ASrock z68 Extreme 3 boot loop A3 code

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510
Hi, I just purchased an ASrock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 mobo, i3 2120 and a set of 2x4 DDR3 Gskill ripjaw RAM. I am using a Corsair GS600 psu and seagate HDD along with a windows 7 boot disk. After setting the system up it has been stuck in a boot loop where it gets to the windows splash screen then restarts. It will not boot into safe mode (gets stuck on CLASSPNP.SYS), will not boot into windows install as it restarts after the windows is loading files screen, it will not even boot in mini XP from Hiren's 15.1. I am breadboarding the system and still no luck. If it helps the board LED is throwing an A3 code. (detect ide)

I have tried the following:
Switched out PSU
Switched RAM
Switched HD
Reseating RAM/CPU/PSU connections
Memtest from Hirens
Clear CMOS
Set defaults in BIOS
Flash BIOS update

I am very close to RMA it to Newegg, but was looking if I could get any help before going through the hassle.
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510

I changed it to ahci still no luck. There is IDE, ahci and raid in the settings
 

omega21xx

Distinguished
Jan 21, 2012
863
0
19,060
hmm... that is what worked for me on my motherboard... Have you had any issues with the HDD previously? I had a drive that was failing before i knew it and it would install windows but get stuck during start up, or if it started up it'd freeze or hang up.
 
I just wanted to give some input...

The Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 series motherboards have had known problems (BIOS functioning incorrectly, warped/thin motherboards, etc). I try to steer people away from them.

There are some people that can get that exact board and never have problems, where others will have problem, after problem.
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510
Thanks for your replies. I have had a problem with one of the hard drives before but the other I have I know works. I am using an onboard VGA connection but still stuck in a boot loop. I am going to RMA next week if I cannot get it to work over the weekend. Perhaps I will go with a different brand to avoid a problem like this in the future.
 

omega21xx

Distinguished
Jan 21, 2012
863
0
19,060
This usually wouldn't affect anything but do you have the problem HDD plugged into the computer? Doesn't have to be the boot drive, i've seen a bad hard drive keep a computer from booting once before without being the windows or boot drive.
Gigabyte and asus tend to have the best QA and least DOA boards and issues.
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510


an installation DVD. yes the HDD had windows previously installed but I cannot even get to the repair option during the installation process, it does not get past the windows splash screen after windows is loading files
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510

It crashes even without the HDD connected, running off of Hiren's Boot CD in mini xp, I was able to use the DOS programs though.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
Did you choose to reformat the HDD before trying to install the new Windows? Possibly, the old installation on the HDD was formatted in MBR (msdos table) and the install disk is wanting to newly install to gpt partition table (for uefi).
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510

Hmm I was going to format it in the windows setup, but I'll try to format it off of my brothers machine and see if that will lead to anything
 

omega21xx

Distinguished
Jan 21, 2012
863
0
19,060


^+1 to avoid errors like this you should always do a fresh install/format.
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
Yeah. Don't create any partitions, just wipe the drive and create the gpt partition table. Windows needs to create a small efi partition as the first for it's bootloader and uefi info. I believe it needs to be set to AHCI mode also for uefi install, not certain though.
 

omega21xx

Distinguished
Jan 21, 2012
863
0
19,060
It doesn't need to be but in most cases AHCI is the best mode for uefi boards. It also has more features than the older standards so it's better to have that set regardless unless you have older drives that don't support ahci.
 

luke92

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2012
8
0
18,510

Connector 0, and the format could be the problem however it does crash without the hdd connected like you said
 

omega21xx

Distinguished
Jan 21, 2012
863
0
19,060


So, if you were to use a linux boot cd/dvd with nothing except the essentials (no hdd's ect) it'd crash? if so that'd definitely be a motherboard or ram problem. What error comes up on the debug led when you have no hdd plugged in and try booting off usb/cd?
 

spankmon

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2011
477
0
18,860
Just some suggestions. Connect the optical drive to a sata2 connector, set it's mode to ide. If the HDD is sata2 it can also be connected to the black connectors. Don't know if you can make it AHCI separately from the ide mode used by the dvd drive. Save the sata3 connectors for something important like a ssd. I think connector 0 is shared with the eSata port on the back panel, so using one will disable the other. Again, not certain though.