Saturday, January 12, 2013

EVGA Z68 FTW Motherboard BIOS Update

UPDATE:  This BIOS update made some changes to how Windows 7 detects the hardware and now I have to activate my OS again.  PAIN!

UPDATE 4/10/2013 - I decided tonight to check and see if EVGA had made any moves to get a newer and repaired BIOS update out.  It appears that is true.  On the site now they have version R22 dated 3/13/2013.  I'm loading it now.  Here's hoping....

The new R22 update appears to be solid.  After flashing, setting all to defaults, booting up and having Windows 7 detect a lot of "new" hardware, things appear normal.  Benchmarks are not faster really but the system is stable.  Given the fix list on this BIOS update I recommend you install it.  Below is the list of items fixed in the R21 and now R22 updates:

BIOS R22 Updates:

  • BClock overclocking improvements
  • Improved 2400MHz memory support

BIOS R21 Updates:

  • Fix CPU multiplier control with Sandy Bridge CPU after changing setting from E-LEET to manual
  • Fix bug with 2500K showing an error when CPU multiplier set over 43
  • Improved PCI-E compatibility
  • Fix BClock error when system is booting without any bootable device
  • Fix BSOD that may occur when BIOS is set to defaults
  • Fix USB port 6/7 labeling
  • Fix a crash that occurred after adjusting BClock
  • Fix error that did not allow system to boot when OC Mode is enabled
  • Fix bug with USB 3.0
  • Add E-SATA to onboard devices
  • Fix error that caused BClock frequency setting to disappear
  • Improvements to BClock overclocking
  • VCCIO and VSA are now set to 1250mV when memory set above 2400MHz
  • Fix error with CPU Core ratio limits

UPDATE 2/25/2013 - This bad BIOS update is still the latest showing on the EVGA website.

DO NOT use the new R16 update.  I flashed my new board with this and Windows 7 would not run at all.  I was however able to find instructions on how to do flash my BIOS back down to the 05 version from a USB drive.  Click here or read below for instructions:  **All credit for this given to LVCOYOTE on the EVGA forums**

I have seen countless posts on these forums concerning failed BIOS flashing attempts, and most recently the difficulty people are having with the P67 BIOS flashing. I always recommend flashing a BIOS from DOS as it is unquestionably the safest way to go about it. Flashing your BIOS from within windows is inherently the most dangerous way to attempt a flash. There are many things going on in the background when you flash from Windows, any number of which are capable of causing a problem. While flashing from within the Windows environment may work for most, I say why risk it? It is true that newer boards have multiple BIOS's that you can switch to should a flash go wrong, but once you get the hang of the method I'm about to describe, you will use this method from now on...... trust me!
Inventory Required
  • USB Flash Drive
  • The BIOS File
  • HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, V2.1.8
  • Win98 Boot Files
Regarding the above list, I'll assume you know what a USB flash drive is and just about any kind will work. You can even use a SD card or similar which can be plugged in to your card reader if you have one. For those of you that have the FTW version of the P67 you can even use the onboard CF reader, provided of course you actually have a CF Memory Card plugged in to it.
The BIOS file you need can be downloaded from EVGA's web site, usually in a .zip format.
That brings us to the HP tool and the Win98 boot files needed. I have made both available for download on my server and you can obtain them by clicking HERE. Just save the file to your desktop, then go ahead and extract it to your desktop as well. Once the file is extracted, go ahead and double click it to get inside. Once there you will see a file called SP27608 which is the actual HP USB Format Utility and a folder called win98boot.
At this point we need to install the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool, so go ahead and double click that file and install the program. Follow the on screen instructions, it's pretty self explanatory. Once the installation is finished the installer may or may not put an icon on your desktop to start the utility. If you did not get an icon on your desktop you can launch the utility by  going to start/all programs/Hewlett-Packard Company/HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.

Go ahead and open the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool and you should see this Window.

From the "Device" drop down menu at the top, make sure your USB flash device is selected. From the "File System" drop down menu choose FAT32.

The next steps are critical and where most people go wrong. First of all NEVER choose "Quick Format", we want to do a complete format. Make sure you click the "Create a DOS startup disk" and click the "using DOS system files located at" radio button as well.

Now we need to tell the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool where these DOS files are located. If you remember they are inside of the extracted folder describe above. So, choose the browse button and navigate to that win98boot folder which should be on your desktop if you followed the directions. Simply highlight the "win98boot" folder and click ok, you do not want to navigate inside of the win98boot folder.

You should now see the path to the "win98boot" folder in the bottom box. If everything looks good, go ahead and press the "Start" button to begin the formatting process.
 Re:How to Properly Flash Your P67 BIOS Using a USB Flash Drive Tuesday, July 26, 2011 2:03 PM (permalink)
Once the format process is finished you will see the below.

So, guess what?? If you followed the directions correctly you now have a properly formatted and bootable USB Flash Drive! The next step is to put the BIOS files on our USB flash drive. If you have not already done so then download the BIOS version of your choosing and save it to your dekstop. Once the BIOS file is downloaded, extract it to your desktop and open it up. You may have to click a couple of folders until you get all the way inside where the files we need are located, but you want to end up here:

Now open up your USB Flash Drive and copy all these files and folders to it. You don't need the ReadMe.txt, afuwin32.bat, afuwin64.bat, or afuwin folder, but I usually just copy and paste the whole shooting match to the flash drive. It wont hurt anything to have it all there and you may want to refer to them later, so just copy it all over.
At this point you are ready to boot from the USB flash drive and get your BIOS flashed! Enter your BIOS and navigate to the Save/Exit area where you want to choose "Restore Defaults". Once that is done navigate back to the "Boot" area and set it so the first boot device is your USB flash drive, save your changes and reboot. You will probably see a quick flash of the old Windows98 splash screen, don't panic..... perfectly normal! If all goes well you should get to a C: prompt. From here I usually type "dir" (without quotes) which will show you a list of all the files on the USB flash drive, you should see everything we copied to it.
From here simply type "AFUDOS.BAT" or "FPTDOS.BAT" (without quotes) depending on the BIOS files included in your download, and follow the onscreen prompts, you will probably have to type a capital "Y" for the process to continue.
Once the flash is finished I recommend the following after the system reboots.
  • Turn off the power
  • Turn off power at the PSU (Rocker Switch)
  • Remove the motherboard battery
  • Hold down the "Clear CMOS" button for 30 seconds
Once this is done, put the battery back in and switch your PSU back on. Start the system, enter BIOS, and make any changes you require. You will need to reset the date/time at a minimum.