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Asus P9X79 Pro - Win 7 install issues

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February 27, 2012 5:18:09 AM

Hello
 
I purchased an ASUS P9X79 Pro and I have been having a terrible time trying to install Windows 7 (x64). I’m not completely inept when it comes to building PC’s but this is my first UEFI motherboard, and purchase in three years.

For reference my new kit is:
Asus P9X79 Pro
i7 3930K
32GB (8X4GB) DDR 3 1600MHz G.Skill CL9 Ripsaw Z
OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 SSD
Sapphire ATI 7950 HD
Coolermaster Gold 1200W PSU
 
The problem I’m facing is issues trying to install Windows and I cannot tell if it’s my hardware or if it’s the mobo or both. But where possible I have tried my new hardware on my other working PC (Asus P6TSE) and they appeared fine, but obviously I cannot try the 3930K on that Asus board.
 
On my new set-up when trying to install windows I’m setting up through the UEFI installation process. Initially I let windows automatically setup the EFI/GPT partitions and then I choose disk part to manually do the process myself. On all attempts (12 and counting) windows either failed the install or installed then failed at a later date after some windows updates.
The problem I’m facing is during the install and it’s first reboot windows fails to start and returns with various error codes, some are 0xC0000225 or there other ones which I fail to remember are due to windows boot loader stating it’s corrupt. Either way when you boot and it ends up in that screen there is no way to pass that point except for a reinstall (the boot gets stuck in a loop returning to that error screen no matter what you do).
I have tried installing windows on the p9X79 with a different graphics card in and did not use my 7950, as a test I was using my 5950HD and it installed smoothly but ended up with the same issues once installed and failing to reboot correctly. I also tried flashing the bios with previous versions and later versions, all with mixed results.
 
On occasions where windows did install correctly I was able to load the mother board drivers etc, but it would eventually fail on various reboots returning the same error (0xC0000225) with no option to correct the windows boot loader. On successful windows 7 installs it would fail after windows updates, or not let me install SP1 no matter what attempts I tried – a complete mixed bag of failed install/win update scenarios.
 
What I want to understand is could I have corrupted the UEFI boot options stored in NVRAM?
 
If I have a UEFI board does anyone know if the Asus p9X79 can install windows normally bypassing the UEFI process or could this cause problems since the board and bios I assume is catered towards UEFI?
 
Could the issue be setting up a GPT disk on my SSD?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 328 V Motherboard
February 27, 2012 7:53:32 AM

What windows x64 version are u installing?

How? DVD? USB?
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 328 V Motherboard
February 27, 2012 7:56:49 AM

Try to install only with 1 or 2 RAM sticks.
Related resources
February 27, 2012 11:51:34 AM

Installing by using DVD. - windows 7 (pre SP1)

I did install one session with only 4 sticks (not one butter sticks) but problems eventually occur with failing to start on reboot (windows boot manager) -message about 'Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause...blah, blah'. However doing tests by swapping the memory is a bit difficult as my Phanteks PH-TC14PE covers all the RAM, so has to be completely removed to change RAM. The reboot problems appears to be temperamental - ie sometimes straight after a fesh install or several hours later after running updates.

Might just RMA the the whole set-up.

Are there any issues with SSD and setting up a GPT partition?

I'm new to UEFI installations and could UEFI Windows Boot Manager be corrupt? When I have removed all hard drives, flashed the bios, and cleared the CMOS it still shows in the BIOS. How do I remove it or know if it has been cleared on a fresh install? When I did my first installation it did not exist in the bios.
February 27, 2012 11:51:42 AM

Installing by using DVD. - windows 7 (pre SP1)

I did install one session with only 4 sticks (not one butter sticks) but problems eventually occur with failing to start on reboot (windows boot manager) -message about 'Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause...blah, blah'. However doing tests by swapping the memory is a bit difficult as my Phanteks PH-TC14PE covers all the RAM, so has to be completely removed to change RAM. The reboot problems appears to be temperamental - ie sometimes straight after a fesh install or several hours later after running updates.

Might just RMA the the whole set-up.

Are there any issues with SSD and setting up a GPT partition?

I'm new to UEFI installations and could UEFI Windows Boot Manager be corrupt? When I have removed all hard drives, flashed the bios, and cleared the CMOS it still shows in the BIOS. How do I remove it or know if it has been cleared on a fresh install? When I did my first installation it did not exist in the bios.
March 7, 2012 4:24:18 AM

Hey alex,
I have the same motherboard and the exact same issue with the UEFI installation of Windows 7. What is happening in my scenario.

