Please report all spam threads, posts and suspicious members. We receive spam notifications and will take immediate action!
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Hello,

    First off, My Specs:

    ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
    i5 2500K (Sandy)
    Gskill 8GB DDR3 1600
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Recently updated my bios to 2.20 downloaded from my mobo page. ASRock website says "Supports Intel's 3rd Generation CPU". It DOES NOT say that Sandy Bridge CPU's are NOT supported. So after the flash, I started to have boot problems. In rare occasions it would boot normally, but most of the time it failed booting around 5-10 times before finally booting up. Failed boot was like this: motherboard gets power, fans start to spin, but USB devices won't start and my monitor stays black. It froze there for about 10 seconds, then rebooted itself until the boot was finally successful.

    Yesterday, after opening a support ticket with ASRock, ASRock emailed me and told me that the latest BIOS should not be flashed on systems with Sandy Bridge CPU, so based on his recommendation I flashed an earlier version (1.10). Again ASRock website says "After updating this BIOS, please flash newer versions only", but I googled a bit (apparently not hard enough) and I came to conclusion that as long as you are going from and UEFI BIOS to UEFI BIOS, flashing older version would work (plus ASRock support told me to flash a lower version). I couldn't have been more wrong.
    Flashing was successful in Windows until my PC rebooted after it. I didn't get BIOS splash screen, just a black screen saying "Error! System cannot get FW version!" and code A3 at the corner.


    Now I cannot get past this screen or even into the BIOS.

    Any assistance or recommendation would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Quote Originally Posted by kswizzlez View Post
    Hello,

    First off, My Specs:

    ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3
    i5 2500K (Sandy)
    Gskill 8GB DDR3 1600
    Windows 8.1 Pro

    Recently updated my bios to 2.20 downloaded from my mobo page. ASRock website says "Supports Intel's 3rd Generation CPU". It DOES NOT say that Sandy Bridge CPU's are NOT supported. So after the flash, I started to have boot problems. In rare occasions it would boot normally, but most of the time it failed booting around 5-10 times before finally booting up. Failed boot was like this: motherboard gets power, fans start to spin, but USB devices won't start and my monitor stays black. It froze there for about 10 seconds, then rebooted itself until the boot was finally successful.

    Yesterday, after opening a support ticket with ASRock, ASRock emailed me and told me that the latest BIOS should not be flashed on systems with Sandy Bridge CPU, so based on his recommendation I flashed an earlier version (1.10). Again ASRock website says "After updating this BIOS, please flash newer versions only", but I googled a bit (apparently not hard enough) and I came to conclusion that as long as you are going from and UEFI BIOS to UEFI BIOS, flashing older version would work (plus ASRock support told me to flash a lower version). I couldn't have been more wrong.
    Flashing was successful in Windows until my PC rebooted after it. I didn't get BIOS splash screen, just a black screen saying "Error! System cannot get FW version!" and code A3 at the corner.


    Now I cannot get past this screen or even into the BIOS.

    Any assistance or recommendation would be appreciated.

    Thank you
    Haven't seen one of these problems for a while now, fortunately, but it was bound to happen.

    Please see the following thread for basic information about this situation: http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/5...er-boards.html

    It is unusual to have ASRock support tell someone "... that the latest BIOS should not be flashed on systems with Sandy Bridge CPU".

    Did they tell you anything else about solving your problem?

    There are users of some ASRock boards like yours that have flashed to the BIOS/UEFI that supports Ivy Bridge processors, while using Sandy Bridge CPUs, and their PC's work fine. That outcome seems to depend on the update method they used, and if it was done correctly. That is the Instant Flash method with the BIOS file on a USB flash drive, that is left in the PC until it completely reboots after the BIOS update.

    The Windows update method (all your board has) is questionable IMO regarding its result given your situation. The Windows BIOS update method must be executed as "Run as Administrator" in Windows, right click on the file and choose that option. Also, the Intel IME software must be updated after the BIOS and IME firmware update, you did not mention doing that.

