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Thread: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]




  1. #1
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    Default z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    Specs:
    CPU:Intel Core i5-3570k Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz
    GPU: Radeon HD 7870 2GB
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance Blue 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 SDRAM (CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B)
    PSU: Corsair TX850 Watt
    HDD: OCZ Agility 4 AGT4-S5SAT3-256G (I also have 3 other non-SSD, sata drives)

    Problem:
    I had a computer that worked fine, but I decided to upgrade the CPU and mobo. I set it all up, turned it on, and I got a brief surge of power, turning my fans and power on for 1/10 of a second. If I turned my computer on after that, nothing would happen. If I unplugged my power cord from my power outlet and tried again, I would get the brief surge again. I tried re-seating things, and eventually got it to begin posting.

    That is when the real problem occurs. I am stuck at POST code A2 (IDE Detect). If I mess around with SATA cables and different drives, it goes back to having the power surge issue. It seems like only only one or two combinations of HDD/SATA will at least post (although this may not be the case).

    What I've Tried:

    • Reset CMOS (held button, as well as removed lithium battery for an hour)
    • Mix and matched different SATA cables/HDDs, SATA 2 and 3 (5 SATA cables)
    • Tried with/without DVD Drive, 1 HDD, multiple HDDs etc.
    • Re-sat/re-plugged everything
    • Changed RAM DIMM slots, 1 stick alone, etc.
    • With and without GPU
    • Tried no HDD at all


    Note:
    The SDD has Windows 7 pro on it (with drivers from old computer). 2 other HDDs have data on them, and 1 of them is clean. I've tried them all, nothing works.

    Any help appreciated, thank you
    Last edited by sigmo66; 10-15-2013 at 07:06 AM.

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    What board and CPU was the Windows 7 installation done on, your previous system?

    Never got into the BIOS yet? You can get into the BIOS with no drives attached, that is what I would try. You also might want to pull the video card, and use the on-CPU graphics at first, just to eliminate the video card from the equation. Clear the BIOS after removing the video card, using the jumper or switch is enough.

    You must be aware of which SATA ports you are using, since your new board has two SATA controllers. The top two grey SATA ports are the ASMedia add on SATA chip, the six below it are the native Intel ports, use those only until you have a driver installed for the ASMedia chipset.

    Using an OS installation from another PC is really a hit or miss (most likely miss) thing, and if you have weird issues, asking for help is... well, good luck with that.

    Your memory description, Corsair Vengeance Blue 8GB (2x4GB) is inadequate, the exact model number is the only way to tell if it is compatible with your new board, certainly not a given.

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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    Thanks for your response,

    I updated my specs in original post.

    Previous CPU was an Intel I7 2.66 quad-core 1366 socket (I forget model). Mobo was I believe an eVGA x58 SLI LGA 1366. Perhaps since it is a different, older socket, that could be causing an issue?

    I will try accessing BIOS without a drive then, that sounds like a good idea. I will then try your video card suggestion. How long do I hold the CMOS reset button, and at what point? Not so sure I did it right last time.

    Yes, I used the grey as well as the black SATA ports. That should be ruled out. Though, I don't understand why I get the power surge issue depending on the SATAs/HDDs I'm trying, so I'm a bit confused.

    I figured the OS may be an issue, but I tried a fresh HDD as well, and that didn't work out either. Figured that'd rule that out.

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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    I am now wondering if the board is defective...

    I tried no GPU, but I still get A2.
    I tried no HDD, but I just get the power surge issue, then nothing at all.
    I tried 1 stick of RAM, and different DIMM slots.

    I can't think of anything else to try. Anyone have any more ideas?

    Thanks

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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    Progress!

    I can now get to BIOS using one of my drives. However, my OS is on my SDD. When I try to use my SDD (nothing else), it gets to A2, then Dr. Debug has no lights on at all. A screen comes up saying something about put in a boot device and press a key or something. So, I don't think it's detecting my Agility 4 SDD. Is there something in my BIOS i can set to detect my SDD?

