Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Originally Posted by jeffreysousa
I'm not sure if I do have the will to keep going with this. At some point I will have to put my PC back together again and do actual work. I'm discouraged, mad about the time I've sunk into this troubleshooting, very pissed at Asus for selling a product that doesn't work for many people despite reasonable effort, and their radio silence.
Thank you for the amazing help!
I understand how you feel - discouraged, mad, etc. I ended up in the same state of mind and finally said F**K ASUS Thunderbolt. By the time I got a flash drive to work in the USB-C port, I looked at the video cabling required to connect TB native monitors and just was not up for the next fight. I really did not NEED TB - I just wanted it working because the card came with the MOBO which means I PAID for it and should be able to get it hooked up and running with a REASONABLE amount of effort. The thing just wore me out. I am no genius - there are members here that are WAY more experienced than me but damn it I am a degreed Electrical Engineer with decades in my field. I have built a few machines and consider myself fairly computer savvy. That TB card brought me to my KNEES. And aside from user SMKE, I have never found posts from anyone that got it working easily or completely. It's not us - I really think the blame for this goes to ASUS and their lame and undocumented implementation. They just stuck that card in the X99-Deluxe II package so they could advertise TB and called it done. If there is anyone out there who has a simple, logical, repeatable process for the Asus TB add-in card, I am all ears.
FWIW - My gut tells me that your boot problem has nothing to do with your DRAM or your cooling. Can't hurt to eliminate them as suspects but I just don't think that is your problem. Regarding PCiE Slot 5 - yes I think it is because I have a 28-lane CPU but I am not 100% sure. Way back in this thread I went through my TB adventure with another member here and he swore up and down he just stuck the card in PCiE Slot 5, plugged in the header, and it worked. He never went into the BIOS at all!!!! That whole adventure happened on this same thread starting on November 4, 2016 - Page 1438. If you search my posts and go back to around 11-04-2016 you fill find all of those posts. Maybe something in there will help you. The other members involved were rolldog and smke. Rolldog was kind of like you - decided to just pop that TB card in there, do some config, and be on his way. About 10 long posts later I think he gave up on it. Here is the link if you want to go back and read those posts.http://www.overclock.net/t/1510328/asus-x99-motherboard-series-official-support-thread-north-american-users-only/14370
Anytime I see someone posting that they are trying to get their TB card working in an Asus X99 Mobo, I always scour their posts looking for the key. I never find it. Just more people who try to use the card, think they just need to change one setting, and then slowly descend into the quagmire you are in now. I always try to help by sending all the stuff I sent you but it never comes out roses. I am going to go read the thread over on the Asus VIP forum. If you ever do get it working, PLEASE let me know the magic combination of PCiE lanes, BIOS settings, Virgin Emu Blood, and Magnetic Resonance Anti-Gravity Levitation chants that finally worked.
Originally Posted by jeffreysousa
Thank you, as always, for the thoughtful reply.
I made an interesting discovery!
When I start up my PC after it's been unplugged, Windows recognizes the Thunderbolt EX 3 card! I see a little Thunderbolt icon in the system tray, Thunderbolt [Alpine Ridge] shows up in SIV, and Thunderbolt shows up in System Devices in the Device Manager!
Not that I can get an actual drive to show up in Windows when I plug it in to either the Thunderbolt type C or USB 3.1 Type A port on the EX 3 (I see "Unknown USB Device (Port Reset Failed) in the Device Manager, no matter if I plug in via Tbolt, or different devices in the USB Type-A slot).
If I then restart Windows, or even if I shutdown and power on, all of this recognition goes away.
There seems to be something about the boot time that's affecting whether my CPU / Mobo grants PCIe lanes to the EX 3 card. I've tried disabling fast boot, disabling CSM, clearing secure boot keys, jacking up the POST time to 10 seconds.
But all of that seems to be about what happens after the "BEEP" and initial appearance of the ASUS logo.
What's interesting about booting my system after it's been unplugged is that the startup time is really long. From the time I press the power button until I hear "beep!" is almost a minute. It's almost as if the mobo is taking extra time to get it's ***** together and recognize what is / is not plugged in.
I wish I could reliably force this extra "recognition time" through the bios.
***cough cough** Asus, update the frickin' BIOS firmware to deal with this issue we're all experiencing **cough cough** And how'bout them year-old Windows Tbolt drivers ***cough***
IF I can now get my hard drives recognized, presumably by digging into the old threads and flipping all my arcane bios settings, I could possibly live with unplugging and replugging in my PC as a permanent workaround to recognize Tbolt. If I were using a Tbolt display this would drive me crazy. But in fact I just need the option to use Tbolt when a client brings me a Tbolt hard drive.
FYI, I did call Asus support yesterday, and I worked with a nice representative on the phone to do basic troubleshooting (nothing even resembling the dept of what we've gotten into here). Like uninstalling / reinstalling the Windows tbolt drivers, changing which PCIE slots the card was plugged in to, enabling tbolt in the advanced tab). I was able to show her the "intermittent" nature of my issue - that while I may be able to get tbolt recognized by windows, the recognition goes away upon restart. She seemed stumped and "escalated" my issue. Supposedly the advanced team at ASUS is reviewing and will call me back this week.
I am going to call in and update them with my new discovery about starting up from having been unplugged.
In any case, this is all a bit ironic as I only made this latest realization having given up on the whole idea of getting the card working. Because whenever I reset the CMOS, it reenables the LED lighting on the PC, which drives my wife nuts because we can see the computer glowing through our bedroom door, which we leave open for the cats, while we're trying to sleep. I noticed this glow last night, and being too lazy to go into the BIOS and disable LED lighting, I just unplugged the machine while I slept. And when I plugged it back in this morning, I was shocked to see the Thunderbolt icon when I started up to do something else on the machine!
Hmmm. I think you may be on to something here. When TB is working, YES an icon appears in the Task Bar, YES it shows up in Device Manager and in SIV, with Power Management State D0. The clouds part, children sing, and politicians tell the truth. It is truly a magical moment. When I got to that point, I plugged a USB2.0 Flash drive into the USB port and it mounted and showed up in Windows just fine. I left that flash drive plugged in there for several weeks, though many reboots - not full boots from total power down - just reboots for whatever reason. I don't recall ever having a problem with it disappearing. My rig always takes a long time to boot. I think it's just an X99 thing. Plus it is greatly affected by a number of BIOS and Windows settings. When I was trying to get my DRAM to 3000 or 3200, I had CSM and Fast Boot disabled, and anything else that would affect DRAM training. So maybe that forced the MOBO to go deal with allocating lanes to the card. All I know is that mine did not vanish like yours is doing. It could be because of how my boot sequence was set up.
That said, I really think you are gaining on it. I am really curious what the "Asus Advanced Team" will come up with. I don't know how many people every actually try to get that TB card working but I suspect most don't bother. The ones that do try end up fighting with it for days on end, like you, and like me, and like every post I have ever found. I have NEVER found a post that said "What? It's EASY - just do these steps and it will work". Please do post what the Asus Advanced Team comes back with. Hopefully it will be more that "Check your power cables and thanks for picking Asus!"