1. Created a UEFI USB Windows 7 x64 installation (no SP1) on a 4GB USB thumb drive.
2. Boot from UEFI USB and install windows 7 on a freshly formated 160GB SSD
3. Windows installation completes and I boot into Windows and create a user account.
4. Install ethernet drivers and reboot.
5. Reboot succesful
6. Install intel chipset software either from intel.com or off of ASUS dvd (tried both on 2 seperate installations)
and reboot.
7. Get error code 0xc0000225....

My theory is that the Intel chipset installation is installing a different version of the Intel AHCI driver which in turn is changing the drive naming and therefore the Windows bootloader is no longer able to see the drive. Because it is an UEFI install you cannot use conventional ways to repair it like bootrec /fixboot /scanos etc...

Are you getting the error after installing the drivers too?

March 7, 2012 7:23:54 PM

I had the same issues after following a similar path to alex200274. I moved my SSD from the Marvel SATA port to the Intel one and disabled Marvel in the UEFI/BIOS. Then I rebooted and ran the recovery option. It's working reliably now so if you don't need those ports it's worth a try.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 7, 2012 8:15:10 PM

If you didn't use the (F6) approach then you're loosing signicant performance, RAID will cause a BSOD, and chances are your MBR is corrupted.
March 8, 2012 6:46:50 PM

I didn't have any noticeable performance issues and I wasn't planning on using RAID but whilst I was looking into tweaking performance I noticed that the BIOS was in fact booting off a USB stick I'd stuck in earlier. Once the stick was taken out I get back to having to attempt a repair on boot before booting normally and getting into Windows. I'll have a go at your instructions and post my results but it may be a while as between work and girlfriend I don't have that much time each night :) 
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
March 8, 2012 6:57:27 PM

You whizzed right past the most important part "and chances are your MBR is corrupted." At minimum run 'Fix It' - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/922976
March 13, 2012 5:05:57 PM

I was wrong about the USB thing, I misunderstood the UEFI BIOS screen. I don't have an MBR as it installed with GPT which is why I skipped that part. My system boots fine except for maybe 1 in 25 times when I get the 0xc0000225 error. At this point I can select Repair which fails to run and puts me back on the same menu. If I then select boot normally then it works every time. I re-enabled the Marvel controller a few days ago and it's had no effect.

I've got tomorrow off work so I'm going to spend some time looking into this in more detail. I'll post back if I have anything interesting to report.
April 20, 2012 4:13:42 AM

Is this still open? I'm suffering from the exact same issue as the OP, and was hoping to find some solutions.
April 21, 2012 11:40:47 PM

I had the same issue. As stated in previous post - the issue is with the Marvel Controller on the motherboard. To avoid install and boot errors and eventually still utilize all Sata Ports Proceed as follows. User Sata6G_1 or 2 for your Primary hard drive. Disable The Marvel ATA Controller in the Bios (Temporarily). Proceed with the Windows 7 Install as Normal. (Ensure no required install devices such as a CD Rom is plugged into the Marvell SATA6G_E1 or E2 ports as of course this is disabled)

So here’s where the problem has the potential to come back in… Re-Enable the Marvel Controller in the Bios however ensure that you DISABLE the OPROM option for this device. (This removes The Marvel Controller from the Boot options list yet still gives you the ability to utilize these two 6GB Sata3 ports for data storage drives from the OS once installed).
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 22, 2012 2:02:51 PM

Unless you're installing as I suggested in my Guide using the Intel RSTE drivers you are installing Windows 7 incorrectly. In many instances the Marvell ports cannot support drives like ODD...
April 26, 2012 4:02:54 PM

jaquith said:
Unless you're installing as I suggested in my Guide using the Intel RSTE drivers you are installing Windows 7 incorrectly. In many instances the Marvell ports cannot support drives like ODD...


I seem to be having very similar issues to the OP installing Windows 7 on a P9X79 Deluxe and OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. I looked at your instructions but they seem catered to Gigabyte boards and RAID setups (which I don't plan on using). I have been installing Windows by booting to my DVD drive in UEFI mode and installing from there. I can create a bootable USB to install from, but I didn't think that was necessary.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 26, 2012 4:14:01 PM

Actually it's centered towards ASUS with Gigabyte references.

The 'problems' with using the Windows DVD + Flash Drive (or other media) is I've seen reports where once folks removed their Flash Drive Windows failed to run. Therefore, I only recommend the Flash Drive installation as I've posted.

