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How to recover from a bad video BIOS flash

Regeneration

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Almost every day there are new threads regarding bricked graphics cards due to wrong BIOS flashing, and since eidairaman1 is no longer around to help, here is a guide how to deal with a bad VGA BIOS flash.

Find the correct BIOS
First off, you'll have to find a copy of the original BIOS. In case you don't have a backup, remove the graphics card, take off the cooler, check which memory chip is used (Samsung/Hynix/Micron/Elpida) including exact model (e.g. H5GQ8H24MJR). Inspect the card from both sides, look for model number (on the stickers and card itself), serial numbers, board revision, clock frequency (e.g. 1386M) and write it all down. In the same opportunity, remove dust from the fans with a toothbrush, clean the card with alcohol & cotton swabs and then reapply thermal paste.

graphics-card-components.jpg memory.jpg DSC_0025.JPG

Navigate to the TPU VGA Database and begin looking for your card in both official and unverified uploads. Use the information you just gathered: Google the model number, SKU, look for its official GPU and memory clocks. Most BIOSes on the TPU database list board model, GPU and memory clocks, supported memory brand and model, number of DP/DVI/HDMI outputs, and sometimes the uploader provides additional information at the bottom of the page. Compare the data you gathered against the database and download all potential matches.

r9390x.jpg gaga2.jpg

You can also contact the vendor and ask for a copy of the BIOS. In fact, some vendors publish BIOS updates on the product's website.

Is there a BIOS switch?
Many of the modern graphic cards come with dual BIOS chips (silent and performance) and a small switch designed to toggle between them. Usually, it's above the monitor outputs or near the PCIe power connector. If your card is equipped with one, all you have to do is just press the switch. If you wish to re-flash the chip with the wrong ROM, just press the switch again before flashing (while the system is still on).

NuCIZDv.jpg asus_rog_strix_rtx_2070_oc_review_biosbutton.jpg

Cannot POST/BOOT
There are several methods to deal with a graphics card that is unable to POST and giving a black screen when system is powered on.

1. If your card has dual BIOS, just press the BIOS switch.
2. Use the integrated graphics (onboard graphics) if available. Just plug to the monitor to the motherboard's I/O.
***If you get an add-in graphics card error message, just enable "Intel Multi-Display / iGPU Multi-Monitor" from the motherboard's BIOS***
3. Get an old PCI graphics card.
4. Another PCIe graphics card and motherboard with TWO x16 PCI express slots.
5. SPI flash programmer like FlashcatUSB or CH341A.

Still cannot POST!!!
Even after you used one of the methods above and still cannot POST, your bricked card is probably preventing the system from working. In this case, you'll have to locate the video BIOS chip and short 1-8 pins with a paperclip, or small wire, or by soldering until flashing is complete. The BIOS chip is usually 8-pin and located on the rear, bottom side, tagged as U1-12 on the PCB, but be sure to verify first by searching online the text written on the chip (e.g. A25L0100). Search engine results should be related to "flash memory chip", not a regulator or anything else.

543dcd65_back_full.jpeg fgW3R1u.jpg

Flashing AMD cards
Download AMD's flashing utility and extract it to the some folder. Copy the BIOS file(s) to the same folder.

First try the GUI version (AMDVBFlashWin), if it doesn't work, use the command prompt version (search for cmd.exe and run it with administrator privileges).

Navigate to the folder where you put the files:

CD C:\Fullpath\

***If the folder is C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder use "CD C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder\"***

Type: "amdvbflash -i" to see which adapter id is the bricked card.

amd-vbflash-i.png

And then type:

amdvbflash -unlockrom 0
amdvbflash -f -p 0 filename.rom

***Change 0 to the correct adapter id, and filename.rom to the video BIOS file***

ERROR: 0FL01
Unfortunately, this is a general error with no specific information. This can be anything! From bad drivers, wrong ROM, not enough privileges, broken transistor, and even damaged BIOS chip. In this case, you can try flashing from DOS mode, UEFI Shell, Linux, or with SPI flash programmer.

Adapter not found
Try to short the video BIOS 1-8 pins as seen above, or use SPI flash programmer.

Flashing Nvidia cards
Download modded NVIDIA NVFlash and extract it to the some folder. Copy the BIOS file(s) to the same folder.

Run cmd.exe with administrator privileges and navigate to the folder where you put the files:

CD C:\Fullpath\

***If the folder is C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder use "CD C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder\"***

Type: "nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 -a" to see which adapter id is the bricked card.

nvflash.jpg

And then type:

nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 --index=0 --protectoff
nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 --index=0 -6 filename.rom

***Change 0 to the correct adapter id, and filename.rom to the video BIOS file***

Errors with NvFlash
Older versions of NvFlash work better with older hardware. For instance: v5.287 and Maxwell GPUs, or v5.105 and Fermi GPUs.
Sometimes NvFlash just like to "act up" for no good reason, if this happens, just reboot and try flashing again.

