Recover locked BIOS.
Table of Contents
Method 1: Integrated Utility
Most modern computers have special technologies that fix BIOS performance problems without starting the system. Motherboard manufacturers can integrate an additional chip so that, in case of interruption through it, it is possible to restore the main one. In addition, sometimes additional software is installed that allows flashing the microcircuit from the outside.
The downside to this technique is that it cannot be applied everywhere. Especially often it is absent in inexpensive versions of equipment and in older models. Please carefully study the specifications of your computing device and if such functions are not available to you, go to the second method.
Option 1: ASUS
Some ASUS motherboards are equipped with an offline firmware feature. Simply download the update from the manufacturer's official website and install it on the USB flash drive. In this case, the USB drive must be reformatted to the FAT32 file system and be at least 4GB. The device is inserted into a special USB connector «BIOS FlashBack» and then the corresponding button on the system case of the switched off device is pressed.
Read more: How to recover BIOS via ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3
Option 2: MSI
By analogy with ASUS devices, MSI computers are equipped with an additional external BIOS firmware tool. In this case, the recovery process looks like this:
- Go to the official website of the manufacturer and select the tab "Service" .
- Scroll down the page until you find a list of support services and click "Downloads" .
- Specify the exact model of your motherboard in the hardware documentation and click the button "Search" .
- Format a USB flash drive that is at least 4GB with the file system "FAT32" .
- Now on the support tab in the section "BIOS", select the current firmware version and open the file with any unpacker.
- Extract the update files to the storage device that you prepared earlier.
- Rename the firmware file to "MSI.ROM" .
- Connect memory card with firmware to USB connector "FlashBack +" of the device turned off, and then press the BIOS update button.
Option 3: Hewlett Packard
The manufacturer integrates an additional recovery utility in HP laptops. Usually the firmware file is located on the system partition of the hard drive, but only if it has not been formatted.
- Disconnect the device and wait 10 seconds.
- Press and hold the combination "Win" + "B" on the keyboard and, without releasing these keys, press and hold the power button for a few seconds.
- Wait for the recovery process to complete.
If, despite everything, the operating system was reinstalled, it will be necessary to load the firmware onto a flash drive, insert it into any USB port and follow the sequence described above. To create such a bootable USB flash drive, you need to use the BIOS update application on the manufacturer's website.
Read more: How to update the BIOS on an HP laptop
Option 4: Other manufacturers
Several modern motherboards, for example from Gigabyte, are equipped with a backup BIOS chip, which will try to fix all faults when the system starts up. If a hardware failure has occurred and the recovery procedure cannot be started, your computer will boot from this same chip. Therefore, if the replacement microcircuit fails, you will have to use the programmer.
Method 2: Scheduler
Attention: this method assumes the interaction of the hardware with the diagrams of the equipment, so you must take into account all the additional risks of the warranty obligations. In addition, we recommend that you exercise caution when applying these techniques: any mistake can lead to final equipment failure!
When the computer does not provide methods to restore a failed BIOS firmware, they turn to third-party hardware. Programmers are often used by repair center specialists to rewrite broken chips in a service computer through them.
An ordinary person can also easily purchase such a device. Professional programmers use more expensive equipment, but the inexpensive version of the CH341A universal programmer and a common Windows PC are enough for us.
We advise you that before ordering such firmware modules, check if they are compatible with your BIOS model indicated on the chip box! If not, find a suitable device yourself on the Internet.
Among other things, BIOS chips can differ in the shape and type of connection connectors. Some of them are easily disconnected from the motherboard and some are soldered on. We will consider three main types of BIOS, the rest are similar in structure, only differing in size and number of pins.
Programmers generally use a limited number of connector types. The most common is DIP8, for which there are special adapters called adapters. With its help, you can flash almost any microcircuit.
Pay attention to the key: a small gap on one side of the chip. On the adapter boards and directly on the programmer, it is shown schematically as an image. The key needs to match the side you insert the BIOS on: as shown on the microcircuit, you must also insert your adapter and / or microchip.
On CH341A, all keys are indicated on the bottom of the board, but for convenience there is also a small picture on the side of the inputs. Check here the type of system of your microchip: 24 I2C or 25 SPI. The sides and connections of the contacts to the connectors must match; otherwise, you risk damaging the BIOS.
Option 1: DIP8
Chips like DIP8 are the easiest to use. Often, no additional tools are required to remove and connect them. Sometimes, of course, there are those that need to pry something out of the nest, much less often, to evaporate. The most important thing is to take precautions when working with them, because you can always accidentally break the contact or reconnect it incorrectly.
- To restore this chip, remove it from the motherboard.
- Then insert it into the corresponding socket on the controller and lower the lever downwards, thus securing its pins inside the device.
- Connect the programmer to the USB of the computer where you will install the firmware, and after completing all the procedures, return the chip to the motherboard.
Option 2: PLCC32
The PLCC32 fits perfectly in the microcircuit socket, from where it is quite difficult to remove it. Additionally, specialized devices are required to flash this particular type of chip, and an additional adapter is required for the CH341A programmer.
- It is removed with a puller - special tweezers, or at home, very carefully, remove it from the edge with a knitting needle or a thick needle.
