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PILGRIM
06-21-2012, 06:12 PM
Just read the closed thread about that guy using WinFlash to update BIOS
then bricking his laptop. Granted, he was disrespectful. Granted, he should be
chastised.
(http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?17555-Failure-upgrade-bios-208-with-WinFlash-G55VW&country=&status=)

But the underlying fact is that he bricked his laptop by using this amazingly
helpful BIOS update ASUS software called WinFlash. Of which, as I still recall, has been
one of the two most helpful in producing RMAs and whatnots (the other is the ASUS Live Update).

Evaluated experience is the best teacher, as the saying goes.
But in this case (and the plentiful others), is ASUS evaluating at all
on its consumers' pros and cons of using its own "help" software?
I mean, this WinFlash issue has been prevalent way back (see the older G-series forum).
Hindsight is golden, but ASUS doesn't seem to grasp it.

So, what is it, ASUS? Taking pleasure in more RMAs? :mad:

xeromist
06-21-2012, 06:47 PM
I think the number of people bricked by winflash is actually likely very low. ASUS sees the RMA numbers and we don't so if it was causing a large number of RMA's and costing the company money I'm sure they would have changed things by now.

I agree it would be better if everyone could use the easy flash in the BIOS but some people would never update their machine if they couldn't use a Windows tool.

PILGRIM
06-21-2012, 07:15 PM
Assuming your estimate is closer to the truth (a part of me would like to believe it),
but it's also a fact that in these ROG forums, using WinFlash has been majorly attributed
to many RMAs.

Assuming the WinFlash success-over-failure ratio is more as to the bigger picture, it still
wouldn't justify ASUS' continuous ramming of this software program to its consumer's
throats. If ASUS finds EasyFlash the safer way to update BIOS, then why doesn't it just
scrap WinFlash? If not, why not make it better and safer?

As a consumer, I was really fortunate of finding these ROG forums and learning their collective
knowledge before I attempted to update my BIOS with EasyFlash, several months back.
Otherwise, I might be one of those unfortunate ones who tried to do it with WinFlash-
and bricked my laptop.

john_from_ohio
06-21-2012, 07:21 PM
Marshall noted in a different thread ( just today I think ) the following:

I am in the process of trying to arrange changelogs put on the site and to get WinFlash removed. Please use EZFlash2 from the BIOS itself.

***

I can imagine it might be swimming against the tide to try to get WinFlash removed so don't hold your breath!

PILGRIM
06-21-2012, 07:27 PM
That would be one corrective measure, if indeed true.

P.S. And for added measure, scrap ASUS Live Update, too.

xeromist
06-21-2012, 08:17 PM
Assuming your estimate is closer to the truth (a part of me would like to believe it),
but it's also a fact that in these ROG forums, using WinFlash has been majorly attributed
to many RMAs.

I'm just saying that logically speaking a for-profit business doesn't keep doing something very long if it turns out to be a significant liability. For all I know half of all winflash users need to RMA but that wouldn't make much sense from a business perspective.

It's also worth noting that we get an excessively skewed perspective here. People look for a forum when a flash goes wrong, not when everything goes perfectly.

I'd be willing to bet that further skewing the numbers is that there are more flashes done with winflash due to its accessibility. The average person isn't comfortable with a BIOS but they'll run a Windows tool. What we see could be the same percentage of failures just magnified due to the total number of attempts.

Don't take this as defending winflash necessarily. I'm a proponent of Keep It Simple Stupid. Running an operating system and who knows what else while performing a firmware flash is just adding unneeded risk. The point is that we simply don't know what is causing issues so assuming that we do is not going to produce constructive discussion.

kiba
06-21-2012, 11:01 PM
while i definitely aggree that winflash and liveupdate should be removed from g series machines, a large number of my freinds have g series laptops and have updated their bios, and not a one of them has ever used winflash or bricked their machines. it takes a little common sense, and i hope most people would check the forums before doing something major like updating their bios, where its made clear to use a FAT32 formatted usb disk from EZFLASH2. also i think that a large number of people who do this are updating their bios too often, just to do it, or whenever a bios update comes out because they think that it is part of keeping their machine up to date. it should be made more clear that the only time you need a bios update is if asus tells you to do it or to solve an issue you are having, and also that it is possible to brick your machine even if you do everything right, due to a corrupted bios file during download, or a power outage during the update, etc. that said i definitely aggree with pilgrim in his original post.

xeromist
06-21-2012, 11:16 PM
Actually I'd argue it's a good idea to install updates during the warranty period. That way when the warranty is up you aren't stuck with the retail BIOS and no safety net if you find a reason to update. At least during the warranty you can RMA.

kiba
06-21-2012, 11:25 PM
Actually I'd argue it's a good idea to install updates during the warranty period. That way when the warranty is up you aren't stuck with the retail BIOS and no safety net if you find a reason to update. At least during the warranty you can RMA.
thats definitely true, although youd be without your notebook for that time period, so i'd do it at a time when you could afford to be without it.

although that might be a little inconvenient for someone whos notebook is their only computer... but maybe convenient in the long run.

