I have owned the DQ45CB motherboard for a few years. Started out with Windows Vista, moved to Windows 7 and now Windows 8.
I think I have the latest BIOS (0133) but not sure because the version string on bootup says a different number 86A.0059.2008.0825.1655.
Windows 8 installed fine several months ago onto an Intel SSD hard drive. I have a simple single boot, no additional operating systems, just an additional 1 Tb SATA drive for data.
Starting the computer up has always been a problem. The motherboard will appear to go through POST several times with long pauses before finally going to the Windows boot process. The Windows boot process and performance within the Windows OS seems fine, I can do video editing stably and day-to-day business work is great.
Last week I thought I would try and tweak the BIOS settings to speed up the boot process. Generally my experience with BIOS Settings is that if you get into trouble, you can clear the settings and get back to "last known good" configuration. However I appear to have gotten myself into a mess.
The setting which I think has caused my problem is that the "UEFI boot" was disabled, and I have changed it to enabled. I now have a problem booting into Windows 8 and disabling the BIOS "UEFI boot" option is not fixing the issue. Something has changed and I can't find how to reset.
This is the workaround that I currently use to get into Windows 8 on my SSD:
Boot off of the Windows 8 install DVD.
Go Into Repair mode but then select the option to Shut Down the PC.
Turn off the PC.
Turn on the PC.
Wait for the "Press any key to boot from DVD...." message but DO NOT PRESS A KEY.
Wait 5 seconds.
Windows 8 boots up from SSD. Yay!
Note : I don't know if it matters if I leave the DVD in or take it out for the second boot.
Why am I performing this complicated boot process?
If I don't boot from the DVD, the motherboard will perform POST, then switch to the operating system boot process, however nothing happens.
By which I mean, there is a text-mode cursor flashing on the screen. It moves down the screen several times, gets to about 1/3 of the way and stops. There are no error messages, error codes or beep codes. The system is stalled. If the boot cd was in the drive, the message "Press any key to boot the DVD..." will be on the screen, and the cursor will be flashing at the end of that line. I have left the computer like this for atleast 30 minutes. Windows 8 did not boot.
I have tried googling for answers. I have been into the Windows 8 repair mode of the DVD and tried auto-repair, I have tried the command prompt and using bootrec.exe and bcdedit.exe to initialise the boot loader. At first I was getting the message that the system store could not be found. I tried multiple avenues until I got those tools to report success in setting up the boot loader. However my issue is still the same.
I have also tried reloading Windows 8 from the DVD on top of the current installation (NOT a clean install). Windows 8 came back with my settings and applications in tact however it still will not "cold boot" the operating system from the SSD.
Selecting Restart within Windows 8 is working I believe.
I also tried clearing the BIOS Settings / NVRAM however I don't believe I have been successful. I shut the PC down, removed the power cord and removed the battery. I waited atleast an hour and then re-installed the battery and power cord and booted the system. I got a message during POST that the battery had been removed. I DID NOT get any message about the NVRAM being cleared (should I have?). I also don't think that the settings were reset in the BIOS so I could try this again (I didn't have to update the settings, they were the same as before). I didn't unplug all of the leads from the case, for example there was a powered USB hub plugged in, could that have held power to the NVRAM ?? I should also mention that I have tried replacing the CMOS battery with a new CR2032.
In conjunction with clearing the NVRAM, a clean install of the operating system is another good option. This of course will necessitate an interruption of my normal business duties so needs to be scheduled carefully.
I have been considering an opportunity to upgrade to the Core i7 platform which would ease the logistics. However I don't wish to discard an otherwise well performing quad core PC if there is some fix I have not tried or considered yet.
Thanks for your feedback. This has been my first Intel motherboard. I have had plenty of bad experiences with poorly integrated motherboards from other manufacturers. I feel that going "straight to the horses mouth" so to speak in sourcing Intel made motherboard with an Intel chipset and Intel processor has the best chance of "just working". I am considering the Z77GA-70K Intel motherboard with Z77 chipset.