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Thread: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT




  1. #1
    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Default ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    I have an H67M-ITX/HT board running Windows 7 up-to-date. I just upgraded the BIOS to 2.20 and have inadvertently created a nightmare.

    BIOS download URL:
    www.asrock.com/mb/overview.us.asp?cat=Download&os=BIOS&Model=H67M-ITX/HT

    The upgrade followed the instructions and succeeded. Unfortunately, I can only boot into Windows by luck. Most reboots or power ups wind up in the "ASROCK UEFI SETUP UTILITY" screen (normally invoked by F2/Delete) which appears to be getting random phantom mouse and/or keyboard input. I suspect that my BIOS settings have been trashed by this BIOS.

    Since I can still get into Windows sometimes (miraculously interrupting the errant BIOS with my own F11 presses and mousing), I'd appreciate it if anyone had a BIOS fallback image and procedure. I am hoping that my motherboard isn't "bricked".

    Richard

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    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    Tried to fallback to BIOS 2.10. Same situation arises.

    BIOS 2.10 and 2.20 are the only two BIOS images provided by ASROCK for H67M-ITX/HT.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    I assume you have a Sandy Bridge CPU, which is usually the case when users in your situation change to the Ivy Bridge CPU compatible BIOS.

    I wish ASRock provided more warnings and instructions on the BIOS download page. Version 2.20 has all the changes of 2.10, 2.10 being what should be called (as Intel does) a "transition" BIOS. The instructions for 2.10, which say to reboot the PC after the BIOS flash, while leaving the USB drive in the PC, since the Intel ME firmware is updated during that phase, and possibly more things as well, is absolutely necessary. If not done, the result is your current situation.

    You may be stuck getting a new BIOS chip, but I would try flashing 2.10 again, and follow the instructions that appear when you click the button to download the 2.10 BIOS. That is for the update procedure, not about the BIOS download itself.

    Also, it has never been clear if the BIOS update for IB CPUs is relevant for SB CPUs. I can understand why ASRock does not want to post a message that BIOS updates for this board when used with SB CPUs has ended, IF that is the case (unknown IMO), but isn't it worse for the customer to have a compromised board?

    The 2.10 BIOS lists all the software that must be updated when using that BIOS. Have you done that?

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    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    Parsec,

    Yes, I have an Intel i3-2100T (2.5GHz) "Sandy Bridge" CPU.

    The following instructions (shown when you click to download) were inconsistent and seemed to contradict the pictorial instructions under the red cross:
    1. To support Intel's 3rd Generation (Ivy Bridge) CPU, corresponding BIOS, drivers, and AXTU update are required.
    2. After updating BIOS, please press any key to restart your system. At this moment, please do not remove the USB flash until Intel ME F/W update is finished.
    3. After you finish updating this BIOS, please reboot your system.
    4. Please only flash newer versions of BIOS in the future.

    To #2 I say what USB drive? There were no instructions to put anything on a USB drive.

    However, I can see now that I need to try placing the zip file contents (AMIFLDRV32.SYS, AMIFLDRV64.SYS, and H67MIHT2.10.EXE) on a USB flash drive, fork the EXE directly from the USB drive, and leave the flash drive in the USB slot throughout the reboot and BIOS execution period. Good guess?

    The software that must be updated when using that BIOS - I haven't yet installed it in Windows so I should be fine when I do.

    Thanks for reading the fine print and noticing that I hadn't! (-: Going to sleep now. When I get up tomorrow, I'll take the new procedure out for a spin and report back.

    Richard

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    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Question ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT w/ Sandy Bridge

    Updating from USB flash drive:
    1. Copied zip file contents (AMIFLDRV32.SYS, AMIFLDRV64.SYS, and H67MIHT2.10.EXE) to the flash drive.
    2. Launched the EXE from the falsh drive as Administrator. Got the warning to kill all other programs. Complied.
    3. When the EXE was done, it prompted me to reboot. Complied, leaving the flash drive drive in.
    4. Upon restart in BIOS 2.10, no change in behavior (looping through every menu entry).
    5. The UEFI never detects anything useful on the flash drive ("not found"). WHen it gets to that pop-up, I click it to retry detection several times but it fails each time. So, I click on Configuration or just let it timeout and go back to the looping throu8gh the configuration.

    If I plug my USB optical drive with or without a CD/DVD, the BIOS seems to have a good Boot entry for that so it will try there and then some process (?) reverts to the SATA SSD and Windows 7 comes up (although my eSATA drive is not recognized - changed it to a USB connection which of course works). Obviously, I don't want to keep my portable optical drive plugged in on a permanent basis.

