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Problem installing Windows 7 with Asrock Z68 extreme 3 gen / i7 2600k

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  • Intel i7
  • ASrock
  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
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January 23, 2012 5:04:39 PM

System Configuration

Main Board: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Generation 3
CPU: i7 2600k sandy bridge
Memory: 2x4 Gigabytes G. Skill Ripjaw X
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460


I have been get this machine working for a week almost. The Problems I am having are mostly based around windows install or driver install however there are other things that are a little weird to.

Background info:
The first time I booted up the machine I loaded into the bios to make sure all my hardware was being recognized. Everything was recognized correctly except the ram timings were off on the auto settings so I set them to the default XMP 1.2 setting that makes them run in there native timings 9-9-9-24. I also noticed that my CPU was running very hot (50-70 c...) and am still unsure about. I then made sure that my boot order was correct and rebooted to install from the windows CD. The windows installation went smoothly however i had a few crashes during driver installs when I rebooted. The System recovered from the crashes with out an issue and I finished the driver installations and windows updates without any issues. I then installed the programs i needed and a few games. Most of my games were running excellent at maximum settings. BF3 was not run on max but a mixture of mid/high and max settings due to my video cards bandwidth limitations but it ran flawlessly on the correct settings. The CPU never went past 15-30% on load and the temperatures in the AXTU Hardware Monitor were idling around 30C and never went above 55C on load. And everything ran great for 3 days.

On the morning of the 4th day I started getting some artifacts and general game crashed while playing battlefield 3. I initially thought these were general BF3 bugs that everyone is talking about however I then started getting a message saying my game was corrupt, then my nvidia drivers crashed and recovered, then I got blue screens. I rebooted and loaded into the bios and double checked everything. It turns out I accidentaly changed a setting in the storage setting enabling smart response for my SATA drive when I was looking over the bios settings about an hour before. I then reset my bios to default settings and made sure my RAM timings were correct and rebooted windows. Everything ran like new after that for about an hour. Then I started getting blue screens while surfing the internet and finally my windows update froze up about 80% into installing SP1. Furthermore, At one point the my windows operating system wouldn't even let me access a single file folder saying it could find the folder or something. I also heard crackling from my audio output which is connected to the Asrock onboard at one point although this was only momentary. I figured that at this point either my mobo was a POS or I had corrupted my installation and I attempted to do a repair from the system disk. The windows 7 repair failed saying there were missing files.

Current Issue/situation:
After all this I decided to try a clean installation of windows thinking that would solve all issues however I cant seem to even get windows installed now as I did the first time. This is what happens.

I boot up the system and start the installation from the CD/DVD drive. I choose to do a fresh install by deleting the info on the selected drive and starting the install. I the start the installation. This is were 1 of 3 issues will stop me.

1. The first time I tried to re install, I got to the point when windows is expanding the files system and I get an error saying it cannot find a certain file, please reboot and retry the installation however when I re install the OS I usually get the same problem.

2. Another time I tried this it crashed back to the begining of the installation without any error message.

(at this point i decided to flash update the bios to version 1.3)

3. After I flash updated the bios the windows install went through by some miracle of God however the system froze up while installing the Intel VGA drivers. and messed up the whole system. Now I get blue screens again and I cannot even attempt to correct the driver issues without a crash.

I since have wiped my HDD for a 3rd time... attempted to re install windows 7 again over the same bios ver. 1.30, and I am back at square 1. Windows install not working properly. I even tried a different copy of windows and I get the same problems. I have now transfered the components back to the to my old Asus setup with a dual core AMD and everything boots up flawlessly.

This is very frustrating because I have put together many PC configurations and I have never had such a strange and complex problem when installing an operating system. Why would my system work great for 3 days and then totally crap out on me? I have done research on my problem and it seems to most likely point to 2 things. Either I have a bad peice of hardware (motherboard or ram most likely) or I am installing the OS incorrectly. Can someone please point me in the right direction. What am I doing wrong? If this is a normal problem please let me know if it's easily fixable. My RMA period at new egg is closing fast and I need to know soon if the problem is hardware or software related. I cannot ask Asrock for assistance because the company is closed till next month for the new year holiday...

Thank you for taking time to read and respond to my post.