- Please insert the BIOS into the adapter corresponding to your device and install the adapter itself in the interface from DIP8. Secure the frame by lowering the lever.
- Connect the mechanism to the computer and update through the software shell, then go back to the board.
Option 3: Connect to SOIC
SOIC is often found in the SOP8 package, less often SOP16 - chips with 8 and 16 pins, respectively. They are usually soldered to the motherboard, and for re-flashing they were soldered back before. Now there is a technology that allows you to connect any BIOS to a programmer without removing it from the motherboard: a wire clip that is attached to the microcircuit contacts with pliers.
- Connect the cable to the SOIC adapter and insert the adapter into the controller, securing the entire frame with a lever.
- Disconnect all the components of the system from the motherboard so that they do not interfere with the operation of our device and then connect the clothespin to the BIOS contacts.
- Connect the system chip itself to the power supply and plug it into an electrical outlet. The firmware module must be connected to the USB port of the computer and its BIOS must be up-to-date in the software environment.
Option 4: SOIC welding
If the above method is not available, the SOIC is removed from the motherboard. There are many reasons this may be necessary, the most common being that the device on the board is receiving too much power from the programmer, preventing it from working with the BIOS.
To properly disconnect and then reconnect the soldered IC, you will need various tools and materials, namely:
- Braid for welding;
- Gel flow syringe;
- Tin wire;
If you have all these devices, you can start to remove the microcircuit:
- Gently grease the chip contacts with flux on both sides.
- To loosen the connection a bit, moisten each contact with a small piece of molten tin.
- Melt a drop of Rose Alloy and apply to both sides of the particle board supports.
- Gently heat the alloy until the contact tips come off, then use tweezers to remove the BIOS from the device.
- Carefully clean the remaining alloy with a soldering iron.
- For a thorough cleaning, wear a braid over the paths.
- Now, with a cotton swab dipped in gasoline, clean the place where the microcircuit was.
- From the legs of the chip itself, you will also need to remove the soldering products with a soldering iron.
- Also rinse the device well with a gasoline cotton swab.
- Connect the solderless SOIC to the adapter and the adapter in turn to the programmer. Note also that on the back of the CH341A there are landing pads for this type of BIOS, where it can be fixed simply by pressing firmly with a clothespin or by soldering. However, this method is not reliable, so it is preferable to buy a spring structure that allows you to firmly fix the chip inside the adapter.
- After flashing on another computer, you will need to solder the BIOS again; To do this, reapply the flow to the tracks.
- Put the chip back in place, positioning it the same way it was originally, and then press down firmly with tweezers.
- Solder the BIOS by tapping the tips of each contact with a separate soldering iron.
- For added strength, re-flux all fasteners on both sides.
- And again, pressing the chip hard, go over the contacts with a soldering iron.
- Finally, rinse the microcircuit with a cotton swab and gasoline.
Hardware flashing process
Your BIOS is flashed on a third party computer. There is special software for this, and for its operation the operating system needs device drivers, which can be downloaded from the resources provided by the vendor.
In Windows 10, by default, hardware verification is set for validity, and the programmer's driver is very outdated and does not have an electronic signature, so you need to disable its verification.
- Go to the computer restart menu: press the button "Restart" while holding down the key "SHIFT" .
- On the screen Select action, select Problem solving .
- Then open the "Advanced Options" .
- On the next screen, you need a boot options button.
- Click here "Restart" .
- When the computer restarts, from the list provided, select startup with mandatory driver signature verification disabled; to do this, use the key "F7".
Now let's install the driver itself. You can usually get it from a seller, but if one isn't available, it's worth searching the internet for it.
- In the product's online store, find the link to the device driver and follow it.
- Download the file and unzip it with any archiver.
- Run the installer with a double click.
- Click the button "Install" to start the installation.
- Please wait while the driver installs on your PC.
- If everything went well, a notification about the end of the installation will appear. Close this window with the button "To accept" .
To directly restore the BIOS, you need software that will update the chip. A utility specially developed for the considered programmer model is named as the device itself: CH341A Programmer. It can be found on the Internet by any search engine.
- Download la application CH341A Programmer to your computer and unzip it to any convenient location on your hard drive, and then run the program's EXE file.
- Specify your chip details; to do this, you can click the button "Chip search" . Some types of BIOS support the automatic device detection function: the button "Detect" is responsible for this.
- Enter the exact name indicated on the microcircuit brand and select the device that matches the type and the assembly to yours.
- Presione el botón "Read" and wait for the chip to be read.
- Just in case, use the button "Save" to save the old firmware.
- Choose a convenient backup location and click "Save" .
- Now it is necessary to clean the chip: there is a button "Delete" on top .
- Download the latest BIOS version from your motherboard manufacturer's official website and unzip the firmware files to any convenient location on your computer.
- Click on "Open" to open these files in the utility.
- Find the folder with the firmware on your computer and select "All files (*. *)" From the drop-down list of formats so you can specify your specific update.
- Now write it down on the microchip; to do this, simply press the button "Program" and wait until the firmware is loaded into the hardware.
- Use the button "To check" to check if the device is registered correctly.
- If everything went well, the application will notify you in the corresponding window.
We are glad that we were able to help you solve the problem. Did you find this article helpful?