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Do I need to flash BIOS? If so, what is the risk?

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December 28, 2012 1:13:55 PM

Hello, I recently bought an i5-3570k processor to replace my old i3-2100. As my motherboard (Asus P8Z68-V LX) was intended for SB chips I believe I have to flash my BIOS. My computer doesn't boot properly and resets itself constantly when my new CPU is installed and a red light next to my RAM turns on. I've tried tightening my heatsink to varying degrees and have removed and replaced my RAM all to no avail.

My first question is this: is flashing my BIOS completely necessary in this case? I've heard it's very risky when flashing via Windows and I'd prefer to just send the new CPU back and get a 2500k rather than breaking my motherboard, not to mention that I'm not even sure BIOS update is needed. Secondly, what are the risks of flashing via Windows? I've heard Asus have a good track record with this method but I'm not exactly an expert nor even confident when it comes to things like this.

Thanks. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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a b V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 1:41:51 PM

According to your boards CPU support list the 3570K is supported on BIOS 3703 and after, if you have an older BIOS then a BIOS flash is needed.

The main issue with BIOS flashing is that it is for the most part, a non reversible process if something goes wrong. If say you were to flash your BIOS chip and power were to go out in the middle of the flash, then this would corrupt the installation and render your board unusable.

There are many BIOS flashing walktrhoughs online though, if you follow the steps correctly then you should be just fine.
December 28, 2012 1:51:16 PM

does your board have dual bios? If so then your good to go, I believe. If something were to go wrong it will just auto copy the old bios over. Like CDdude55 said, if your bios is older then 3703 then flash it. I just flashed an asus board the other day it went fine, not that this is a predictor for you or anything :)  If you do not wish to risk it then send it back and get a 2500k. If in any circumstance you can not accept the board going bad then send it back.
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a c 264 V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 1:59:43 PM

More modern motherboards, Asus included are reasonably tolerant of a failed flash.
Some even have removeable bios chips and the ability to flash without a cpu or ram present.
Read your motherboard manual; there should be several flashing methods.
My P8P67-M PRO has a EZ flash capability that will update from a USB stick(fat32/16 format) that contains the new bios.
For what it is worth, I successfully flashed my motherboard to 3602 and it supports my 3570K.
I think that the usb stick is better, since it bypasses any possibility of OS related failures.
In the event of a bad flash, the EZ flash utility can restore your bios to the original which should be included on the cd the motherboard supplied.

If you have flaky wall power, it might be a good time to buy a ups that will give you 5 minutes of up time, regardless.
a c 559 V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 2:02:08 PM

Hi, Use EZ Flash in BIOS. In the worst case scenario (flashing goes wrong), you can buy a new BIOS chip and replace the board's one (it's on socket).
Download the latest file from http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Intel_Socket_1155/P8Z6... unzip and save it on a FAT formatted USB stick.
Enter BIOS, set it to default, restart, then enter BIOS again and use EZ Flash.
December 28, 2012 2:13:22 PM

I've never had a failed BIOS flash. As others have said, ASUS's EZ Flash allows you to do the update off of a USB drive from within the BIOS rather than from within Windows. Taking the OS out of the equation means a much smaller risk of a failed flash. You should have no problems at all.
December 28, 2012 2:53:00 PM

Okay, EZ Flash seems like a good bet and pretty straight forward. Forgot to mention that my BIOS version is 0703, so I guess I'll have to flash unless I want to buy a 2500k. Thanks for the help.
December 28, 2012 3:02:35 PM

Yes I'm aware. Was pretty sure that my BIOS version was out-dated but I needed to replace my new CPU to check as I couldn't boot.

Just to be absolutely certain, a BIOS flash is completely necessary and was the source of my inability to boot in the first place?
a c 264 V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 3:08:58 PM

brain_in_a_vat said:
Yes I'm aware. Was pretty sure that my BIOS version was out-dated but I needed to replace my new CPU to check as I couldn't boot.

