Wednesday, July 18th 2012

ASRock Develops First Web-Update Tool Within BIOS Setup Program

A decade ago, updating system BIOS was a cumbersome and risky task that required you to have spare bootable disks and the know-how of flashing from MS-DOS command-line. One wrong command-line argument, and your motherboard is bricked. Then came utilities that flashed BIOS for you, if you specified the updated BIOS ROM image files located on a floppy. As these image files grew in file-size these utilities added support for bigger media, such as USB flash drives. ASRock's latest innovation could see you getting rid of storage media holding BIOS images.

ASRock has developed an update to its UEFI BIOS program that lets it update itself from the web. All you have to do is point it to a working internet connection that uses the motherboard's onboard Ethernet controller. Once configured, the utility calls home to ASRock, checks if a newer version of the BIOS is available, downloads it, and updates itself, with minimal user-intervention. The feature cuts down time spent in finding the right BIOS ROM image online, and copying it to a USB flash drive. Unlike Intel's Express BIOS Update program, it does not need the motherboard to have any storage devices connected. Upcoming ASRock motherboards could ship with the feature, and select current ones could get this feature via a BIOS update.

Source: Expreview
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35 Comments on ASRock Develops First Web-Update Tool Within BIOS Setup Program

#1
m1dg3t
Pretty cool feature!

I thought Asus had something like this, or was working on something like this a few years back?
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#2
Jizzler
I question the history lesson (they do know that a decade only puts them back to 2002, right?), but welcome the feature. Nice.
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#3
cadaveca
My name is Dave
by: Jizzler
I question the history lesson (they do know that a decade only puts them back to 2002, right?), but welcome the feature. Nice.
Yes, ASRock has only been around for 10 years.
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#4
AlienIsGOD
AsRock is pretty good about BIOS updates, i expect to see most of their existing mobos get this support.
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#6
cadaveca
My name is Dave
There are a few other cool features in ASRock BIOSes...next review from me is the ASRock Z77 Extreme9 that includes this features plus others. Keep an eye out for it! ;)
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#7
OneMoar
this wont end well
one error in the server back end
or a corrupt download ....
=:banghead:
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#8
badtaylorx
yeah.....im not so sure that id want the web having access to my rig at a bios lvl....

somewhere a hacker is cleaning up the sticky underware mess he made upon hearing this
Posted on Reply
#9
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: OneMoar
this wont end well
one error in the server back end
or a corrupt download ....
=:banghead:
I imagine the update to be downloaded as a *.zip archive, extracted, and then used. If the downloaded file is corrupt, the archive won't give out the file (CRC failure).
Posted on Reply
#10
Wastedslayer
This reminded me to update the bios on my Extreme4, seems with the newest bios (2.0) they have fully implemented this. The option was there before it just didnt work. Now it has internet options and choice of download server etc.

thumbs up to AsRock

Edit: They also added power on by keyboard support which is fantastic since my front panel header is dead on my board! No more opening the case!
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#11
OneMoar
by: btarunr
I imagine the update to be downloaded as a *.zip archive, extracted, and then used. If the downloaded file is corrupt, the archive won't give out the file (CRC failure).
A file could pass a crc or checksum and still have it brick it(been there done that)

id like to see asrock come up with there own version of Dualbios or usb bios boot
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#12
OneCool
This reminds me of the time I flashed my Ati 9700 non pro to a pro in an electrical storm....... didnt end well.

Where is the adventure these days ..
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#13
Jizzler
There's a new BIOS for my ASRock board! Too bad I can't go into my BIOS and update it...

But if support does come to my ASRock board I'll use it. One less program to install (Windows based BIOS update tool) and if it has basic checksum calculation, then it's doing more than I usually do. At 1000+ firmware flashes and no problems, I'm either due for one or with a few basic precautions taken, failure is really rare. One of those precautions I take is waiting until after a storm :D
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#14
suraswami
Is this similar to MSI's live update?
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#15
baggpipes
by: suraswami
Is this similar to MSI's live update?
+1 MSI has had this for awhile...
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#16
D007
I like it, simplification at it's best..
Posted on Reply
#17
Completely Bonkers
by: OneMoar
this wont end well
one error in the server back end
or a corrupt download ....
=:banghead:
I understand your fear, but nearly every modern router has a "working bios" and a "reset/default bios". Simply hit the reset pin and the "working bios" is reset to the default one. I cant see any problem so long as Asrock implements it.
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#18
white phantom
they still need to make it save mu F***in overclock profiles, lost them countless times forgetting to write them down or that before an update...not a big fan of the asrock stuff but will have to make do with this
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#19
pantherx12
Think next time I'm buying new parts I'll go Asrock since gigabyte seam to have well, crappy bioses/bios support.
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#20
OneMoar
by: Completely Bonkers
I understand your fear, but nearly every modern router has a "working bios" and a "reset/default bios". Simply hit the reset pin and the "working bios" is reset to the default one. I cant see any problem so long as Asrock implements it.
cmos != bios
Posted on Reply
#21
INSTG8R
Clever, but my Abit IP35 Pro did that back in 2008...
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#22
pantherx12
by: INSTG8R
Clever, but my Abit IP35 Pro did that back in 2008...
It could connect to the Internet via the bios?
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#23
INSTG8R
by: pantherx12
It could connect to the Internet via the bios?
No I suppose your right it was Windows based. I guess I have to suck it up that UEFI BIOS can do it too. I love my UEFI BIOS minus THIS issue.
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#24
anonymous6366
thats tight, and really the way they should all be by now if you think about it. Most other technologies like blu ray players tvs etc update their firmware over the internet. not quite the same as bios but the same ballpark
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#25
pantherx12
by: INSTG8R
No I suppose your right it was Windows based. I guess I have to suck it up that UEFI BIOS can do it too. I love my UEFI BIOS minus THIS issue.

Yeah lots of manufacturers have the windows based programs, I'm thankful for that!

I hate flashing bioses but EZflash (Asus) and @bios (gigabyte) have both done great jobs for me.
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