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Assistance needed troubleshooting Z170 Extreme 7+

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sfec-eric View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Sep 2015 at 12:06pm
Well, the day finally came.  Intel has finally released some more i7-6700k processors and I managed to get my hands on one.  Now all the parts that I've been stockpiling for the last month can be put to work.

My current rig:

ASRock Z170 Extreme 7+
i7-6700k
Noctua NH-D14
Intel 750 400GB w/ ASRock U.2 Kit
2x8GB DDR4 2400
EVGA SuperNova NEX750G
EVGA GTX 780

I'm having a few issues, and I suspect I have a faulty motherboard, but since I don't have excess 6th gen CPUs, Z170 motherboards, and DDR4 ram just laying around, it makes troubleshooting quite difficult.

I have since disconnected ALL unnecessary peripherals for testing purposes to isolate any issues.  i have yet to install an OS on this setup.

My primary concern is that I can't see my Intel 750 in the UEFI BIOS.  I have tried various combinations  of BIOS versions and M.2 ports, verified power, and double checked all connections.  Is there something that needs to be toggled in the BIOS for it to recognize?  If that is not it, I am not sure if it's a problem with the motherboard, U.2 kit, cabling, or SSD.

Aside for sending parts back, are there any additional troubleshooting steps that are available?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Sep 2015 at 2:03pm
You have one of the newest SSDs, using the NVMe protocol, did you really expect it to be plug and play? Wink  It is way to early to be blaming the mother board.

Seriously, it isn't plug and play. You are also attempting to use it for the first time as an OS drive, without ever having operated it as just a secondary drive on a PC. You may need to install an OS on another drive and then familiarize yourself with the 750.

What OS are you planning on using? What OS installation media will you be using?

Have you read Intel's installation guide for their PCIe SSDs, and downloaded their NVMe driver that you should (must) install after the OS has been installed. If not, find them here:

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/23929/Intel-Solid-State-Drive-Data-Center-Family-for-PCIe-Drivers

Since you can get into the UEFI, you have passed POST with your memory, etc, so what's left is getting your 750 recognized. First you should mount the U.2 adapter board in the M2_1 slot, the top one of the three when the board is mounted in a PC case. The U.2 adapter and cable connections seem simple, so I would not worry about that at this point.

Quiz question: With the U.2 board in the M2_1 slot, which SATA ports will no longer be available for use?

Steps to get your 750 recognized:

Note: It may take several UEFI option setting changes and restarts before the 750 will appear in the UEFI.

In the UEFI, Boot screen, at the very bottom find the CSM option. It is Enabled by default. Click on it to reveal its sub-options.

Find the Launch Storage OpROM Policy option, and set it to UEFI only.

Next go to the Exit screen, select Save and Exit, and go right back into the UEFI.

Go to the Advanced, Storage Configuration screen. You may or may not find the 750 listed yet.

If it is there, great, if not continue in the section below marked with ###.

###
Go to the SATA Mode Selection option, and set it to RAID. Yes I know you are not creating a RAID array, just trust me on this. Go to the Exit screen, select Save and Exit, and go right back into the UEFI again.

Back to Storage Configuration again, can you find your 750?

If so, great, if not continue below in the section marked with ***.
###

***
Can you now find three options, one for each M.2 port, M2_1, M2_2, and M2_3?

You are specifically looking for, M2_1 RST PCIe Storage Remapping. Set it to Enabled. Go to the Exit screen, select Save and Exit, and go right back into the UEFI again.

Back to Storage Configuration again, can you find your 750? If not, let us know.
***

My questions about your OS and installation media are still important.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sfec-eric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2015 at 10:27am
Parsec,

Thank you very much for the quick and informative reply.  I was hoping this would be plug and play, but you're correct, trying to run at the bleeding edge of technology is rarely straightforward.  I guess I just got spoiled with my last few builds where everything just worked the first try.

I'm not trying to install an OS just yet.  I'm mainly just checking to see that all my hardware is actually working since I've been sitting on it for a month or so waiting on my CPU to come in.  I am planning on installing win8/8.1 once I get everything verified.  I will first be installing to a 300GB velociraptor for testing, then I'll move / reinstall to the 750 and possibly upgrade to win10 later.  I will be installing off a DVD, although I can move my ISO to a USB as well if that's the preferred method.  I believe either option will allow me to install through UEFI.

I am aware that certain M2 slots and sata express ports cannot be used at the same time.  Off the top of my head, I believe I originally had the 750 utilizing M2_1, the front panel USB 3.1 using SATA Express 2, and my optical and velociraptor using the additional ASMedia ports.  All the testing below was done without any additional ports being used.  The only things plugged into the mobo are power, cpu power, keyboard, mouse, and the U.2 kit.  I have even disconnected my case switches for additional testing (more on that later).

I have reviewed Intel's installation guide and downloaded their NVMe drivers for OS installation.

I proceeded to follow your instructions verbatim after loading UEFI defaults on version P1.70.  I checked for the presence of the 750 under Advanced/Storage Configuration after every step and it still showed up as "Not Detected".  The only time I saw a hint of the 750 being detected was after the first step of changing Launch Storage OpROM Policy to UEFI only.  Once I set that option and proceeded to the Exit screen, listed under Boot Override was INTEL SSDPE2MW400G4.

If I attempt to install the OS immediately after this settings change, I do get the chance to load the Intel NVMe drivers and see the 750 as an available drive during the win8 setup, although windows says it can't install to this drive as it may not be a visible boot device...or something like that (this may be my way in later once I get the drive prepped on a different installation...all in due time).  Upon rebooting, I never see the drive show up again, even after modifying all the settings you described.

