!!! Warning: Z490 boards - problem with recent BIOS updates !!!

citay

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I don't have a Z490 myself, i only try to help as best as i can, so more people are warned about the issue and perhaps MSI solves it sooner. I can only speak about everything i've seen/heard about this problem, and it seems that once you have updated the BIOS successfully, it works just like normal.

As i said, if you found that version 7C79v16 works best for you, you could easily flash to that version, there is no risk with that version, since it's the one before the problematic ones.
Then i'd just wait with updating again until MSI has solved it once and for all.

Whatever they did with the BIOS re-release, i'm not sure, but it's not solved. There were cases with the re-released BIOS as well. It's still risky to update to that BIOS at the moment.
 

fabt1113@gmail.com

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Aug 28, 2016
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Date of failed flashing: 23/11/21
Affected board model: MPG Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI
CPU: 10600k
Flashing method used: M-Flash
Attempted update to BIOS version: 16 To 1A
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED CPU after update.no display on boot up, no access to bios.


Solved: reflashing the BIOS chip with Ch341a and Asprogrammer (bios v16),the bios chip is MX25L25673G asprogrammer shows as MX25L25635F but it works.
Recommendations: -make sure to put the clamp in the correct position (in the case of this board it comes upside down), make sure first pin is first pin.
-I did it without battery and without power cables.
-Make sure ch341a drivers got install

Although I did run into some problems along the way.
I had to flash the bios twice.

The first time everything was ok, I managed to enter windows, reboot and as soon as I restarted, M-flash came out of nowhere and I tried to update to 1a again, then again in brick.

The second time I did not enter windows, but went directly to the bios, to m flash and re-flashed the same bios, then boot windows and uninstall upate live 6 ... no problems so far

Hope it helps
Any question do not hesitate
 

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Oct 28, 2021
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I asked the Polish branch of MSI about this problem.
Their position is that there is no problem at all and they just don't recommend updating the BIOS if everything works fine. And that's it. I also greet the naive who believe that MSI is doing something about this topic. I would like to add that in Poland, in Wrocław, there is an MSI service where your broken motherboards are sent after a failed BIOS update and what? And nothing, MSI Polska sees the problem. All is well.
Also, do not expect that it will ever be repaired, I will not be surprised as the z490 will not receive any BIOS update.
 

anlevo4159002e1

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Nov 1, 2021
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Today I took the Z490A-PRO out of repair, replaced the BIOS chip, flashed the April bios. Everything was done under warranty, in an authorized service center.
 

jcp.garcia115e702ea

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Nov 22, 2021
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Date of failed flashing: 11/23/2021
Motherboard model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: i7-10700K
Flashing Method Used: Bios Flash
Attempted update to BIOS version: From 7C79v16 to 7C79v1A (Windows 11 support)
Result: CPU led constantly on after updating to 7C79v1A. not booting.
Memory: TridentZ RGB 16GB (2x8) 3600mhz CL18 (XMP on)

pc was running perfectly prior to this bios version update, also running at stock cpu speeds (default bios settings) (enhanced turbo off)
tried removing cmos battery and clearing cmos, still did not work. will probably RMA it
UPDATE: sent my unit for RMA. will update further
 

jumbox3124a02a3

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Nov 27, 2021
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Cheers for the thread Citay.

Date of failed flashing: 26/11/2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10600K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v1A
Result: BRICKED. Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Attempting RMA through vendor.

Best of luck to everyone.
 
Last edited:

olek_kulesz151d02d8

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Nov 27, 2021
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Date of failed flashing: 01.11.2021
Affected board model: Z490 gaming plus
CPU: 10700F
Flashing method used: Dragon Center
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C75vAA
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. No signal on screen.

02.11: warranty return by the store where I bought
03.11: sent to service
06.11: sent to an external service
20.11: return from service
23.11: collect in the store
25.11: the day of assembling my pc

Now I have the newest bios and for two days everything seems fine.
 

anhanh9926155502d5

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Nov 28, 2021
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There is a common problem with the latest BIOS updates for Z490 boards: The update seems to finish, the PC reboots, but then it's stuck with the EZ Debug LED "CPU" being on.