More about : problem installing windows asrock z68 extreme gen 2600k

a b $ Windows 7
January 23, 2012 6:13:26 PM

I would be running Memtest overnight... if that ok then i would swap DVD drives.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 23, 2012 6:23:12 PM

justinsteger said:
System Configuration

Main Board: Asrock Z68 Extreme 3 Generation 3
CPU: i7 2600k sandy bridge
Memory: 2x4 Gigabytes G. Skill Ripjaw X
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 460


I have been get this machine working for a week almost. The Problems I am having are mostly based around windows install or driver install however there are other things that are a little weird to.

Background info:
The first time I booted up the machine I loaded into the bios to make sure all my hardware was being recognized. Everything was recognized correctly except the ram timings were off on the auto settings so I set them to the default XMP 1.2 setting that makes them run in there native timings 9-9-9-24. I also noticed that my CPU was running very hot (50-70 c...) and am still unsure about. I then made sure that my boot order was correct and rebooted to install from the windows CD. The windows installation went smoothly however i had a few crashes during driver installs when I rebooted. The System recovered from the crashes with out an issue and I finished the driver installations and windows updates without any issues. I then installed the programs i needed and a few games. Most of my games were running excellent at maximum settings. BF3 was not run on max but a mixture of mid/high and max settings due to my video cards bandwidth limitations but it ran flawlessly on the correct settings. The CPU never went past 15-30% on load and the temperatures in the AXTU Hardware Monitor were idling around 30C and never went above 55C on load. And everything ran great for 3 days.

On the morning of the 4th day I started getting some artifacts and general game crashed while playing battlefield 3. I initially thought these were general BF3 bugs that everyone is talking about however I then started getting a message saying my game was corrupt, then my nvidia drivers crashed and recovered, then I got blue screens. I rebooted and loaded into the bios and double checked everything. It turns out I accidentaly changed a setting in the storage setting enabling smart response for my SATA drive when I was looking over the bios settings about an hour before. I then reset my bios to default settings and made sure my RAM timings were correct and rebooted windows. Everything ran like new after that for about an hour. Then I started getting blue screens while surfing the internet and finally my windows update froze up about 80% into installing SP1. Furthermore, At one point the my windows operating system wouldn't even let me access a single file folder saying it could find the folder or something. I also heard crackling from my audio output which is connected to the Asrock onboard at one point although this was only momentary. I figured that at this point either my mobo was a POS or I had corrupted my installation and I attempted to do a repair from the system disk. The windows 7 repair failed saying there were missing files.

Current Issue/situation:
After all this I decided to try a clean installation of windows thinking that would solve all issues however I cant seem to even get windows installed now as I did the first time. This is what happens.

I boot up the system and start the installation from the CD/DVD drive. I choose to do a fresh install by deleting the info on the selected drive and starting the install. I the start the installation. This is were 1 of 3 issues will stop me.

1. The first time I tried to re install, I got to the point when windows is expanding the files system and I get an error saying it cannot find a certain file, please reboot and retry the installation however when I re install the OS I usually get the same problem.

2. Another time I tried this it crashed back to the begining of the installation without any error message.

(at this point i decided to flash update the bios to version 1.3)

3. After I flash updated the bios the windows install went through by some miracle of God however the system froze up while installing the Intel VGA drivers. and messed up the whole system. Now I get blue screens again and I cannot even attempt to correct the driver issues without a crash.

I since have wiped my HDD for a 3rd time... attempted to re install windows 7 again over the same bios ver. 1.30, and I am back at square 1. Windows install not working properly. I even tried a different copy of windows and I get the same problems. I have now transfered the components back to the to my old Asus setup with a dual core AMD and everything boots up flawlessly.

This is very frustrating because I have put together many PC configurations and I have never had such a strange and complex problem when installing an operating system. Why would my system work great for 3 days and then totally crap out on me? I have done research on my problem and it seems to most likely point to 2 things. Either I have a bad peice of hardware (motherboard or ram most likely) or I am installing the OS incorrectly. Can someone please point me in the right direction. What am I doing wrong? If this is a normal problem please let me know if it's easily fixable. My RMA period at new egg is closing fast and I need to know soon if the problem is hardware or software related. I cannot ask Asrock for assistance because the company is closed till next month for the new year holiday...

