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Asus Sabertooth x79 can't flash BIOS via USB drive

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January 3, 2013 6:27:37 AM

Hello,
I've formatted a FAT32 usb drive with the latest bios for the Asus Sabertooth x79, straight from the asus website. It is properly renamed to SABERX79.ROM and the only file in the root directory. The LED blinks several times then stays a steady blue indicating a failed attempt.

I've tried many different versions of the BIOS, the .ROM and .CAP ones as well as the converter update. I also tried on two different memory sticks freshly formatted to FAT32. Every attempt just gives the steady blue LED which is extremely frustrating.
I am trying to update the BIOS which will recognize my RAM, this is confirmed to solve the problems with corsair vengence RAM.

One last thing I've tried is resetting the CMOS between attempts but that doesn't work either.

Thanks in advance for any help. I would really appreciate any help.
January 3, 2013 7:41:58 AM

i think you may have tried to change the name on windows, so the filename is SABERX79.ROM.ROM
try removing the rom at the end.
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January 3, 2013 3:08:55 PM

Unfortunately that wasn't the case, but it was worth trying. Thanks anyway..I'm starting to think I'm just having bad luck with the x79 reading the usb drive. Someone else said they repeated the same exact process with a different usb drive and it "magically" worked.
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a c 116 Ĉ ASUS
a c 462 V Motherboard
January 3, 2013 4:11:10 PM

you have to use the onboard flash updater to update the mb to bios 1203 from any lower one. then you have to run bios converter to change the bios from a .rom to a.cap the rom converter will update your bios to rev 2002. after that done your usb flashback should work. if not i would use the onboard bios updater to update the bios and then see if there still a bug.
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January 3, 2013 5:01:55 PM

smorizio said:
you have to use the onboard flash updater to update the mb to bios 1203 from any lower one. then you have to run bios converter to change the bios from a .rom to a.cap the rom converter will update your bios to rev 2002. after that done your usb flashback should work. if not i would use the onboard bios updater to update the bios and then see if there still a bug.



Thanks, but I'm not quite sure how to use the onboard flash updater. My system won't POST, so I'm not sure if that's necessary to do the onboard updater. I can't even find out what version of the BIOS I currently have...it's the sabertooth x79 Rev 1.02 but besides that I'm not sure.

I'll do more research on the onboard flash updater in the meantime.

Additional Info::
I called Asus tech support, and he seems to think it's a problem with the USB stick. He said anything over 8GB has never flashed properly, so I ran out and got the lowest I could find (4 GB.) Repeating the same process with the new 4gb stick, again I get a steady LED light indicating an error. He said he has an old 1GB that he uses for all the flashing but I can't find anything that low without ordering online.

EDIT - Even more info:
The main reason I'm doing this is because of a DRAM error. Updating the BIOS will fix it supposedly. The several users who reported it to work say the Version 0906 BIOS update got their memory to be compatible. That makes sense since one of the improvements listed is Enhanced DRAM compatibility. I must currently have any of the versions below 0906.
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January 3, 2013 6:08:56 PM

I found a sticker on the MB hiding under the graphics card, the last 4 digits are
2104

I'm fairly sure that's the BIOS version it shipped with.

The Corsair RAM was supposedly made compatible back in 0906 so I don't understand how it could be a BIOS issue...
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a c 150 Ĉ ASUS
a c 558 V Motherboard
January 3, 2013 6:39:35 PM

Hi, Is it a new setup? Has the system worked?
Have you tried installing the board outside the case and starting it with only one RAM stick installed?
What's the RAMs model and what CPU is installed?
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a c 116 Ĉ ASUS
a c 462 V Motherboard
January 3, 2013 6:47:54 PM

make sure your cpu heat sink not crushing the mb or there a short. the last thing to look at is bent pins under the cpu.
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January 3, 2013 7:26:59 PM

alexoiu said:
Hi, Is it a new setup? Has the system worked?
Have you tried installing the board outside the case and starting it with only one RAM stick installed?
What's the RAMs model and what CPU is installed?



It's a new setup. I haven't gotten it to post yet.

MB: Asus Sabertooth x79
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x 8GB) CMZ32X3M4X1866C10
CPU: Intel i7 3820

I've tried just one RAM stick in the recommended slot (D1) and get the same DRAM light, I tested each stick individually and none work. I don't think it's likely that I would have gotten 4 dead sticks.

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January 3, 2013 7:45:06 PM

smorizio said:
make sure your cpu heat sink not crushing the mb or there a short. the last thing to look at is bent pins under the cpu.


