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Upgrading Bios for a Sabertooth 990FX

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January 24, 2012 3:20:09 PM

For my new build I recently purchased a ASUS Sabertooth 990FX and a AMD FX-6100 CPU.

I heard that you need to upgrade the bios for the motherboard BEFORE installing the new AMD FX CPUs.
I was wondering how you would do that? In my previous builds I would just upgrade the BIOS later on after the build is completely done.

-Many thanks in advance.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
January 24, 2012 3:46:39 PM

If the BIOS is pre-FX then yep you'll need to flash the BIOS first. ASUS places a BIOS version sticker on the box, you'll need at least BIOS version 0813 to post.

Otherwise, the solutions are:
1. Donor CPU - Sempron 140 or Sempron 145 ; cheapest supported CPU with lowest BIOS version.
2. Send MOBO to ASUS and they'll update the BIOS for free ; 2+ weeks
3. Borrow a supported CPU
4. Computer Shop.
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January 24, 2012 11:22:11 PM

Alright, thanks for the information. Was really helpful. I did need to update the bios and lucky I have a old Athlon II X3 from a old build.
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January 25, 2012 3:29:27 PM

An update to the solution list provided by jaquith. I called ASUS support with my case number for this issue. The rep indicated that if they send a new board out it will have the same issue (catch 22 - old bios no support for FX chips). Therefore the rep stated that he would send out a "bios chip" with the latest bios. The bios chip on the 990fx is in a socket and I did see it is removable. He said he would send this replacement chip out to me to replace the "old bios" chip :bounce:  :bounce: 

So when I receive this, I will let you know how it works. I asked the rep if this does not work, what is the recourse. He said I will then have to RMA the entire board. If this new bios chip fix works that is much easier than sending in the whole board and ASUS is not going to charge me for the chip. Here is a link to this chip on the ASUS estore site.
http://us.estore.asus.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=...
Choose Sabertooth 990x before checkout.

The chip itself is $15 about the same as a large pizza price at PJhns. I have tried everything I believe from swapping out power supplies, breadboarding, buying Sempron chip to update bios, etc. None of these methods worked. To end it all I even have another AM3+ board on the way from Gigabyte to test the CPUs out.

ASUS is willing to help out but why did they include such a flaky bios update method and not get all the boards they have up to date with the latest bios. AMD delayed the release of FX for some time and this board was around before the FX. :sarcastic:  :sarcastic: 

Hope SHr1Kes is able to get the system up and running. I will check back with results from the bios chip upgrade.
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January 26, 2012 10:40:26 AM

The only method for updating the BIOS that I recommend is one through the BIOS with a Flash Drive. ASUS EZ Flash 2, Q-Flash, MSI M-Flash, etc.

ASUS EZ Flash 2 is a built-in App to allow the BIOS to be upgraded and USB Flash Drive is the storage for the BIOS ROM file to be stored/accessed from with BIOS EZ Flash 2. The USB Flash drive must be formatted in FAT-32.

Link -> http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2007021522310966...
Video -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQKQj_aASCQ
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January 26, 2012 11:35:12 AM

I can't even get to a post due to the "cpu-led" so I have to go with the "bios chip" solution which should have the latest bios and no need to update. Thanks for the ASUS link but I don't think that is the total issue with this board. True, I might have had sucess using the AFUDOS and have done that route previously by using a floppy and flashing the bios. Only this time, I tried it in the bios pointing to my HD where I copied the ROM to the root directory. I followed the menu and it said "rom flashed successfully". I therefore rebooted and ended up with the situation I have. ASUS should stand by their products including any software as critical as a bios update. There may be other problems but I will stick with the ASUS plan for now. If indeed the "bios chip" does not work then I will need to RMA the board and get a new one. I may still be in the same boat but I start with a new board.
I get the Gigabyte board today so that will tell me if any other issue is occurring. I am new to troubleshooting so I may be barking up different trees here but I am not interested in spending anymore money on this AMD build.
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January 26, 2012 12:20:16 PM

@killedbybios - I 'get' that your BIOS is probably poof. Sure, if the Gigabyte fails to post then the CPU is the culprit IF the Gigabyte's BIOS has a 'FX' BIOS version. IF the Gigabyte requires a BIOS update then only use Q-Flash!

Nice 3-part video on Q-Flash:
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCCId1Mcrw4
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlx5GBkiaM0
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX78S4qyHu0

One good thing with Gigabyte is that there's (2) BIOS chips - just in case ;) 
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February 9, 2012 8:42:03 AM

You would think, being that the board is labeled FX, that they would have this problem resolved before you ever get the board. I mean, why label the board FX and it not come with full bios support for FX cpu's out of the box? I guess that made way too much sense. So it couldn't have been right...
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February 9, 2012 12:24:51 PM

Blame AMD for dragging their feet and not providing CPUID information, the MOBO manufacturers begged for the data and it's no 'fun' for them to RMA the MOBO. Hopefully, all MOBO's will offer the equivalent to ASUS USB BIOS Flashback, no CPU, no RAM, no GPU, ... no problem flashing the BIOS. See -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI-zGV8SLho

Some AM3+ MOBO also offer a user replaceable 'BIOS ROM chip.'
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February 12, 2012 12:28:25 AM

Eureka!!! Thanks for this info. I have been struggling with this problem for the last week and it has been driving me nuts!!. I am building a gaming machine for my son (and me) and using the Sabertooth 990FX MB with the AMD 6100FX 6 core and it just would not post.. no Beep codes nothing. There is a note in the CPU box from AMD saying to upgrade the BIOS prior to use, but I figured that could not be applying to a completely new build with a FX board straight out of the box . You would think ASUS and AMD would give better customer service and would either be recalling boards manufactured prior to the revision or at least letting retailers know to advise customers of what they are walking into. This is just not good enough.
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