Windows to the rescue...

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Windows to the rescue...

Postby xenopeek on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:53 pm

So the ASRock motherboard I bought in 2011 has been having issues with recent kernels. Though with older kernels it runs fine (with a boot parameter to disable RC6 power save mode), I want it to keep running fine with newer kernels--as for example I already know Linux Mint 15 will ship with it. Some investigation led me to an analysis by other Linux users with the same motherboard. A BIOS upgrade was the confirmed solution for the problem I'm also having.

Now I recall having bought specifically this motherboard because ASRock advertised the BIOS could be flashed without needing Windows. Just put the BIOS image on a USB thumb drive and press F6 during boot! Well, their download site today only has downloads for Windows :evil: I don't have Windows at home. After considering my options I tried something that I was a bit amazed that worked. Took the hard disk from my work laptop, a HP sloth with Windows 7 on it, and put it--against all hope really--in my desktop machine and tried booting from it. It worked! Okay, Windows complained a bit about hardware it couldn't use and seemed a bit confused, but then I was able to run the BIOS flash utility :D

I'll probably be upgrading to Haswell in 2014 but I think this time I'll skip ASRock as an option. False advertising and when on their website you click on the link to get technical support (my first idea), that page never loads. Ah well, for now it should continue to run fine and I thought it funny I could do this with Windows :wink:

Edit: should probably add "don't try this at home." I don't know enough about what all Microsoft is "innovating" but IIRC at least some versions of Windows can have but a certain number of hardware changes before you have to buy another license. So doing the above might lock you out of your license perhaps?
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby viking777 on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:11 pm

I had to use Freedos to flash my bios when Uefi crippled it several times. It's a laptop, so not easy to swap drives even if I had one to swap with.
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby DrHu on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:49 pm

I also use bdos based bios utilties whenever i have needed/wanted to flash my BIOS
http://www.asrock.com/support/BIOSUI.asp?cat=DOS
--I don't know which bios only had windows only file, but usually the BIOS manufacturer has provided a dos based version, usually Freedos is the version used..
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby xenopeek on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:30 pm

Would be great, but in this case there is only the Windows download that I can find. http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?c ... H67M-GE/HT
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby catweazel on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:35 pm

I always buy Gigabyte boards. Apart from their good quality components and 3 year warranty on the top end, they have 'Dual BIOS'. If you blat the main BIOS doing something stupid then the auxilliary BIOS can be invoked. It will overwrite the damaged BIOS to make the machine usable again.

That said, in all the years I've used Gigabyte boards, I've only ever needed that feature once. In addition, the Gigabyte boards support what they call 'Q Flash', which means you don't need Windwoes top install the BIOS. The BIOS downloads from Gigabyte are self-extracting 7-zip files, so virtually any Linux archiver can be used to extract the BIOS from the Windwoes application. It works a treat too.
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby homerscousin on Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi, xenopeek. Just for info, which board did you buy? I have the z77 extreme 4 and have had no problems I'm aware of. I've looked at the ASRock bios page and figured no upgrade is necessary. Nothing really earthshattering new there. And to all the Gigabyte owners out there, you may have dual bios, but I have Dr. Debug and I have pretty gold caps and ALC 898. Nyah! Nyah.
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Re: Windows to the rescue...

Postby xenopeek on Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:08 pm

It's the ASRock H67M-GE/HT. Specific bug for that motherboard with rc6 enabled in the kernel is here: https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=50619. It's only for this motherboard so you should be fine from that specific bug.

The z77 extreme 4 looks nice, but no displayport is a nogo for me :wink:
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