Updating BIOS of MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard

The MSI P35 Platinum Motherboard (https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/P35_Platinum.html) was launched in 2007. The following review is useful as background reading: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/msi-p35-platinum-motherboard-review/

Recently, I got my hands on this motherboard and was experiencing some issues with the POST, specifically due to the initialization of its DDR2 RAM sticks (error LEDs read “Red-Red-Green-Red” / “RRGR”). I read the MSI forums and found out that many people had encountered the same problem, and that flashing the BIOS to the latest version was supposed to help.

This post talks about my BIOS flashing process. Please note that this is a sharing – I will not be responsible for any damage or loss of functionality that may result from your process.

TL;DR Summary:

  • Optional: Take note of current BIOS configuration to be ported over
  • Download latest/desired BIOS version from MSI website (I used AMI BIOS version 1.C)
  • Create a bootable USB drive (I used FreeDOS on a 256 MB USB drive)
  • Extract all files/folder from BIOS zip archive to bootable USB
  • Startup P35 Platinum Motherboard, set to boot from bootable USB
  • When loaded, execute command: “AFUD4310 A7345IMS.1C0” to update BIOS

Step 1: Download Latest/Desired BIOS Version

You’ll need to know what is your current BIOS version, so that you can get a later one (or just download the latest one). TIP: You may want to note down your current BIOS configurations to enter into the new one.

Enter the BIOS and got to “Standard BIOS Features > System Information”

Head over to MSI website to download the latest/desired BIOS zip archive.

Step 2: Create Bootable USB Drive

I used Rufus USB Creator to install the default FreeDOS on an old 256 MB USB drive. Below are the options I chose, just in case you prefer another tool:

  • Partition scheme and target system type: MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI
  • File system: FAT
  • Cluster size: 4096 bytes (default)
  • Format Options Checked:
    • Quick Format
    • Create a bootable disk using FreeDOS
    • Create extended label and icon files
  • Advanced Options Checked:
    • Add fixes for old BIOSes (extra partition, align, etc)

Step 3: Extract BIOS Zip Archive to Bootable USB

Extract all the files/folders in the zip archive onto the bootable USB drive. For convenience, I put it at the root.

Step 4: Boot from USB and Issue Command to Update BIOS

After booting from USB (If necessary, set in BIOS “Advanced BIOS Features > Boot Sequence”, or press F11 during POST to select boot device), navigate to the directory with the BIOS files, and issue the following command to update BIOS:

AFUD4310 A7345IMS.1C0

When done successfully, you will see output similar to that below:

A:> cd 7345V1C
A:\7345V1C> AFUD4310 A7345IMS.1C0
 |               AMI Firmware Update Utility v4.31B0               |
 | Copyright (C)2009 American Megatrends Inc. All Rights Reserved. |
- Bootblock checksum .... ok
- Module checksums ...... ok
- Erasing flash ......... done
- Writing flash ......... done
- Verifying flash ....... done
- Erasing NVRAM ......... done
- Writing NVRAM ......... done
- Verifying NVRAM ....... done
- Erasing Bootblock ..... done 
- Writing Bootblock ..... done 
- Verifying Bootblock ... done 
- CMOS checksum destroyed 
- Program ended normally. 
A:\7345V1C> _

After doing so, I noticed that it takes a longer time to boot into the original OS – this may be due to the default BIOS configuration. Head over to BIOS and copy the original configuration over, or select the “Load Optimized Defaults” option.

Hope this helps someone who is looking to update the BIOS of a MSI P35 Platinum motherboard 10 years after its launch 🙂

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