14 Replies Latest reply: Aug 17, 2011 7:41 AM by Edmond RSS

In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done

Edmond Community Member
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I have Board DH67BL in my new built PC and am running Windows 7 Ultimate.  I discovered that my BIOS revision level (November 15, 2010) does not have the hot swapping ability for SATA hard drives incorporated. BIOS updates on May 23, 2011 and July 5, 2011 combined to make the DH67BL motherboard capable of hot swapping.  Further, the update on May 23, 2011 required an update of the Management Engine (ME) driver.

 

So, I have never updated any motherboard's BIOS or ME.  They are both dangerous updates that can cause major problems if I make a mistake.  I have purchased a UPS and put it in place to avoid a power glitch which could cause an update failure.  I am studying the procedures for achieving a successful update.  My question - "Is there a special order in which to do the updates?"

 

For example if I do one 1st, will it ask me to boot up the PC?  If I do will the incompatibility between the ME and BIOS cause me problems?  Any tips on how to do this will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks for reading my question and any help you can give.

  • 1. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    pwertz Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Edmond - I am not an expert but I do not see how you can go wrong installing by date, oldest BIOS first. When you finish installing the oldest and get the message it has completed successfully, install the next oldest. I recommend using the self extracting windows-based update file (exe.) When you have installed the latest BIOS, install the ME. It really is quite easy and, if you take your time, you will have no trouble at all.  Regards. Peter

  • 2. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks, Peter.  I like your recommendation to use the windows-based update - it seems the best.  And I appreciate your words that it is 'really quite easy' - gives me the confidence that I won't run into heavy duty problems.

     

    Your comment about doing the BIOS updates in date sequence sounds like it would work.  However, my impression is that if I install revision N, it will include revisions N-1, N-2, ....   When I look at the latest BIOS release notes, it includes the notes for all previous versions.  So my approach to doing the upgrade will be to only update the BIOS once to the latest version - believing that will include all the earlier revisions.  

     

    My question boiled down to what should be the order of update between the BIOS and the ME.  After careful reading of the BIOS release notes, I notice that they say, "Updated Intel® ME firmware to version 7.1.13.1088."  That means to me that when I update the BIOS, that update will update the ME firmware and I don't have to separately worry about the ME.  So, my concern about the chicken and egg problems of what to do 1st and 2nd is solved by the fact that the BIOS update does both things simultaneously.  I appear to have had a case of excessive worrying when a simple update of the BIOS would take care of all related issues.

     

    Again, Peter and others who have read this question, thanks for your help. 

  • 3. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    From the BIOS update release notes, it appears that the BIOS update takes care of updating the Management Engine and I don't have to worry about it as a separate action. So, the sequence is not relevant

  • 4. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    pwertz Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Edmond -  The Bios release notes do not explicitly state that the current release contains all previous releases. I am not sure if your inference is correct. For sure, if you do each one in turn you will be able to verify that each indeed did update. Re the ME - when you complete BIOS updates verify what version of the ME you have. Good luck. Peter

  • 5. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks, Peter

     

    I agree that the notes don't explicitly say that the intervening updates will be included.  So, I went to Intel Support Chat line.  I chated with Joy.  She confirmed that the intervening updates will be included if I ask for the latest version update.  She also stated that updating the BIOS would pull in updates to the Management Engine.  So my final strategy will be to update BIOS to the latest version.  Peter, you have helped me work through all the confusion I had over upgrades.  I appreciate it. It's really helped me.  Thanks again!

     

    Edmond

  • 6. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    yf38 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Edmond,

     

    I own 2 x DH67GD motherboards (same as DH67BL + firewire & display port, same bios and drivers).

    I have upgraded several times the bios and the simplest and safest solution appears to be the F7 key procedure at system power on.

    The last time I used it was to upgrade from 076 rev. bios directly to 122 (and then to 125)  a replacement card (chipset B2 to B3).

    To use F7 procedure, do the following:

     

    1) in bios setup go to the menu where you can find the boot options about F2  F7 and F10 keys, and enable F7. You will get now the option at splash screen to upgrade the bios without any other tool than itself.

     

    2) download the bios file from Intel site taking the latest 125 revision, and selecting the one for recovery, filename BL0125P.BIO

     

    3) Put this file on an USB memory stick with not too much files aside, to be more visible on a single screen.

