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Do Not Update Intel ME Firmware to Version 16.1.27.2176

Peconare
Level 9

I have ROG Maximus Apex z690 motherboard and I attempted to update the Intel ME firmware to the latest version that is on the ASUS website and it completely bricked my motherboard.

During the installation process it went to 9% and it shut down my whole computer. I attempted to start it and it wasn't responding at all. I unplugged everything plugged everything back on and nothing. Power is going through because the start LED button and the button underneath it that says flex key or eliminated. However the motherboard is not going to turn on at all.

I tried everything to revive. It even did a bios flashback and that didn't help either.

The good thing is this motherboard has dual BIOS and I was able to boot from there and update the bios to the version. I want it and everything worked fine so at least now I have a working PC again.

I feel like this is completely unacceptable. If Asus didn't do their due diligence and they did not test this firmware on their motherboards because clearly it bricks the whole system.

I am running a bios 2204 by the way.

Be careful guys and do that at your own risk. Because clearly something is wrong here and I have been using ASUS products for years and I have been updating bios and firmware so many . I've never experienced anything like this. It really scared the hell out of me.

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34 REPLIES 34

Maybe, no way to tell really, but both Scone and yangning have good points. I would try switching back to your broken BIOS and then try flashing the BIOS again using the flashback port. It might recover it and there's nothing to lose. 

Rename the BIOS using the tool and use a FAT32 formatted USB stick. Suggest you try a BIOS that corresponds with the working ME Firmware that you have at the moment. If you know what BIOS you had before (2204?), try to flash that again. Would be nice if you can get it back to life. 

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware 16.1.30.2361, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

I agree. I will do it later today and report back. Thanks.

OK, let us know. I do think you've just been unlucky for some reason. I'd be very surprised if the flashback tool or firmware was faulty. It's also possible that when you downloaded it that it got corrupted maybe? Probably a good idea to download it again and compare the file sizes.  

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware 16.1.30.2361, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

I guess so...I just do not understand how it would corrupt the bios so badly that it won't even power on the board. I wasn't flashing a bios, just ME Firmware...just weird 😞

If the flash was unsucessful it's perfectly reasonable to assume the firmware would be corrupted. Regardless, it's pertinent that the system is stock when doing such things. 👍

13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

I just attempted to flash back the BIOS as you guys suggested to the other versions, still nothing, The MB doesn't even power on when that BIOS chip is selected. At least the second one works, but I am not willing to try and update ME Firmware again. I don't think this is a coincidence and it happened while It was trying to flash the ME Firmware. 

Unfortunate for sure 😑

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3603, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware 16.1.30.2361, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.

Yep, very bummed it didn't work. Still worried that I don't know what exactly caused it. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

yangning8109
Level 9

Intel ME firmware runs on PCH instead of BIOS, so it is the BIOS not the ME firmware bricked your motherboard. Noticed you are running 2204 instead of 2305/2403, you can try USB BIOS flashback to 2305 (or 2403) on the bricked BIOS chip before upgrade to 2602. It won't cause any damage to your running second BIOS chip.

Good call, I will try it later and report back. Thanks.