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Discussion Starter #1
After I updated to the latest bios for my Asus z170-ar mobo I have been experiencing massive amounts of input lag in game. Asus have prevented flashing back using the asus ez flash utility, but I was wondering if maybe someone is holding back a potential work around, I have already seen forum threads with people having no luck, but I really don't want to have to buy a new mobo especially when the actual hardware isn't faulty. Also if someone has knowledge on which mobo brand prioritizes low input lag, because asus definitely does not this is the second mobo of theirs I have had issues with.
 

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B10S TInk3r
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Upload a dump/backup of your BIOS here using Intel Flash programming tool.

fptw -d backup.bin

If you get error 26, or any "access" errors, you may not be able to easily backup the entire BIOS, but still may be able to reflash some portions.
If the ME is locked, then you may not be able to flashback without an offboard flash programmer (USB CH341A)

There is a trick w/ USB Flashback for Asus, renaming the BIOS to EraseAll or Eall, I can't remember exactly, but I'm not sure if it works in all instances like this.
Usually Intel and Asus may block backward flashing if ME is of concern, if ME region or FD is locked this will be the case no matter what without a flash programmer (Or hot flash on another board with unlocked FD/ME).

There is also this trick (Section E) if it is FD/ME locked, involves shorting live board, to get around locked FD/ME so you can flash, but yeah it's a live short so little risky.
https://www.win-raid.com/t3553f39-G...ite-Access-Permissions-for-SPI-Servicing.html
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Upload a dump/backup of your BIOS here using Intel Flash programming tool.

fptw -d backup.bin

If you get error 26, or any "access" errors, you may not be able to easily backup the entire BIOS, but still may be able to reflash some portions.
If the ME is locked, then you may not be able to flashback without an offboard flash programmer (USB CH341A)

There is a trick w/ USB Flashback for Asus, renaming the BIOS to EraseAll or Eall, I can't remember exactly, but I'm not sure if it works in all instances like this.
Usually Intel and Asus may block backward flashing if ME is of concern, if ME region or FD is locked this will be the case no matter what without a flash programmer (Or hot flash on another board with unlocked FD/ME).

There is also this trick (Section E) if it is FD/ME locked, involves shorting live board, to get around locked FD/ME so you can flash, but yeah it's a live short so little risky.
https://www.win-raid.com/t3553f39-G...ite-Access-Permissions-for-SPI-Servicing.html
Okay you seem like you have a lot of knowledge definitely coming to you for bios help in the future. Honestly might try one of your risky methods because why not, the board is already dead imo, input lag is so bad and random stutters. I'll get back to u with either good or bad news. If all else fails I'll probably buy an msi board unless you think there is a better brand, gigabyte maybe? Those are the 2 Ive heard good things from anyway.
 

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Buy a replacement BIOS chip/EEPROM on eBay for ~$10. I bought two for my Z170-E (from bios_store and biosdepot) and both work great. I wanted a modified BIOS flashed to mine and both were happy to flash it for me.

bios_store is in TW and took forever to get to me (2+ months) but it was $5 shipped. biosdepot is in USA and was ~$15.
 

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I agree, above is a good option too! I would do that, or purchase a CH341A flash programmer, before shorting anything.
Those programmers are very cheap and you can find a seller in your country so you wouldn't necessarily have to wait on a China shipment.

No matter what you do, make a backup/dump of your current BIOS using either Asus AISuite, or AFU, or Intel Flash Programming Tool (FPT).
That way you always have a copy stored where you can get your motherboards serial, UUID and Lan MAC to put into the new BIOS files you use.

Here is backup commands for AFU and FPT, along with both programs attached. Right click main apps folder name while holding shift (ie right click afuwin64 folder or WIN folder for the Intel app, inside main)
select "open command window here" then run commands below per the program you use (Or use both, so dual backups just in case)

afuwinx64.exe backupBIOSname.bin /0

fptW -d backupbios.bin

AISUite I am not sure the process, I've not used, but I assume you install and open it after downloading from Asus on your boards download page, then find option to backup to desired location :)

I can create a BIOS for you once you have a programmer, with any combo of items you need, like new BIOS but old Intel ME, old BIOS w/ new microcodes, new BIOS with old microcodes etc.
 