There seems to be a danger from the April/May BIOS update (changelog: "Improved Audio compatibility"), from the July update (changelog: "Support M2 PCIE lanes switch function."), and from the September update (changelog: "Windows 11 Supported, Improved compatibility for Intel Thunderbolt devices."), potentially causing the same issue: The board becomes unusable / "bricked".

Note that there is no risk of this with BIOS updates for MSI mainboards using other chipsets (Z390, B460, Z590, B560, X470, X570, B450, B550, etc.).
This can only happen on MSI Z490 boards. People with other boards can update normally.

The first reports about a Z490 BIOS update causing problems was at the beginning of May: z490 Tomahawk CPU Debug LED Stuck on after latest BIOS update
Then in May, this thread: Warning : V17 bios for Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi release Monday may brick your board., and several more after.

I have found no reports of problems with any of the earlier BIOS updates. So i urge everyone to not update to any of those latest three versions until this possible problem is solved. I say possible, because it probably doesn't happen all the time, otherwise this forum would be absolutely flooded with complaints. But it is a real danger, as you will see below when i list some of the affected users.

Normally i'm all for updating the BIOS, and i do it pretty much immediately on my boards whenever a new BIOS is released. And this Z490 issue is the first such problem i ever saw. But most of the Z490 boards have no way of recovering from it. For most people, the only way to solve this would be to RMA the board. The only Z490 boards where it's no problem are the two sister boards MEG Z490 UNIFY and ACE, and the MEG Z490 GODLIKE, because those three have a BIOS Flashback function (Flash USB Button). There you can flash back to an older version and the board works again.

The more recent Z590 ATX boards now all have a Flash BIOS Button (and corresponding USB port) on the back, through which you can "force-flash" the BIOS in case of problems. So i guess MSI rather add that function everywhere now, instead of dealing with RMAs of bricked boards when something goes wrong.

I have researched about all the users i could find that have been affected by this, so everyone can see the full scope of the problem. I don't think i exaggerate when i claim that this is a huge problem for MSI and their reputation, and to my knowledge, they have not reacted until this day. They released the September BIOS update for Windows 11 compatibility, and while such an update went well on my Z590 board as expected (plus it has the safety net of the Flash USB Button), there are still reports of the similar Z490 update potentially causing this problem there. Each day, there are many people updating their BIOS on MSI mainboards without any issues, and only on Z490 we see this kind of problem.

As a longtime MSI user, this kind of problem with the Z490 boards is unacceptable, even if i don't have a Z490 board myself.
Therefore, i decided to try to bring further attention to it, so hopefully MSI can do something about it as soon as possible.

Update October 7, 2021: MSI are now seemingly aware of this issue, as was confirmed on a German forum by an official MSI account. I will update this post/thread if there is any progress.

Update October 29, 2021: A user received a link from MSI with a tool for manual flashing from the command line. However, this is just an interim solution if you absolutely want to update to the newest Z490 BIOS and reduce the risk of failure. We are still waiting for them to upload new BIOS updates where this potential problem is 100% fixed.

It is important not to be put off from doing BIOS updates altogether by this. BIOS updates fix bugs, add new features, and they even improve performance. It is extremely rare that a whole line of mainboard models has such a potential problem. So, nobody should conclude never to do any BIOS updates again, that would be the wrong message. Instead, once this problem is fixed for the Z490 boards, the BIOS updates can once again be an important way to make the system work better, faster, and with less bugs.


Statistics:
Affected total users (from this list and from further replies to this thread): 126
Users that could fix it themselves: 11 (5x Flash BIOS Button, 6x external programming device)
Users who did an RMA with the vendor or MSI for a fix/replacement: 37
Users where the RMA was declined: 4 (3x because of existing damage to the board, 1x not stated)
Users that bought a new board themselves: 6
No further information / no RMA yet: 68

Users that updated via MSI/Dragon Center Live Update: 49
Users that updated via M-FLASH: 53
Update method unknown:
24


List of affected users i have found on the forum, as of first posting this thread:

(Roughly in chronological order)

User: @datz.bunz
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Bought a replacement board (ASUS)

User: @mace014ea02cd
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Got a replacement board

User: @dr_overflo153302df
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Bought a replacement board

User: @sixpackvbal129b02ae
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI, got his repaired board back

User: @mark.hadda156c02dd
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk?
CPU: 10850k
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C80v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @mickh5494
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v17
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI?

