How to update BIOS on AMD Ryzen motherboard – the hard(ware) way

As we all know AMD motherboards need BIOS updates to support new generations of Ryzen CPUs. This can normally be done by using a recognized older gen CPU to power on the Best Motherboard For I5 12600k board and access the built-in BIOS updater function. This, unfortunately, requires the older gen CPU to be around and available for the procedure.

Hardware

When there’s no older gen CPU around to use or you’re simply in the mood for some hardware tinkering, you can get your elbows dirty (figuratively, since the board is brand new and not dusty yet) using an EEPROM programmer (eBay / AliExpress). The in-circuit programming clamp accessory will be also required to connect to the BIOS chip without de-soldering it from the board.

I’m using a cheap CH431 based USB programmer which supports plenty of the 24 and 25-series EEPROMs:

First step is to identify the BIOS chip on the board – on current generation boards it’s usually a small 8-pin SOIC-8 chip located somewhere around the CMOS battery. When you think you found it, read its identification number and look it up to confirm.

My board uses a 25LB128, which is a 128-Mbit (16MBytes) serial flash. Identify pin 1 (it’s normally indicated by a dimple or a dot on the chip package) and attach the programmer clamp to it with the correct pin orientation.

Software

save the extracted content to a file. If you’re having any trouble with the read process make sure that the connections are firm (cheap tools aren’t the most relying ones). Verify the read process to ensure no data corruption occurred.

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