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

Furna

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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.
I think MSI should improve their communication; sure. But as far as I read from your posts, you are not in the position to say that the "Flash BIOS button needs to be fixed".
What if the BIOS chip is the reason why the flash failed (multiple times)? We simply do not have enough data.
Anyway enjoy your working motherboard.
 

ruhllati155c02de

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Date of failed flashing: MAY 2022
Affected board model: Z490 ACE
CPU: 10700K
Flashing method used: M-FLASH
Attempted update to BIOS version: 1.B
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update. Recovered with 1.B using BIOS Flashback.
 
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On the z690 it looks like the same thing is happening. I see more and more similar situations lately. After the bios flash, the board does not get up and the CPu diode is lit, interestingly, flashing the button often does not give anything. As here on the Polish forum:
https://forum.pclab.pl/topic/1349289-brick-z690-msi-tomahawk-aktualizacja-biosu/
There are also links to other people having the same problem. It seems MSI has a huge problem.

Z690 tomahawk DDR4 here, updated to 7D32v13, rebooted to black screen and debug LED red on CPU.
Flash BIOS button will not flash any version than the current (7D32v13). I have an 8GB USB key with an indicator for activity; after 80 seconds from pushing the flash bios button the latest bios will flash, total time is around 6 minutes. V11 and V12 will not flash; I have tried for 30+ minutes.
Going to have to RMA this board tomorrow, my first ever, and lesson learned - do not upgrade your MSI BIOS even to patch vulnerabilities.
 

citay

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The Flash BIOS Button method is very picky about the USB sticks sometimes. In fact, the old and cheap USB sticks with small capacity seem to work the best for that method, read here.
You have to simply try with different USB sticks to make it work, don't give up easily.

Going to have to RMA this board tomorrow, my first ever, and lesson learned - do not upgrade your MSI BIOS even to patch vulnerabilities.
No, that's the wrong lesson! This high danger of a corrupt BIOS exists only on MSI Z490. But in general, it can be absolutely crucial to update your BIOS. The most recent examples:

On Intel, mainboards based on the 600-series chipsets have a notoriously immature BIOS with deficiencies in memory support, which currently get fixed in new BIOS versions. Additionally, new BIOS versions have solved a lot of widely reported sleep-mode related bugs. Similarly, for Z590 boards, only the very latest BIOS (released a few days ago) seems to finally run to most people's satisfaction.

On AMD, the AGESA 1.2.0.5 microcode for the CPUs (what MSI call "AMD ComboAm4v2PI") used in the previous BIOS versions was quite problematic, see here. Not only do the new BIOS releases with AGESA 1.2.0.6b or 1.2.0.7 fix a lot of those bugs and annoyances, the latter also adds support for the new Ryzen CPUs such as the 5800X3D.

Patching vulnerabilities should be the least of your worries, because security flaws in the programs you use, or even in Windows, are much easier to exploit than some mostly theoretical flaws in the CPU microcode. The main thing is that most new mainboard launches are accompanied by a BIOS that's full of bugs, more or less. Once the boards are sold to the public, the users report all those bugs to MSI and they slowly, but surely, iron them out in new BIOS versions. This is the so-called "bananaware", it ripens at the customer. So it's part of normal aftercare to do BIOS updates. The early BIOS versions are often no good, that's the sad reality nowadays. If you want a system that runs smoothly, you cannot refuse BIOS updates.
 
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The Flash BIOS Button method is very picky about the USB sticks sometimes. In fact, the old and cheap USB sticks with small capacity seem to work the best for that method, read here.
You have to simply try with different USB sticks to make it work, don't give up easily.
The 3rd or 4th USB stick does work for me, the others were >8GB or had extra partitions.

The latest BIOS will flash with the bios button procedure, the indicator on the USB key lights up and it successfully reboots after 6 mins.
The two previous bios versions on the same USB key do not light up the activity indicator and the process stalls. And this is formatting the drive -> copying bios file -> renaming to MSI.ROM each time.
I can install the latest bios again and again each and every time guaranteed (and I did, 3-4 times), but i end up with the CPU error diode on ez-debug and a black screen.
 

citay

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I'd try more times then, until you get a successful flash. The latest BIOS version will work just fine once it is flashed successfully, it's only something during the flashing that corrupts it sometimes.
At least that's the theory.
 
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Trying overnight with V11 (3rd most recent version). I had installed this version successfully when I built this machine in January. Sadly it is a repeatable error for it seems quite a few Z690 boards.
 