Thank you for taking time to read and respond to my post.



did you check the voltage and the Mhz of the ram as well

i know on mine my pc didnt detec it right
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Related resources
January 23, 2012 6:39:58 PM

load default settings in bios ,Instal os,hardware failure instlation not work u get blue screen error, c: drive above 80gb hint:102501=100Gb,dont instal anything (including drivers,antivirus) instal network card driver(only ethernet) update os (only drivers) dont browse at the time,restart, system works fine no problem ,update os except sp1
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January 23, 2012 6:42:23 PM

I am testing each ram stick seperately atm. Also going to try to install windows on usb flash from uefi. I have heard that that is the best way to install the OS. I'll keep posting my results until i get this fixed.
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January 23, 2012 6:46:42 PM

download and Update latest vga driver from (intel u spefied) intel,also instal latest raid drivers,
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January 23, 2012 6:50:54 PM

Check and fix if hdd power sata cables have lose connection
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January 23, 2012 6:58:23 PM

I have the latest intel drivers but they froze the pc when i tried to install them. I read somewhere that you need SP1 installed before the video drivers are able to be installed. Is this true?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 23, 2012 7:02:12 PM

1) I see you are testing the Ram - Good as problem could be caused by memory errors.
2) Leave GPU out, do your clean install using the Intel IGP - can put GPU back in after system is up and running.
3) leave memory at default (assumming it passes) to do installation.
4) after installation is complet, before installing programs. Down load prime 95 and retest stabillity - MONITOR temperature and The +12 V rail. MISSED which PSU you have.
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January 23, 2012 7:03:30 PM

I'd be suspicious of the HDD. Did you re-format the drive upon each new install attempt? Did you get any error codes from the Dr. Debug display on your MB? Even though you use a SATA HDD is it set to IDE mode?
I suppose it could be the Z68 chipset but that's a long-shot.
I have an Asrock X3 Gen3 and haven't had any problems.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 23, 2012 8:08:49 PM

Azrock Extreme 4, Curical M4 + Aggility II = 1 TB HDD, 16 Gig ram, 6870 GPU - No problems
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a b $ Windows 7
January 23, 2012 9:57:21 PM

Most Windows 7 installation errors are due to faulty memory. Also most system freezing errors are also caused by faulty memory. You should run memtest86 4.0a for a few hours to confirm this (version 4.0a of memtest86 is much better of finding memory problems than version 3.5). Even if the memory tests pass I would still suspect the memory.
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January 23, 2012 10:15:23 PM

Don't worry about the temperatures in the BIOS, i have an Extreme 7 Gen 3 and my 2600K's temps are around the same on stock cooling. The reason being is that the CPU is running at full throttle whilst in the BIOS.
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January 23, 2012 11:14:57 PM

i have finished everything but the memory test so far, which i will be finishing up shortly. I tried to install through the uefi option and got windows installed and the immediately did the windows updates before installing anything other than the LAN drivers. after the system rebooted it blue screened. windows will not run.

another thing i noticed is the CPU voltage is fluctuating around 1.1 on auto settings. is this normal?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 24, 2012 7:31:20 AM

Can you boot into safe mode now? if so you may have a problem with the LAN drivers.
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January 24, 2012 2:13:35 PM

ATM i have no safe mode to boot to, cant even get windows in for the most part without blue screen or file failing to load or getting corrupted : (
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January 24, 2012 2:14:31 PM

its an endless cycle. I am going to try and down clock my ram and do it again.
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January 24, 2012 11:34:53 PM

Currently, i found that there may be an issue with the SATA drive i was using. I ran disk check, it took 2 hours and found nothing however it did cause an immediate blue screen when i entered windows on this machine. I then turned off the computer and started it in safe mode. without the SATA drive connected. I verified the error and then restarted. Everything ran great after that. I then re installed the hard drive and tested it again. It again blue screened as soon as the desktop booted up. I then ran the disk check and since it found no errors i am currently hard reformatting it. I will then try a re install of windows on the new i7 machine. If it still fails i will then under clock the ram and see if that works. If that fails then it has to be some other hardware related problem because i will have tried everything I'm pretty sure. If anyone else has any advise i will be grateful. Diagnosing this issue has been challenging and frustrating. Thank you everyone who has contributed so far.
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January 25, 2012 4:50:55 PM

Update...

