit. If it solves it for the SSD I guess I'll sell the 2TB and replace it with a more contemporary 3TB drive. I'd still be concerned I run into problems in the future though if I can't track down the issue.

    By the way, I am always getting the A2 error code, regardless of whether I get into the OS on the SSD or not.

    Cheers,

  8. #8
    redline92 is offline Junior Member
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    Post Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    I hope im not too offtopic or anything but i have asrock b85 pro4 1150 haswell chipset and vertex 2 60gb ssd for OS and i have 100% same issue as you.At bios post about 1 in 3 boots it doesnt see the SSD requiring a restart else i get no OS detected error.
    Ive tried everything too with the settings nothing works.I currently have it set SSD on port1 SataIII(tried SII port no luck) and hdd on 2nd SIII port.I have port 1 set as solid state drive and 2nd port as HDD Drive and for port 1 SSD i have enabled hot plug or i think thats how its named,without that i couldnt install windows,apparently ssd wouldnt even start up or so and i had to manually remove power cable of the SSD and connect at start of windows setup(weird as hell).
    Also i had to use preload AHCI driver b4 win 7 installation or it wouldnt see it at all.Tried a copy of wind8 and i didnt have that problem at setup.

    Seems the all 1150 8x chipsets have problem at least on Asrock mobo's with ocz vertex ssd.
    I have no idea what to do either ive been waiting for more bios revisions but they seem to not update my board model anymore.

    NOTE: I did install windows on HDD once and also upgraded to latest SSD firmware when i did that,i still had trouble with SSD detection even when not OS drive.
    Last edited by redline92; 09-06-2013 at 07:23 PM.

  9. #9
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Ok guys, I have an answer for you, but you won't like it. I thought I remembered hearing about something with Vertex 2 SSDs and Haswell systems:

    Guide Vertex 2 - Agility 2 and Haswell

    At this time SSDs using the SATA 3Gb/s SandForce controller are not fully compatible with the Haswell platform. Unfortunately this includes the Vertex 2 SSD. There is currently no workaround to correct this.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Extreme 6 Z87 - A2 error and HDD/SDD issues

    Thanks mate, you are indeed correct and replacing the SSD with an alternate brand/model fixed all issues.

    Massive thanks there, would have gone through some pretty painful weeks of troubleshooting otherwise.

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