SATA drive and DVD-RW Issues - Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 Gen 3

Hello. I’ve been troubleshooting a few computer issues in the last 24 hours that I hope you can help me with. I hope this is the right board for this as it is difficult to know.

I already made a post on a different forum detailing the problems that nobody replied to.

This is a link to it to save repeating myself (if it is allowed for a newbie)
[The link wasn’t allowed so I removed it but you can find the thread on TH by searching subject “Computer Issues - SATA - DVD - Windows Update”]

If not I also will summarise the problems below as shortly and best as I can.

My system info:
Windows 7 Home
Asrock Z68 Extreme 4 Gen 3 board
Intel i5-2500k 8GB memory.

It is quite old at nine years and has served me very well and still does the basic things I need today.

I got a new hard drive because my main drive was almost full with only a few GB left. They are all SATA internal drives in my system.

The main drive was a 1TB hybrid Seagate drive. It has a small amount of SSD for boot-up times and most of the disk is SATA traditional mechanical.

My new disk drive is a 3 TB one from Toshiba a P300.

I successfully installed it and formatted it as exFAT as there is a strong possibility I will be switching to a Mac for the first time in the next 10 months although I may still get a new Win 10 system just for Flight Sim, and this current computer I may attempt to put my old hard drive from an XP system where the mainboard died into this one and use some tools to try and update the hardware so my old Win XP disk works with this system and boots. XP was my favourite o/s from Microsoft and there is some software I want to use still that only works with that o/s, but that is for another day. Sorry, I am rambling back to the main topic.

Everything was going well and I copied all my music files to the new hard drive. I then left it copying my photos/videos overnight. In the morning the system had gone down. I did a lot of troubleshooting and it led me to first believe it was SATA cable or controller related due to the DVD-RW drive also having error messages about the driver.

After further investigation, I thought that it could be related to two updates that happened in the middle of the night at 3 am from Windows update which were security updates to Net Framework and also Silverlight updates. Everything was working fine before then with all my hard drives and the DVD-RW showing up in Windows 7.

I wasn’t able to restore windows to a previous state as there were no restore points. There were no options to uninstall Silverlight and the Net Framework updates from within Windows update but I managed to get them all completely uninstalled from the Programs section of the Control panel.

After doing all that I still have the same booting issues. A32 is often displayed with I believe relates to the SATA controllers.

I did a bit of trial and error and trying different drives with different cables and ports and I am now convinced that it is not the actual cables or ports or even the updates that happened. I don’t know if the updates triggered the issue though they could have.

I am certain that it must be the BIOS that is the problem.

When I go to MSINFO32 I get details of the BIOS it says the following:

Bios version/date American Megatrends Inc P1.10, 09/09/2011
SMbios version 2.7

I believe I need to update my Asrock board to a newer later bios version that is more stable and gets rid of any glitches and bugs.

I’ve read an excellent thread on this forum here:
[Link not allowed for newbie but you can find it by searching thread “[Request] Completely updated BIOS for Asrock Z68 Extreme4 GEN3”. The main people on the thread are ramon and Lost_N_BIOS. It was first posted back on 16/03/2019 at 0844.

My question is which Bios do you recommend I go to? And can anyone advise or point me to instructions on how to flash the BIOS with a newer version? I haven’t done this for a very long time.

Should I try the 2.31A mentioned in this thread or is there a newer version that doesn’t have any issues? It was mentioned 2.50 somewhere in the thread but I believe there may have been issues with it?

I also wondered if the BIOS update will help with the USB issues? I have always had USB 3 issues with this board in that they never seem to work. I think they are called Etron or Eltron controllers. They are incredibly fast but they often fail halfway through transferring data e.g. from a camera to desktop or have caused stability issues. The message I often got was something about voltage which froze my whole system and I had to reboot. I have always as a result had to have those USB3 ports disabled.

It would be amazing if one of the newer BIOS also fixed that issue.

If you can advise which BIOS you think I should go for and if you believe that my conclusion is correct that it is the BIOS I need to update I’d appreciate it.

At the moment I have my system running but I only have the main drive attached to one SATA port and everything else disconnected. The moment I connect anything else it won’t boot and gets stuck at the BIOS screen.