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What Order of Firmware Update/Installation?

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Avagadro1 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Dec 2015 at 12:48pm
I just built my first computer, but have not yet installed any firmware/software.  The motherboard is an ASRock H170M Pro4.  My question pertains to the ORDER of firmware/software installation.

I checked the ASRock website; the BIOS, INF, drivers and utilities on the ASRock installation disk are all old.  I downloaded all the newest BIOS, INF, drivers and utilities to a flash drive.  I also have a new Windows 10 thumb drive.

What is the correct order to install?

I thought the first item of business would be to install the updated BIOS through the thumb drive FLASH method, but that seems impossible as there will be no driver for the monitor.  Nonetheless, I seem to recall from somewhere that even without any monitor driver, one can update the BIOS through the Flash method (?).

Aside from the BIOS update, should one first install all the software from the ASRock installation disk ??but NOT Windows.  But then how does one execute the install of executables for INF, drivers and utilities?

So, in general, what order or methodology is suggested?

Thank you.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2015 at 3:35pm
You will be able to get a signal and display of the UEFI firmware user interface to a monitor without any drivers installed at all. The firmware has the ability to drive a monitor on its own.

You can start the board with a monitor connected to a video card or integrated graphics, and see the POST and ASRock "splash" screens, and use the UEFI UI just fine, without any drives connected to the board, or drivers installed.

You could update the UEFI/BIOS to the latest version before installing an OS using the Instant Flash tool in the UEFI, but I don't suggest you do that. When using a new, unused and untested board, it is best to reduce the number of variables for potential problems.

Updating the board's firmware can cause problems, and unless you know your hardware needs a particular firmware update to function correctly, what you may gain from updating the firmware right away is small compared to the potential complications the update may cause.

Beyond the board's firmware, all of the drivers and software on your board's disk or the ones you download and put on the USB flash drive are only meant to be installed after a Windows installation. You cannot run the installation executable programs outside of an OS environment.

The installation programs copy files to specific Windows folders, create or modify entries in the Windows registry, among many other things. Running these programs without the target OS installed serves no purpose.

Once the OS is installed, the only installation order that matters is:
  1. Intel INF/Chipset file installation program.
  2. Intel Management Engine (IME) software.
Beyond those two, no particular order is important or necessary. Frankly, the INF/Chipset installer is the only one that should be done first, but IMO it is preferred to install the IME software next.

Personally, I would then install any storage/RAID driver, network driver, and graphics driver.

If you use the files on the USB flash drive, I would first copy all of them to a folder on the OS drive. The files will unzip and execute better on the OS drive than on a USB flash drive, and a few will not install correctly when run from a USB flash drive. Files taken from an optical disk are first copied to the OS drive and then run.

Don't forget to only have the OS drive powered up during the OS installation. Otherwise Windows will put the boot partition on another drive and cause problems later on if you remove, format, or that drive fails.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Avagadro1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2015 at 2:16am
What an informative and otherwise excellent response.

Thank you.

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