User: @kenneth.cotma151802d1
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490I Unify
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through vendor, sent to MSI for repair

User: @anglnotre15dd02f0
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Plus
CPU: 10600K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA, got his repaired board back with older BIOS vA6 on

User: @lesurvenan152302d4
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: 10600K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v17
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI?

User: @sa3aa14e902d9
Date of failed flashing: May 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v17
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Goes "back to ASUS"

User: @jallu_col129b02ae
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi
CPU: 10900K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA denied due to small scratch on the board. Bought a replacement board from different brand

User: @Own3d
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi ?
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI

User: @luis.stuardo2151c02d3
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. It will be "his last board from MSI"

User: @tehjacku151402ce
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA denied by MSI (didn't go into detail), got a replacement through insurance

User: @mark.robinson198127b02ab
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @dj3for10
Date of failed flashing: June 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. "Contemplates life in front of dead PC"

User: @jwilby8160102f6
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through vendor

User: @ferran.duarr157e02dd
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490I Unify
CPU: 11700
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through vendor

User: @Rubik
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490I Unify ?
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Successfully repaired it by using a BIOS programmer,

User: @janschulteortbec154a02d3
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490I Unify ?
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @hardcore_gamer29
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10900K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through service center, got his repaired board back

User: @yamei031154f02d7
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: 10900K
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI

User: @saokirito93156102df
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 GAMING EDGE WIFI
CPU: 10600KF
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @jwilby8160102f6
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through vendor

User: @gmbeas160158102e0
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI?

User: @mohdrodz15bf02ed
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 ?
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA

User: @mikemauge154a02d7
Date of failed flashing: July 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: 10900
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v17
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI, got his repaired board back with BIOS v17 on

User: @xsketchyfruit12fc02b9
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Pro Plus
CPU: 10400
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @yxh93021154502dc
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Pro Plus
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @John Eisberg
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 UNIFY
CPU: 10900K
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: vA9
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Used "Flash BIOS Button" method to force-flash to BIOS vA8, board works again

User: @aaronpeigh
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 UNIFY
CPU: 10850K
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: vA9
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Used "Flash BIOS Button" method to force-flash to BIOS vA8, board works again

User: @dan.pahal125b02a7
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v18?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA

User: @amichele154f02db
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Plus
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: vA8
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI?

User: @j0sefuz115d402ee
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: v18
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @mikkl1620
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Tomahawk
CPU: 10600K
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA denied due to slightly bent pins in the CPU socket. Bought a replacement board "Z590 Tomahawk"

User: @yohan.vandevell154002e1
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Opened a ticket with MSI

User: @jonathan84012e802b5
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon Wifi
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @takocankol
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 ?
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

User: @christoph.urba128d02aa
Date of failed flashing: August 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Plus
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: ?
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Wants to attempt manual BIOS flash with CH341A EEPROM programmer,

User: @seeknay7415ae02f0
Date of failed flashing: September 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon WIFI
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI. "Very unlikely he will buy another MSI board after this"

User: @mastersap157d02db
Date of failed flashing: September 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Carbon WIFI
CPU: ?
Flashing method used: ?
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. RMA through MSI?, got a new board of the same model

User: @stro152c02d9
Date of failed flashing: September 2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming Edge
CPU: 10500
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: v19
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.



Everyone with the same problem on Z490 that doesn't find themselves on the list, feel free to reply here using the same format, here is a template:
Date of failed flashing:
Affected board model:
CPU:
Flashing method used:
Attempted update to BIOS version:
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

Whenever i have seen your reply and included it in the statistics, i will give a "thumbs up" for it to thank you for your participation.

Also, feel free to refer to this thread in your communication with the vendor or with MSI. Hopefully MSI will finally start to recognize this problem and do something about it.
Date of failed flashing: 28.11.2021
Affected board model: Z490 Gaming plus
CPU: i5-10400
Flashing method used: Dargon center
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C75vAA
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.
Memory: Gskill 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200
 
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