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Rampage V Extreme. Instructions for updating the BIOS file CPU microcode.

Axle_Grease
Level 7
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 29-Jan-18: I recommend to not patch the BIOS until Intel uploads a fixed microcode update.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 16-Mar-18: Intel posted a new microcode update dated 12-Mar-18, so get it while you can.
I patched the BIOS using the tools available in Jan and flashed it, which worked fine. I did it again
with the current version of the tools which also worked fine and have updated this post to reflect that.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 22-Mar-18: Linked to "MMTool 502.0024 Mod" as it is compatible with both Aptio V & Aptio IV
BIOSes.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 27-Mar-18: DON'T EVEN TRY FLASHING A BIOS YOU'VE PATCHED IF THE MOTHERBOARD DOES
NOT SUPPORT USB BIOS FLASHBACK OR SOMETHING SIMILAR, LEST SOMETHING GOES HORRIBLY WRONG
AND THE PC IS RENDERED UNBOOTABLE. Hasn't happened yet AFAIK, but thought this needs to be made clear.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 9-Apr-18: I have replaced the link to Ashampoo Spectre-Meltdown-CPU-Checker
with GRC InSpectre. The latter provides more info.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE
6-Apr-19: I have change the link in 1) to point to version 1.69.16 of UBU because....
"It just works"--Jensen Huang. heh heh.


These instructions are primarily for owners of the original Rampage V Extreme since I have that mobo. I recommend rebooting into CMOS Setup and save the current BIOS settings to a USB drive as a *.COM file.

"Tools" -> "ASUS Overclocking Profile" -> "Load/Save Profile from USB Drive" -> "[F2] Save as a new *.com file"

The settings actually get saved as a *.CMO file, but that works, too. ASUS programmers...

FYI: A quirk that may or may not occur with your R5E. After flashing *any* BIOS on my R5E, the video output defaults to the HDMI port. I disable the "Compatibility Support Module": "Boot" -> "CSM Compatibility Support Module", reboot, and the video outputs to my displayport as it should. Also, without CSM disabled, the PC will *freeze* when trying to load the saved BIOS settings from the USB drive.

Now that the quirky bits are out of the way...

1) Download version 1.69.16 of the "UEFI BIOS Updater" here.

2) Download MMTool version 5.02.0.24 (patched). Extract the contents and remove the version number from the filename.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/406suaf0vsb4x17/MMTool+5.02_patched.zip

3) Download the latest "Linux Processor Microcode Data File" from:
https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/873/Processors and extract the contents. (Current version: 20180312)

4) Download the latest unpatched BIOS. ( Currently 3801 for the Rampage V Extreme ). I extracted the BIOS image and renamed it R5E_3801.CAP

5) Extract the UBU archive. I extracted mine to the Desktop. Rename the folder "UBU", and place both the BIOS image and MMTool.exe in the UBU root folder.

6) Download CPU-Z. Run CPU-Z. Gather the values for "Ext. Family", "Ext. Model", and "Stepping" in that order. For my Intel i7-5960X they are 6,3F,2.
Now, jot them down in this format: 06-3F-02.

70755

Go to the "intel-ucode" folder inside the microcode folder extracted earlier. Look for the microcode update filename that matches with what was jotted down, and copy it to the UBU folder.

7) In a PowerShell or Command Prompt with admin privileges, make the UBU folder the Current Directory.
For example, I'd enter CD C:\Users\axle\Desktop\UBU into a PowerShell.

😎 Enter: .\UBU

The name of the BIOS image file will appear momentarily at the top-left corner. This is the output I got.

70756

Press any key to continue.



9) Select '7'.


10) Select 'm' and upload your CPU microcode update. In my case "06-3F-02".

72337

11) Select 'Y' to update.

72336

Press any key to continue...

12) To save the updated BIOS image select '0' to go to the main menu, then '0' again to exit, and select '1'.

70759

Done! Just press any key to exit the BIOS updater. The BIOS image file has been renamed R5E.CAP and is ready to flash.
The size of the patched BIOS image and the unpatched BIOS image must be identical. Don't flash the patched BIOS image if different.

Success in flashing a modded BIOS image appears to be more likely when using USB BIOS Flashback. More importantly, should the flash go bad and CMOS setup is inaccessible, the same method can still be used to flash a non modded BIOS image.

72828

"InSpectre" from Gibson Research is a utility that checks for the presence of Spectre/Meltdown
exploit mitigation. https://www.grc.com/inspectre.htm

Have a Happy Flash.
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -- Unknown
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104 REPLIES 104

Axle_Grease
Level 7
...and this.

70767
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -- Unknown

Thanks for these easy to follow instructions.I have created the new bios successfully,but haven't applied it yet.Are you noticing any general problems,event viewer errors, or uncalled system reboots after updating the microcode? I have similar system to you:rampv,5930x,win 7 ultimate,gtx980s. Thanks again- your easy to follow directions are greatly appreciated!

raf61 wrote:
Thanks for these easy to follow instructions.I have created the new bios successfully,but haven't applied it yet.Are you noticing any general problems,event viewer errors, or uncalled system reboots after updating the microcode? I have similar system to you:rampv,5930x,win 7 ultimate,gtx980s. Thanks again- your easy to follow directions are greatly appreciated!


