Please report all spam threads, posts and suspicious members. We receive spam notifications and will take immediate action!
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query




  1. #1
    CHOLLY's Avatar
    CHOLLY is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Hi there Tweaktown-ers!


    I'm new to the forum and just wanted to say hello and post a more generalized, newbie centric request for best practices regarding system set up. The PC I am putting together is probably much more than I need, but I am trying to make it as future proof as possible, given what I will be doing with it, which is mainly day to day web browsing and a bit of gaming. My goal is to have a system which is pleasantly speedy, super stable and upgradeable as future technology allows. I am just purchasing the last of the hardware for my build(the specifics of which can be viewed in my signature line). I am confident that I have done enough research to have purchased compatible components and have plenty of power to support not only the initial build but any upgrades that I might be interested in down the line, within reason. I have also watched an inordinate amount of Youtube vids on putting everything together and don't really have any fears about that end of things. What I am not comfortable with would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following:



    1. Is it best to breadboard components outside the case prior to install, and might that include tasks like updating the BIOS on the motherboard and drivers and firmware on other items like peripherals and SSD's?
    2. Which ASRock drivers and utilities are must have's and which are not? Is it best to load these from the install disc which came with the motherboard and then upgrade as needed, or from the download page online off the bat?
    3. Is there a best order of things regarding the above? Meaning, should the BIOS be updated to the most current version prior to OS install? For driver and utility installation... Does order matter?
    4. Speaking of the operating system, one of the few items I have yet to round up is Windows. I have been back and forth between 7 pro and 8.1 pro... Any information pertaining the superiority or inferiority of one versus the other based on experience would be appreciated. Plus, either one is upgradeable to 10 for free when it finally comes out from my understanding, but we will see what it looks like first.
    5. I guess, finally, I am looking for any other suggestions on what NOT to do as I get my system up and running... Settings not to mess around with and the like.



    I certainly appreciate anyone out there who has taken the time to read this, and would appreciate even more anyone who would be kind enough to reply. I am sure I will be posting more as I go through this process.
    Intel Core i7-4790
    ASRock Z97 Extreme6/ac
    Kingston Fury Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB (OS)
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB
    Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X
    Corsair HX850i
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (OEM) (64-bit)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Atech Flas​h Technolo​gy PRO-77U​ Flash Rea​der USB 3.​0
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro
    Microsoft Sidewinder X4

  2. #2
    Britgeezer is offline Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Quote Originally Posted by CHOLLY View Post
    Hi there Tweaktown-ers!


    1. Is it best to breadboard components outside the case prior to install, and might that include tasks like updating the BIOS on the motherboard and drivers and firmware on other items like peripherals and SSD's?
    2. Which ASRock drivers and utilities are must have's and which are not? Is it best to load these from the install disc which came with the motherboard and then upgrade as needed, or from the download page online off the bat?


    If you are new to building it can help, to avoid in an out, otherwise no need. 1st thing I do is update BIOS if it addresses anything interesting

    1. Is there a best order of things regarding the above? Meaning, should the BIOS be updated to the most current version prior to OS install? For driver and utility installation... Does order matter?


    BIOS first, in fact check you CPU will with current BIOS. Then LAN and download the latest other drivers, W7 does pretty good loading correct drivers.

    1. Speaking of the operating system, one of the few items I have yet to round up is Windows. I have been back and forth between 7 pro and 8.1 pro... Any information pertaining the superiority or inferiority of one versus the other based on experience would be appreciated. Plus, either one is upgradeable to 10 for free when it finally comes out from my understanding, but we will see what it looks like first.


    W7 for me why go 8 and have the fix the GUI.

    1. I guess, finally, I am looking for any other suggestions on what NOT to do as I get my system up and running... Settings not to mess around with and the like.


    Clean install I hope.




    I certainly appreciate anyone out there who has taken the time to read this, and would appreciate even more anyone who would be kind enough to reply. I am sure I will be posting more as I go through this process.
    Hopefully I replied in italics.
    Last edited by Britgeezer; 03-09-2015 at 09:45 AM.

  3. #3
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Personally, for a new PC build, I prefer to have as few variables in the mix of things being used for the first time as possible.

    So I avoid performing BIOS and firmware updates until I know the board, CPU, and memory will POST several times without fail. Otherwise I would be wondering, did the BIOS or device firmware update fail, which makes determining what is going wrong more difficult. I want to know if the hardware works correctly right out of the box. My philosophy is, if I must fix a device as it is out of the box, it is a questionable device from the start.

