Intel NUC Memory and BIOS Gotcha

This is a quick post to cover a gotcha I ran into while preparing my new to me Intel NUC DC3217IYE to take over has my primary Home Assistant box.

The NUC I purchased had 4GB RAM, 64GB SSD, and wireless. Before I began loading anyhting I wanted to make sure the NUC was updated with the latest and greatest BIOS version since I had heard of issues with previous versions.

When I logged into the machine I found it was running version 42. The Intel site showed that the latest version for this platform is 62. So, I followed the instructions to perform a Power Button Menu Update. This method looked to be very straightforward, but then I hit an issue.

When I selected F7 to load the new BIOS from the USB stick I went through the image selection and hit ENTER to install, the screen went black, then the power button flashed twice and the NUC rebooted. I hit F2 to bring up the BIOS menu and noticed it was still running version 42. No change…

I reloaded the USB, tried other methods, everything! But, the same outcome occured each time.

I started researching and finally found some random forum entry somewhere (no link) that mentioned to check the RAM speed. I check the RAM that was installed in the NUC and it was 2 x 2GB 1066MHz sticks. Then I started digging up the version 62 release notes.

There it was, 1066 MHz RAM was not supported by BIOS version 62:

Note: The memory reference code in BIOS version 0046 was updated as a part of the changes made in the BIOS to meet Microsoft Windows 8.1 requirements. This new memory code no longer supports 1066 MHz memory modules.

So, I went to the shop and found an old 4GB 1600MHz stick that I had and swapped out the RAM in the NUC. I tried the Power Button Menu method again and it worked without issue! Now I am up and running on the latest BIOS.

Hope this helps someone else that may run into this odd issue when the NUC provides very little feedback.