    Went through the H67M-ITX/HT motherboard erase CMOS process (did not remove CMOS battery - just the jumper procedure). That worked once as one expected: When I booted, the BIOS prompted me to load the default UEFI data, I said Y, and the BIOS booted directly from the SSD without the portable CD/DVD drive plugged in. I almost declared victory. I subsequently rebooted from Windows (to see if success is repeatable) and now I am back in the same state as before (seemingly erratic UEFI looping behavior). Yes, I can leave the portable optical drive plugged in in order to boot into Windows (ugh) but I cannot control my machine at all E.g. the fans which are stuck in ALWAYS ON (loudly, I might add) and they don't need to be.

    Being quite hopeful, I went through all of that again with BIOS 2.20. Same result from external appearances.

    I an experienced systems programmer and have done BIOS upgrades many times in the past, going back to the DOS days of the 1980s. Normally, a command line was used so I might be somewhat confused by the GUI. So, I have been letting the GUI run for as much as 20 minutes at a time. I think that it is looping. Sometimes it freezes after awhile (keyboard, mouse dead).

    I am probably overlooking something being "too close to the patient". I see only these solutions in order of preference/undesirability:

    (1) Obtain (somehow) another BIOS (1.x ?) that is known to support my exact configuration - listed below.
    (2) Bite the bullet and have my BIOS hardware replaced somehow (keep the motherboard).
    (3) Write off this motherboard (very undesirable solution, IMO).

    #1 is by far the best, IMO.

    Lessons-learned from this little adventure:
    (1) Me: Avoid BIOS upgrades whenever possible (You'd think that I'd learn by now!). I totally overlooked the ASROCK statement: "We donít recommend users to update the BIOS if their system is already running normally."
    (2) ASROCK: Assuming that people have a good reason to proceed with a BIOS upgrade, they need complete and accurate documentation for BIOS upgrades. Please review what you have now and ask yourself: If it was me, would I be able to safely upgrade my BIOS? The order of presentation, clarity, and consistency are very important. For example, when one clicks on "How to Upgrade" (little red cross), one sees a very nice visual but very out of date procedure which no longer applies. It seems to be from 2007. When one clicks on one of the adjacent the download buttons, one sees a brief incomplete write-up that mentions "USB" and "Ivory Bridge" but doesn't include much about those terms.
    (3) BIOS Manufacturers (E.g. AMI): If a BIOS upgrade is incompatible with a particular motherboard, CPU, or chipset, then you should diagnose it in your Windows EXE upgrade utility BEFORE modifying UEFI/BIOS i.e. DO NOT PROCEED.

    All comments, criticisms, enhanced documentation/procedures, and suggestions are most welcome.

    Thank you,

    Richard

    Configuration (I should have furnished this yesterday!):
    • H67M-ITX/HT LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
    • Intel Core i3-2100T Sandy Bridge 2.5GHz LGA 1155 35W Dual-Core Desktop Processor
    • Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32100T
    • OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-60G 2.5" 60GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
    • External SATA (or USB-attached) IOMEGA 1TB drive
    • Habey EMC-800S Silver Heavy duty 3mm aluminum Slim Mini-ITX HTPC/NAS/Server

  6. #6
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    I agree with some of your comments, except for avoiding BIOS updates. I've updated multiple BIOS versions on multiple boards and have never had a problem.

    In your case, you unwittingly chose to update to what I call the "perfect storm" BIOS update. The number of BIOS updates of this type, to support the new generation CPU on the previous CPU generation's chipset and board, are extremely rare for Intel platforms, IMO this is the only one of this type that exists. Yours is the most recent of a long line of threads in this forum about updating to the Ivy Bridge CPU supporting BIOS, while using a Sandy Bridge CPU, on any and all Sandy Bridge/6 series chipset boards.

    Why people do this escapes me, although you are very correct in your comments that documentation and warnings are slim to none on this topic. ASRock seems to be among the worst offenders, but other board manufactures are not much better. Yes, the update instructions are very out of date, and terse to put in mildly.

    Anyway, the damage is done, time to move on. You can get a new BIOS chip from ASRock, which may charge you for that honor. If you go this route, I would discuss what BIOS version will be on the new chip, I don't think you want the 2.10 or 2.20 versions for your system.

    I managed to find an older BIOS file for your board, at that odd library of PC files, StationDrivers. I offer this to you As Is, no guarantee, etc:

    ASROCK H67M-ITX/HT bios & drivers

    Whether or not you can get that 1.30 version to install on your board is unknown to me, as BIOS updates to earlier versions may or may not work, depending on the board. I've done that fine on an ASUS board I have, but never on an ASRock board, and I have never owned your board.

    When you say "... known to support my exact configuration...", are you serious? I wish you luck finding that person, or I should say them finding this thread, and then responding. Matching your hardware is not the issue for 99.99% of current BIOS/UEFI firmware, but again the update you performed is one of the 0.01%, sorry to say.

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    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    Parsec,

    Thanks for the link (ASROCK H67M-ITX/HT bios & drivers) and for your taking the time to compose a thoughtful reply.