    If you are hypercautious you can download two times the file, check that the md5 (with mst md5) is the same and the same as the one you put on the stick...

     

    4) shutdown the system, and completely power it down, (remove the power cord, maybe not necessary, but...)

     

    5) power on the system, with the memory stick in place, and at splash screen press F7 function key

     

    6) Wait for messages displayed on screen and select the choice of the stick, then select the .BIO file with arrows, and enter.

     

    7) Now it is time to accept (or not) to flash the bios with this file.

     

    8) If you accept the stick will take some time to be read (dont touch anything, it's running) and then you will see messages about the completion of various steps.

     

    9) At the end ( it takes about 2 minutes) the system will self restart, maybe two times if required, and then a normal startup will occur.

     

    About hotswap, I am using it with only Microsoft AHCI driver, with an Antec Easy sata rack for bare drive.

    A good setup in the bios is to enable only e-sata #4 and #5 ports, plus the normal sata ports you want to be hotswap.

    If you enable all the ports, with Microsoft driver you will get even your fixed HDD / SSD in the safely remove icon list, which is not the best.

    Upgrade to bios 125 because an issue about hotswap (port #3) was fixed with this revision.

  • 7. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks YF38,

     

    It is great to hear someone else got hot swapping of SATA drives to work on this board.  I use AHCI without RAID so that is compatible, too.  And I use the Antec Easy SATA rack.  It was a big negative when I found I couldn't hot swap.  But with the discovery of the BIOS upgrades to implement swapping and now your actual experience with getting it working, I'm a happy camper.  Thanks for your steps to do the BIOS upgrade.  There are about 6 ways to do the upgrade.  I will study your steps.  However, I have been planning to use the express method from within Windows and am all setup for that, so I will probably continue with that method.  Again, thanks!

     

    Edmond

  • 8. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    yf38 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Edmond,

    If it is not already done, dont use express upgrade, it is the worst solution, and if it is already done, dont assume it will always work fine.

    With my previous DG45iD I had to use bios recovery CD because express upgrade bricked the card, and by chance it recovered.

    F7 is far better.

  • 9. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
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    OK, YF38,  I hear you on the express update.  Thanks for the warning. I haven't done the express yet.   I will dive into the F7 process.

     

    I am worried about another problem you may have had.  When I first built and started my PC, I had a DVI-I cable installed and the display showed blank - no acceptable video signal. I had to use an VGA adapter to get the display so show a VGA image. Then I changed my BIOS: IDG PRIMARY VIDEO PORT from AUTO to DVI (BLUE) DIGITAL. Then I shut down and rebooted with the DVI-I cable and the display worked fine. I am afraid that when I upgrade my BIOS, the BIOS video will go back to AUTO and I won't be able to see and follow requests from the updating software.  Did you have this problem?  Am I onto something or off on a red herring?  Thanks.

  • 10. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    yf38 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I had no issues with the integrated graphics, I normaly use DVI cable to a DVI monitor , the setup is in auto mode and works fine.

    I also expérimented VGA and HDMI, and both work fine (for hdmi you may have overscan problem under windows, I already discussed in one of my posts).

    About the bios upgrade, I did the job with DVI cable, and had no surprise with the display after upgrade

    In any case, the messages during the upgrade are displayed using the previous bios, not the new one, so you should always see them.

    However it would be better to understand why you have specific problem with your monitor and cables.

    In your description it is not clear for me what is your monitor, DVI / VGA capable or  VGA only.

    For mine,  when I use DVI, I have a DVI cable going to the DVI input of the monitor, same for HDMI to HDMI.

    To use VGA, I plug a DVI-I to VGA adapter, and then a VGA to VGA cable to monitor.

    This always works with my DVI / VGA / HDMI monitor (HP2159m) in auto mode,  with monitor scanning the three inputs.