    The main problem is the Sandy to Ivy processor support update changes the Intel IME firmware (part of the BIOS file), which interacts with the CPU and BIOS. Normally the problem with this update is the IME firmware fails to be updated, or updated correctly. That is an unknown, or mystery about what actually happens. The error message you get, System cannot get FW version, fits this scenario perfectly, although the reference to "FW" could be about the BIOS itself.

    One known fix for this problem is replacing the BIOS/CMOS chip on the board with one that has a Sandy Bridge support BIOS on it. Given your description of what the PC is doing now, replacing the BIOS/CMOS chip may be your only option.

    In the future, don't use the Windows BIOS update methods, they tend to fail more than any other method.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Thank you very much for the informative reply. I went ahead and ordered a new BIOS chip with an earlier BIOS version, Hopefully this solves my issue.

    The tech did not really tell me anything else other than the BIOS files out there for my board (2.10 and 2.20) are not for Sandy bridge processors, which is a little concerning since the download site does not really say that before downloading. The error I described in my original post only occurred after I tried to downgrade back to 1.10 through windows. The system after the 2.20 update was just unstable and there were odd cpu multiplier issues where it wouldn't go above 37, etc...maybe I did not update correctly based on the other steps with the IME firmware.

    I did use the windows flash method for both updates, but I believe there is a method within the BIOS itself that I will definitely use in the future, and try and avoid the windows method.

    I can report back once I receive my new BIOS chip and install it (hopefully that is a simple process).

    Thank you again.

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Thanks for your reply, glad I could help.

    The new BIOS chip should work, others have replaced them in this situation with success. As you know, the chip is in a socket, so just carefully remove it, but FIRST carefully note the orientation of the chip, the text on the chip and usually a white dot on one corner of the chip indicates pin one. You must match the new chip with the other to put it in right.

    When you start the PC the first time after inserting the new chip, and before you start the PC, follow this procedure:

    Do NOT clear the BIOS/CMOS after inserting the new BIOS chip. Start the PC and go directly into the BIOS, don't let the PC boot into Windows. If the BIOS chip comes with instructions that contradict this, ignore me and use those instructions.

    Go to the Exit menu, and click on Load Defaults. Don't change anything in the BIOS yet, just save and exit, and go right back into the BIOS.

    Go through the BIOS screens and see how it looks. Check if the Main screen displays your CPU and memory info correctly. Check for incorrect values for BIOS options, most should be Auto. Fix anything that is obviously wrong. Save and Exit again, and go right back into the BIOS again.

    Now set important options you use, but IMO leave the CPU and memory settings on Auto at first. Such as, if you used AHCI or RAID for the SATA mode, set that correctly. Set your graphics selection (PCIe or Onboard), boot order and whatever else you need. Save and Exit, and let it boot to Windows.

    If you installed the Ivy Bridge compatible IME software, uninstall that and install the earlier version for your CPU.

    The things you described about the CPU multipliers acting strange is exactly what happens when the IME firmware is not right.

    I also strongly suggest to NOT update to the Ivy Bridge compatible BIOS... just sayin'

    Yes, please let us know how the new chip works out!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    OK, reporting back after I installed the new bios chip...

    Unfortunately I still cannot enter the bios for some reason. I mash DEL, F2, F11, all the keys to try and enter, yet it does not load. Then my USB keyboard locks up on the screenshot I posted to this reply. It looks like it is seeing my new chip 1.10, however for some reason it will not load me into the BIOS. I have unplugged everything but the keyboard and monitor/graphics card on boot. I have not tried to clear the CMOS or anything like that either.

    I am at a loss as to what to try next, and any suggestions would be welcome.

    Edit: just looked up the Dr. DeBug code on my motherboard: it was showing A3. The manual says this is "IDE Enable", which I am not sure what that is.

