AMD Offers Loaner CPUs In ‘Boot Kits’ For Motherboard Updates Supporting New Ryzen APUs
AMD has run into a bit of trouble with a "specific boot issue" that might be affecting some second gen Ryzen desktop processors, specifically Raven Ridge APUs, when those chips are socketed into an early AMD Socket AM4 mainboard. According to AMD, since the release of the AMD Socket AM4 mainboards in early 2017, alongside the Ryzen desktop processors, there have been several BIOS updates made available through board partners.
AMD wrote, "These updates not only provide improved system performance but also expand support for newer processors as they become available."
The rub for owners of Ryzen chips and Socket AM4 boards is that in February, when the Second Gen Ryzen desktop Processors with Radeon Vega Graphics began rolling out, a BIOS update for the boards was required and systems failed to boot up during the initial setup when that BIOS update wasn't applied. AMD wrote, "Due to the rapid pace of innovation, and strong demand for Ryzen Processors with Radeon Graphics, it may be possible that some users with an AMD Socket AM4 motherboard paired with a 2nd Generation Ryzen Desktop introduced in 2018, may experience an issue where the system does not boot up during initial setup."
According to AMD, the boot up issue is caused when a mainboard is running an early BIOS that lacks support for the new processors. The chipmaker also points out that the issue can be resolved by updating the mainboard to the latest BIOS version. The catch is that this BIOS update must be done with a processor that is supported by the BIOS already on the mainboard. AMD says that owners need to get the supported CPU list from their motherboard vendor and determine which CPUs the original BIOS would support. Presumably, you then beg or borrow a supported chip to resolve your issue.
However, AMD also offered up details on workarounds for this issue, because not everyone will have access to an older Ryzen processor that the mainboard might support out of the box. AMD lists two workaround options:
1. If the motherboard was purchased through a computer parts retailer, check with the retailer to see if they can facilitate the BIOS update at their location. There may be a charge for this, or it may be offered at no cost.
2. If you have access to a processor supported on the current installed BIOS, use it to perform the BIOS update, then swap out the processors when the update process is complete.
3. Another option for some users will be to simply RMA their motherboard to the manufacture of said board and get it exchanged for a motherboard already on the correct BIOS supporting the new CPU. The most interesting solution is a what AMD is referring to as a "Boot Kit." AMD has said that it will provide affected and qualified users this boot kit to perform the BIOS update on their motherboard.
This boot kit solution is offered through AMD warranty services and is for "affected and qualified users of this specific boot up issue." The boot kit is provided free of charge. Steps to get qualified for the boot kit include going to the AMD online warrant claims page, fill in contact and product details, and in the "Problem Description" field the user needs to enter "Boot Kit Required" without the quotes. AMD is specific in that the product must be a valid AMD processor with an authentic OPN and serial number. More details will be provided to the user via a follow up email.
Reports indicate that this boot kit includes a dual-core A6-9500 CPU and a heatsink of some sort. AMD apparently wants the CPU back but doesn’t want to bother with the heatsink, so you get to keep it or toss it in the trash.