Asus n61Ja notebook bios update problem

Asus N61 notebook
July 4, 2012 at 18:48:12
Specs: Windows 7

I wanted to update the bios, with an official bios update, from version 207 to 211. I didn't use winflash, I used easyflash in the bios. Everything seemed to be going okay; it deleted the old files, wrote the new ones, verified the new ones. Then it said: shutdown in/after 2 seconds and it shut down. Then nothing happened anymore. Power button completely unresponsive. The battery light was still on, and I'm not sure if I should've just waited... I didn't though, I thought I had to remove the battery, take the power off completely to be able to start it up again.

So I'm wondering: what are my options here? My warranty expired and I don't really have the money to send it in and pay hundreds of bucks on repairs.

Is there anything I can try? CMOS battery reset? Anything???

Please help me out! I would be very grateful :)

ps. What was sort of odd btw, was that easyflash said something like that it was an unsigned bios and if I wanted to flash it anymore, if i wanted to 'force' it or something. It was with 100% certainty the correct update from the support site, so I didn't take that 'warning' seriously.

See More: Asus n61Ja notebook bios update problem

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July 4, 2012 at 19:32:50
I'm assuming you let it shut off the computer on it's own.

You may have flashed it with the WRONG bios version, or the flash chip may have physically failed.

In either of those cases, you can't recover from that.
The flash chip is probably soldered into the mbboard and in that case only a professional with the right tools can replace it properly.

The cheapeast choice is, if you search the web you may be able to find a used mboard for your specific model that has no passwords set in the bios Setup for a reasonable price, then find a service manual for the model series, and replace the mboard yourself.

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July 4, 2012 at 19:41:28
"ps. What was sort of odd btw, was that easyflash said something like that it was an unsigned bios and if I wanted to flash it anymore, if i wanted to 'force' it or something."

You MAY have downloaded the wrong bios version.
Assuming that you DID download a bios update for the RIGHT mboard, did you READ the release notes for the bios version you downloaded on the Asus web site ? Sometimes it will say you must use a newer flash utility with it. In that case, the flash utility built into the bios cannot be used with it.
In that case you would either need to use a suitable newer Windows based flash utility, or a newer Dos bootable version flash utility (you make a bootable CD).

Sometimes the flash fails or the flash chip physically fails in any case.

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July 5, 2012 at 03:55:55
I see you've posted this exact same question all over the internet. Maybe you downloaded the correct BIOS update, maybe you didn't, we have no way of knowing. But I know if I had seen a warning about it being an "unassigned BIOS" & having to "force" it, I would have stopped dead in my tracks. Contact ASUS.

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July 5, 2012 at 04:34:52
@Tubesandwires: I'm as I said 100% certain I flashed the right bios. Taken from the asus support site. I'll update with a link later. Wanted to do it now but posting from mobile and the asus support site is being weird on this.

Anyway, following ur advice: how would i go about finding out the mboard type? All it ever says online anywhere is what chipset :f

As for release notes: there were none. Well, not in the zip file i downloaded or on the download page, anyway. Dno if i shouldve checked somewhere else?

From what i read the bios flash utility is in general the highly recommended option. It did say somewhere that flashing from the harddrive can be problematic for newer models, but then Im not sure if my n61Ja falls under that category.

@riider: Pretty sure I did ;o and i contacted them, the guy on the phone said to rma it, had little technical knowledge. The eximination cost alone would be 75 euros :/ also filled out a support form but no reaction on that yet. Oh, and I filled out an RMA form but that got rejected; not sure how they expect me to give an accurate problem description in 150 characters. Gonna fill it out again later.

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July 5, 2012 at 06:21:34
What problem were you having that needed fixing? The BIOS is one of the things where the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule applies. You should NOT have attempted to update the BIOS simply because you saw a newer version was available. ASUS doesn't even list what the new BIOS fixes, all it says is "firmware change".

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July 5, 2012 at 06:31:01
@riider: i know, ure so right.. whats worse: I actually knew all of that.. i just got overexcited wanting to tweak everything to the max.. wish i could go back in time, lol. So stupid.

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July 5, 2012 at 12:40:55
"Oh, and I filled out an RMA form but that got rejected;"

Flashing the bios is NEVER covered by the warranty.

If you can't find a replacement mboard, there are professionals on the web that can replace a soldered in bios chip for you (with a new one one that's already been programmed with the latest bios update for your specific model), but it can cost you as much for that service as a new mboard would (you must ship at least the mboard to them).

E.g. if you live in the US

(The $29.xx price applies ONLY if the bios chip is in a socket and is removavable - it is probably soldered into the mboard.)

If you live elsewhere, he MAY allow shipments from and ship to Canada for more bucks, or there are other web sites that can do the same thing that will except shipments from / ship to most places.

If you live in or near a reasonably large city, there may be somone local or not far away who can do the same thing, but it's hard for an amatuer to determine that - phone some local computer repair places to see if they can do it, or know of someone who can do it.

NOTE that passwords set in the bios on laptops made in the last twelve years or so are NOT stored on the bios chip - they're stored on another soldered in chip (that cannot have it's custom contents erased by removing power to it). If you don't know a password that was set in the bios, one of the ways of fixing that problem (that always works) is that that chip must be replaced (with a new one that has already been programmed).

You could have a local laptop repair place that is authorized to work on Asus laptops and is familiar with them analyze it for a fee.

"Anyway, following ur advice: how would i go about finding out the mboard type?"

