Question MSI Z490 with nonstandard BIOS?

Jun 19, 2021
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Trying to flash BIOS of MSI MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi. Downloaded latest driver file E7C79IMS.170 from https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MPG-Z490-GAMING-EDGE-WIFI#down-bios. M-Flash would not recognize it - would see directory structure on the USB but did not recognize the file.

After trying many, many permutations to get it to be recognized, I noticed that the current version of BIOS is E7C79IZ1.1Z3. So I renamed the downloaded file to E7C79IZ1.170 and M-Flash recognized the file! Finally after many hours of frustration - USB worked fine, M-Flash just did not think the file was relevant. However, now selecting the renamed file shows a severe warning message that file does not contain the same BIOS version as the mobo and warranty would be voided if I tried to install it (or something to that effect).

So where do I go from here? I've verified that I do indeed have a MPG Z490 Gaming Edge Wifi (MS-7C79) (shown in BIOS screen and printed on the mobo itself), and have S/N 601-7C79-010B2012201xxxx which also indicates this. However none of the BIOS files on MSI page (and I did try all of them) start with E7C79IZ1. Also the installed BIOS indicates a version date of 2020-11-06 which doesn't correspond to any of the versions available on MSI website. I tried googling E7C79IZ1 and variants to see if maybe there is some related-but-slightly-different mobo, or if anyone else had any similar problem, but nothing.

If it helps, computer (and board) purchased from Origin PC in Feb 2021.

So I am out of ideas - been doing this kind of thing for decades and this is the first time I am well and truly stumped. Any help greatly appreciated.
 

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