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  1. #1
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    Question Crosshair VIII Dark Hero - Randomly hardlocks

    Hello,

    I own two Crosshair Dark Hero boards (and a Strix X570-e that has never let me down) and both have the same two issues.

    The issues being random hardlocking (requires powercycling the PSU for the system to get back up), which happened more frequently as I ran overclocked memory and a static noise when moving cursor on the right audio channel of the motherboard audio header. Note: the hardlocking was also happening when running completely stock settings.

    Setup is powered by a Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 750W PSU, GPU is a Strix 5700XT.

    The first board, I purchased originally in January 2021 and all was good with that board until I actually tried running XMP with a Samsung B-Die kit (HX432C16PB3K2 - Arguably garbage tier, but I didn't know any better) and a 3100, which was a placeholder for my current CPU, a 5900X. It would sporadically hardlock with XMP enabled. I went as far as RMA'ing it and the same stuff kept happening. Then, I went with a completely different kit, with Hynix DJR (F4-4000C18Q32GVK) and it still did the same thing. I later tried both CPU's and RAM kits and crosschecked, and it still kept happening. I gave the board for an RMA at my retailer, and they sent it to an ASUS repair center in the Czech Republic - The note was that there was no issue found. Since then, it kept repeating more often - even a couple times a day.

    Then I switched back to an older motherboard, namely a Strix X570-e that never any issues. I even ran my manual RAM OC on that board with no issues at all and it never hardlocked! Not only that, there was no issue with static noise when moving the cursor on the right audio channel. Ran for a month on this setup and was really annoyed by the PCH fan whine, but whatever.

    Then I purchased at an outlet another Dark Hero for crosstesting - and first thing I noticed, is that the electical noise on the right audio channel is still present. Still, I said to myself, it will probably not matter. I proceeded to set up the RAM OC and everything worked just fine with no hiccups for a month.

    Until this morning. I left the PC in sleep mode, and what do I wake up to? Hardlocked with orange light and 00 Qcode.

    This wouldn't be an issue for me, if the only thing I would be doing on this machine was bull****ting around in Cyberbug or whatever - but I'm actually also using it for school / work.

    Please, someone help me here. I'm really so done with all of this.

    Kind regards,
    Matt / D3

  2. #2
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    Hi D3hum4niz3d,
    Do you hear the electrical noise from the right audio channel of the headphones or also speakers?
    Does it also occurs when plug the headphones or speakers into the front panel? or also when plug them into the rear panel?
    Have you tried other mouse and headphones or speakers?

    Did you get orange light and 00 Qcode when the pc hardlocked?
    For 00 Qcode, please refer to the following link.
    https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1043948/

    Do the two issues occur on bios 4201 with bios all default settings?
    Thank you.

  3. #3
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    Hard lock ups like this are like more than 90% memory related. Relax your OC or boost the Vram. If its at optimized settings then its time to look though your memory sticks. Are they all from one kit or mixed? A lot of issues arise from buying say 1 kit of 2 sticks then buying another kit with the same SKU. They are binned into kits at the factory with the number of sticks verified to run their XKMP settings. Start mixing them and its a crap shoot on whether they play nice together. If they are all the same kit Id try starting with one stick then adding one at a time until the problem recreates itself.

    Could also be the IMC in the CPU itself not liking it or needing more juice.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by STARRAIN@ROG View Post
    Hi D3hum4niz3d,
    Do you hear the electrical noise from the right audio channel of the headphones or also speakers?
    Does it also occurs when plug the headphones or speakers into the front panel? or also when plug them into the rear panel?
    Have you tried other mouse and headphones or speakers?

    Did you get orange light and 00 Qcode when the pc hardlocked?
    For 00 Qcode, please refer to the following link.
    https://www.asus.com/support/FAQ/1043948/

    Do the two issues occur on bios 4201 with bios all default settings?
    Thank you.
    Hi STARRAIN,

    I have not tried the rear header yet, so I will try it. I've tested the onboard audio with 2 different headphones - KZ ZS10 Pro and a set of older Sony earbuds. I've got the optical out on the motherboard hooked up to my amp (Onkyo TR-NR636) and a set of speakers, and the noise is not present. I've additionally checked on the jack output on the amp with a set of Sennheiser HD598's, noise is not present on digital out. Digital audio through DisplayPort to my monitor (ACER XR343CKP) also does not have this issue. Seems to be exclusive to the motherboard onboard audio. It's present whether or not I'm running default settings or tinkering with SoC voltage/memory OC/PBO tinkering. I have not tested the rear jack though, so when I get home I will reply with the results.

