How To Update Motherboard BIOS Without CPU

If you’re building a new PC and your motherboard won’t boot, you might need to update the BIOS. Most motherboards offer USB BIOS flashback, thus updating motherboard BIOS without a CPU takes only a few minutes.

Although there is no need for a CPU, you must have the EPS power connector and a formatted FAT32 USB drive of at least 8GB to achieve these results. 

To update motherboard BIOS without CPU, go to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest BIOS version.  Extract the bios file to the formatted FAT32 USB stick and rename it as instructed by the manufacturer; as a .bin / .cap  bios file. Insert the flash drive to the EZ Flash Utility inside the BIOS, connect to the power and press the BIOS button. 

When the BIOS Flashback Button is pressed, the LED light blinks until the BIOS is fully updated. This works well for motherboards with the USB BIOS Flashback feature. Once the light stops, the motherboard BIOS is updated without a CPU. At this point, you can remove the flash drive and turn off the power.

I will take you through the step-by-step process of updating motherboard BIOS without CPU, including how to check your BIOS version. Also, stick around for the dos and donts. You don’t want to brick your motherboard while updating the BIOS.

The Do’s and Dont’s When Updating Your Motherboard

Although USB BIOS Flashback seems easy, there are things to consider when updating a motherboard BIOS without a CPU.  Here are the do’s and don’ts.

Do Don’t
Check your BIOS model and version Do not interrupt the updating process until the LED stops blinking
Format the USB flash drive to FAT32 Do not update the motherboard BIOS using an unreliable power source.
You should make every connection to the motherboard on a flat surface. Do not update your motherboard BIOS just for the sake of it. Do it when you want your system to support a new processor or hardware.
Connect the motherboard BIOS to an uninterrupted power supply

Why Should You Update a Motherboard BIOS?

Note that BIOS updates do not add any new features to your PC. Improper handling can result in additional problems. Thus, it is essential to know when and how to do it safely. 

Several reasons may compel you to update a motherboard BIOS. 

  • If the mobo does not support a new processor
  • If new hardware is not adequately supported
  • To fix bugs
  • To correct a corrupted UEFI environment
  • To improve your PCs stability

The steps for updating BIOS without a CPU will work for popular motherboards, including Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, or ASRock. 

Note that the different manufacturers have various names for the usb BIOS flashback port used to update the motherboard. Gigabyte calls it Q-Flash Plus; Asus calls it USB BIOS Flashback; MSI refers to it as Flash BIOS Button. In ASRock motherboards, the feature is referred to as BIOS Flashback Button.

How to Check Your Current BIOS Version

Before any updates, checking the version of your motherboard BIOS is critical. Using the wrong BIOS can render your motherboard partially or entirely useless.

To check your BIOS version on Windows 8 or 10

  1. Use the shortcut keys Windows + R to open the run box.


  2. Type “msinfo32” into the Run box and press Enter.

    how to check bios version

  3. Your PCs BIOS version is shown under the “BIOS Version/Date.

Alternatively, you can find the motherboard version by restarting your computer and pressing the F2, F10, F12, or Del buttons until the BIOS menu appears. From the menu, navigate to BIOS Revision or BIOS Version or Firmware Version. This largely depends on your system configuration.

However, since our motherboard is not connected to a CPU, the simplest way to check for the BIOS version is by looking at the motherboard hardware. Written on it are your motherboard model, version, and manufacturer.

With that information, you can now go ahead and update the motherboard.

How to Update Motherboard

When you buy a new B550 or X570 motherboard, there is probably a more recent BIOS version available than the one installed. Although this is not a problem, it is easier to update your motherboard BIOS if you choose to. 

Remember that interrupting the BIOS update process can brick your motherboard and render it useless.

Let’s look at how to update the motherboard without a CPU installed   

  1. Use a separate system to download the latest motherboard BIOS file from your manufacturer’s website. Check out the latest BIOS firmware for Gigabyte, AMD, or Intelbios-update-file
  2. Extract the bios update file to the FAT32 formatted USB flash drive and rename it.
  3. Connect your motherboard to a power source using the 24-pin main and 8-pin EPS power connectors.
  4. Press and hold the Flash BIOS flash button for about three seconds until the LED light begins to blink.
  5. The update is finished once the blinking stops. Remove the flash drive and turn off the power button.

Installing BIOS Without Display

if you finish building your PC and fail to get video output, you should update the BIOS to support the processor without the display. It should be pretty much the same as updating BIOS without a CPU or RAM. 

Installing BIOS without display will depend squarely on the type of processor in your build. For example, you need the 8th or 9th generation Intel CPU if you are running Intel i5-9600k. 

If you are not on an Intel processor, consider the following steps;

  1. Copy the BIOS to a cd using a separate system.
  2. Place the cd on your PC
  3. Turn on the PC

If you had an incompatible CPU, updating the motherboard BIOS using a cd should work for you.  

If that fails to work, consider visiting a local PC shop. Similarly, you can order a BIOS chip from Amazon or eBay and replace the one in your motherboard.


Unless you have a good reason to update your motherboard BIOS, refrain from it. If care is not taken, the updates can go wrong. For instance, interfering with the power when the update is ongoing will probably brick your motherboard. 

All in all, you can use the BIOS flashback feature to update the motherboard without a CPU. The process is not only easy but also quick. 

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