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Thread: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot




  1. #1
    GrayWolf is offline Junior Member
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    Default Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Hello all,

    This is a quick post to share my recent experience with this motherboard since I could not find any reference to the issues that I've been confronted with since I went into the adventure of trying to enable "Ultra Fast Boot" for my Windows 8 Pro installation on my computer.

    Quick Specs for everyone's reference:

    Intel Core i5-2500K (non-OC'd at the moment)
    8GB G.Skill RipJaws DDR3-1600 RAM
    Galaxy Geforce GTX 670 GC 2GB (the version with the 680 PCB and default 680 cooler) with UEFI GOP Hybrid BIOS v4770 installed
    Sound Blaster Z
    ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB
    Crucial M4 256GB
    WD "Green" 1TB HDD
    Thermaltake 850W Power Supply

    As most of you will already know: the ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 is a motherboard that includes the nVidia NF200 chipset to provide expanded bandwidth to the supported PCI-E slots to allow for up to x16/x8/x8 in 3-way SLI or x16/x16 in 2-way SLI.

    The "Gen3" part of the name comes from the fact that the board also includes the ability to support up to PCI-E 3.0 on one of its 6 x16 slots. That slot is PCI-E2. PCI-E1, 4 and 6 are the slots that are driven by the NF200. If a video card is installed into slot PCI-E2, then the 1,4 and 6 slots are disabled (as per the motherboard's manual). Since I did not want to potentially limit the number of PCI-E slots available on the motherboard (and since I am using a Sandy Bridge Core i5-2500K which cannot provide PCI-E 3.0 speeds anyway), I went ahead and plugged the GTX 670 into PCI-E1. This turned out to be a mistake.

    While reviewing the manual and trying to think of why this would not work, it dawned on me that something external or different (ie: the NF200) must be interfering with the UEFI GOP component for the video card.

    I took my machine apart and moved the 670 and my Sound Blaster Z cards to PCI-E2 and PCI-E5 (which is also an electrical x16 slot), respectively.

    With that complete, I booted back into Windows to let the various drivers install and configure themselves. Returning the UEFI BIOS of the motherboard, I enabled the "Ultra Fast Boot" option. This time, the system did not hang on the "96" diagnostic code and did result in the UEFI/Windows 8 boot screen to appear in very short order.

    Unfortunately, Windows 8 is not happy with "something" since the "spinning daisy of periods" that runs while Windows boots only got about 1/2 way spun on the first spin when the Windows 8 boot process hung on itself.

    At this point, it is quite likely that I'm facing a need to reimage my machine which is not a happy one.

    I do hope that this proves to be useful to someone in the future.

  2. #2
    GrayWolf is offline Junior Member
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    Lightbulb Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    A "final update": It turns out that ASRock really did make enabling the UEFI "Ultra Fast Boot" on this motherboard a rather busy exercise in options changing in their BIOS. The "daisy of periods" hanging on the first spin-up is due to the fact that Windows 8 could not detect the harddrives in my system during the initial stages of startup. With AHCI enabled on this motherboard, I had to enable "External SATA support" on the 2 SSDs that I have in my system. With that option enabled, Windows 8 was able to be installed in UEFI mode (it recreated the 4 total partitions that are needed for UEFI boot to occur).

    The end result: I am now able to successfully boot using the "Ultra Fast Boot" option in the UEFI BIOS. "All's well that ends well!" :)
    Last edited by GrayWolf; 09-09-2013 at 08:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    I have the same mobo and i can't set it to ultra fast boot.
    I have the uefi gop bios, and installed windows in uefi mode. I can boot in fast mode, but in ultra fast it gets stuck at the daisy loading thing at boot.
    You said something about external sata, I can't find this in the bios. Can you please help me through this? thank you.

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    GrayWolf is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Quote Originally Posted by gianny37 View Post
    I have the same mobo and i can't set it to ultra fast boot.
    I have the uefi gop bios, and installed windows in uefi mode. I can boot in fast mode, but in ultra fast it gets stuck at the daisy loading thing at boot.
    You said something about external sata, I can't find this in the bios. Can you please help me through this? thank you.
    Hi gianny37,
    You must go into "Advanced -> Storage Configuration" to see the list of your harddrives. Select a drive, and you should see this screen:
    Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot-externalsata-jpg

    Without changing the setting for External SATA to "Enabled", I could not get past the stuck spinning wheel. I'd suggest that you give this a try and let me know if you're successful or not. :)

    Good luck!