Just to be absolutely certain, a BIOS flash is completely necessary and was the source of my inability to boot in the first place?


I think that a non supported bios will be the cause of your problem.
I might have thought that is might not have been necessary to update the bios, but your experience indicated that you do need the bios update.
a c 559 V Motherboard
December 28, 2012 3:13:59 PM

Without the required BIOS version, the system would not boot.
December 28, 2012 4:48:13 PM

Thanks for the quick, pertinent advice.
December 29, 2012 9:53:04 AM

Hey. Flashed BIOS using Asus EZ Flash, inserted new CPU and now I'm faced with a new problem: my computer seems to boot, lights turn on etc and my fans are working, but nothing appears on the screen and the light on my monitor just flashes on and off. When I first installed my new CPU after the flash my computer seemed to boot, then turned off, then booted again after a few seconds and stayed on which caused initial concern.

edit: fiddling around with RAM, taking it out replacing them etc then after trying to boot it again it didn't turn on at all. Tried again a minute later and it worked. It's all very erratic, any suggestions?
a c 559 V Motherboard
December 29, 2012 10:04:37 AM

Try reinstalling the CPU and test the board outside the case, on the board's box. Have you cleaned the old paste and reapplied?
Check also the CPU socket for bent pins.
December 29, 2012 11:32:11 AM

Took out CPU, seems that motherboard socket had some bits in it (haven't got the faintest clue how they got in there) and I believe a pin was bent. Removed bits and straightened pin but the 3570k still doesn't work. Replaced with my old i3 and that doesn't work. Safe to say I've destroyed my motherboard? There were also dark patches on the underside of my 3570k (side that faces socket) on the golden parts (don't know name) and what looks like thermal paste. That stuff is a frigging nuisance.
a c 559 V Motherboard
December 29, 2012 11:40:15 AM

Do you have a case speaker for connecting it to the motherboard?
December 29, 2012 11:43:14 AM

Hmm I don't think so. Do you get one with the motherboard? I'm not even sure what it is to be honest.
December 29, 2012 12:06:00 PM

Ah ok, can't find one on any of the big websites though. Sorry could you explain how exactly these things work? If my motherboard is broken surely it wouldn't work?

edit: obviously there's Newegg, but I'm from the UK.
a c 559 V Motherboard
December 29, 2012 12:32:06 PM

The easiest way would be to start the board having only the CPU and CPU fan installed. If there's a beeper connected, you would get the beeps signaling that no RAMs are installed. It's also a sign that the board and the CPU do work.
I would try RMA-ing the board though.
December 29, 2012 1:59:12 PM

There's a bent pin in the socket. Probably going to get a new motherboard since I haven't got a clue how people unbend these things.
December 29, 2012 3:15:37 PM

Ha, I've just given my computer to a local PC repair shop and the owner says he hasn't fixed a bent pin in all his years fixing computers, since 1973. I could give it a go but I'm a little skeptical that I'll be able to do it.
a b V Motherboard
December 29, 2012 7:49:57 PM

Bent pins can be a very long process (i know from experience) to the point where it might not be worth it, just depends. With motherboards it might be easier to fix the pins since you can generally see better(the pins are not all sticking up like an AMD CPU).

I had a 1055T that had multiple bent pins when i ripped it out of the CPU socket by accident and i spent hours each day just combing a card through the pins as well and trying to rebend pins individually, but it still wouldn't fit into the socket anymore. Eventually one of the pins broke off and i just said screw it and just bought a cheap CPU.

December 31, 2012 2:15:07 PM

Think I'll save the hastle and order a new motherboard. Thanks for all of the help. One more thing: I've heard that some Z77 chipset boards need a BIOS update even for Ivybridge CPUs, is this true?
a c 264 V Motherboard
December 31, 2012 6:15:25 PM

Probably not true.
The original P67 motherboards often needed a bios update.
But today, if you get reasonably fresh stock, every ivy capable motherboard will already have the appropriate bios already installed.
!