    Current status: My BIOS 2.20 operation is stable and the settings (E.g. CPU and case fans!) are under operational control as long as my portable optical drive is plugged in when I power up or reboot. I have no idea why this is needed because I did load "default" settings + save and exit while under control but I am thankful for my current stability.

    Having said that, I am going to try falling back to a BIOS that matches the H67M-ITX/HT on my purchase date (Feb 2012) - as you said "1.30". If that doesn't get me back to where I was before I started the large distraction then (a) I'll fall forward to 2.20 again and live with my current situation or (b) (worst case) replace the BIOS.

    Richard

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    texadactyl is offline Junior Member
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    Thumbs up Motherboard H67M-ITX/HT BIOS 2.20 >> 1.30 (Success)



    It worked well. I just have a brief FW warning and an invitation to F2/Del into setup but the BIOS proceeds to normal processing rather quickly. I no longer need connect my portable optical drive when I boot.

    I did try loading UEFI defaults to see if it would make the warning disappear but it persists. No bother.

    Great tip, Parsec.

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    parsec's Avatar
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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    Great, glad that worked for you!!

    Frankly, I think you are one of the few people that were able to change to an earlier BIOS version, after attempting to apply (or really skip) the dreaded SB to IB CPU support BIOS version, while still using a SB CPU, and having problems afterwards.

    That firmware warning is probably caused by the Intel IME firmware (not driver) being updated as part of the version 2.10 (and later, 2.20) BIOS update. The 1.30 BIOS does nothing to the IME firmware, so you are left with that remnant of the 2.20 update, IMO.

    Actually, the Intel IME software used on the 7 and 8 series chipset boards (you have a 6 series, H67) has a scheduled task in Windows that checks for an IME firmware update or recovery. I have no idea if that has been installed on your Windows installation, but you can check for "Intel Manageability Engine Firmware Recovery Agent", as an installed program in Windows Program and Features. I don't recall this program being used on my 6 series chipset board, but it might have been.

    OTOH, would running that program on demand (as you can) be a good or bad thing? Given the word "Recovery" in the name, would it "fix" the IME firmware version you now have (assuming my theory is true... ) to match your CPU? I do not know.

    That optical drive thing is strange, must be an oddball side affect of that BIOS and who knows what. I've seen a BIOS version or two that decided there was a floppy disk drive attached to the board, although one had never been used with the board, and it may have not even had a floppy disk connector. But you know how software is, some innocent looking code becomes a disaster given some crazy situation.

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    Default Re: ASROCK BIOS 2.20 seems to be trouble for motherboard H67M-ITX/HT

    Quote Originally Posted by parsec View Post
    Great, glad that worked for you!!

    Frankly, I think you are one of the few people that were able to change to an earlier BIOS version, after attempting to apply (or really skip) the dreaded SB to IB CPU support BIOS version, while still using a SB CPU, and having problems afterwards.

    That firmware warning is probably caused by the Intel IME firmware (not driver) being updated as part of the version 2.10 (and later, 2.20) BIOS update. The 1.30 BIOS does nothing to the IME firmware, so you are left with that remnant of the 2.20 update, IMO.

    Actually, the Intel IME software used on the 7 and 8 series chipset boards (you have a 6 series, H67) has a scheduled task in Windows that checks for an IME firmware update or recovery. I have no idea if that has been installed on your Windows installation, but you can check for "Intel Manageability Engine Firmware Recovery Agent", as an installed program in Windows Program and Features. I don't recall this program being used on my 6 series chipset board, but it might have been.

    .
    I replaced my SB i3-2100 with a IB i3-3225 so I had to upgrade BIOS. I installed version 2.10 and all the software recommended. My machine also started booting into the BIOS setup screen. I figured something didn't install quite right with the BIOS so I decided to try the 2.20 version, but the BIOS install screen says this version is not compatible with my MB. I also tried to install the 2.25A beta BIOS, but it also states on the install screen that it is not compatible. So the 2.10 is as high as I can go. Any reason why I'm stuck at 2.10?

    BTW - My computer does not boot into the BIOS screen every time - it seems more like every other time. Since I leave my computer running 24/7 I was not too worried about it. However, I have a more serious problem....

    Now I found that my machine is "expectantly shutting down" about four times a day. I see multiple "Kernel Power Event error 41" in the Event Viewer.
    This was not a problem before the CPU/BIOS upgrade.
    Researching Kernel Event 41, I find that this could be cause by a driver or IRQ sharing issue (among 100 other things). I reinstalled the ASRock software AXTU , Intel ME, and VGA Video Drivers (the three recommended/required software updates with the BIOS update). I don't know yet if this fixes anything. I did not see any conflicts in Device Manager.
    I just installed the Intel Smart Connect driver software.

    Does any one have any ideas on this?

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