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I agree, above is a good option too! I would do that, or purchase a CH341A flash programmer, before shorting anything.
Those programmers are very cheap and you can find a seller in your country so you wouldn't necessarily have to wait on a China shipment.

No matter what you do, make a backup/dump of your current BIOS using either Asus AISuite, or AFU, or Intel Flash Programming Tool (FPT).
That way you always have a copy stored where you can get your motherboards serial, UUID and Lan MAC to put into the new BIOS files you use.

Here is backup commands for AFU and FPT, along with both programs attached. Right click main apps folder name while holding shift (ie right click afuwin64 folder or WIN folder for the Intel app, inside main)
select "open command window here" then run commands below per the program you use (Or use both, so dual backups just in case)

afuwinx64.exe backupBIOSname.bin /0

fptW -d backupbios.bin

AISUite I am not sure the process, I've not used, but I assume you install and open it after downloading from Asus on your boards download page, then find option to backup to desired location :)

I can create a BIOS for you once you have a programmer, with any combo of items you need, like new BIOS but old Intel ME, old BIOS w/ new microcodes, new BIOS with old microcodes etc.
Hello sir,
I would like to take you up on that offer, if I may please... And of course if you are still offering (I HOPE SO :) )

I have an ASUS z170-AR motherboard, and I currently have the 3801 BIOS version flashed onto it (the latest from the asus website). I am using the 6700k skylake processor, so kabylake compatibility does not concern me (as the latter versions of bios's are said to be supporting of, according to some forum posts and internet reading). But I am by no means an expert of any sort in the case of creating new bioses or knowing what microcodes or Intel ME does and such. However, I do have a CH341A flash programmer.

this is the complete package i received.
It also has a little black 8 pinned chip, which I am not sure what to do with. And of course a usb-mini to usb2.0 wire to connect it.



Um, all I essentially want, sir, is to be able to turn on/off the HPET from the BIOS. (Which currently Asus motherboards do not provide the ability to do so). I would also not mind if you could throw in whatever safe options there are for other things. I am not too sure if the ME options matter or whatnot, but I would really very much appreciate it if you could provide me with a modded file I could flash using this programmer.

Thanks again sir, and if any questions obviously I have just signed up and will be available :D
 

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B10S TInk3r
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@Woofer14123 - 8-pinned PCB goes into the programmer at the 4/4 slot for 25xx BIOS, then cables go from that to motherboard SPI header or other cables used (SOIC8 test clip cable with cli[/clamp) for motherboards with soldered on BIOS

Your board BIOS is removable, so you have to very carefully pry out your motherboard BIOS chip, it's between the PCIE slots near bottom. Use something wooden or plastic, if you did not get a chip/IC puller with your kit.
Wiggle a little at a time from each side, going more carefully and slowly as you near getting it out, because it will bend super easily and the closer you are to getting it out the more prone it is to bend towards one side and trash the legs.
You can stop midway through and slide a thin ribbon or thin set of wires/cables though/between the chip and the socket, then pull snugly straight upwards. Anything you can think of that is thin enough to slide through there will work, thin plastic strip, piece of strong paper etc.

Order you one of these as soon as you can, this way you wont ruin BIOS chips, those legs can bend and break very easily
https://www.ebay.com/itm/123167465408

Once you have the chip out, notice the notch in the socket, the BIOS must always go back into the socket this same way, matching notch is found on the BIOS chip itself, like half-moon or half circle notch on one side of the chip. These always line up
On the programmer, your BIOS chip goes into the rear-most 4/4 slot (Nearest the lever), with the notch in BIOS in the middle of the slot. See the small white diagram on the programmer near rear of the slots w/ lever, there is a little diagram there showing how it goes into programmer (You have 25x)

Here is package of several versions of software, and driver. https://www.sendspace.com/file/gtcmvd
Install the driver first, then for Asus Z170 I found 1.30 software usually works OK. Put your BIOS in, connect the USB cable to programmer and your PC, then open the software.
choose identify chip and if it's W26Q64FV choose BV instead, or visa versa, sometimes you have to try a few if exact match does not work (In this case, I know exact match does not work for W26Q64FV)
Then click read, and then verify, if you get a message buffer/memory and chip match, then click save and upload the file for me to modify for you. Also save a copy somewhere safe so you'll always have a backup of your board details.

