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Strange Boot situation on Z77

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a c 95 V Motherboard
February 28, 2013 12:21:47 PM

BIOS 1.21 (latest – same situation with the other three BIOSes) - Low OC of 4.2 GHz - Chicago area (cold and colder).

2/23/21013 - Ambient (room) temp is 52 degs. F (11 degs C) - No start, 6 tries of depressing Start button. I directed a small space heater blowing heat against the motherboard for 60 seconds. The computer went through a partial boot and got stuck with "FF" displayed. (‘FF’ is an unassigned code for future use). I did a hard shut-off. Then pressed the Start button; there was a one second delay and the computer started up fine. I left the computer ON for 4 days during which it automatically installed Windows updates and restarted by itself without any problems (I observed this in the morning of day 4). Shut down the computer at the end of the day on 2/27/2013.

2/28/2013 - Ambient (room) temp is 60 degs. F (16 degs C) - The computer started up fine without any problems.

Minor issue: The temp on the motherboard display reads 9 degs. C higher than RealTemp which is currently at 30 degs C.

Does anyone have any clues about this type of strange behavior? This has been posted at the EVGA Forums too; no explanations or solutions so far. Heat the room up is not an acceptable answer!

@MM – I use the word ‘Ambient’ for room temp to make it sound like a better quality of suburban cold!

Thank you in advance for your replies!

EVGA Z77 FTW - i7 3770K - Hyper 212 EVO - Corsair Vengeance 32 GBs
EVGA GTX 660Ti 3 GB - Corsair AX850 - CM HAF X
a c 444 V Motherboard
February 28, 2013 2:36:10 PM

I had the evga 750i before, sometime I got the FF and no post, then after clean the CMOS the pc runs fine. I think this is related the BIOS boot up.

I guess in your case in the cold area, so the point maybe the MB battery in the cold weather. Just like the camera battery in the cold weather it will lose the power ( I know you know that too), and then the PC don't post and boot. So you try to blow the heat to the MB, but do you try to blow the heat to the battery? Or try to keep the battery warm before you boot up the pc each time. I don't know it will help or not.
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a c 138 V Motherboard
February 28, 2013 3:01:01 PM

Reseat anything that might be affected by thermal cycling; RAM, graphics card, connectors.
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a b V Motherboard
February 28, 2013 4:55:36 PM

Uber,
Ambient temperatures of 50-60 F is within the normal operational range of most batteries. If it is a battery problem I would lean towards a defective battery rather than a problem with the ambient temperature. If the battery blinked out I doubt that heating it would restore the normal CMOS state, and it would revert to the original CMOS settings. If it is a matter of blinking out because of temperarure then you can test it by changing th CMOS state and then turning it off until it reaches the low ambient temperature and see if the CMOS state is held constant.
I think that onus is on a better trail. Thermal stress has proven to be a greater stressor than the initial electrical jolt of a cold boot.
I'd test the system by utilizing the sleep state over some weeks and see if there is any instability. If there is no instability, then I'd conclude that some component (most likely the mobo) has an issue of sensitivity to thermal stress.
BTW, I live in Buffalo and run my computer in a room with similar temperatures. I keep my rig in the sleep state when not in use to avoid thermal stress. Unless there is some overriding reason, my rig is powered (at least in the sleep state) over 95% of the time.
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a b V Motherboard
March 1, 2013 1:50:04 AM

Ubrales said:
BIOS 1.21 (latest – same situation with the other three BIOSes) - Low OC of 4.2 GHz - Chicago area (cold and colder).

2/23/21013 - Ambient (room) temp is 52 degs. F (11 degs C) - No start, 6 tries of depressing Start button. I directed a small space heater blowing heat against the motherboard for 60 seconds. The computer went through a partial boot and got stuck with "FF" displayed. (‘FF’ is an unassigned code for future use). I did a hard shut-off. Then pressed the Start button; there was a one second delay and the computer started up fine. I left the computer ON for 4 days during which it automatically installed Windows updates and restarted by itself without any problems (I observed this in the morning of day 4). Shut down the computer at the end of the day on 2/27/2013.

2/28/2013 - Ambient (room) temp is 60 degs. F (16 degs C) - The computer started up fine without any problems.

Minor issue: The temp on the motherboard display reads 9 degs. C higher than RealTemp which is currently at 30 degs C.

Does anyone have any clues about this type of strange behavior? This has been posted at the EVGA Forums too; no explanations or solutions so far. Heat the room up is not an acceptable answer!

@MM – I use the word ‘Ambient’ for room temp to make it sound like a better quality of suburban cold!

Thank you in advance for your replies!

EVGA Z77 FTW - i7 3770K - Hyper 212 EVO - Corsair Vengeance 32 GBs
EVGA GTX 660Ti 3 GB - Corsair AX850 - CM HAF X


If possible to swap out a known good PSU I would do it
just reading through it I just had a gut instinct say it was the PSU
could be wrong....
have you checked your PSU readings under load with something like HWInfo?
http://www.hwinfo.com/
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 1, 2013 12:51:15 PM

king smp said:
If possible to swap out a known good PSU I would do it
just reading through it I just had a gut instinct say it was the PSU
could be wrong....
have you checked your PSU readings under load with something like HWInfo?
http://www.hwinfo.com/

Prime95 ran well for a little over 30 minutes; yes King I did run it! The max temp on the motherboard display was about 70 degs. C (RealTemp usually displays about 9 degs. C lower).

Wouldn't this indicate that the AX850 PSU is putting out under some load? May not be at the full or near the 850 watts level.
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a b V Motherboard
March 1, 2013 4:59:27 PM

check your voltage readings with a monitoring software like HWinfo I linked while using Prime95
make sure there is no variance from tolerance
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 1, 2013 10:19:39 PM

king smp said:
check your voltage readings with a monitoring software like HWinfo I linked while using Prime95
make sure there is no variance from tolerance

Yes Sir, King, followed your advice to the 'T' - I ran Prime95 for 30 minutes along with HWInfo and closely watched the voltage.

Per HWInfo, the voltage was rock steady at 1.2610V (I had set it at 1.250V in the BIOS during OC). The max temp was around 79 degs. C on the motherboard display and 68 degs. C in RealTemp.

Even at 100% load the TDP for this CPU is just 77 watts; add maybe a max of 300 watts to the Graphics card and another 50 watts for the drives and fans. Even at this load the PSU is loafing at about half its rated capacity.
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a b V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 3:30:28 AM

need to watch the other voltages
especially 12v
you should see readings for 12v,5v,3.3v
watch those readings during Prime95
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 3:43:11 AM

OK, thanks! That's on the plate for tomorrow (Saturday). I briefly looked at the voltages; the 12V did not change no matter how long I stared at it! I'll find out more tomorrow.
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 3:59:44 PM

Ran Prime95 for 30 minutes and observed the voltages. All voltages were very consistent and the max temp did not exceed 70 degs. C.
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a c 444 V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 4:29:59 PM

I don't think it is related any hardwares like RAM,PSU,etc. You can try to go to the BIOS set all settings to default. If you still have this strange boot problem, that means it is the MB design problem. And maybe no one will know but maybe EVGA knows it.
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 7:33:23 PM

Best answer selected by Ubrales.
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a c 95 V Motherboard
March 2, 2013 7:34:05 PM

Thank you for your replies!
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