Many gamers and tech enthusiasts like to tweak their computers, this includes tweaking BIOS Settings. Most overclocking and virtualization are done through BIOS settings. And even if that’s not your game, you can still control fans and RGB through BIOS to avoid running extra unnecessary programs under your OS. But every time you update your BIOS you overwrite all your nice working tweaks and settings.
In this post, we will go on how to backup and restore your settings before and after a BIOS update. This was successfully used on multiple BIOS versions of the Asus ROG STRIX X570-F Gaming motherboard, with pictures taken for BIOS version 4021.
This should work on most Asus Rog boards based on similar BIOS. This includes x270, x370, x470, B550, B450, z370, z390, z490, z590, z690 Crosshair, Rampage, Maximus motherboards. And it might also work on other Asus motherboards such as Asus TUF, which are also based on similar base BIOS software.
Why update BIOS
For a long time, the best update policy was “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”, mostly because BIOS update is risky. If your computer loses power during an update you will brick your motherboard. But in recent years there have been multiple performance and security reasons for updating your BIOS. By sitting between hardware and software, BIOS can drastically affect the performance, stability, security, and even features of the computer. Here are a few examples of recent BIOS updates affecting most motherboards that actually matter:
- A few years ago, Sectre/Meltdown vulnerabilities exposed issues in modern CPUs. In most cases, the only fix available/possible was a bios update. It is likely that future CPU level exploits will also need to be fixed in bios.
- AM4 CPUs (eg. Ryzen 3000) had seen some massive 2-5% improvement from BIOS updates.
- Updating older motherboards to support new CPUs running on the same socket
- Resizable BAR technology often has to be explicitly supported by the motherboard and enabled in BIOS to work.
How to keep bios settings after an update
For this method, you will need an Asus motherboard and a USB drive. You can even use the same USB on which you loaded the EZ flash update for the motherboard.
1) Reboot the computer and hit “Del” key when the PC starts to enter BIOS
2) Navigate to Tool > ASUS User Profile
3) Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “load/Save Profile from/to USB Drive”
4) Make sure the correct drive is selected (in my case: “fs0:\”) and press “F2”
5) Type in a name for your file and save it. It will same as somename.CMO, which is the format Asus motherboards use to store/load BIOS settings.
6) Try restoring those settings (see below) or update your BIOS and then restore them. Check this guide on how to update the bios.
7) Boot into your operating system to make sure everything is fine, then repeat steps 1-4.
8) On the USB Load screen click on the “.CMO” file you previously created and load it.
9) Exit the BIOS by clicking: Exit>Save settings & reset
10) Pawn all the newbs with the massive FPS your shiny new bios bytes bring you!
This post is solely motivated by my frustration with updating bios and having to reenter the gazillion little settings just so I can run my RAM at its peak speed. In general, I prefer to write more on the DevOps, cloud, and data science topics and why whatever it is won’t be the magic bullet that will transform your organization. For instance, check my post on DevOps technical debt.
What? Heading clearly states that this is indeed a shameless plug 🙂