[SOLVED] I updated my BIOS, now I cant even boot into Windows RE from a USB, PLEASE HELP!

Jan 21, 2022
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Motherboard: 
ASUS PRIME B450M-A
GPU: 
ASUS DUAL-RX580-O4G


CPU:
 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3.6GHz,65W,L3:32M,6C,B0)


RAM: 
GoodRAM GX2400 DDR4 8GB DIMM




My PC came prebuilt from a vendor when I bought it 2-3 years ago. When it arrived it had BIOS version 1823 on it. 2 days ago I wanted to finally update my BIOS version and this is what happened...

I went on the official ASUS support web site to download BIOS version.3211 for my Motherboard. I formatted a USB to GPT and FAT32 using Rufus. I extracted the ZIP file containing the .CAP file using 7 ZIP inside of the USB, and used the renaming tool on the .CAP file. I then deleted the ZIP file and renaming tool leaving only the .CAP file in the USB. When done I properly ejected the USB and went into my PC´s BIOS.

In the BIOS I navigated to EZ Flash 3 utility. Where I found my USB and .CAP file and proceeded to update my BIOS. When it was finished it rebooted and everything went fine (or so I thought). I got prompted to press "F1" by a "American Megatrends screen" to head over to BIOS settings. I shut down the computer, unplugged the power chord and held the power button to discharge. Then I carefully removed the CMOS battery for 5+ minutes and put it back inn. When I booted back into the BIOS I pressed "Load Optimized defaults" and then changed the date/time + booting options. When I pressed "F10" and the PC restarted, I got through POST to a Windows logo with the spinning dots on the bottom. After about 3 seconds the dots stop spinning and the PC froze up.

Now after this I downloaded Windows RE onto a USB, and the same problem occurs. I have tried to make the USB with Windows MediaCreationTool AND with Rufus using the ISO. When using Rufus I tried both with GPT(NTFS) and with MBR(NTFS), nothing has worked.

So I went and downloaded the BIOS version.1823 (which was my original BIOS version) to try and revert what I did. But when I go into EZ flash 3 and locate the .CAP file i get prompted saying that the "File is not a proper BIOS".

I have tried booting into a Ubuntu AND manjaro on Live USB´s, both allowing me to select the OS in Grub but gets stuck after GRUB.
I even ran Memtest86 on the PC from a USB for 3-4 hours and it went through all 4 passes without a single error.

Now after 2 days of trying just about any combination of boot order and boot settings you can imagine I manage to get the Windows RE USB to boot and I get prompted with "Select you language screen". But Before I can open a terminal or select anything the PC freezes up. And I´m forced to reboot.

Setup when testing for the past 2 days:
1 Ram stick in the "A2" position on the MB.
I plugged out all other peripherals except for my keyboard and Display Port cable for my monitor.
I only have 1 harddrive connected which is the M.2 SSD
And lastly My GPU is connected as I think my CPU doesnt have integrated graphics on it.



Pictures of my old and updated Bios version on the PC + the MemTest86 results: View: https://imgur.com/a/acOtu7u


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
Motherboard: 
ASUS PRIME B450M-A
GPU: 
ASUS DUAL-RX580-O4G


CPU:
 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3.6GHz,65W,L3:32M,6C,B0)


RAM: 
GoodRAM GX2400 DDR4 8GB DIMM




My PC came prebuilt from a vendor when I bought it 2-3 years ago. When it arrived it had BIOS version 1823 on it. 2 days ago I wanted to finally update my BIOS version and this is what happened...

I went on the official ASUS support web site to download BIOS version.3211 for my Motherboard. I formatted a USB to GPT and FAT32 using Rufus. I extracted the ZIP file containing the .CAP file using 7 ZIP inside of the USB, and used the renaming tool on the .CAP file. I then deleted the ZIP file and renaming tool leaving only the .CAP file in the USB. When done I properly ejected the USB and went into my PC´s BIOS.

In the BIOS I navigated to EZ Flash 3 utility. Where I found my USB and .CAP file and proceeded to update my BIOS. When it was finished it rebooted and everything went fine (or so I thought). I got prompted to press "F1" by a "American Megatrends screen" to head over to BIOS settings. I shut down the computer, unplugged the power chord and held the power button to discharge. Then I carefully removed the CMOS battery for 5+ minutes and put it back inn. When I booted back into the BIOS I pressed "Load Optimized defaults" and then changed the date/time + booting options. When I pressed "F10" and the PC restarted, I got through POST to a Windows logo with the spinning dots on the bottom. After about 3 seconds the dots stop spinning and the PC froze up.

Now after this I downloaded Windows RE onto a USB, and the same problem occurs. I have tried to make the USB with Windows MediaCreationTool AND with Rufus using the ISO. When using Rufus I tried both with GPT(NTFS) and with MBR(NTFS), nothing has worked.

