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

citay

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7C79v16 is the last 100% safe version for the Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi. The three newer ones are potentially dangerous, i'm afraid.
 
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Hi
Are there any known issues updating the BIOS on older chipsets? I have z370 gaming pro carbon and I'm going to buy rtx 30xx. According to data from the Msi website, I should update the bios. Is there a risk of the motherboard freezing?
 

citay

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No, this particular problem can only happen on Z490 (and there only with the three most recent BIOS updates).

Boards based on other chipsets are not affected.
 

khrizthia159102e1

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Date of failed flashing: April 4, 2022
Affected board model: MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI
CPU: Intel i9 10900
Flashing method used: MSI/Dragon Center Live Update
Attempted update to BIOS version: Latest for Windows 11
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.
RAM: HyperX Predator DDR4 RGB 16GB kit 4000MHz CL17 DIMM XMP

I made the purchase through Amazon Mexico and I already spoke with MSI. From the USA portal I was able to raise the RMA to be attended from Mexico and they already received it.
I only have the question if with the RMA it is ensured that they fix it or change it at no cost?
 

TheRenesay

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I made the purchase through Amazon Mexico and I already spoke with MSI. From the USA portal I was able to raise the RMA to be attended from Mexico and they already received it.
I only have the question if with the RMA it is ensured that they fix it or change it at no cost?
I'm not too familiar with RMAs in general but in my case (Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi) it was clearly a brand new replacement.
I had made sure to remove everything removable from the board prior to shipping. I only paid for the shipping to send it to MSI Canada.
The board I received had all stickers and removable parts. It didn't come in a brand new box but it was manufacturer wrapped.
 

wicrock151d02cd

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Date of failed flashing: April 8th, 2022
Affected board model: MSI z490 Carbon gaming wifi. (No cool bios button to fix it) :(
CPU: i7-10700K
Flashing method used: flash in bios menu
Attempted update to BIOS version: Newest
Result: Updated to 100% and rebooted, then stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU".

RMA. This pos tomorrow, hopefully they can refresh the bios and I won't have to redo windows.

I would hate losing everything on my c: drive. I don't have another pc capable of reading NVme drives to backup. :( In 20 years of pc building this is the first time ever the official bios bricked my motherboard. Its really completely unacceptable.

Edit** I see they make a reader now for NVme to USB.
What does everyone think? Just ditch this motherboard and upgrade? If you can't upgrade the bios going forward, without risk of bricking it, is it worth keeping?
 
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citay

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Just ditch this motherboard and upgrade? If you can't upgrade the bios going forward, without risk of bricking it, is it worth keeping?
Well, if you get it back with the newest BIOS installed, then you won't have to update the BIOS ever again, there most likely won't be any new versions for Z490. Maybe they bring out one new version, if they tackle this potential bricking problem one day. Other than that, i don't think there will be another update. For all the older boards, the updates usually stop with the "Windows 11 supported" one.
 

ms157d02dd

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And today it was my turn. MEG Z490 Unify with 10700K CPU will not start after BIOS upgrade from the Windows app. The BIOS upgrade button does not work either. When using it, it first flashes slowly 3-4 times, and a couple of seconds pause while the fans spin up and the board powers on, and then the BIOS-button rapidly flashes forever. (Or at least 5 hours until I gave up.) The 2 digit digital display next to the reset button on the board shows "--" and the CPU diode is active. This will be a sad weekend. :(
 

citay

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And today it was my turn. MEG Z490 Unify
About the Flash BIOS Button / USB Flashback, the main problem is that it is extremely picky about the USB drive/stick you try to use for it.
Basically, you have to keep trying with different USB sticks until they find one that works (the cheaper the USB stick, the better, from the feedback i got). It should take around 5 minutes of a certain kind of blinking for the process to complete. If it keeps blinking for longer, then it failed. If it doesn't start the certain kind of blinking, then it also failed. Also read here.

