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J4205-ITX HDMI output

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chrisk2305 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrisk2305 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jun 2018 at 2:41am
any news on this topic? I am also facing the HDMI issues. Bios 1.40 installed and LSPCON 1.66 (as 1.72 does not work). This is ridicolous!
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Gussie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gussie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 5:20pm
I bought my J4205 back in Nov 2016 but did not use it much, I remember some issue with double boots which was fixed with a BIOS upgrade but do not recall any HDMI issues.

More recently I decided to do a clean install of Windows to prepare it for a KODI installation.

Loaded BIOS V1.40
Installed Windows 10 Pro V1709 (OS Build 16299.431) using the MS ISO
Allowed Windows 10 to update all OS & device drivers - the VGA driver installed was V22.20.16.4749

Then I saw the infamous black screen & flashing mouse cursor, I could only get to the desktop by booting without the monitor and then switching the monitor on (even then it wouldnt work always)

Changed the VGA driver to the latest Intel V24.20.100.6094 - made no difference
Also tried different HDMI cables and Monitors/TVs made no difference

I then fired off a support ticket to ASRock Netherlands

Whilst waiting for a response I had an idea - I uninstalled the VGA driver and was then left with the basic MS VGA driver V10.0.16299.15
THIS WORKED !! I got the desktop every time I booted!
BUT windows would automatically keep updating the driver to V22.20.16.4749 - so I disabled driver updates.

I then decided to install the ASROCK VGA driver V21.20.16.4494 - then mysteriously Windows failed to boot asking me to repair or restore - I then saw in the BIOS that for some reason CSM had become enabled - so I disabled it and boot then worked again

Now with the ASROCK VGA driver V21.20.16.4494 everything STILL WORKED !!!
I then installed the latest Intel driver V24.20.100.6094 and re-enabled Windows driver updates - on reboot everything STILL WORKED !!!

Please note that I have not updated the HDMI firmware as others have done.

I have no idea why suddenly the HDMI is behaving - yesterday and today I booted and rebooted many times and it works all the time !
Maybe when CSM was mysteriously enabled - some other BIOS settings got changed - I don't know.

Go figure !

ASROCK have now replied asking me to use BIOS V1.40 default settings, make sure CSM is disabled and to load their VGA driver V21.20.16.4494


I have not replied yet - I will check my system for a few more days - but at the moment it is behaving.

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Event4101 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Event4101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jun 2018 at 11:40am
It's nice to hear that you had success with your J4205-ITX and the HDMI port.  From what I gather not everyone experiences problems with the HDMI port but, for those that do, the problem can be quite frustrating to resolve and some never do.  I get the impression that the problem could possibly be traced to anomalies with the HDMI interface and some LCD displays/TVs, where the EDID doesn't properly identify the characteristics of the connected display.  I'm not sure if this is caused by the LSPCON chip, the connected display, the HDMI cable, the Intel video driver, or some combination of the four.

Like you, I never had a problem with the HDMI port and my display when the Windows 10 Microsoft Basic Display Adapter Driver was installed.  The problems would start once the Intel video driver installed.  Of course the Microsoft driver provides a fixed basic set of display characteristics so there is practically no display configuration available when using that driver.  The Intel driver provides for a lot of configuration and it is my guess this is where the problems begin, when the Intel driver attempts to interrogate the display characteristics and fails to properly do so.

I have read where some people have installed the third-party Custom Resolution Utility application to override the EDID with a user defined EDID.  Apparently this solves the problem provided the display remains the same.  I'm not fond of installing third-party workaround software, if it can be avoided, so I never gave CRU a try.

It has been about twelve weeks since ASRock released J4205-ITX BIOS updates 1.5 and 1.6.  If you have been following some of the threads on this forum you will know that those BIOS updates were pulled a few days later because there were reports that some users where bricking their boards, apparently depending on the BIOS installation method that was used.

I downloaded the two BIOS updates shortly after they were released, but I never installed them because I assumed they were not ready for prime time.  My J4205-ITX continues to work with my display HDMI interface, with caveats, plus using a DVI to HDMI adapter cable along with BIOS 1.4 and LSPCON firmware 1.66 installed.  I didn't want to potentially make the situation worse by installing 1.5 and 1.6.

I've been reading that the new Gemini Lake boards (J4105-ITX and J5005-ITX) don't use the LSPCON chip for HDMI so that could be an option for those that have deep pockets and are ready to chuck the J4205-ITX.  For those that are using Windows 10, and don't have a Retail License, swapping in a Gemini Lake board will probably leave them begging Microsoft to reactivate the Windows license.

My last contact with Microsoft activation support had me speaking with a nice gentleman from India.  Neither of us could understand one another.  After a frustrating ten minutes of "What?", "Huh?", and "Could you repeat that?" he sent me to a synthesized voice that recited a long activation code which did the trick.  When calling activation support perseverance is probably a virtual.

