Author Topic: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery  (Read 578 times)

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Offline korrelate

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Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« on: Thu, 13 January 2022, 23:41:08 »
If you buy a replacement bios chip and that truly was all that was wrong with your system is your recovery totally just plug and play or do you have to reinstall windows and then recover the image?

cheers and thanks,

K

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Offline Darthbaggins

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #1 on: Fri, 14 January 2022, 08:19:42 »
installed OS should be fine as they doesnt reside on the Bios chip.

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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #2 on: Fri, 14 January 2022, 10:01:38 »
Oh dear, what did you do?

As Darthbaggins said no reinstall necessary, if you're feeling brave you can put in the new chip and boot then swap it back while turned on and flash the old chip, then you'll have a spare if it happens again.  Unless you let out the magic smoke, you can't get that back in
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Offline butre

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #3 on: Fri, 14 January 2022, 10:32:54 »
I haven't seen a socketed bios chip in years, what sort of hardware are you working on?

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #4 on: Fri, 14 January 2022, 20:19:47 »
It should boot up pretty much fine, may need some bios tweaks or a different driver but overall should fire up.

The two exceptions are if it's an OEM system with an OEM windows license on the chip.. Even then an update may fix it, not sure.
The other exception and it's big one is if you have more than one drive, worse, they're configured in raid. more than one, just point to the right one. On raid all I can say is good luck.
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Offline korrelate

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #5 on: Fri, 14 January 2022, 23:52:30 »
Many thanks to all who have replied!

butre:

the mobo is an ASUS X99 Workstation, but I also have an ASUS gene (even older than the X99) that also has socketed bios. I haven't been shopping for new mobos in ages, but I was under the assumption that, for ASUS at least, socketed BIOS was kind of common.

suicidal orange:

I don't know. (I couldn't find a screaming nor a pulling-out-my-hair emoji, but those are exactly the emojis that I would have used had they been available). All H/W was bought NIB either at MicroCenter or else on Amazon (sold by Amazon only). Too, I have never over-clocked it and everything that I bought I had thoroughly vetted, myself, against the recommended H/W from the support pages for the MOBO. Too, this is like the 5th complete computer that I've put together - of course, I'm not a systems engineer or anything, but back when I put this together, I really, really took the time to do this properly.

As I've been researching this issue, I've heard suspicions that X99-chipset-mobo-vintages are more likely than others to have problems with their BIOS chips.

I did update the BIOS three times back in the first year that I bought it: successful flashes each time (b.c. there was a slight problem with USB handling).

That said, this system was purring like a kitten for five years right up to the day that it wasn't.
Also... system was entirely air-cooled (all Noctua) and I log temps and speeds over all cores for heavy workloads - I've never seen any unusual spikes that would even begin to suggest that I was running too hard or too hot.



LesleiAnn:

a. not an OEM system - totally DIY, so that's a plus: it's a hard copy of Windows 7 that I bought on disk back when you could do such a thing.
b. no RAIDed drives, so that's another plus.



All,

One more question for you, if you don't mind: what if my boot drive is NVMe (hint: it is, LOL).



Cheers & Thanks to all for your replies (this is almost like losing a pet - I swear I went through various stages of grief management when this box went down),

K

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Offline suicidal_orange

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #6 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 03:42:12 »
You might need to change your drive boot order but I would hope the NVMe would automatically be put as first to boot as it's fastest, unless you have the bootloader on another drive for [reason] when that would have to be first and the NVMe in the same position as before.  If you don't know what a bootloader is or just installed Windows as the first and only OS on this build you can ignore this :)

Spontaneous death is frustrating and a bios chip is cheaper than buying a copy of any other component but if you've not flashed it lately death seems strange.  It's a cheap option though so worth a try if you have time, but personally I'd be suspecting the PSU or motherboard.  Do you have another PSU you could try, maybe with a low powered graphics card (I'm assuming the X99 is very power hungry so has a bigger Wattage PSU than you have lying around)?  If you've done testing please say so - no point teaching granny to suck eggs!
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Offline korrelate

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #7 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 10:59:43 »
yup... except the cpu Iíve tested and cleared all HW. Thanks again.

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #8 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 13:13:40 »

bios chips rarely die,  ur sure it's just not some ram incompatibility ?

x99 is notorious for that.   

When the mobo posts, some bioses does memory training, where a preset program tunes the primary secondary and tertiary timings, and it does this on every cycle.   It's possible that some register was tripped and making it go bonkers.

So the problem is bios related, but not necessarily a dead bios chip.


Offline Leslieann

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #9 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 20:17:57 »
The system should find an NVME.


As for bios going bad... It depends.
While not THAT common, I have seen it a few times (including one in a system I currently have, fails to boot every 3 or 4 times), and don't forget there's a small cottage industry for these chips on Ebay, someone must be buying them.
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Offline korrelate

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 23:32:27 »

bios chips rarely die,  ur sure it's just not some ram incompatibility ?

x99 is notorious for that.   

