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Thread: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice




  1. #1
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    Default Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    Hi all,

    This is my first post and also my first 'wander' into the MOBO and BIOS arena, so, please be gentle.

    I have just bought a new build that has the Z87 Extreme 4. The exact specifications of the build are as follows;

    ASRock Z87 Extreme 4
    Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (4x 3.50GHz/8MB L3 Cache)
    Coolermaster Hyper 412S
    16GB DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory - Corsair XM3 with heatspreader
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780Ti 3GB 16X PCIe 3.0 Video Card
    Corsair 850 Watts RM850 80 Plus Gold Gaming Power Supply – T
    24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW
    Samsung SSD 840 Pro 250GB

    So, I booted the PC up with Windows disc in and set the boot device to CD for first position (old school way). Installed windows with no issues and loaded into Windows. I proceeded to install the MOBO Driver disc (Actually installing some of the utilities before seeing the drivers tab and then installing the drivers thereafter.) At this point, no problems.

    Upon the first, second or even third (I can't quite remember specifically) I noticed that, the BIOS loading screen was just stuck on start up. This is not the BIOS settings screen, it is simply the screen that shows ASROCK (black background white writing) and and the options on the bottom right hand of the screen stating 'F2 blablabla, F3 Blabla etc'.

    Upon waiting 20+ minutes (assuming that it was working on something as it was a new installation) I decided to hit the reset button on the tower. Low and behold, it restarted, straight back to windows, no problems.

    Upon then installing some more software and needing the mandatory restart, it happened a few more times. I followed the same procedure and then continued.

    During installation of software on the PC itself, I started to notice a little 'lag' in the UAC. I found this incredibly strange, but after sometimes 5-15 seconds, the UAC would show up and then I was able to continue. This kind of thing I would not expect, using an SSD etc. Especially on a new fresh Windows install.

    I started to put two and two together and though, that the freeze on start up and the UAC slight 'freeze' could well be related.

    Upon Googling I found that many people have issues with this MOBO, that are almost identical to mine. Looking and reading and scrolling, it seems that the MOBO needs a BIOS update to help the usage of the Intel chip set I am using and also to help with a few other things.

    My question is, for a complete newbie, should I update the BIOS? I am running the stock BIOS and if these problems are caused because of that reason and are resolved by updating to the latest BIOS here (ASRock > Z87 Extreme4) then should I be doing it??

    The second question; I have read through how to update BIOS and seen the different options. Seeing my limited knowledge, I would think that using the Windows version of the flash would be better? Is the Windows flash version, just as safe to use at the moment or are people experiencing problems with it AND if I use the latest 2.70 version does it ALSO include the all the fixes and updates from 2.30 and 2.60? Or should I update sequentially by using 2.30 then updating to 2.60 then finally updating to 2.70?

    I thank you in advance for your help! and I look forward to an answer that allows me to fix my issues swiftly....heehee!

    Rheco

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    The "freezing" or "locking" issue was with earlier versions of the UEFI and they were only manifested when you are enter UEFI, i.e. they did not affect Windows.

    As for your question - Yes. Its generally a good idea to upgrade your UEFI as you might find stability/performance improvements. However the freezeing that you describe (and coupled with the first time freeze at boot) could mean a damaged or dying HDD/SSD. Make sure you check the SMART of all connected hdd/ssd and if something is showing signs of wear - backup and remove from your system. Also check the temperatures, the system might be overheating and throttling (Haswell's run quite hot).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    Hey,

    Thank you for your answer. This is all new Hardware, apart from the SSD that is only 6 months old maximum. My flat, especially at the moment is incredibly cold and last i looked, the temperature was running at, what the inter webs considered, a low temperature.

    I would have a hard time imagining it was the SSD and seeing as there have been issues with the stock BIOS, I am going on a hope and prayer that upgrading it to the latest version will resolve my issues.

    Could someone just confirm my other questions for me before doing so? or shed some light on my situation.

    Thanks!