Anyway, with the introduction of these new Gemini Lake boards I'm left to wonder if patches will ever be available for the older misfit Apollo Lake boards.  In addition to the HDMI problems, the Apollo Lake boards have several exploitable Intel vulnerabilities; Intel Management Engine, Meltdown, and Spectre.  I believe Intel has addressed these vulnerabilities with patches for the J4205, which were released to production in 2017 and February 2018, but I'm not sure if ASRock will make these patches available.  I haven't read any news that said patches are on the way.

I have been following the ASRock Support -> Latest BIOS Update list for about twelve weeks, waiting for another J4205-ITX BIOS release.  For many weeks I found no activity then, in the past two weeks or so, there have been about thirty BIOS updates released for various boards.  Unfortunately none of those updates have been for the J4205-ITX.

So what can I say, it has been a slow night and I had time to write.  All the best to ya and enjoy your J4205-ITX with the working HDMI display.

https://newsroom.intel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2018/04/microcode-update-guidance.pdf

https://www.monitortests.com/forum/Thread-Custom-Resolution-Utility-CRU



Edited by Event4101 - 06 Jun 2018 at 11:43am
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Gussie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gussie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jun 2018 at 8:16pm
Pretty good summary of the issue. I'm still OK - touch wood!

Will wait another a few days before I reply to ASRock Tech Support - I just wish I knew exactly what I did to make it work.

In any case I've used Macrium Reflect to save an image of my disk and taken pics of my BIOS screens.
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chrisk2305 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chrisk2305 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2018 at 12:03am
Thank you guys for posting your experiences. Unfortunately this doesn't work for me so I still hope that ASRock releases a proper Bios / LSPCon Firmware  or driver that solves this issue. This is massively frustrating for me. 
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Gussie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gussie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 5:07am
Switched my J4205 on today and noticed it was updating ...

Security update for Adobe Flash Player: June 7, 2018 KB4287903
Cumulative Update - June 12 KB4284819
Win 10 Update KB4056254

Rebooted and BAM my black screen was BACK !!!!

Checked my BIOS AND CSM WAS ENABLED AGAIN !!!!

Disabled it and everything is working again.

Seems that something is sometimes enabling CSM AND THAT IS CAUSING MY BLACK SCREEN WHEN USING HDMI (ALTHOUGH THE DVI INTERFACE STILL WORKS).

If you have a black screen with a flashing cursor when using HDMI - check your CSM setting in the BIOS it should be disabled.

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Event4101 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Event4101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 1:04pm
Oh my Gussie, I believe you are onto something with that CSM setting somehow getting enabled after being specifically set to disabled.

I remember many many months ago, when I was configuring some bios settings, I too could have sworn that I had disabled CSM, but I would later discover that it was enabled.  I typically don't have a need to venture into the bios that often and, with so many settings, I certainly don't review them all when I do.

I'm glad you mentioned your observation concerning the quirkiness of the CSM setting.  At least now I know that it wasn't some form of absentmindedness on my part.

I just returned to my bios settings and found the CSM setting was enabled (again).  This "CSM (Compatibility Support Module)" setting is sort-of hidden because it is located at the very bottom of the bios "Boot" page and it may be necessary to drag the scroll bar (if present) down to find it.  But even then the current state of this setting is not shown on the Boot page.  The setting must be selected which then shows a second page with the current CSM state.

I switched CSM back to "Disabled" and saved the bios configuration and allowed the computer to restart.  I then shutdown the computer and powered-off the LCD display and then powered-on the computer.  After a minute or so I then powered-on the LCD display and found the Windows 10 Start screen was displayed!  That just never happens!  I'm usually left staring at a blank screen with a flashing mouse pointer.

I then shutdown the computer and powered-off the LCD display.  I moved the HDMI cable to the J4205-ITX HDMI port (instead of the DVI port with the HDMI adapter I have been using).  I powered-on the computer and waited a minute or so before powering-on the LCD display.  Once again I found the Windows Start screen was displayed.  I had given-up on ever using the HDMI port since it was causing me so much grief with the blank screen and flashing mouse pointer.

As I was performing some other trials I did encounter the blank screen with the flashing mouse pointer while the HDMI cable was connected to the J4205 HDMI port.  I went back into the bios and found that the CSM setting had somehow been set to "Enabled" even though I had never returned to the bios during my trials.  Once I set CSM back to "Disabled" the LCD display once again acted normal.

I noticed that when CSM is set to "Enabled" there are other options that appear, one of which is titled "Launch Video OpRom Policy".  By default this setting is set to "Legacy only".  I wonder if this is causing all the problems with the HDMI interface when CSM is enabled.

So far I can't figure out exactly when the CSM setting is being switched from Disabled to Enabled.  If there is a way to reliably repeat this incident then maybe ASRock can publish a bios fix, hopefully sometime in my remaining lifetime.  It is getting late here (1am) so hopefully I can follow-up with some additional testing to see if I can pin-point when CSM is being corrupted.

What a discovery Gussie!  If this HDMI problem can be resolved with a simple bios fix then you definitely deserve the $5,000 bug bounty I'm sure ASRock would be happy to award. :)





Edited by Event4101 - 06 Jul 2018 at 1:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Event4101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2018 at 12:54am
Provided with the J4205-ITX bios CSM configuration observation made by member Gussie, I was finally able to find a method that would always produce the blank LCD display with a flashing mouse pointer problem that I was experiencing with Windows 10 Pro and the J4205-ITX HDMI port.  The problem appears to be related to when the LCD display is powered-on during the bios start-up (hardware detection?) process.

