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Thread: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot




  1. #1
    pzar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Hello,

    I ran into problem with Asrock H87M Pro4 motherboard and 3 TB WD Red HDD.

    My primary disk with Windows 8.1 installed is Plextor M5 Pro SSD. If i have only SSD or SSD and 1 TB Toshiba HDD connected, system boots fine and fast. Problems begin when i try to connect 3 TB WD Red HDD - during boot (well, during POST, actually), "Press < CTRL + P > to enter MEBX setup" prompt is shown for at least 20 seconds (time varies). Eventually, system boots up, all disks are accessible.

    Motherboard BIOS is latest (2.0), SATA is configured as RAID (no drives assigned to array). I have tried to reset CMOS to defaults - no effect. Tried different HDD configurations:
    1. SSD only. Computer boots without delay, MEBX setup prompt is not displayed.
    2. SSD, both HDD - system boots slowly, MEBX prompt is displayed for 20-30 seconds. After system boot, all drives are visible and accessible.
    3. SSD and Toshiba 1 TB (drive #1 and #2) - like in case 1, system boots without problems.
    4. SSD and WD 3 TB (drive #1 and #3) - like in case 2, MEBX prompt displayed.
    5. SSD and WD 3 TB, only latter is using different port and SATA cable - no change, MEBX prompt for 20-30 seconds.

    So problem looks to be either 3 TB hdd (that works fine in another system with different motherboard) or motherboard. Has anyone experienced similar issue?

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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Interesting. Intel's MEBX: Management Engine BIOS Extension. Part of Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT)

    Can I correctly assume this is a new build you're attempting? That Windows 8.1 installed on the M5, is this a carry-over from your "old' computer?
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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Also, what BIOS revision is this motherboard flashed to?

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    pzar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    It is new build with clean install. Motherboard BIOS is latest, 2.0.

    Yes, MEBX prompt is Intel AMT related, but looks like POST freezes at this point for some time - even if i press CTRL+P, i can not enter AMT menu until something timeouts after 20 seconds or so. Without 3 TB disk POST/boot is smooth and fast.

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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by pzar View Post
    Without 3 TB disk POST/boot is smooth and fast.
    I'll throw this out here first as it may be related. I see the Q87M vPro board got a new 1.70 BIOS recently that fixed "Modify AMT Configuration" . I have no idea what they modified, but.......

    In doing some Google Fu here it appears you're somewhat not alone with this board and 3TB HDDs. Read HERE , and at the bottom of their post see the EDIT comment. Without knowing what your 3TB drives are partitioned/formatted, I can take away from their post, "Formatted in Win 8.1 as a single partition" theirs was formatted GPT as it was one partition. As GPT until that is he reformatted as NTFS. You didn't mention the A2 in the lower corner as he does there but I'm guessing it's there and you simply haven't noticed and or considered it.

    As I hinted above, possibly related to a BIOS issue that needs addressed by ASRock for your board? Issues with the BIOS module/block that may be being used interchangeably at ASRock?

  6. #6
    pzar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    Without knowing what your 3TB drives are partitioned/formatted, I can take away from their post, "Formatted in Win 8.1 as a single partition" theirs was formatted GPT as it was one partition. As GPT until that is he reformatted as NTFS. You didn't mention the A2 in the lower corner as he does there but I'm guessing it's there and you simply haven't noticed and or considered it.
    Your google-fu is better than mine :) I have noticed A2 in lower right corner, but for some unknown reasons did not try to include it in search. So it is IDE (SATA?) detection issue - disconnecting one drive to make A2 dissapear proves it.

    In my case, disk has 2 GPT partitions. I will try to repartition/reformat it.

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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by pzar View Post
    Hello,

    I ran into problem with Asrock H87M Pro4 motherboard and 3 TB WD Red HDD.

    My primary disk with Windows 8.1 installed is Plextor M5 Pro SSD. If i have only SSD or SSD and 1 TB Toshiba HDD connected, system boots fine and fast. Problems begin when i try to connect 3 TB WD Red HDD - during boot (well, during POST, actually), "Press < CTRL + P > to enter MEBX setup" prompt is shown for at least 20 seconds (time varies). Eventually, system boots up, all disks are accessible.

    Motherboard BIOS is latest (2.0), SATA is configured as RAID (no drives assigned to array). I have tried to reset CMOS to defaults - no effect. Tried different HDD configurations:
    1. SSD only. Computer boots without delay, MEBX setup prompt is not displayed.
    2. SSD, both HDD - system boots slowly, MEBX prompt is displayed for 20-30 seconds. After system boot, all drives are visible and accessible.
    3. SSD and Toshiba 1 TB (drive #1 and #2) - like in case 1, system boots without problems.
    4. SSD and WD 3 TB (drive #1 and #3) - like in case 2, MEBX prompt displayed.
    5. SSD and WD 3 TB, only latter is using different port and SATA cable - no change, MEBX prompt for 20-30 seconds.

    So problem looks to be either 3 TB hdd (that works fine in another system with different motherboard) or motherboard. Has anyone experienced similar issue?
    This "problem" or issue (which IMO it isn't) is likely a BIOS setting configuration situation, combined with apparently some missing software, or both.

    This board has the MBEX firmware installed as part of the BIOS, and the prompt to start the MBEX UI is meant to be displayed at least in some situations, if not always. The main question from the OP's perspective is why the 3TB WD drive seems to trigger the display of the option to enter the MBEX UI. This is similar to entering "ctrl i" to start the Intel RAID configuration utility available during POST. So the MBEX firmware can be considered as an Option ROM.