Doc_Bucket

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I've read about half of this thread with a lot of interest and also sympathy, obviously. It looks like MSI know there is not a system solution but they are unwilling to admit it publicly.

All the BIOS update files are correct, otherwise they would fail on all boards. There is not an indicator, which would sort out the successful boards from the failures – except for the chipset itself. I assume the flaw is inherent to its implementation in the MB architecture. Even if MSI know the cause, they might not be able to identify the bad batch, since its manifestation is random. All units are prone to a failure…

It was possibly triggered by a major upgrade, from which MSI cannot back off, unless they give up key features such as Intel gen. 11 or Win 11 compatibility. I am afraid they've decided to live with this "Russian roulette" as sergeant citay has pointed out. Motherboards are not cars and the production is not worth repairing as a whole. MSI can wait which pieces show faulty. It sounds cynical but pragmatic. Especially if the number of satisfied customers and die hard supporters is high enough.

Once again, I am very thankful for this informative thread and feel for those who sacrificed their time or finances.
 

maio

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FYI there is a new official BIOS update for MSI Z490 boards:

Version: 7C73v1B
Release date: 2022-04-19
Description: Update Intel Micro code for security vulnerabilities

However, I do not think it will fix the problem of this thread.
 

Jon70

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Date of failed flashing: 05/13/2022
Affected board model: Z490-A PRO
CPU: i7 10700K
Flashing method used: MSI Center
Attempted update to BIOS version: 7C75v2C
Result: Stuck at EZ Debug LED "CPU" after update.

Seems like MSI just doesn't care, even months after it was initially reported. I've submitted a ticket, waiting to hear back.

UPDATE: Received a reply this morning, and doesn't appear they read what I said to them (I mentioned I cleared the CMOS, reseated the CPU, used each stick of RAM individually, and mentioned this thread) and then seems like they think just sticking a flash drive in with the BIOS file on it will "flashback" the BIOS on this specific board that doesn't have a flashback feature. This is what they said:
Dear [sir],

Thanks for contacting MSI technical support.

Regarding your concern, please clear CMOs referring to the manual, just install the CPU, one piece of RAM and GPU to retest the motherboard.
If it cannot help, please connect the USB drive which contains the BIOS file to turn on the motherboard and see if the BIOS can be recovered this way. You can download the BIOS file from MSI website below and extract the download files, then just copy the BIOS file to root folder of the USB drive. Thanks!

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/Z490-A-PRO/support#manual

https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/Z490-A-PRO/support#bios

Thanks for your cooperation in advance!

Best Regards,

MSI Technical Support Team
UPDATE 2: I received my CH341a today and was able to successfully flash 7C75v2A, just as @ozer_erdemu156a02df was able to do on the same model board. It wasn't too difficult, just time consuming to flash. I am now up and running smoothly, and I am now vowing to never perform another BIOS update again on this board until someone confirms the updates are stable again.
In the process, I made a dump of the bad flash of 7C75v2C. If there's anyone smart enough out there who may want to run through this file to see what might be going on, feel free to PM me and I can send you the binary.
Tagging @citay so they can update the stats on the first post.
 
Last edited:

orlandocris15a102de

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They sent you a new motherboard?.

I bought a MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS motherboard 2 week ago around and the EZ DEBUG

EZ Debug LED indicator is ON, come with this problem from factory. I changed the cpu two times and nothing happened I5-10400F and i5-11400f.
 

drya158e02e7

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Tell me, is flashing to the latest bios using the AFUWINx64 utility safe? Or are there problems with the firmware only through the BIOS from a USB flash drive or through the MCI Center?
 
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citay

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I bought a MPG Z490 GAMING PLUS motherboard 2 week ago around and the EZ DEBUG
EZ Debug LED indicator is ON, come with this problem from factory. I changed the cpu two times and nothing happened I5-10400F and i5-11400f.
If the EZ Debug LED "CPU" didn't come on after a BIOS update, then your problem is something else, most likely. Please start a new thread about it, and include all your hardware (exact models, including PSU especially). EZ Debug LED "CPU" can mean a lot of different things, it's just the first point that the checks can fail. It depends on the context: When it happened, or if it was like that from the start, then with what other hardware.
 
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The update from April 28, 2022 for z490 gaming edge wifi has just been released. Version 7C79v1B. Maybe somehow it is safe and can be uploaded? Is there any way to upload it safely? Because I'm already rewinding a few versions, still on February 2021 and it irritates.
 

