Question Keep booting to BIOS, QLED code A9 and/or A0

Sep 24, 2020
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Hi guys, i built my first PC few months ago and was enjoying it. Here's the spec for reference: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/jXvWGX

I started to have intermittent issue where it doesn't boot correctly. sometimes it boots to BIOS, or shows BSOD, or shows INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE error, or get stuck at ASUS logo.
In BIOS, it reads all components correctly. (SSD, HDD, Rams)
I'm running windows10 on it.
Whenever that happens, I checked QLED code and sometimes it shows A9 and sometimes it shows A0.

Here are things I tried:
  • Disassemble and clean connections on SSD, ram, and GPU
  • Clear CMOS
  • Change CMOS battery
  • Undo all OC
  • Update mobo driver
  • Uninstall latest windows updates
I have no idea how to fix this.
Please help me!!
 
Sep 24, 2020
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have you run scans on the adata NVME or the WD hdd as the drives would be first place i look with that error code.

Adata - https://www.adata.com/us/ss/software-6/
WD - (less likely its going to be a storage drive but anyway) - https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?lang=en&p=3

why use a wireless adapter when you have WIFI on motherboard already? (I know, off topic but it just made me ask)
Thanks for the suggestion, i'll give that a shot tomorrow!
For the wireless adaptor, i had that in my build list because i was gonna go with non-wfi mobo model, but ended up getting crosshair viii. I didnt buy the adaptor but didnt delete it from the list
 
Sep 24, 2020
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have you run scans on the adata NVME or the WD hdd as the drives would be first place i look with that error code.

Adata - https://www.adata.com/us/ss/software-6/
WD - (less likely its going to be a storage drive but anyway) - https://support.wdc.com/downloads.aspx?lang=en&p=3

why use a wireless adapter when you have WIFI on motherboard already? (I know, off topic but it just made me ask)
So I ran diagnostics for both Adata and WD.
Adata - It only says "Diagnostic scan is done successfully" for both quick scan and full scan.
WD - It passed diagnostic test.

I hope I'd find something wrong from those scans so I have a clue to proceed to the next step,
do you have any idea what else I can try on?
 
Qcode AO is IDE initialization has started then post moves on to detect the IDE device and hands over to the OS.
Qcode AO is not an error per say unless that is where Post stops.
I think maybe WD HDD is confusing Post and unable to detect the device.
Do you have CSM enabled in Bios?
The drive may be functional with diagnostics but something maybe wrong with cabling or support of that device.
Disconnect your WD HDD and see if the system boots without error.
 
Sep 24, 2020
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Qcode AO is IDE initialization has started then post moves on to detect the IDE device and hands over to the OS.
Qcode AO is not an error per say unless that is where Post stops.
I think maybe WD HDD is confusing Post and unable to detect the device.
Do you have CSM enabled in Bios?
The drive may be functional with diagnostics but something maybe wrong with cabling or support of that device.
Disconnect your WD HDD and see if the system boots without error.
If i enable CSM in bios, when i reboot it shows "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key" screen. I disconnected HDD and tried to reboot several times (since the trouble is intermittent, had to try it several times to make sure). Here are things I observed:

- It booted correctly one time, and when it did just whole performance got a lot faster.

- It did not solve the ultimate problem as it booted into BIOS couple times.

- One time it gave BSOD with 'BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO'

Someone from another forum said it might be bad CPU like bent pins or bad mobo, do you think it's possibility?
I wonder if there are other things I can test out before saying my hardware is bad and replacing them.
 
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If i enable CSM in bios, when i reboot it shows "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key" screen. I disconnected HDD and tried to reboot several times (since the trouble is intermittent, had to try it several times to make sure). Here are things I observed:

- It booted correctly one time, and when it did just whole performance got a lot faster.

- It did not solve the ultimate problem as it booted into BIOS couple times.

- One time it gave BSOD with 'BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO'

Someone from another forum said it might be bad CPU like bent pins or bad mobo, do you think it's possibility?
I wonder if there are other things I can test out before saying my hardware is bad and replacing them.
What you were told about possible bent pins in the MB CPU socket is possible however I believe something has gone wrong with Bios and there is conflict.
You should ensure your SSD is prioritised in Bios with the HDD disconnected. Just in case your Bios is now corrupt I would clear CMOS and reflash Bios with latest version.
 
