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Flashing the BIOS of the motherboard and resetting CMOS

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In this section you will find information on how to configure and flash if necessary. BIOSpersonal computer. Often this must be done to install the operating system on the computer.

At first glance, everything is simple, but there are still laptops with preinstalled Windows Vista. If you want to install Windows XP or Windows 7 on it, you get a message that the hard drive was not found.

The solution to this problem is simple: you only need to have “straight arms” and be able to think with your head. To resolve this problem, always carefully read the messages that the computer issues. If the information is presented in English, use a translator.

Let's start with what I said at the beginning of the section. You decided to install the Windows XP or Windows 7 operating system on the computer, but during installation you get a message that the hard drive was not found.

Two ways to flash BIOS

There are two solutions to the problem:

  1. Write a special driver to the “USB stick”, and at the beginning of the installation of the operating system press F6, select the file with the driver and you are happy.
  2. To flash BIOS. By the way, motherboard manufacturers themselves recommend constantly updating the BIOS firmware version.

Before flashing BIOS Be sure to reset all settings to factory defaults. To do this, go to the BIOS of the computer, holding Del or F2 immediately after turning it on.

Next, go to the section

EXIT - Load Setup Defaults

or, if you have a motherboard of another manufacturer, in the section

Advanced BIOS Features - Load Fail-Safe Defaults

And press Enter. Remember to save the settings. The parameter name may vary slightly depending on the BIOS version. Navigation by pressing Tab and the arrow on the keyboard.

ASUS motherboard BIOS - menu at the top

Gigabyte motherboard BIOS - left menu

There are two ways to flash BIOS.

What is BIOS?

BIOS translates as (Basic Input Output System) - "basic input-output system", looks like a chip on the motherboard. A basic list of parameters and system commands is "wired" into the microcircuit; when they are changed, the user can select the most suitable settings for the computer to work.

On boards from 2012 you can find the DUAL BIOS (dual bios). If this technology is built into the motherboard, then two bios are soldered on it, the first main, and the second required for recovery.

The consequences of a BIOS failure

Here are the most common BIOS failure symptoms that may require a flashing, but you can often do with a simple CLR CMOS reset.

The reasons for the failure are different:

  • It’s not going to go into the BIOS settings panel, but instead of the settings we see a black screen,
  • It doesn’t come out to call the boot menu, but instead a black screen appears,
  • Frequent spontaneous reboots of the PC,
  • When you call up the settings or BOOT menu - on the screen are not clear colored dots,
  • USB ports are not detected,
  • CD-ROM has disappeared,
  • Unable to save changes on reboot,
  • It does not go out to reset the settings to standard.

Failure can lead to:

  • A sharp voltage drop when the computer restarts,
  • Rebooting the computer too often before loading the operating system,
  • Intervention in the BIOS through the command line or third-party software,
  • Incorrect CMOS reset, as well as updating or flashing the BIOS of the motherboard,

The first thing that can be done without resorting to the help of specialists from the service center is to reset the default settings. Consider the basic principle, because there are quite a lot of manufacturers of motherboard manufacturers, but there are always instructions on the manufacturer’s website of your motherboard where everyone can find information about their model.

The reset, as well as the appearance of the utilities, which will be described below, may differ depending on the manufacturer, but the principle of user actions is similar for each case.

How to reset CMOS

If the method of removing the battery for 10 minutes does not work, then you will need to reset the CLR CMOS (BIOS reset), but do not be alarmed by the name, it often helps to reset the BIOS settings to standard values.

Before the operation, I recommend that you read the reset instructions on your motherboard model, on the manufacturer’s website, but usually the procedure is performed almost the same everywhere. Depending on the model of the motherboard, you will need to close the contacts with a jumper (jumper) or a screwdriver (required with the battery removed!) For 10-20 seconds, or press the (CLR CMOS) button, if available.

You should know that to hold the CLR CMOS jumper or button, you need no less time than the manufacturer recommended for your motherboard. Usually it is 10 seconds, but time can vary up to a minute. It is not recommended to overshoot the jumper further than the time set by the manufacturer, or to reset the CMOS too often. After these steps, you need to insert the battery and connect the power.

When you turn on the computer, two options are possible

First: a BIOS error message will appear and 3 or 4 options will be offered for selection (possibly in English). Type: “Saving BIOS settings”, “Loading BIOS settings”, “Reset BIOS to optimal settings” or “BIOS entry” (DELETE key to enter BIOS settings). The ideal option when the settings are reset to standard values ​​and functionality is fully restored.

Second: the problem, all of the above actions, have not been solved and a BIOS flashing of the motherboard will be required. In this case, if the operating system started normally, go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest BIOS (not BETA) and the firmware for it (you can use the built-in flash driver). The main thing is to accurately determine your model of the motherboard, the AIDA64 utility to help, and download the latest firmware to it, usually it is a file with the ROM or BIN extension.