ERROR: No NVIDIA display adapters found
Try to short the video BIOS 1-8 pins as seen above, or use SPI flash programmer.

This guide brought to you by the old house of ngohq.com. If you like it, please press on the like button to the right.
 
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I'm very happy someone is stepping into this role; it's great of you to do so.

I feel bad for you predecessor; women can really ruin our lives.
 

Regeneration

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I'm very happy someone is stepping into this role; it's great of you to do so.

I feel bad for you predecessor; women can really ruin our lives.
Hey Locutus of Borg ;)

No one can take his role. I don't have the patience to deal with people.
 
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We're geeks; it comes with the territory. :)

If we were people people, we'd all be in sales, lol.

I am a Borg; I can't do anything these days without a computer. :)
 
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There's one last method if all fails. Solder in a pre-programmed BIOS chip if you have good soldering skills. This is why I say no GFX card is truly bricked by playing around by flashing it.

You can buy pre-programmed BIOS chip from EBAY, but in my eyes, they are massively overpriced.
 
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the54thvoid

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TPU has never been a hardcore hardware forum but I think it would be cool if you guys provided a step by step for the above hardware work arounds.

So, a pic by pic, narrated demo of soldering a new bios chip, and the other option of shorting a chip.

Such threads would be beneficial for those wishing to learn the more advanced stuff, without having to leave TPU to find it.

Just a thought.
 
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If you really need to replace the BIOS chip I suggests taking it to a repair shop & ask them to remove it. (recommend). Don't tell them your trying to repair it otherwise they will charge you more just to remove the chip.

I know of one trick to remove the BIOS with just a soldering iron. I saw this trick on YOUTUBE & I just test it here for the first time a few moments ago & it works. Grog6 will love or hate this trick.

Screenshot below is a chip I just removed with just a soldering iron. It's just a solid core wire in a U shape soldered to all 8 legs then the wire is heated with a soldering iron. Not a single damage to the PCB. This trick should work on larger chips too.
This trick is not for everyone thou.

This trick works best on GPUS BIOS that have a little space around them, otherwise your going to need a second person with tweezers.

EXAMPLE: OP screenshot with the big red arrow you will heat the BIOS & just push it to the empty space to left away from all solder pads & components when all solder contact have melted. Don't try to lift it at this point, a gentle push is all that is needed when all is melted.. More solder on the wire, the easier it is to remove.
 

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I don't hate it; it works. I'm always good with "Works". :)

To do those kind of chips, I just run new solder, or chipquick, down both sides of the chip, bridging all the pins.

Then, I slide the tip of an xacto blade under the top or bottom edge of the chip, and pry gently as I heat one side, until it lifts, then the other side; usually two times per side and the chip is off.

You don't have to pry hard; once the solder melts, it comes right up.

Look up chipquick, it's a low melting point solder especially made for chip removal.

If you already have a new chip in hand, you don't have to do even that; you can carefully cut the leads off the chip at the body, being careful not to cut the board or traces, then remove the leads one by one with the iron.
I do that with bigger chips.
 
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Cutting the legs off the chip I have done this, but I have a problem with it. Fragments of metal from the legs will get everywhere. You don't want that under a BGA chip as if it gets stuck it will be hard to remove. So anyone trying this I recommend isolating covering most of the card protecting it from conductive fragments, but I do not recommend this method.

Be aware we must be talking removing BIOS chip for users that are not very experienced as most will have just basic soldering iron, this is why I posted that trick as it does work. Yesterday was the first time I tried it. I recommend users to practice this on dead non working cards or motherboards. Find anything that is dead that you don't care about to practice on.

The next set of users will have a hot air system. I recommend all users that have a hot air system to have a pre-heater or anything that can provide constant heat from below. I would never use one of these hot air system without some kind of pre-heater.

EDIT: Headup for Chipquick never used it, but this looks very good (recommended), better than my wire trick
 
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birchhill

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How long should I shorten 1-8 for? I can use integrated graphics only with my rx 480 unplugged or deactivated in bios after unplugging and replugging.
 

birchhill

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Until you done flashing.
Hello, thank you for your responses. I've been trying and researching this all day. I heard of a solution where I leave my gpu in the pcie slot but unplugged, then boot up with integrated graphics. Once I'm in windows I plug it in and go into the device manager and scan for hardware changes. My RX 480 then comes up with error code 12. (Previously was error code 43 before I flashed it into an even worse bios state that I am now attempting to fix.) amdvbflash says can't find discrete ati video card. I tried it then again using cmd and it says adapter not found.

Any tips? It even shows up in techpowerup gpu-z. At this point I'm assuming I have to test the bios chip shorten technique. If so, do I have to go just from 1 to 8 via a paper clip/wire or do you mean shorten 1-8 as in connect all of them?