So I went and downloaded the BIOS version.1823 (which was my original BIOS version) to try and revert what I did. But when I go into EZ flash 3 and locate the .CAP file i get prompted saying that the "File is not a proper BIOS".

I have tried booting into a Ubuntu AND manjaro on Live USB´s, both allowing me to select the OS in Grub but gets stuck after GRUB.
I even ran Memtest86 on the PC from a USB for 3-4 hours and it went through all 4 passes without a single error.

Now after 2 days of trying just about any combination of boot order and boot settings you can imagine I manage to get the Windows RE USB to boot and I get prompted with "Select you language screen". But Before I can open a terminal or select anything the PC freezes up. And I´m forced to reboot.

Setup when testing for the past 2 days:
1 Ram stick in the "A2" position on the MB.
I plugged out all other peripherals except for my keyboard and Display Port cable for my monitor.
I only have 1 harddrive connected which is the M.2 SSD
And lastly My GPU is connected as I think my CPU doesnt have integrated graphics on it.



Pictures of my old and updated Bios version on the PC + the MemTest86 results: View: https://imgur.com/a/acOtu7u


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
find CSM Support, and disable that, then save and exit.
 
Jan 21, 2022
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find CSM Support, and disable that, then save and exit.
I have tried disabling that, and neither the USB or OS would boot afterwards.
I really appreciate any and all ideas though, I´m completely out of them!
 
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I have tried disabling that, and neither the USB or OS would boot afterwards.
I really appreciate any and all ideas though, I´m completely out of them!
You should actually try it with CSM support enabled. Compatibility Support Module is CSM...enabling it means it won't use UEFI mode booting which needs GPT partitioning on the system drive.

I had a similar problem recently. Also go into BIOS and make sure the fTPM (security processor, whatever Asus calls it) is disabled for now.

If you do get into windows with CSM disabled find the Security Processor details applet, go into troubleshooting and clear the TPM. Now restart into BIOS and re-enable the fTPM, then back into windows.

Now go and disable CSM (enable UEFI mode). But that will only allow access if the drive uses GPT partitioning.

With my problem I could not enable Secure Boot even though both UEFI mode and the fTPM could ultimately be enabled after the BIOS change. It would sit at the spinner and eventually stop, like you have experienced. I got no help so I reverted BIOS for it to work properly. I'm pretty sure this sort of thing is related to the extra default security Microsoft embeds in Windows now...coupled with the recent BIOS updates that have enabled security features by default at the hardware level.
 
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Jan 21, 2022
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You should actually try it with CSM support enabled. Compatibility Support Module is CSM...enabling it means it won't use UEFI mode booting which needs GPT partitioning on the system drive.

I had a similar problem recently. Also go into BIOS and make sure the fTPM is disabled for now.

If you do get into windows with CSM disabled find the Security Processor details applet, go into troubleshooting and clear the TPM. Now restart into BIOS and re-enable the fTPM, then back into windows.

Now go and disable CSM (enable UEFI mode). But that will only allow access if the drive uses GPT partitioning.

With my problem I could not enable Secure Boot even though both UEFI mode and the fTPM could be enabled after the BIOS change. It would sit at the spinner and eventually stop, like you have experienced. I had to revert BIOS for it to work properly.
I have tried with CSM enabled and disabled with every combination of fast boot +- secure boot enabled/disabled at the same time, with both the recovery USB and my harddrive.
I should add that when I have secure boot + CSM disabled I get the "Preparing automatic repair" screen, but the dots on the screen stops and the PC freezes again.

I have no clue what fTPM is, but I tested different settings after reading about it on forums.
my 2 options on fTPM are:
"Enable Firmware TPM" / "Enable Discreet TPM" and "Erase fTPM NV for factory reset" -> Enabled/Disabled
What combination of these 2 do you recommend here?

I just tested with disabled CSM(no option to enable UEFI), disabled fast boot and disabled secure boot. Got the same results.
 
I have tried with CSM enabled and disabled with every combination of fast boot +- secure boot enabled/disabled at the same time, with both the recovery USB and my harddrive.
I should add that when I have secure boot + CSM disabled I get the "Preparing automatic repair" screen, but the dots on the screen stops and the PC freezes again.

I have no clue what fTPM is, but I tested different settings after reading about it on forums.
my 2 options on fTPM are:
"Enable Firmware TPM" / "Enable Discreet TPM" and "Erase fTPM NV for factory reset" -> Enabled/Disabled
What combination of these 2 do you recommend here?

I just tested with disabled CSM(no option to enable UEFI), disabled fast boot and disabled secure boot. Got the same results.
For now, just make sure CSM is enabled to be in compatibility mode for the least restrictive security that might be preventing Windows from starting.

Your processor has a built-in TPM that's called an fTPM or firmware TPM, you probably do not have a discreet TPM since that is a module you'd have to purchase and install on the motherboard. You'd know if you did that I'm sure.

Make sure the fTPM is NOT enabled. You could also do an 'erase the fTPM NV for factory reset' to try and start fresh.