The reason why I feel there may be other issues with the motherboard are that I can't actually turn the computer off.  I press the power button, and the computer boots right back up a few seconds later.  I figured it might be my power switch on my case, so I disconnected the switch headers from the motherboard and used the power button that's on the top right of the motherboard with the same results.  Sometimes when I power the system on, it'll fire up for a fraction of a second, the power off for 2 seconds, and then power right back on like nothing was wrong.

For now, I'm going to install win8 to the velociraptor for testing.  I will report back if there are any changes.

Thanks again for all your help!  If you were local, I'd definitely be buying you a beer right now!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2015 at 2:07pm
Thanks for the offer, I hope I helped you out a bit. Beer

I asked about the OS you will use, since only Win 8 and 10 have a native NVMe driver. You'll still definitely want to install the Intel NVMe driver, since I've read the MSoft driver has write performance issues with the Samsung MVMe version of the SM951.

I wish I had an Intel 750 to play with. I went with the Samsung AHCI SM951... two actually to use in RAID 0. Wacko I had to learn how the Intel IRST driver and ASRock UEFI options work together to get PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 array. The UEFI settings are identical to those I described to you, when using the SM951 in RAID 0.

Actually, ASRock has done that with seven Intel 750s, three of the version you have (would be my first choice) plus four of the PCIe slot models. See that on this page, about a quarter of the scroll bar up from the very bottom:

http://www.asrock.com/microsite/Intel100/index.html

Did you ever try the System Browser tool in the UEFI to see if that detects your 750?

There is another way to install Win 8 or 10 that goes one step further than simply using the UEFI (really EFI) Option ROM. That method uses the EFI bootloader with a GPT partitioned drive. The main switch to get that result is setting the CSM option to Disabled. There are a few requirements that go along with that, such as a "GOP" compatible video source (Intel integrated video is GOP compatible) and installing Win 8 or 10 from a USB flash drive. If you want to try that I can point you to some guides that will help you.

When you do install Win8 or 10, you will NOT be able to use the DVD with the UEFI Storage OpROM policy enabled. You can simply mount the DVD and send it to a FAT32 formatted USB flash drive, no larger than 32GB in size, on a functioning PC. That will become your installation media. You can even use the USB 3.0 ports with a USB 3.0 flash drive, and experience a five minute Windows installation. You cannot install Windows with that CSM option set to its default, and then change it to the UEFI option later, it won't work.

I also suggest you allow Windows to format the 750 for you during the installation. You'll be using the Custom installation option anyway to load the driver, so all you do is click on New after the driver loading screen returns to the drive selection screen. Do NOT remove the USB flash drive with the driver file on it until the Windows installation is complete.

My Z170 Extreme7+ has been working flawlessly for me since I started using it. If you are just running the board into the UEFI, to shut it down you must press and hold down the power switch on the PC case or the board until the board shuts off. That takes a few seconds and is normal behavior for this and other ASRock boards I use. Or are you doing it that way now?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sfec-eric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2015 at 10:05am
Here's an update:

I was able to get the drive prepped under a different installation, then proceeded to install win8 on the 750.  Once it was installed, Windows Boot Manager w/ Intel 750 shows up under the boot devices and it's booting fine into windows.  Under Advanced / Storage Configuration the 750 is still not showing up under M2_1, although the drive is visible in the system browser.  A little strange, but it's working, so I'm not complaining.  There's a chance this was showing up in the system browser before, I just never bothered to look since it wasn't showing up under Storage Configuration.  I just assumed it wasn't being recognized in the first place  Thanks for all of your assistance with this!  Definitely a steep learning curve, but worth the results.

As far as shutting the system down, pressing and holding the power button still powers off almost instantly from the bios, but the system still powers back on a shortly after.  Shutting down the system from Win8.1 produces the same results.  I have all the chipset drivers intalled from ASRock's website.


***Additional update:
Once I got the rest of the peripherals hooked back up, my power issues have gone away.  I saw in another thread that someone was having issues with the Front USB 3.1 Panel causing a 00 debug error.  I was getting the same error with the machine shutting down almost immediately after attempting to power on.  Almost like it was failing in POST and powering down to protect itself.  I unplugged everything external (keyboard, mouse, monitor, network, power, etc) and then pushed and held the power button for a few seconds to clear any residual static charge, then hooked everything back up.  After that, my system is turning on properly with the the Front USB 3.1 Panel attached, and my system is shutting down properly and staying off afterward.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2015 at 2:58pm
Good to hear you have the 750 and the board running well for you now.

PCIe storage device recognition in the UEFI can be very unusual with these SSDs. I'm in an even worse state than you are with my RAID 0 array of AHCI SM951s.

The two SSDs are not shown in Storage Configuration or in System Browser, when in a RAID 0 array. I of course have a Boot Manager entry for the RAID array (with a drive identification string included, instead of just "Windows Boot Manager", Thanks ASRock for this small but important update in the UEFI!)

The only thing that will show the RAID array is the Intel IRST utility in the UEFI. That identifies the RAID array and each SSD. We are in new territory with these SSDs and RAID configurations. A few bumps and glitches are to be expected IMO.

I must say you are right about the system shutdown behavior when pressing the power button while in the UEFI... on a system without an OS installation. My board did the same thing you described, restarting after releasing the power button... while I was preparing to install Windows on the RAID 0 array, for the second time (another long story.) Ouch

Thanks for the information about the USB 3.1 Front Panel device. I've never tried it since I have zero spare resources to use with it. It sounds like you did not do a UEFI/BIOS clear to solve the issue, it that correct?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sfec-eric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2015 at 11:36pm
That is correct, I did not clear the UEFI/BIOS to solve the front panel issue.  Honestly, I was too afraid to rock the boat now that I had everything configured.
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