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Bios update caused booting freeze when 3TB drives are connected


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#1 mwysocz

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 11:49 AM

Hello everyone,

 

I have this problem that I can't google the answer to (first time in 6 years I can't overcome an issue with my PC) and hoped someone might know how to help.

 

I have Asrock 970 Extreme3 main board, windows 10, 

many drives: 120GB SSD for windows (SATA), 1TB (SATA), 3TB (SATA), 3TB (SATA) and two external via USB.

The 3GB drives are both divided to 2GB and 1GB partitions.
(I know what you might ask so let me assure you - CPU is decent brand and sufficiently strong)

A bit of intro (you can skipp it I guess):
It worked for a long while but some issues started to appear over time - my PC was sometimes not starting and giving 4 short beeps - after some reading, experiments and test I took out one of two 8GB RAM and it seemed to have helped.

Recently (maybe month ago) though I had one of the windows updates (I think 1709) keeping failing over and over again and finally I decided to reinstal windows - I know 1709 was much earlier but I was ignoring the issue for as long as I had any hope it will end up installing and only recently decided to fix it by any means necesarry.

 

THE PROBLEM (don't skip this one!) :

My system became unstable again and failed to load giving me 4 short beeps. Eventually the system started but I knew it will happen again so I tried to google some fixes I could try. I came across some suggestions to check my BIOS version and it appeared there was a newer version supposingly making system more stable.

I installed it via USB from BIOS level. My previous BIOS version was P1.60 and now I upgraded to P1.80.

I was pretty terryfied when my PC froze on a Asrock welcome screen - I could not even enter the BIOS. Pressing delete would give one beep (nothing happened afterwards but at least there was a hint keybord works).

I tried then following tips I found and reseting BIOS - first with the pins, later with battery removal - but it didn't solve anything.

I then decided (on my own at this point) to try unpluging all drives but the SSD and voilla - windows started. I also regained acces to BIOS.

After some attempts to set it straight I came to the current situation:
My PC will only start if neither of the 3TB Seagate drives are connected. It does not mind my DVD or my 1TB drive.

If I connect either one of the 3TB drives the system will freeze BEFORE I get to go into BIOS. (so I can't even check if the BIOS sees these drives and if it want's to boot from them or not)
I tried finding online someone with similar problem but didn't find anything worthy.

And of course it all worked fine before the BIOS update just yesterday.

Any hints? (Does going back to P1.60 BIOS version makes any sense?) 

 

Chosen BIOS settings are:

------BOOT---------

Boot option #1: SSD

Boot option #2: Disabled

Boot option #3: Disabled

 

Hard drive BBS Priorities: Boot option #1: SSD 
                                          Boot option #2: Disabled

 

CD/DVD ROM Drive BBS Priorities: Boot option #1: DVD

 

Fast Boot: Disabled

Boot from Onboard LAN: Disabled

[...]

Boot Failure Guard: Enabled

[...]

-------Advanced----------

[...]

North bridge Conf: [...]

                              IOMMU: Disabled

[...]

Storage configuration: SATA Controller: Ennabled

                                    SATA Mode: AHCI Mode

                                    AMD AHCI BIOS ROM: Disabled

                                    SATA IDE Combined Mode: Enabled (I tried disabled too)

                                    Aggresive Link Power Management: Enabled (I tried disabled too)

[...]

 

 

Thank you for any help or advice :)
Michael


Edited by hamluis, 13 June 2018 - 06:34 AM.
Moved from Crashes/BSODs to Disk Mgmt - Hamluis.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 12:46 PM

I'm not sure you can go back to a previous firmware version. You may want to do a powercycle. Power down and remove the power cord and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Attach a 3TB drive and boot to see if it freezes. 

 

May I ask why you partitioned the 3TB to a 2TB and 1TB? 

 

SATA is hot swappable. Boot the computer. Attach the data and power cable for the 3TB drive. Enter UEFI firmware through Windows 10. Does it still freeze?

 

Were the externals attached when you attempted to boot with a 3TB drive attached. If yes, detach them and attempt to boot.

 

If it does I would attempt to revert your UEFI firmware but I would first contact ASRock and ask them if this is possible.

 

The only other idea would be the PSU but that would be a strange coincidence if it was.



#3 mwysocz

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 06:23 PM

Thank you for fast reply JohnC_21,

The 2TB Partition limit used to be a thing with old BIOS before UEFI (I remembered only it was a problem when first 3TB disks appeared and googled the rest just now).

I kept all my attempts with external drives unplugged.

Power circle didn't help.

 

I tried what you adviced with SATA drives (plug them in while PC is already on) and it worked fine - all four partitions showed up right away.

Unfortunatelly after restarting the same freeze occured.

I tried to follow your link but I do not have UEFI Firmware Settings option in step 7 - I found out that the reason is I have Legacy Bios Mode instead of UEFI.

 

I learned I can and I should convert from Legacy to UEFI and I just did (pretty stressful btw.) - the missing "UEFI Firmware Settings" option showed up but when I chose it and the PC restarted it didn't go pass the Asrock Initial screen (same freeze occured).

 

To summerize:

I have acces to windows and it runs on UEFI now. All drives are working but the two 3TB drives (4 partitions total) can only be accessed by pluging them in when Windows is already on. If either one of these is connected while booting then the boot freezes on the initial Asrock screen and BIOS is not accessable.