    And it's also not a chassis grounding issue. I've recently swapped out from my Phanteks Enthoo Primo to a Corsair 7000X, issue persists.

    Both motherboards have this issue. The noise is exactly the same.

    This issue IS NOT PRESENT ON THE STRIX X570-E with the same hardware configuration (5900X, both kits I mentioned earlier, Strix 5700XT, Toughpower GF-1 750W).

    Regarding the orange light and the 00 Qcode...

    Yes, it always appears when the board hardlocks.

    On the first board (the one I purchased in January 2021) it would happen regardless if I ran any OC, optimized defaults or default after CMOS clear. Would happen regardless of load - it would hardlock during heavy use, idle or even in sleep mode. I tested it with both RAM kits, running stock / overclocked memory / running default bios settings did not seem to matter for the board - it'd still hardlock. One thing I noticed, is that running OC'd memory would trigger the board to hardlock more often. I've tested two CPU's - a 3100 and a 5900X - and two sets of RAM , crosschecked 3100 with the Gskill/HyperX kit and vice versa, and issue would persist regardless of the CPU / RAM combo and BIOS settings.

    The second Dark Hero I purchased in March/April this year, ran fine up until last sunday. And I don't mean "fine" by daily use. I ran Memtest, karhu (16000% coverage), P95 small FFT, OCCT to confirm whether the system is stable. Both with my memory OC and on default settings. AND IT PASSED ALL OF IT. So, fast forward to last Saturday. Finished playing Elden Ring / Black Desert in the late evening and set the PC to sleep, as I always do. Went to sleep. Woke up on Sunday morning to see the system hadlocked with the exact same Qcode and DRAM light. System was obviously hardlocked during sleep, as fans were down - previous hardlocks that happened on the first Dark Hero would make the fans/aio run at max speed when it locked when the system was running. Power cycled the system, and it's been up the entire Sunday under heavy load with no issues at all.

    Both boards were tested with BIOS ver. 4006. The january 2021 board went through all the BIOS versions since 3204 I believe, as I updated the board as soon as I got it in my hands. I've not yet tried 4201.

    Only power cycling the PSU helps. Holding the start button for 10 seconds does nothing, pressing the reset switch does nothing, pressing the retry switch does nothing. The motherboard is not responsive at all, despite the start button being illuminated.

    Once again, issue is not present on the STRIX X570-E with the exact same hardware configuration, 5900X, Gkill Hynix DJR @1,4V CL16 3800MHz.

    I strongly doubt it's the PSU, but nonetheless, I've ordered an Corsair HX1200 which will come this/next week, so at that point the only thing remaining would be the GPU.

    If it would help, I can send the S/N's of all the boards I have with annotations which Dark Hero is which, including the Strix X570-E that works without issues (Jan 2021 / Apr 2022).

    Kind regards,
    D3

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigJohnny View Post
    Hard lock ups like this are like more than 90% memory related. Relax your OC or boost the Vram. If its at optimized settings then its time to look though your memory sticks. Are they all from one kit or mixed? A lot of issues arise from buying say 1 kit of 2 sticks then buying another kit with the same SKU. They are binned into kits at the factory with the number of sticks verified to run their XKMP settings. Start mixing them and its a crap shoot on whether they play nice together. If they are all the same kit Id try starting with one stick then adding one at a time until the problem recreates itself.

    Could also be the IMC in the CPU itself not liking it or needing more juice.
    Hi BigJohny,

    I've never mixed RAM sticks. I've tried two kits different kits - first kit being a HyperX 3200Mhz CL16 2*8GB Samsung B-Die, the other being a Gskill 4000Mhz 4*8GB Hynix DJR kit. Both kits rated at 1,35V. I'm running the HynixDJR kit with a manual OC @1,4V 3800MHz CL16 with tightened timings. Passed multiple stress tests with my manual RAM OC. Regardless, it was still happening even with no OC applied at all.

    Whatever CPU/RAM configuration I used, stock settings in BIOS or not, single stick or two or four, does not matter. The first board would still hardlock.

    The second one seems to have no issues when the system is running - but hardlocked in sleep this Sunday after at least a month of issue-free use.

