• Log In
  • Register


Skylake Failure!

by Scrounger



Date Published

Feb. 5, 2016

Date Built

Feb. 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

30.0° C


Are you interested in reading about a successful build where everything went smoothly? Then this build is not for you. But, if you are interested in learning from my mistakes, please read on. I hope this will prevent some people from running into problems.

The Need: The office needed a computer for the boss. The laptop being used can only support one additional monitor, and the work requires more real estate. It was also becoming tiresome to plug all the cales in each morning. The boss wanted for three monitors with adjustable height, Windows 7, fast, and try to keep the cost down. As usual, it needed to be ordered, built, and running by Monday. It was Tuesday. I had previously built two other computers for the office under similar circumstances. I was going to clone the specs for the other two computers, but NewEgg did not have the ASUS motherboard in I wanted in stock, Skylake came out, and this was another rushed build. I decided to try a Skylake build. What could possibly go wrong?

  • MB - Gigabyte H170 MB Mini-ITX with m.2 support, 2 HDMI and one DVI output. (I had a personal bias against Gigabyte from a previous build, but NewEgg had them in stock, it met the needs. I hope this will work out)

  • CPU - Skylake I5-6500 - 4 cores, with integrated graphics, no graphics card this time.

  • CPU Cooler - Stock Intel because its fairly quiet.

  • Case - The Node 304

  • Memory - 16GB Corsair DDR4-2133 since that's what the MB supports

  • Storage - M.2 Samsung 250GB, I had good results in the past.

  • GPU - Intel P4600 integrated graphics

  • Monitors - Good sale on ASUS 23.8" monitors. VESA mount with integrated speakers.

  • PSU - 600W Silverstone modular. This was a lot bigger than the SFX silverstone PSU's I used before but $20 cheaper.

  • Monitors - These are nice! VESA mountable, nearly 24", and really wide. They have inputs for HDMI, DVI, and VGA for versatility. A steal at this price.

  • Monitor Mount - - Monmount triple from Amazon with Prime shipping.

  • OS - Win7 Professional, since the premium is not sold anymore.

The Good: All the parts arrived on Thursday. I cleared the kitchen table and got to work. The physical build was farily painless. There was the usual difficulty plugging in the power switches that needed needlenose pliers and 10" long fingers, but all the parts went together nicely. It was turning into the cleanest cabling job I had done inside a Node. Bios screen showed no issues, and it was recognizing the SSD, memory, and USB drives. It was time to go to the office, hook up the Blu-ray Drive, and install the software.

The Bad: The windows DVD asked for me to install a DVD driver. Huh?!? I never saw this before. Why would it need a driver if it was reading from the DVD? I went online to find a driver for it, but there was none. After researching the issue, I found out it was "hard" to install win7 on a skylake build because the installer didn't support the new USB 3.0 protocols. For more information about this issue, read the story in this link:

Skylake removes USB Support

No problem, I'll install it using a USB thumb drive. -No Luck. It would not recognize the USB ports once the install started. I started trolling through the Gigabyte support site for answers. They had a detailed write up on creating the thmb drive with the ISO and adding the USB drivers to it. Ran the utility, but it said cannot add drivers. I tried this with three different thumb drive to no avail. It didn't seem likley that three thumb drives were bad, so I figured it was a fault in the utility. I downloaded it severeal more times trying to get a different result. No luck.

Well, I'm a clever guy. I used another computer to write the drivers on a 1TB SATA drive and temporarily plugged it in to get things going. I even retreived an old PS2 Keyboard and mouse. During the windows install, I was getting a few BSOD's, but I kept plugging away. After several failed attempts, I finally had Windows 7 installed on the m.2 drive. I'm ready for for Easy street now!

