Hello and welcome to my quick and easy guide on how to flash any video card bios NVIDIA or AMD without fear of bricking.
A.K.A. ( MY CARD IS BICKED AND IT WONT SHOW UP IN ATI FLASH NO MATTER WHAT, OMG WHAT DO I DO, and the only response you get is SORRy Lul u dun goofed and made a paper weight.... NO MORE IS THIS THE CASE!!!!!!)
A.K.A.A.? ( I'm afraid of bricking my card, cause one bad bios flash and my card could be bricked forever... No more is the case!!! )
A.K.A.A.A.??O.O?? ( You don't need a reference card anymore to flash other bios's with this method )
(skip past my story for the steps)
I have tested this and it is working with an AMD HD 7970, AMD HD 7870, Nvidia gt 220, Nvidia gt 430, AMD HD 6450, and I'm sure pretty much any other card would work too as long as you can find the vbios chip and its an 8 pin chip on the gpx card.
So what is this magical new way of flashing you ask? How does it work you ask? How many flash-drives do I need to reformat to flash my card?
Is it really possible to flash any bios you want without bricking your card? CAN WE FINALLY LEAVE DOS BOOTABLE FLADH DRIVES BEHIND!?? YES YES YES YES.. well I mean.. let me explain
So It all started when I bought a dead 7970 off ebay, I couldn't find anything wrong with it, so naturally I assumed because it was a DAIMOND hd 7970 (Reference card) it may have a bad bios flashed onto both bios's... I went further than a lot of people think of going when it comes to these bad flashes.. I have shorted out pins 4+5, 8+1 etc etc.. and the card just wouldn't show up in the computers bios or in ati flash. I twas sad... So I did the next best logical thing, I paid a guy in Taiwan 20 bucks to flash a bios chip of the same model number with the daimond 7970 bios and send it to me so I could use my heatgun and solder the new chip to the board.
(1 whole month of shipping later)
I'm an impatient a$$ sometimes.. While waiting for the bios to ship I bought this bios flasher:
( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013Q5P3ES/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) (SMAKN CH341A) $10.90
and I bought this solderless 8 pin bios programming clip extension
( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015W4PKR6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ) $9.99
(Graphics cards use the same vbios chips that many companies like Lenovo use as their bios chips, so there is a big market for bios flashers like these for computer bios modders, and Bios password unlocker guy things... stuff.. meh.. Just let it happen...)
These flashers happen to work great on video cards..
After receiving the programmer with clip extension I watched some interesting videos of guys with thick accents try to explain how to use the flasher. I then spent the rest of the afternoon and the whole night loving the fact that with the bios flasher I can literally reprogram the bios chips as many times as I want..
THINGS I TRIED WITH MY NEW POWER
I flashed my XFX hd 7870 to an r9 270, and r9 270x, ---- TO kinda put this rumor to bed.. NO.. IT doesnt work the xfx hd 7870 bricks if you flash any r9 bios to it... So back to custom stock bios i went..
I tried flashing my evga ssc gtx 560 ti to a 560 ti boost, it didn't post, next I tried one of the zotac very overclocked bios's and it made a pretty rainbow on the screen but almost worked.. back to stock I went lol..
I flashed my gt 430 to a higher clocked gt 430.. same with my gt 220, I didn't test them though.. I was just screwing around lol
I flashed my hd 6450 with random nvidia bios's just to troll my friend a bit...
I was sad to find out that my HD 7970 is still dead, I used the read function and found out it was never the bios on that card to begin with, the flash was fine.. So I think its got physical damage some wear.
With this method there is almost no fear of bricking anything.. You can flash and reflash and reflash, the card doesn't need power to actually get flashed.. you flash the card outside of the system and on the bios chip directly.
NOW FOR THE HOW TO
In order to do this you need to spend 20 dollars, (10 for the bios flasher, and 10 for the amazing solderless bios clip) read my story above to find the amazon links, or just look up (CH341A and get the one thats like all black) along with the (CTYRZCH SOIC8 SOP8 Flash Chip IC Test Clips Socket Adpter Programmer BIOS/24/25/93).
BE SURE THE YELLOW JUMPER ON THE FLASHER IS IN THAT POSITION OR IT WONT SHOW UP WHEN PLUGGED IN TO THE COMPUTER
Lift the little lock handle up, and place the green pcb in place in the 8 holes closest to the usb header oriented as mine is in this picture. (with the usb facing away from me the chip has numbers 1-4 on the right side and 5-8 on the left side appearing upside down.
Plug in the ribbon cable (it only goes in one way) and there you have it the adapter is set up
Now open the attached flasher pack that was compiled by a cool guy on youtube (not my work) but yeah run those 2 driver programs and click install.
STEP1: Download a bios from vga bios collection put it where you can find it.
STEP2: Run this program:
If you look at the bottom right of the window you will see device state: not connected just plug in the usb and if you did the driver installation correctly it should show right up as connected.
STEP3: Plug in the USB flasher to your computer. Before connecting anything to a graphics card in the left of the window make sure it is set to "25 SPI FLASH" and below that select "PMC" and below that "PM25Lv010A" (this is not the exact make and model of the vbios chip but its worked for all of my cards.) THEN CLICK DETECT so everything shows up as UNKNOWN and $FF :
STEP4: Find your VBIOS Chip, there are a few chips that look like the bios chip but they are just voltage regulators and such, Normally the bios looks like this, and starts with a Pm in the name. Some chips don't have this (my gt 430 did not have the same writing as my other cards) The chips look the same on most video cards. I've noticed manufacturers tend to paint on, or mark the bios chip, so look for that too.
STEP5: This can be tricky now you need to connect the aligator clip thingy to the card's vbios once you find it.
