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VIII Hero Motherboard q-code 35 / 4F

Zxurian
Level 8
Hoping the community can shed some light as this is now the second Maximus VIII Hero motherboard that is exhibiting the same symptoms and ASUS just wants me to RMA it back for a third one, but I don't know if I want a third one if it's a symptom of the board itself.

Specs:
Maximus VIII Hero
Intel i7-6700K
G.Skill F4-3200C16D-16GTZB - http://www.gskill.com/en/product/f4-3200c16d-16gtzb
EVGA GTX 770 4GB
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB
Seasonic Platinum 1000w - http://www.seasonicusa.com/Platinum_Series.htm

Originally put the system together Nov 3rd. System booted beautifully, Put Win10Prox64 on it, installed base MB drivers, installed the System AI software and let it go through the 5-way auto-tuning. It ran through it, and self-OC'd the CPU to 4.5GHz stable. I had to manually set the timings of the ram to match the specs of it (3200-16-18-18-38-2N), but after that, the system ran beautifully.
Ran windows updates, installed minimal software (steam+games, few apps, nothing major as I was still getting used to the system.)

It ran beautifully, played Fallout 4, other games, no issues at all. Over this past weekend I went to a LAN party, and ~ 20:00 on the 14th, Win10 BSOD'd. Didn't think anything of it at the time and just restarted it. On restart, it immediately crashed. Tried restarting it again, and it wouldn't even get past POST.

After this, I took the side off, and tried cold booting. Q-Code showed 35 which according to manual is "CPU Post-Memory Initialization". Swapping RAM between slots, taking out discrete PCI-E, anytime I tried to boot, it always stuck at q-code 35. Occasionally it would get to 4F, but almost all the time it stopped at 35. Never any video, either discrete or onboard.

I was within the return window for Amazon, so I had them send me a replacement on Monday. Got the new board in yesterday. Disassembled everything off the first motherboard, re-put everything back together on the new (second) motherboard, upon first power on, same non-POSTing, same q-code 35. Tried the hard CMOS reset, same thing. non-POST, 35.

At this point I called ASUS tech support. They had me run through everything I've already done, (reseat, swap RAM slots, attempt to RMA but I told them this is already the second board I've received. The last thing they had me try was updating the BIOS. (Interesting side note, based on the sticker at the top right the new board came with BIOS version 0508, but the ASUS support representative claimed that there is no BIOS with that version for this motherboard.) They had me download a series of BIOS versions and use the BIOS USB Flashback feature to step through the following BIOS upgrades. 0603 > 0802 > 1001 > 1102. Afterwords, no change. still doesn't post and gets stuck at q-code 35.

At this point ASUS Support wants me to call them back tonight and being the RMA process for the motherboard, however this will be my third motherboard in under a month, and I'm wondering if either a) There's a problem with the Maximus VIII Series that they're ducking, or b) It's not the motherboard but a separate issue that they haven't identified.

Has anyone else experienced these issues or can possibly offer some guidance other than just "RMA for the third motherboard" ?
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19 REPLIES 19

NemesisChild
Level 12
Welcome to he forum!

I'm about to do my first Z170 build and will be using the same CPU, board, and memory set.
So you tried removing your 770 and posting with only the onboard 6700k iGPU?
Try posting with only one stick of memory installed and with no USB devices attached.

If you can verify no bent or broken socket pins and if none of the above works, the PSU would be next on my radar screen.
Do you have another unit that you can test in your system?
Have you tried assembling outside of the case to rule a possible electrical short?
Intel i9 10850K@ 5.3GHz
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E
Corsair H115i Pro XT
G.Skill TridentZ@ 3600MHz CL14 2x16GB
EVGA RTX 3090 Ti FWT3 Ultra
OS: WD Black SN850 1TB NVMe M.2
Storage: WD Blue SN550 2TB NVMe M.2
EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2
ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601

NemesisChild wrote:
So you tried removing your 770 and posting with only the onboard 6700k iGPU?

yes

NemesisChild wrote:
Try posting with only one stick of memory installed and with no USB devices attached.

Yes, and Yes (also single stick in different slots)

NemesisChild wrote:
If you can verify no bent or broken socket pins

I looked and it didn't see bent pins. Also, if there were bent pins, I don't think it would have run for a week and a half without issues.
NemesisChild wrote:
and if none of the above works, the PSU would be next on my radar screen.
Do you have another unit that you can test in your system?

The same power supply was working fine in this system, and also ran my previous system for a year without issue. I'll use a power supply tester separately when I get home to get the exact voltages on the 12v/5v lines, but I'm pretty confident it's not the power supply.

Have you tried assembling outside of the case to rule a possible electrical short?

I have not tried that yet. If you think it's worth it, I can try that, but like I said, the system ran with the same hookups for 2 weeks without issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if there was a short against the case, it would never have worked originally.

Chino
Level 15

Chino wrote:
When your system halts with the 35 QCODE, do any of the QLEDs beside the 24 pin power connector remain lit?


Nope. CPU light turns on, then off, followed by DRAM light on, then off, as it goes through the steps prior to it stopping at 35. So no problems indicated. (Manual says they would be flashing if there was an issue.)

Chino
Level 15
Correct. The QLED will remain lit if a problem was present.

Clear your CMOS for me. Then insert a single module in the DIMM_B2 slot. Power on your system. If it halts, press the MemOK! button on the motherboard. See if your system is able to post.

Also do you have the 8 pin power cable connected to the motherboard header?

Chino wrote:
Correct. The QLED will remain lit if a problem was present.

Clear your CMOS for me. Then insert a single module in the DIMM_B2 slot. Power on your system. If it halts, press the MemOK! button on the motherboard. See if your system is able to post.

Also do you have the 8 pin power cable connected to the motherboard header?


That's been twice already, each time with a different stick of ram. Each time, hitting MemOK! Button causes system to reset, then starts to boot and gets stuck at post code 35.

Yes, 8 pin is connected. I'm going to try a different power supply in a bit per the suggestion above.

so interesting side note. Got downstairs, decided to try it for the sake of it. turned on power, hit power button, system started to POST as usual, but this time got stuck at code 04, which is according to manual is "PCH initialization before microcode loading".

So... that happened.

Chino
Level 15
Correct.

Please remove everything from your case and put the motherboard on top of the cardboard box that it came in. Use only the bare minimum.

If your system still refuses to post, then you'd need some extra parts to further diagnose the problem. See if you can borrow a stick of DDR4 or CPU from a friend. Or take your system down to a PC repair store and have them test it for you.

Chino wrote:
Please remove everything from your case and put the motherboard on top of the cardboard box that it came in. Use only the bare minimum.

Done. At yhis point, the only thing I'm working with is the motherboard, cpu, and one stick of RAM, on cardboard. I just tried another power supply and same issue. Asus wants me to return it for a third. Amazon won't honor a third and instead gave me an RMA for a the second one and says they have to remove the product from sale while they check it out.

At this point I'm left trying to find someone / someplace that has Skylake / z170 hardware for me to possibly test different components.

@NemesisChild
Thanks for the update. Even though Asus says they want me to RMA the board for a third one, with the fact that none of the component lights are flashing indicating failure, I still think now it could be one of the components,expecially given that you have a working build now.