ASRock Z77 Extreme 4, crashing, won't sleep or shutdown properly

My motherboard is giving me the error code on the Dr. Debug 0x03 which is described as North Bridge initialization before microcode loading. I have no idea what this means but what is actually happening is that my PC won't even boot at this point. It tries to start up lights come on, no beeps and then it shuts down and repeats this process indefinitely.
This has only started recently but another issue which brings up the code on the motherboard is when it would boot up if I tried to sleep it or even shutdown it would fail to do so and instead the lights would stay and it sounds like it's running but the screen would go black and I would have to do a hard shutdown to get it to turn off. Anybody who has any experience with this "North Bridge initialization before microcode loading" please help as I have been unable to find anything of help thus far. Thanks!!!
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  1. Take the board out of the case and boot it up with only the bare essentials meaning gpu and memory. Try thinks like reseting the bios using only one stick of ram or the other stick of ram. You ll have to trial and error it. In my experience you either have a bad board, a bad cpu(which is unlikely), a bad stick of RAM, or a peripheral that is screwing up the mix. THere have been a lot of issue reported with this board although I have one and it has yet to give me trouble, and Asrock has always been a good board for me and my customers. Best of luck.
  2. Points:

    1. Contact Asrock technical support (I have no familiarity with this code).
    2. Unhook all drives (just unhook the data and power from back of drives, including DVD)
    3. Remove and Reinsert all cables including the 8-pin CPU and 24-pin motherboard. (not the ones you just removed though)
    4. Try resetting BIOS to its DEFAULT state.
    5. Use only one stick of RAM (see motherboard manual for proper slot)
    6. Boot and run MEMTEST if possible (use USB or hook up DVD and use it. again, leave HDD's unhooked)
    7. If MEMTEST fails, repeat with a different module of RAM.
    8. If all else fails, reflash the BIOS but wait for Asrock technical support's input.

    Other:
    I see no point in removing the motherboard. That's unnecessary and a big pain.
  3. "North Bridge initialization before microcode loading" ...

    "North bridge and south bridge refer to the two support chips that make up the core logic chipset on a motherboard. The function of the north bridge is to handle communication between the CPU chip itself and with the memory bus and graphics bus (PCIe x16 & x8) controllers.

    The function of the south bridge is to handle communication between the north bridge and the peripheral buses (e.g. APM/ACPI (power management), PCI/PCIe x1 Bus, AC97/HDA (audio), SATA/USB/LAN ports, other devices)."

    - Refer Best Answer in the link
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289303-30-north-bridge-south-bridge


    http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/?cat=CPU
  4. TenPc said:
    "North Bridge initialization before microcode loading" ...

    "North bridge and south bridge refer to the two support chips that make up the core logic chipset on a motherboard. The function of the north bridge is to handle communication between the CPU chip itself and with the memory bus and graphics bus (PCIe x16 & x8) controllers.

    The function of the south bridge is to handle communication between the north bridge and the peripheral buses (e.g. APM/ACPI (power management), PCI/PCIe x1 Bus, AC97/HDA (audio), SATA/USB/LAN ports, other devices)."

    - Refer Best Answer in the link
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/289303-30-north-bridge-south-bridge


    http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/?cat=CPU



    That's interesting and something I personally already know, however I'm not sure how much this actually helps the problem.
  5. "North Bridge initialization before microcode loading", I suppose it means that the northbridge is not being initialized. It might be asking to initialize the northbridge before loading the bios, maybe. There might be a setting in your bios that refers to the northbridge or the components associated with the Northbridge.

    "The function of the north bridge is to handle communication between the CPU chip itself and with the memory bus and graphics bus (PCIe x16 & x8) controllers."

    So, is your video card compliant with your motherboard or is it (or the PCIe slot) using backward compatibility? Is there more than one video card?
    Is your ram compliant?

    It just seems to me that we need to concern ourselves with this issue of the CPU, ram, and the bus interface to resolve the problem.

    If all those parts are exactly as is specified in the specifications then the Northbridge might have a fault.
  6. Failing that, you may have a dead northbridge chip (bad board).
  7. I would suspect a bad motherboard, but the manufacturer really needs to be contacted as they would have the experience. For example, certain Error Codes mean it's definitely a bad motherboard whereas some COULD be the motherboard of another part like RAM.
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