    I don't know what to do next

    EDIT:
    The error is "Reboot and select proper boot device, or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key"
    Also, I get this error with all HDDs connected.
    Last edited by sigmo66; 10-15-2013 at 08:12 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    Are all your HDDs and SSD the same drives as you used in your X58 board? It sounds like the Master Boot Record (MBR) is missing from the SSD/OS drive, which is usually caused by installing Windows with multiple drives connected and running. Windows has a nasty habit of putting the MBR on a different drive than the OS drive. It sounds like that drive is not in the new PC, or the drive with the MBR was formatted, or it is but it simply cannot be found, since Windows was not installed on that PC.

    Do you have your Windows installation disk, or whatever you used? If so, connect ONLY your SSD with the (really not compatible) Windows installation, and boot from the Windows installation media. Select a Windows Repair, and follow the prompts, which hopefully will create an MBR on your SSD.

    Even if that seems to fix your OS booting problem, you are still trying to use an OS installation on a much different mother board. A few of the drivers will be compatible, but most probably won't. Plus the previous chipset/INF file installation on your other board will not be identifying your board's hardware correctly. You really need to do a fresh Windows installation, since you'll never just get the PC to boot and be done. To much is different with your new PC, about three generations newer than your X58 system.

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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    All of the drives were installed without issue on my old board.

    I will have to try repairing my SDD windows. Doing anything like that won't rid my SDD of data, right? I still need the data on the drive at least. Also, is there a way to check my drives to find out which one has no data on it? One of my HDDs is fresh, so I could install windows temporarily onto that, and then extact the data from the other drives. I think I could just use the windows disc as if I'm reformatting to check how much storage is free?

    I have the disc I used and will try that tonight.

    Could the issue be with any particular BIOS setting? I think I read something about ASCII or ACHI or something like that being an issue with A2 error?

    By the way, using DVI only is what got me into BIOS.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    A Windows repair will not remove anything on your SSD or any Windows installation. All that does is add the (seemingly) missing MBR.

    You really cannot check if a drive is empty except in Windows.

    Oh jeez, I suppose you used IDE as the SATA mode on your X58 build. Oh well, the default SATA mode now is AHCI, so that may be contributing to your problems. If you installed Windows on your SSD in IDE mode, then trying to boot in AHCI mode will fail, you don't have the appropriate SATA driver installed.

    Switch to IDE mode in the BIOS on your new board, and see how it goes. Do that before you try a Windows repair, you may not need it. You may get past A2, and then you'll be faced with all the other driver incompatibilities, but you need to start dealing with that at some point.

    BTW, AHCI mode is superior performance wise to IDE, but since an SSD is so fast, you won't notice it as much. But switch to IDE mode since your installation was done in IDE mode. There is a fix for that involving a registry edit, but you don't need to worry about that now.

    If you break down and install Windows again, use AHCI mode.

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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    I'd recommend trying to post with each HDD/SDD individually in isolation.

    On my board (Extreme 6) I had the same issue with an Agility 2 model and it took me a long time and comments from Parsec to finally pin it down as the culprit. I now have another SSD (Fujitsu) which is running fine. I should note the Agility SSD runs fine with other computers, it's just not compatible with this board for some reason. I'm even more confused as I thought generally SSDs tend to share the same controllers etc...

    I've since discovered the same issue with a standard 2TB Seagate HDD I didn't have in the system. No matter what I do I simply can't get past the initial post screen with it plugged in (A2 error). This drive also works fine in 2 other pc's.

    It does make me think that this board is particularly fussy with the HDD interface which really shouldn't be a problem on a $300 board. Whether it's Haswell related or Asrock related, I really don't care, gear this expensive should just work or be very clear about incompatibility issues (seems like they have no idea).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: z77 Extreme 6 Error Code A2 [Fails to finish POST]

    A web search using haswell ssd issues will provide additional information.
    It appears that pre-Haswell hardware was more tolerant when ssd's did not strickly adhere to standard specifications.
    Apparently Haswell enforces stricter compliance with ssd's specifications.
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