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Asus Sabretooth Z97 Mark one-strange booting behaviour, not booting

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Here is another one for the forum. I have a nice little PC here (customer's PC) with an Asus Sabretooth Z97 Mark One motherboard. It won't boot....Well I say that it sort of does sometimes....

From a cold boot, the on button causes it to start up for 4 or 5 seconds fans spinning lights on the NZXT cooler on, then it power down.
Another push of the on button will start it up but nearly every time the CPU light will stay lit and it won't boot, no beeps, nothing on the screen. It just sits there fans going.
Occasionally it WILL actual POST, produce a beep and show the initial BIOS logo/screen with press F2 or DEL to enter setup. Pressing these keys will not get me into the BIOS, instead it then displays "BIOS is updating. "Do not shut down or reset the system to prevent system bootup failure"

This has happened twice, both times after I removed the CMOS battery for 10-15 mins and/or jumpered the clear CMOS jumper, it doesn't happen every time.

I have noticed it does sometimes go through a process of starting up...checking the RAM CPU Video and OS, LED's show this checking progress as they light and go out when booting. So it is doing stuff....

I have tried updating the BIOS, twice using the USB updating method, both times it looked like it worked with the BIOS updating LED flashing progressively faster then going out, as it's supposed to do, it looks like that worked too.

I have tried another CPU in it and tested it's RAM in another PC, the RAM is OK and the problem is the same with the other CPU.

I am out of ideas. Anybody got any ideas for me?
It's a shame as this is still quite a nice PC, the CPU is an i7 4790K 4.00Ghz CPU and its all in a very nice NZXT case with smart white power cables, in its day it would have been a dream machine, two SSD's as well....

I guess the good news is if I turn it off now, it won't be any worse that it is already.

Do the BIOS chips fail on this board? What might be going on here?


**Update, in the space of 20 mins since I typed this, I have reset it, it rebooted and went through a process of trying to boot, powering down checking the bits powering down powering up about 4 or 5 times then back to the "BIOS is updating. "Do not shut down or reset the system to prevent system bootup failure" again where it will sit until I reset/power off. The video card is working too eh?
 
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I would say the motherboard is either dying or the bios has been corrupted. And you have tried everything except replacing the bios chip
 
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It looks like that there is an issue with the motherboard nor the BIOS chip itself. Continuation of not booting / BIOS corruption after multiple update attempts makes me think about the possibility of BIOS chip failure.

Even if the video below is about a NAS failure, you can use the diagnostics methods he used to figure out the problem ( if you have the proper tools ).

 

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I wish I had some better input as I used and still have this board in storage. I used the same CPU as well. I know it does have some diagnostic lights on the board(Mem OK) for example tho I'm not sure with this issue you may even be able to use them to troubleshoot considering the issue is actually getting it to post...I do believe it does have a replaceable BIOS chip but I'd have to remove the armour to confirm that(I replaced my BIOS chip on my previous P67 Sabertooth)BIOS chips can be found pretty easily on eBay etc...
 
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a speaker is your friend.

one beep *should* be successful POST.
i know 4 beeps albeit an asus H67 board is a dead board.

at least that's what i heard took it back to the shop and it indeed a DOA. - i think asus beep codes are same(?) but the website might have info.

E; btw there are lights by the atx 24pin?
 
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I do believe it does have a replaceable BIOS chip
That's interesting....any more info on replacing these BIOS chips?
a speaker is your friend.

one beep *should* be successful POST.
i know 4 beeps albeit an asus H67 board is a dead board.

at least that's what i heard took it back to the shop and it indeed a DOA. - i think asus beep codes are same(?) but the website might have info.

E; btw there are lights by the atx 24pin?
I occasionally get one beep then the start up graphics then THE BIOS IS UPDATING etc....and its sits there indefinitely.
I also got one long beep and four short beeps too once which means hardware failure...Lights on next to the ATX 24 pin, yes the RAM-OK LED Red if the ram is testing and it goes out, soild red if there is an error and green I think if RAM-OK is working, oh yes and also normally on a failed boot, a RED LED next to the RAM chips, the CPU light, it often stays RED indicating a CPU issue...
 

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Was the battery swapped?
 

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Lga i check pins and battery
 
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Lga i check pins and battery
I did have a good look at the pins in the sockets carefully on both board, they are fine.

Even if the video below is about a NAS failure, you can use the diagnostics methods he used to figure out the problem ( if you have the proper tools ).
WOW, that's proper science, thanks for that very interesting. I don't have the ability or the tools to do that repair sadly. Good stuff though.
 
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I just wanted to send the video as reference for testing methodology and BIOS regarding part.

As for ability, since the BIOS chip is socketed and not soldered on that motherboard, you don't have to unsolder/solder.

As for tooling, you can find a simple EEPROM BIOS USB Programmer on Amazon for less than $20.
 
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I just wanted to send the video as reference for testing methodology and BIOS regarding part.

As for ability, since the BIOS chip is socketed and not soldered on that motherboard, you don't have to unsolder/solder.

As for tooling, you can find a simple EEPROM BIOS USB Programmer on Amazon for less than $20.
Interesting that on this board its a socketed BIOS chip. I will need to take off the plastic "armour" to get to it. Not sure how easy that will be. I could possibly buy a pre-programmed one couldn't I.....Perhaps....
 
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Were you able to set the BIOS to default settings from within the BIOS?


There was another thread on TPU with similar events a while ago. I might have it wrong or mixed with another thread where it was suggested to unplug drives, there wasnt a bad drive, it just caused issues with the motherboard. Maybe try disconnecting everything, maybe even remove the video card, see what happens.
 
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Plastic armour removal should be easy, just be careful for the back metal plate while removing the plastic one. Metal plate is probably secured with the motherboards heatsinks but can't be sure and probably there is thermal pads at VRM area.

You can find un-programmed BIOS chip, but pre-programmed one might be hard. May be you can find if someone is selling already dead motherboard's BIOS chip
 
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Were you able to set the BIOS to default settings from within the BIOS?


There was another thread on TPU with similar events a while ago. I might have it wrong or mixed with anther thread were it was suggested to unplug drives, there wasnt a bad drive, it just caused issues with the motherboard. Maybe try disconnecting everything, maybe even remove the video card, see what happens.
It was a combo of bad bios flash, PSU and drives.
 
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