We often come across the words BIOS or BIOS Flashback. These words are generally associated with the motherboards we have in our system. But not many of us know what they actually mean. However, if you are one of them, then we have you covered. In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about BIOS, BIOS Flashback, and how you can flash your BIOS.
What Is BIOS?
BIOS, the basic input-output system is a small piece of code imprinted on-chip on your system’s motherboard. Upon starting the computer, the BIOS is the first software that runs and accordingly identifies your computer’s hardware, configures it, tests it, and then connects it to the OS for further instructions. This entire process is termed the BOOT Process. During this booting process, the BIOS initializes the computer’s hardware and accordingly searches for a boot device (optical/storage drive) to boot your respective OS.
When you turn on the computer, the BIOS tests the computer to make sure that all the requirements are met. In addition, it ensures that the hardware is running correctly before the OS boots up. If the computer passes the test, the internal speakers make a single short beep indicating that everything is in order and the computer is ready and booting up normally. However, suppose the speakers fail to make that beep or makes multiple beeps at once. In that case, it indicates that the computer is unsynchronised, and the computer is in dire need of troubleshooting to determine the problem.
What Is BIOS Flashback?
The BIOS flashback is a feature that allows you to update your old or new UEFI BIOS version motherboards without even having a CPU or DRAM installed. The BIOS flashback is generally used in conjunction with a flash drive (USB) and the flashback USB port located at the rear end of your I/O panel. In simple words, the BIOS flashback lets your motherboard upgrade the BIOS without the need for any processor, memory, or video card.
Also read: Overclocking with Ryzen Master vs BIOS
How To Use BIOS Flashback?
It is effortless to flash your BIOS. All you need to is follow the instructions carefully, and your BIOS will be updated in no time. Before flashing your BIOS, be sure to read the manufacturer’s spec sheet (Manual) regarding the flashback port.
- Users reported issues when they tried flashing their BIOS using the newer USB 3.0 drives. Therefore, ensure that you have an older USB 2.0 flash drive nearby.
- Top X570, Z590 and B550 motherboards and some X470, B450 and Z490 motherboards come with BIOS Flashback Support
- The USB must consistently be formatted as FAT32.
- Always EJECT the USB to avoid potential damage to the motherboard.
To use BIOS Flashback, follow the given steps.
- Launch your Internet browser
- Go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website (MSI, Gigabyte, ASUS, ASRock)
- Search for your motherboard model on the website
- Double-check to ensure that it is the same model which you have
- On the manufacturer’s website, click on Support
- Look for the BIOS section (this section is generally located under “Drive And Utility“)
- You will now see a list of BIOS updates with their respective release dates. The latest BIOS update will appear at the top.
- Download The Latest Version (Zip file)
- Once the download is complete, extract the zipped download file anywhere on your system.
- Rename the BIOS File as follows for the respective motherboards (You don’t need to rename BIOS file if you have an ASUS motherboard. Simply double click to run the file, and the file will automatically rename itself)
- For Gigabyte motherboards, rename the file to gigabyte.bin
- For MSI motherboards, rename the file to msi.rom
- For ASRock motherboards, rename the file to creative.rom
Note: It does NOT matter if you use Uppercase or Lower case letters when renaming the file
- Insert your USB Flash Drive
- Locate your Flash Drive inside “My PC/Windows File Explorer.”
- Right-click on the USB drive and select “Format.”
- Select “FAT32” as the format type
- Move the RENAMED BIOS File into the base directory of the USB drive
- EJECT the USB safely (Do NOT directly remove the USB drive from the USB port as it can cause potential damage to both the system and the USB drive )
- Connect the power supply to the 24-pin main and 8-pin EPS power connectors on the motherboard.
- Now connect the power supply into the nearest wall socket
- Turn on the main switch
- Turn on the wall switch (the switch on the motherboard)
- Locate the USB Port on the back of your motherboard
- Insert the USB Flash Drive in the USB port labeled as “BIOS.”
- Once the drive is inserted, press the small BIOS Flash Button.
Note: In some motherboards, you will need to press and hold the BIOS flash button for at least 3 seconds
NEVER start a BIOS update when there’s no electricity in your household
- Press the BIOS Flashback Button for three seconds until the Flashlight LED light blinks. If the LED light blinks three times, it means that your BIOS Flashback is enabled
- Once the update is complete, the LED light will stop flashing
- Safely eject the USB drive
- Disconnect the power supply
Once the BIOS flashback is successfully complete, you can now boot up into your BIOS screen after connecting your monitor and keyboard.
1. Can you Flash a BIOS without a CPU?
Yes, you can flash a BIOS without a CPU. The majority of the modern-day motherboards come with a feature that lets your flash your BIOS without having a CPU memory or GPU installed. In order to flash a BIOS without a CPU, all you need is a power supply connected to the 24-pin main and 8-pin EPS power connectors on the motherboard.
2. Does my Motherboard support BIOS Flashback?
Generally, every motherboard comes with added support to the BIOS flashback. However, to check whether your motherboard supports BIOS flashback, refer to the specifications sheet on the manufacturer’s website.
The BIOS flashback is generally referred to by different terms based on the manufacturer.
– There will be a specific BIOS Flashback Button on ASRock motherboards
– It is called as the USB BIOS Flashback on ASUS motherboards
– It is referred to as the Q-Flash Plus on Gigabyte motherboards
– It is called the Flash BIOS Button on MSI motherboards
If you have any of the motherboards from the above-mentioned manufacturers, go to the manufacturer’s website and check the spec sheet. Locate the make and model of your motherboard to check whether it supports BIOS flashback or not.
3. How long does a BIOS Flashback take?
It generally takes a minute or two for a successful USB BIOS Flashback. However, the BIOS file size may affect the update, and the BIOS Flashback can take 8 minutes to update. So make sure you wait for at least 20-30 minutes before you take any action if there’s a delay.
4. How to know whether the BIOS Flashback is successful?
Press the BIOS Flashback Button for three seconds until the Flashlight LED light blinks. If the LED light blinks three times, it means that your BIOS Flashback is enabled.
We hope our article was successfully able to walk you through what BIOS and BIOS Flashback is and how to use them. The majority of the modern-day motherboards come with BIOS Flashback support. However, to check whether your motherboard supports BIOS flashback, refer to the specifications sheet on the manufacturer’s website.
It is possible to flash your BIOS without the CPU memory. All you need to do is follow the instructions carefully, and your BIOS Flashback will be over within no time. In addition, ensure that that the power supply is well connected and turned on during the update. If you lose power during the update, it can damage your motherboard. NEVER run a BIOS flashback during a power outage, power cuts, or voltage fluctuations.