So don't give up easily, i'm sure you can eventually recover from the BIOS bricking problem with the Flash BIOS Button on your board.
 

ms157d02dd

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About the Flash BIOS Button / USB Flashback, the main problem is that it is extremely picky about the USB drive/stick you try to use for it.
Basically, you have to keep trying with different USB sticks until they find one that works (the cheaper the USB stick, the better, from the feedback i got). It should take around 5 minutes of a certain kind of blinking for the process to complete. If it keeps blinking for longer, then it failed. If it doesn't start the certain kind of blinking, then it also failed. Also read here.

So don't give up easily, i'm sure you can eventually recover from the BIOS bricking problem with the Flash BIOS Button on your board.
Thanks for the encouragement. Much appreciated and needed. 😊

I have tried all kind of USB-sticks I have found at home, but so far no luck. Some of them just flashes as described in my first message. Some of them flashes slowly for maybe 5-10 seconds and then stays constantly on, and some others flashes slowly and then goes dark. Some of these are fairly new USB 3.0 sticks, so I did not expect them to work, but some are quite old. I will continue searching.

Or anyone know where confirmed working USB-sticks are available for sale? Used or new does not matter as long as it fixes the BIOS. MSI should actually provide these IMHO.

The USB-sticks below does not work with my MEG Z490 Unify.
20220409_132521-mini.jpg
 

ms157d02dd

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For reference, if anyone is trying to prepare a USB-stick to use with the BIOS flash button, these are the diskpart commands I use:

list disk
select disk #
(Replace # with the number of the USB-stick disk.)
clean
convert mbr
create partition primary size=500
(size=500 might not be needed, but just in case...)
format fs=fat32 quick

With that said, I have yet to find a USB-stick that works and I now count eight USB-stick models that do not work. I hope others have better luck.
 

wicrock151d02cd

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Shipped Friday late and my RMA was received today in Cali. 15-to 35 day turn around, so I guess the wait begins. Just wanted to tell people to try shipping FedEx, they were less than half the cost of other shippers. Almost had a stroke at UPS rates, upwards of $80.
 

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ms157d02dd

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I gave up trying to flash with the BIOS button and got an EEPROM programmer instead. Worked fine and problem solved.
 

ms157d02dd

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I gave up trying to flash with the BIOS button and got an EEPROM programmer instead. Worked fine and problem solved.
I got an CH341A and used this guide:
It was quite quick and easy, but it would have been even quicker and easier if the BIOS flash button had worked.

The BIOS chip is located here on the MEG Z490 Unify:
20220412_103124 (2)_LI.jpg
 
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Furna

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I got an CH341A and used this guide:
One more video that does not explain CH341A sends 5V on data lines ... MX25L25673G used on MEG Z490 Unify is a 3V flash memory https://www.tme.eu/Document/1068b2ce565f5d3901bf372487b29d49/MX25L25673G, 3V, 256Mb, v1.4.pdf
There are some CH341A versions with an included switch for different voltages anyway I still was not able to find one in Europe (not that I am really searching for it).
Electronic components have tolerance anyway you supplied almost double the voltage to it; you were lucky.
All in all I wouldn't had give up with Flash BIOS button ...
 

ms157d02dd

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One more video that does not explain CH341A sends 5V on data lines ... MX25L25673G used on MEG Z490 Unify is a 3V flash memory https://www.tme.eu/Document/1068b2ce565f5d3901bf372487b29d49/MX25L25673G, 3V, 256Mb, v1.4.pdf
There are some CH341A versions with an included switch for different voltages anyway I still was not able to find one in Europe (not that I am really searching for it).
Electronic components have tolerance anyway you supplied almost double the voltage to it; you were lucky.
All in all I wouldn't had give up with Flash BIOS button ...
Hm. Yes. Seems like I was lucky when using the CH341A. The PC works fine now, so atleast I were lucky with something.

I read the BIOS chip before programming it, and it was mostly blank. Seems the USB flash button prodecure had not written anything useful to it.

The current implementation of the Flash BIOS button needs to be fixed. When it is this extremely sensitive to using the correct USB storage device, I'm considering it broken. Besides the USB memory sticks pictured above, I borrowed another 8 different models, old and new, from friends. None of them worked. I spent many hours testing and hunting USB devices every day during two weeks.

I should have just tested the few USB devices I had at hand the first day, and then returned the board and let MSI know what I think about their implementation of the BIOS flash button.
 
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