Flashing the BIOS of the motherboard

We reset the BIOS settings to standard ones, then save the current BIOS (backup.rom) using the firmware program and start the flashing process. Find a new BIOS file and “sew” it, this is a very important point. If you "sew" the BIOS from another model, the motherboard will not work without the qualified help of the masters from the SC or there will be constant failures.

Using the built-in BIOS update tools

If you need a utility built into the system board for updating the BIOS, then we write the BIOS file to a flash drive formatted in FAT32 and go to the BIOS (DELETE or DELETE + F2 key). After starting the utility from the BIOS, you need to select your USB flash drive and firmware file and actually “sew” it, after which the operation will be fully restored.

You will need to wait until the dubbing is finished, do not remove the flash drive and do not turn off the power of the computer! Interruption of firmware can lead to a complete failure of the chip.

What can be done if the system does not want to start after firmware?

If the BIOS flashing of the motherboard was not completely successful, you will see a black screen. This means you have requested the wrong BIOS file and the motherboard, in simple terms, "screwed up", "covered with a copper basin", in general, it broke. What to do? I must say right away that the chance to restore the BIOS without the help of wizards from the service center is extremely small, but you can try.

First, we need to restore the damaged BIOS. To do this, you can use the CLR CMOS reset (read above if you don’t know how CMOS is reset), usually if you have a DUAL BIOS sealed (double BIOS), this can help, there may also be a special button.

For motherboards from ASUS

On ASUS, flashing the motherboard BIOS is as follows. You need to download the BIOS file from the manufacturer’s website and rename it to the exact name of your motherboard model. Then upload the file to a flash drive with a capacity of 2-16 GB, formatted in FAT32 and name the flash drive “FLASHBACK” or “ROG CONNECT”. Turn on the computer while holding a special button to restore the BIOS on the back of the system unit.

For the rest, if the above information did not help, and the motherboard was bought separately from the computer, you can insert the DVD supplied with the motherboard for 5 minutes into the DVD drive and turn on the PC immediately after resetting the CLR CMOS (it helps, but not always). On Gigabyte boards, sometimes there is a dedicated BIOS recovery button (Dual BIOS).

And if there is no disk with drivers and system utilities from the motherboard, then there is only a service center or buying a new motherboard with a socket compatible with your processor, otherwise nothing.

Why do I need a BIOS flashing?

In general, if you do not plan to upgrade your computer, and the whole system works stably, there is no point in updating the BIOS version.

But when new equipment is installed on the computer, which the primary system may not be supported only because of its obsolescence (the device’s BIOS simply does not recognize it), BIOS flashing becomes an urgent problem. Although many users find this process difficult, nevertheless, anyone working with a computer will be able to perform such actions on their own. It takes no more than 10 minutes.

Flashing the BIOS of the motherboard: prerequisites

First, pay attention to several mandatory conditions, non-compliance with which can lead to disastrous consequences.

Download files and programs for updating primary systems should only be from the official resources of motherboard manufacturers. In the case of installing unofficial firmware, no one will be able to guarantee that the process will be successful and the system will work as expected after that.

The second thing you should pay attention to is uninterrupted power during the update. Take care that there are no power surges or spontaneous disconnection of the computer or laptop from the mains, you need in advance.

General rules for updating all firmware

The BIOS flashing for almost all motherboard models implies the use of the same scheme:

  • Download update files
  • Creating a bootable drive (USB devices only)
  • booting from media
  • firmware installation
  • system reboot.

For standard BIOS systems, in most cases, DOS mode is used. However, for some BIOS versions, as well as for more modern UEFI systems, a special BIOS flashing program created by the motherboard manufacturer can be used, which can run even under Windows operating systems without the need to create bootable media.

How to find out the motherboard modification and current BIOS version?

The very first thing you need to do is to determine which model of the motherboard is installed in the computer system, and also find out the version of the primary BIOS system (perhaps it is currently relevant and does not need to be updated).

You can view information about the board and BIOS version in the system information section, which is called from the Run console using the msinfo32 command.

For the motherboard, you can use specialized utilities like CPU-Z (formerly Everest). For a device defined in this way, on the manufacturer’s website you need to find the latest firmware and save the files to your hard drive.

Preparing bootable media (general methodology)

In the case of using bootable media, when updating from under Windows is not provided, the first step is to create it. Normal recording of downloaded files will not work.

To simplify the work, you can use the Rufus utility, which is very easy to learn and creates a bootable USB flash drive in a couple of minutes. Almost nothing needs to be changed in the parameters. Only in the file system should FAT32 be specified, and in the recording method use the MS-DOS mode, be sure to check the box next to the creation line of the bootable media. If this is not done, then when you reboot the device will not be recognized as bootable. Then, in order to install the update, in some cases it will be necessary to additionally copy the control program and the firmware file to the media.