To write, I do the following:
1. On the "Auto" menu, uncheck erase and blank check, leaving write/verify checked
2. Erase Chip
3. Blank check
4. Open BIOS file to write
5. Hit auto and wait, once you get memory/buffer and chip match then it's verified and ready to be put back into board.

Upload your backup for me and I will modify for you. First I'll unlock the FD (Flash Descriptor) so you can flash with FPT easier next time around (Be sure you do this yourself on next BIOS too so it stays unlocked - here's how, see image in second spoiler at section "B")
Then I will unlock "BIOS Lock and SMI Lock" if set, this way you don't get other FPT error when trying to flash modified BIOS, these would be reset next time you flash, Here is a guide on how you get around this next time (or you can always use programmer again!) https://www.win-raid.com/t3908f16-G...ck-Bit-Set-HSFS-W-Asus-or-Other-Mod-BIOS.html
Then I will modify any settings you need changed or enabled for viewing (ie made visible to you in BIOS, that's not currently visible)
You can see all hidden settings in AMIBCP 5.02.0023 in the setup config tab, then expandable sections on left side. Google this, you will find, if not send me PM and I will send you.

And yes, I can also update all CPU microcodes if you want, and Intel ME too if you want that updated, just let me know when you post your backup.


By the way, my guide linked right above, will get around FPT 368 error (BIOS region protected) and other similar errors, I wrote the replies in this thread long ago, before I figured out that method and recently created this guide.
So for anyone reading this in the future, this guide will help you flash modified BIOS without having to use programmer, usually. Error 26 will need programmer, can be unlocked in modified BIOS for next time around, but that needs programmed to the board first.
https://www.win-raid.com/t3908f16-G...ck-Bit-Set-HSFS-W-Asus-or-Other-Mod-BIOS.html
 

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I think @HelpDatBIOS has the best "specialty" knowledge of anyone on OCN ... I rarely know what you're talking about but it's always interesting :wubsmiley
 

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@HelpDatBIOS

So I just placed an order for the 3 dollar bended tong things (to remove chips / BIOS in my case from my mobo so i can proceed with the process you've provided for the current bios file etc.), and while I wait I wanted to ask a few questions if i could:

I looked around a bit, and it seems that the sound card (onboard one) can be "unlocked" ? and the broadband NIC (GIgabit is the same thing right?) can be unlocked? What the heck does this all mean anyway! Will they be improved in functionality - or will their hardware drivers (firmware type of stuff) be upgradable as a result, allowing in-theory better usage of the hardware, or simply unlocking it takes care of all of the performance improvements since the better firmwares are that readily available? Also, IF that is the case (even with any of these onboard hardwares i've mentioned), will you, sir, be including the latest firmware/better performance one?

I mainly play FPS on Windows 7, as I hate 8.1 or 10 cuz of bloatware and i like the simple windows XP look :). I want performance, not bubbly things... But anyways, similarly, I would like to remove the ME feature (I think it's for remotely controlling a computer even when it's offline and such? - sounds terrible as i only use it locally.) And all the junk I could get rid of for better ram clock timings or response times and all that "maximum gains" stuff... I mean who wouldn't? haha, I apologize if I sound too enthusiastic and like a total fool, but I just thought I'd mention and possibly get some information. As I don't understand other than unlocking the actual options or some sort of compatibility issues why would anybody wish to flash a modded bios on their motherboard?
 

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B10S TInk3r
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Thanks @The Pook that's funny stuff! :D :thumb: (How am I supposed to tag you with a space in your name?)

@Woofer14123, you don't have to wait for one of those, but if you don't feel confident I would understand. I've bent a few chips pretty bad, few times even with the chip puller too, so it's understandable.
I've dropped them on the desk or floor and they've bent too, it's far to easy to bend these things! If you want, you can order same or similar chip on ebay, maybe from closer seller too, so you could try wedging it out and then if it breaks you'll have another on the way.
Usually you can bend the legs back as long as it's not too terrible of a mess :D


I'm with you, I have no clue what unlocking a sound card or onboard LAN would do, or why they can be locked or unlocked etc? Lost me there too, did what you read explain more, why it's locked or unlocked, and what unlocking does?
If you are talking about updating BIOS modules, for audio or LAN then yes, that can be done, especially for LAN, maybe for Audio if there is a specific module and you know where the update or a BIOS with the update is then I can probably do that for you too.