Thank you so much. this has been difficult. I would take it in if I could afford it. I bought this pc second hand and am assuming now the gpu was used for mining and the bios fucked up when playing a game.
 

Regeneration

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Hello, thank you for your responses. I've been trying and researching this all day. I heard of a solution where I leave my gpu in the pcie slot but unplugged, then boot up with integrated graphics. Once I'm in windows I plug it in and go into the device manager and scan for hardware changes. My RX 480 then comes up with error code 12. (Previously was error code 43 before I flashed it into an even worse bios state that I am now attempting to fix.) amdvbflash says can't find discrete ati video card. I tried it then again using cmd and it says adapter not found.

Any tips? It even shows up in techpowerup gpu-z. At this point I'm assuming I have to test the bios chip shorten technique. If so, do I have to go just from 1 to 8 via a paper clip/wire or do you mean shorten 1-8 as in connect all of them?

Thank you so much. this has been difficult. I would take it in if I could afford it. I bought this pc second hand and am assuming now the gpu was used for mining and the bios fucked up when playing a game.
1. Leave the bricked card in the PCIe slot.
2. Plug the monitor to the integrated graphics.
3. If the system cannot POST, shorten pins 1 and 8, just two like in this photo.
4. When you get to Windows, just flash the original BIOS, and then shutdown.
5. If you get driver error, uninstall all AMD drivers and try again.

Oh right I was told it was until the boot up screen came up no wonder it didn't work for me so you connect the leads together boot up then flash am I correct
Yes.
 

birchhill

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1. Leave the bricked card in the PCIe slot.
2. Plug the monitor to the integrated graphics.
3. If the system cannot POST, shorten pins 1 and 8, just two like in this photo.
4. When you get to Windows, just flash the original BIOS, and then shutdown.
5. If you get driver error, uninstall all AMD drivers and try again.



Yes.
Great, so it's been booting with integrated graphics. At one point I was even able to unplug from integrated to the gpu and it work. Although once I rebooted back to square one.

Currently I am trying amdvbflash via the application and the cmd prompt version and reaching the same destination of "Failed to read ROM".

I tried uninstalling the drivers. No luck.
 

Regeneration

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Great, so it's been booting with integrated graphics. At one point I was even able to unplug from integrated to the gpu and it work. Although once I rebooted back to square one.

Currently I am trying amdvbflash via the application and the cmd prompt version and reaching the same destination of "Failed to read ROM".

I tried uninstalling the drivers. No luck.
Did you open CMD.exe as administrator? if you type "amdvbflash -i", do you see the card on the list? try to disable the card from the device manager and then flash.

Make sure you're flashing the correct BIOS. There is also a Linux and UEFI versions of AMDVBFlash.
 
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women can really ruin our lives.
Dating in general can, yeah.

Also glad to see someone step up.

Also, I'd certainly advise trying a hardware programmer plus programmer clip before desoldering anything.
 

Regeneration

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Made some edits to the 1st post today.

Added link to the hard-to-find AMDFlash for MS-DOS that works with the latest cards.
 

fafrd

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When I typed in '-a' nvflash only found the fake GTX 1050Ti I am attempting to flash as device 0 (the other older card is a GeForce 7950 GT, but nvflash apparently did not find it).

When I typed in '--protectoff' the screen went black for a moment and then came back with this:

image.jpeg


It says: 'Adapter not accessible or supported EEPROM not found, skipping Nvflash CPU side error Code:2Error Message: Falcon in HALT or STOP state, abort uCode command issuing process.'

Is there any easy workaround to this or does it mean I probably need to purchase an EEPROM programmer and clip?
 

Regeneration

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Try to use older version of NvFlash. GTS 450 is from 2010 and should be used with NvFlash from that period.

Since you have more than one Nvidia cards in the system, you need to add --index=# parameter to specify which card.
 

fafrd

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Try to use older version of NvFlash. GTS 450 is from 2010 and should be used with NvFlash from that period.

Since you have more than one Nvidia cards in the system, you need to add --index=# parameter to specify which card.
Thanks.

Do I need an older Modded nvflash, or was that modification only needed to bypass newer restrictions?
 
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Regeneration

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Thanks.

Do I need an older Modded nvflash, or was that modification only needed to bypass newer restrictions?
Modded version is to bypass newer restrictions (subsystem). On the old version, there are switches (-4 -5) for that.
 

fafrd

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Just checked the download area and 5.370.0 from April 20th, 2017 is the oldest version available there.

Is that worth giving a try or should I hunt for even older versions? Is there an archive of even older versions somewhere?

Modded version is to bypass newer restrictions (subsystem). On the old version, there are switches (-4 -5) for that.
This thread is fantastic but where/how I am I going to find instruction on using an older version like 5.370.0?

Feel like I'm suddenly getting pretty deep in the woods here...
 
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