As the title states I found the root cause of all the misery and agony that DZ68BC users have been encountering with the 003X BIOS.
The root cause is the Intel Management Engine Version.
Initially the DZ68BC was designed to run only one version and that was the Version 7. which works pretty well. Then Introduction of 3rd gen had them Include Version 8 in the BIOS file and by doing so lead to the problems encountered with various versions of the 003x BIOS.
The issues arise coz the BIOS files carry two versions of Intel ME which are 8 & 7, the initial ones did not have both versions in the BIOS files they had only one version hence there were no issues.
I will not go into details of various methods that lead me to this conclusion, unless if any one wants please reply in the thread and i will explain.
DZ68BC Boards that I have tested versions 403 and 402.
The simplest answer and conclusion is Intel should compile 2 separate BIOS files for the DZ68BC
1. For people with 2nd Gen the BIOS should only have the Version 7 Intel ME
2. For people with 3rd Gen the BIOS should only have the Version 8 Intel ME
eg the 0039 BIOS should be two (0039 2nd Gen) and (0039 3rd Gen)
The problem arises when the two are present, and the board cant determine correctly which to install depending on scenario of the set up.
eg If you are to install a 3rd gen you need to have 2nd gen to update then while updating the BIOS the Intel ME stays at the V7 instead of moving to V8 then when you instal 3gen CPU it works but the system becomes unstable mostly with the 0035 BIOS, if you update from 0035 to any 003x or run recovery with same BIOS it moves to V8 the instability is gone but you get Intel ME and PCH issues and if on the 0035 Overclock issue on it.
So its either Intel Complies 2 BIOS for the Board or 1 that has only Version 7 of the Intel ME and they should forget about the Version 8.
Intel PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS acknowledge by also producing a BIOS UPDATE
Oh and one more thing, the two versions of the DZ68BC BIOS if produced by Intel do not have to indicate 2nd or 3rd gen, alternatively the BIOS could indicate eg
0039 (With Intel ME V7) or 0039 (With Intel ME V8)
The above preposition is to allow the user to install any of the above BIOS and determine which works for them because there are different board Versions and maybe some were not meant to go past Version 7 of Intel ME and some were meant to go all the way to Version 8, regardless of the CPU being 2nd gen or 3rd gen.
This was just another observation, Intel can father look into it.
One thing for sure is the presence of both Intel ME version in the BIOS file causes the malfunction on the DZ68BC as at times the board cant determine which to use hence the Intel ME showing 0.0.0.0 and the PCH showing 0.0.
Please Intel look into this and get us all a working BIOS.
If i had the tool used to compile Intel BIOS i would do it my self and create two separate BIOS for DZ68BC as I have stated above, compiling each BIOS with only one version of Intel ME and testing both.
Intel might be surprised to find that maybe we all need only one version in the long run my be Version 8 or may be Version 7
This is the work around we have when using 6 series motherboards and 3rd gen Processors.
However I will escalate your comments to our engineers department. I would have an update very soon.
I got to the conclusion by doing a number of tests, it was not intentional but i stumbled upon the conclusion just last week and confirmed it yesterday.
So Initially I had AAG30742-402 and when i updated it in readiness for the 3rd gen CPU i was to get 1 year ago the problems started with the 0035 which was displaying wrong processor speed for i5-2500K that i had, and could not change the overclock settings, Then a week later got the current CPU I have the i7-3770 after installing it there was immediate boot up issues (When switching on computer it would shut down on its own first then on again on its won) only that that time round the CPU wrong values which were 4.3GHz were in effect as it overclocked the CPU on its own, after several restarts it would display correct values and work appropriately, but from cold boot it would be the loop all over again. contacted Intel was advised to run recovery with the then only BIOS 0035 and it seemed to solve the start up issue but did not solve the overclocking issue, It never had Intel ME issues on 0035 til the other fleet of BIOS 003X arrived 0036, 0037 & 0039 had the Intel ME issue but they solved overclocking issue. (The story is long check other posts that i posted in in the community)
As of last week Friday I have been running a replacement DZ68BC, AAG30742-403. which come with BIOS 0035 and is when i noticed that Intel ME is the root of the problem. so the board worked but when checking the Intel ME it shipped with it was version 7 instead of 8, explains why the board kept shutting down first during cold boot then back on before posting as normal, the *suspicious* bit was the BIOS 0035 it shipped with did not at anytime show any wrong values in the BIOS, so it never overclocked the CPU on its own, But had the same instability issue as the one posted on Intel's website.
