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[SUCCESS] Gigabyte Designare Z390 (Thunderbolt 3) + i7-9700K + AMD RX 580

CaseySJ

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I attempted to flash the modified F9i (0xEA one) today but the computer didn’t come back after restarting. It just boot cycles without ever reaching bios and the backup bios doesn’t come on.

Since you guys do all this flashing I was hoping maybe you have some trick I can try to get it to boot. I’ve tried resetting cmos and force restarting, and desperately removed everything except cpu and ram and plugged monitor into motherboard hdmi but it hasn’t made a difference.

I was on F7 before if that makes any difference.
@Sapricot,

Sorry to hear about the problem and apologies for not making it known that BIOS F8 or F9i (which have the new GUI) must be installed first. I have modified the post accordingly, and to be safe, stated that official version of F9i should be installed first.

In your case, please see the manual for the process of initiating a BIOS flashback -- or contact Gigabyte Tech Support via the Gigabyte website. If BIOS flashback is not possible, it may be necessary to use an external SPI Flash ROM reader/writer to reprogram the BIOS chip. We can use a Raspberry Pi or 3.3V CH341a programmer for this. I can provide the binary file that will need to be flashed. But before going down this path, let's see if you can trigger BIOS flashback.


All:
I have modified the post to say that BIOS F9i (official version) must be installed first. Then we can install the modified F9i on top.
 
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@Sapricot,

Sorry to hear about the problem and apologies for not making it known that BIOS F8 or F9i (which have the new GUI) must be installed first. I have modified the post accordingly, and to be safe, stated that official version of F9i should be installed first.

In your case, please see the manual for the process of initiating a BIOS flashback -- or contact Gigabyte Tech Support via the Gigabyte website. If BIOS flashback is not possible, it may be necessary to use an external SPI Flash ROM reader/writer to reprogram the BIOS chip. We can use a Raspberry Pi or 3.3V CH341a programmer for this. I can provide the binary file that will need to be flashed. But before going down this path, let's see if you can trigger BIOS flashback.


All:
I have modified the post to say that BIOS F9i (official version) must be installed first. Then we can install the modified F9i on top.
Oh crap probably should’ve asked first. Well you live and learn. Someone said they managed to get it to flashback after leaving it off for 12h so trying that first.

If I do need to reflash externally do you have a spi rom device you recommend? I have a rasppi 4 and I’m in the UK so availability might be different to Australia or US.
 

CaseySJ

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Oh crap probably should’ve asked first. Well you live and learn. Someone said they managed to get it to flashback after leaving it off for 12h so trying that first.

If I do need to reflash externally do you have a spi rom device you recommend? I have a rasppi 4 and I’m in the UK so availability might be different to Australia or US.
Raspberry Pi 4 is a good choice. The wiring diagram and instructions are located here:

I can also provide (a) location of chip on motherboard, and (b) binary file to flash.

Meanwhile please have a look at above post to familiarize yourself with the overall procedure.

Update: Here's the location of BIOS chip on Z390 Designare:

Capture d’écran 2021-06-13 à 12.28.47.png
 
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Hi @CaseySJ . I've successfully flashed the Z390 Designare BIOS from F9i to the modded F9i. Question: Should the BIOS version in the setup page have the same version info as the original F9i since it's a modded version of the official F9i?
 

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CaseySJ

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Hi @CaseySJ . I've successfully flashed the Z390 Designare BIOS from F9i to the modded F9i. Question: Should the BIOS version in the setup page have the same version info as the original F9i since it's a modded version of the official F9i?
Good question! Yes it has the same version info. This is because we didn't want to make any extraneous changes. Elias just replaced the Intel Microcode subsection and adjusted some checksum/validation bytes.
 
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Hi @CaseySJ . I've successfully flashed the Z390 Designare BIOS from F9i to the modded F9i. Question: Should the BIOS version in the setup page have the same version info as the original F9i since it's a modded version of the official F9i?
Normal to add to @CaseySJ has said. It will always indicate the same date and version.
 

CaseySJ

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Okay, thanks. So with this new F9i modded BIOS -but without flashing my onboard Thunderbolt– should I see Thunderbolt items under Thunderbolt in About this Mac<System Report in Mojave?
No. Those are two completely different things.
  • F9i modded BIOS only updates Intel Microcode for the CPU
  • Titan Ridge modded firmware enables Thunderbolt Bus
 
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Raspberry Pi 4 is a good choice. The wiring diagram and instructions are located here:

I can also provide (a) location of chip on motherboard, and (b) binary file to flash.

Meanwhile please have a look at above post to familiarize yourself with the overall procedure.

Update: Here's the location of BIOS chip on Z390 Designare:

View attachment 522023
Overnight waiting didn't help. Still dead. I ordered this one (so I can try either the CH341a or the Pi4): https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SNTL5V6/?tag=tonymacx86-21

They didn't have the recommended cheap clip and this one was in stock for same-day delivery. Also got the jumper wires.

If choosing between the two, which method do you recommend? Pi4 with your supplemental procedure or the CH341a? If I want to double check the voltage on the latter, which pins do I check?

Any additional tips for flashing m_bios (most of the tips in this thread are re. thunderbolt)?
 

CaseySJ

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Asus ProArt Z690-Creator
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  1. Quadra
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Overnight waiting didn't help. Still dead. I ordered this one (so I can try either the CH341a or the Pi4): https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07SNTL5V6/?tag=tonymacx86-21

They didn't have the recommended cheap clip and this one was in stock for same-day delivery. Also got the jumper wires.

If choosing between the two, which method do you recommend? Pi4 with your supplemental procedure or the CH341a? If I want to double check the voltage on the latter, which pins do I check?

Any additional tips for flashing m_bios (most of the tips in this thread are re. thunderbolt)?
I would recommend Pi 4 first without the supplemental procedure. Attaching the clip to the chip must always be done very gently and with excellent near sightedness. If you are naturally near sighted and need glasses or contacts for distant objects, those corrective lenses should be removed. Also use a flashlight to align the clip to the chip and confirm that pin 1 on the clip is oriented with the tiny dimple on the chip.

The “flashrom” command needs to be tweaked a little. When you’re ready to proceed, the first thing we’ll do is attempt to read the chip. The SOIC clip may need to be adjusted (i.e. reseated on the chip) slightly until flashrom detects the chip.

The flashrom command to read the chip is:

Raspberry Pi:
sudo flashrom -p linux_spi:dev=/dev/spidev0.0,spispeed=4096 -c MX25L12835F/MX25L12845E/MX25L12865E -r bios-1.bin

CH341a USB reader/writer:
sudo flashrom -p ch341a_spi -c MX25L12835F/MX25L12845E/MX25L12865E -r bios-1.bin

This should be done three times, each time incrementing the digit in “bios-1.bin” by 1. So second time it will be bios-2.bin. The existing contents of the chip will be read and saved into the bios-x.bin files.
 
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