 

Any other ideas?

 

Thank you :)



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 June 2018 - 07:59 PM

Do you have the option to copy all the data from one 3TB drive to another drive?

 

If yes, then do the following. Download Partition Wizard. Attach the 3TB drive to the computer after boot. Run Partition Wizard and do the following steps.

 

Delete all partitons.

Initialize disk as GPT

create a new NTFS primary partition on the drive. This will use the full 3TB capacity.

 

All steps are virtual and will complete when Apply is clicked. After the drive has been partitioned and formatted with a GPT partition table reboot and see if the computer freezes.

 

FYI, if a disk is formated with a MBR partition table you cannot access more than 2TB.

 

Partition wizard does have the ability to convert MBR to GPT but you should still back up your data on the drive before conversion and you would need to resize the 2TB partition to 3TB. Personally, I would do the the steps requiring the deletion of all partitions.



#5 mwysocz

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 06:56 AM

JohnC_21 - thank you!

 

The two 3 TB drives are being sort of back up for one another (manual backup, not raid) so I just checked I have everything on one and I did what you advised and it worked. Copying almost 3TB of data took a while (SATA3) but after I've completed the cycle I tried restarting PC with the 3TB GPT drive (second remains MBR but I will change it now) and it worked.

 

I noticed all my drives were MBR. I changed the C drive with mbr2gpt.exe available in Windows since build 1709 in order to change my bios from Legacy to UEFI like I explained before. This was done without interfering with partitions.

 

I am considering now to change to GPT all other drives (including the ones that caused no problems) - would you recommend it? Would you try mbr2gpt.exe or would you rather backup, format, initialize as GPT and then restore data? I mean is there any really good reason not to use mbr2gpt.exe service provided by Windows?

[edit] I noticed there is an option to convert MBR to GPT in Minitool Partition Wizard as well - I think this is the way to try first after backing up the data (just in case).
 

Thank you again very much :)

PS. I'll update after second 3TB drive passes same path to confirmed it all worked out the same.


Edited by mwysocz, 12 June 2018 - 07:12 AM.


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:52 AM

Your Welcome, and thanks for the update.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 10:54 AM

I am considering now to change to GPT all other drives (including the ones that caused no problems) - would you recommend it? Would you try mbr2gpt.exe or would you rather backup, format, initialize as GPT and then restore data? I mean is there any really good reason not to use mbr2gpt.exe service provided by Windows?

[edit] I noticed there is an option to convert MBR to GPT in Minitool Partition Wizard as well - I think this is the way to try first after backing up the data (just in case).

 

Sorry, I am a little late on this. The mbr2gpt utility will only work on System drives if I can remember correctly. It will not work on data drives without a system. If all your data is backed up on other devices then go ahead and use the Minitools Partition Wizard to convert from MBR to GPT. I would not do it if the data is not backed up even though the chance of failure is very small.

 

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/mbr-to-gpt

  • Convert any attached MBR-formatted system disk to the GPT partition format. You cannot use the tool to convert non-system disks from MBR to GPT.

     

     


Edited by JohnC_21, 12 June 2018 - 10:56 AM.


#8 mwysocz

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 02:59 PM

Minitools Partition Wizard worked like a charm - all drives are GPT now.

 

Also the second 3TB drive is one partition now and PC starts fine :)

 

Thank you JohnC_21



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 03:19 PM

Your Welcome,

Glad it's all sorted now. What I find strange is the computer would not boot with a MBR 3TB drive even though it was a data only drive.



#10 mwysocz

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:15 PM

Your Welcome,

Glad it's all sorted now. What I find strange is the computer would not boot with a MBR 3TB drive even though it was a data only drive.

 

I was wondering the same thing - it did work for years on the previous BIOS.
And also weird I was getting the initial screen but frozen before being able to get into BIOS.

 

What I did notice though in Minitools Partition Wizard was that before conversion both partitions on 3TB disks were "primary" - still - it did not stop my PC from booting for years before.

 

It was a long BIOS change - it took about 3 days total :) (Only copying 3TB via SATA3 took around 10 hours and I had to do it twice)



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 12 June 2018 - 07:59 PM

I was surprised you had the 3TB drives as MBR. MBR can only detect a max of 2TB so normally a 3TB drive will show has having one partition as 2TB and the rest as unallocated. You posted the 3TB drives were partitioned as a 2TB and a 1TB. Did your 3TB drives have any unallocated space after the first partition? It would show as about 740GB.

 

3tb-hard-drive-only-uses-2tb-1.jpg



#12 mwysocz

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 03:50 AM

I had each of these 3TB disks divided into 1000GB and the rest (must have been about 1794GB).

Both partitions were described as "Healthy (Primary Partition)" - seemed a bit weird to me yesterday that there are two Primary Partitions on one physical drive but maybe this is normal or maybe this was some weird workaround that I did about 6-7 years ago following some online tips how to deal with 3TB drives back then. It did not strike me as odd before since whatever I did 6-7 years ago went down smoothly and worked like a charm.

This setup worked for me for quite a while though - on Windows 7 initially but it survived free upgrade to windows 10 and further - I made a clean install of Windows 10 recently (maybe 1-2 months ago) and it still worked just fine.

 

Kind of regretting now I didn't take a screenshot but what's done is done. Besides the screenshot would just say what I just described :)






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