Next, we will consider the BIOS update process with examples for motherboards from several well-known manufacturers. Although in general they are very similar to each other, nevertheless, each of them has its own nuances. We assume that the boot priority from the USB drive in the BIOS settings is already set.

Flashing BIOS “Asus” can be done in several ways. Among the preferred utilities, it is worth highlighting two programs - AFUDOS and ASUSTeK EZ Flash 2.

When using the first utility, you should create bootable media and pay attention to the presence of the afudos.exe program file and the firmware itself (for example, p4c800b.rom).

Flashing the BIOS of ASUS is as follows. Boot from a flash drive. Since the medium was recorded for DOS mode, the initial line C: > appears on the black screen, in which you need to register the command / i p4c800b.rom and press the enter key. Upon completion of the update, a reboot will occur, during which you just need to remove the media from the USB port so that the system starts from the hard drive.

Flashing the BIOS of the ASUS motherboard when using the second utility is slightly different from the previous version.

Despite the fact that most firmware on the official ASUS website has the .rom extension, sometimes CAB files can also be found. There is nothing wrong with this, since they are used for UEFI systems.

For firmware, you must enter the UEFI settings upon reboot, switch to Advanced Mode (advanced settings) and select ASUSTeK EZ Flash 2 in the Tool’s service (tools) section. Next, select the media with the program from the list again (line of the same name), after which will show the desired firmware file on the right. We select it and twice agree with the warning (first to check the file, then to start the firmware process).

At the end of the process, a reboot notification will appear, and at the beginning of the restart, a proposal will be issued about the initial setup. Press F1 and set the desired parameters. Otherwise, we simply exit the settings without saving the changes.

Flashing BIOS Gigabyte-systems differs from other processes quite strongly. First of all, this is due to the fact that you can use the online update to install the firmware. But first, consider using the Q-Flash utility, which is believed to be the best for updating Gigabyte motherboard firmware.

First, go into BIOS settings and use the option to reset all settings to Load Optimized default. After that, you need to save the changes, restart the computer and re-enter the BIOS settings. Further, to launch the Q-Flash utility, the F8 key is pressed, and the start is confirmed by pressing the Y and Enter keys. To begin with, it is recommended to save the current version using the Save Bios option, after which you need to use Update Bios. Next, you will be asked to indicate the source from which you want to update. As a medium, you should select HDD 2.0 (this is how the flash drive is displayed in the settings). Then everything is as usual: we select the firmware file present on the media and agree with all the warnings.

For an online update, you can use the @BIOS utility specially developed by Gigabyte's specialists, which runs on Windows. In this case, it is highly recommended to disable Hyper-Threading mode in the primary system settings, as well as deactivate anti-virus and other resident applications in order to avoid errors or failures during the update process.

After starting the program, you can immediately save the current BIOS version by clicking on the Save Current BIOS button, and then select the Internet Update online update mode, click Update New BIOS and select one of the servers in the list. After that, you will be asked to indicate the model of the installed motherboard, and the program will automatically download all the necessary components and activate the update process.

Flashing BIOS MSI, as is the case with ASUS, can be done either from under Windows, or from under DOS. For the DOS mode, a BIOS-embedded tool called BIOS-MFLASH is used. But the MSI Live Update 5 or 6 application can also be used as the initial control utility. It is noteworthy in that it can also be used to update all installed MSI drivers, as well as flash the BIOS of the corresponding graphics accelerators. Let's start with him.

In the main window, you just need to check the necessary elements. Select the MB BIOS component and click the scan button below (Scan). If a new version of the firmware is detected, use the Download and Install button, after which the update process will start.

First you will need to select the update environment. To simplify matters, check the item In Windows mode, in the next window click the close button for all programs that appear in the list (Close all listed programs), click the continue button (Next) and in the next window click the start button for the process.

Для DOS-режима выбираем его из окна запущенного процесса обновления, после чего указываем носитель и соглашаемся с уничтожением всех присутствующих на нем данных (процесс займет не более минуты, после чего будет выдано сообщение об успешном создании загрузочного накопителя). При перезагрузке останется только следовать указаниям своеобразного «Мастера».

В случае обновления с помощью встроенного механизма MFLASH придется скачивать прошивку вручную, создавать загрузочный носитель и производить те же самые действия в BIOS, как это было описано выше (в меню инструментов выбирается носитель и файл прошивки).

Перепрошивка БИОСа Acer-систем на удивление производится намного проще. Даже загрузочный носитель создавать не нужно, хотя отформатировать его в FAT32 придется все равно.