You can disable ME, but it can cause you issues, ME on your end is used for controlling many things, clock speeds, crystal frequencies, device timings, etc many things relating to how the board actually runs.
I do not advise considering this as a viable option for any normal home user, daily computer use etc. Maybe if you are part of Anonymouse you might need to do this, but if that was the case you'd already be using Linux or Backtrack :D


People flash modified BIOS for all kinds of reasons, to update certain BIOS level drivers (Roms/Modules etc) like LAN orom, RAID Rom, CPU microcodes, Intel ME, and often many simply mod to unlock settings that the manufacturer may have hidden or just not enabled.
 

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My chip puller device just arrived yesterday. So, the steps, just to make sure again (sorry for reptition, a "yes" alone would suffice, and i apologize for asking so many times. I'm just concerned so I don't break a part due to rushing it like the amateur i am given these topics...

I should remove the BIOS chip from motherboard, noticing which side the little "moon crater" is facing, then put that bios chip into my "CH341A flash programmer 25x" device in the back portion with the moon facing the middle part. And plug that device into one of the usb ports and that should be enough to boot up with the computer recognizing the bios being present? (this part kind of baffles me - although i am not in any way doubting it would work, just wnated to double check)... Not like it'll break anything either way (I hope to god it doesn't! heh).

Then after following the steps of :
[afuwinx64.exe backupBIOSname.bin /0

fptW -d backupbios.bin ]

I should have a backup .bin file that I can upload here for you to edit and hopefully return to me with the updated qualities and such that I have requested previously? Or whatever you think is best? Well, we we can probably discuss those options later when we cross that bridge, first I need to know exactly what it is I need to upload for you to be able to edit the file. Also, after having this updated file (that I would be receiving from you), may I simply go through the EZ-Flash option available in bios and flash it off there? (as it currently says this bios version is outdated, or not a valid bios file; if I try an earlier bios version, or if i try an edited file according to my expertise - respectively.)

edit:
Here is package of several versions of software, and driver. https://www.sendspace.com/file/gtcmvd
Install the driver first, then for Asus Z170 I found 1.30 software usually works OK. Put your BIOS in, connect the USB cable to programmer and your PC, then open the software.
choose identify chip and if it's W26Q64FV choose BV instead, or visa versa, sometimes you have to try a few if exact match does not work (In this case, I know exact match does not work for W26Q64FV)
Then click read, and then verify, if you get a message buffer/memory and chip match, then click save and upload the file for me to modify for you. Also save a copy somewhere safe so you'll always have a backup of your board details.


Sorry, I forgot these are the instructions you have given as to what exactly you wanted me to upload. I will get on this ASAP and should have it to you within an hour or so. And you can then at your convenience get to it as you like. Again I really do appreciate this help, may God reward you greatly and abundantly!

I do hope I don't run into any issues. :D

edit2:
well, i thought i could just use the same computer to do this, but I believe I need another windows PC to do this :( and I only have unix ones available at home (macbooks n such), so I will have to wait till next week sometime to do this, :( *sigh*
 

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B10S TInk3r
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@Woofer14123 - Don't rush, slow and steady! :D
25xx on the programmer is the middle area, here's a unfinished guide I noticed someone working on this week with images, this will help!
His guide is about using the cable, but the images will make it more clear to you which area your chip goes into. Moon part of your chip is pin 1/8 side (pin one goes by lever, that's only possible way :D)
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-GUIDE-Flash-BIOS-with-CH341A-programmer


And yes, that's all you have to do. Make those backups you mentioned first, if that is not what is attached above, I haven't checked yet. *Edit, sorry, just realized that's the link I gave you for CH341A software :h34r-smi :D
You can do this on the problem computer, if it's working? Any windows system that your can run the programmer on will work for putting back into the BIOS the new fixed BIOS.
So yes, this can all be done on same machine, but you'd need two BIOS chips unless you pull out the chip while in windows. Which is possible to do, but only if you are familiar with doing and have it ready
before the board is turned on, ie loose and with something attached so you can pull it out easily.


System is working correct? Sorry I am not sure, since most people only purchase programmer after they have major BIOS issue, good you did in advance if you did!
You just want updated microcodes (Lastest, or certain one older?), and Intel ME updated (To latest version?), along with BIOS settings unhidden too correct?
 

