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jack_m

BIOS confusion

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This might seem dumb. But I want to back up my BIOS on my B450 Tomahawk because I’m gonna download a previous version. I’m not sure how to get the BIOS my computer is currently using. In sys info it says ‘American Megatrends 1.80 6/17/2019’. But I can’t find anything like that on their site. On MSI the BIOS versions are completely different from that, a combination of numbers and letters. And none of them are dated 6/17/19 closest one was 6/24. My mental deficiency puts me in need of help!!

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You can't. Not really. You may be able to backup your BIOS settings but to write-over a previous BIOS the OS doesn't let you read the current version to make a copy. If you want to save the version you have you need to download it from the manufacturers website.

 

You said sys info. Do you mean within the OS? If you go into your BIOS it will tell you the version you're on.

 

Edit:

Looking at the website I see what you mean. I can't guarantee it but the "v#" in those BIOS versions may correspond to the version you see in the BIOS. ie v18 = V1.80.


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Does your board's UEFI settings not have something like this?

 

IMG_20191015_225113.thumb.jpg.94e625a77d45fd96b04ad5bed7d9a5dc.jpg

 

Or @Windows7ge would that be primarily for backing up settings or resetting from a failed overclock, not for recovering a corrupted BIOS flash?

 

If that's the case, I guess replacing one of these (the chips with the "P1.40" stickers on my board) would be an option?

IMG_20180908_171013954.thumb.jpg.0d94914a67ded83e2ca053d8aefc612b.jpg

 

Oh and that switch below the 2nd P.140 to the right of HDD Saver above the Reset / Power buttons - I forget, is that for switching BIOS, or for the HDD saver function?  (My board is the ASRock Z97 Extreme6.)

 

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6 hours ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Or @Windows7ge would that be primarily for backing up settings or resetting from a failed overclock, not for recovering a corrupted BIOS flash?

 

If that's the case, I guess replacing one of these (the chips with the "P1.40" stickers on my board) would be an option?

Some BIOS allow you to save BIOS settings. I can't guarantee if they're just for saving overclocks or not it really varies vendor to vendor/board to board. So it may be an option it may not. It's also possible updating the BIOS may overwrite even the settings he saves. It's uncertain if these get saved somewhere other than the EEPROM.

 

Motherboard manufacturers have made it so you don't have to physically replace the BIOS chip in order to upgrade the BIOS (assuming your board is recent enough) that's what EEPROM means (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). They're not like old ROM chips where you can't overwrite the information yourself.


Guides & Tutorials:

Three Methods to Resetting a Windows Login Password

A Beginners Guide to Debian CLI Based File Servers

A Beginners Guide to PROXMOX

How to Use Rsync on Microsoft Windows for Cross-platform Automatic Data Replication

A How To Guide: Setting up SMB3.0 Multichannel on FreeNAS

How You can Reset Your Windows Login Password with Hiren's BootCD - (Depreciated)

 

Guide/Tutorial in Progress:

How to Build Your Own DAS

 

In the Queue:

GPU Pass-though w/ QEMU on Debian Linux

How to Setup Drive Sharing in Windows 10

How to Format a HDD/SSD in Windows

 

Don't see what you need? Check the Full List or *PM me, if I haven't made it I'll add it to the list.

*NOTE: I'll only add it to the list if the request is something I know I can do.

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3 hours ago, Windows7ge said:

Some BIOS allow you to save BIOS settings. I can't guarantee if they're just for saving overclocks or not it really varies vendor to vendor/board to board. So it may be an option it may not. It's also possible updating the BIOS may overwrite even the settings he saves. It's uncertain if these get saved somewhere other than the EEPROM.

Ah.  I actually forget now, whether I was able to restore my settings from a saved profile after I updated my BIOS with the Spectre patch.  I do remember more recently doing some manual reconfiguration though.  (I'm not in front of that PC right now, otherwise I could power it on and look for the saved profiles, I remember I had one with a date in its name from before Spectre was known I think.)

