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steelcity_ballin
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Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:32 am

Hi all,

I recently purchase a 3700x as the drop-in replacement for the temporary 2200g I've been rocking the last few months. MSI billed their b450 Tomahawk as Ryzen 3000 series ready, and I have to say I disagree strongly with that marketing. I was able to ultimately get everything going last night after what should have been no more than a 15-20 minute endeavor. Instead, it took me almost 2+ hours and a little bit of my sanity.

Anyhow, I thought I'd list here what I did that seemed to clear my issues up in attempts to help anyone who finds this by googling in the days before MSI actually releases a stable bios for this.

First, I want to say I was already on the latest bios since it was released, version v18 on MSI's site. I had also preemptively downloaded the Ryzen day-1 release AMD chipset update released 7/7. My goal was simply to swap processors and heatsinks and be done.

Symptoms: After dropping in my 3700x, the MSI Tomahawk b450 would not POST at all. One of the nice features of this board is the debugging LEDs that give some indication of the error. In this case, it was telling me the CPU was to blame. I re-seated the CPU which after being powered on only a few minutes, had firmly turned the thermal pad into a very sticky paste. I should have scraped that crap off before even trying it in retrospect. Anyhow, no bent pins, plugged it back in, and same issue.

So after browsing the internet at large for people in similar situations there were two main things I learned:

1) MSI had released a beta bios that they had already removed by the time I tried to find it due to serious issues with it. I cannot recommend enough that no one attempt to find those and use them, there's a reason MSI took them down.
2) There is no Beta BIOS at the time of this writing specifically for the b450 Tomahawk; There were other MSI b450 bioses listed, but not this specific model.

So after a lot of heartache and frustration I decided that I would attempt to use the FlashBack feature of my motherboard with a USB drive. This is actually a really nice feature and I will never buy a motherboard without it from here on, though I have to imagine they'll all have this in the future. Anyhow, to do this you need a USB drive, and a second computer.

Do these things, in this order:

1. Plug the USB drive into your secondary machine.
2. FAT32 format it (NOT FAT, NOT NTFS, FAT32!!!!)
3. Download the bios from https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B450-TOMAHAWK, the one ending in v18 released 6/24.
4. Rename the bios file to 'MSI.ROM', no quotes.
5. Drop it onto your usb flash drive, it should be the ONLY thing on it.
6. Plug the USB drive into the port that your FLASHBACK uses on the b450. You do not need anything but the power connected to the motherboard to do this, that is, you don't even need the CPU, RAM, GPU or anything else in it at this time to flash it. I'd recommend having your system already in place however, because it's easier to test the results.
7. With the machine powered on and the USB drive in place, press the button on the motherboard. Within a few seconds, a red LED should start flashing near that button. While it is flashing, the bios flash is in process. DO NOT POWER DOWN, DO NOT DO ANYTHING. When the process is complete, the system will reboot itself.

MSI offers a YouTube walkthrough of this process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRyFMf0D9Lc

Now, at this time, my machine rebooted and went from the debug LED of CPU issue, to boot failure. I started googling more and found some folks stating that if you have an NVME drive as your boot or only drive, this is likely the problem. Great, so more punishment right? Well, despite that, I read other folks stating that they had to perform steps 6 and 7 a few times. Most report 3 times, however I only had to do it twice. After the second flash of the same bios v18, my machine rebooted and posted, then landed on my Win10 login screen. If you're reading this and having these issues, try flashing it again. Do not for any reason power the system down while that red LED is flashing, the utility will reboot the system itself as proof of completion, and the LED will stop flashing at that time.

It's absolutely ridiculous the nonsense I and others have had to go through, and MSI deserves every bit of scorn and negativity they get over this. You marketed these boards as Ryzen ready, but I have to say they were not. I do not see these same issues popping up with Gigabyte, Asus, or others who marketed the same thing. If this helps even one person out it was worth it. I hope MSI does an overhaul of their testing and QA division, this is unacceptable and clearly repeatable for many folks. It shouldn't have happened.

All that heartache aside, the 3700x is a beast of a cpu. Frames are up, load times are down, life is good. Time to update my signature.
Corsair 600T | MSI Tomahawk b450 | AMD Ryzen 3700x | 16GB Corsair Vengeance PC 3000 | AData 1TB m.2 | Asus ROG Swift Gsync 27"
 
Waco
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:39 am

The the root cause of the problem was a beta BIOS that they pulled? Going back to the latest "stable" v18 fixed it?

The fact that you have to attempt a BIOS flash multiple times for it to "stick" is definitely terrible, though.
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steelcity_ballin
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:02 am

Waco wrote:
The the root cause of the problem was a beta BIOS that they pulled? Going back to the latest "stable" v18 fixed it?

The fact that you have to attempt a BIOS flash multiple times for it to "stick" is definitely terrible, though.


I never even used the beta bios, many folks did though in attempts to 'fix' the initial issue that the v18 flash before the 3700x was even available was not working properly once the 3000 series was dropped in. The problem with the removed beta bios as I've read is that it's a stripped down 570 version so there's some weirdness with having to run it in a 'lite' mode which removed a lot of bios options too I believe. Then came the other stability issues I guess, so they 86'd it from their site.

So I have the v18 running just fine with the 2200g, then I added the new CPU and got CPU errors from the motherboard. Had to flash twice (same v18) to get it to POST. I have not even attempted entering the BIOS to overclock or anything because I'm waiting for MSI to release something that is for sure working properly. I seem stable for now, don't want to jinx it.
Corsair 600T | MSI Tomahawk b450 | AMD Ryzen 3700x | 16GB Corsair Vengeance PC 3000 | AData 1TB m.2 | Asus ROG Swift Gsync 27"
 
Waco
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:35 am

It's super weird that it takes multiple BIOS flashes to POST properly with the 3000 series, but only one to work with the 2200g.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB NVME + 2 TB SATA + LSI (128x8) RAID
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:12 pm

Waco wrote:
It's super weird that it takes multiple BIOS flashes to POST properly with the 3000 series, but only one to work with the 2200g.

Sounds to me like they quietly updated v18
 
Waco
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:21 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Sounds to me like they quietly updated v18

Perhaps, but even if they did, he had to flash multiple times from the same file to get it to work.
Desktop: X570 Gaming X | 3900X | 32 GB | Alphacool Eisblock Radeon VII | Heatkiller R3 | Samsung 4K 40" | 1 TB NVME + 2 TB SATA + LSI (128x8) RAID
NAS: 1950X | Designare EX | 32 GB ECC | 7x8 TB RAIDZ2 | 8x2 TB RAID10 | FreeNAS | ZFS | LSI SAS
 
Usacomp2k3
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:07 pm

Waco wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Sounds to me like they quietly updated v18

Perhaps, but even if they did, he had to flash multiple times from the same file to get it to work.

Yeah, that doesn't speak very well of the integrity of the flashing process.
 
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Re: Ryze 3000 series and MSI b450 issues

Mon Jul 22, 2019 6:27 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Waco wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Sounds to me like they quietly updated v18

Perhaps, but even if they did, he had to flash multiple times from the same file to get it to work.

Yeah, that doesn't speak very well of the integrity of the flashing process.


Possibly a silent fail and roll-back?

If so, it definitely sux but it could have been worse: at least it wasn't bricked.
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