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Thread: MSI Bios flashback

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    MSI Bios flashback

    I've been trying to put together a new AMD pc, using a 5900X processor and an MSI motherboard. The motherboard is an older board that I thought probably had an older bios that didn't support AMD 5000 series processors, but since the motherboard has the bios flashback facility, I went ahead & put the system together, knowing that I'd probably have to use flashback to get the motherboard to recognise the cpu.

    Sure enough ,once I attempted to boot up the system, the debug LEDs on the motherboard suggested that the cpu wasn't being recognised. Unfortunately despite many attempts using the bios flashback with downloaded bios files from the MSI website, I couldn't get the system to boot - the screen remained blank, & the debug LEDs still indicated an unrecognised cpu.

    Looking for help on Youtube, I found several videos which suggested that the bios flashback facility should only be used on a motherboard without a cpu, memory or video card installed. In fact, one video stated that you run the risk of bricking your motherboard if you do attempt bios flashback with a cpu, memory & video installed. Now, the motherboard manual doesn't say anything of the sort - it says the you can use flashback on a bare motherboard, but certainly doesn't say that it's important that you do.

    The other piece of advice from the Youtube video was that you should use a USB 2 memory stick, not USB 3. Again, the motherboard manual makes no mention of this. I'm just curious as to whether anyone else has had trouble using bios flashback in general, & MSI's implementation in particular? Did you manage to use it sucessfully?

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    I used it a couple of months ago, and it worked successfully for me on a B450 Tomahawk.

    Maybe it's the formatting type on the USB stick that's the issue? Clean wipe the stick - mine was a USB3 stick so that shouldn't be the issue, although it's not impossible.

    From memory I believe the system is powered down, you insert the stick in the designated flashback port of the motherboard, then hold down the flashback button next to the port until a light comes on - then it flashes / blinks while performing the BIOS update, then the light either goes solid on, or off (can't remember) when finished. I'd leave it about 5 minutes to be sure.

    Remove stick, reboot the system, job done.

    Is that the proceedure you followed?

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  4. #3
    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Yes indeed...that's exactly the procedure I followed, exactly as described in the manual. The memory stick was formatted to the FAT32 file system, I downloaded the bios file & renamed it MSI.ROM, followed the procedure as you described, but evidently the flash failed. I tried several times with different USB memory sticks (though none were USB 2).

    Did your motherboard have a CPU & memory, & graphics card installed when you successfully flashed your system?

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    Senior Member AGTDenton's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    This will be useful to me at some point. I have a Mortar B450M that I've waited for never appearing CPU's.

    It's instructions are:
    1. Connect power supply to CPU_PWR1 and ATX_PWR1. (No other components are necessary but power supply.)
    2. Plug the USB flash drive that contains the MSI.ROM file into the Flash BIOS Port on rear I/O panel.
    3. Press the Flash BIOS Button to flash BIOS, and the LED next to Flash BIOS Button starts flashing.
    4. After the flashing BIOS process is 100% completed, the LED would be off simultaneously.


    Only other thing I can think of is USB stick capacity? How big was it, maybe go with no more than 16GB or partition it with a small section

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Quote Originally Posted by AGTDenton View Post
    This will be useful to me at some point. I have a Mortar B450M that I've waited for never appearing CPU's.

    It's instructions are:
    1. Connect power supply to CPU_PWR1 and ATX_PWR1. (No other components are necessary but power supply.)
    2. Plug the USB flash drive that contains the MSI.ROM file into the Flash BIOS Port on rear I/O panel.
    3. Press the Flash BIOS Button to flash BIOS, and the LED next to Flash BIOS Button starts flashing.
    4. After the flashing BIOS process is 100% completed, the LED would be off simultaneously.


    Only other thing I can think of is USB stick capacity? How big was it, maybe go with no more than 16GB or partition it with a small section
    Both the memory sticks I tried were 16Gb capacity USB 3.

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    Senior Member AGTDenton's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Stupid question, did you try the procedure more than once?

    Maybe firstly try removing all other storage components and other USB devices including keyboard, mouse & front panel headers. If that doesn't work remove as much as you can that's easily accessible until you're at the point where you have nothing left but to take out the CPU & RAM.

    I have to say, while I think MSI are good boards, their manuals are a weak point. Having to read some EVGA manuals recently, they're even worse.
    Gigabyte and ASUS have in my experience always been good in this department.