 

3 hours ago, Windows7ge said:

Motherboard manufacturers have made it so you don't have to physically replace the BIOS chip in order to upgrade the BIOS (assuming your board is recent enough) that's what EEPROM means (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory). They're not like old ROM chips where you can't overwrite the information yourself.

Yeah ... I thought the socketed BIOS chips were so that if you really effed things up and completely bricked your board / BIOS, you could just get a new BIOS chip and replace that, rather than having to replace the entire board.

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16 minutes ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Yeah ... I thought the socketed BIOS chips were so that if you really effed things up and completely bricked your board / BIOS, you could just get a new BIOS chip and replace that, rather than having to replace the entire board.

In the instance of a failed BIOS update without a backup BIOS yes. The problem would be getting your hands on an EEPROM with your BIOS on it. I've seen some like this for sale on Ebay but wouldn't trust it. That and I'm pretty sure not everybody owns a EEPROM programmer or knows how to use one so the fact the BIOS chips are socketed is more of a feature for the motherboard manufacturer making it quick/easy to replace the chip when necessary.

 

I have seen on some newer boards that they BIOS chip has changed form factor and are now soldered to the motherboard so I don't know what their reasoning is behind that decision.


Guides & Tutorials:

Three Methods to Resetting a Windows Login Password

A Beginners Guide to Debian CLI Based File Servers

A Beginners Guide to PROXMOX

How to Use Rsync on Microsoft Windows for Cross-platform Automatic Data Replication

A How To Guide: Setting up SMB3.0 Multichannel on FreeNAS

How You can Reset Your Windows Login Password with Hiren's BootCD - (Depreciated)

 

Guide/Tutorial in Progress:

How to Build Your Own DAS

 

In the Queue:

GPU Pass-though w/ QEMU on Debian Linux

How to Setup Drive Sharing in Windows 10

How to Format a HDD/SSD in Windows

 

Don't see what you need? Check the Full List or *PM me, if I haven't made it I'll add it to the list.

*NOTE: I'll only add it to the list if the request is something I know I can do.

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5 minutes ago, Windows7ge said:

In the instance of a failed BIOS update without a backup BIOS yes. The problem would be getting your hands on an EEPROM with your BIOS on it. I've seen some like this for sale on Ebay but wouldn't trust it. That and I'm pretty sure not everybody owns a EEPROM programmer or knows how to use one so the fact the BIOS chips are socketed is more of a feature for the motherboard manufacturer making it quick/easy to replace the chip when necessary.

 

I have seen on some newer boards that they BIOS chip has changed form factor and are now soldered to the motherboard so I don't know what their reasoning is behind that decision.

Ah.  Well my board does have a backup BIOS, I'm not sure about the OP's.

And about the switch I mentioned in a previous post, I came across this in the manual.

Screenshot_20191016-095419.thumb.png.45c82817934950f1d9aee88b59127363.png

 

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1 hour ago, PianoPlayer88Key said:

Ah.  Well my board does have a backup BIOS, I'm not sure about the OP's.

And about the switch I mentioned in a previous post, I came across this in the manual.

Without diving into OP's motherboard manual they haven't made it apparent that it supports dual BIOS.

 

It does have something even better though. The ability to boot the BIOS without a CPU. That's a feature I hope becomes much more common.


Guides & Tutorials:

Three Methods to Resetting a Windows Login Password

A Beginners Guide to Debian CLI Based File Servers

A Beginners Guide to PROXMOX

How to Use Rsync on Microsoft Windows for Cross-platform Automatic Data Replication

A How To Guide: Setting up SMB3.0 Multichannel on FreeNAS

How You can Reset Your Windows Login Password with Hiren's BootCD - (Depreciated)

 

Guide/Tutorial in Progress:

How to Build Your Own DAS

 

In the Queue:

GPU Pass-though w/ QEMU on Debian Linux

How to Setup Drive Sharing in Windows 10

How to Format a HDD/SSD in Windows

 

Don't see what you need? Check the Full List or *PM me, if I haven't made it I'll add it to the list.

*NOTE: I'll only add it to the list if the request is something I know I can do.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
16 hours ago, Windows7ge said:

You can't. Not really. You may be able to backup your BIOS settings but to write-over a previous BIOS the OS doesn't let you read the current version to make a copy. If you want to save the version you have you need to download it from the manufacturers website.

