Question Asus Maximus XI Extreme RMA replacement stuck on A3 Boot Error out of the box

SteveFla78

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Jan 18, 2017
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This post maybe long, gotta divulge a little history with this board but I really could use some help trying to sort what might be going on.

When the Asus Maximus XI Extreme board came out I purchased it pretty much as soon as it hit the shelves. I ended up slapping an i9 9900k delided and binned from Silicon Lottery and pretty much for the next year it ran like a champ with no issues at all.

Fast forward to around Nov of last year (2019) I had a situation where my pc just randomly froze while I was on the internet. Upon rebooting I got a error CC on the led and saying Detect Memory. I did slap new memory in and after 2 attempts at RMA they finally spotted a bad pin. The odd thing, I was able to use the new memory for a month with no issues, actually have that same memory in my second i7 pc so its beyond me how that pin in the memory socket randomly bent, but maybe heat or something finally unpinned it.

So on the third return of my board, they gave me a full replacement one. Totally new serial, and definitely no wear at all. I am out of warranty though now and sadly due to some issues personally I was not able to slap my new board in till about 4 months later after receiving the replacement.

Fast forward till now, I finally got back home to redo my pc, and low and behold the pc tries to boot but but gets stuck at a new error called A3 which is IDE ENABLED (makes no sense seeing I am using a WB Black 1tb M.2 directly on the board by the PCI). I also get no Display at all, not in the HDMI port on the motherboard nor with my RTX 2080ti HDMI and also DVI. I also seem to have some weird USB issue where 4 different USB Keyboards won't respond, I have a feeling if I can get them to respond I could maybe hit DEL or F2 to get in, heck it could be stuck on the American Megatrends screen in A3 for all I know so I tried F1 but the lights on one of my keyboard stay lit, I can't hit the light toggle so its telling me that something is not fully connecting with the USB on front panel, nor the back because I get the same result with that keyboard.

I have tried everything, clear cmos in the back with the button, clear cmos with the power plug out and take out the battery for 5-10 minutes...still same A3 error (though I am right now waiting a few hours with plug out and battery out, but I suspect it isn't gonna get me back in and in AHCI mode like it should be for an M.2.

At this stage I thought maybe something hardware died on me, can't be the board I suspect because it seems fine but I could be wrong on that one. I ended up because of a need for a pc, taking out my RTX card and putting it in my old i7...no issue, gaming fine and seems to be not overheating at all. Then I decided to take out my M.2 and oddly my i7 will boot into the old Windows that was on the other machine with no issues, actually typing you now from that same hard drive.

To rule out memory again, I also ported the same memory to the old machine, thats also working fine. I don't have a power supply that is 1600w to test the non working pc but I did hook up a 1000w and still I get the A3 errors with a few fans not working because its under powered but tried to boot so I suspect the PSU is fine as well.

At this stage, I am lost on why this is trying to boot from IDE, why I can't get cmos to tick itself to factory AHCI mode, nor why I can't get a display or USB keyboard to activate...I suspect those kick in after A3 passes by but I am locked at that stage so I figure they are fine but just not able to get where they activate up.

If anyone has any suggestions, I am all ears...I built my own pc's for years and never encountered a new board doing this after an RMA, and I just wonder if the old issue was more than just a bent pin. The odd part, almost all the hardware works in my other machine fine, the CPU I can't test due to not having another z390 series board laying around but I just don't sense its CPU related because its not failing and just getting stuck at this initialize IDE spot.

My specs on this pc I am trying to sort out are as follows:

Asus Maximus XI Extreme Mobo
i9-9900k CPU (delidded and binned at 5.0ghz)
Asus Rog Strix RTX 2080ti
Custom Water loop with 480 rad for cpu (working fine and pumping perfect)
1tb Wd Black NvME M.2 (on the pci-also tried the Dimm extension slot...nothing)
CORSAIR Vengeance RGB Pro 64GB (4 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600)
EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 P2 80+ PLATINUM, 1600W PSU
 

jon96789

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Aug 17, 2019
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I feel your pain... i have a ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair Hero VIII board where all the USB 3.0 ports failed. I updated the BIOS and chipset drivers which did nothing. i even reinstalled Windows from scratch and the issues remained. I sent in my board back to ASUS and they returned it to me a couple of days later. The said they resolved the issue by updating the BIOS. After reinstalling the board, i still got the same issues. I returned the board again and they said they sent me a "new" board as a replacement but it was obviously a refurb. The "new" has other issues so i gave up and replaced it a brand new ASUS board. Thankfully, my new board has no issues but I am sorely disappointed in their repair process.
 
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SteveFla78

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Jan 18, 2017
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I feel your pain... i have a ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair Hero VIII board where all the USB 3.0 ports failed. I updated the BIOS and chipset drivers which did nothing. i even reinstalled Windows from scratch and the issues remained. I sent in my board back to ASUS and they returned it to me a couple of days later. The said they resolved the issue by updating the BIOS. After reinstalling the board, i still got the same issues. I returned the board again and they said they sent me a "new" board as a replacement but it was obviously a refurb. The "new" has other issues so i gave up and replaced it a brand new ASUS board. Thankfully, my new board has no issues but I am sorely disappointed in their repair process.
Yea after this experience, no matter how to the top of the list Asus boards are...which usually are rated #1...I am definitely gonna second guess my resolve to always stick with them. I think mine too is refurbished....I noticed on the back of the board a couple screws are missing from certain areas to lock down peripherals on the top. Nothing it can't live without on checking things or the reason for my issue but that just tells me someone overhauled the board and put it in the refurbished pile.

MSI here I come is all I can say, might even stop buying Asus's graphic cards as well and completely avoid them on my next build.

With that said, I do want to retain this, so I am trying hard to trouble shoot myself what could be causing this A3 issue. I hit up Silicon Lottery just in case maybe the CPU flaked out on me but I doubt it seeing its trying to post and just gets rammed into this IDE ENABLED spot. Basically from what I read, its trying to pull windows up from the old style hard drive on IDE but I am with a m.2 so it clearly needs to be in AHCI mode. Just can't get the display or keyboards to activate so its some funky situation in bios I believe. Just find it odd I can't cmos it and go back to what should be defaulted to AHCI mode. Maybe mr refurbish guy setup default bios to IDE to screw me lol...I don't if that is a thing but I feel like there is a bunch of Asus people screwing with me after a year of this bull with them.

I feel your pain too, but I am glad you got it to work finally. I am sure I can too....though reflash of bios didn't take so I am really at a loss on this one.
 

jon96789

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Aug 17, 2019
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I do not recommend MSi right now... My original board was the MSi MEG X570 Gaming Pro Carbon and the board left a lot to be desired. The biggest issue was that the board could not handle AMD's 3900X CPU as the power delivery on the motherboard was poorly engineered. The VRMs would overheat and the board would throttle back the CPU speed down to 500 MHz until the CPU cooled down. Online reviews reported that ALL the MSi MEG motherboards suffered the same design issue.

You have to wait and see what the online reviews report on the motherboard's designs and if it has any issues. I went with the ASUS Crosshair Hero VIII because the VRMs ran 40-50 degrees cooler than the MSi...
 

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