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Thread: Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]




  1. #1
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    Default Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]

    Hi there! Hoping this community can help me out with a problem that has thoroughly stumped me.

    I have a Z68M-ITX/HT paired with an i3-2100 CPU. I also have a Z68 Pro3 M motherboard.

    Problem: Board does not boot after posting. It will either reset or to a black screen with a blinking white cursor in the top left. Motherboard doesn't have a PC Beeper header so I can't pull any diagnostic codes out of it.


    Troubleshooting already performed:
    • CPU socket does NOT have any bent pins.
    • Multiple PSUs and RAM stick combinations have been tried and are all properly connected.
    • Disabled all on board devices in BIOS (Ethernet, SATA, USB2, USB3 [depending on what I was trying to boot], Audio) to see if they might be preventing boot.
    • Nothing but a keyboard or USB flash drive plugged in to USB port. Have tried to boot with nothing plugged in.
    • Motherboard recognizes all SATA and USB ports in BIOS / F11 Boot Menu.
    • BIOS can be flashed via Instant Flash.
    • Interestingly, the BIOS chips can be swapped between the Z68M-ITX/HT and the Z68 Pro3 M, and the 1.20 BIOS ITX chip SUCCESSFULLY boots the Pro3 M.
    • Tried IDE, AHCI, and RAID HDD SATA modes.
    • Motherboard does not have any physical damage that I can identify.
    • 2.20+ BIOS (Ivy Bridge support) causes me to be unable to boot into BIOS. Flashing back to 1.20 works fine for BIOS access, but again no boot on the ITX.


    Any ideas?

    I may try a different CPU if I can get my hands on one.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]

    Your Z68M-ITX/HT won't boot... into what?

    Is this a new setup with a new Windows installation? Or is this an existing system that started having problems? Or is the board new but connected to an existing OS installation? What OS would that be?

    Has this board ever booted a Windows installation?

    Using onboard graphics or a video card? What PSU and memory is being used? Very little hardware detail given.

    Changing SATA modes on an existing Windows installation is not a good idea, and could make things worse.

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    Default Re: Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Your Z68M-ITX/HT won't boot... into what?

    Is this a new setup with a new Windows installation? Or is this an existing system that started having problems? Or is the board new but connected to an existing OS installation? What OS would that be?

    Has this board ever booted a Windows installation?

    Using onboard graphics or a video card? What PSU and memory is being used? Very little hardware detail given.

    Changing SATA modes on an existing Windows installation is not a good idea, and could make things worse.
    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

    The board was previously booting Windows 7, but was decommissioned and put in to storage. For purposes of this debugging I'd consider this the first time the board is being used.

    Boot Devices Used - All go to blinking cursor screen after UEFI:
    • Existing Windows 7 x64 MBR drive, originally set up on thew Z68 Pro3 M
    • Optical Drive with Windows 7 installation disc
    • USB drive with DOS
    • USB drive with Ubuntu Live
    • USB drive with Windows 7 installation image


    GPU Used: Both display the UEFI setup screen, and then the blinking cursor:
    • i3-2100 iGPU
    • GTX 770


    PSUs Used:
    • 150W PSU built in to the Antec ISK300-150
    • Corsair CX430


    RAM Used - One DIMM at a time:
    • 1.35V G.Skill 2GB DIMM
    • 1.5V Kingston 8GB DIMM
    • 1.5V Samsung 4GB DIMM


    All of this hardware was tested on the Z68 Pro3 M and worked fine.

    The BIOS chips were swapped between boards as well and the Z68M-ITX/HT could not boot (blinking cursor) with either chip, with any BIOS version.

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]

    Swapping the BIOS chip does not indicate anything IMO, personally I would never do that.

    The existing Windows installation, even with an identical chipset but from another board, has a small chance of working. The Windows registry and chipset INF file installation is not all valid, given the differences in the boards that exist. A non-native Windows installation on a system is always questionable.]

    The Z68 Pro3-M PC worked with the 150w PSU? While adequate for a system at idle without a video card, booting it is another story.

    Have you checked the boot order when using any of the boot device and media you tried? The only USB ports that will be useable without drivers installed will be the USB 2.0 ports on the board's IO panel.

    Most of all, flashing to the 2.20 Ivy Bridge compatible BIOS could have really caused the most damage. Assuming it completed correctly, that update changes the Intel Management Engine firmware that is part of the BIOS file, to the Ivy Bridge processor version. Flashing to the 1.20 BIOS does not change the IME firmware, that kind of BIOS update is very unusual.

    Given all the things you have done, I'm at a loss about the current state of that board.

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    Default Re: Z68M-ITX/HT successfully posts, but won't boot any devices. [Blinking Cursor]

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Swapping the BIOS chip does not indicate anything IMO, personally I would never do that.

    The existing Windows installation, even with an identical chipset but from another board, has a small chance of working. The Windows registry and chipset INF file installation is not all valid, given the differences in the boards that exist. A non-native Windows installation on a system is always questionable.]

    The Z68 Pro3-M PC worked with the 150w PSU? While adequate for a system at idle without a video card, booting it is another story.

    Have you checked the boot order when using any of the boot device and media you tried? The only USB ports that will be useable without drivers installed will be the USB 2.0 ports on the board's IO panel.

    Most of all, flashing to the 2.20 Ivy Bridge compatible BIOS could have really caused the most damage. Assuming it completed correctly, that update changes the Intel Management Engine firmware that is part of the BIOS file, to the Ivy Bridge processor version. Flashing to the 1.20 BIOS does not change the IME firmware, that kind of BIOS update is very unusual.

    Given all the things you have done, I'm at a loss about the current state of that board.
    Swapping the BIOS chips was more or less to check if the physical chip was damaged. Because it booted the board and was fully operational I don't believe it is the culprit.

    The 150W PSU was never loaded with the GTX 770, only an i3-2100, which it is more than sufficient for.

    I did play around with the boot order some to no effect, and though I tried booting the USB3 ports in addition to the USB2 ports I expected they would not work.

    The BIOS update did originally flash, reboot, then flash the ME firmware. It wasn't interrupted so I don't think there was an issue. Did it write to something aside from the BIOS chip?

    Honestly it seems as if there is an issue with the PCH, or at least that's the only thing I can think of. Flashing the BIOS back to 2.20 and using an Ivy Bridge CPU to test is the next logical step in debugging, but I don't have one handy.

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