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Intel Board DH67CF bricked -- flashing with SPI-programmer?



I've bricked my DH67CF board (No.: BTCF1150008G AA G10216-203; Intel Core i5-2400S) by a firmware update via the F7 method. The updated seemed to progress correctly, but after the system automatically rebooted it kept dark. The system shows a continuous moderate FAN activity but no sign of booting or whatever. I guess I took a too new BIOS version or skipped to many versions inbetween. In any case,the rescue procedure does not progress (neither with USB nor CD-ROM approach; 30 minutes waiting does not help). Also disconnecting the battery for 30 minutes didn't help.

In my desperation (this is our family PC and my girls are really in a bad mood :-P) I am now considering to flash the BIOS chip using some external tools. The BIOS chip seems to be a Macronix MX25L3206EM2I-12G. As far as I can guess from my web recherche, flashing should be possible with an in-circuit clip and a USB SPI-programmer (CH341A-based). If haven't bought any of these tools yet -- so if you have any advise I would be grateful to hear it.

It would be great to hear whether somebody has ever flashed his BIOS manually with an external programmer and was successful. Furthermore, I am not 100% sure yet, whether those .bio files I downloaded from the Intel website are the actual files I should use. In terms of size they seem to fit as the the MX25L3206EM2I-12G apparently has 32 MB storage. If you have ideas of what else I can do to rescue the system, I'd also happy to hear them!


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4 Replies
Super User Retired Employee

Here's what I can tell you. You cannot get to a binary form from the .BIO file. The .BIO files are encrypted and only an existing BIOS can decrypt it and apply the update(s). Intel will not provide the BIOS in any binary format as this is a huge security issue. Since the flash also contains the configuration and the board branding (including serial number, MAC address, etc.), you cannot clone the flash from another board (well, not without then causing all sorts of problems). Since the tools needed to modify the branding also represent a security issue, Intel will not let them out the door either. Bottom line, if the BIOS is bricked, you are stuck.



Super User

For $90 or less, you can make the problem go away: Intel Motherboard DH67CF LGA 1155/Socket H2 W/ Heatsink Fan | eBay

For $125, you can be like new again: Intel DH67CF Media Series, LGA 1155/Socket H2 (BOXDH67CFB3) Motherboard | eBay

The above links are not an endorsement of the products available on that auction site and are provided merely for your convenience. As in all cases with purchasing from that auction site, the rule is buyer beware.

If any of the above were used, and functional, your migration from the old board to a replacement board SHOULD be painless.



Concerning a replacement from eBay: I am searching for a replacement already for some time and those two offerings were known to me. However, one is not sending to Europe -- where I am -- and the other will have a price +50% through tax and sending fees. So, I hoped that spending 20 EU for the programmer hardware is a better deal and I could learn a bit about microcontroller programming! And of course, there are no guarantees, that the boards are functional and the money not lost in the end (plus the time). So I am considering other options, like getting another LGA 1155 board (which seems to be equally hard) or upgrading to brand-new hardware.

Thanks for your support!



Hm, that's bad news. I did not think of this, nor that Intel is such a big fan of security by obfuscation. Thank you very much for the clarification.