 

You said sys info. Do you mean within the OS? If you go into your BIOS it will tell you the version you're on.

 

Edit:

Looking at the website I see what you mean. I can't guarantee it but the "v#" in those BIOS versions may correspond to the version you see in the BIOS. ie v18 = V1.80.

Could you link the v18 bios download, I seriously couldn’t find it on american megatrends. I’m not being lazy I don’t know where to find the download, I apologize for my website-navigating ineptitude

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24 minutes ago, jack_m said:

Could you link the v18 bios download, I seriously couldn’t find it on american megatrends. I’m not being lazy I don’t know where to find the download, I apologize for my website-navigating ineptitude

I believe you said you were already there: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK

In the crazy name. On the end. v18 may = V1.80 as it says in your BIOS.


Guides & Tutorials:

Three Methods to Resetting a Windows Login Password

A Beginners Guide to Debian CLI Based File Servers

A Beginners Guide to PROXMOX

How to Use Rsync on Microsoft Windows for Cross-platform Automatic Data Replication

A How To Guide: Setting up SMB3.0 Multichannel on FreeNAS

How You can Reset Your Windows Login Password with Hiren's BootCD - (Depreciated)

 

Guide/Tutorial in Progress:

How to Build Your Own DAS

 

In the Queue:

GPU Pass-though w/ QEMU on Debian Linux

How to Setup Drive Sharing in Windows 10

How to Format a HDD/SSD in Windows

 

Don't see what you need? Check the Full List or *PM me, if I haven't made it I'll add it to the list.

*NOTE: I'll only add it to the list if the request is something I know I can do.

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2 hours ago, Windows7ge said:

It does have something even better though. The ability to boot the BIOS without a CPU. That's a feature I hope becomes much more common.

Yeah, I don't think mine has that, I'm hoping my next one will.  (And I might even like dual or quad CPUs both for performance and for failsafe, if possible with the ability to hot-swap them, and/or replaceable CPU sockets so I don't have to get entire new motherboards so often.)

Spoiler

My formula for how often I prefer to replace a motherboard:

 

Motherboard_Longevity = PSU_Longevity * ( Motherboard_Replacement_Labor_Time / PSU_Replacement_Labor_Time. )

 

 

A few assumptions: 

 

Every square cm of the board that can have a physical connector has one, and all of them are populated.  (Look at the Supermicro X9DRH-7TF or some of their quad-socket boards for examples.)

 

The PSU is a 1200+ watt 80+ Titanium certified unit from Tier A+ or higher, fully modular, with all protections, and is a "golden sample".  The replacement PSU is compatible with the existing cables.

 

To determine PSU longevity, have an identical PSU be powering a system with an Intel -Y APU, M.2 SSD, 1 stick of RAM.

It would be underclocked & undervolted so the CPU gets a score of <2 in Cinebench R20 multithreaded, the GPU scores <10 in 3DMark 99 or whatever, the NVMe SSD has lower IOPS than a MFM HDD, the RAM has bandwidth comparable to what was typical in the original IBM PC from 1981, and the network's maximum speed is about 1200 bps or similar to 1980s or early 90s dial-up modems or serial ports, whichever is slower. ... Basically it would have the performance of a then-low-end 1970s personal computer (the IBM PC didn't come out until 1981), with the power efficiency of 2019-Q4+ components.

The system is only run for 15 minutes twice a month, and one hour once a year.

It is kept in an environment where the ambient temperature never rises above -40°, like maybe Vostok Station, Antarctica.

 

How long might it take until that PSU totally dies? (By totally dies, I mean it won't power on (not even the audible click of a relay if applicable) even if a PSU service technician replaced components.)

 

Then consider the labor time involved with swapping the PSU, vs the labor time with swapping the motherboard in the main system, and see the formula near the beginning of this spoiler.

 

1 hour ago, jack_m said:

couldn’t find it on american megatrends.

Yeah, usually BIOS updates are put out by the motherboard manufacturer, as @Windows7ge linked in their post.

 

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