Ever since new (several months ago) this build has been a nightmare. There have been many more issues than what I'm detailing here but these are the ones that are consistent:
Windows 7 64-bit, current BIOS revision (1850), all high-end components (i7 2600K, G.Skill F3-12800CL9D 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24, Corsair Pro 750W PS, XFX Radeon HD 6970, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB SSD). Once the computer boots, the system is stable, regardless of overclock.
I am now unable to run this system with both RAM sticks installed (will not boot to BIOS), any combo of slots fails, each stick works individually. Prior to updating the BIOS I was able to run both sticks but I generally removed one or the other stick for testing purposes given all the problems I was having.
When the computer starts up from cold boot (note, this also happens sometimes when coming out of sleep mode), it starts up the fans, then shuts down immediately and then restarts OK. On rare occasion, it has taken up to 4 shut-downs and restarts.
Worst issue of all is severe USB mouse hesitation when attached to any of the USB ports or any external USB hubs. It is as if the mouse battery is nearly dead or as if I am using it on a glass surface. It takes several minutes for the symptoms to appear, then I have to plug the USB receiver into another port and it is good for a few minutes more. This happens with 2 Logitech wireless mice that are fine with another computer. This issue was notably worse on an older BIOS revision but it is still pretty darn bad.
The only advice Asus support has offered is "If this is XMS rated memory please enable that in the bios". Well, ok I'd do that - if I knew what XMS rated memory was and if this RAM supported it and where I would enable it.
Are you getting the message "overclock failed" at any time?
Our configurations are fairly similar, and I (and many others) have had similar problems. Here's what I recommend:
1) Run with one stick of memory.
2) Uninstall the AI suite and any other software that can OC from Windows.
3) Clear CMOS.
4) Boot into BIOS, load Optimized defaults, make no other changes, save and boot through to Windows.
See if the symptoms have stopped. Whether they have or not, proceed:
5) Download and install Prime95 and CPUID's Hardware Monitor. Run Prime95 for 30 min monitoring temps (they are probably not an issue) with Hardware Monitor. If Prime95 reports an error (rounding), you have a memory issue.
6) Replace the first stick of memory with the other stick and repeat step #5.
** If either stick causes a Prime95 error, run Windows Memory Diagnostic (Click Start, type mem in the search box, and click on Windows Memory Diagnostic to launch.) Watch the screen all the while it is running.
7) Install both memory sticks and repeat step #5.
8) For validation, with both sticks installed run Windows Memory Diagnostic.
These are essentially the steps I followed to "eliminate" the failed overclock messages, auto-reboots, and to find a bad memory stick.
Thanks very much Twoboxer, gives me something to go on. So you've traced your auto-reboot (is this the same issue that I described?) to bad memory?
I have run multiple benchmarks and memory tests and never found a problem but I'll go through your checklist. It is possible that I received an "overclock failed" message but it wouldn't have been a common message. I haven't really had any overclock problems insofar as all the issues I've had seem completely independent of any overclocking I do.
BTW, have you ever had any issues with the motherboard failing to recover properly from sleep mode? I used to have severe problems with that ("EA" Q code) but recently and for no apparent reason they just stopped. Ironically a friend of mine built a very similar system to mine and he too had the auto-reboot and sleep mode recovery problems. He somehow fixed his but can't remember what he did to fix it, if anything! This motherboard is evil.
No, I had BOTH a bad memory stick AND Asus BIOS issues that people seem to frequently have.
If you got an "overclock failed" you would have noticed it because you need to press F1 and enter BIOS to continue.
My checklist is designed to get your BIOS back to clean stock operation, make sure NOTHING is running in Windows that can screw with it (the AI suite), and test for memory issues at the same time. If your system runs clean after that, we've got a pretty good idea what caused the problem . . . one of the things we fixed.
If not, you've got a different problem.
I don't use "sleep" . . . I turn the damn thing off. In those cases where I've stepped away for a long time, I've had problems recovering from sleep on a lot of systems, but I can't recall if this rig (see config) is anything special in that regard.
Personally, I do think the Asus boards have problems . . . somewhere between the auto settings, auto testing, auto OCing, and the AI suite. But I certainly can't prove it.
Haven't had a chance yet to try any possible solutions but I've googled the issues I've had and it seems like every single weird scenario I've encountered (with the possible exception of the USB issue) have been duplicated by numerous others. I had no idea this MB was (potentially) so amazingly buggy. The good news is that there are a bunch of possible solutions out there. The bad news is that each solution has a number of people who say it worked and a number who say it didn't. The particularly disconcerting thing is these issues (multiple booting, failure to resume from sleep) have been known since January 2011, promises were made (by Asus and Intel) to fix them promptly in the next patch/BIOS and yet 8 months later they are all still present in one form or another.