This all assumes you did not have BitLocker enabled BTW; if you did it changes everything.
 
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Jan 21, 2022
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For now, just make sure CSM is enabled to be in compatibility mode for the least restrictive security that might be preventing Windows from starting.

Your processor has a built-in TPM that's called an fTPM or firmware TPM, you probably do not have a discreet TPM since that is a module you'd have to purchase and install on the motherboard. You'd know if you did that I'm sure.

Make sure the fTPM is NOT enabled. You could also do an 'erase the fTPM NV for factory reset' to try and start fresh.

This all assumes you did not have BitLocker enabled BTW; if you did it changes everything.
I cant find a option to disable fTPM , under the "AMD fTPM configuration" tab, I only have the 2 options I gave earlier.

I´m fairly confident I didn´t have BitLocker enabled, never knew what it was until i searched it up yesterday anyways.

But I also have an identical PC with the same specs and on the BIOS version I was on BEFORE all this happened. So if there´s any way I could check for the BitLocker stuff, OR if there´s a way to "clone" and export the BIOS version from the other computer over to mine please tell me and I will check. I only ever found a way to export the settings from the other computer, which I did and tested. AS I was the one that set up both PC´s at the same time 3 years ago.
 
I cant find a option to disable fTPM , under the "AMD fTPM configuration" tab, I only have the 2 options I gave earlier.

I´m fairly confident I didn´t have BitLocker enabled, never knew what it was until i searched it up yesterday anyways.

But I also have an identical PC with the same specs and on the BIOS version I was on BEFORE all this happened. So if there´s any way I could check for the BitLocker stuff, OR if there´s a way to "clone" and export the BIOS version from the other computer over to mine please tell me and I will check. I only ever found a way to export the settings from the other computer, which I did and tested. AS I was the one that set up both PC´s at the same time 3 years ago.
I think all you have to do is just make sure the fTPM is NOT enabled, that should do it. Conversely, if you've been trying with it not enabled try enabling it. Also try with erase the fTPM NV storage.

I don't use bitlocker myself but not much experience with it. The safe way to deploy is for it to be an affirmative action to enable it so no one does it accidentally and then gets locked out if they don't also save the keys. If you have Win10 Home you don't likely have it as only Win10Pro can it be enabled.

Like I said, in the end I had to revert BIOS to get back into Windows for my son's system. That's annoying I can't update BIOS in a safe way, without having to do a full re-install of Windows. I've asked about this on some Windows 10 forums and nobody offers any advice or background; all anyone says is you need GPT partitioning for UEFI mode. duhh. It's really annoying.
 
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Jan 21, 2022
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Probably file system on SSD got corrupted.
Try removing SSD and boot from windows installation media.
I have been trying to boot into a Windows Recovery USB for the last 2 days. With all these combinations in BIOS + 3 different methods of making the Live USB on 2 different USB´s in different USB ports on the PC, both USB 2.0 and 3.0
 
I have been trying to boot into a Windows Recovery USB for the last 2 days.
With all these combinations in BIOS + 3 different methods of making the Live USB on 2 different USB´s in different USB ports on the PC, both USB 2.0 and 3.0
Disconnect your SSD.
When you boot from USB into recovery environment, it tries to scan connected drives.
If file system is corrupted, you may not be able to load into recovery environment.
 
Jan 21, 2022
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Disconnect your SSD.
When you boot from USB into recovery environment, it tries to scan connected drives.
If file system is corrupted, you may not be able to load into recovery environment.
Yup, I have disconnected all Harddrives when booting into the USB.
 
Jan 21, 2022
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I think all you have to do is just make sure the fTPM is NOT enabled, that should do it. Conversely, if you've been trying with it not enabled try enabling it. Also try with erase the fTPM NV storage.

I don't use bitlocker myself but not much experience with it. The safe way to deploy is for it to be an affirmative action to enable it so no one does it accidentally and then gets locked out if they don't also save the keys. If you have Win10 Home you don't likely have it as only Win10Pro can it be enabled.

Like I said, in the end I had to revert BIOS to get back into Windows for my son's system. That's annoying I can't update BIOS in a safe way, without having to do a full re-install of Windows. I've asked about this on some Windows 10 forums and nobody offers any advice or background; all anyone says is you need GPT partitioning for UEFI mode. duhh. It's really annoying.
I fixed it, PC works fine now. No hardware has been harmed or anything!
The issue turned out to be XMP. BUT it wasn´t that simple. First off XMP is called "D.O.C.P" on AMD setups. which noone talks about anywhere so I had no clue that it was staring me right in the face. Secondly it was on DISABLED both before and after I flashed my BIOS I have photos of it being disabled. But apparently it was enabled eventhough the BIOS/UEFI says otherwise.

When I chose "profile 1" and turned XMP on, the PC booted just fine afterwards!

I really do appreciate the fast responses and ideas, THANK YOU!
 

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