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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    omg yes - my MSI manual is p*** poor. Almost as poor as the travesty of a heatpipe and chipset cooler design that brings heat from the VRM to the chipset (whyyyyyyyy) and which blocks the central mobo screw from being installed. Right next to the gpu slot. Then there's the plastic shroud and mirror choking the wider VRM heatsink so chunking up the temps unncessarily. Seriously MSI are very very lacking in several areas it seems. Common sense being one of them.

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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    I've been trying to put together a new AMD pc, using a 5900X processor and an MSI motherboard. The motherboard is an older board that I thought probably had an older bios that didn't support AMD 5000 series processors, but since the motherboard has the bios flashback facility, I went ahead & put the system together, knowing that I'd probably have to use flashback to get the motherboard to recognise the cpu.

    Sure enough ,once I attempted to boot up the system, the debug LEDs on the motherboard suggested that the cpu wasn't being recognised. Unfortunately despite many attempts using the bios flashback with downloaded bios files from the MSI website, I couldn't get the system to boot - the screen remained blank, & the debug LEDs still indicated an unrecognised cpu.

    Looking for help on Youtube, I found several videos which suggested that the bios flashback facility should only be used on a motherboard without a cpu, memory or video card installed. In fact, one video stated that you run the risk of bricking your motherboard if you do attempt bios flashback with a cpu, memory & video installed. Now, the motherboard manual doesn't say anything of the sort - it says the you can use flashback on a bare motherboard, but certainly doesn't say that it's important that you do.

    The other piece of advice from the Youtube video was that you should use a USB 2 memory stick, not USB 3. Again, the motherboard manual makes no mention of this. I'm just curious as to whether anyone else has had trouble using bios flashback in general, & MSI's implementation in particular? Did you manage to use it sucessfully?
    I originally bought an MSI B550 Tomahawk mobo last year as part of my Ryzen 5000 upgrade. I do recall having the same issues you describe, and am trying for the life of me to remember what I did to resolve it.

    I certainly wouldn't worry about having caused any damage by trying the process with CPU, RAM etc. connected. Can't see how that would happen. But you are correct in that only PSU 12V aux needs to be connected for flashback process.

    If you've followed all the other steps (which it sounds like you have), i.e. renaming BIOS file, using correct USB port, holding button down until LED comes on etc, then I think this probably does boil down to the mobo being fussy about USB sticks. In my case I'm pretty sure I ended up trying a spare USB2 drive that I keep handy for BIOS updates, and that worked. Unfortunately I can't do any testing to confirm either way though, as I ended up RMA'ing the board soon afterwards anyway, due to a separate issue (intermittent POST errors & system instability) and replaced it with an Asus equivalent. I think I used FAT32 and default sector size, FWIW.

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  12. #9
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Quote Originally Posted by AGTDenton View Post
    Stupid question, did you try the procedure more than once?

    Maybe firstly try removing all other storage components and other USB devices including keyboard, mouse & front panel headers. If that doesn't work remove as much as you can that's easily accessible until you're at the point where you have nothing left but to take out the CPU & RAM.

    I have to say, while I think MSI are good boards, their manuals are a weak point. Having to read some EVGA manuals recently, they're even worse.
    Gigabyte and ASUS have in my experience always been good in this department.
    Yes I did try the procedure several times, without success.

    I didn't try removing USB devices like the keyboard & mouse - I will definitely try that next time. Unfortunately I'll have to wait a few weeks until I can try flashing the bios again, as I rely on a mate of mine to visit in order to give me a hand with it.

  13. #10
    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy75 View Post
    I originally bought an MSI B550 Tomahawk mobo last year as part of my Ryzen 5000 upgrade. I do recall having the same issues you describe, and am trying for the life of me to remember what I did to resolve it.

    I certainly wouldn't worry about having caused any damage by trying the process with CPU, RAM etc. connected. Can't see how that would happen. But you are correct in that only PSU 12V aux needs to be connected for flashback process.

    If you've followed all the other steps (which it sounds like you have), i.e. renaming BIOS file, using correct USB port, holding button down until LED comes on etc, then I think this probably does boil down to the mobo being fussy about USB sticks. In my case I'm pretty sure I ended up trying a spare USB2 drive that I keep handy for BIOS updates, and that worked. Unfortunately I can't do any testing to confirm either way though, as I ended up RMA'ing the board soon afterwards anyway, due to a separate issue (intermittent POST errors & system instability) and replaced it with an Asus equivalent. I think I used FAT32 and default sector size, FWIW.
    Well, I've just bought a brand new 16Gb USB 2 memory stick, so I'll be sure to use that next time!

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    Senior Member cptwhite_uk's Avatar
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    Re: MSI Bios flashback

    Sorry for the late reply - yes the system was fully assembled at the time of the BIOS flash, from memory.

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