Further, ASUS recently updated their X79 Intel RSTE drivers so therefore use the latest listed on ASUS's site. The correct 64-bit driver will be located:
Flash Drive':\...RSTe_V300xxxx_XPWin7\RSTe_V300xxxx_XPWin 7\Driver\Disk\64bit\iaStorA.inf

April 26, 2012 4:22:15 PM

Huh, strange, never had THAT problem. Anyways, I have the RSTE driver sitting on a flash drive already, but I'd been trying to install it AFTER the install... I'll try loading it before the install and see if that helps...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 26, 2012 4:26:31 PM

The is NO WAY to do it after-the-fact, you're either stuck to the older than hell Windows Default AHCI driver <OR> to get it right you're re-installing presumably Windows 7.
April 26, 2012 4:31:33 PM

Well ***, then what am I installing when I install RSTE after the Windows install?
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 26, 2012 4:41:52 PM

Basically the RSTE Control panel and drivers to no where. The simplest test to know if the RSTE is installed properly is to change the Intel SATA -> RAID and the resulting BSOD confirms it's improperly installed.

I can change back and forth from AHCI to RAID with no issues other than watching the different drivers (RAID & AHCI) loading each time...
April 26, 2012 4:57:25 PM

Okay, well I'll definitely try that when I install tonight...any reason why I'm using iaStorA.inf instead of iaAHCI.inf?
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 26, 2012 5:12:59 PM

Don't over think the Guide. The entire reason I recommend SATA -> RAID is that you are forced to install the OS properly and Windows cannot sneak in the wrong drivers.

So 'yes' you could use the AHCI driver IF SATA -> AHCI, but if you move too quick you've screwed the pooch again...
April 27, 2012 1:09:36 PM

Well...that did the trick. Windows is installed with no error messages at start-up and no hanging on the "Starting Windows" screen... Unfortunately, at one point during installing Windows Updates, Explorer just died and left me with no start menu, taskbar, or Ctrl+Alt+Del screen. I hit the power button to let it shut down, but got a blue screen...since then it's wanted to run chkdsk on startup, but I guess chkdsk got corrupted because it can't run, and I also can't install any more Windows Updates or upgrade to Professional without getting error messages...ugh... Now trying to see if this is fixable or if I need to reinstall Windows...AGAIN...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 27, 2012 1:28:30 PM

Hmm...Happy/Sad.

Open the Event Manager and look at what's causing the BSOD's, the [+] Critical errors in particular. The errors 'might be H/W related and I assume after the install that you finished install ALL of the Chipset followed by the remainder of the drivers listed for your ASUS P9X79 Deluxe. I've been helping another guy with his ASUS P9X79 Deluxe from pre-sales now to OC and he followed the Guide with success. The only oddity is you need to set the AI OC Tuner -> XMP to avoid a 3.5GHz limitation under default; DDR3-1600 or faster allows the turbo to go up to 3.8GHz and beyond if OC'ing the CPU.
April 27, 2012 2:01:54 PM

Yeah, I haven't started OC'ing yet. But I only got the 1 BSOD, when Explorer failed, but it hasn't happened since. And yeah, I finished installing all the drivers after the install before I started updating or installing anything else. The only critical error in the last 24 hours was a Kernel Power error that likely occurred when I powered off the computer after Explorer failed. As far as other "regular" errors are concerned, there seem to be 4 main errors that occur quite a lot...the first one has 36 in the last 24 hours, and the last 3 have 2500, 3100, and 6300 in the last 24 hours, respectively:
1) Windows Update error 0x8000ffff, which I troubleshooted with the registry fix, but none of the specified keys existed.
2) Ntfs error: "The file system structure on the disk is corrupt and unusable. Please run the chkdsk utility on the volume \Device\HarddiskVolume3." This is worrisome, and like I said, chkdsk is apparently corrupt and can't be run.
3) "The Cryptographic Services service failed to initialize the Catalog Database. The ESENT error was: -501." No idea on this one, but I recall one of the Windows Update troubleshooting steps involving restarting Cryptographic Services.
4) "Catalog Database (1476) Catalog Database: Unable to read the header of logfile C:\Windows\system32\CatRoot2\edb.log. Error -501." Another troubleshooting step involved deleting the contents of the CatRoot2 folder and when I tried to delete edb.log, I got an error message saying it was corrupted.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 27, 2012 2:12:20 PM

Okay, what deviation(s) did you take from my guide?
April 27, 2012 2:17:01 PM

Well, I used a physical DVD instead of installing from a USB, though I loaded the drivers from a USB. I used iaAHCI.inf instead of iaStorA.inf, since I preferred to keep the settings on AHCI rather than switch back after installing Windows...and I forgot to Secure Erase the SSD... That last one was an oversight...I've got a Live USB sitting right next to my computer for that very purpose, just slipped my mind. Though I thought deleting partitions, making new partitions, and reformatting would make up for it... Those are the only changes I made.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 27, 2012 2:48:06 PM

bikeracer4487 said:
Well, I used a physical DVD instead of installing from a USB, though I loaded the drivers from a USB.