    A small entry from an MBEX user guide may help:

    Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot-mebx-startup-png

    I assume you are not seeing the "Ctrl ALT F1" prompt, which seems to indicate AMT has not been configured, which seems to the the case.

    The reason why nothing happens when "Ctrl p" is entered is because AMT is not configured in the BIOS to do anything when "Ctrl p" is entered. That may also be caused by anything from the Intel Management Engine driver, and/or the SBA software not being installed. In other words, if the software to perform administrative tasks within MBEX is not installed or configured, nothing will happen when the MBEX prompt is entered.

    For more information about this, see the AMT8.0 User Guide on this page, although it is meant for Intel 7 series boards: https://communities.intel.com/docs/DOC-6112

    But those guides won't help you get rid of your "problem". You need to check your BIOS settings to find any that will disable MBEX, or even simply disable Option ROM display. The PC OEM (ASRock in this case) can configure the MBEX prompt to be displayed in various circumstances, so check the board's manual and/or BIOS settings in the manual.

    BTW, formatting the drive "as GPT and then NTFS" makes no sense. Each refers to a different thing, GPT allows larger disk drives beyond 2.2TB to be addressed, instead of the 2.2TB limit of MBR formatting. NTFS refers to the type of file system being used. All of my GPT formatted disks have NTFS formatted file systems. GPT must be used to access all the capacity of a 3TB drive.

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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    This "problem" or issue (which IMO it isn't) is likely a BIOS setting configuration situation, combined with apparently some missing software, or both.
    parsec you're my goto guy for all things Windows 8.x. In doing some reading on what CSM is and does, I see in his online manual CSM shows the default of Enabled in the BIOS. If I understand what CSM is it enables BIOS-mode boot loaders. But in doing so is it also completely disabling UEFI load(ing)(er)s? A simple test to disable CSM might prove worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    BTW, formatting the drive "as GPT and then NTFS" makes no sense. Each refers to a different thing, GPT allows larger disk drives beyond 2.2TB to be addressed, instead of the 2.2TB limit of MBR formatting. NTFS refers to the type of file system being used. All of my GPT formatted disks have NTFS formatted file systems. GPT must be used to access all the capacity of a 3TB drive.
    The reason I believe this made a diff is that the GUID Partition Table at a full 3TB isn't recognized and the time waiting is maybe pass-off to the OS to let it(OS) figure the Table out. ie: Geometry CHS .
    #1 - Please, when seeking help, enter the make and model of ALL parts that your system is comprised of in your Signature, or at least the model #'s in your System Specs, then "Save' it.
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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    parsec you're my goto guy for all things Windows 8.x. In doing some reading on what CSM is and does, I see in his online manual CSM shows the default of Enabled in the BIOS. If I understand what CSM is it enables BIOS-mode boot loaders. But in doing so is it also completely disabling UEFI load(ing)(er)s? A simple test to disable CSM might prove worthwhile.
    Well, a slightly modified version of that idea might work. Your statement is right BTW. As in, selecting the UEFI SATA Option ROM, or whatever it is called in that board's BIOS. New ASR boards like his can have those options, which are sub-options of the CSM option. Disabling the main CSM option then requires a full UEFI booting installation, which is not a given with any OS, even Win 8 must be installed for UEFI booting or disabling CSM will cause a no-boot situation.




    Quote Originally Posted by - wardog - View Post
    The reason I believe this made a diff is that the GUID Partition Table at a full 3TB isn't recognized and the time waiting is maybe pass-off to the OS to let it(OS) figure the Table out. ie: Geometry CHS .
    I really don't know why the 3TB HDD suddenly seems to have caused the MBEX prompt to appear. It's not an error IMO, but why that happens is beyond me. The OP's board is an Intel SBA type, so the MBEX OROM is there as we can see. I stopped digging into this more since I wanted to sleep...

  10. #10
    pzar is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Asrock H87M Pro4 with 3 TB HDD connected shows MEBX prompt during boot

    Hello,

    Update on my issue. First of all, this looks like HDD or HDD+motherboard issue. I got another 3 TB WD RED disk (borrowed for testing purposes), and with it system boots just fine. However, when i add original 3 TB HDD, boot delay returns.
    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    The reason why nothing happens when "Ctrl p" is entered is because AMT is not configured in the BIOS to do anything when "Ctrl p" is entered. That may also be caused by anything from the Intel Management Engine driver, and/or the SBA software not being installed. In other words, if the software to perform administrative tasks within MBEX is not installed or configured, nothing will happen when the MBEX prompt is entered.
    It is not exactly "nothing happens" - i can soft-reboot system when <ctrl +="" p=""> prompt is displayed (reboots instantly), can press CTRL+P and (when something timeouts) enter AMT menu. Yes, it is not configured, but i get asked for password.

    Tried to repartition original HDD - no change, tried erasing it with WD Lifeguard Diagnostic - again, no change, boot delay is still present. Disk itself, according to this utility, is fine.

    What is strange - there is no consistency. Sometimes i can cold boot system, get A2 and MEBX prompt, then press CTRL+ALT+DEL, soft-reboot, and then everything is fine (emphasis on "sometimes"). Same goes for reboot from Windows 8.

    Any ideas, what else can be done with original system?</ctrl>

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