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Thread: Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD




  1. #1
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    Default Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD

    I just got my system all put together. But, the board won't post. It keeps coming up as boot code: A2. Which in the manual suggests a problem with a SATA device. I have 2 Corsair Force 3 SSDs. I had intended on running RAID with them. Anyway, on first boot A2 came up. So I powered down and unhooked both of the SSDs, reset CMOS, and hooked up one of the SSDs and rebooted. Same thing A2. Then I unhooked that one and hooked up the other one. Same thing again, A2. The drives are new, I haven't used them previously. So I plan to hook them up on my other rig and see if it will recognize them.
    Regardless, can anyone on here suggest a possible solution? This is my first attempt to use an SSD, so I really don't know anything about them. I don't have any other hard drives connected, I do have a Blu Ray drive connected.
    My system specs. Keep in mind I haven't even booted yet, so nothing is configured.

    ASrock z97 OC Formula
    Intel I7 4790k
    G Skill 8x2 GB DDR3 2666 MHz
    SLI Asus GTX Titans
    Cooler Master 1250 watt PSU
    Pioneer BD-R
    Corsair Force 3 SSD 240 GB x 2

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD

    SSDs with older SandForce controllers have issues being recognized on Intel 8 and 9 series chipsets, like a Z97. But your Corsair Force 3 is not one of those. If someone tells you that is the issue, that is not correct.

    My guess about your issue is you probably have your SSDs connected to the ASMedia SATA ports, which are the two at the "top" of the stack of the SATA ports, as viewing a board mounted in a PC case. Without an OS and driver loaded, those ports probably won't work well if at all.

    You should use the Intel SATA ports, which are the six located below the two top ASMedia ports. An OS drive is best connected to Intel port 0, check the manual for its location, but it is not required, any of the Intel SATA ports should work fine for an OS drive.

    If you plan on creating a RAID array, you must set the SATA mode to RAID before you install your OS. Once you have a RAID array created, the SATA mode must be RAID at all times, which means after a BIOS reset/clear, you must set the SATA mode back to RAID again.

    You usually create the RAID (0 I assume) array before you install Windows, although you can create it after you install Windows if the OS was installed in RAID mode, and when you add the second SSD, there must be no other drives connected and powered up on the Intel SATA ports. Did you change any settings in the BIOS from defaults?

    Although this should not be required, in the Storage Configuration screen in the BIOS, each drive is listed

    A SSD should not need any special care or attention, they really are plug and play devices in my experience. That's all I use now in my PCs.

    Let us know if this is the case or not.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    SSDs with older SandForce controllers have issues being recognized on Intel 8 and 9 series chipsets, like a Z97. But your Corsair Force 3 is not one of those. If someone tells you that is the issue, that is not correct.

    My guess about your issue is you probably have your SSDs connected to the ASMedia SATA ports, which are the two at the "top" of the stack of the SATA ports, as viewing a board mounted in a PC case. Without an OS and driver loaded, those ports probably won't work well if at all.

    You should use the Intel SATA ports, which are the six located below the two top ASMedia ports. An OS drive is best connected to Intel port 0, check the manual for its location, but it is not required, any of the Intel SATA ports should work fine for an OS drive.

    If you plan on creating a RAID array, you must set the SATA mode to RAID before you install your OS. Once you have a RAID array created, the SATA mode must be RAID at all times, which means after a BIOS reset/clear, you must set the SATA mode back to RAID again.

    You usually create the RAID (0 I assume) array before you install Windows, although you can create it after you install Windows if the OS was installed in RAID mode, and when you add the second SSD, there must be no other drives connected and powered up on the Intel SATA ports. Did you change any settings in the BIOS from defaults?

    Although this should not be required, in the Storage Configuration screen in the BIOS, each drive is listed

    A SSD should not need any special care or attention, they really are plug and play devices in my experience. That's all I use now in my PCs.

    Let us know if this is the case or not.
    Well, thanks for the very detailed response. I looked in the manual and it said to use SATA 0 for quickest boot times, so I used that and 1 for the SSDs. The top two slots are unoccupied. 2 has the optical drive. I haven't been able to get it to boot yet.
    Although, I have to admit that I haven't had much time to troubleshoot. I had to work all night and I'll be in bed all day. So I won't be able to try again until later this evening.
    I suppose I could try to boot without the drives hooked up, I could probalby at least get it to post and see if I can't alter some of the settings and then hook them up after.
    I'll check back later to see if there are any more suggestions. I'm not going to be able to do anything with it until then, frustrating not being able to work on it right now.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD

    I haven't been able to make much progress. I unhooked the optical drive and was able to get past A2 and get it to post. I had a problem with a PCI-e device, but that's a separate issue. The SSDs weren't connected when it posted though. One thing at a time. So, either there's a problem with my Blu Ray drive, or there's a problem with the entire SATA array. I'll post back when I figure out exactly what the problem is. Once again, ran out of time to work on it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z97 OC Formula Won't Recognize SSD

    I don't know what the problem was, I tore it apart, put it back together, and now it boots fine. Configuring the RAID was actually quite easy. Go into the BIOS, have the z97 drive disk in the disc drive and a USB drive in a USB port. I can't remember exactly which tab it was, tools I think, and select ASrock easy RAID. "Make sure the SATA mode is set to AHCI and not RAID" It copies the RAID drivers from the disc to the USB drive. Then go to storage options, go to SATA mode, change it from AHCI to RAID. Then Save the BIOS and reset. Press "control+i" during post and it will open the RAID utility. Set up your RAID however you want. If you're like me and this is your first attempt at RAID, I suggest you use 128k stripe size. I checked out a lot of benchmarks and they suggest 128k is the optimal setting. Lower settings like 32k are better for systems where write speeds are more important, but for the average user 128k is the optimal setting for read speeds.

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