    I understand the notion that a BIOS update can fix certain things regarding compatibility, which can make assembling the PC easier from the start. But if you are not comfortable or don't have experience performing BIOS and firmware updates on new hardware, IMO it is better to postpone them until the PC is running as close to 100% as possible.

    If you've never built a PC before, bread boarding it as you described will make it easier to see how things are mounted and connected, and easier to have access to them during an initial assembly. Since I have experience building PCs, I'll just build the PC about 75% complete and test it.

    There are very few single correct ways for everyone to do things, only what is best for you given your knowledge and experience level.

    Some general tips that fit into your questions:

    When you install Windows of any version, only have the OS drive installed and powered up in the PC. If more than one drive is connected and running during the OS installation, the Windows installer will put an important part of the OS installation on a drive other than the target OS drive. That's a known quirk of the Windows installation program. The problem with that is if you remove or reformat that other drive, the PC will no longer boot. That can be fixed with the Window installation media, but why not just have things done right the first time. Once Windows is installed you then connect your other drives to the PC.

    If you plan on using RAID at any time in the future, set the SATA mode to RAID before you install Windows. You can't do that easily after the OS is installed, just changing the SATA mode to RAID from AHCI will cause the PC to not boot.

    Driver installation order: On Intel systems, there are only a few things that should be done first and in a specific order. I'm ignoring using the driver installation disk that comes with a board, since I never use it. If you must use that disk, don't use the automatic install everything option, unless you want all the features and software available from the start. You can always install things individually later. Personally, I want control over what is installed, and I don't use many of the features that are provided.

    For manually installing drivers on your board, the order is (using file versions from your board's download page):

    1. INF driver ver:10.0.13 (Latest version INF driver ver:10.0.21 can be found here: ASRock > Z97 Extreme6)

    2. Intel Management Engine driver ver:10.0.0.1204 (Latest version Intel Management Engine driver ver:10.0.31.1000 can be found on the same page as above)

    After that, there is no necessary order. If your Internet connection is not working, install the network/LAN driver next. If you are using Windows 7 that does not have a full resolution generic video driver (which Windows 8 does), install your video source driver.

    Note that all the software listed under Drivers, are not essential hardware drivers at all. Even some of those that are, are not essential to all users. Things like Intel Rapid Start and Smart Connect are software features that have drivers, but are not required for the PC to operate normally. Studying the board's manuals (more than one, yes) will educate you about these things. You can uninstall things later on if you don't need it, so no damage really done if you install them.

    What version of Windows? Oy, who knows. Windows is a generic OS for everyone, or at least that is the idea. It really should be configured by you, for you. I like Windows 8.1, Win 7 seems clunky and slow to me now. But that's just me, your opinion may differ. I will say if someone must ask, they don't know enough about either one, and need to educate themselves.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Thanks for that explanation Parsec! Very valuable.
    May I ask a question or two please?

    I've often wondered when to install the chipset (and other) drivers, specifically do you install them after the basic OS installation (including the slipstreamed service packs eg win 7x64 SP1), but BEFORE allowing windows to install all the online update files (essential+recommended)?
    Or do you start installing drivers AFTER windows has run/installed ALL it wants to install from windows update?

    Secondly, I never knew windows installed info on more than just the main drive during installation...this is very alarming. Is there a quick way to fix this and eg copy the relevant files from the secondary drive/s back to the main drive, or is that futile and rather reinstall from scratch having only the main drive connected?

    Again thanks for your many invaluable posts!

  5. #5
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter Verster View Post
    Thanks for that explanation Parsec! Very valuable.
    May I ask a question or two please?

    I've often wondered when to install the chipset (and other) drivers, specifically do you install them after the basic OS installation (including the slipstreamed service packs eg win 7x64 SP1), but BEFORE allowing windows to install all the online update files (essential+recommended)?
    Or do you start installing drivers AFTER windows has run/installed ALL it wants to install from windows update?
    The Intel chipset/INF "driver" (not really a driver) installation program should be run before any driver installation programs are run, and before Windows updates are installed IMO. That is the INF driver ver:10.0.13. Yes ASRock calls it a driver, a common mistake, this is Intel's description:

    The Intel(R) Chipset Device Software installs Windows*
    INF files to the target system. These files outline to
    the operating system how to configure the Intel(R) chipset
    components in order to ensure that the following features
    function properly:

    - Core PCI and ISAPNP Services
    - PCIe Support
    - IDE/ATA33/ATA66/ATA100 Storage Support
    - SATA Storage Support
    - USB Support
    - Identification of Intel(R) Chipset Components in
    the Device Manager


    If that sounds basic and important, that's because it is. This description omits details like driver installation programs being able to identify what systems they are running on, and install the driver correctly. Windows updates can contain driver updates, so if the hardware cannot be identified correctly, who knows if the driver is installed correctly?

