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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
65,995 Views
104 REPLIES 104

Axle Grease wrote:
The Linux Processor Microcode page there now is an older one. The one Intel pulled was dated Jan 8th (I think).


So basically, this thread is essentially null and void FOR NOW, BECAUSE Intel pulled the microcode that you had linked us to and is the latest posted version is unpatched. Correct? Maybe you could help other users out by editing the OP with a warning and explanation and save us some trouble, because again, according to the process you'd posted and with the links provided, the microcode file isn't the same as what you'd obtained. I'd seen other replies in other threads where users had posted their patched R5E.CAP file. I'm not willing to try it, unless it's from users that that I know that typically post these working files.

Axle Grease wrote:
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).




HERE IS THE ANSWER FROM ASUS!!!!!!!!
I GUESS WE HAVE TO DO IT OURSELVES with new microcode dated 3-12-2018 on intel website ....


Hello Jerome Cornish,

Thank you for responding to Asus Product Support, this is Olga O. again and I apologize if there will be no BIOS update for the Spectre 2 issue with your motherboard. I know how important it is to solve the issue as soon as possible. Let me further assist you.

Upon checking the BIOS version version 3003 that was released from 2015/11/23.

Unfortunately, our software engineers will no longer release any BIOS updates.

If you have any questions or comments, you can simply reply to this email to contact us again. Thank you for choosing ASUS Products and Services.

Please take note of your case number for future reference N1803152533.

Regards,
Olga O.
ASUS Product Support

Thanks a Lot !
I success to create my custom BIOS for Asus A II
I start with this bios 1902...
But for other people, your MB have to be in 1801 otherwise, flashback doesn't work !

bios 3902 ASUS Rampage V Extreme (Last Mcodes updated)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_8mUo4DlEHPqdTw9BOU9E82CM8l4tdjk/view?usp=sharing

Dalnoboi wrote:
bios 3902 ASUS Rampage V Extreme (Last Mcodes updated)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_8mUo4DlEHPqdTw9BOU9E82CM8l4tdjk/view?usp=sharing


What CPU mCode did you update? It's selectively based, using these instructions only the mCode for your CPU is updated....

JustinThyme
Level 13
Personally, Im not changing anything. my Machines have been this way for a decade or more and I dont have my zipper down with my junk hanging out and waving. To get to my stuff one would have to get past two firewalls for starters then all they would get is inheriting my kids college tuition payments. I dont save things like credit card info, thats just stupidity in the first place. Im not a multi billion $$ financial institution that wouild make it worth the effort to even try. IMO this is all getting blown out of proportion.



“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, I'm not sure about the former” ~ Albert Einstein

JustinThyme wrote:
IMO this is all getting blown out of proportion.

It's always blown out of proportion. "This isn't what I paid for, this is broken/buggy ****! ASUS Pay Attention And Fix My Stuff Right Now!"

Intel AVX Offset bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
Intel HyperThreading bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
Intel IME vulnerability bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
SPECTRE/MELTDOWN - ASUS fix it Right Now!

I think it's part media scare - "SPECTRE" and "MELTDOWN", lol scary names which suggest ghostly intruders sifting through your ever-so-precious personal data and evil criminals writing programs which will nuke your hardware. Could've as easily named them "Speculative Execution Exploit" and "Virtual Execution Exploit".

And it's part entitlement. "I spent top-dollar paying the best to buy to the best, it had better work or they had better fix it (Right Now)!"

And it's part rush-rush-rush. It's what happens when Intel rams multiple Skylake/Kabylake/Coffeelake families out the door, 5th Gen in 2014 to 8th Gen (soon 9th Gen) in 2018 ... abandoning their tried-and-true tick/tock cycles and constantly moving forward without even bothering to address the growing pile (now half a decade!) of known but unresolved errata. With all the big mobo makers (including ASUS) struggling to keep on top of every new chipset and processor release - along with their own growing piles of known but unresolved errata, just patching things ad-hoc when needed to keep ahead on the newest products, very little time to spare towards fixing all the "old stuff".

