AsRock, Aptio, AMI BIOS update crap

There haven’t been some updates for quite a while. But that’s not because I abandoned this site, but rather because I fried my mainboard when a BIOS update failed.

Of course I have been up- and downgrading my BIOS a lot which always is kind of risky – even more when you are using patched firmwares / BIOS’es. ‘Funny’ thing is it all went wrong with the BIOS Instant Flash feature and with a non-patched BIOS. And here is what happened:

I had all my flash files prepared on my MicroSD card. But it turned out named SD card had some corrupted sectors (I wasn’t aware of this when doing my BIOS flash unfortunately!)
So I did a regular BIOS update with the BIOS Instant Flash feature and it all (seemingly) went ok. When asked for a restart at the end, I confirmed – thus sending the motherboard into oblivion.

So learn from it: the BIOS Instant Flash feature doesn’t do any checking on read errors or corrupt sectors on your media. Also it doesn’t do any hashing (crc, md5, etc) to ensure a correct reading of data and flashing consequently ! So before flashing you should make damn sure your media is free of any errors and your files are ok (unfortunately AsRock also doesn’t provide a SHA-1 checksum of their downloads)

Meanwhile I got my motherboard replaced and already downgraded the BIOS, not before checking my USB stick is without any errors – what can take some time on a 32GB stick.

By the way AMI seems also to have problems with their website and https certificate, so theoretically also their webpage could be corrupted πŸ˜‰

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How to downgrade E3C226D2I (from 3.30 to 2.10)

ASRock provides a warning on downgrading:

Due to BIOS code major upgrade to support Broadwell CPU feature, this BIOS update (P3.xx and after) will be backward compatible to Haswell CPU (E3 v3), but won’t be able to downgrade to P2.xx versions after upgrade to P3.xx BIOS.

For me the steps below worked and so far I have not experienced any issues in doing. But proceed at your own risk.

1) Create a FAT32 formatted USB DOS boot stick.

2) Get 2.00 Update BIOS Under DOS version from ASRockRack: http://asrock.pc.cdn.bitgravity.com/BIOS/Server/E3C226D2I(2.00)DOS.zip

3) Extract the ZIP File and copy the EXE file on the USB DOS boot stick. Then boot with it.

4) Start the DOS BIOS Updater with /X parameter: C:\226D2I~2 /x

Parameter /X ignores the current BIOS ROM ID

5) The updater will remain some time (approx 20 -30 secs) at 75%.

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After this it will proceed. Just wait for some time to finish.

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6) Restart and go into the BIOS. You will see it is downgraded to 2.00

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7) Then use the BIOS Instant Flash feature to upgrade to 2.10. I UEFI patched version 2.10 before.

8) Restart

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(if you compare above 2 pictures system time you will see it took approx 2 minutes, including booting and going into BIOS again πŸ˜› )