    OTOH, the INF file installation is not something that is flagged as super critical in documentation, and people have installed it randomly or not at all who knows how many times. But I often wonder if the strange problems I read about in forums are caused by careless INF file installation.

    Fortunately, Windows contains basic INF files for the most common PC hardware used, but how current those files are depends on the OS version. Win 7 won't have all of them for a 9 series chipset like yours, or 8 and likely 7 series chipsets too. Bottom line is, why not be safe and install the INF files, they are small files and use very little disk space.

    The main thing to know is installing drivers before allowing Windows updates to be installed does not cause any problems with the updates. Manufacture supplied drivers can and do affect the performance of the hardware they work with, providing better performance than generic Windows drivers. Why not have the PC performing as it should while it is installing all the updates?

    The slipstreamed service pack installation packages are a convenience, how well they work without the appropriate INF files, I don't know, it varies depending on the hardware. It is possible to install the INF files as part of a Windows installation, but setting that up is not simple and can't be described in a forum post.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter Verster View Post
    Secondly, I never knew windows installed info on more than just the main drive during installation...this is very alarming. Is there a quick way to fix this and eg copy the relevant files from the secondary drive/s back to the main drive, or is that futile and rather reinstall from scratch having only the main drive connected?

    Again thanks for your many invaluable posts!
    Alarming yes, and true. The "info" put on another drive is the MBR (Master Boot Record) partition, which is not something that can be copied like normal files. We don't have direct access to the MBR partition except with special programs, and even then only to a degree.

    To fix this situation, the other drive with the MBR partition on it must be removed from the PC, or really just removing the power cable from that drive, and all other drives besides the OS drive to be safe. Then boot from your Windows installation media, and select Repair, which should create the MBR partition on the OS drive. A potential problem is the other drive with the original MBR partition on it, when powered up again, may be seen by the OS Boot Loader, and appear as a bootable entry in the BIOS, or seen as a multiple OS installation configuration on the PC, and prompt you to choose which one to boot every time the PC starts/restarts. That other MBR partition can be deleted with a special program like Windows diskpart, but you must know what you are doing, so a learning opportunity.

  6. #6
    CHOLLY's Avatar
    CHOLLY is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Ok Guys

    First, many thanks to Parsec and Britgeezer for the replies... much appreciated!

    So I had time today to see if I could get my Mobo to post as suggested and have run into issues already.

    I installed the CPU and stock HSF, a case speaker, a mouse and keyboard, HDMI cable to the monitor, both sticks of RAM in the A2/B2 slots as the manual states(yes I have read all manuals multiple times now), the 250GB SSD I am planning to use for the OS in the SATA0 port, and the power supply, including the 24 pin, 8 pin CPU power, and power to the SSD. This is all outside the case.

    Inital attempt to POST stopped with error A2
    "Problem related to IDE or SATA devices. Please re-installIDE and SATA devices. If the problem still exists, please clear CMOS and try removing all SATA devices".
    I powered down, reseated the SATA cable at both ends(no help) then unplugged the SATA cable for the SSD at the board and powered up again. No more A2 error.

    Now receiving error code 99
    "Problem related to PCI-E devices. Please re-install PCI-Edevices or try installing them in other slots. If the problem still exists, please remove all PCI-E devices or try using another VGA card".
    I cleared the CMOS, powered up and am receiving the same code. The only device connected to any PCI-E is at the mini-PCI Express Slot for WiFi + BT module which was pre-installed. I went ahead and removed that, just in case, cleared the CMOS again, same code. I then re-installed the module.

    Other steps I have taken
    1. Checked that the Mobo Power connection (24 pin) is firmly connected.
    2. Checked that the CPU Power connection (8 pin) is firmly connected.
    3. Removed all but one stick of RAM, currently placed in the A2 slot, though I have moved this stick to each slot as suggested on Tom's hardware, clearing the CMOS and restarting each time.
    4. Pulled everything except the CPU and HSF to verify power and got the expected series of beeps indicating no memory installed.
    5. Re- installed just the 1 stick of RAM and got the expected d7 error for no mouse/keyboard. The re-installed just the keyboard only using the onboard Vertical Type A USB 2.0 (USB1). Keyboard has power.