CAUTION: WHEN CONNECTING THE CLIP ORIENT THE RED/PINK WIRE ON THE RIBBON CABLE TO THE DOT ON THE BIOS CHIP, putting the clip on backwards can damage the bios chip. My connector clip can be kind of annoying so just be careful. once you have the clip connected click detect on the bios program
The flash info should now be something different from $FF if its not then you need to keep messing with the clip until it shows up (it can be really stubborn, sometimes using some light pressure with your hands while detecting works (keep in mind you would need to keep holding it in place while flashing too if that is the case) ITS OKAY FOR IT TO SAY UNKNOWN you just need the $FF to change to something different.
STEP6: click read, then save 2 or 3 times to a location (this is your stock bios file) then click verify. If you get a good matching message you know the clip is connected and ready to go.
Step7: Click open, go to your bios file that you want to flash, select it and click the green checkmark. Click Erase (ok on the message the pops up), click program, then click verify.
If you followed this correctly your card is flashed and ready to go. It was a bit of a long explination, but simply put you are just connecting your vbios physically to a usb and using the program to flash it.
I hope this revolutionizes the gpu bios side of things, because if you do this right, you can flash, and flash, and flash over and over no worries about bricks anymore CHEERS!!
Here is the file pack needed from the you tuber UltraNSC CH341A.zip 2035k .zip file
Welcome to the forum
Thanks! I haven't posted in the introduction section yet, I probably will once I'm done with all this college homework. I'm loving this flash method I found. I just flashed my brothers 560 ti into a twin frozer using this method. So this also works on a gtx 560 ti I really hope this helps someone out there, this tool is very worth the price in my oppinion. I will probably be flashing my friend's 7950's into some 7970's or r9's I will keep this info posted.
Its so nice not worrying about bricking cards anymore.
Ummm, I was maybe expecting a bit more traffic on this :c imagine all the possibilities.
If I have to guess, I'd say the lack of interest is due to the long-arse title written in all-caps, coupled with this being your first post here, and the three A.K.A.'s at the very start of the article Try a bit more cold, professional, and scientific approach next time, especially when just entering a community. To balance all that I have to say I like that you've included photos and not just a huge wall of text.
I realize this is a very aged post. But I found it at the top of the page rank for google when searching how to use a ch341a. While I haven't yet plugged the card back into the system I just was able to use this info with some nudging from a youtube video that explained how he fixed ebay scam video cards, I am hopeful I have at least turned a scam GTX960 back into a working GTS 450. So thanks Austin for your detailed post
I finally got around to trying this out. And I've got to say...that POS clip contraption is for the birds!!! What a nightmare!!! It's got to be one of the worst designed tools in the history of mankind. Worked almost flawlessly on one board, WOULD NOT WORK AT ALL on another. Spent hours trying to get that stupid thing clipped on right. Tore an SMD LED off the board with it in the process(dual BIOS mobo with a manual DIP switch and LED indicators for which EEPROM is currectly in use). Just about trashed the solder pads for the chip in the process too. Then, when I finally gave up and desoldered the chip from the board, I TOTALLY trashed the solder pads for the chip in that process. NICE!!! So much for that plan! No fixing it now!
So...what did I learn from all that? Forget the POS clip contraption.
EDIT: I was really pissed off when I originally posted this. In hindsight, I don't recommend not purchasing a clip. When they work they work. And when they do work, they're the cheapest and "best" option really. And it's always better to have the option of being able to use one(or at least trying to use one), than not. Although, do consider the alternate methods below if it gives you trouble. Like I said, you can do a lot of harm to yourself(mentally) and/or your board/card by trying too hard to make the clip work. Sometimes it just WILL NOT cooperate. If that's the case, do yourself a favor, try something else instead.
Alternate Method 1:
SOIC8 SOP8 Spring Loaded Pogo Pin Adapter
EDIT: For those considering the SOIC8 SOP8 Spring Loaded Pogo Pin Adapter. They're on ebay. All kinds of configurations and price points. But there's one thing that's probably the same for all of them. They're made specifically for 150mil(~3.8mm) wide chips(the one I bought and the one shown above are anyway). So the pogo pins aren't spaced wide enough for the typical 209mil(~5.3mm) wide chips found on many devices these days. You can mod the adapter so it'll work though. The pogo pins just need to be set 59mil(~1.5mm) wider. Cut it down the middle and add a spacer. Problem solved. ;)
Alternate Method 2:
If you have an MSI motherboard with a JSPI1 header(or another brand motherboard with something similar) you can use that.
Stolen from the FlashcatUSB manual...
If you can't find one of these JSPI1 adapter boards and cables, then you might try wiring it up differently using the pinout above.
Hint: If you have a dual BIOS motherboard, or the 11/12 pin JSPI1 header, things can get pretty tricky. In other words, it's NOT a simple plug-and-play operation with one of the units shown above(which is for the 9/10 pin JSPI1 header, and works best/easiest with single BIOS setups).
Alternate Method 3:
Last(because it requires soldering), but not least(because it will make future chip reprogramming and/or chip replacement a walk in the park).
Convert the SOP8 EEPROM chip to DIP8(if you can't find a compatible DIP8 chip to replace the SOP8 EEPROM chip).
Then install a DIP8 to SOP8 adapter socket.
You're welcome! :)
Yo guy nice little bit of info, yeah that clip is fiddly anyway I do have a question.
Did you ever find out what the issue was with your 7970 I have a very similar card and all that I get in the reader (once I get the clip on right is) is Other/Unknown and 00F on the left hand read out,
The hex shows $$ $$ (repeatedly) when I try to write to it and verify after 'chip contents is not the same'
I shall add a couple of pictures on e the wife is out of bed
Really hope it's not beyond hope and that I have done something simple and wrong.
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