    PS - You must also set the "SATA Device Type" to be "Solid State Drive" if that's the type of drive your Operating System is installed onto.

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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Hey greyworl Thank you for your reply. I did found the option in the bios. I did change everything you did. I connected my nvidia 690 to the 2 pcie and my x-fi to the 5th pcie. I have the gop bios on it to. Im still facing the same problem. Is it possible that I need to reinstrall windows? Its already installed on uefi mode. I did it through a usb drive. And if I have to reistall windows, with what options should i do it? csm off? fast boot off? Im confused. If i set the fast boot on fast mode, then i cant use the usb uefi installer. Can I istall the uefi Windows using the dvd?
    Thanks

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    GrayWolf is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Quote Originally Posted by gianny37 View Post
    Hey greyworl Thank you for your reply. I did found the option in the bios. I did change everything you did. I connected my nvidia 690 to the 2 pcie and my x-fi to the 5th pcie. I have the gop bios on it to. Im still facing the same problem. Is it possible that I need to reinstrall windows? Its already installed on uefi mode. I did it through a usb drive. And if I have to reistall windows, with what options should i do it? csm off? fast boot off? Im confused. If i set the fast boot on fast mode, then i cant use the usb uefi installer. Can I istall the uefi Windows using the dvd? Thanks
    Hi Gianny37: What problem(s) are you still having? Let's back up for a moment since I need you to provide a full list of all of your components (which you can do via your profile here on TweakTown Forums). Once you've put the full component list up (preferably with the BIOS/firmware revisions listed as well), I may have an easier time helping you. Also: Is your USB stick formatted with FAT32? You cannot perform a UEFI installation of Windows from any optical disc. It must be done via a FAT32-formatted USB stick. Otherwise, you did not install windows in UEFI mode. You could certainly try to convert the installation to be a UEFI mode Windows installation, but that does require some effort. I ask because if the USB stick is not FAT32-formatted then the UEFI BIOS will not "see" the stick as a bootable device.

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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Quote Originally Posted by gianny37 View Post
    Hey greyworl Thank you for your reply. I did found the option in the bios. I did change everything you did. I connected my nvidia 690 to the 2 pcie and my x-fi to the 5th pcie. I have the gop bios on it to. Im still facing the same problem. Is it possible that I need to reinstrall windows? Its already installed on uefi mode. I did it through a usb drive. And if I have to reistall windows, with what options should i do it? csm off? fast boot off? Im confused. If i set the fast boot on fast mode, then i cant use the usb uefi installer. Can I istall the uefi Windows using the dvd?
    Thanks
    When installing Windows for UEFI booting, you must have the CSM option disabled. CSM is the switch that allows UEFI booting and a UEFI installation. You can still boot in Legacy/BIOS mode with a UEFI installation, since Windows will put an MBR partition on the OS drive as well as the GPT partition. Once you have a UEFI installation working, you can enable CSM to Legacy/BIOS boot if you want to, and switch back and forth between the two modes.

    When doing a UEFI installation, do not enable Fast boot at all, set it to Disabled. When the UEFI installation is complete, then you can change to Fast or Ultra Fast boot, and it will work, Ultra Fast with Windows 8 only. Fast Boot is not a setting needed for a UEFI installation, it is just an option you can use or not. Don't forget that Ultra Fast boot only works from a cold boot after a shutdown, not on restarts.

    The issue where you need External SATA enabled is strange, I don't need to do that on my ASR Z77 and Z87 boards. Some thoughts on that, what AHCI driver are you using? The standard Win 8 storahci, or the Intel IRST driver? I always install the Intel "F6" IRST RAID driver with the load driver option during the Windows installation, although that is not required to install Windows, and I use RAID mode. This driver is also the Intel AHCI driver and works in AHCI mode. I also wonder what Intel RAID option ROM is in the BIOS you are using, but that should not affect things when using AHCI mode.

