ASRock AB350 Mini-ITX no POST when Adding SATA Card

Dec 18, 2018
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Setup:
ASRock AB350 Mini ITX
RYZEN 5
SATA Card
SATA Card 2

Note: There is no onboard graphic

***

I am running a headless unRAID server and I am trying add additional SATA ports via a SATA controller.

When I boot with the card inserted into the motherboard the server does not boot at all, it does not even show up in the router page. Unfortunately, since there is no onboard graphic and I cannot plug in a GPU since the only PIC-e slot is occupied by the SATA card, I am unable to tell what the issue is.

This is happening with just the card in the motherboard itself. No additional HDDs were added or hooked up the SATA card.

Note: I am assuming the motherboard is not POST'ing based off the fact that when I boot with SATA card in mobo, the lights(num lock) on my keyboard don't turn on and they do without the card.

Some quick facts:

  • ■Only one PCIe slot on mobo
    ■PCIe slot works because server boots with GPU plugged in
    ■I hear a boot beep when server boots normally
    ■No boot beep after inserting SATA card with no drives attached
    ■Keyboard lights don't come on when powering on server with SATA card
    ■Tried two different SATA cards, both result in no POST
    ■Boot order is set to only boot from USB BIOS-ScreenShot
    ■Legacy Boot is enabled BIOS-ScreenShot
***

Could really use some pointers on what the issue might be or how to diagnose it.
 
Dec 18, 2018
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Reporting back after "solving" the issue.

***

At first, I went the route of getting an integrated graphics CPU. To my surprise and frustration, the server booted up with the SATA card plugged in and HDDs connected.

***

After which, I got one of these PCI express slot multiplier. And again, the server booted up with the SATA card plugged in and HDDs connected.

***

After which, I came upon this post on the unraid forums. It mentions and issue with pci cards and Marvell chipsets. Both of the SATA cards I got were Marvell chipsets. However, in this post the solve is to disable virtualization in the bios. In my case, the virtualization was already disabled in the bios. So it didn't really apply to me.

***

Building on the discovery from above, I went ahead and ordered a SATA Card that was not a Marvell chipset. And to my surprise it worked!!!

***

So, I am going to chuck this up to a Marvell chipset issue...
 
You have another computer to test with? What happens if you put the SATA card into another computer? It sounds like it is not POSTing and thus you have a major fault. That major fault only shows up when the card is installed, so logically it seems that fault is with the card.
 
Dec 18, 2018
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Unfortunately, I do not have another computer at hand to test with.

But I believe it is not a SATA card/PCIE Slot issue because I tested with two SATA cards, both resulting in the same issue. And when the GPU is plugged in, the server boots up properly and I can get a display.

 
I don't think it's the slot either. It's also not a driver issue (that would be a boot issue, not a POST issue). What's left ... something with that card (both those cards are basically identical). Maybe a BIOS setting that is incompatible (can't think of why).

Or ... the computer is POSTing, but not booting. I know the Numlock will flash, but is that during POST or after ... I never paid that much attention to it. Do you have a PC speaker. With it you should hear beep codes for POST errors (probably, your owners manual does not mention it).

Do you have a friend with an AM4 compatible APU they were gonna toss? With that you can use on board video and maybe get an idea of what is going on. A6-9500 goes for $50 new ... maybe a used one?
 
Dec 18, 2018
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The motherboard does have a speaker, and on normal boots (without SATA card) I hear a single beep but with the card plugged in, I hear nothing.

***

Regularly, the keyboard lights flash and then I hear the motherboard speaker beep, so I was assuming the keyboard lights flashed before POST.

***

Yeah, I think I will go the route of "borrowing" an AM4 CPU from our friends at Amazon ;) .

Thanks for all the help! I'll report back with my findings...hopefully its not just a blank screen...
 
Dec 18, 2018
4
0
20
1
Reporting back after "solving" the issue.

***

At first, I went the route of getting an integrated graphics CPU. To my surprise and frustration, the server booted up with the SATA card plugged in and HDDs connected.

***

After which, I got one of these PCI express slot multiplier. And again, the server booted up with the SATA card plugged in and HDDs connected.

***

After which, I came upon this post on the unraid forums. It mentions and issue with pci cards and Marvell chipsets. Both of the SATA cards I got were Marvell chipsets. However, in this post the solve is to disable virtualization in the bios. In my case, the virtualization was already disabled in the bios. So it didn't really apply to me.

***

Building on the discovery from above, I went ahead and ordered a SATA Card that was not a Marvell chipset. And to my surprise it worked!!!

***

So, I am going to chuck this up to a Marvell chipset issue...
 

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