    Rheco

  4. #4
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    The Windows program BIOS update is the least safe of the three methods available, we see the most user problems when using that method.

    Updating a BIOS is not as risky or difficult as some may say it is, I do it every time a new version appears, and have used modified BIOS files, and have never had a problem. But I always use the Instant Flash method.

    I have several ASRock boards, including a Z87 Extreme 6, and have updated the BIOS many times, always using the Instant Flash method. That is the safest BIOS update method, I have never had a problem using Instant Flash. It is really not difficult, all you need is a USB flash drive:

    Download the Instant Flash BIOS file, which is a compressed .zip file. Once downloaded, just right click on the file, select Extract, just use the default folder destination, and click Extract. When complete you should have a file in the created folder called Z87Ex42.70.

    Copy that file to the main folder of the USB flash drive. Use one of the USB 2.0 ports on the board's I/O panel when you run Instant Flash. When all set up, restart the PC into the BIOS.

    Go to the Instant Flash utility entry in the BIOS, in the Tools menu. If you put the correct file on the USB flash drive, the Z87Ex42.70 file will be listed as a selection. Just click on that entry and sit back and watch it work.

    When complete, you will be prompted to restart the PC, and do so. Don't worry about removing the USB flash drive, just leave it in place for now.

    After every BIOS update, you are required to go into the BIOS and at least click on "Load UEFI (BIOS) Defaults" in the Exit menu. IF you have any BIOS option settings that you use that are not default values, you MUST reset those options to whatever setting you use. You should check the boot order in the Boot menu to be sure it is the correct OS drive. Standard procedure for BIOS updates. After that, just Save and Exit and you should boot into Windows. Remove the USB flash drive whenever you choose at this point.

    All the changes done in earlier BIOS versions are ALL included in the latest BIOS version, no need to perform them all sequentially.

    The lag you described can be a symptom of a problem with a SSD. The 840 Pro is a very high quality SSD, so unlikely to have a problem, but nothing is perfect.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    Thank you parsec, it is much appreciated.

    Just some smaller questions to make sure I am on the correct path, if I may?

    Should I make sure the USB pen I use is completely formatted before putting the file on it and using this method?
    Should I go straight for the 2.70 update as per the previous link provided AND is this the latest version (just checking...)
    I will try the latest BIOS version and see if I have this problem with the UAC, but if not, do you have any idea how to check the SSD?

    and lastly, would you suggest that because of these issues it would be an idea to format again after flashing the BIOS? I understand that BIOS flashes obviously do not affect Windows in general, but I wondered if installing some of the Utilities before the Drivers might have caused an issue?

    Thanks

    Rheco

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    Also,

    After a bit of investigation and for people reading this (in-case you receive the same issues) the UAC thing is normally directly related to Graphics drivers. I have just been perusing the inter-webs and stumbled across it. This, of course was happening before I installed the cards driver set. So, to help with the UAC delay issue, simply install the Driver chip set from the manufacturer and hey-presto. Hope this little bit helped too.

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Z87 Extreme 4 BIOS update advice

    When installing Windows on an Intel CPU/chipset system, the order of driver/software installation should be this:

    1. Intel® Chipset Device Software (INF Update Utility), your board's INF driver ver:9.4.0.1026

    2. Intel® Management Engine Interface, your board's Intel Management Engine driver ver:9.5.14.1724

    After that it doesn't matter, although I prefer to install the storage controller driver before proceeding.

    If you don't install the Chipset Device Software, the main chipset and other devices on the board will not be identified correctly when any other software or drivers are installed. That is why it is critical to run that installer first.

    The USB pen drive does not need to be empty, if that is what you mean by formatted. The Instant Flash utility will list the BIOS files it finds on the USB drive, and if other files confuse it for some reason, then you would need an empty USB pen drive.

    BIOS 2.70 is the latest version, and you will get all the updates/changes from previous BIOS versions in that version.

    UAC was delayed due to the INF files being missing? That's strange and amazing that is the only problem you've had without the INF files being installed.

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