Cube i9: How to flash and recover a failed bios flash or bricked bios

Cube i9: How to flash and recover a failed bios flash or bricked bios

TechTablets Forums Cube Forums Cube i9 Forum Cube i9: How to flash and recover a failed bios flash or bricked bios

This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Robert 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #32130

    Chris G
    Keymaster
    • Posts: 2647

    As some of you may know, I looked at the flash menu in the Cube i9 bios to only have it wipe the bios and proceed to flash nothing and fail. In my fun-filled journey to restore the bios I had to go through a few hoops. It’s not as straight forward as clip on the test clip, flash and done like the Atom bios chips. None of my clips gave 100% contact to the pins on the bios to allow me to flash it.

    !!!WARNING THIS IS NOT AN EASY FLASH, NOT FOR THE INEXPERIENCED. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

    The Cube i9 uses a WINBOND W25Q64FV eprom with AMI bios software.

    First off you will need a USB Programmer CH341A and test clip (SOP8/SOIC8)

     

    First step. Open the Cube i9 and remove the heat sink

    6 x T4 Torx screws and 4 x small screws on the heat sink. (Unplug the battery too before touching the heatsink or anything else!)

    Second Step:

    Mod your clip, I cut my clip back like pictured (Yes it looks messy and well, it was!)

    Mod your clip, I cut my clip back like pictured here to expose the contacts. Cut it back to the first level, I used a hacksaw, but a sharp knife should do. And you have to separate them both. The use some thick wire (or nails) to secure it to a sponge.

    This is harder than it looks and took my a good hour to get a good contact and set up. Thanks to Wootever @ XDA for this great tip!

    Step 3:

    Connected up your USB CH341A Programmer to your PC. Make sure you install the drivers in the pack. And connect the clip up in the 25XX slot of the USB programmer. And remember that the pink/red wire on the clip is pin #1.

    Mine looked like this:

    Step 4:

    Load the bios, ignore any length errors, it will still work! Set it to 25 SPI, WINBOND W25Q64

    Cube i9 USB programming flashing the W25Q64FV 3

    Step 5:

    Make sure the battery is unplugged and the heat sink removed (part of step 1) Now the hardest part that had me almost smashing the tablet in half! Connect the clips 8 pins to the 8 corresponding bios pins. You should here a beep in Windows 8/10 like adding a new USB mouse for example. The single connected beep will confirm you have good contacts with the 8 bios pins, use a sponge and nails to hold the pins in contact.

    Step 6:

    Use this setting:

    Flasher settings

    You need to select WINBOND W25Q64, first Erase, then Blank the bios. Now open the bios you want to flash and then program to flash it. If you get a write error it’s because the  contacts are bad again or you have it around the wrong way. (Double check again)

    NOTE: The dot . on the bios chip itself is pin #1

    This part DROVE me crazy, as it would always loose contact and fail to write. My contacts were worn a little from trying to use the clips on the chip itself before I hacked the clip.

    Once done, READ AND VERIFY the chip and bios are the same. If not reflash until it is! Reboot if it is all okay and you did it! It should be fine, but I did have one failed attempt when it all looked good. First boot does take a little longer than normal so don’t worry.

    There is of course, a more professional way to do with this removing and flashing the bios out of the tablet. Or super fine clip on wires. But I didn’t have the gear nor skill. Lots of room for improvements!

    Notes: Be careful with static. I used an anti-static plastic over the motherboard and then a piece of paper and later my sponge.

    There is a risk involved with voltages of the programmer and the chip is meant to only take 3.3v. But it worked for me doesn’t mean it won’t for you. This is a last ditch resort to restore a dead tablet. If you’re in doubt get a local electronics shop to do it for you or a bios modder with experience etc.

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    Chris | Admin
    Please support us and help keep TechTablets online. Affiliate revenue is used to pay for the server, studio apartment (Techtablets HQ) and buy new tech to review. Without it, this site would be dead.
    Next up for review:
    Ordered and waiting for my: BMAX Y13, Mi Gaming Laptop (2019)
    Currently testing: ASUS ROG 2

    #32146

    Chris G
    Keymaster
    • Posts: 2647

    Reserved for more info etc.

    Chris | Admin
    Please support us and help keep TechTablets online. Affiliate revenue is used to pay for the server, studio apartment (Techtablets HQ) and buy new tech to review. Without it, this site would be dead.
    Next up for review:
    Ordered and waiting for my: BMAX Y13, Mi Gaming Laptop (2019)
    Currently testing: ASUS ROG 2

    #41097

    Jonny
    Participant
    • Posts: 1

    hello!

    So, im really close to buy this device now when its a sale..i get the same items with gearbest and banggood, right(the stand i mean ofc)? .
    been looking on the i7 stylus, but 64 ssd it abit low

    i was hoping it just was enought to do a factory reset, but, do i really need to flash the bios? i guess its for removing spywares and stuff that might exists? or why do you guys do it?

    im a real noob on stuffs like this,
    i have been watching your videos chris( btw awesome work u been doing on all vids)
    , and that looking real hard.. have never done anything like that.. 🙁
    will prolly be able to get the heat sink to work.. but the bios.. might be another story!

    thanks in advice!

    #56449

    Jorge Fernandes
    Participant
    • Posts: 6

    Great tutorial and great reviews Chris,
    You surely helped me decide between H12 and i9.
    Have Received my i9 yesterday and after installing Intel Extreme Utility was surprised to see that Turbo Boost Power was set to 6watts and TB Short Power to 15watts!
    Could this be an indication of setting variation depending on Bios version?
    Attached is a photo of my bios as I’m not entirely certain what version I have;
    V2.7
    V5.11
    V2.4

    Just wanted to be certain before updating my BIOS with the one from here…

    Thanks

    EDITED

    Nevermind found my bios version under system information of Intel extreme utility, its V5.11.

     

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    #57149

    David Wong
    Participant
    • Posts: 1

    Hi Jorge, I just received my i9 this month as well. Did you have problem reading SD card 128gb? Chris mentioned that there was some bios update but it seems that our sets have the latest bios 5.11…

    #59692

    Jorge Fernandes
    Participant
    • Posts: 6

    Hi David, yes only just noticed that.

    It looks like it woun’t read anything above 16gb, but this is not a BIOS issue as SD card is detected during post!

    Don’t know of any workround the problem, have tested with onder drivers but no luck.

    #75037

    Serkan
    Participant
    • Posts: 4

    Have a nice day

    My cube has a 2gb / 32gb tablet with iWork’8 dual boot z3735f processor. Product Information Model: i1 Bios software is broken. The tablet is not opening. I can not reach the company.I need Bios software. Tablet bios unbrick. Could you send it to me?

    I want to restore Bios with the CH341A scheduler. That’s why me need bios. Is there anything he can do to help?

    #144306

    Robert
    Participant
    • Posts: 1

    Thanks, it worked.

    I had to power the motherboard (MSI desktop motherboard in my case). It saved me hundreds of dollars.

    I have written a guide here : Guide to flash a Bios with a SPI CH341A mini programmer.

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