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@HelpDatBIOS

Okay sir. I believe I am ready, however I'd like to point out a few things first.

I installed the driver first. And used the 1.3 version as you explained.
When I clicked "Detect" it would keep showing two values : W25Q128BV and W25Q128FV. In that order. Just two of those to select from in a list.
I tried going with each(first being BV, and second being FV) and then clicking read (and it would automatically go ahead and verify right after), but each would end in some sort of verifying error...

So I looked back at your instructions which mentioned W26Q64FV/BV, and then I tried manually selecting up a few notches in that last list-button, and selected W25Q64BV and FV both, one by one, and tried to do the read (auto verify after..) and both verified as matches. I was kind of confused as to why both matched, but the file sizes for each are exactly the same, and I did not go through any other chip models or anything, but I will go ahead and upload these two (BV and FV) ? I suppose they are the same thing, but I thought there might be an issue when flashing or afterwards, so it's better to be safe than sorry, so I am uploading both and hope you could do all the "soup up" and "ricing" to my bios prior to me flashing it using the same tool and techniques as you have explained in that original elaborate post. :D

edit:
2nd file in here

edit2:
System is working correct? Sorry I am not sure, since most people only purchase programmer after they have major BIOS issue, good you did in advance if you did!
You just want updated microcodes (Lastest, or certain one older?), and Intel ME updated (To latest version?), along with BIOS settings unhidden too correct?

Yes sir, my system is working good and well, and there wasn't a certain "problem" that caused me to address this bios-customization project per se, but I want updated microcodes (why not?), and intel ME updated (latest would be good :) ), along with BIOS settings unhidden, yes. Mainly that last part. As I want to disable HPET which my bios does not show, and there are a lot of other options such as xhci and such for usb ports that i'd like to disable or fiddle with if possible. Sorry for so many edits, I was hyper haha
 

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B10S TInk3r
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Thanks @Woofer14123 - choosing 64 may be verifying FF's or 00's, did you check the file in Hex? Or, it may also be cutting the BIOS in half.

You may need to use 1.31 or 1.34 (Which I've uploaded for you here, it was just released so wasn't included in package I linked before)
I'll assume as I type this those files you attached are either blank or only half the BIOS dump, I've never seen anyone do like you mentioned, so do not know the outcome.
I do know, you'll want to be picking the correct size model, so we need to find software version that does work with your W25Q128 chip.
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=08175021323722791218

Yes, as suspected, those are incomplete BIOS dumps, only 8MB, should be 16MB. Please try again with 1.31 and 1.34 software, choose W25Q128

And thanks for your answers, we can do all that!
 

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Hello, so I tried some more versions and such... I didn't change anything on the actual device (ch341a) nor could i have.. :/

version 1.19 seemed to allow me to read and verify. W25Q128BV. FV doesn't work, only BV (in 1.19 there's no option to select anything other than whatever detect chip finds valid for ya anyway). Anyway, that last sentence is excess and unnecessary info lol

Version 1.31 was able to actually read and verify as well! To my surprize. Version 1.34, would immediately give me a read and or access error (depending on if i tried to install a different driver or way of installing drivers?? not sure lol), but also the verification failed each time, I tried like 5 of them, FV,CV, BV, FW, DW... All failed verification.

Attached are two files (16 mb :D ) - since they're done with W25Q128 as you suggested was the correct size. (And I do remember personally from the reading bios files with AMI tools it had this exact same size 16,777,216. But I always thought it was wrong, since the .cap file (from asus website if downloaded the latest bios version - 3801 which my BIOS version is currently flashed to) is 16,779,264. And well, largely because I could not get the AMI to flash/save the changes to my bios version.


TL;DR: Either way, enough rambling... Sir, I hope these are helpful. Version 1.19 and 1.31 were able to read and verify, and they are attached with the respective names.
 

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@Woofer14123 - Sorry for the delay!! Read and verify is only half the battle, as mentioned you can read/verify all zeros or all FF's. Always check file with hex or drop in BIOS tools and make sure it loos like a complete actual BIOS, when compared to a stock one.
There is only one driver that needs installed, and only once for any of these versions, install it and that's all you never need to install any other.

