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Thread: Enabling SecureBoot Corrupts BIOS (z77 G1.Sniper M3)




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    Default Enabling SecureBoot Corrupts BIOS (z77 G1.Sniper M3)

    Recently I decided to switch my PC, based on a Gigabyte G1.Sniper M3 z77 motherboard, from Windows 7 to Windows 10. Intending to clean install 10, I went into the BIOS to enable SecureBoot.

    Setting OS type: Windows 8 and CSM: Never, and rebooting into the BIOS resulted in a corrupted BIOS interface like so:

    Enabling SecureBoot Corrupts BIOS (z77 G1.Sniper M3)-corruption-jpg

    Loading Optimized defaults would return the UI to normal.

    If I repeated the above with the added step of installing the default secureboot keys, then the UI would be corrupt again, but then if I tried to load optimized defaults the board would effectively get soft-bricked, stuck in a short boot loop before POST and the only way to fix it is manual DualBIOS restore.



    I have stripped the system down as far as possible: Board, i7-3770 (using IGP), RAM (tried two sets), one SATA SSD.

    Of course my first thought was that the board is faulty. Gigabyte support said as much when I contacted them ("main BIOS fault"). But now I suspect it's more likely a BIOS bug that was never resolved. Why?

    1) F10f (the last BIOS for the board and the only one to support SecureBoot) is a beta BIOS.
    2) The only time the board displays faulty behavior is when enabling SecureBoot. Otherwise it's 100% normal and stable. If the BIOS chip was faulty, wouldn't there be other symptoms?
    3) Although I have been unable to find reports of secureboot issues in this particular model, I've found many strikingly similar reports referring to other Gigabyte motherboards with BIOSes from the same era:

    Code:
    http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php?topic=13147.0
    
    GA-X79-UP4 wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys, only fixed by restoring backup BIOS.
    
    "I went back in to bios, used the custom secure boot option to generate some default keys, saved the setting and rebooted. And now all I get when turning on my computer is a blank screen."
    
    Plus another user in that thread reported the same issue, didn't specify board.
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php?topic=12133.0
    
    GA-Z68XP-UD4 wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys.
    
    "Then I tried to enable Secure Boot. I used the custom secure boot option to generate some default keys, disabled CSM, and then rebooted. Afterwards, I see nothing but a blank screen. I don't even see the gigabyte logo."
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/28441-gigabyte-latest-beta-bios-909.html
    
    GA-X79-UD3 wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys, only fixed by restoring backup BIOS.
    
    "Anything newer than GA-X79-UD3 F17f has the SecureBoot bug again... Last working BIOS is F17f, all others corrupt BIOS when installing default keys."
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php/topic,13351.0.html
    
    GA-P61A-D2 wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys, only fixed by restoring backup BIOS.
    
    "When clicking save & exit the monitor just went black. The system didnt reboot like usual. I hard-resetted but the screen didnt show post. I disconnected it from the AC, pulled the CMOS battery and did clear-cmos. No luck, it just keeps giving me black screen on boot. I get no beeps or errorsounds, and the HD-led on the front pannel does two short blinks every two seconds." (the blinking light would have been because the board was looping).
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php?topic=13134.0
    
    GA-Z87M-D3H Soft-bricked after enabling SecureBoot
    
    "The latest thing I changed, was enabling secure boot in bios.
    After that, pc didn't started up again.
    Fans are runnung, LEDs are on, but no output on monitor."
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/28441-gigabyte-latest-beta-bios-818-print.html
    
    GA-Z77-D3H wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys.
    
    "Unfortunately the Z77-D3H also suffers from the "Secure Boot" bug. I have tried several versions of the bios including the latest beta F21. Installing the default keys results in a corrupt bios."
    
    To which another user responds:
    
    "On my Z77X-D3H, the latest line of betas have the same Secure Boot bug"
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forum.giga-byte.co.uk/index.php?topic=13261.0
    
    GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys.
    
    "I went into bios and changed it to on and loaded up custom setting and then had it fill in with default keys.  After this the system won't "post" but appears to be running from all the fans spinning.  I get no mouse/keyboard/monitor at all"
    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/54671-i-give-up.html?highlight=#post469143
    
    GA-Z77X-UP5TH wouldn't POST after enabling secureboot and provisioning default keys, only fixed by restoring backup BIOS.
    
    "There is a serious problem with the Z77X-UP5Th BIOS when trying to setup for Secure Boot in Windows 8.1.
    The only way to comply with the required setting is to choose "Custom" under "Secure Boot" in the BIOS and "install default keys".
    Once you do that Windows may boot but once it does and a reboot is attempted, the BIOS becomes corrupted"
    
    And a second user in that thread:
    
    "I have also had he same issue with the up5 motherboard and Windows 8.1. Installing the secure boot keys causes a complete board halt. Only way to fix it is to revert to backup bios and refresh"
    The visually corrupted BIOS UI does not feature in these reports. However, if the users enabled OS Type: Windows 8 and provisioned the default keys in one session, they would not have had a chance to see the visual corruption because the next time they restart, the system is already soft-bricked.

    I did find one photo though:

    GIGABYTE Modified Bios

    Look familiar? That person was using a GA-Z77X-D3H "with security boot ON".

    If every Sniper M3 (and several other models evidently) had the bug, why weren't there more complaints about it? Well firstly, the board came out in 2012, and I bet the vast majority of M3 owners were running Windows 7 while they owned it. Secondly, secureboot was only in the last BIOS (F10f beta) so most users probably never updated to this BIOS, and thus would not have had the setting to enable. And last, of the 5 current Sniper M3 owners I found who use Windows 8/10 and the F10f BIOS, not one of them had ever tried enabling SecureBoot, and most of them didn't even know what it was. It seems that SecureBoot just isn't a priority for many people.

    Of course, If I could find one owner of the G1.Sniper M3 who had their board running 100% normal with SecureBoot enabled, that would change everything. I've tracked down a lot of M3 owners, but only one had tried enabling SecureBoot on it. They said that enabling it does render the system unbootable, but that the system presents a beep code and can be restored by a simple jumper reset. This experience deviates too far from mine for me to consider it evidence either way.

    I would appreciate input from anyone who is familiar with the issue of SecureBoot corrupting ~2013-era BIOSes on Gigabyte boards, and I'd especially appreciate it if any G1.Sniper M3 owner could try to replicate the issue*. I really need to know if my board is faulty or not.

    *To replicate:

    Corruption of the BIOS interface (https://youtu.be/F-7kknediPM):
    - Set OS Type to Windows 8
    - Set CSM support to Never
    - Save and exit BIOS
    - Enter BIOS

    Boot Loop:
    - Set OS Type to Windows 8
    - Set CSM support to Never
    - Install default SecureBoot keys
    - Save and exit BIOS
    - Enter BIOS (BIOS interface will be corrupted as before)
    - Restore defaults
    - Save and exit BIOS
    Last edited by oubadah; 08-16-2016 at 09:20 PM.

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