Loading the Drivers from (2) different sources is a KNOWN issue, and the problem 'might' be fixed if you reinsert the USB back where it was during the install.

Okay, as Dr. Phil says -- 'How's that working for you?'

Do it the the way I strongly recommended and i.e. Start Over!
April 27, 2012 3:19:01 PM

The hell? Loading a single driver from a USB and installing Windows 7 from a DVD is a known issue? That seems retarded if that's true, but I've never heard of, nor could I find mention of it while googling... Well, it's not like it'll cost me anything to try it...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 27, 2012 3:23:52 PM

bikeracer4487 said:
The hell? Loading a single driver from a USB and installing Windows 7 from a DVD is a known issue? That seems retarded if that's true, but I've never heard of, nor could I find mention of it while googling... Well, it's not like it'll cost me anything to try it...

'Retarded' or not I've read where it has been an issue for many folks, and therefore a process I avoid.

If re-installing Windows 'fixes' the problems then you'll know first hand.
April 30, 2012 3:32:19 PM

Dude, you're a life saver. Over the weekend I followed the guide to the letter (your and "Sean"'s) and although I knew most of the optimizations for SSDs already, there were a few new ones and it was nice to have them all listed in one place rather than racking my brain. Anyways, installing from USB and loading the driver from the SAME USB (Microsoft really needs to fix this) worked beautifully...and fast too, which I wasn't expecting given that I installed from USB 2.0... So it's been running most of the day Saturday and all day Sunday with no issues to speak of, so THANK YOU. I'll be bookmarking your guide and Sean's guide for future reference...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
April 30, 2012 4:02:09 PM

bikeracer4487 said:
... (Microsoft really needs to fix this)..

It's more an Intel problem the way they've written the driver install and it's 'pointing' dependencies. X79 is post Windows 7 SP1 and obviously post XP, so my 'guess is maybe Windows 7 SP2 and ditto with Windows 8.

Bottom-line, I'm happy it's working! :sol: 

As far as SSD 'optimization' I really suggest that all you do is change the min/max Page File allocation to 2048MB (2GB), Run WEI at least once (that triggers Windows not to defrag the SSD), and really that's about it. Yes, you 'can' move the Page File to e.g. Flash Drive or HDD, but that creates another potential dependency issue. Further, 'I' like 'Hybrid Sleep' (S3+S4) so disabling Hibernation 'can' be done, it's again something that for the $ money longterm isn't such a hot idea. Worst, some of those 'optimization' actually slow some things down. Instead I recommend moving large files from the SSD e.g. Outlook data files (.OST or more commonly .PST) to another drive, and maybe not allowing Indexing. All of these tweaks have a price.
May 3, 2012 2:55:16 AM

Ugh...and a few days later I make the mistake of installing Asus' "AI Suite" and turning on USB 3.0 Boost...now none of my USB 3.0 devices work in the 3.0 ports....done pretty much everything except try reinstalling Windows, so I guess I'm going through the whole thing again...
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
May 3, 2012 4:43:16 AM

Yeah, I tell folks never to install AI Suite ... I don't like ANY app that's BIOS invasive; it's okay to 'read' but not to write. IMO - uninstall AI Suite then run System Restore ... and then keep your fingers crossed. IF that fails then Clear CMOS - unplug the PSU for 5 minutes, then either use the 'Jumper method' or if equipped press the Clr CMOS button in either case 5-10 seconds then boot into the BIOS, press F5, then reload ALL of your BIOS settings...e.g. SATA, AI Overclock Tuner -> XMP, etc.

Good Luck!
May 3, 2012 3:14:51 PM

Well reinstall fixed the issue...unbelievable that Asus' own software did that...and I actually called Asus and was like "this problem only happened after I installed your software!" but they kept insisting the board had connection problems...even when I told them that USB 2.0 devices worked just fine in the 3.0 ports... *sigh* I'm always like "Maybe this time the support people will be helpful..."
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
May 3, 2012 4:42:08 PM

Lesson learned, no more Utilities.

You are becoming quite the installing the OS.
May 3, 2012 7:09:36 PM

Haha, yeah, basically got the whole sequence memorized, could probably do it in my sleep now...

By the way, did the OP ever get his issue resolved? We have almost exactly the same setup, so I don't see why your guide wouldn't solve his issue, but I haven't seen any posts from him in quite a while.
a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 716 V Motherboard
May 3, 2012 11:15:59 PM

The Guide has been scrutinized by many (Chris and several others @ TH) to prove it's indeed the correct wat to install Windoze on the X79. It probably should be a 'sticky' but there's not that many X79's out there relative to the 'mainstream' which you are clearly not one.
!