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FAQ

Why MSI Z690-A (WIFI) (DDR4) was chosen for Dasharo ?

Please read this extensive analysis contributed to Intel Reddit.

Why do you use the nomenclature MSI Z690-A (WIFI) (DDR4)?

This nomenclature is the result of the naming used by the producer. MSI PRO Z690-A is the nomenclature used for naming the platform with DDR5 memory slots. If the platform is also equipped with the WiFi module, its naming nomenclature will additionally include the phrase WIFI. If instead of DDR5 memory slots, the platform is equipped with DDR4 memory slots, its naming nomenclature will additionally include the phrase DDR4.

Will this work on my MSI PRO Z690-A (model with DDR5 support)?

Yes, during test procedures the Dasharo firmware work has been confirmed for the DDR5 platform without WIFI.

Dasharo working correctness has not been tested on MSI PRO Z690-A WIFI. However, given that the difference is only the WiFi module, there should be no problems using Dasharo on it as well.

Will this work on my MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4?

Yes, during test procedures the Dasharo firmware work has been confirmed for the DDR4 WIFI platform. In turn, Dasharo working correctness on MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 has been confirmed by the community.

Can I safely try this on my board?

If you are afraid of bricking the board and have no means of recovering from failed installation, we do not recommend trying it out until at least the v1.0.0 is released. Recovery process is not suitable for inexperienced users right now. We will be trying to make it easier, and if that happens, we may change our recommendation here.

Can I destroy my hardware by installing this firmware?

We give no warranty, although it is highly unlikely, provided that you use the supported board model and follow the Initial Deployment. In the worst scenario, you might "brick" the board, rendering it unbootable. It can be fixed by following the recovery procedure. In case of concerns, we invite you to buy the equipment directly in our online store with a subscription service, under which we perform the Dasharo installation with the latest release, and offer full support through invite-only Matrix channel.

How can I know if the board is "bricked"?

In such a case, you would get stuck with black screen on the display. There will be no beeping sounds from the buzzer as well. The only way to get some information on what's going on in that state is to use the Serial header to read out error information.

What can be the reason of board "bricking"?

The most common reason would be the fact that you DDR memory modules are not initialized properly.

The other reason might be improper or interrupted installation. Please make sure to follow the Initial Deployment Manual correctly.

How can I "unbrick" my board?

Please follow the recovery procedure.

Which CPUs are supported?

We can say the "supported" one is the one that have been tested during Validation Procedure or have been tested by the community.

The list of all supported CPUs is available in the CPU HCL documentation.

In practice, any Alder Lake-S Processor should work.

12900KS is rather unknown at the moment, because it was released later and may require more recent microcode.

Which memory modules are supported?

We can say the "supported" one is the one that have been tested during Validation Procedure or have been tested by the community.

The list of all supported memory modules is available in the Memory HCL documentation.

What is the memory profile?

Currently, Dasharo firmware picks the highest standard SPD Profile, no support for XMP ones. This means that on the Kingston modules it is actually working at 2400 MHz, but it is expected to work all the way to 3200 MHz.

Why my GPU doesn't work on MSI PRO Z690-A (DDR4) (WIFI)?

Due to the fact, that there's no possibility to insert all available GPU drivers into the firmware, the solution in the form of the Option ROM is in use. Option ROMs are the drivers flashed in the GPUs non-volatile memory. These types of drivers can be divided into Legacy Option ROMs and EFI Option ROMs.

Legacy Option ROMs are only supported on legacy BIOS, such as SeaBIOS. Legacy BIOS checks the availability of Option ROM and if its signature matches, it executes its entry point. This option ROM initializes the graphics. The only way to support Option ROM in UEFI is through CSM, which we do not have implemented.

EFI Option ROMs are nothing more than EFI drivers which have the same form as the UEFI files (PE format). UEFI firmware scans the Option ROM space of the graphics card and if it finds a potential EFI Option ROM with PE signature, it executes the file. This option ROM initializes the graphics.

Considering the above, the firmware might have a problem with initializing older graphics cards - UEFI standard appeared about 15 years ago.

The problem might also be caused by an enabled Secure boot - because there is no certainty that EFI Option ROM is signed correctly.

Which GPUs are supported?

We can say the "supported" one is the one that have been tested during Validation Procedure or have been tested by the community.

The list of all supported memory modules is available in the GPU HCL documentation.

What does the obligatory Dasharo Subscripion includes?

The Dasharo Subscription includes:

  • The latest Dasharo Entry Subscription release installed by Dasharo Team
  • Dasharo Updates – number of updates depends on the number of Dasharo Subscriptions sold and the availability of other funding (e.g., NLNet, corporate sponsors, community donations)
  • Priority support for Dasharo Subscribers through invite-only Matrix channel
  • Influence on Dasharo features roadmap – you can have a real impact on Dasharo development by direct access with the developers or premium voting on github. You will gain the access to the dedicated channels on the matrix communicator. If you wish to share your Github nickname with us, the votes cast for the features that you would like to have implemented in the future will be treated with priority, i.e. they will have a higher priority than the votes of non-subscribers.
  • By buying this product, you support open-source firmware and Dasharo distribution.

What means in warranty conditions "No signs of customer interference..."?

Full question: "In the Disclaimer, you wrote that one of the warranty conditions is: "No signs of customer interference with the platform or firmware." How would a user modify firmware without losing the warranty? Being open source to be easy to modify, then saying "don't touch this" seems contradictory. How would you add an exception?"

Playing with firmware parameters can result in damaging the mainboard. Such action excludes the acceptance of the return. You can improve the Dasharo by contributing, so we can pass Dasharo Certification Program and release it in the next version.