How-To: Update BIOS with E-Z Flash on an ASUS Motherboard

By Published August 07, 2014 at 3:59 am

Flashing firmware used to be a sort-of haphazard process that often resulted in bricked motherboards. At least, that was my experience when working with pre-UEFI motherboards in a lab environment. The widespread adoption of UEFI in modern motherboards means that usability has been substantially improved, and with that in mind, flashing no longer requires a bootable CD with command prompt loaded.

This quick tutorial shows how to flash your firmware (update BIOS) using any modern ASUS board. We used an ASUS Crosshair V in this guide, but the steps apply to any other E-Z Flash-equipped board. Note that some modern board manufacturers (MSI and ASRock both included) will also allow BIOS flashing over ethernet or wireless connection, though USB is still the easiest and safest method.

Video Tutorial: How To Flash BIOS with an ASUS Board

Setup & Necessary Tools

  • A board with simplified firmware flashing software.
  • USB storage device.
  • The most recent version of your board's BIOS, found from the manufacturer's site. Store this on the USB device.

Warnings & Notes 

Abrupt power loss or power disruption by the user can brick the board -- meaning it will be as useful as a brick when it comes to computing. Do not disconnect power at any time during this process. Don't perform during electrical storms.

When updating via internet, most boards will store the update locally, wipe the old firmware, and then apply the update. In the event your board does not do this, but instead requires a constant internet connection, it is advisable not to disconnect your wire during the update. We would also advise opting for a wired connection.

Also note that flashing BIOS will wipe all settings, so it is recommended that you write down any overclocking settings before proceeding.

Note that many high-end boards -- like MSI's Z97-GD65 -- offer a "dual-BIOS" feature. This is a good thing. The reason that flashing firmware can brick a board is because there exist no consumer means to recover a corrupted firmware chip. To update firmware, the board must first wipe the existing blocks housing the firmware, then apply the update block-by-block to the flash device. Failure or power loss during the 'wipe' phase will likely result in catastrophic failure -- or unrecoverable corruption to the Flash memory.

Dual BIOS eliminates this concern. If BIOS fails due to a bad flash, a physical switch on the board can be toggled to enable the backup BIOS chip.

For most users, it is recommended that you don't fix something that isn't broken, to paraphrase an adage. Updating BIOS is advisable in the instance of new features (like support for new CPUs and unlocking CPUs) or fixed features (often, this is RAID).

Step-by-Step Guide to Updating BIOS on an ASUS Motherboard

  • Boot to BIOS. Navigate to "Tool," then "EZ Flash."
  • Check your current BIOS version. Make a note.
  • Download the most recent BIOS iteration from the ASUS website. Store this to a USB device.
  • Boot to BIOS. Navigate to "Tool," then "EZ Flash."
  • Select the USB device. Select the file. Press 'enter.'
  • You will be prompted one final time before applying the update. Review this and accept.
  • Reboot upon completion.
  • Check the BIOS version again to ensure the update was applied.
  • You will need to re-apply BIOS settings manually.

That's it! You're done. We've got similar content coming for updating via internet when using MSI and ASRock boards. Subscribe to the YouTube channel for more tutorials, as always.

Writing / Video: Steve "Lelldorianx" Burke.

Camera work: Patrick "mocalcium" Stone.

Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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