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  • Corrupted BIOS chip?

    • This topic has 6 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago.
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    #2391764

    Greetings all,

    My newly built computer does not start if I disconnect it from the mains 240v, I can shut it down and it starts ok but the if I disconnect it from the mains power I have to reset a lot of settings in the BIOS, including boot priority settings, to be able to load Windows.

    Soon after I assembled this machine the 750w PSU decided to break down and I suspect the BIOS chip suffered some damage. I bought a new 1000w but now can’t completely clear the CMOS (to load ‘Optimized Defaults’) even by taking the battery out for perhaps half an hour or so (makes no difference how long) some settings do change back to defaults but not all including the boot priority settings.

    Here are the main components of my computer:

    Other than that, the machine works great OCd to @5.3GHz…

    Intel Core i9 11900KF 3.5GHz (5.3Hz Turbo) 8 Core

    ASUS Prime Z590-A Motherboard latest BIOS 1007

    Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2x16GB) CMK32GX4M2Z3600C18 features 3600MHz

    Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler

    Six internal SATA SSDs 4 x Samsung and 2 x Crucial

    AMD Radeon RX 580 Series graphics card

    RME HDSPe AIO audio card

    I’ve been trying to find a replacement chip but no luck so far, and ASUS Support seems to be very slow in replying. 🙁

    Thanks for any help,

    Mauri.

    Cubase Pro 11.5 x64 with jBridge | WaveLab Elements 10 | i7 5930K @ 4.7GHz (stable) | ASUS X99 Pro | 32GB RAM | | W10 x64 Dual Boot on 2 SSDs plus 3 SSDs for samples and project/audio files | Fractal Design Define R5 case | Noctua NH-D15 | AMD Radeon RX 580 | Vox ToneLab SE | Mackie HR624 MKII nearfield monitor speakers | 2 x UAD2 Solo PCIe | RME HDSPe AIO | 2 x 24" LED monitors...
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    • #2391765

      Let me begin by saying that I am unfamiliar with ASUS motherboards.

      My newly built computer does not start if I disconnect it from the mains 240v, I can shut it down and it starts ok but the if I disconnect it from the mains power I have to reset a lot of settings in the BIOS, including boot priority settings, to be able to load Windows.

      This is typically an indicator that the battery is dead.  If you have a multi-meter, check the voltage on the battery.

      … can’t completely clear the CMOS (to load ‘Optimized Defaults’) even by taking the battery out for perhaps half an hour or so (makes no difference how long) some settings do change back to defaults but not all including the boot priority settings.

      If the battery is dead, the motherboard clock is not set.  So taking the battery out, then putting it back in doesn’t have the usual effect, because for all intents and purposes, the battery has been, and is still out.

      Have you tried resetting the system clock before you make any other BIOS settings changes?  Some settings won’t take effect if the system clock is wrong.

      Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
      "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
      "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

    • #2391769

      I suspect what you have is corruption of CMOS memory due to not following the manual.

      https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1200/PRIME_Z590-A/E17776_PRIME_Z590-A_UM_WEB.pdf

      To clear the CMOS memory. close the CLRTC the jumper as indicated in the manual.

      This action results in the “logic high” of the battery good circuit not being removed, so the motherboard can detect the logic low forced at the memory supply as an instruction to default the settings and produce the BIOS settings screen at POST. Removing the battery causes both voltages to droop, but the memory one may actually droop more slowly as it’s not running the RTC clock, which produces an illogical input defined by an analogue variability and you wonder why the result isn’t predictable in short periods of removal?

      The next thing I get to is the line “750w PSU decided to break down” – did you do a power budget at all? Lett’s make some assumptions, dangerous we all know, but we need a figure..

      Motherboard, 750W (The manual says that is the minimum so that’s where to start!), memory , add 10W (again, no information)

      CPU add 125W (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/212321/intel-core-i911900kf-processor-16m-cache-up-to-5-30-ghz.html)

      Cooler add 1.56W (yes there is a spec sheet for the cooler with information missing from details on other more expensive items..)

      Sorry I have to do something. You get the idea. You need a PSU to sustain at least 30% more than you calculate if you want it to last as that initial gulp of power will be that much bigger.

      My postulation is your PSU is too small and unstable (AKA “cheap”, “bargain”) to sustain the peaks when all that gear draws its first large breath of juice at power on, and that your patently adventurous overclocking is making it worse.

      Overclocking should be done slowly – burning in the components (especially memory) by working them hard at default settings for a COUPLE WEEKS may improve the outcomes when you nudge the settings higher. also look at the relative timings of your kit – you can speed up one area, causing another to slow down as transactions miss their timing slot. again the steps are not analogue – it hits the time slot, or misses and takes the next slot in which case you lose.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2391774

      “Oh no he’s back again..”

      ” Samsung’s enterprises SSDs use <b>1.25 watts of power in active mode and 0.3 watts in idle mode</b>. ” – assume it’s as long as its short and say six will take 10W (as yours are probably a bit adrift but the figure is tiny to what I expected) based on https://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/newsroom/news-events/new-samsung-enterprise-ssds-for-high-performance-applications-enable-low-power-consumption-and-high/#:~:text=Delivering%20the%20%22greenest%22%20storage%20solution,data%20center%20air%20conditioning%20system.

      And the graphics card can top 200W (https://www.tomshardware.com/uk/reviews/amd-radeon-rx-580-review,5020-6.html) but is a 10th of that settled doing nothing.