Cap BIOS is always 2 or 4KB larger than the actual BIOS rom/bin file, the capsule is only security feature and is not written to the BIOS chip at all, only the rom/bin if written to the chip/

Your files attached above are identical and proper, so either of those versions of the software work for you when reading, but both may not when writing, so if you get errors on verify after write or can't boot try the other version instead.

Here is mod BIOS for you to program back, enabled three settings to be visible for you.
@ Advanced >> PCH Configuration page
High Precision Timer
TCO Timer
SPD Write
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?file_id=61639244345905612806

To program to chip, here is my method. Edit the auto button, uncheck erase and blank check, do those manually, leaving only write/verify auto.
Then erase, then blank check, then open BIOS file and hit auto for read/verify
 

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i am so glad it worked! all went smoothly. i used the 1.31 version to write and everything you mentioned is now visible, and ill keep you updated once i get home and play the game to see if it helped. and if it did (which was the prime objective) i will be so happy yeeeeee
edit:
@HelpDatBIOS OMG dude. I love you so much broooo, you got no idea what you helped me with !! :D :D :D.

It is SO VERY NICE now, in my game... Just as expected! It's nice and smooth and no more missing shots where I KNOW I HIT THEM etc...

tldr; it is just as nice or even nicer than expected.
I wish you well forever my dear brother.
 

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@HelpDatBIOS
hello again sir,

So I did figure out how to disable/enable further options within my bios using AMI 5.0 gui utility or something (one of those... downloaded a bunch off their site). And I had been able to do it before as well, just never knew how I could flash it...

My question today is (if you don't mind) sir, that can I just download an older version bios off the motherboard manufacture's website and flash it as is (using the BIOS tools within that same computer - since you unlocked my bios security thing?). Or would I have to go through a process to make that new bios be unlocked since it's not like I'm using the modded version you gave me and playing around with enable/disable settings inside it.

Also, if it's not too much trouble, would you be so kind enough as to tell me how to remove the security so that I can flash any bios I want with the CH341A device? Also how much more complicated is it to keep a different version of ME and CPU code?

I ask this because although I do have a whole lot of new options I can have shown and play around with them and such, but I actually can not find the actual settings earlier bioses offered... And I was looking at the manual of the motherboard and the pictures they have in there have some options that are way too good to pass up on! Also I've heard that later bios versions (I was a fool to update bios, I thought it'd magically make things faster... lol), only add support for further newer generations of CPU's (like 7th and 8th gen...). I just have the 6th gen i7-6700k CPU. So I don't need all those new bioses anyways...

Ty ty again sir, my pc is so much nicer now :D but yes, I always have this nerd nature to want to do better and more tinkering hehe
 

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@Woofer14123 - sorry for the long delayed reply, I've been busy and haven't got into the site lately. Great the mod BIOS is working for you better now, and you're not missing those kill shots :D


Anytime you can flash stock BIOS using EZ Flash, unless it stops you from doing that due to security issues or version rollback issues. There is ways around that too, google asus BIOS rollback.
If you want to enable the settings I changed for you on some older BIOS, then you have to modify with AMIBCP and then put back on using your programmer, or Intel FPT.
For either of those, I suggest you flash to that stock version, then dump the BIOS via FPT or programmer, then modify that, then put it back same way you dumped it.


There is no security that can be stopped when using CH341A, you can program anything you want with that. If you don't dump and modify backups though, you will loose your serial #, UUID, DTS Key, LAN MAC ID etc. So always dump BIOS, mod it, then program back, don't program stock from Asus
Once dumped, you can edit in any CPU microcodes you want, or ME version using this ME Cleanup guided method - https://www.win-raid.com/t1658f39-G...-CS-TXE-Regions-with-Data-Initialization.html
Here's my guide on ficing _FIT_ table if you edit the microcodes, little bit on microcode editing in that but it's copy/paste so not much for me to say on that in the guide
https://www.win-raid.com/t4032f16-GUIDE-Update-CPU-Microcode-Fix-FIT-Using-UEFITool-Hex.html


I doubt settings are missing from new BIOS that were in old BIOS, maybe a rare setting here or there but not usually, probably just in another location. New BIOS add a lot more than CPU compatibility, they fix issues/bugs, add improvements and enhancements all kinds of stuff like that, not just making CPU's work.
 
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