Time for BIOS upgrade


  1. Posts : 537
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
       #1

    Time for BIOS upgrade


    I tend to avoid reflashing BIOS unless absolutely necessary ... and have never found it absolutely necessary. But maybe now?

    A bit over a year ago I replaced and aged MB, CPU, and memory in an old PC with an ASUS Prime H370-Plus, an Intel i5-8400 CPU, and 16GB of RAM. All has worked well except that POST takes about 90 seconds. That's not critical but it's frustrating so I searched the web and found something suggesting updating BIOS. Since I've never done a BIOS upgrade I'm reluctant to dive into this (feeling that a 90 second wait is preferable to a bricked MB due to a BIOS upgrade failure).

    I looked on the ASUS website and found that there have been 7 BIOS versions for this MB since the one I am using. 7 versions in 14 months. Correction: 12 months; the last one was 2 months ago.

    Is this "normal" for a relatively new MB or is ASUS struggling to fix a lemon? Should I get off the old BIOS right away, or should I way until ASUS puts out a more stable version? Except for the slow POST I haven't have any obvious problems, but I suspect ASUS has not been working on new BIOS just for fun. (Some of the upgrades contain new Intel ME firmware and some contain new microcode for new Intel processors. It isn't just fixing problems in the BIOS.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    The first thing I would look at is the boot priority in BIOS, if for example DVD/CD or Optical Drive is listed as second boot device but your PC does not have an optical drive the BIOS will check each SATA port to see if it can find a drive, this can cause the POST to take longer.
    Also if you have External drives plugged in during boot that can slow POST down.
    So basically try to speed up POST by changing settings first before thinking about flashing the BIOS.
    And you are quite right, if the newer BIOS versions just add features you don't need rather than specifically address known issues there is no need to update really.
    Another thing to check is whether your motherboard has dual BIOS, this allows you to flash and if it goes pear shaped you can restore from the backup BIOS...check the website or your manual for instructions.
    Also check the motherboard forums if it has one, usually people will let you know quite quickly if there are issues with the updated versions.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    It should tell you what each update fixes or upgrades. Bios upgrade now is normally bomb proof but when updating there is normally an option to first save current bios and you should do that so you can role back. Normally they dont issue updates for no reason
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 537
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       #4

    The descriptions of the updates were, um, terse. Several of them mentioned "performance improvements" with no mention of the type of improvement and under what circumstances. I think I'll give it a try.

    I think I have the option of saving the current BIOS, but I'm not how to recover using it. I mean, if the MB is bricked, how to I tell it to use the old BIOS. Makes me realize I have no idea ow this all fits together. There must be some micro-basic I/O system - unchanged by a BIOS update - that decides which BIOS to use. I think I need to learn about "Dual BIOS".
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    In 30 years of computer use and dozens of BIOS flash and upgrades, I've never had one brick.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 537
    Win10 x64 Pro -2 desktops, 1 laptop
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Well, that was a thoroughly unenjoyable experience. I could find no way to create a BIOS backup - either in the ASUS BIOS functions themselves or in the ASUS tool that supposedly has the function. (Maybe it is just well hidden.) As an alternative, I downloaded a copy of the BIOS I was on plus a couple intermediate level versions. Then I proceeded to flash the latest version. The flashing went quickly and flawlessly, but when rebooting I got a peculiar (and not quite grammatical) error message:
    Please enter setup to recover BIOS setting [followed by instructions to enter BIOS]
    After setting up Optane memory or the RAID configuration was built, SATA Selection must be changed to RAID mode to avoid unknown issue.
    I don't have Optane or a RAID configuration but the latest BIOS added (or updated) Optane support so I assume there was a connection.

    The SATA options were AHCI or Optane (with some verbiage that meant nothing to me). It was set to AHCI so I tried Optane (knowing it would fail) and rebooted. No boot device was found. So I changed it back, rebooted, and got the previously stated error message.

    Time to revert to the old BIOS. But when picking any of the back level copies I got the message
    "Selected file is not a proper BIOS" .
    Either ASUS or AMI does not support downleveling, or there was something in the new BIOS that prohibited it.

    Panic set in.

    There is supposedly an ASUS (or AMI) function that recognizes a specially named BIOS file on a CD or USB device and will immediately enter the BIOS update function and load the BIOS. I renamed my old BIOS to the magic name. But there were no instructions on how to invoke this function. (If it is supposed to automatically happen during POST, it didn't work.)

    However, on my 3rd feeble attempt to get that automatic function to work - with the flash drive in a different USB port - the boot was successful. Not the recovery function - I was still on the new BIOS. But Windows came up. It went into recovery so I guess it may have started to initialize at least once during the many boots. Recovery failed, but Windows came up with no obvious problem. On the new BIOS.

    <Sheesh>

    I never did check to see if POST is faster. I'll check that later.
      My ComputerSystem Spec



 

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