    This is where I currently sit... I would mention I was looking online for anyone who had this same set of circumstances and I did come across one recent post where the following was suggested:

    ASrock Z97 Extreme6 Error(s) A2 and 99 - Motherboards - Motherboards

    "You need to update the BIOS to use the new 4th processors - you have 3 choices:
    1) Put an older 1150 socket CPU in and update the BIOS
    2) Take it to a computer shop and have them update it for you (they typically charge $25)
    3) Send it to ASROCK to update the BIOS (you will be without for 2-3 weeks)"

    HELP!!
    Intel Core i7-4790
    ASRock Z97 Extreme6/ac
    Kingston Fury Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB (OS)
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB
    Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X
    Corsair HX850i
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (OEM) (64-bit)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Atech Flas​h Technolo​gy PRO-77U​ Flash Rea​der USB 3.​0
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro
    Microsoft Sidewinder X4

  7. #7
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Third stone from the sun
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    The BIOS version is not the problem. Your board's BIOS supports the i7-4790 with all BIOS versions, as seen here in the CPU support list:

    ASRock > Z97 Extreme6/ac

    That thread at Tom's you posted is wrong. Only some Haswell refresh CPUs need a BIOS update on Z97 boards. Your i7-4790 (not a K, right?) does not need an update.

    Do you have that Atech Flas​h Technolo​gy PRO-77U​ Flash Rea​der connected to the board? If so, remove it.

    Your board has two SATA chipsets, the native Intel and the add on ASMedia. The four SATA ports at the top of the stack of ports are the ASMedia ports. DO NOT use them for your OS drive, use the Intel SATA3_0 port which is below them. Check the manual for the location. Actually, don't connect any drive to the ASMedia ports until the OS is installed. The Intel SATA ports perform better than the ASMedia, never use a SSD on the ASMedia ports.

    This board can be a pain due to the lack of USB 2.0 ports on the board's IO panel, at least before an OS is installed. If your PC case has USB 2.0 ports, connect the cable for those ports to the mother board and use those for your mouse and keyboard.

  8. #8
    CHOLLY's Avatar
    CHOLLY is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Thanks for the speedy reply Parsec

    I thought the CPU I had was supported (consulted the list prior to purchase) but just thought I would mention what I read... the web is full of mis-information.

    The only hardware connected was what I mentioned, no peripherals, card readers, DVD burners, etc. Just wanted to POST successfully as you had suggested.

    I was aware of the two SATA chipsets and, as the manual suggested, I was initially connected to SATA0, which is the first of the intel connectors. I did try moving to another one of the intel SATA ports, SATA1, but it didn't help.

    And while the I/O panel doesn't have any USB2.0 there is one 2.0 vertical type A plug on the board itself... that was what I was using for the connection to the keyboard.

    Any other suggestions?
    Intel Core i7-4790
    ASRock Z97 Extreme6/ac
    Kingston Fury Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB (OS)
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB
    Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X
    Corsair HX850i
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (OEM) (64-bit)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Atech Flas​h Technolo​gy PRO-77U​ Flash Rea​der USB 3.​0
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro
    Microsoft Sidewinder X4

  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: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Not sure if you tried this, but did you remove the video card and try using the integrated video?

    With all the changes you've done, I would suggest clearing the BIOS/CMOS before trying to start the PC again.

    You don't have any other PCIe devices besides the video card, so remove it and try using the integrated video.

  10. #10
    CHOLLY's Avatar
    CHOLLY is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Z97 Extreme6 a/c Build Advice Query

    Never did have a GPU connected.

    And, to be clear, as far as clearing the CMOS I can just use the clear CMOS button on the I/O panel, correct? Should I pull the battery for a minute?

    Is clearing the BIOS a separate task and, if so, how would I accomplish that? Didn't see anything about that in the manual... There is a switch for switching to the backup BIOS
    Intel Core i7-4790
    ASRock Z97 Extreme6/ac
    Kingston Fury Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB (OS)
    Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB
    Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X
    Corsair HX850i
    Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro (OEM) (64-bit)
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
    Atech Flas​h Technolo​gy PRO-77U​ Flash Rea​der USB 3.​0
    Phanteks Enthoo Pro
    Microsoft Sidewinder X4

Page 1 of 2 12 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
  •