Botched Motherboard Surgery? Running Another Board's BIOS on Asus N550JV

BarnacleBalls

Estimable
Dec 6, 2014
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Bricked an Asus N550JV with a BIOS update. Running 8.1 64-bit. Power to the board but no POST. After building an EEPROM reader/writer from an Arduino using Lubuntu and flashrom, I couldn't detect the chip (which I suspect was my wiring.)

Found a business that advertised motherboard repair. Was told they would pull the actual chip and replace it with a new chip loaded with appropriate BIOS. Dropped off the laptop and three hours later, I came back and it booted up and there was my OS. I paid and left happy.

Now it's a day later and I'm back on my rig, and something's not kosher in Denmark.

Started with connectivity. It connects through Wifi, just not as smoothly as expected. Hangs awhile but eventually gets online.

When I run Speccy, I discover an anomaly. The Motherboard is reading as an **N550JK** and not an **N550JV**, which is what I expected. And it's not detecting my 750 M Nvidia GPU! Which makes a strange kind of sense since that board doesn't support the GPU upgrade. Yikes. Does that mean these fools just switched the motherboard out from an older model they had on hand? Need more info...

Ran Device Manager. Got a flag on the Xenon E3-1200 PCI Express Controller.

>This device cannot start. (Code 10)

>An ACPI Power Object failed to transition state

Is that the unsupported GPU failing to connect? Ran an Intel Detection Utility. It recognized the onboard graphics chipset, but not the nVidia GPU.

So, I opened up the case. Looks like the board is the original. It's still got the sticker with the same wear pattern.

However, I'm not certain they pulled the BIOS chip. There is a warranty sticker on the board, but not where I understood the BIOS chip to be. I'm fairly certain the BIOS is on an SOIC8 chip from Winbond - 25Q64FVSIQ and that chip looks to be the original chip, as the batch number 1328 is still visible. Of course I could be wrong about the BIOS chip locations and specs, please feel free to correct me.

Restarting, F2 was unresponsive and boot was very quick, no BIOS screen. So, I used the UEFI system to access BIOS, and this is where things got interesting.

First of all, Aptio Setup Utility from American Megatrends came up as some kind of "Windows controlled BIOS", which is not very dense in user options or control. But the crazy part is that it was an N550JK BIOS. That can't be good.

So, my questions are:

* is it possible that the BIOS were reset somehow WITHOUT changing the chip (i.e., an EEPROM reader/writer?) Did he put a hex on the motherboard?

* what is Aptio, AND is there another BIOS interface that's not "controlled by Windows"? In the Upside Down?

* how is this motherboard running an earlier production BIOS? Will it lead to instabilities?

* is it possible to regain function of my graphics card through either a BIOS update, or updating drivers? Could an Intel Driver Update Utility help me, or is it just going to add drivers that don't support the GPU?

* is it likely that the new chip is simply an incorrect chip and BIOS altogether and my only hope is to have the BIOS chip re-reinstalled?

This thread is a cross-post from the Motherboard forums. Hope that is cool with the mods. :D
 

rgd1101

Titan
Moderator
MERGED QUESTION
Question from BarnacleBalls : "Botched Motherboard Surgery? Running Another Board's BIOS."



 
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