    It seems to be an issue with the Dark Hero boards, as I've crosschecked with both CPU's (5900X and 3100) and RAM kits on a Strix X570-e , where no issues ever occurred, whether running stock or memory OC.

    Kind regards,
    D3

  6. #6
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    Hi D3hum4niz3d,
    May I double confirm you also got orange light and 00 Qcode when the pc hardlocked with the first dark hero motherboard?
    Please try bios 4201 with bios all default settings.
    If the two issues still occur, please share me the result when you plug the headphones into the rear panel and try with other PSU.
    Please also check if your RAM in our QVL list.
    https://rog.asus.com/motherboards/ro...esk_qvl_memory
    Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Hey Starrain,

    The rear jack port seems to be completely issue free. Tried the case jack - also seemed not to have it anymore, instead had some generic white noise, which is not present on rear jack. ? IDK. As I said, new PSU is coming, so I'll test with that. Diffeerence between the Corsair 7000X and Phanteks Primo is that the center motherboard standoff is not screwed in., it is just a brass pole to prevent the mainboard from moving.

    F4-4000C18Q32GVK Afaik is not on the QVL list.

    However,

    HX432C16PB3K2 is on the QVL list, and I went through two kits of these VIA RMA, as I first suspected my original kit was busted.

    Two CPU's were used to test: My original 3100 and my current daily, 5900X.

    The hardlocks on the first board happened regardless of the kit / cpu used, regardless if running stock settings or XMP or manual OC. The second board's only failure is that it hardlocked once when it was left in sleep mode. After reading through the 50 page thread, I've tried triggering the issue manually, by doing random intervals between waking from sleep, to no avail. Left it in sleep for +16 hours yesterday, no hardlock yet.

    I've also got another board coming my way (an Aorus Xtreme X570 rev2, which should arrive today or tomorrow), so I will crosstest with something that is not made by ASUS.

    IDK. The 50+ page thread does not fill me with confidence. Seems like the boards are DOA with some factory defect.

    Kind regards,
    D3
    Last edited by D3hum4niz3d; 05-18-2022 at 07:00 AM.

  8. #8
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    Hi D3hum4niz3d,
    It seems the users in 50 page thread you mentioned don't get orange light and 00 Qcode, so it is probably different from your issue.
    Thank you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by STARRAIN@ROG View Post
    Hi D3hum4niz3d,
    It seems the users in 50 page thread you mentioned don't get orange light and 00 Qcode, so it is probably different from your issue.
    Thank you.
    Hi Starrain,

    I think there was at least one person who mentioned the same hardlock symptom as I had, but board was randomly picking either orange or white LED. I've also had actual orange lights during OC, when I was testing RAM OC limits, but none of them result in the board hardlocking like this. A legitimate orange light / q code allows to power down the system without PSU cycling.

    I'll test the first board tomorrow most likely with the new PSU (it arrived today, but I have some overdue work to finish this evening), with the 3100 and the HyperX kit that is on the QVL. Both ran for at least a year in the Strix X570 I mentioned in my first post without any issues. When the board inevitably hardlocks, I'll get it on camera and send a link on YT with both the board q code, and the aftermath of what is set in BIOS (I'll try doing a before and after updating BIOS from 4006 to 4201). I'll skip testing with the 5900X as it is a pain to keep removing and reattaching the AIO from my daily driver - and I don't have an endless supply of MX-5.

    I've also replaced the second DH with the Aorus I mentioned last post, need to work a bit on the RAM OC to get it back up and running with the same settings ( I suspect I will need to dial in a bit more voltage than on the DH, DRAM voltage in hw mon is teporting Dram 1,38 V, DH had 1,39V, didn't bother checking with a multimeter yet.

    Afterwards, I'll also test the second board as well - but due to the nature of the issue being random, I have no idea what the ETA for it will be.

    Kind regards,
    D3

  10. #10
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    MotherboardCrosshair VIII Formula
    ProcessorAMD Ryzen 5950x
    Memory (part number)64gb KHX3600C18D4
    Graphics Card #1XFX 5600XT
    Graphics Card #2XFX 5600XT
    Sound CardCreative A-E5
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    OS Windows 11 (All Current)

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    What are you using for cooling? By your posts I'm assuming you are assembling in the case... Have you tried assembling outside of case to ensure nothing is shorting out?

    Some things that can cause what you are experiencing are:
    Over voltage
    Short circuit
    Overclocking
    And even a simple thing as a cmos battery

    Just some thoughts

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