The heat sink was on a bit tight, so I tried to boot without it on and still got the DRAM error. I pulled out the CPU and checked for bent pins but everything looked ok. The last thing I did was put everything back in and didn't tighten down the heat sink as tight but still no luck.

Btw I'm testing with one RAM stick in the recommended slot.

Thank you both for the help so far, hopefully we can get it fixed.

To be clear:
The main issue is the DRAM error. The BIOS fix was what I was hoping would fix the DRAM error, however that is not the primary error. Anything to get past the DRAM error and get to POST would be fantastic...this is driving me nuts :heink: 
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January 3, 2013 8:10:34 PM

Sorry, it won't let me edit the post but I typed the ram information wrong
Fixed:
CMZ32GX3M4X1866C10
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a c 150 Ĉ ASUS
a c 558 V Motherboard
January 3, 2013 8:46:11 PM

If the board is inside the case, take it outside and test again (check each slot). Make sure that the RAM module is properly inserted.
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January 4, 2013 11:47:09 PM

alexoiu said:
If the board is inside the case, take it outside and test again (check each slot). Make sure that the RAM module is properly inserted.


I've made a little progress, thanks for posting. I took the MB outside the case which allowed me to do the BIOS flash. I've updated to the newest version. Unfortunately, that did not help with the RAM issue though as I thought it would...so I'm still stuck not being able to POST.

I tried each of the four RAM modules in the recommended slot D1 with the board outside of the case, and still no luck.

The MemOK button does not resolve the issue either. So now the BIOS issue is fixed, but the only reason for doing that was to fix the main RAM problem and it didn't solve it :fou: 

The ASUS tech support is saying that the processor is probably DOA, it's an Intel i7-3820. Could that be possible?
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a c 150 Ĉ ASUS
a c 558 V Motherboard
January 5, 2013 6:46:41 AM

I suggest testing the other slots too (not only D1) with a RAM module (insert the stick, power on, if still the same power off and insert the stick in the next slot a.s.o).
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a c 116 Ĉ ASUS
a c 462 V Motherboard
January 5, 2013 2:59:54 PM

it can be as the ram controller is built into the cpu on intel. most times thogh it a group of bent pins under the cpu. you wont be able to tell unless you have good eyes and or a magnifier.
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January 5, 2013 4:08:56 PM

Great... I've got the same parts coming (cept I'll be running a 3870x). I too am concerned about this bios flash deal, but I'm wondering why it suddenly worked for you when you took it out of the case?

Also, did you flash to 1203 and do the conversion, or did you try to go right to the current bios (3203)?

Appreciate the pre-trouble shooting advice, and please keep us informed as to what the deal is with yours.
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Best solution

a c 116 Ĉ ASUS
a c 462 V Motherboard
January 5, 2013 10:14:59 PM

lot of times the i\o fingers short out the mb.
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January 6, 2013 8:13:19 PM

Any updates to this?
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January 7, 2013 2:00:50 AM

Sorry for the delay, I haven't made much progress this weekend but I'll answer the above posts.

I was able to get a replacement motherboard sent out so I'll be testing that tomorrow once it arrives. I'm really hoping that solves it, otherwise I'll be trying to get a replacement processor as the next piece of hardware to test.

@alexoiu I tried one stick of RAM separately in each of the 8 slots, and none of the slots got it to POST. I saw this fixed it for someone else on another forum but no luck here

@smorizio thanks, that is good to hear because I'm hoping the issue is the motherboard and the new one will fix the errors. Before requesting the replacement I took the heatsync off, cleaned off all the thermal paste and re-seated everything. No luck there.

@jjkrogs Nice, they're good parts when they're working. The problems with the RAM and MB seemed to stop appearing on forums around April 2012 so I'm guessing the new boards ship with compatible BIOS. In my case, I had v 2104 on the board from the factory so I just went ahead and flashed it to the 3203 bios (.CAP file, not a .ROM file)

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January 7, 2013 3:26:11 AM

Good to hear (about the bios). Sorry to hear about your issues, though. Let us know when you figure it out!
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January 10, 2013 7:27:20 AM

Good news!

I swapped out the motherboard, and the RAM issue was solved :D 

Also, the RAM was compatible out of the box. I didn't need to flash the BIOS however I did that anyway before installing the OS.

Thanks to everyone who posted
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January 11, 2013 3:04:12 AM

Excellent!
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January 15, 2013 12:35:03 PM

For what it's worth, my board flashed perfectly and my build works very well-- so I was able to avoid a similar issue.
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January 25, 2013 12:42:11 AM

Awesome, I'm glad to hear it!
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January 25, 2013 12:42:49 AM

Best answer selected by DrKickflip13.
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