I have done the reformatting of my HHD and reinstalled windows with no issues until i get to the chipset and intel VGA drivers. The asrock INF drivers go in well and then i reboot the computer and windows opens up fine. After that I install the VGA drivers and reboot. I then get an imediate blue screen as windows tries to load the drivers. When i boot up safe mode it shows that all the drivers are installed properly except the PCI simple communications controller and one of the USB controllers. I have contacted Intel for technical assistance since Asrock is stil closed for holiday... The technician at intel informed me that the improperly installed devices are because the INF files installed incorrectly. I can see how this would cause a problem but its strange to me that it didn't blue screen till the intel drivers were installed. Does anyone know what I'm doing wrong or if i'm doing everythign correctly. I seem to have all the most recent drivers from asrock so i'm not sure why this would happen.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 25, 2012 5:43:24 PM

Instead of getting the Chipset driver and VGA driver from ASrock, try getting them from Intel. I dought you need the "Asrock" Vga driver. When I boult mine (ASRock Z68 Extreme 4) I did not install the video card (6870) untill I was satisfied no problems. Did not need the "VGA" driver as windows default worked fine. For the chipset, I installed using ms default ahci driver then down loaded the latest Chipset driver straight from Intel.

After completing win 7 install and using prime 95 to verify system stability, then installed my 6870 and downloaded lates CCC and driver from AMD. Only used drivers from ASrock that I needed, ie for USB3 functionality and network drivers.
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January 25, 2012 6:10:30 PM

RetiredChief said:
Instead of getting the Chipset driver and VGA driver from ASrock, try getting them from Intel. I dought you need the "Asrock" Vga driver. When I boult mine (ASRock Z68 Extreme 4) I did not install the video card (6870) untill I was satisfied no problems. Did not need the "VGA" driver as windows default worked fine. For the chipset, I installed using ms default ahci driver then down loaded the latest Chipset driver straight from Intel.

After completing win 7 install and using prime 95 to verify system stability, then installed my 6870 and downloaded lates CCC and driver from AMD. Only used drivers from ASrock that I needed, ie for USB3 functionality and network drivers.


Thank you very much for this info, it is good to know that someone got his working before i tried it. Litterally about 5 mins ago the intel rep I just talked to suggest the same thing and I have the drivers downloaded. I am going to so a system restore and attemp the intel driver install. My only concern with not installing the VGA driver is I want to be able to use Lucid Virtu. Will this prevent me from doing that or will the windows drivers let me use the intel graphics 3000 capabilities such as quick sync. I am mostly concerned about quick sync for video file conversion, and of course being able to do some nice gaming : ) Just out of curiousity, what are the essential drivers you have to get your system running smoothly? Intel INF, no vga, anything else?
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a b $ Windows 7
January 25, 2012 8:56:34 PM

1) Intel SB GPU (Note I have ver 8.15.15.10.2509 installed)
will need to select Operating system (Windows 7), then click on drivers. select first one.
Note: If ASROCK has this latest one, probably should use it.
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...
For Chipset: (mine is 10.6, but latest is 10.8) same procedure.
http://downloadcenter.intel.com/SearchResult.aspx?lang=...

For Lucid Virtu (Hardware/software requirements:
ftp://174.142.97.10/manual/virtu/Z68%20Extreme4/English...
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January 25, 2012 11:08:16 PM

after a little more research and talking to a tech at new egg I found that this is a known issue between 2 problems with asrock boards. The people on the intel forums solved it 2 different ways.

1. By installing windows in MBR mode without UEFI which uses GPT

2. Or by updating all the windows updates to SP1.

I'm not sure if this will work for me. I tried SP 1 before and it froze my PC however at the time i think the problem was purely HDD related. I was also told by a technician that you may be able to do a work if you use Nvidia GTX 2XX or higher cards that use the Physx engine by doing a clean install of the Nvidia drivers and changing the engine from GPU to CPU and then installign the Intel drivers. I have not tried this yet and cannot varify that it works. I am going to try the SP1 method first since i already have windows installed on a GPT partition using UEFI. If that doesnt work then ill reformat in MBR then try the GPU work around. Honestly though the post that interested my most was the guy that RMA'd his asrock board and the next one had none of these issues....
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January 26, 2012 5:27:50 AM

FINALLY! Service pack 1 allowed me to install the HD 3000 drivers. I also installed the management engine as well before I put the video drivers in although I was told by an intel rep that that should not matter. Thank you for all your suggestions. I will put them all to good use as I attemp to max this thing out. I will install my invidia card next, hopefully everything will go smoothly.
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January 26, 2012 2:33:15 PM

