[SOLVED] Computer Booting Very Strangely

Apr 26, 2019
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I should preface this by saying that I'm not very experienced with PC building, so you'll have to forgive my ignorance.
I recently moved and had my PC shipped with the rest of my things (first mistake), and when it arrived and was all hooked up, it didn't turn on upon pressing the power button. I called up a buddy of mine who knows a bit more than I, and we worked through what we thought it could be, to no avail. (It's also worth mentioning that many things were plugged and unplugged during this time, as well as my CMOS was reset) I got another friend to come look at it, and after viewing the error code the motherboard showed (4C) and looking through the manual, we decided to take out, repaste, and put in the CPU again, as well as switching the RAM sticks to slots 2 and 4, not 1 and 3 like they were in before, per the manual's recommendation. After this, we could successfully turn on the computer and get into BIOS by pressing the power button on the motherboard, not the case.
It was only after he left that I spotted the cable for the case's power button just hanging around in the case unconnected, and after slapping my forehead 90 times in rapid succession, I reconnected it and the case power button worked again (who would've thought...) And I now suspect that this had been, in fact, an issue for most of the time I was trying to fix it, but it still doesn't explain the error code we got initially.
But herein lies the problem: Now, whenever I turn on my computer, it goes straight to a CMOS screen, and gives the option to boot normally or run BIOS, and while it's booting, it shows many error codes briefly, like 4C, 3A, and 9C, as well as error code A2 most consistently. My PC runs perfectly fine once booted, but the error code and very slow booting process worries me and is, at the very least, annoying. Now I'm not sure how to proceed, or really what my best options are to deal with it, but I suspect that the error code is linked to the switching of the RAM slots. I welcome any and all advice on the matter, and let me know if you need any more information on my rig or any procedures I went through. Thanks!

Hardware:
Motherboard
- ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming K6 LGA 1151 (300 Series) Intel Z370 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX Intel
CPU- Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core 3.7 GHz (4.7 GHz Turbo) LGA 1151 (300 Series) 95W
Graphics- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 08G-P4-6684-KR 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X PCI Express 3.0 SLI
RAM- CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM 2666 (PC4 21300)
SSD- SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 500GB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal SSD
HDD- WD Black 2TB HDD - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 64MB Cache
Power Supply- CORSAIR CX750 CP-9020123-NA 750W ATX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Non-Modular
Case- Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower with Upgraded USB 3.0
The OS is stored on my SSD, not my HDD
 
Now that its working have you tried putting the ram back in the 1 and 3 slots? (try just one stick of ram in the 1 slot, if that doesn't work, try the other stick in the one slot)

Sounds like something was damaged during shipping, testing part by part is the best way to try and find the damaged part.
 
I lean towards a memory problem and have moved your post accordingly.

However, it is not real clear about how you swapped the RAM modules: Slots 2 and 4 being recommended by the User Manual correct?

Do you know if the RAM modules where actually a matched pair for dual channel?
 
Apr 26, 2019
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To clarify, the reason I put this under Storage problems was because the error code A2 corresponds to IDE or SATA devices, but you were correct in moving my post based on the description I provided, as well as the independent variable here being the RAM slots.

@R4DIO4CT1VE that was the next step I was considering trying but didn't want to commit to doing so yet, as the space is a little cramped, if I want to put anything into or remove from RAM slot 1, I have to remove the CPU fan. But if it seems like it's the most likely fix then I'll pull out the goo gone :)
@Ralston18 I've been running this computer with the RAM in slots 1 and 3 (or as the manual calls them, slots a1 and b1) for about a year and a half with no problems. After I received error code 4C I switched the RAM to slots 2 and 4 (a2 and b2), after consulting the manual for my motherboard, which I interpreted as stating that slots 2 and 4 had greater priority than slots 1 and 3.
 
Does the following link present the User Manual for your specific Motherboard?

http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/Manual/Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming K6.pdf

Just need a common reference point document. RAM slots 2 & 4, for example, would be my choice with two matching modules.

In any case, apply the User Manual as a checklist for all current connections and configuration settings. Starting on Page 21.

If there was a lot of "plugging and unplugging" some connection may be incorrect or otherwise misaligned in some manner.

Then consider a "do over" and clear CMOS per Page 20.

Take your time, be methodical and careful. Keep notes on what you change and why.

Recommended reading from within this Forum:

https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/troubleshooting-problems-with-pc-memory-ram-and-xmp-profile-configurations.3398926/
 
Apr 26, 2019
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That is most definitely my manual. Looks like I've got a couple things to try, the first among them being moving the power, reset, and HDDLED cables to their recommended spots. Thank you for the sound advice. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
Apr 26, 2019
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Update @Ralston18 looks like when that buddy of mine and I were checking connections and replugging stuff, one of us plugged in an LED cord to the CMOS reset switch. So each time I powered on my computer, the CMOS was getting reset inadvertently. BIzarre. But it runs like a dream now. Your advice to more thoroughly check the manual and that forum were invaluable, thanks.
 

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