I am trying to update my MSI BIOS (B360-A PRO) and the file is not being read when I attempt an m-flash update. I have read forums and have conducted countless experiments for hours and have found no solution. Just looking for help; I am becoming hopeless. I have an 8GB USB that I've been using: I have tried FAT32 and NTFS; I have tried to rename the file to MSI.ROM; I bought a new USB assuming that could've been an issue. I am just not sure what more to do. The motherboard does not have a flash button, so that is not an option either. If anyone has any solutions please let me know. I am open to anything. The PC is a G223 from Powerspec (Microcenter Prebuilt) and I need to update for a new CPU and RAM.
Which BIOS version are you attempting to flash to?
I am attempting to update to the most recent MSI version that was posted on their website for my motherboard (B360-A PRO). I was hopeful of a solution with this forum because I saw you answer a similar thread in 2020; however, I contacted MicroCenter tech support in the mean time (30 minutes ago) and they relayed that a custom BIOS is applied to all prebuilt computers from the store, so the only way for me to update it would be if I came in and payed the service fee. I made sure to save all the chats because this seemed odd that I was sold a computer with specialized software, only for them to say that the only way to upgrade it was for me to pay, thereby essentially setting up a trap for all customers that wanted to upgrade in the future. Please let me know what you think, I have been looking for solutions for more than a day now and am feeling hopeless.
That is incorrect. We do have a custom BIOS applied on all of our systems, but it's just a customized BIOS. We change defaults, but we're not blocking you from flashing to an MSI BIOS. Quite to the contrary, our custom BIOS requires a special flashing procedure. Lets verify what you're doing.
Yes, I have done all that: changed from format to format (fat32, etc); bought a new 8GB USB; everything I could think of. I even viewed this forum from 2020 that you commented on which discussed an AMI flasher (https://community.microcenter.com/discussion/4116/powerspec-bios-updates). However, I could not find a solution, and tech support was useless. But yes, you are correct. I've done all of that and the file is not showing up. I have not tried one of those AMI flashing applications though as that's a last resort for me.
The AMI tool may be required at this point. Let me look for the board tomorrow and take a look at it to see what's going on. With the AMI Tool, it's going to flash and if it's the wrong BIOS you'll probably brick your board. Let me see if I have the hardware to build a G223 and test it.
Let me rephrase that. It's not a blind flash with that tool, it will check the header but it's riskier than your modern EZ-Flash/M-Flash options. There's always an inherent risk with flashing the BIOS. If there are any issues during that flashing process you will brick the board. And without a feature like Flashback there aren't many recovery easy recovery options without sending the board to the manufacturer.
@PowerSpec_MikeW: Sounds good. Please get back to me if anything arises when testing by yourself. If testing ends up being too difficult, please get back to me and the AMI tool will likely be the last option. I'm not sure how it would be the wrong BIOS though, I mean it's the newest version on the MSI website so it should run smoothly if I understand correctly.
I'll let you know, I should have time to do it tomorrow. I'm not sure what's going on with the older MSI boards, we have had to use Svet's tool from the MSI forum in the past, but that's not limited to PowerSpec systems with MSI boards. If I have the board and CPU, I'll test the advanced flash then if that doesn't detect it, I'll try Svet's tool. At least we can let you know if works properly for us or we brick a board sample.
@PowerSpec_MikeW: Sounds great. Keep me updated. I'm excited to hear how it goes and appreciate the help immensely.
Unfortunately I don't have the board sample any longer. This was qualified back in 2018 and we just cleaned out our inventory from 5+ years ago. I did look into what's going on here though and I can explain what's going on.
First I was incorrect. On our new boards the procedure has changed and they're full compatible with M-Flash. Back in 2018 our MSI boards were flashed with a custom BIOS via the AMI flash utility. Apparently for OEM boards from MSI and this seems to effect their prebuilt desktops as well, that custom BIOS changes the model of the board. So if at some point you try to flash with M-Flash, the model doesn't match the header meaning it won't see it in the normal flash mode, and if you try the advanced flash mode, it'll warn you the BIOS isn't for this board and fail.
Lets go over our options and what was referenced in the post you link from a while ago. Svet's UEFI shell flash tool from the MSI forum should work fine here. Now there's always a risk during a BIOS flash that you can brick your board and with using that tool you want to make sure you have the correct BIOS. He has a similar disclaimer on the forum here: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?threads/forum-uefi-shell-flash-tool-v1-30-for-msi-boards-%E2%9C%94.343010/
NOTE: Once again, this is not recommended by MSI or Micro Center. While the tool itself was developed by an administrator on the MSI forum, his disclaimer states that the tool in question is not endorsed by MSI. Flashing utilities such as these are extremely powerful and disregard all safety checks put in-place by the BIOS flashing utility. Use of these tools are at your own risk, and should only be performed if absolutely necessary.
Now if there are any issues during the flash the only means of recovering is with an SPI Flash Programmer. This is not going to be available in our service department. The BIOS is soldered to the board. I would go into this with a backup plan to upgrade the board/CPU if there's a major issue. Now before we pursue this any further, lets see what upgrades you're looking at and make sure this is absolutely necessary. I assume you're looking at trying to find an old 9th Gen CPU as an upgrade? What RAM configuration?
We'll do what we can to help you out. Unfortunately there are some limitations over the long term and we may not have the hardware available. You would need a BIOS update to support that CPU, though it's difficult to find a i7-9700K at a decent price now. What kind of price range are you looking at on that CPU?
If you already have the hardware that makes it a worthwhile upgrade. I was going to mention we have platforms for $350 with the 12700K/Board/16GB RAM. In that price range you can replace the whole platform. Downside is you lose the OS license, it's tied to the board.
Just make sure you have a backup plan before you flash. Make sure you have the right BIOS. With the Svet's flash tool, it's just an old AMI flash tool that's he's automating the parameters for the tool. All it's really going to check is if the platform is the right architecture(AMD/Intel). Beyond that, it's going to flash. If it's the wrong file, pretty much guaranteed it'll brick the board.
Now looking ahead. What kind of software issues were you running into?
Correct, if the motherboard model matches it should be the correct BIOS. I linked to the MSI forums above, follow the directions carefully if you're proceeding with this method and review the disclaimers from us and the author carefully. If you have questions, let us know.
@PowerSpec_MikeW: In case you or other viewers are curious, a similar forum I created on MSI's official website is also being commented on. I found a solution, thanks to Svet's help and located a file that is readable. Of course, Mike, you were an amazing help and I appreciate everything you did greatly.
Glad you were able to get it flashed to the latest official MSI BIOS. Let us know if anything else comes up.
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