For most laptops....
- you can search on the web using the specific model number along with motherboard and find listings for the possible mboards for sale
- there is either a service manual available from the brand name's web site for the model series (e.g. Dell, HP, Compaq models), or there are service manuals for the model series available on the web, for a fee, or for free (e.g. Acer, eMachines, Gateway, Toshiba models).

In this case I have found neither for Asus n61Ja .

By the way, that's not the specific model number - it's
probably Asus n61Ja-Jxxxxx

This is the closest I've come to finding a service manual - it's a part of one for a similar series:

N61VN series

Chapter 2

You should be able to use that info to take apart the laptop without damaging anything, even if the inside components are not exactly the same.

Note that the halves of the bottom case often have hidden plastic "hooks" on one side that "latch" onto something matching their positions on the other side. After all screws holding the two halves together have been removed, the two halves may still be locked to each other. In that case you need to carefully use something thin and strong, such as a metal bladed putty knife at least a 1/2" wide, to insert into the crack and release the "hooks" from the other side.

The mboard has at least one part number on it, probably an Asus one on a stuck on label, and there may be the actual mboard maker's (which may not be Asus) model number printed directly onto the mboard surface as well

If you use one or the other or both of those part numbers to search the web with, you may find a used mboard on the web for a reasonable price, or a new one for more.
If not, contact Asus regarding where you could get the mboard from.

There are no release notes here where the bios updates are downoaded from.

N61Ja (home support page)

bios updates - 3 listed
says only "updated firmware"

211 download has the update file only

Bios Utilities
updated Windows flash utility is listed, for Win 7
No readme file or similar in the download

Since there isn't much info there at all, why did you want to update the bios ?

It MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL to flash the bios to cure a problem you're having if you EVER did NOT have the same problem with the existing bios version previously - the problem was NOT caused by the existing bios version.

ROMID error during bios update

It prompts the ROMID does not match during Bios update, how to find a correct Bios to update?

Please use Asus update or EZ-Flash to check the ROMID (model name) and then go to the download site to find correct bios file for Bios update.

In other words, it's the woing bios update.
Is that the message you saw ?

ASUS ServerCare Service Program

Free tools and troubleshooting guides that can help you resolve your technical issues

Support For

Unable to power on the notebook.

Some Asus desktop mboards have a way of recovering from a failed bios flash - they have two bios chips, or a specifically prepared USB flash drive can be used for that, but the computer MUST at least attempt to boot.

I've never heard of that applying to an Asus notebook computer. If that applies, there would probably be info about that in the User manual for your model.

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July 5, 2012 at 17:59:21
Hey! Thanks for taking the time to type all that :)

To answer /address all your questions/topics:

It got rejected because of the problem description being insufficient. I basically said 'bios update problem. reply to this so we can discuss it. impossible to fit into 150 characters'. I filled it out again now though, managed to get it down to 150. We'll see tomorrow, I guess.

I'm from the Netherlands. I'm thinking it might be quite hard to find a place to have something like that done. :F I don't even know of any proper local repairs shops either..

It's indeed quite hard to find the motherboard type, I tried my hand at it before even starting this thread and couldn't find anything. I did also get a hold of that pdf u linked tho. Gonna wait a bit more before disassembling the laptop tho. See what asus says. People on other forums (as riider said I posted all around the web). The exact model is Asus N61Ja-JX046X btw.

And nope, not the message I saw. I told you, pretty sure I flashed the correct bios. Here:

Downloaded the bios from that page. If I did flash the wrong bios it's Asus's fault for putting the wrong bios's on their site :{

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July 5, 2012 at 18:05:04
Oh, I see I missed 2 things:

I'll look into the servicecare thing later (really tired atm, eyes closing on me),


I do know there is a hidden backup bios on C:\ called N61Ja.bin. That's all I know for now though. Awaiting further information.

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July 5, 2012 at 18:21:14
This guy can replace a soldered in bios chip too - he's recommended by the guy who has the badflash web site...

He's in the Netherlands (Holland).

You may even be able to avoid shipping the mboard to him if he's within a reasonable driving distance from where you are located.

"I don't even know of any proper local repairs shops either."

Look in your local "Yellow Pages" in your phone book, or search online, for local computer / laptop repair places.

Flashing the bios is NEVER covered by the warranty.
Doing it is always at your own risk.

Sometimes the flash fails or the flash chip physically fails in any case.

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July 5, 2012 at 18:38:39
Alright, I just sent an email via the contact form on the site. If he's recommended, I'd rather go with him then some random I could find in the yellow pages. Because yeah, you're right in that I could've found places that way, but I doubt most of them would be able to repair such a specialist problem, you know? I would feel uneasy letting them try to fix it.

Thanks a bunch for that link man. Might prove to be a lifesaver :)

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July 5, 2012 at 21:48:38
Any technician or other person that has the know-how and the right equipment can do it - a specialized de-soldering device that can help remove the chip in one go without risking damaging the mboard, a device to clean up molten solder before the new chip is installed, the proper bios chip, a device to program the chip with the latest bios update, and a way of soldering the chip back in without overheating it and damaging it. Many repair places already have what's necessary except for the the proper bios chip, which they may be able to get locally, and the programming device, which is expensive.

Thanks for the thanks.

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October 8, 2012 at 20:12:37
Can you boot to anything? USB, CD drive, etc?

Below are the two files you should have used.

Why didn't yow use the recommended flash file?

BIOS file 211 =
Windows BIOS flash Utility =

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