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ROG Strix Z690-I -- need to, but can't, Rollback to BIOS 2103

Level 8

My Strix Z690-I is currently on BIOS 2305. I need to roll it back to pre-2204, undoing the damage caused by Intel's Thunderbolt firmware update to NVM 36 included in BIOS 2204. This firmware removes compatibility with Thunderbolt 2 devices, which is the entire purpose I bought and have used this motherboard for over the last year (I do pro-audio work with TB2 devices).

As an aside, this is not a "Thunderbolt 4 isn't compatible with Thunderbolt 2 devices" problem as many suggest. This is a "it worked for a year, and Intel+ASUS removed functionality that I paid for" problem. Presumably they did this for security due to things like Thunderspy, but if someone physically gets to this machine I have much bigger problems than data security. A toggle/risk-acceptance BIOS disable option for TB1/2 would have been the correct solution, not removing the feature.

Regardless, I need to get my system back to a hardware state where it worked so that I can work, and that means pre-NVM 36 which is prior to BIOS 2204.

According to the BIOS download page, versions prior to 2004 cannot be rolled back. That's fine, since 2204 did the damage, and only BIOS 2004 says it can't be rolled back. I've tried rolling back to 2204, 2103, and 2004 with both the BIOS EZFlash utility and via the Flashback button. I have tried multiple flash drives, including the one I used to update to 2305 in the first place. It just says something like "not a valid BIOS file".

Is there another way to force a BIOS downgrade/rollback? Is there some magic file or hardware jumper to force it to obey me, its owner?


PS - IMO "lockout" shouldn't even be a thing since the hardware has worked fine with every BIOS since December 2021. Nothing has changed physically, it's all embedded software. You should be able to JTAG wipe the whole thing to zeros and start over with the release-day firmware if you want to.



Hello Steavis,

I sent you a bios update to resolve the TB2 issue, check your messages.


Will this BIOS be made available to the public? I'm having the same issue. 

Is bios BIOS 9901 for the Z690 Apex available for download?  Need the Intel Thunderbolt NVM31 firmware.

i have the same exact issue and i want to downgrade back down to an older version other then 2305

I am absolutely stuck! I have an Intel i5 13 gen 13600k, asus z690-f gaming wifi mobo (win11 with rtx-4080. I am not sure how I got to the latest version, but I’m encountering the same issue. I absolutely tried everything that others suggested and no matter what I try… I get the same results, “not a valid bios file” the version I’m trying to get to is “2004” I am absolutely at my wits end. I need help for a roll back solution. This  is such an astronomically expensive machine I really cannot afford sticking much more into it. I am really disappointed with my overal experience as my other gaming rig with msi mobi work flawlessly. if any suggestions are available please reply your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time. 

Customer Service Agent

Hello, @Wehmas86 

The latest BIOS version for the ROG STRIX Z690-F GAMING WIFI is 2403.
If you have a specific version requirement and cannot roll back to the desired version using USB BIOS FlashBack, we would recommend contacting official customer support and arranging for a repair.
Please make sure to communicate your request for flashing a specific BIOS version when submitting for repair.
Please refer to [Motherboard] How to use USB BIOS FlashBack™? if needed.

Thank you.