    Thank you!
    Attached Images Attached Images Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.-photo-jpg 
    Last edited by kswizzlez; 09-14-2014 at 09:23 AM.

  6. #6
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Oh great, but I'm not very surprised really. Your situation is similar to having a new board/system being used for the first time out of the box, if you know what I mean. Or at least I hope that is what is happening.

    No idea what keyboard you use, but do you have a very basic wired USB keyboard, or even better a PS2 keyboard? Or one of those USB to PS2 adapters you can use with a wired USB keyboard? You want to try the most simple keyboard possible, that does not need driver support. Yes I know you have not booted into the OS, but it makes a difference.

    Also be sure to use a USB 2.0 port on the board's IO panel, not through a USB hub, and not wireless. A PS2 keyboard would be the best in your situation. I actually keep one on hand for times like this.

    This might not help, but try pressing the Reset button on your PC case. I've seen that fix new BIOS update boot loops, so might do something for you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    I am getting my hands on an old ps/2 keyboard tomorrow. I will report back. Thank you!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    OK...reporting back after getting a PS2 keyboard. All worked well after plugging in the PS2 keyboard. I was able to get into the BIOS, load UEFI defaults, reboot back into BIOS and reset a couple necessary settings like IDE to AHCI. Save and exit, and I am back in Windows, no problem.

    Another issue cropped up once I unplugged the PS2 keyboard and plugged back in my USB devices: I still get the same locking up issue upon boot if I leave my keyboard plugged into a USB 2.0 port. It works in windows, however upon reboot, the system hangs and will not boot. I tried other USB 2.0 ports having the same result. I then plugged it into a USB 3.0 port and rebooted. Windows booted normally with no issues. All seemed well until I tried to get back into the BIOS.
    Now, neither keyboard will allow me into the BIOS upon reboot. The boot sequence seems to go straight through my F2 and DEL mashing and just boots straight into Windows. I tried both keyboards to no avail...one at a time, both plugged in at the same time, different USB ports...all to no avail.

    I also tried booting without any USB devices plugged in except for keyboard, to no avail.

    I should note I reinstalled the Intel ME software from their website just to make sure that is not an issue.

    Any other ideas I could possibly try?

    EDIT: was able to get back into the BIOS with the PS2 keyboard, however same issue as above with the USB keyboard...not sure what the deal is.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by kswizzlez; 09-15-2014 at 05:36 AM.

  9. #9
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Man, you are just having sooo much fun! Glad to see you are hanging in there despite all the problems you've had.

    Your problem actually fits into my observations about USB devices, drivers, and their apparent connection to a board's BIOS. I should have predicted your current problems.

    If what I suggest now fixes your problems, that will confirm what I have suspected for a while now. I did not go into this using you as my guinea pig, but it's turning out that way in a sense. Fortunately, we are both learning things here.

    First, go into Device Manager and open the USB Controllers list, and then one at a time the Properties for every USB controller/hub. Yes there are many entries, try to find the ones that are the main controllers. You may be stuck doing the following to all of them, but at least it is simple and quick.

    What I want you to do is install their drivers again. You don't need to find or download the drivers, just click on the Driver tab, and then click the Update Driver button. Select Browse my computer for driver software, and then the Let me pick from a list of device drivers.... You should get the same driver that is already installed at the top of the list, highlighted. Then just click on Next and let it install the driver.

    When you are done with several or all of them, restart the PC.

    If the USB keyboard that you usually use has any kind of software that you installed, even if it is a Microsoft keyboard, install the software again. You could uninstall the software first, but just run the installer again. As long as the installer actually runs and does not quit because the software is already installed, that may be enough.

    Sounds a bit weird, I know, but I haven't given you bad advice yet, have I? Your keyboard should be recognized after this procedure and allow you to get into the BIOS.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Error! System cannot get FW version. A3.

    Should I unplug the keyboard and any other USB devices prior to Updating the USB drivers? I just tried it with all my devices plugged in to no avail.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •