Asus P9X79 Pro - failing to Boot (error AF)

stephenp

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Hi there,

I have an Asus P9X79 Pro board with an Intel Core i7-3930K Sandy Bridge-E. RAM is G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (approved by Asus) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231507
Video Card is GeForce GTX 670.

All brand new parts for a brand new build. I initially put everything together and upon trying the first boot I got only the CPU LED light along with the DRAM_LED. Calling Asus they recommended I RAM the CPU with Intel. I did that and the new CPU gave same result. I RMA'd the motherboard thinking that must be it. Same result! Finally I borrowed a friends computer and swapped out the PSU.

BINGO... Kind of.

I can now at least get the motherboard to give me a Q-Code.
When a single stick of RAM is in DIM D1 (the 6th slot to the right the 1st blue slot on the right) I get Error code AF (Exit Boot Services Event??) and the DRM_LED stays solid. Moving the RAM to another spot gives me error 61 NVRAM Initialization.

Here's what I've tried so far:


  • Replaced CPU
    Replaced Motherboard
    Replaced PSU
    Build outside of case to eliminate possible obstructions shorting the board.
    Tried different RAM (not on the approved list)
    Tested approved G.Skill RAM in a different system (which recognized all 32GB)
    Tried holding the MEM-OK button to get it to autosetup the RAM. Flashes and reboots but ultimately stays solid. This makes me think it could be a RAM issue??
    Reseated the CPU. Confirmed no bent pins in the CPU socket.
    Tried with and without any drives or front panel connects made.
    Tried with and without GPU card installed.
    Plugged in a motherboard speaker from an old system (shouldn't there be some beeps??) It's silent.
    Confirmed the CPU Fan is plugged into the main CPU_FAN plug on the mb (not CHAS fan plug).
    The GPU works on another system and I've tried another working GPU in this system with same results.
    I've spoken gently to it and rubbed it's belly.
    I've (to the best of my knowledge) updated to the latest BIOS via the BIOS Flashback on the back of the system. First I tried the Converter since I didn't know what kind of BIOS it had. It flashed for a second and went solid. Then I tried the latest CAP version, renamed it to P9X79PRO.CAP and it seemed to load. It flashed for maybe 2 minutes before stopping. According to all YouTube videos this is correct. But there's no way to confirm since I can't boot...

What more can I try?!??

Thanks so much!

-Stephen
 

stephenp

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Looks like it's 0604.

Thanks for your help!
 
Are you sure? Cause ASUS lists 0709 as the first released version.
Try the flashback again.
Download the 1104 version, unzip, rename to P9X79PRO.ROM and save it on a FAT formatted USB stick.
Plug it in the Flashback USB port and don't satrt the board. Just make sure that the power supply is connected and turned on.
Press the Flashback button for 3 seconds.
 

stephenp

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I've used the USB Flashback on the motherboard to flash it to 4210. But again, it flashes for a few minutes but there's no way to confirm it worked. I tried the ROM converter too just to see but that flashed for only a second which led me to believe it can't read the ROM and so is already using CAP files.
 

stephenp

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I'll try it again to be sure. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm open to anything :)
 

stephenp

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There's the long string of numbers and letters (no spaces, just hyphens) which I assume is the serial number (it ends in A03) then there are 4 numbers clearly apart from the rest and are off to the right (the last numbers on the sticker) which reads 0604. This sticker shows a long barcode and is placed next to the SATA connections. The only other barcode I see is the one on the Power connection of the board and ends in CAE (no ending numbers).

If it makes any difference the board is P9X79 Pro (rev. 1.02).

I tried the BIOS version of 1104 (ROM) but only a single flash happens and nothing more. The CAP files actually light up the USB and it appears the file is downloading exactly as the YouTube videos have shown.

Thank you!
 

stephenp

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I've worked on this board a few weeks ago before RMAing it, so I honestly don't know if I ever needed to use the converter... but I must have. I know for sure I have tried it. When I try either the converter or an actual BIOS ROM I get the same result, a single quick flicker of the LED before it goes solid (on the flashback button) and blank on the USB stick. Using CAPS does the full couple minutes of transferring with constant flickering before going solid.

Thanks!
 
OK, Let's assume that the BIOS was updated. Now, I suggest reseating the CPU, checking the socket for bent pins (if you haven't already), installing the CPU cooler and starting the board (outside the case). See what error code.
 

stephenp

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I removed the CPU and looked for bent pins again- no sign of bent pins. Installed the cooler again and it is still currently outside of the case. Still getting error code AF.

On a side note, another post mentioned that there should be an audible "click" on BOTH sides of the RAM installation (not just the side with the tab). I get only 1 click and have tried multiple slots and multiple cards. If I push any harder I'm going to break the board...
 
AF with only CPU and CPU cooler installed (no RAMs)?
Try clearing the CMOS (unplug the power cord and remove the CMOS battery for few minutes / or use the Clear CMOS jumper). Then start again with only CPU and CPU cooler. Still AF?
 

stephenp

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I'm sorry, without the RAM I get code 61. I've cleared the CMOS again using both the battery removal and using the Clear CMOS button. I've left it sit for an hour last night with all power (and battery) removed.
 
You can try installing one RAM stick (test each slot), graphics card, DVD drive, keyboard, mouse and testing again, but I suggest ordering a BIOS chip and replacing the board's one. It might be a corupt BIOS.
You can find one on ebay or on ASUS eStore (if in US).
It's on socket and easy to replace.
 

stephenp

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Since it's still under warranty, is this something Asus should cover? I think I'm at the point of talking to TigerDirect about options of exchanging... but that's going to be a hassle. It's been a month now...
 

stephenp

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Well, I was excited to hear the my current RAM is on the QVL from G.Skill but NOT from Asus. But alas, I bought additional ram ($370!) to try which resulted in the EXACT same error- "AF" with a constant-on DRAM led.

I've replaced the CPU once, replaced the motherboard twice, bought an ADDITIONAL motherboard to try (Asus Sabertooth X79) replaced the RAM once, bought new RAM (on BOTH Asus's and G.Skill's QVL), replaced the PSU once, tried additional CPU fans.

What more can I try?!? Should I call Intel and ask for ANOTHER CPU? Should I scrap this system and just buy a DELL??? I built this for my editing system. Are there parts I should request a refund on and purchase different models? Should I just get away from ASUS altogether? Can anyone explain The Riemann Hypothesis? These questions and more haunt my life!!! Please someone help.

Please.

-Stephen

Please?
 

stephenp

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My new RAM is F3-19200CL10Q-32GBZHD (4x8GB). Do I have to use all 4? I've read a lot that to troubleshoot I should use just 1 stick. I tried 2 different sticks but do I have to use all 4?
 
Can you attach an internal case speaker to the motherboard? Are there leds on the board (CPU, DRAM GPU)? Is the CPU fan spinning when starting the board? You've replaced all parts but CPU? What happens when starting the board? Do all tests with the board outside the case.
 

stephenp

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I've attached a speaker to the board but get no beeps whatsoever. I was told that the QCode replaced the speaker (but the board still has the speaker leads for a speaker to be plugged into).
The CPU fan spins quietly when plugged into either the CPU FAN or the OPT CPU FAN but is very loud when plugged into any other FAN plug (I tried different ones just to try everything). I've replaced all parts including the CPU. When starting the board I get DRAM led solid light as well as "AF" error code. It's currently built outside of the case. I've tried with and without the GPU installed.
Thanks,
Stephen
 

stephenp

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Currently trying the P9x79 Pro with i7 3930K but have tried the Sabertooth X79 also.

I get no beeps whatsoever on either boards. I've tried the speaker plug reversed as well with no difference.

Intel gave me the OK to send the CPU in yet again... Another week without a system.
 

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