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Amber BIOS Upgrade

While enjoying the 16 cores of the new AMD Ryzen-based amber, I did encounter some grit. The boot time to the BIOS splash screen was slow; certainly slower than I expected. Also, I had two BLUE SCREENS OF DEATH in Windows 10, both times when I had been fiddling with USB devices. The last occassion was trying to read a 500MB USB drive, which would not power up nor be recognised on any USB port, whether USB2 or USB3. On other machines, it could be seen just fine. Shortly after a series of plug and unplug activities with this device, a DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION crash occured.

The articles I read caused me to suspect some USB-based flakiness in the motherboard, an MSI AMD AM4 Ryzen X370 KRAIT GAMING ATX. I checked the BIOS label on the board (mid-2017) and the latest version available from MSI (7A33v1C - May 2018). The latest BIOS included some small USB fixes, so it seemed that flashing the latest BIOS might be helpful.

The flash process is quite simple. Download the BIOS upgrade from the MSI web site, copy it to a flash drive and reboot into the BIOS screen. From there, go to the M-FLASH screen, which will reboot into a special FLASH process. It detects the new BIOS from the flash drive and offers a menu item to start the FLASH process. It took a while (10 minutes or so), but completed successfully and I could reboot.

So far, all looks good. The USB drive that would not power up or be recognised now works OK. The boot time to the BIOS splash screen is faster. Also, I can now use a combined keyboard/mouse PS2 to USB adapter, which before would not work. Not seen any blue screens yet, but too early to consider those fixed.

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