Yup! My first Deluxe was ordered 1 day after 2600k announcement . . . so it was RMA'd for the B3. So, for me, the bugs go way way back lol.
TBH, after running at 4.43 GHz for a while, I've gone back to stock. Don't need the speed for anything, I get less heat thrown off, and only one "overclock failed" in this last month. (You may have seen that some folks speculate this is a generic boot error message for Asus lol. )
Yes, your USB issue is odd. Have you checked to make sure you used the correct sockets for USB 2.0 and 3.0? I don't recall whether they are pinned the same or not.
You also have to consider the SSD. OCZ SSDs can be probmatic.
SO you have MB, Ram and SSD.
For a starter. Download the Memtest86 ISO and ccreate a bootable CD.
Disconnect SSD. Initially try all memory installed. If you have made changes t BIOS, select optimized defaults and rboot. Test memory for at least 4 Hours, unless you receive memory errors. If mem errors issolate using the one stick in each socket, then next stick and repeat. If No problems select XMP in Bios (Should spell out in MB Manual), Enable it, May also need to select profile 1. XMP will auto set the Speed/CL values/voltage per what is stored on the memory modules. NOTE many here on Tom's recommend setting the values manually, But I've had good luke with both gigabyte and Asrock using the XMP in BIOS.
Base on above - RMA MB or RAM or Proceed.
If Memory checks out OK. Load window 7 on a HDD, test Still have problems RMA MB.
No Problems with HDD, Verify latest Firmware revision on SSD. Go to OCZ SSD Forum (Note I think they deleted a large number of Complains). I think the latest revision is 2.11
If No problems with HDD installation, but Have problems with SSD, Most likely hosed untill a SSD firmware is revised yet again.
PS HAVE 2 OCZ Agility III, Fixed or not, OCZ will not see the light of day in my systems again.
Oh yeah, I learned the hard way about the OCZ Vertex 3 in my system. As if it wasn't bad enough all the other issues I was/am having with this MB, it turned out the older OCZ firmware was responsible for massive numbers of Windows freezes whenever I had a browser window open. Was that ever a fun time! Like RetiredChief, I won't ever by buying an OCZ SSD again (only Intel).
Looks like my USB issue might be related to the USB 2.0 controller on board. Once I plug my keyboard (which has it's own hub connected to the USB wireless mouse) into the USB 3.0 controller the problems seem to go away. Time will tell.
Time to start configuring a bunch of recommended BIOS settings now. Though it might be easier to just junk this MB and replace it with some kind of Intel Z68 chipset one, I'm kind of looking forward to the challenge. Thank you both.
I appear to have fixed the multiple boot issue and may have fixed the failure to resume from sleep mode issue. The latter is difficult to test because it is time dependent - if the computer has been sleeping for more than an hour, typically it would never resume properly (had to resort to cold boot instead).
Based on what I read in various threads, here are the things I did:
Uninstalled the AI-Suite from Windows (may reinstall latest version eventually)
Disabled PLL Overvoltage (this one is critical but means either a limit to over-clocking of about 4.5GHz or no sleep mode recovery - this is an Intel chipset bug)
Disabled Marvel SATA controller (that was the one causing the "No Physical Disk" startup error message)
Disabled Serial controller
Set DRAM settings manually (evidently Auto mode is not to be trusted with Asus BIOS)
Disabled all option-roms for the on board controllers, then changed setting in boot -> option rom message to "keep current"
Enabled "spread spectrum" (not "Auto")
Manually set BCLK to 100.0 (not 103 or 103.5)
Manually set Turbo Ratio to 43
Enabled all C states
Enabled power on by PCI and PCI-e
Enabled Hot Plugging for all SATA ports (especially critical for SSD drives)
Set DIGI+ VRM load-line calibration to Medium
Set DIGI+ VRM Phase control to Medium
Set DIGI+ VRM Frequency Mode to VRM Frequency Mode = 300 Khz
Set a positive offset for CPU voltage of 0.060 and all four DRAM Voltage offsets to 0.50500 (kept default of 1.8V for PLL)
Should have first done a complete CMOS reset including pulling the battery for 30 minutes and then load optimized defaults but I, umm, forgot. Also haven't yet enabled Intel XMP support Have still to tackle the dual RAM sticks issue...