There are no new errors in Event Viewer . Just the ones I normally get... There's been no uncalled system reboots. The PC is stable just like before. I'm using the same BIOS settings. The only difference is, reboots are slower, and SFC /scannow took longer to complete, and the benchmark scores for certain 4K I/O are bad. Nothing unexpected, though.
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -- Unknown

raf61 wrote:
Thanks for these easy to follow instructions.I have created the new bios successfully,but haven't applied it yet.Are you noticing any general problems,event viewer errors, or uncalled system reboots after updating the microcode? I have similar system to you:rampv,5930x,win 7 ultimate,gtx980s. Thanks again- your easy to follow directions are greatly appreciated!


I created my R5E.CAP file last night but have no flashed it. Have you?

I was having trouble with the procedure at first. Basically, I was creating the UBU folder within my Downloads folder, which didn't work. What did work, is creating the UBU file from C:\ (i.e. C:\UBU).

JOSHSKORN wrote:
I created my R5E.CAP file last night but have no flashed it. Have you?

I was having trouble with the procedure at first. Basically, I was creating the UBU folder within my Downloads folder, which didn't work. What did work, is creating the UBU file from C:\ (i.e. C:\UBU).


It's odd that the location has an influence. My UBU folder was on the Desktop.

Intel pulled the current microcode version from its download site after having pinpointed the cause of the spontaneous reboots. I haven't had any of those so far, but it might be better to wait for the fixed microcode patch to lessen the chance of post flash scares.
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -- Unknown

Axle Grease wrote:
It's odd that the location has an influence. My UBU folder was on the Desktop.

Intel pulled the current microcode version from its download site after having pinpointed the cause of the spontaneous reboots. I haven't had any of those so far, but it might be better to wait for the fixed microcode patch to lessen the chance of post flash scares.


Thanks for the info, glad I didn't flash my patched BIOS, because, who knows what would've happened. I'm "assuming"/"guessing" that since Intel has, according to you, pinpointed the reboot issue, that ASUS "may" not be far behind in releasing a Spectre-patched BIOS. From what I understand, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that Anti-virus can detect Spectre BEFORE it exploits my CPU, yes? I use BitDefender 2018.

I wouldn't know if the Desktop and Downloads folders have different file permissions, thus causing whatever error I'd seen. But it looks like for now, I'm not going to even bother. I'll give ASUS another few weeks to release an updated BIOS before attempting this, again, AND I want to be sure that microcode doesn't cause reboots, even though you'd said you didn't have issues. I'm not taking that chance.

EDIT: Riddle me this. I looked again at the Linux Processor Microcode Data File page and it was dated 2017. How is this supposed to work, anyways? Yikes, I guess I just gave myself an excuse to wait for an official release, considering this isn't making sense to me.

JOSHSKORN wrote:
I created my R5E.CAP file last night but have no flashed it. Have you?

I was having trouble with the procedure at first. Basically, I was creating the UBU folder within my Downloads folder, which didn't work. What did work, is creating the UBU file from C:\ (i.e. C:\UBU).



I haven't updated yet because as Axle Grease said ,a new microcode is in the works.In the meantime I took pictures of my current overclock, so I will have a record of my current bios settings.When new microcode arrives ,I wont wait for Asus. Security has priority over performance for me.Thanks to Axel Grease I feel like I have some control over the situation and not dependent on Asus;although I hope Asus does provide an updated bios for all X99 boards.

Vlada011
Level 10
Hahaaaa.... I would rather sell everything that do this procedure.
30% of people who pushed their processors to last percent and memory OC to maximum will not be able to repeat same settings after BIOS Update or load saved profiles.
They will lost own performance even without impact of patch, that will be extra lost.

Axle_Grease
Level 7
Keeping anti-virus software updated along with the OS and the web-browser is the best protection users with unpatched BIOSes can expect against Spectre exploiting code, short of disconnecting from the internet. Just doing that should stop *known* malware from executing. However, bad things can happen between when pernicious code is first released into the wild and when software updates are installed to block it, which could be days apart. That's why the CPU microcode needs to be updated ASAP, preferably without resulting in spontaneous reboots. I expect Asus will be waiting on Intel to release a 'good' microcode update. Any changes Intel makes will be applied to the microcode file for every CPU from the Pentium II and up, and then there's Intel's rigorous testing procedure. Oh... so then expect a brief wait.

I can understand your trepidation over updating the BIOS, having to weigh the risks of infection and flashing botched Intel microcode. I think you're right in holding off, and might as well enjoy that final days of good disk I/O performance.

The Linux Processor Microcode page there now is an older one. The one Intel pulled was dated Jan 8th (I think).
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes." -- Unknown