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X99 Chinese motherboard stuck at BIOS error code 99

jave808

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Hi,
I bought a X99 chipset motherboard from China off ebay. Yes, yes they are of dubious quality. But here we are.

Problem is that I can't get past the BIOS error code 99. I'm using a Xeon E5-2620v3 CPU and 32GB of non-ECC RAM @ 2400Mhz. System also powers up as soon as I switch on the PC at the wall - does that tell you anything?

I don't need to get this going. This is a "project". Plus the ebay seller has refunded me the full amount for the board. (US$90 plus shipping.)

I have found a site, but it's in Russian - https://vk.com/topic-113086402_40446986 Poster has modified the BIOS to unlock certain features. I don't need those features now - just need to POST. Thanks!

Oh, btw, board has part number of zx-99ev3_v1.23 marked on the board.

I fixed the auto switching on problem. There was a jumper on the board marked J_AUTO_ON. So move the jumper across and now the PC doesn't start up as soon as it gets power from the wall.
 
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Check the 24 pin power and EPS are plugged in fully, and disconnect everything else.
 
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Most chinese boards have POST codes similar to ASUS.
#99 is listed as "Super I/O initialization", which can only mean 2 things:
1) Super I/O is dead or malfunctioning (least likely, cause it's usually genuine new Nuvoton chips)
2) PCH is dead or malfunctioning (more likely, cause in most of those "x79/x99" boards PCH is refurbished mismatched assortment of random crap)

There are few desperate things you could try, but from my personal experience with these I can tell you that chances are slim.
1) Reset CMOS
2) If you have an SPI programmer at hand - try some other BIOS, or re-flash the original firmware on a new flash IC (preferrably genuine Macronix or Winbond)
3) If you have someone with soldering skills and equipment, you can try swapping the Super I/O (a lot easier than swapping PCH).

If nothing helps - just throw that shit in a dumpster and get a proper motherboarad. HP Z440 and Lenovo S30 boards are super-cheap nowadays. I'm currently in progress of building both Z420 and Z440 systems on a super-tight budget, and I can tell you for sure it's going to be cheaper and more reliable than random shit off Aliexpress.
 

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jave808

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If nothing helps - just throw that shit in a dumpster and get a proper motherboarad. HP Z440 and Lenovo S30 boards are super-cheap nowadays. I'm currently in progress of building both Z420 and Z440 systems on a super-tight budget, and I can tell you for sure it's going to be cheaper and more reliable than random shit off Aliexpress.
Fair enough. Just thought I'd probe people's minds at to the cause of the error.

I have reset CMOS plenty of times - no go. Board was apparently tested before shipment, which is one of the reasons I bought it. Seller has refunded me so all good.
 
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I think my Z440 system will actually end up cheaper than Z420 system.
Locally I can get a board for under $80 with PSU adapters and all the jumpers/sensors needed to avoid HP diagnostic errors.
I also have the same E5-2620v3, which cost me less than $20. DDR4 RDIMMs are also getting cheaper by the day. You can actually sell your UDIMMs, get some cheap RDIMMs and use leftover cash to partially cover a new motherboard.

BTW, if your goal is to play with overclocking, I can tell you right now that on retail v3 xeons it's very underwhelming (especially on C612 boards). But it's perfect for home/lab servers and cheap CAD workstations.
 
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Why did you buy unbranded motherboard in the first place? You can find a used X99 motherboard from a reputable vendor for cheap too.

$200 for that board is a rip off, you can find people from tech forum marketplaces sell such gear for much cheaper.
 
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