To install the update, a special utility called Insyde Flash is used, which is copied to removable media. At the same time, you need to copy the firmware file downloaded from the official website to the main program directory on a USB flash drive, with the extension .fd and corresponding not only to the motherboard, but also to the laptop model. Please note that the device should contain only one firmware file, otherwise the application will offer to reflash only one of several. After starting the utility with the power turned on, the offer to install the update will be issued immediately.

The second way is just as simple. First you need to completely turn off the laptop, unplug the cord from the outlet and wait for the moment when the power indicator stops blinking. Next, plug the cord into the outlet, insert the USB flash drive into the appropriate port, hold down the Fn and Esc keys and press the power button. As soon as the indicator starts flashing, release the pressed keys. After that, the reading of information from the drive will begin (this can be seen by the blinking of the LED on the device itself). At the end of the update process, the laptop will reboot itself.

Video cards

Since GeForce and Radeon are dominant in the video card market, BIOS flashing will be considered on their example.

At the initial stage, for your card on the manufacturer’s website, you need to download new firmware and management programs. If there are several video cards in the system, only one should be left at the time of the update by inserting it into the PCI-Express slot.

For GeForce cards, the NVFlash program (of two files) is used, for Radeon - ATIFlash utility (one file). Next, you need to create a bootable USB-drive for DOS-mode, and then copy the files of programs and firmware.

When starting from a USB flash drive, you should make sure that the card is single-processor, otherwise the proposed method will not work. For NVIDIA, the nvflash --list command is used; for ATI, the atiflash –i command is used. If information on two cards is issued, then the adapter has two processors, and the proposed method of firmware cannot be used (it is better to refer to the manufacturer’s website and find the instructions there).

At the next stage, the BIOS flashing of the GeForce video card involves disabling protection. This is done with the line nvflash –protectoff.

Next, the nvflash -4 -5 -6 newbios.rom command is used to start the BIOS update process for GeForce cards (the name of the ROM file must match the name of the loaded firmware), for atiflash –p –f 0 newbios.rom for Radeon cards. After that, we wait for the completion of the process and overload the system in normal mode.

Brief Summary

That's all for flashing primary I / O systems. Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that the best option is to install the update exclusively in DOS mode, although you can use special utilities to simplify the work. But they work only if there are UEFI systems, and for standard versions the BIOS is not suitable. You must be extremely careful with video cards, because improper installation of the update or the slightest violations during the flashing process can lead to the failure of the graphics adapter.

Find out the BIOS version

In order to download a suitable software package, you should determine the version of the current firmware version. This can be done in several ways - both through third-party applications and Windows.

Download new software

To download the appropriate firmware, you should visit the website of the manufacturer of your motherboard and go to the support section, in which you can find the page for a specific model of the “motherboard” and download one of the available firmware packages from there.

Attention! Download firmware only from the official websites of the vendor of the motherboard, since the work of self-assembled options is not guaranteed, and their installation can disable the board!

Method 1: Utilities for the operating system

The easiest option is to flash the BIOS from under the operating system using special software. As a rule, the largest suppliers of motherboards (Gigabyte, ASUS and ASRock) provide the necessary utilities.

Using such solutions is quite simple: at will, make a backup copy of the current firmware code, then load the file with the new firmware into the utility and install it in a few clicks of the mouse. The only requirement is that the computer must be connected to an uninterruptible power supply, because if the firmware process is completed incorrectly, the board will “okrypichitsya” and you have to carry it to the service center.

Method 2: Update from a USB flash drive

A slightly more complex, but also more reliable method is to write code files to a USB flash drive and flash firmware from it using the DOS shell or the BIOS updater built into the BIOS itself. The procedure itself is not too time-consuming - we have already considered it in a separate material, which we recommend that you familiarize yourself with.

Method 3: Options for some manufacturers

Many major motherboard manufacturers offer their own BIOS flashing methods specific to models of a particular brand. First of all, this concerns laptops, but it is also characteristic of some desktop solutions, in particular, rulers for gamers that suggest advanced features.

Read more: BIOS firmware on devices ASUS, Gigabyte, Lenovo, HP, MSI

Method 4: Hardware Flashing

The most technical difficult option (and the only "motherboard" available for some options) is firmware firmware using a special programmer. In most cases, this means soldering the BIOS chip from the board, installing a “flash drive” in the programmer, and flashing the firmware with a service ROM file. This option is designed for an experienced user, so if you are not confident in your abilities, it is better to trust a specialist. An example of hardware firmware can be found at the link below.

Conclusion

BIOS firmware is a rather specific procedure, which is unlikely to be performed by an ordinary user. Nevertheless, motherboard manufacturers consider this possibility, and therefore have developed appropriate tools.

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