      So I make that a guestimate of strangely just over what your supply is capable of best case – nothing left to allow for old age or variability, let alone case fans and even decorative LED AURA RGB lights the motherboard can drive..

      What to do? Run your rig at defaults speed and see if it is stable or not. if not uinplug everything you don’t need and see if it’s better. If it is try again with another PSU (even if you have to borrow one from a local gamer).

      Run a memory test (MDSCHED.exe) and let it run overnight at minimum- any errors could indicate a memory problem as well as a stability issue. Memory issues tend to be fixed locations or bit positions, power errors seem more random.

      That done, I have checked the downloads page – the BIOS (running on the CPU) works hand in hand with the Intel management engine firmware (which runs on the PCH and is instrumental in controlling the board). If you use Intel software for this the version is apparently on the main dialog, if you use another program, could it be this firmware is out of step with the BIOS version and that is the cause of the instability? Suggest you dig around on some forums and decide what to do there.

      • #2391784

        “To clear the CMOS memory. close the CLRTC the jumper as indicated in the manual.”
        Done all that, including trying a different coin battery.

        “and that your patently adventurous overclocking is making it worse”
        Not really, with these boards it takes just a couple of clicks to have it running at5.3GHz, and it’s not getting “worse”, but I would like to make it better.

        “My postulation is your PSU is too small and unstable (AKA “cheap”, “bargain”)”
        Apologies, the PSU was a Corsair CS850M Modular 80 Plus Gold Power Supply (not exactly “cheap”…but at 6yrs perhaps old?) I replaced it with a Corsair RMx 1000x unit.

        “And the graphics card can top 200W” Yes, but I use the machine purely for audio production which is all 2D graphics wise, no games or funny little lights.

        “So I make that a guestimate of strangely just over what your supply is capable of best case – nothing left to allow for old age or variability, let alone case fans and even decorative LED AURA RGB lights the motherboard can drive.”
        I have the Noctua cooler, whis is hardly working, and two case fans, you can barely hear them even under heavy loads.

        “What to do? Run your rig at defaults speed”
        The problem is I can’t revert the BIOS back to defaults, when I try that it only partially works, the “target” RAM and CPU speeds do not change after running that option and rebooting.

        I don’t want to waste anyone’s time here, I just would like to know if someone can steer me to where I can get a replacement BIOS chip for this board, not as easy as you may think. I can possibly/likely fix this issue for a few bucks.

        However, thank you ‘old guy’ and bbearren for your comprehensive replies,

        Stay well,

        Mauri

    • #2391799

      PSU wise Corsair are usually good but that doesn’t mean every one they make is faultless.

      If the BIOS won’t auto to the default speed try the values on the CPU data page.. and remember that information is fed through the SPD bus to and from the chipset when you read further down.

      I Don’t think you’ll get a BIOS chip in the form you expect (It’s likely to be a tiny 8 pin affair soldered down under the heatsink bottom right looking at the pictures.) and a new motherboard would be the only way to fix the issue IF that is the problem as the BIOS chip also holds other information pertinent to the board.

      Yes, the incomplete reset could indicate the BIOS setting tables could be corrupt, but it seems unlikely that would happen and leave the machine able to boot and run Windows. I’ve even had a memory module cause this sort of weirdness (and a non running CPU fan, in a laptop chassis..) and that was because the data it presented on the SPI (latterly SPD) bus was incorrect (that’s the bus connecting the tiny six or 8 pin module on the end of the memory – holds the memory information as read by CPU-Z and the like. Maybe you could check your report matches someone else with the same board in case something is being mis-read on that bus?

      Perhaps your Windows installation’s drivers could be upsetting the firmware. If you unplug all the drives and boot the board only to the “failed to boot” condition, that will force the UEFI BIOS into a HSTI fail state (which should also return items like the boot menu and clear the UEFI state registered which might help it make sense of the situation as you can at least rule that out.

      If that works and the power button acts normally, see if you can load defaults and if so try Windows again and see if it puts the fault back (or maybe it’s gone away..). If it still won’t load defaults try swapping in any other suitable graphics card, or memory, or each memory module in turn to see if any combo enables this as it might illuminate a component with problem SPD information. This might help explain where the last two steps may touch on the problem and BIOS update issues:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Peripheral_Interface#Intel_Enhanced_Serial_Peripheral_Interface_Bus

      If the BIOS is beyond repair anyway perhaps try the BIOS update and firmware update again just in case as these processes work “block wise” on the flash and it might take.. the hard part is most updates check the existing version and may not reapply the update.

      As to the original PSU, MTBF is 100000 hrs which is impressive – but it doesn’t mean every one lasts that long, in fact half of them do. I think it was just not up to the task required. https://www.corsair.com/uk/en/Categories/Products/Power-Supply-Units/cs-series-config/p/CP-9020086-UK#tab-tech-specs

      Finally one old guy tip, not in the manual (and hasn’t been in any manual for a decade or two) for this one but might just still work so worth a go.. on really old machines if you pressed “insert” instead of “delete” during POST it loaded default values as opposed to entering setup. Any port in a storm..

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2391801

      I’ve built over 50 computers with nothing but ASUS motherboards since the late 1980s or so.

      Clearing everything is quite simple:  The CLRTC connector needs to be briefly shorted.  On my current B550M-K, the instructions indicate to turn off the power, use a screwdriver or whatever to short the two pins then turn on the power again.  It should force you to BIOS setup when it starts.  If not, the key will do it.

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