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Problems booting with Z87-A

Last response: in Motherboards
October 30, 2013 7:09:11 AM

Hi guys,

Having a problem I hope someone can help me with. I am not new to building rigs but I am new to the UEFI setup. I recently upgraded from an old Q6600 to a new i5 4670K sitting on an ASUS Z87-A. I have transferred my drives over from my previous rig and they have never given me any problems before.

I am running 2 x 1Tb (6Gb/s and a 3Gb/s), 1 x 500Gb (3Gb/s) and a 64Gb (1.5Gb/s) Kingston SSD. I have Windows 7 install on the SSD for gaming and another copy installed onto one of the 1Tb drives for Uni work and other general stuff.

The problem I have is that the SSD will sometimes not boot when selected cause an error stating that winload.exe cannot be found. After a reboot or two it will boot into the OS without issue and continue to work. I am currently running without the UEFI and secure boot turned on as this seemed to create even more issues and I ended up losing the OS on the 1Tb completely.

All I would like is a system that boots up regularly and without issue. Is there a fool proof way of installing the OS's correctly with or without the UEFI turn on that will give me back a stable booting system? They only major issue I found with dual booting Windows 7 with the UEFI turn on was that winload.exe was changed to winload.efi and that was a little harder to sort out so would not mind leaving it off.

Other then to boot problems the system is running lovely and happily overclock to 4.5Ghz and running BF3/4 at no more them 54c :) 

Sorry if the post is a little hard to understand,

Hope someone can help,



More about : problems booting z87

a c 102 V Motherboard
a b Ĉ ASUS
October 30, 2013 7:49:08 AM

A few things spring to mind:

1) Ensure the SSD is not one that uses the Sandforce SF1200 controller. If it is, it is incompatible with the Z87 chipset. Or should I say partially compatible. The symptoms are that the drive goes missing sometimes when the system is reBOOTed. The cause is due to the SF1200 controller being non-compliant. Intel tightened up tolerances on the Z87 chipset so this issue manifests. I am shooting this from the hip in your case, as I don't know where the MBR is placed on your set of drives. There is no fix for the SF1200 controller issue.

If it's not an SF1200 drive then there are a coupe of other things regarding SSDs (or even HDDs in some scenarios): the first would be to ensure the Kingston drive has the latest friwmare. The second is that the Z87 chipset is also not tolerant of certain generic SATA cables. Anything poorly made can also cause drives not to be detected.

2) Windows loading issues can also be caused by system instability at BOOT time. As the system is overclocked, it is something that could be a cause. Sometimes a system appears to be perfectly stable in the OS, and may even pass stress tests, but there are some forms of instability that manifest this way. Losing an OS, or only BOOTing sometimes are things that can happen in these scenarios. The instability could be CPU or memory related (or even both). Setting a system back to bone stock to debug such possibilities is wise.

3) I would also update to the latest UEFI if not done so already (1&2 above withstanding). Using USB BIOS Flashback would be the best way, to avoid any corruption due to possible system instability.

a c 1644 V Motherboard
a c 864 Ĉ ASUS
October 30, 2013 7:49:58 AM

What SSD do you have? If it has a Sandforce 12xx controller that may be the problem