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ASRock Extreme7 Gen 3 a3/a6/a9 error won't post/reach bios

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January 30, 2012 11:43:10 PM

ASRock Extreme7 Gen 3 a3/a6/a9 error won't post/reach bios

Finished putting my system together two nights ago and I have a problem:

(1) The monitor receives no signal

(2) The Dr Debug panel displays error "A3" and then all the MoBo lights go out (although the fans keep running)

(3) If I hold down "F2" while restarting, the Dr Debug panel displays error "A3", then "A9" then "A6" and stays there

The difference between (2) and (3) made me suspect its a display problem (and possibly reaching BIOS but I can't see it?).

The following makes no difference (including with a CMOS clear each time):
-Removing all the GPUs and just using the on-board video
-Removing everything except the MoBo, CPU and one stick of RAM
-Trying each of four different sticks of RAM
-Removing all of the system panel header connections and just working off the MoBo power and reset switches
-Checking all power cords are seated (and I have both the 24 pin and 12 pin connected) at both ends
-Checking no stray cords touching the MoBo
-Running the system (via a UPS) off one dedicated wall outlet and the monitor off a separate wall outlet
-Removing all the RAM results in the right error, so I don't think its a RAM error

(And I understand that once a I get to the BIOS I need to change the factory default IDE setting to AHCI.)

The only things left I haven't tried are (1) using a VGA cable rather than a DVI cable between the on-board video and the monitor in the bare-bones state (although I did try that earlier with the full build) and (2) bread-boarding it.

Dr Debug "a3" relates to the IDE setting, "a6" to SCSI detection (and I believe "a9" to system startup ).

Need some serial numbers to RMA so I have tonight to try any suggestions but given it won't post or reach BIOS with just the MoBo, CPU and one RAM, I think it must be a bad board?

Base-bones System
ASrock Extreme7 Gen 3
i7 2600k
G.Skill 2133 MHz 16GB (all together and down to just one stick - I tried all)
HAF X
Corsair 1200W Gold

Monitor and cables work with other systems.

Does anyone have any suggestions? It seems there are a number of people who get an a3/a6 error, but once they change the IDE setting to AHCI in BIOS they are fine - whereas I can't even get to BIOS.
a c 435 V Motherboard
January 31, 2012 12:12:26 PM

Have you unplugged the power supply and let the board sit for awhile with the board battery removed? Otherwise, I would suspect a ram issue. Some of those high end ram sticks won't run at the board default settings. Also be sure the cmos jumper is in the correct position. Some board manuals have it backwards, but it's rare. If you rma the board back to the vender, I recommend biostar. Never had a ram issue with any of their boards. They always post for me regardless of the ram brand or speed.
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January 31, 2012 8:50:18 PM

For anyone else suffering the same problem, it worked when I used a VGA cable rather than a DVI cable.

Who'd a thunk it?!

(Apologies to B. Hicks)
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a c 435 V Motherboard
January 31, 2012 8:52:15 PM

I would try a different dvi cable. Otherwise, you may want to rma the board. I sent mine back in for bad static and low resolution on the dvi; cost about $11 by priority mail, and biostar sent me a new one in nine days.
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January 31, 2012 8:52:48 PM

(And, once I had monitor output, I then had to change the default video setting in the BIOS to "on-board" rather than "PCI-E" otherwise the system failed when I re-installed the video cards.)
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January 31, 2012 8:55:47 PM

o1die said:
I would try a different dvi cable. Otherwise, you may want to rma the board. I sent mine back in for bad static and low resolution on the dvi; cost about $11 by priority mail, and biostar sent me a new one in nine days.


Thanks Odlie, however I tried four different DVI cables and none worked - and VGA only worked after all the video cards were removed - so it is almost certainly something about the MoBo needing VGA and the need to switch the default video option to "on-board".
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