The Ugly: But there were more problems!! As I started methodically loading drivers, I was getting more frequest random BSOD's. Sometimes they happened just opening up a folder. The computer would crash-dump often, sometimes in the middle of driver updates. I reinstalled windows again thinking this may solve it. I slowly worked through most of the driver issues. Then a requirement - the LAN drivers - would not be recognized. Try as I might, I could not get the LAN to work or even recognize it existed. I tried to contact Gigabyte, but there was no response during the weekend. I tried every trick in the book, but between non-working LAN drivers, and frequent BSOD's, and three days of frustration, I finally gave up. Usually BSOD's are operating system or RAM issues. The non-working LAN is either a MB issue, or a driver issue.

I decided to RMA the MB and the Memory back to NewEgg. There was an Asus H97 MB that became available at Superbiiz. I also ordered DDR3 memory and a 1150 CPU from NewEgg. The CPU was not able to be RMA'd, and now I'm stuck with it. Any takers for $200?

The computer was not running by Monday, and there was an upset boss.

Followup - Gigabyte did finally respond to the problem on Thursday, but they quoted the same procedure I already followed. Not a help really, and my personal bias against Gigabyte deepens even more.

I elected not to review the CPU or memory since I could not get the box to run stable enough to test them out properly.

Part Reviews


The board had the connections I needed, had 2080 m.2 support, and enough video outputs.

Don't use for Windows 7! See my build for details on windows 7 and Skylake issues. I believe I also had a bad LAN port, but I'll never know for sure.


Its Samsung, its compact, and it saved me 20 minutes of cable cleaning. M.2 forever!


The case is just as I remember it from my last build. Nice looking, good air flow, and reasonably compact. I will continue to use this as my "go-to" case until something better pops up.

Operating System

I'm happy with Windows 7, but not happy with the price. However, I'd rather pay $143 for old software than $89 for win8 or 10.


Large, clear, and very reasonable price! Thanks, Asus.

Comments Sorted by:

VGears 1 Build 2 points 38 months ago

That's a shame. Sorry You had so many problems. To be honest I'm not a big fan of gigabyte either. I much prefer MSI and Asus. Thanks for the not working builds it's nice to learn the bad, it's not always rainbow and unicorns Haha. Good luck with the boss.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Thanks! The replacement MB will be Asus and I5-4690

VGears 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Ya you will be good with that one.

caybat 2 points 29 months ago


I know this thread is old, and I really really hope you'll come back to this site to reply.

I'm interested in buying this motherboard with an i5 6600. I just bought a single stick 16gb 2400MHz RAM and read your review on your RAM. I went to the Gigabyte's website and it says support for 2133MHz modules.

Now I've been looking around at some forums and found out 2400MHz is for overclocking. Since this board doesn't support any overclocking and I have no plans on doing so, will the RAM work on this board?


Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 2 points 29 months ago

Although I never got this particular MB to work, I believe it will default to 2133. I've had higher clock memory work on 1150 Motherboards in the past without problems, I assume it should work on this 1151 as well.

caybat 1 point 29 months ago

Thanks man, that's really helpful.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Glad I could help! Happy Building!

Malfunq 1 point 38 months ago

Thanks for sharing the nightmare exp. You thought "This is just another seamless CPU/Platform upgrade" - but some things did indeed change. ...I was not aware of this and I could have done the same. But I have time for research ; ) so Thanks!

I'm planning for a Skylake build myself in the Define S Nano ITX case. (Leaving AMD for the first time since K7 with my present FM1 Llano APU+Dual gfx 6670) My first ever Intel build since Pentium2 !! Skylake i5 6500 on the drawing table - but luckily I sort of almost like W10.

Too bad about the boss thing. Hope you didn't beat yourself up too bad either. Pro pride is a fragile thing in a situation like that... ;)

Thanks for sharing - these stories of great anguish and woe are educational.

Scorpiiious 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Cool, what Mini ITX motherboard are going to choose?

Malfunq 2 points 38 months ago

Asus Z170i Pro gamer + Cryorig H7. 2x8 GB 3200 MHz LPX, GTX 970, Silverstone SFX-L. Why is the Define Nano S not in the database in here, I wonder. Too new? Large cooler indeed, but it does have clearance in the Nano S. Time will tell...

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

The next MB is the Asus H97 Mini-itx. I'm going back to the proven formula.

