Question 2 1/2 year old Intel Z270 build won't get through post (Asus Maximus IX Hero, i7-7700k, DDR4 3200, GTX 1080ti)

Oct 5, 2020
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Ran into a little problem with my current build. I've been building systems for over 25 years and I'm not sure what exactly may be wrong here. I've been pretty lucky with hardware over the years and usually when something goes wrong it's fairly obvious, and I currently lack spare parts to swap out in order to test. It's pretty obviously either the CPU, motherboard or memory, but exactly what I'm not certain of. I've been building AMD systems for years and decided to go Intel for the first time in nearly 20 years so I lack the parts needed to test many of the components save for an old video card from my last build that I can use.

Z270 Asus Maximus IX Hero
i7-7700k
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4 3200mhz (2x8)
MSI GTX 1080ti
EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2 850W
Thermaltake Water 3.0
PNY CS1311 480GB SATA SSD
Windows 10 OS

The issue began when I attempted to wake up my system. My screens immediately turned on from sleep mode but both screens were black with the white Windows pointer on the screen. Windows didn't respond to any commands so I hit the reset button and tried to reboot, getting stuck in POST with the DRAM LED turning on and halting at code 32, "CPU post-memory initialization" before seemingly resetting the POST and getting stuck in this loop. For visual reference I took a video below in order to see the loop it's stuck in.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfJOpK5-_a4


First thing I did was start and strip down the system. Took the video card out and tried the onboard video. Next I took out the RAM, testing each stick in slot A2 as per the manual instructions for one stick, then attempting all the slots, alternating sticks for giggles to no avail. Next I tried popping out the CMOS battery for a while, no effect, then tried used their BIOS flash USB update feature in order to update to the most recent BIOS and nothing changed. I suppose the next thing to do is pop out the CPU and check for physical damage but I'd like to see what professionals think before I do this.

The system has been stable for 2 years. The only problem I ever had was in the first two months the motherboard died and I had to RMA it but since then it has been silky smooth. Worth noting the system has not ever been overclocked and I've had no cooling issues what so ever.

Thank you for your time!
 
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boju

Titan
Ambassador
Hmm it is very unlikely that both ram sticks are shot and trying each dimm slot would have showed something on screen, at least with one of them despite A2 being for single ram configuration. People often use A1 by mistake and usually does work.

Probable that the ram is fine. But if you can get your hands on another stick from a friend? Just to completely rule that out. The cpu's memory controller might be suspect, no way of knowing unless drop in another processor, cheapest model you can find, possibly Pentium G4650T.

https://www.newegg.com/intel-pentium-g4560/p/N82E16819117743
 
Oct 5, 2020
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Hmm it is very unlikely that both ram sticks are shot and trying each dimm slot would have showed something on screen, at least with one of them despite A2 being for single ram configuration. People often use A1 by mistake and usually does work.

Probable that the ram is fine. But if you can get your hands on another stick from a friend? Just to completely rule that out. The cpu's memory controller might be suspect, no way of knowing unless drop in another processor, cheapest model you can find, possibly Pentium G4650T.

https://www.newegg.com/intel-pentium-g4560/p/N82E16819117743
I was thinking something similar, that it's unlikely that the two sticks would die at the same time. I don’t have anybody close to me that uses that type of RAM but I'm going to open it up to my social media and see if any friends have an old stick I can borrow.

Thanks for the processor suggestion, if I have to order one to test that would be a good cheap one to order.

How old is that P2 power supply? Does it pre-date the rest of the system?

I'm going to assume you meant "turned on from sleep mode" and not "turned on from safe mode".
The power supply is from the current build so June 2017. I tried powering the CPU through one of the other leads but I did not swap out the cable. I should try that too if I have an extra cable. I doubt any old power supplies I may have are compatible but I'll have to check.

I did mean sleep mode, good catch! I will edit that now as to not confuse anybody else who may chime in. Thank you!
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Whatever you do, don't use cables from another power supply with any power supply that isn't 100% confirmed to use the same cables. And in some cases, one model, even from the same manufacturer, even within the same series, might use SOME of the same cables, while others are different. Some Corsair AX and AXi power supplies, for example, even within the same AX or AXi (And others) families use a variety of different type 3, type 4 and unrelated type 24 pin ATX cables while the rest of their cables are the same pinout.

Between brands, it's a bad gamble for sure. I recommend to not ever use any cables that did not either come with the unit or were not ordered expressly FOR that unit, to avoid any chance of a bad day scenario.

For the sake of clarity, what, exactly, did you mean by "tried powering the CPU through one of the other leads"? WHAT other leads did you try, and where did you try them AT? I'm sure you know what you are doing, but it is a question I have to ask because I've seen even some relatively experienced builders do some pretty off the wall things over the years.

I would check VERY closely for even the most MINUTE leak anywhere near or on the motherboard from your AIO cooler. Even a single drop of water on the wrong spot could cause serious problems when powered up.

It might also be a very good idea to simply bench the board with minimal hardware as outlined here:


 
Oct 5, 2020
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For the sake of clarity, what, exactly, did you mean by "tried powering the CPU through one of the other leads"? WHAT other leads did you try, and where did you try them AT? I'm sure you know what you are doing, but it is a question I have to ask because I've seen even some relatively experienced builders do some pretty off the wall things over the years.

I would check VERY closely for even the most MINUTE leak anywhere near or on the motherboard from your AIO cooler. Even a single drop of water on the wrong spot could cause serious problems when powered up.

It might also be a very good idea to simply bench the board with minimal hardware as outlined here:


I don't work in the industry but I've built probably 30+ systems over the years for friends and family so I'm calling myself a hobbyist and certainly not a professional. I may have used some improper terminology and for that I apologize. Every time I build a new system I have to relearn some of this stuff so forgive my sloppy descriptions.

In regards to the second lead, I meant that my PSU had a second connection option for the CPU. I assume it's the same 12V lead just another connection option. The PSU is modular and came with quite a few extra cables including a second 8(4+4) pin CPU connector so I'm going to try swapping them out in the morning. I'm linking my PSU below for reference.

https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Supernova-Platinum-Warranty-220-P2-0850-X1/dp/B010HWDOH6/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

I don't see any leaks in the water cooler but I will make sure and inspect it much closer in the morning. I'm going to do exactly as you suggest and bench the board tomorrow and see if I can get to the bottom of this. I was hoping to avoid taking it all apart but I don't seem to have any choice in the matter now.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Ok, yes, that lead is fine. I figured you meant a secondary EPS 12v 4+4 connector but we OFTEN see people try to cram the PCIe 6+2 connectors in there, so you never know unless you ask.

I think having to bench it is a foregone conclusion at this point and even though you have a relatively high quality power supply, don't rule out the possibility that it might be the source of the problem.
 

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