PILGRIM
06-22-2012, 01:10 AM
I'm just saying that logically speaking a for-profit business doesn't keep doing something very long if it turns out to be a significant liability. For all I know half of all winflash users need to RMA but that wouldn't make much sense from a business perspective.

It's also worth noting that we get an excessively skewed perspective here. People look for a forum when a flash goes wrong, not when everything goes perfectly.

I'd be willing to bet that further skewing the numbers is that there are more flashes done with winflash due to its accessibility. The average person isn't comfortable with a BIOS but they'll run a Windows tool. What we see could be the same percentage of failures just magnified due to the total number of attempts.

Don't take this as defending winflash necessarily. I'm a proponent of Keep It Simple Stupid. Running an operating system and who knows what else while performing a firmware flash is just adding unneeded risk. The point is that we simply don't know what is causing issues so assuming that we do is not going to produce constructive discussion.


Agree to some extent. And this is exactly the point- that a BIOS flash while running Windows
is a sure way of inviting disaster. And I would bet my wife's cat ASUS knows this.
So how to eliminate impending disaster? As we know it:
1. Scrap WinFlash. (IMO, even a single laptop that was bricked by using it, should be enough
to warrant its termination.)
2. BIOS Updates should be wrapped with a Read Me file giving more details about the update
and a Guide file on how to execute it by using EZFLASH2 (I'd recommend ASUS to compensate
Brody with any of the newer products of his choosing, in exchange of the right to use his BIOS
update guide).

kiba
06-22-2012, 01:44 AM
Agree to some extent. And this is exactly the point- that a BIOS flash while running Windows
is a sure way of inviting disaster. And I would bet my wife's cat ASUS knows this.
So how to eliminate impending disaster? As we know it:
1. Scrap WinFlash. (IMO, even a single laptop that was bricked by using it, should be enough
to warrant its termination.)
2. BIOS Updates should be wrapped with a Read Me file giving more details about the update
and a Guide file on how to execute it by using EZFLASH2 (I'd recommend ASUS to compensate
Brody with any of the newer products of his choosing, in exchange of the right to use his BIOS
update guide).
^ +1, this has been suggested before though.

_
06-22-2012, 02:12 AM
It's not common but if you do brick the machine by any method of BIOS update there is a 'failsafe' built in. Turn it on and immediately hold down Ctrl+Home. I'm told this should bring back the original BIOS.

Laptops generally never need a BIOS update unless you're having a specific issue, which is why I'm trying to get them to put on the changelogs.


Assuming your estimate is closer to the truth (a part of me would like to believe it),
but it's also a fact that in these ROG forums, using WinFlash has been majorly attributed
to many RMAs.

This is just not true sorry. There is no statistics of users using WinFlash to update. You only see the few that go wrong.

dstrakele
06-22-2012, 03:25 AM
Have you every tried this recovery method on a test system? Are you sure you don't need to first rename the BIOS file of choice to AMIBOOT.ROM and store it on a floppy, flash drive, or CD?

http://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=119375.0 also mentions a 4MB BIOS file. From my understanding, ASUS supplies only one part (2MB) of this file on the web site.

http://www.ehow.com/how_2185633_fix-boot-block.html also discusses how to recover an AMI BIOS and there is more to it than just holding down CTRL+HOME.

I think it's really important to have a detailed step-by-step sticky thread on how this BIOS recovery actually works.

kiba
06-22-2012, 06:17 AM
im glad the g75 has a bios rollback feature (ctrl+home), its on other machines and its something ive been hoping asus would implement since back when i got my g73 and had to update bios/vbios for the BSOD issue. every time i do it, even though im using the correct method (FAT32 usb disk from EZFLASH), i feel like im rolling the dice.

PILGRIM
06-23-2012, 05:46 PM
...This is just not true sorry. There is no statistics of users using WinFlash to update. You only see the few that go wrong.

I wish I was wrong, too. But to say that only a few go wrong by using WinFlash for BIOS update
is missing the point in its entirety. How many more "few that go wrong" would accumulate before
ASUS do something to correct itself?

Your own admission of having no statistics to prove it, is skirting the issue.
While it may be true basing on the totality of ROG laptop consumers using the
said program worldwide- successful in their BIOS update or not.
But it can't be denied that there is statistics in the ROG forums
that proves WinFlash is a hazard- if only one would look and acknowledge it.