Author Topic: MSI B350M Mortar - BIOS refresh for Raven Ridge APU  (Read 3506 times)

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Offline tocsa120ls

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MSI B350M Mortar - BIOS refresh for Raven Ridge APU
« on: March 14, 2018, 06:28:55 am »
Hi,

just a short one: Amazon in Germany sells this Mainboard with the BIOS version 1.2 (7A37v12 in MSI-speak, from April 2017)
Problem is, if you want to use a Raven Ridge APU, you need a fresh BIOS, as Raven Ridge was introduced in October 2017.
To me this means either BIOS 7A37v1B or newer (it's from Jan 2018, and has this in the release notes: "Update AGESA Code 1.1.0.1 to support Raven Ridge CPU") Of course I wanted to use a Raven Ridge to be able to go without a PCIe GPU.

But how to update a mainboard that simply lights the "CPU" EZ-Debug LED when you plug it in. There is info on the net of supposedly copying the new BIOS onto a  blank USB stick, doing a BIOS reset, then turning on the MaBo with the USB stick plugged in, and it automatically updates. Not sure how this is supposed to work, as with these new generation processors, more and more functions are integrated into the CPU (when did we wave goodbye to the Northbridge? 2009? The Southbridge is going away soon, I fear) - nevertheless, if it is possible, then not with this board.



Now I realize it would be probably possible to return the board, ask for one with a newer BIOS, but daddy didnt't raise no pussy. Plus, MSI is so nice they provide an undocumented but populated SPI header (JSPI1). So, manual update it is. I have to declare, most of the idea came from this site, where I was looking for a pinout (http://bbs.kakaku.com/bbs/K0000958574/SortID=20819996/ImageID=2741028/)



What I find amazing is, the Japanese chap had a board that had a 3.3V Winbond BIOS on it, but mine uses a MX25U12873F chip - which is thankfully documented on the Macronix site. (http://www.macronix.com/en-us/products/NOR-Flash/Serial-NOR-Flash/Pages/default.aspx#!tabs=1-8V128Mb)  Operating voltage is stated as "1.65V-2V", which I confirmed with a multimeter reading of 1.8V on the power pins.



So, next up, tools needed: my venerable MiniPro TL866CS programmer, an 1.8V adapter, and some sort of connector that has a 2mm pin pitch (I used an interconnect out of a broken-up LCD TV)



First try, got the usual "Overcurrent Protection actions" failure. I surmised maybe the board has other stuff connected to the 1.8V line which the TL866CS cannot power... so the board has to be on. Great. I disconnected the Vcc lines, and only left the ground reference.
Connected up a PSU, hit the power pins, and marvelled a bit as the board powered up, LEDs lit up all without CPU (or RAM, as I pulled those too for safety)



REMARK: Pin 9 which is marked "unused" on the board is actually some sort of inhibit line, that has to be grounded, thankfully there is a CPUFAN header next to it, I just jumpered over to it.

A successful read! Whoo! (At least I have a baseline now I can return to) Notice how the MiniPRO software does not recognise the MX25U12873F, so I selected "closest by" MX25U12835F. Works, you just have to deselect the "check ID" in the Options.



Loaded the new BIOS, did the obligatory gulp, and hit the red "P" (program) - the Erase cycle took ages, but it finished and began to write the data... successful write! Whoo again!



So I plugged the CPU back in, the RAM too, plugged in a monitor, keyboard, and hit the power pins. The "EZ Debug" LEDs flashed about like crazy (first boot with the new BIOS) but thankfully I got a boot screen. Success!

Aftermath: UUID and S/N information shows empty in the BIOS Setup screen, or "To be filled by OEM", with some more research*, they are located like this but I will be darned if I do this again. Maybe I modify the next BIOS they release to see how smart the updater tool is if it sees empty data in the NVRAM but valid in the image.
1) UUID information position: 16 bytes from 0√óD6004C
2) S/N etc. Information: Within 256 byte block of 0xD7C53C - 0xD7C63B
*by research I mean searching the old BIOS dump for parts of the S/N ;)
« Last Edit: March 14, 2018, 06:44:15 am by tocsa120ls »
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Short circuit - long fire
 

Offline tocsa120ls

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Re: MSI B350M Mortar - BIOS refresh for Raven Ridge APU
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 08:48:40 pm »
*UPDATE*
I did a classic Dave facepalm today. New BIOS came out, I flashed it and the S/N stayed empty. So I started looking into it, turns out American Megatrends has a tool called AMISCE (SCEWIN_64.exe) that allows OEMs to set up these normally readonly things.

Problem is, it is really only meant for OEMs, you have to sign an NDA with AMI, agree not to distribute it, etc. No sign of it even on the usual Chinese forums.

Because if you install the MSI Smart toolkit from MSI, it has the tool bundled.


« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 08:56:01 pm by tocsa120ls »
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Short circuit - long fire
 
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Offline c.daniel

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Re: MSI B350M Mortar - BIOS refresh for Raven Ridge APU
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2020, 11:07:29 am »
@tocsa120ls: hello man, i make an account here just to thankyou very much. Your detailed explications are great. I have an motherboard, model MSI X370 GAMING PRO CARBON wich was bios blocked and then not powering up, i have TL866A, and i succeded to revive my motherboard.
Good day to you.
PS. Please excuse my very bad english.
 


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