ASRock and Etron USB 3.0 BSOD - How bad is it really? - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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ASRock and Etron USB 3.0 BSOD - How bad is it really?

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I really like the specs of the ASRock Extreme4 Gen3, but one of the more common complaints is the occurrence of BSODs caused by the Etron USB 3.0 controller.

I'm wondering how prevalent this problem is. Does it seem worse because only those with problems are posting reviews, or is it inevitable that at some point I will have a problem with the USB 3.0 ports?

One of the reasons I want to get the P67 Extreme4 Gen3 over the Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 is the extra USB3.0 header, but the Extreme3 controller is ASMedia (supposedly more stable).

So can anyone tell me what I can expect? Does 1 out of 100 have problems, is it 50/50? What are your experiences? Thanks in advance for your help!

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 12:43 PM
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Avoid Etron. Not only it is less reliable, it is slower as well. All sorts of problems BSOD, lag, disconnects, devices not beeing recognized, sometimes USB2 mode instead USB3, etc.
See this review: http://www.hardcoreware.net/gigabyte-ga-z68a-d3h-b3-motherboard-review/9/
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link. So you're saying more often than not, Etron is bad, not just the occasional bad experience? That sucks, I really like the price/features of the E4G3 board.

Any Extreme4 Gen3 owners out there care to weigh in?

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 01:49 PM
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Never had any issues with my 3 ASRock boards that have the Etron controller.

Tried disabling USB power saving options in UEFI and OS?

The AMD ASRock Extreme Series Motherboard Club
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linkin93;15511443 
Never had any issues with my 3 ASRock boards that have the Etron controller.

Tried disabling USB power saving options in UEFI and OS?

The USB 3.0 power saving options are disabled in the Etron drivers by default.

Well, maybe you had no issues, but see all these links with unhappy users:

Let's start with the most serious bug, until version 0.101 the Etron drivers could cause random BSOD even if you don't use the USB 3.0 ports. See this forum:

http://www.sevenforums.com/crashes-debugging/154631-random-bsod-driving-me-crazy-8.html

https://www.overclock.net/intel-general/978272-new-sandybridge-build-bsods-halp.html

http://windows7forums.com/blue-screen-death-bsod/62946-getting-bsod-new-build-help.html

Not only is it less reliable than the Renesas solution found on most boards, it is slower as well:
http://www.hardcoreware.net/gigabyte-ga-z68a-d3h-b3-motherboard-review/9/
Quote: "This board is the first time I have seen the Etron EJ168A controller, and I have to say, it sucks."

See this review:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1668/6/

On a German site they are building up a list with compatible and incompatible USB devices:
http://www.pctreiber.net/forum/intel_mainboards/etrontechusb3_controller_ej168a_kompatibilitatsliste_14617.0.html

See this user having problems:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/308948-10-ports-responding

Or this user:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1624179

Users start to RMA Asrock mainboards with this dreaded Etron controller and exchange them for Asus:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1785632

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1789651

See this forum:
http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/44094-usb-3-0-problem.html

http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/45000-z68-extreme-4-usb3-problems.html

http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/45645-asrock-extreme-4-gen-3-slow-usb-3-speed-front-panel.html

See this German forum:
"The Etron EJ168A USB 3.0 controller is a disaster"
http://www.pctreiber.net/forum/intel_mainboards/asrock_z68_extreme4_gen3_etron_ej168a_usb_3.0_controller_ist_eine_katastrophe_15202.0.html

Forum posting in German language:
"Warning! The new EtronTech EJ168A USB 3.0 Host Controller is incompatible with USB 3.0 devices having JMicron JMS539 chipset"

http://forum.gigabyte.de/index.php?page=Thread&threadID=3743
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow! Why didn't you say that in the first place? smile.gif

Ok, looks like staying away from the Etron is a good idea. Does this effect the USB-header ports only, or are the rear panel ports Etron as well?

And is this something that could be fixed with driver/bios/firmware updates? Or is the chip itself flawed?

Sorry for all the questions, but you've been so helpful so far!

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 02:25 AM
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It is not obvious that only the front ports have problems. Some people have problems with front ports, some with the rear ports. It depends also on the OS, Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit drivers behave very differently for Etron.
With driver 0.105 I have problems with the rear ports not recognizing anything connected and the front ports working almost properly.

I think mainly the problems are driver related, but when I have tested my external HDD with Crystalmark, I have touched the EJ168A chip and it was very hot.

The rear USB 3.0 ports are directly connected to the P67 or Z68 chipset. The front USB 3.0 ports are connected through a PLX chip and they will be slower because of this.

The best drivers are the 0.101, they work properly with specific USB devices. If you have only those compatible devices, you will likely have less problems.
The drivers have been screwed up in version 0.104 when JMicron support has been added. My guess is that the external HDD enclosures with the JMicron chipset have needed very different timings, but changing the timings has affected all kind of devices which previously were working.

In my opinion Etron has no much experience writing USB drivers. In the past they had some webcams, but that experience is not enough for writing USB port drivers.
What is pissing me off, is that when a device is not recognized by the USB 3.0 port, this will cause a dead-lock in the drivers and at some point this will cause BSOD.

I think most of the problems can be resolved in the drivers. I don't know how to solve the overheating, maybe by reducing the performance and adding some heat-sinks.

I think I will add a PCI-E card with the NEC chip and disable the Etron controllers for a while. I expect maybe in a couple of months they will have better drivers.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-31-2011, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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exlex, thanks for all the helpful information.

Maybe I should just get the Extreme3 Gen3. I don't see nearly as many problems with the asmedia controller, and I won't miss the extra SATAIII ports. Plus I can put the extra $30 towards a better GPU. Thanks again.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-20-2011, 11:59 AM
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I've had my ASROCK Z68 Board since July and it's been fine until yesterday. I started getting BSOD 1 or twice, and today I couldn't boot since I'd get BSOD right after the logon screen. In safe mode, windebugger shows etronhub.sys as the failing module 90% of the time, so I disabled the device in device manager and was finally able to boot normally. Just tried reloading drivers from asrock site, will see how it goes.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2018, 09:34 AM
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Unhappy

I have the P67 E4G3 and i can say i have had problems with the Etron USB 3.0 since day 1.

Since yesterday my desktop freezes on load screen of games (start-up). The PC is totally stuck and needs to be restarted.
I installed latest Etron drivers few weeks ago because i bought a backup drive for my systems and the backup kept failing due to random disconnects of the USB device.
This problem was fixed with the latest driver and i was able to backup and use the Etron usb 3.0 without any problems.

The only obvious thing i could see in event log are these:

Detected unrecognized USB driver (\Driver\EtronXHCI).

And

Detected unrecognized USB driver (\Driver\pci).

Nothing is or was plugged in (usb3.0) when these warnings appeared.

I have a i7-3770 and gtx 960 with 16gb ram, nothing overclocked.
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