So contacted Intel yesterday through chat, and was instructed to update bios to the latest one so i updated to 0039 from 0035 and immediately after a massage displayed that "Intel does not guarantee the current BIOS to be operational as it should please contact @ Intel support website" cant remember exact words. but then entered BIOS by pressing F2 and sad part is that the Intel ME issue was there, so I restarted went into BIOS again and Intel ME was version 7, not 8.
I went back to BIOS 0035 but that time round it was the broken version 0035 coz it overclocked the CPU and it was unstable as usual and again that time round the Intel ME in it was non longer 7 but was 8, tho oo35 does not have the Intel ME issue not initializing at start up, always works correctly but it overclocks the CPU and the clocks take effect on 3rd gen CPU only. Then I went back to 0039 as it was stable and i did not want the CPU overclocked though with Intel ME issue 0.0.0.0 after restart it shows version 8 Intel ME but always at cold boot still 0.0.0.0
Contacted Intel again and was give another procedure, which solved the Intel ME issue (Now Intel ME was Version 8, and Computer booted up as it should with no problems) but afterwords i went into BIOS and enabled Fast BOOT options all 3 of them and immediately after pressing F10 to save it then shut down and when it started up again, when I managed to get into BIOS the Intel ME issue 0.0.0.0 and PCH 0.0 issue come back. This time round even when I retried the workaround procedure that i was given it did not work.
here is a work around that worked but after all Fast Boot features enabled you will be back to square 1 haven't been able to get it back to work correctly (The work around May work If it does never enable Fast Boot)
here:You need to downgrade the BIOS to 0036 version again via recovery. After you have installed again the BIOS version 0036, update the BIOS to version 0037 in flash mode via the F7. After that update the BIOS to version 0039 in flash mode and again re update the BIOS to the same version 0039 in recovery mode. The ME should be update correctly.
So far, chatted with Intel Rep today April 30th, 2013 and the rep informed me that the Issue was updated today and is still under investigation.
Is Intel doing anything about this or not?
It's been about an year now since these faulty BIOS have plagued this otherwise great board.
WE NEED A SOLUTION!
If Intel is able to provide a fix before May 25, then great, otherwise, I'm sorry to say, I'll have to go in for a new board from some other manufacturer and Intel will lose a loyal customer.
Chatted with another Intel Rep yesterday and the rep told me that the issue was accelerated and that they are looking into finding a solution. The weird thing was the rep told me they have many cases to look into but from all those cases only 1 is the DZ68BC case that I'm currently following up, other than that they claim there is no other case apart from mine.
So to all DZ68BC users with Issues please open up cases with Intel, easiest way is through chat and they will give you a service ticket to follow up with.
I also chatted with an Intel rep today.
He says that Intel doesn't support overclocking and hence then can't do anything about that issue, but he'll forward my other issues to the proper departments.
He said that he can't tell me the progress of your findings of the problem since what you reported is being handled by some other team.
Surprisingly, he also said that not many complaints have been registered for this board.
I just hope they come up with a solution soon.
Got a call from Intel today. The person informed me that most probably the version of the processor (i7 2600k 2nd gen) and the board (version 402) are not matching, and that is causing the problems.
So I'll have to send it over to their center for diagnostics and he promised me that I'll be returned a fully functional system within 1-2 weeks of submitting the board. I'll submit my board by the end of this month now. Let's see.
Also have problem.
Board version 401. Try bios version 0037,0039.
Samsung memory modules 1333,8gb, 4 dimm.
After disconnecting the power cord, board lost half dimms (16 GB of 32 GB).
Downgrade BIOS to 0037 solved the problem, but only until first power outage ...
any help or idea?