Scorpiiious 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Sounds like a really solid build :) What GTX 970?

Malfunq 1 point 38 months ago

Not sure just yet. Could be a compact Asus GTX 970 or the gigabyte SFX. It's for Star Citizen, maybe antoher option is the 290x.

Holynub 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Damn dude, that really sucks. This is some good to know information on the not being able to use a windows 7 USB boot. I am actually pretty weary of Gigabyte ever since I had issues with one of their z97 boards a few years back. There was something wrong with that model that ended up frying two video cards of mine. I hope you finally get it all up and running soon.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Although Gigabyte happened to be the brand I tried, when I read further about the problems, this issue crosses all the brands. Perhaps other companies wrote utilities that have successfully solved it, but there are enough posts indicating that they also have issues.

haloslayer875 1 point 38 months ago

There is talk of a workaround by Intel on the windows 7 issue but the issue lies with Skylake's new microarchitecture. The new design only supports windows 10 but some people have been able to get windows 8.1 to work but with significant bugs.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

I thought it had it licked when I installed on a spare hard drive on a different computer and transferred it over, but it still wasn't stable. I had assumed that once windows and drivers were installed I'd be safe. That didn't appear to be the case.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Thanks for all of the sympathy. The motherboard, RAM, and CPU was changed out, and is now running great.

I'll post the new build and pics, but its not going to happen on Superbowl Sunday. I'll get it written up next weekend. Go Panthers!

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I'll post the new build and pics, but its not going to happen on Superbowl Sunday. I'll get it written up next weekend. Go Panthers!

Oh well, at least North Carolina made it to the Superbowl.

Batmandrew 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I had no idea there was a Sktlake/Windows 7 issue. When I made my i3-6100 build I installed Windows 7 on it with no problem. I mean I only did it to get the free Windows 10 upgrade but for the initial 7 install it went very smooth.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Did you install from a USB, or a DVD-ROM? My Disc Writer is an external one attached to the USB ports. That may be why I had an issue with both the disc and the USB install. It's possible that an internal DVD reader install would have went cleanly, but I did not have one when this was built.

Batmandrew 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

I have an LG external USB dvd writer. I found that you can't use the USB 3.0 ports until after the drivers for them are installed (after windows is set up) so I had to use the 2.0 ports when I connected the DVD drive. That might be why yours wasn't detecting anything plugged in.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

There are no USB 2.0 ports on this Gigabyte motherboard, all are USB 3.0. Did you use the Gigabyte Micro-ATX MB? It looks like every other maker got rid of USB 2.0 for Skylake.

Batmandrew 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Actually I just looked at mine too and you're right, there aren't any. I have the z170-mx gaming 5 miniITX board which I'm assuming is the smaller version of yours? Hmmm... did you make sure legacy USB is enabled in BIOS so it doesn't shut off the ports during boot up? It's possible that might be it.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

It was on by default, but no difference.

smoothbit 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

The computer I built back in November has the same motherboard as yours, and because I wanted to test something in Windows 7, I created a USB installer and then plugged that into one of the USB 2.0 headers on the motherboard using this adapter. It's a little late for you now, but in case you need to install Windows 7 on a future Skylake machine, maybe this will help.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Thanks, I will keep that in mind. There might still be a Skylake build in the future...since I have this CPU that I couldn't return.

flipmode78@hotmail.com 1 point 37 months ago

Quick question on the Gigabyte H170 motherboard you originally had... I'm trying to build a media server with the same motherboard, so i'll need a total of 3 hard drives (2 HDDs and 1 SSD)... but my only concern is, with the case you have, was there enough room to access the side SATA connections?? or am I going to be limited to using only the top 2 SATA connectors?