  • 11. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Thanks, again, YF38.  Your experience is super valuable to me.  I first used an old monitor, then a new one.  Both monitors had separate VGA and DVI inputs.   The monitor I had trouble with was a Samsung T220 Syncmaster.  I scavenged it off my old system before I had my current monitor - a new ViewSonic 2450wx LED.  The Samsung had a great picture, a stylish stand and got low marks on technical capability and was purchased as a Costco special 3-4 years ago.  Whatever the Samsung needed to tell the DH67BL motherboard so it knew what "AUTO" action it should take must not have been sufficient.   Hence all the pain needed to get the Samsung to work.  Based on your experience, it is highly probable that the ViewSonic will send the right signal and "AUTO" will be OK.  And as you stated, the monitor that works fine now will still be driven by the 'old' BIOS settings during the upgrade so it is a non- issue for the BIOS upgrade.

     

    Now all I have to do is setup for the F7 update strategy and it should be smooth sailing.  Thanks.

     

    Edmond  

  • 12. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    This morning I did the upgrade of my BIOS using the F7 method.  It was successful without any problems.  I now have the hot swapping of drives I sought.

    • The changing of the BIOS required changing the driver of the ME (Management Engine).  In my original question, I assummed I needed to do both updates and asked which order I should do them in.  But the realitiy was that the BIOS update process covered the ME update (and I think some others too).  So, all I had to do was perform the BIOS update.
    • I wanted to go from revision 76 to revision 125.  The sequence of BIOS revisions that had historically occurred was 76, 102, 105, 110, 119, 122 and 125.  A question came up, "Did I have to follow the sequence updating each individual revision or could I just update to 125 and automatically get all the intervening revisions.  It turned out I could get all revisions by just updating to the latest version 125.  (Since you put your PC at risk everytime you do a BIOS update, it appears safest to just do one update and limit your exposure to damaging your PC.)
    • I was concerned that a BIOS upgrade would change my video settings and result in my inability to track the progress of the update.  But the update uses the old BIOS settings so I would not have that problem.  Further, a video problem I had when I first ran my newly built PC with an older monitor requiring special BIOS settings did not happen.  My new monitor is compatible with the default BIOS settings.
    • I notice that the latest BIOS defaults set the F7 BIOS method to ENABLED making it easier to use this method. 
    • Thanks to all of you for your help.  Especially to YF83 who had experience with the same type of board I am using let me benefit from his experience.

     

    Edmond

  • 13. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    yf38 Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Edmond,

    Thanks for your fresh experience report.

    About bios upgrade I have three experiences:

    1) with my january DH67GD (chipset B2...) from 076, and then all versions up to 119 or 122

    2) with another new board directly from 076 to 122 then 125

    3) with the B3 replacement board for my previous B2 directly from 076 to 122 then 125.

    Interesting point, you said that the default setup of bios 125 is with F7 enabled.

    I am not so sure, it may be the previous value kept by the new bios.

    If I remember well I had to do "by hand" a load optimal default settings and then apply mine after installing a new bios.

    This was necessary because of Intel Desktop Utility (IDU) not showing all the right informations after an upgrade, because IDU and bios are strongly related for what concern measurements, and sensors namings.

    For me, after a bios update, the overkilling rule is:

    - set optimal defaults settings, and apply mine,

    - install ME driver, (even if not usefull)

    - reinstall IDU.

    _____________________________

    Now with the recent bios, the fans and temperature control got some nice improvements, go to the bios menu and have a look.

    - You can set the minimum duty cycle for each fan,

    - You can set the processor maximum temperature target (it is 80°C by default) I changed for 75°C at the cost of a higher fan speed if it reaches this temperature.

    ____________________________

    If at some moment you try to use HDMI and you discover some overscan on your screen, have a look at this post:

    http://communities.intel.com/message/133095#133095

  • 14. Re: In What Order should BIOS & ME Upgrades be Done
    Edmond Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi YF38,

     

    Thanks for sharing all the experience.

     

    On BIOS revision 98, the release notes say

    "Set the default value of the Display F7 to Update Bios option to enabled." so that option is easier to use.

     

    After the update I checked the revision level of the Management Engine (ME) and it was upgraded to the correct level so Intel's statement that the ME was upgraded by the BIOS Update process was validated.  (You can check the revision level of the ME right in the BIOS editor under the 'identification' area.)

     

    I did notice that the fan & temperature control had better info. - thanks for mentioning that.

     

    I'm not using HDMI yet, but thanks for the tip on that.

     

    All the best,

     

    Edmond

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