When the mobo posts, some bioses does memory training, where a preset program tunes the primary secondary and tertiary timings, and it does this on every cycle.   It's possible that some register was tripped and making it go bonkers.

So the problem is bios related, but not necessarily a dead bios chip.




tp4, thanks for checking in. You've divined my darkest fears regarding this board - I have the same misgivings that you guys have: I've never had a bios chip go bad myself, and I realize that I may just be grasping at straws here. I just realized, too, that I haven't qualified the RAM either b.c. all my other computers are DDR3. But here's the thing that gives me hope: no BEEP codes from the mobo when I power on (and yes, I bought one of those piezo-electric speakers (three actually b.c. they were cheaper than buying the very same pack of two on AMZN, go figure) and had it hooked up to my mobo front panel) no matter how times I let it cycle through the very, very short boot loop it goes through.

Too... it's Kingston ECC Ram purchased as a kit: and when I bought it I didn't see the exact kit listed in the QVL for the mobo so I called Kingston and asked them about "this" kit's compatibility with this particular mobo. I know that any ram could have a problem (it's really just a question of probability) but I did try cycling each individual stick through each of the four slots (yes, that's 16 experiments) and there was no change in the behavior of the boot loop for any of these 16 experiments. So... either all 4 dimms went bad at the same time or else the problem is upstream. Please, please, please feel free to check my math here. It was at this point (faced with the very low likelihood of all four sticks going bad simultaneously) that I dropped the pursuit of another DDR4 board to test these sticks (i.e. I didn't actually test them on another mobo, like I said earlier, but that's only partially negligent... I feel like I had a pretty good reason to drop that issue - vis. the results of the 4x4 tests).



Too... in the videos I've seen of people re-chipping their x99 mobos, their mobos were doing the same thing (no beep codes, very brief boot loop) and ostensibly the re-chip worked. So there's that.

But tp4, here's my question: am I interpreting the no beep-code symptom properly? i.e. no beep code => BIOS (which from what I understand is responsible for running POST) doesn't even get to the POST test?

In any event, I just heard back from the sellers on ebay - both of the two that I reached out to said that the BIOS version on the re-flashed chip doesn't have to be the most recent : they can flash it to any of the versions available for download for that mobo at the same price. I bought it and I should have it on hand soon.
« Last Edit: Sat, 15 January 2022, 23:43:03 by korrelate »

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Offline korrelate

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 15 January 2022, 23:37:24 »
The system should find an NVME.


As for bios going bad... It depends.
While not THAT common, I have seen it a few times (including one in a system I currently have, fails to boot every 3 or 4 times), and don't forget there's a small cottage industry for these chips on Ebay, someone must be buying them.

Good point! There sure is: for the manufacturers that they deal with (asus seems particularly well served by this cottage industry) they post bios chip replacement ads for (what seems like) every mobo in a chipset-vintage.

It's funny... I've never had to think as hard about bios as I am thinking about it now. SOOOO tempted to buy one of the serial programmers that I've seen people using on Youtube... SOOOOO TEMPTED!!


Thank you thank you for your replies! Especially for the optimistic tone of this one!
« Last Edit: Sat, 15 January 2022, 23:42:46 by korrelate »

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #12 on: Sun, 16 January 2022, 00:28:10 »
I think you're a fairly competent enthusiast.  You have a better sense of the hardware since you've played with it.

Fingers crossed for bios chip. 

What do they say causes the bios corruption ?

have you tried reseating all the components and using the igpu instead of dedicated.


Also keep in mind, These high end motherboards were made with Overclock in mind, they do not behave like server boards where everything is dialed in and validated.

So, what happens is, for example, on my z97 board,  the default cache voltage offset hits 1.3v+  when it should be 1.1-1.6v   ..   1.3 is only needed for a small window of instability at very high cpu cache multipliers.  THIS was causing instabilities for me,  because both too much and too little voltage can do that.

When you buy any of these modern boards,  STOCK isn't stock, it's just a suggestion, and it's plainly not always right, because their product stack is Enormous, there just isn't enough man hour to vet it all. Especially on something so convoluted.

Going over not just the temperature, but also monitoring its voltage behavior, prime/sec/tertia memory timings.. etc,  this wasn't necessary back in the day, but they are now.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Replacement BIOS chips and System Recovery
« Reply #13 on: Sun, 16 January 2022, 18:36:24 »
In any event, I just heard back from the sellers on ebay - both of the two that I reached out to said that the BIOS version on the re-flashed chip doesn't have to be the most recent : they can flash it to any of the versions available for download for that mobo at the same price. I bought it and I should have it on hand soon.
No beep codes and no post can mean several things, they most often I've seen is the system not having a speaker attached.
I know it sounds dumb but not all have a built in speaker, only a header.

As for not getting one if you do have a speaker attached, I've seen bad bios, bad boards, bad power supply (cable unplugged) and bad CPU fail to trigger a beep code. The only surefire ones to trigger one seems to be ram and GPU, everything else is hit or miss.
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