Kederai

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Has anyone tried the new update on MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
AMI BIOS
Version
7C79v1B
Release date
2022-04-28
 

orlandocris15a102de

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If the EZ Debug LED "CPU" didn't come on after a BIOS update, then your problem is something else, most likely. Please start a new thread about it, and include all your hardware (exact models, including PSU especially). EZ Debug LED "CPU" can mean a lot of different things, it's just the first point that the checks can fail. It depends on the context: When it happened, or if it was like that from the start, then with what other hardware.
Thank you I solved the problem following this instructions: Regarding your concern, in this case, please unplug the power supply and CMOS battery for a while, after that, unplug all of the devices and then reconnect the CPU/FAN/one RAM module/VGA/PSU to double check it. Please also check if there are any bent pins on the CPU and connect the RAM module to another slot to try. Thanks!
 

ptoderas

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Hello

My z490 carbon WiFi was bricked this morning after I updated the Msi center and it promoted a bios update.

I started the update from windows, the update rebooted , completed but since then there's no post.

Took it to the local shop and was told it's bricked.

Thank you Dragon Center and windows update bios.



Date of failed flashing: 20 may 2022
Affected board model: z490 carbon wifi mpg
CPU: Intel i9
Flashing method used: windows dragon center
Attempted update to BIOS version: latest
Result: won't post (also white light no longer on)
 

citay

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My z490 carbon WiFi was bricked this morning after I updated the Msi center and it promoted a bios update.
Yes, the blame should fall on MSI. Not even mainly for the original problem (bugs and problems can happen where ever humans work), but for the lack of response and apparent unwillingness or incompetence in solving it, that is, eliminating the danger of bricking with MSI Z490 BIOS updates. Maybe it only affects a certain batch of boards due to a changed component or so, and it is actually unfixable in software, who knows. But then they should clearly communicate this to all the MSI Z490 users that are "at risk" and make a special website about it with further details, as well as offering a speedy RMA with no fuss for the affected users. Sort of like they did with the problematic MSI Coreliquid 240R/360R AiO coolers (better late than never). Instead, they leave it up to unofficial threads like these that can only reach some users, and keep completely quiet about it.


The update from April 28, 2022 for z490 gaming edge wifi has just been released. Version 7C79v1B. Maybe somehow it is safe and can be uploaded? Is there any way to upload it safely? Because I'm already rewinding a few versions, still on February 2021 and it irritates.
Has anyone tried the new update on MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi
AMI BIOS
Version
7C79v1B
Release date
2022-04-28
Maybe this last failure from @ptoderas was already the first one with this newest release. So i wouldn't be too optimistic that this latest BIOS is safe to update to on Z490.
 

ptoderas

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Yes, the blame should fall on MSI. Not even mainly for the original problem (bugs and problems can happen where ever humans work), but for the lack of response and apparent unwillingness or incompetence in solving it, that is, eliminating the danger of bricking with MSI Z490 BIOS updates. Maybe it only affects a certain batch of boards due to a changed component or so, and it is actually unfixable in software, who knows. But then they should clearly communicate this to all the MSI Z490 users that are "at risk" and make a special website about it with further details, as well as offering a speedy RMA with no fuss for the affected users. Sort of like they did with the problematic MSI Coreliquid 240R/360R AiO coolers (better late than never). Instead, they leave it up to unofficial threads like these that can only reach some users, and keep completely quiet about it.





Maybe this last failure from @ptoderas was already the first one with this newest release. So i wouldn't be too optimistic that this latest BIOS is safe to update to on Z490.
I genuinely think it happened because of the windows flash method. I should've waited or use USB stick method like I always did.

I can't wait for customer support
 

citay

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I genuinely think it happened because of the windows flash method. I should've waited or use USB stick method like I always did.
Well, as you can see from the statistics in the first post, it can happen with either method. You did nothing wrong. I think the MSI Center method also calls the normal BIOS flash mode as well in the end, similar to M-Flash in the BIOS. I also exclusively flash via M-Flash, because i don't even consider installing MSI Center (i don't like that tool, it can mess with your Windows settings and for a lot of its features, there are different ways to do it better). But in this instance, i don't think the risk is much lower if you use M-Flash.

If you can't wait for customer support because you anticipate it will take too long, then you can either try with an external programming tool which seems pretty successful here, or you can outright buy a new board, have your old board replaced/fixed by MSI and sell the replacement board later. As you may have concluded yourself, the Flash BIOS Button can be quite an important feature. At least it helps to eliminate any worry about a BIOS update. Most MSI Z590 boards have one, and they can also take a 10th gen CPU.
 
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