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

If you don't mind getting the SFX PSU from [Silverstone check out pic 73,] (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/RbYrxr) you will buy yourself a lot more breathing room, especially for horizontal ports like the SATA express ones you're thinking about. Otherwise, it will depend on the connectors, and the stiffness of the wire. I think even with the ATX PSU it could work if you put the SATA connectors three across on the top, and mount the PSU a little loose. With this PSU, I had about 1-2mm of wiggle room to angle the PSU slightly.

sherry.zahid 1 point 36 months ago

Oh no! I just had this mobo and the rest of the parts for my next ITX build delivered this morning. Was planning on putting it together and installing Windows 7 once I got home today. Thanks for the heads up, i'll try installing Windows 7 via optical drive, if it does not work i'll just go with Windows 10 instead. Thanks again, you may have saved me some time.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I'm glad I saved you some trouble. If you do it via an optical drive, make sure is direct connect, and not an external one attached to a USB 3.0 slot.

I've heard that you can install windows 10 directly off a USB with a Win 7 key code. I have no interest in Windows 10, so I can't verify this.

nomadstrategy 1 point 36 months ago

I found your build while trying to install windows 7 on this board... jesus it is a total nightmare.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I'm sorry you had to go through what I did. Smoothbit volunteered this info to get around that. I gave up, but if you are still fighting it, this adapter might work to get it running.

devianter 1 Build 1 point 35 months ago

windows 7 is where the biz is, not going to change anytime soon, esp with privacy concerns.

Dude, i built a pc for my dad and was freaking out too with this skylake BS. Fortunately, asus provides a really easy way to install it. Do as i did:

BUY SATA ODD DRIVE (Yeah, NOPE) OR 1. download asus EZ Installer (in my case it was under h170i plus drivers-win7 64bit-utilities 2. mount win 7 iso in daemon tools or whatever (ez installer doesn't like ISOs , it wants you to use your windows 7 PHYSICAL DVD) to fool ez installer. 3. click "create bootable usb" or something and select your thumb drive.. it will basically create a windows 7 usb installer WITH usb3 drivers. 4. reboot, and install like you always do. 5.PROFIT! Works like it should. Asus says intel asked them politely to warn you to disable usb Xhci usb 3.0 handoff (but i didn't and it works ok)

Hope that helps!

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

I never tried using an Asus installer on the Gigabyte board. Asus tends to have much better support than Gigabyte, next time I run into something like this, I'll keep that in mind.

rhrmn 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

It's interesting that you had a NIC issue because I have this motherboard currently in the RMA process for a similar issue. When I attempted to fully shut down my PC it would automatically restart a few seconds after turning off. If I disabled the 2nd NIC and my PC would then permanently shut down correctly. I tried turning off all Wake on LAN settings in the BIOS and within Windows 10, along with uninstalling and reinstalling drivers and Windows 10 itself but none of those actions fixed my issue. I really hope it's just a bad connection issue between the 2nd NIC and the motherboard or a 2nd NIC connector defect. There aren't a lot of options for Mini-ITX motherboards with integrated AC WiFi adapters for a fair price.

Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I've noticed when searching for motherboards with certain features, Gigabyte tends to be the cheapest alternative. I now think I understand more of the why.

Since most of my builds are rushed, I have banned Gigabyte from being in my parts list again. Its not worth to save maybe $10-30. I blew my deadline and grew grey hairs trying to get this build to work.

I haven't tried anything from MSI or AsRock yet, but I'm keeping an open mind about them, and would be willing to try them as options.

Nater650 1 point 11 months ago

You mean Intel HD Graphics 530?

Nater650 1 point 11 months ago

I know you would be fired by your boss for doing this but you should have gotten Windows 10 instead (Btw Windows 8 and 8.1 are officially dead)

Nater650 1 point 11 months ago

I know you said windows 10 was a no go but windows 10 has support for installing via USB drive while Windows 7 does not

[comment deleted]
Scrounger submitter 4 Builds 2 points 38 months ago

Actually, I was happy with not going windows 10. I have 10 installed on one of the non-critical computers, but it has issues with the work programs. The business uses web applications, and Microsoft Edge doesn't support any of them. Chrome only works correctly sometimes. That makes WIN10 a no-go for the business.

kfdz277 2 points 37 months ago

Internet Explorer 11 is standard on all Win10 systems. Just look for it. :/