I am reminded of the old GPU races during ~5 years of 28nm TSMC ... an endless stream of "new" products with only trivial performance increases over half a decade, always pushing the latest-and-greatest stuff out the door and always leaving last-season's "legacy" stuff buried under problems. ASUS had some good moments and some bad moments but consistently fared somewhat poorly overall ... just like MSI, EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, and all the others.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Korth wrote:
And it's part entitlement. "I spent top-dollar paying the best to buy to the best, it had better work or they had better fix it (Right Now)!"


This is a silly and naïve characterization. Your use of "entitlement" implies that Asus customers are somehow demanding special treatment. Asus ROG markets itself as a high-end, premium tier product and is certainly priced as such. The microcode is there for many platforms, that's not the issue (as evidenced by this thread) . It goes without saying that customers expect them to maintain their products in a reasonable and timely fashion. Meanwhile, a bunch of the Intel CPU microcode has been released in production for some time as you can see numerous other manufacturers have already released BIOS updates weeks ago. To me that is puzzling. Funny that you classify that as entitlement.

Korth wrote:
It's always blown out of proportion. "This isn't what I paid for, this is broken/buggy ****! ASUS Pay Attention And Fix My Stuff Right Now!"

Intel AVX Offset bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
Intel HyperThreading bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
Intel IME vulnerability bug - ASUS fix it Right Now!
SPECTRE/MELTDOWN - ASUS fix it Right Now!

I think it's part media scare - "SPECTRE" and "MELTDOWN", lol scary names which suggest ghostly intruders sifting through your ever-so-precious personal data and evil criminals writing programs which will nuke your hardware. Could've as easily named them "Speculative Execution Exploit" and "Virtual Execution Exploit".

And it's part entitlement. "I spent top-dollar paying the best to buy to the best, it had better work or they had better fix it (Right Now)!"


I bought a product that has some security/performance/stability flaws that can be easily patched by a software update. So yeah I demand that the product I paid for is working as intended. And it couldn't be that hard since all other major hardware producers are updating as well. My Asrock, Gigabyte boards and also my Thinkpads got updates a while ago. Only my Asus notebook and board still got nothing.


And it's part rush-rush-rush. It's what happens when Intel rams multiple Skylake/Kabylake/Coffeelake families out the door, 5th Gen in 2014 to 8th Gen (soon 9th Gen) in 2018 ... abandoning their tried-and-true tick/tock cycles and constantly moving forward without even bothering to address the growing pile (now half a decade!) of known but unresolved errata. With all the big mobo makers (including ASUS) struggling to keep on top of every new chipset and processor release - along with their own growing piles of known but unresolved errata, just patching things ad-hoc when needed to keep ahead on the newest products, very little time to spare towards fixing all the "old stuff".


4th generation i7-4770 06/2013
5th generation i7-5775C 06/2015 -> only 2 desktop cpus with Iris Pro graphics
6th generation i7-6770 09/2015
7th generation i7-7700 01/2017
8th generation i7-8700 10/2017

Beside the 8th gen as reaction on ryzen and the brodwell chimera they haven't rushed anything in the last years.


I am reminded of the old GPU races during ~5 years of 28nm TSMC ... an endless stream of "new" products with only trivial performance increases over half a decade, always pushing the latest-and-greatest stuff out the door and always leaving last-season's "legacy" stuff buried under problems. ASUS had some good moments and some bad moments but consistently fared somewhat poorly overall ... just like MSI, EVGA, ASRock, Gigabyte, and all the others.


Geforce 600 series GK104 03/2012
Geforce 900 series GM200 03/2015

Beside some 950/960 OEM cards they haven't sold an endless stream of 28nm cards, especially not for 5 years.

Well I'm not really convinced you know what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

JOSHSKORN
Level 7
Axle Grease wrote:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
UPDATE 29-Jan-18: I recommend to not patch the BIOS until Intel uploads a fixed microcode update.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________



Thank you for updating the OP.

I'd just read that Microsoft had released a patch that was supposedly conflicting with Intel's patch. Then again, I did see this off of Yahoo!, so take it with a grain of salt, unless you know better. I'm just relaying information. I'm a little confused as to how Microsoft can patch Spectre, anyways when from what I'd read, it needs to be patched at the BIOS level.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/microsoft-apos-windows-10-spectre-131500375.html