I can't say that other owners of the J4205-ITX board can reproduce the problem in this manner, but I posted three procedures below that I used to detect when the CSM configuration is somehow being changed from "Disabled" to "Enabled".  When this change occurs, that is when I encounter the blank LCD display.

Procedure Notes:
1) I use the notation "CSM" as an abbreviation for the "CSM(Compatibility Support Module)" bios configuration found at the bottom of the J4205-ITX bios setup "Boot" page.

2) I use the notation "Windows 10 Start screen" as the screen displayed by Windows 10 at start-up, that shows the current date and time.  Pressing the "Enter" key, or left-clicking the mouse, will present the user log-in screen.

3) Windows 10 "System Information" (MSINFO32.EXE) reports System Summary -> BIOS Mode value as UEFI.

4) The following procedures were performed using bios version 1.40, the current version posted by ASRock for the J4205-ITX.  It is possible that the bios versions 1.5 and 1.6, that were posted and quickly removed by ASRock, may not be susceptible to this problem.

5) With my J4205-ITX and HDMI LCD display the following three procedures can be repeated with the same outcomes.


***** Procedure A : Blank screen with flashing mouse pointer *****
1) Power-on LCD display (connected to J4205 HDMI port)
2) Power-on computer
3) Enter bios setup (F2 key)
4) Set CSM to "Disabled"
5) Save bios changes and exit
6) Power-off LCD display
7) Wait for Windows to load (approximately one minute)
8) Power-on LCD display
9) Windows 10 Start screen is shown
10) Perform Windows Restart
11) Wait for Windows to load (approximately one minute)
12) No Windows 10 Start screen is shown. The LCD display is blank with a flashing mouse pointer.

Note:
Accessing the computer using the Windows Remote Desktop client, from a remote computer, does show the Windows 10 user log-in screen.  Upon log-off from the Remote Desktop session, the LCD display, connected to the J4205 HDMI port, will then show the Windows Start screen.  Performing a Windows Restart, and entering bios setup, reveals that CSM has changed to "Enabled".
*****


***** Procedure B : Bios CSM configuration changes from Disabled to Enabled *****
1) Power-on LCD display (connected to J4205 HDMI port)
2) Power-on computer
3) Enter bios setup (F2 key)
4) Set CSM to "Disabled"
5) Save bios changes and exit
6) Power-off LCD display
7) Wait for Windows to load (approximately one minute)
8) Power-on LCD display
9) Windows 10 Start screen is shown
10) Perform Windows Restart
11) Enter bios setup (F2 key)
12) CSM has changed to "Enabled"
*****


***** Procedure C : Bios CSM configuration remains set to Disabled *****
1) Power-on LCD display (connected to J4205 HDMI port)
2) Power-on computer
3) Enter bios setup (F2 key)
4) Set CSM to "Disabled"
5) Save bios changes and exit
6) Wait for Windows to load (approximately one minute)
7) Windows 10 Start screen is shown
8) Perform Windows Restart
9) Enter bios setup (F2 key)
10) CSM remains set to "Disabled"
*****

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Zzenz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zzenz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2018 at 5:25pm
Seems like a new BIOS 1.70 - 1.80 have been released etc.

But why oh why is there no describtion on what they contain? What are the fixes and/or new fetures does this BIOS contain?

Does this fix the HDMI issue?
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Event4101 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Event4101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2018 at 5:52am
I installed BIOS version 1.8 without any problems. From an informative post by member "nickq", found in the thread titled "BIOS issues on J4205-ITX", I didn't need to install the 1.7 bridge BIOS since I was already using BIOS 1.6.

In my post to the thread titled "Any new J4205-ITX BIOS?" I mentioned my experience with the two BIOS updates 1.5 and 1.6. After installing those two updates I noticed that my particular HDMI problem, documented on this thread, had been resolved. I also noticed the vulnerability with the Intel Management Engine had been patched. I assume BIOS updates are cumulative so I would think installing 1.7 and 1.8 would provide fixes included with those previous versions.

I don't know what issues BIOS version 1.8 has solved. I haven't noticed any difference after the update. As you mentioned, unfortunately there are no release notes included with the updates. After reading the nickq post there does appear to be some hint from ASRock Support that the 1.8 update could have some type of impact on memory compatibility, but I found the information a bit confusing.

After installing 1.8 I noticed that, upon restart, it did take an uncharacteristically long time for the POST screen to appear. Perhaps this was caused by the BIOS attempting to detect the memory. Entering BIOS setup showed the memory was properly detected, and subsequent restarts occurred quickly, so everything is back to normal.

BIOS issues on J4205-ITX
http://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=10129&title=bios-issues-on-j4205itx

Any new J4205-ITX BIOS?
http://forum.asrock.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=10044&title=any-new-j4205itx-bios
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