Sep 24, 2020
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What you were told about possible bent pins in the MB CPU socket is possible however I believe something has gone wrong with Bios and there is conflict.
You should ensure your SSD is prioritised in Bios with the HDD disconnected. Just in case your Bios is now corrupt I would clear CMOS and reflash Bios with latest version.
I actually use clear CMOS button on the back to escape out of the endless booting to BIOS.. because sometimes that gets me out of it, directing me to either BSOD or properly booted PC. I also just updated BIOS to the latest version earlier today, and the problem insisted so I ruled that out.
In terms of making SSD the priority, I'm assuming you are referring to boot section in the BIOS? Funny thing is sometimes I get no boot option list item there at all, sometimes I do get boot option list items and whenever it does, I make sure NVME M.2_1 ADATA SSD is the priority. But it seems like the problem doesnt really care what I prioritised and keep giving me trouble :/
 
I actually use clear CMOS button on the back to escape out of the endless booting to BIOS.. because sometimes that gets me out of it, directing me to either BSOD or properly booted PC. I also just updated BIOS to the latest version earlier today, and the problem insisted so I ruled that out.
In terms of making SSD the priority, I'm assuming you are referring to boot section in the BIOS? Funny thing is sometimes I get no boot option list item there at all, sometimes I do get boot option list items and whenever it does, I make sure NVME M.2_1 ADATA SSD is the priority. But it seems like the problem doesnt really care what I prioritised and keep giving me trouble :/
If you have flashed your Bios correctly and left the HDD out of the loop it should, If the OS was installed correctly boot to Windows.
Upon start up you can select your boot device by using the correct function key. Common keys for accessing the Boot Menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12
The newly flashed Bios would bring your Bios back to default so it may be your CPU with bent pins in the MB socket.
 
Sep 24, 2020
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If you have flashed your Bios correctly and left the HDD out of the loop it should, If the OS was installed correctly boot to Windows.
Upon start up you can select your boot device by using the correct function key. Common keys for accessing the Boot Menu are Esc, F2, F10 or F12
The newly flashed Bios would bring your Bios back to default so it may be your CPU with bent pins in the MB socket.
I think I'm getting a little close to the clue. Here's what I tried:
  • Disconnected HDD
  • Removed all but 1 RAM stick to A2 slot (it is recommended ram config. if I'm using only one stick according to the manual)
  • Hit F8 when booting (F8 was the boot menu key)
and it doesn't show NVME M.2, but if i go to bios and under NVME configuration, it shows ADATA SSD.
It look like intermittently it's not reading my SSD as windows boot manager?
 
Sep 24, 2020
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So I think I fixed the problem.
Bottom line is i believe it was a faulty SSD.
I purchased new SSD and did clean OS install to it, with HDD disconnected and it works just perfectly fine.
Hopefully this is the fix, and wish the problem wouldn't come back!

Thank you all for your help :)
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Some motherboards don't show NVME drives in the boot order, but show them on a storage page. This seems normal.

My nvme shows as disk 1 in Disk Management, but NVME is definitely where windows is. I think its got something to do with them not being SATA>

Can you show us a screenshot of disk management? Curious what partitions on hdd are. Its possible when you installed win 10 the first time, with hdd attached, it created some boot files on it as well. Now you have reinstalled on a new ssd without hdd attached, those files are no longer used. Just a thought, but it could also just be a bad ssd.
 
Sep 24, 2020
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Some motherboards don't show NVME drives in the boot order, but show them on a storage page. This seems normal.

My nvme shows as disk 1 in Disk Management, but NVME is definitely where windows is. I think its got something to do with them not being SATA>

Can you show us a screenshot of disk management? Curious what partitions on hdd are. Its possible when you installed win 10 the first time, with hdd attached, it created some boot files on it as well. Now you have reinstalled on a new ssd without hdd attached, those files are no longer used. Just a thought, but it could also just be a bad ssd.
I did not have HDD connected when I installed W10 in the old SSD for the first time. Both my old and new ssd shows as drive1 just like yours, and HDD is drive 0. Luckily adata has 5yr warranty so i'll be getting new SSD, and im keeping new samsung evo plus ssd as my main. So i guess ill have extra storage now! I'll probably use the RMA as software install drive so i can boot them a bit faster.
 

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