Update:

lol now my machine crashes when I put the nvidia drivers in, most likely becuase there are now 2 sets of video drivers from what i know that can make any stable machine BSOD. Anyone know if there is a simple way to get around this? I know you are supposed to be able to use both sets with Lucid Virtu and somehow I got them in stable the first time I did the install but I can't remember what order I did them in to allow the drivers and Virtu to install together in harmony.
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a b $ Windows 7
January 26, 2012 10:34:57 PM

You never said if you have checked for memory errors, it shouldn't be that hard to install your drivers.
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January 27, 2012 4:02:01 PM

I am finding that a lot of my issues are fairly universal. It seems that if you install windows with UEFI as I did, that you cannot put the intel drivers in until you have SP1, however if you have MBR format that you should be able to install the drivers when ever you want. Is UEFI not compatible with this set up? This wouldn't make sense to me since my system has a UEFI based bios and is designed specifically for what i am doing. And lol pjmelect, thats what I have been saying since the beggining! I think it is still possible that there is a memory problem though.

Also one strange problem I was having when I did have windows up and running is that Adobe acrobat would crash every time after I opened a file. The file would remain open for about 2-3 secs and then I would get an error that the program would stop responding. It happened everytime no matter how many times i reinstall or re DL acrobat. Is this a possible memory issue? It seems that Windows and the other drivers are installing properly.

Furthermore, I called Nvidia to talk to them about the crashing drivers and after trying a few things on the phone my PC was so messed up it blue screened even going into basic safe mode... Now i can't even install windows on this machine without a Fatal System Error!

Here is the error code

Stop: C000021A {Fatal System Error}
The initial session process or system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0x00000000 (0xC0000221 0x001003f0)
The system has been shut down.
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January 27, 2012 11:35:55 PM

As it turns out 1 stick of ram was the primary culprit of this whole mess. The system set up is still quite tricky though due to the multiple video drivers. I am not quite sure if its stable yet but so far i have had very few issues with drivers. The order i installed them in was:

1. INF drivers
2. Management engine
3. Windows updates up to SP1
4. Nvidia Drivers
5. Intel Drivers
6. Lucid Vitrue.
7. everyting else...

So far it seems fairly stable. No BSoDs or anything un fixable.
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February 5, 2012 5:57:00 AM

It seems as far as my hardware issues go that I have overcome the worst of it. Since my last post i ended up having many more problems that lead me to RMA all of my stuff to newegg and receive fresh parts. I now have a very stable version of windows 7 running in MBR/IDE mode. The only problem with this is it is not fully using the capabilities of my Sata HDD's. I am going to write a new thread to try and tackle the compatibility and stability issues involving win 7 and lucid virtue installed on different types of partitions. This seems to be my main problem right now. It seems that my system will run much faster in AHCI mode however there have been claims that Lucid Virtu is unstable in that mode. This is my current issue. Than you for your input so far it has been helpful in guiding me through the issues while putting together all this new stuff.
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March 16, 2012 6:21:00 AM

justinsteger said:
I am finding that a lot of my issues are fairly universal. It seems that if you install windows with UEFI as I did, that you cannot put the intel drivers in until you have SP1, however if you have MBR format that you should be able to install the drivers when ever you want. Is UEFI not compatible with this set up? This wouldn't make sense to me since my system has a UEFI based bios and is designed specifically for what i am doing. And lol pjmelect, thats what I have been saying since the beggining! I think it is still possible that there is a memory problem though.

Also one strange problem I was having when I did have windows up and running is that Adobe acrobat would crash every time after I opened a file. The file would remain open for about 2-3 secs and then I would get an error that the program would stop responding. It happened everytime no matter how many times i reinstall or re DL acrobat. Is this a possible memory issue? It seems that Windows and the other drivers are installing properly.

Furthermore, I called Nvidia to talk to them about the crashing drivers and after trying a few things on the phone my PC was so messed up it blue screened even going into basic safe mode... Now i can't even install windows on this machine without a Fatal System Error!

Here is the error code

Stop: C000021A {Fatal System Error}
The initial session process or system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0x00000000 (0xC0000221 0x001003f0)
The system has been shut down.



Hi,
your hardware configurations is pretty similar to mine. And i am encountering almost the same problems! (Blue screens etc.).
And i have the same strange issue with Adobe programms (e.g. Photoshop installation does not work).

Did you manage to solve these problems with changing the memory?
What program did you use to spot the bad memory?

I'd really appreciate some help since i have never encoutered such strange difficulties in spotting PC errors
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!