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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Hey guys. Thank you for your detailed replies.
    I used a formatted fat32 usb drive like it was explained at some website.
    In the bios boot i chose uefi usb and then installed windows.
    Now here is what comes next.
    I have a evga nvidia 690 gtx. I got the uefi bios update from evga. and tried it out. I even tried to flah the asus gop bios update.
    Im using the intel rst drivers. I have 2 ssd drivers and 2 1tb hds in raid .
    In the bios ive set raid and enabled external sata and changed the driver to solid state in advanced options.
    I enabled secure boot and selectec windows booter in the boot menu.
    I can boot up and load windows with fast boot enabled with either gop uefi vbios for my gpu.
    But everytime i try ultra fast boot mode it hangs on the daisy dots and then i get a blue screen and i need to clear cmos to load everything back
    and use fast boot.
    I tried both vbios from evga and asus with no success using ultra fast.
    My pc specs are
    Asrock z68 Extrem 7 Gen 3 with bios L2.33A
    I7 2600k
    16gb ddr3 1600
    Evga 690 gtx
    Creative x-fi fatality
    OCZ Agility 3 120 gb x2
    Seagate 1TB Raid x2 with OCZ Vertex Cache
    Cooler Master 920 Case
    OCZ 1000 W zx Series
    Im using Intel RST Drivers.

  9. #9
    GrayWolf is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Quote Originally Posted by gianny37 View Post
    Hey guys. Thank you for your detailed replies. I used a formatted fat32 usb drive like it was explained at some website. In the bios boot i chose uefi usb and then installed windows. Now here is what comes next. I have a evga nvidia 690 gtx. I got the uefi bios update from evga. and tried it out. I even tried to flah the asus gop bios update. Im using the intel rst drivers. I have 2 ssd drivers and 2 1tb hds in raid . In the bios ive set raid and enabled external sata and changed the driver to solid state in advanced options. I enabled secure boot and selectec windows booter in the boot menu. I can boot up and load windows with fast boot enabled with either gop uefi vbios for my gpu. But everytime i try ultra fast boot mode it hangs on the daisy dots and then i get a blue screen and i need to clear cmos to load everything back and use fast boot. I tried both vbios from evga and asus with no success using ultra fast. My pc specs are Asrock z68 Extrem 7 Gen 3 with bios L2.33A I7 2600k 16gb ddr3 1600 Evga 690 gtx Creative x-fi fatality OCZ Agility 3 120 gb x2 Seagate 1TB Raid x2 with OCZ Vertex Cache Cooler Master 920 Case OCZ 1000 W zx Series Im using Intel RST Drivers.
    The only reason that Windows would hang up at the spinning dots is because it is having problems with initializing a device during the boot up sequence. If the vBIOS wasn't GOP-enabled, you wouldn't have been able to activate the Ultra Fast Boot option in the BIOS - it would've given you an error message and prevented that from happening. Therefore, this is not a problem with the vBIOS at all. To be clear: You have the one-and-only video card installed on slot PCIE2 (as per the Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 motherboard manual), right?

    Your sound card is an older PCI model, not a PCI-Express model so it would be installed into the only PCI slot on the motherboard - located between the PCIE4 and PCIE5 slots. If I misunderstand that, please let me know.

    Assuming that your video card is indeed installed into PCIE2, then PCIE1, PCIE4 and PCIE6 are all disabled. You do not have anything installed into the disabled slots, correct?

    Also, what do you mean by "Seagate 1TB Raid x2 with OCZ Vertex Cache" -- Are you using an OCZ Vertex SSD drive to provide a caching function for your 1TB spindle drives' RAID array?

    Finally: You are running either Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 as your Operating System, correct?

    ---------------

    Addendum: It's worth noting that this motherboard seems to be completely unlike any other motherboard on the market that permits the "Ultra Fast Boot" option. ASRock's own engineers get confused when you ask them about how to get Ultra Fast Boot working on this board - they don't seem to realize that they released the Beta BIOS L2.33A that does enable the option for us to implement. The result is that the motherboard is not documented/well-supported for using this function. It was an interesting, if not frustrating, experience in trying to get it to work properly for my own machine. Thankfully, it does work.

    Also: Parsec - It's worth noting that ASRock's own engineers did end up agreeing (via a Galaxy tech support manager who was working to get the GOP BIOS for my video card to me) that the 'External SATA' setting needed to be enabled for the Ultra Fast Boot function to work. I never got an explanation and it did result in a working implementation. I don't understand it at all, but I am glad that it's working for me, at least. ;)
    Last edited by GrayWolf; 11-02-2013 at 07:11 AM.

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    Default Re: Configuring ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 with BIOS L2.33A to use Ultra Fast Boot

    Hey. I have a Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional on pcie 5. My only card is the 690
    I have two 1tb segeate hds working together on a raid and being cached with an ocz vertex ssd with RST Drivers Acceleration on them.
    I tried booting without the HDs and changed the sata option to ACHI too.
    I have win 8.1 pro.

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