ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 BIOS 2.10 released May 10 2012, DO NOT USE 2.X BIOS if you're staying on a Sandy Bridge CPU!

Posted by Paul Braren on May 17 2012 in
  • Motherboard
  • Fatal1ty-Z68-Professional-Gen3m

    I've been watching the beta firmware levels, knowing that support for Ivy Bridge CPUs was coming in a new BIOS that ASRock was cooking up for users of the ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 motherboard, such as my and systems.

    Thanks to Roy's comment here on TinkerTry earlier today, I was alerted that the BIOS 2.10 had finally been published, and Roy already applied the update apparently. Will give it a try very soon myself, of course.

    ASRock Fatal1ty Z68 Professional Gen3 BIOS 2.10 download here, and let us know how it goes!

    Update May 18 2012:

    Warning, this BIOS may have issues with your added PCI cards!  Do not use it if you are staying on a Sandy Bridge CPU, such as the Core i7 2600.

    • In my case, this 2.10 BIOS didn't like me having any of my 3 PCI card(s) inserted, I'm in the process of narrowing down what is going on here (it won't even POST/boot)
    • I had to remove all PCI cards after I flashed the BIOS, because with any cards inserted, I had blank video output with error code 94 on the mobo LED.
    • So while I can now boot with 2.10 and see the very new look-and-feel BIOS, I have no PCI cards added, so this is a problem!

    If you have a vZilla configuration, please stay tuned here, since of course I'll let you know if I come up with a fix.

    Update May 19 2012:

    The culprit has been found, apparently the HighPoint RU1144A PCI-Express 2.0 x4 USB 3.0 Controller Card won't allow boot if it's installed in any slot, if 2.10 is installed. Removed the card, the problem went away. BIOS upgrade process would have worked fine, had that card not been present, live and learn.

    Windows 7 boots fine again now, and so does ESXi 5.0, so everything is now acting very normal.  I did have to manually do all my BIOS settings over again, but that's no big deal to do.

    Update May 25 2012:

    Video now edited and published, showing you exactly how the BIOS flash is done, and sprinkles in some tips on configuring the new 2.1 BIOS for ESXi:

    Update May 26 2012:

    Warning thanks to reader comments from Jean, I realized that I should point out that it would appear this may be a one-way upgrade, meaning, you cannot back out of it. I admit to not actually trying to back-level, but the wording from ASRock gives me reason to be concerned about the risks of trying to go back:

    After you finish updating this BIOS, please reboot your system. Please only flash newer versions of BIOS in the future
    from this page:


    Sep. 07 2012 Update:
    I still haven't managed to get a working BIOS from ASRock shipped to me, numerous missteps (it's a tiny chip, pliers work fine for removal of 2.x/insertion of 1.3)
    still working with them on getting me back to 1.3 BIOS