In what order do I up[date BIOS and load system drivers?

Hello everybody,

I'm just starting to do a heart transplant on my 8 year old machine and things seem to be different now. All the previous times I built a system, I assembled the electronics, loaded and ran a floppy that loaded the drivers, set up partitions, loaded the operating system (s) and then each of the aps. When I read in the user manual  how to update the bios if needed, I opened the box for the first time and looked for the system disk. There was none. I looked on ASUS but could not find a way to download a system disk nor any comments about that step. I couldn't find a voice phone for MicroCenter and after some confusing texts, MicroCenter assured me that there was no disk-- the system drives would be downloaded from the web site. I also found a cute little leprechaun sized USB drive with a clam shell pictured on it which I decided was probably to be used to update the Bios. So much for playing Adventure before building the box.

So here are my two questions: Do I need to load the bios as a first step after POST or do I wait later in the process and check to see if it is up-to-date? Something I overheard on this forum suggested that maybe MicroCenter had already done the update. Maybe that was why the box was not sealed? (There is a 1/4"  red dot sticker on the ID sticker but it is not dated.)
The second question is: do I download all the various drivers before loading the operating system or wait until the OS is loaded and updated before checking dates and versions? If I wait until after the Windows OS is loaded will Windows try to load all the drivers and maybe choose the wrong source?

Using an ASUS Z390 ROG Maximus XI Hero WiFi Gen 2 MBO with M.2 PCLe where I hope to put the OS


  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment 5 Awesomes
    With a Z390 you can upgrade the BIOS out of the box, whether you need to or not depends on the board. The Z390's came in late after the Z370's. I would look through the BIOS updates on the manufacturers site and see if there's any significant enough for you to upgrade for. The only other reason I would upgrade is if I'm overclocking. Your results can vary by the BIOS version and also you'll run into logic bugs related to overclocking(certain clock speeds that just won't post inexplicably as an example) that are fixed.

    What you're seeing with the red dots is related to the AM4 boards, particularly the B450's. They predate the AMD Zen 2 CPU's so you do need a BIOS update, but by and large this is a thing of the past. The only problem we've had recently with Intel was them releasing a new revision of a CPU (R0) that was incompatible, but this predates the Z390 to my recollection.

    My advice regarding drivers. You do need to install the OS first. Generally on Windows 10 LAN drivers aren't going to be a problem. If they are, throw them on a flash drive from another system. For the GPU install the full package from Nvidia or AMD. For Intel your main concerns are Chipset and Intel Management Engine. Lastly audio. You can update the LAN driver if you want, I usually don't. Most of these chipsets are Intel and they've been out for a long time. The drivers are on Windows Update. If you do decide to and it's a large Intel ProSet package, don't install it. Extract the package. Go into Device Manager, and update the driver. Let it search the extracted folder for the driver and don't install the package.

    Other concerns. Generally there are better options than the motherboard manufacturer provided software. Both AMD and Intel make their own tweaking and monitoring utilities for your CPU. I don't personally install them, but it's personal preference. If you don't want it on an ASUS board, disable Armory Crate in the BIOS.
  • EdCarr68
    Thanks for the suggestions. They all sound reasonable. I'll check out intel for the disc drivers.

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