View Full Version : Having trouble with the Front Base and Z170? Check this out!

12-30-2015, 01:52 PM
So I decided to upgrade to Skylake and a Maximus VIII Hero to go with it (As a gift from me to me lol).

I thought a Front Base would be a nice addition to the setup, so why not, I bought that too. That was 2 weeks ago and until yesterday, I was still trying to figure out how to get the damned thing to work properly. Nothing I found online helped me completely solve the problem. At first, the Front Base wouldn't display anything. Then, I got it to display some (inaccurate) info, but all the function buttons (Escape, OC, Equalizer) where useless. Through all of these stages, every time I plugged headphones into the Front Base, I would get this annoying hissing/popping every time I did the smallest thing on the PC (Move mouse, scroll and so on).

I am now relieved to say I fixed every single issue with this hellish gadget. It baffles the mind when you buy a ROG gadget for a ROG MoBo, ask the retailer AND ASUS if they are compatible (They of course say "yes, buy our sh!t") and when you get it you have to fiddle with it for hours for it to work.

Anyhow, I decided to post a little guide of what I did to get everything working.

Step 1: I connected the Front Base to the MoBo (Using the USB Q Connector) after I installed all the drivers for the VIII Hero (AI Suite III, Sonic Suite 2, Realtek Drivers etc.). Note I DID NOT install ROG Connect Plus, as that seems to mess with the Front Base somehow.

Step 2: I downloaded the latest Front Base Drivers and FW here (https://www.asus.com/Motherboard-Accessories/ROG_Front_Base/HelpDesk_Download/) (They come in one package apparently) and installed them. Shut down computer, UNPLUGGED PSU POWER CABLE (Front base restarts), removed USB Q Connector and connected Front Base to Mobos ROG_EXT.

Step 3: Turned PC on. Now you can at least see some info on the Base. Fan Speeds, Core Clock, Temp etc. It is however inaccurate most of the time, and all other functions are deactivated. Here is the thing that NO ONE seemed to do on all the other posts about this problem: Search for "Front Base" in your search bar. An "app" named "Front Base Driver 1.01.17" should be found. Open it, and the Front Base should now be fully functional! You dont need to open this file every time you restart the computer, just once. If you happen to unplug the PC power cable or loose power somehow, you will need to open this file again once to get the Front Base properly working again, for some obscure reason I dont understand. I simply configured this file to start with windows every time I turn on my PC to be safe.

On the audio hiss and pop issue: This fix comes from another member of this forum (DaleR), who apparently fiddled with the Front Base waaaay longer than I did and has some electrical knowledge. Go to this thread (https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?51694-Noisy-EMI-Interference-when-using-headphones-on-ROG-Front-Base-(M7H)) and remove the mentioned 0-Ohm resistance. It apparently grounds the Front Base to the case or some crazy stuff, causing interference which results in the hiss and pop. Removing this resistor eliminates the interference completely.

Try this out guys. These steps turned my 60 Euro light show into the usable gadget its supposed to be out of the box.

02-17-2016, 08:13 AM

I've had much the same experience and actually spent the whole weekend looking for a solution and attempting different things. I even went so far as to install a fresh copy of Windows 10 along with updating all drivers prior to attempting to install the Front base. By creating system images I was then able to confidently roll back any changes that failed to work. Installing ROG Connect Plus is definitely one to avoid!
My experience is similar, in that when the motherboard has the power removed then the lower portion containing Audio presets fails to work any longer. I've also had plenty of occasions where the fans speeds work correctly on POST and stop working once in Windows. This is not an accessory for the faint hearted!
In my case your solution does not work. Having looked at the services that are running and the programs in startup I can see that the driver is set to run under the name WBarTT app.
The fix I have found works 100% repeatable is to flash back to firmware V47 and then back to V48 after powering down. I can remove the power completely from the PC and the Audio preset's are gone. Repeat this procedure and they come back. Nothing else has worked for me. Here's the exact steps...

Use flash utility located within the driver folder to flash back to V47 (requires the download of driver version 1.01.15)
After sucessfully flashing shutdown Windows. Please note: Windows must be shutdown, a quick restart does not appear to work!
Press and hold the Front Panel selctor for 5 seconds to confirm V47 is installed (top right corner of display)
Startup windows again.
Use flash utility to install V48 (requires the download of driver version 1.01.17)
All functions should now work!

Prior to the steps above, my system has already had driver version 1.01.17 installed. This does not need to be repeated and attempting to do so will first un-install the driver. ROG Connect Plus is not installed at all and neither do I have Ai Suite installed. All functions, clock, op-code, fan speeds, CPU and Mobo temp along with volume and audio presets work.

One noticeable side effect is that when not working correctly the Front Base displays M8H in the top right hand corner once Windows has fully loaded. When working correctly it displays ASUS.

Hope this helps someone else having similar issues!