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Novice
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Most stable BIOS for NUC8i7HVK

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I have BIOS version 0029 on my NUC. What is the most stable version I can use with the Express update method? Is there a download list somewhere with all the different BIOS versions?

Also is there a step by step guide to the settings in the BIOS, e.g., changing the boot order?

Thanks

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Valued Contributor I
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Hi Sands - awesome that you joined.

The express update (.exe) is not available after 037, on the NUC8i7HVK/HNKs. All other Bios updates (we're currently on 044), you must use the F7 BIOS Update or the BIOS recovery method.

I don't know what the general consensus is on which version of BIOS is the most stable. If you use this forum alone as your reference, you would be right in concluding that a few users have had issues with BIOS version 044, and 040 is likely the most stable.

Your first source for all drivers and bios is here

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/126143/Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC8i7HVK Downloads for Intel® NUC Kit NUC8i7HVK

If you want version 037 of the BIOS (and the last express setup available), you can find that by first selecting the BIOS update, then looking on the left of the screen and scroll down. You'll see some previous versions there.

Select 0037, and when the screen refreshes you should see the Express BIOS update [HNKBLi70.86A.0037.EB.EXE]

There are other updates available in addition to BIOS in the Downloads for Intel NUC Kit link above.

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Valued Contributor I
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Hi Sands - awesome that you joined.

The express update (.exe) is not available after 037, on the NUC8i7HVK/HNKs. All other Bios updates (we're currently on 044), you must use the F7 BIOS Update or the BIOS recovery method.

I don't know what the general consensus is on which version of BIOS is the most stable. If you use this forum alone as your reference, you would be right in concluding that a few users have had issues with BIOS version 044, and 040 is likely the most stable.

Your first source for all drivers and bios is here

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/126143/Intel-NUC-Kit-NUC8i7HVK Downloads for Intel® NUC Kit NUC8i7HVK

If you want version 037 of the BIOS (and the last express setup available), you can find that by first selecting the BIOS update, then looking on the left of the screen and scroll down. You'll see some previous versions there.

Select 0037, and when the screen refreshes you should see the Express BIOS update [HNKBLi70.86A.0037.EB.EXE]

There are other updates available in addition to BIOS in the Downloads for Intel NUC Kit link above.

View solution in original post

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Novice
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In addition to Mike's comments, with which I concur, you can also select F4 from the power button menu to replace (rather than update) the BIOS.

More information at https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005636/mini-pcs.html BIOS Update Instructions for Intel® NUC. (Note that the instructions do not say but USB thumb drive must be formatted FAT32 on a Windows PC with the quick format option disabled.)

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Valued Contributor I
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I do forget about that option. Thanks for adding to thread!

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Super User Retired Employee
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Robert,

You're not quite right; this should not be considered a "replace" operation. The F4 option in the Power Button Menu invokes BIOS Recovery. This differs from the standard BIOS update process in that all portions of the BIOS are installed, regardless of whether the version supplied is newer or not. Now, while this allows you to both upgrade and downgrade the BIOS, this is still limited by the Intel Management Engine (ME), which will not allow its firmware to be downgraded. Since the update of the ME firmware is usually the first step in the overall BIOS update process, attempting to downgrade to a BIOS containing an older version of the ME firmware will typically be aborted without any portions of the older BIOS being installed.

Whether you install the BIOS using the iFlash method, the F7 method or the Express BIOS Update (EBU) method, the operations performed are virtually the same. The BIOS capsules are loaded into memory and the system is restarted. During the subsequent POST, the existing BIOS recognizes that a set of BIOS capsules are sitting in memory and it invokes its installation engine. This engine validates the capsules, decompresses the capsules, validates the capsules again, decrypts the capsules, validates the capsules again and it then installs these capsules. As I said, to ensure the highest level of security possible (something the various third-party motherboard manufacturers choose to ignore (just saying)), the reboot is an absolutely-required part of the process and it is the existing BIOS that is responsible for installing the capsules. There is an exception: in the case of the ME, it is the ME and its existing firmware that is responsible for installing the ME firmware update capsule. Once all capsules have been processed, the last step is to modify the flash component to activate the just-installed BIOS (and other firmware) in place of the previous BIOS.

The BIOS Recovery process is very similar to that described above, but it utilizes a totally separate installation engine. This engine is more-restrictive in what it can/will support (hence why we always talk about reformatting your USB flash disks, on a Windows-based PC, using the FAT32 file system with the Quick option disabled) but it is more secure. Using the jumper-based BIOS Recovery method adds the ability for the BIOS, rather than the existing ME firmware, to install the new ME firmware (thus allowing recovery from situations where the ME is not operating). Regardless of this difference in operation, support for downgrading the ME firmware is (still) not provided.

Ok, back to the original question. In my opinion, the most-stable BIOS release has to be considered BIOS 40 (HN0040.BIO). I based this purely upon there having been reports of issues with BIOS 44 that still need to be resolved. I will say, however, that for the feature set that I require, BIOS 44 is working perfectly.

Having just spent the afternoon visiting with the NUC development and validation teams, I have a better understanding of the issues responsible for the retraction of EBU package support. While I cannot discuss the details behind this, what I will say is that Intel recognizes the importance of this capability (especially to business customers), but the issues were severe enough that they had absolutely no choice but to retract support. At the same time, however, the issues do not (to naive old me) appear to be insurmountable and I thus have hope that we will see a (fairly) speedy return.

...S

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Novice
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Thanks guys for all the very useful info.

I used the F7 method and updated to ver 0040. All seems fine.

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