My motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-Z170XP-SLI revision 1.0. The BIOS version is F3. My operating system is Windows 10. The CPU is an Intel i5-6600. The power supply is 650 watts. The graphics card is an EVGA GTX 970. I have 8GB of RAM. I have two 1TB hard drives. I have a Blu-ray drive. I have an Intel network adapter.
I have had this computer for almost two years now with no problems.
I read that I needed to update my motherboard in order to protect against the recent problems discovered in Intel CPUs.
I read that I should use the "GIGABYTE Intel ME Critical FW Update Utility" to do this. I used version B17.1218.1 of the utility. When I ran the utility, it said, "Error 8746: Firmware update not initiated due to invalid image length." A post in the forum for my motherboard manufacturer suggested that I could upgrade the firmware manually by running FWUpdLcl64.exe with ME_11.8_Consumer_D0_H_Production.bin (these files came with the utility). I did this.
The update installed successfully. When I restarted my computer, it showed the BIOS splash screen, then the Intel Boot Agent, and then the BIOS splash screen again. After this, the computer shut off and rebooted, restarting the process. I can still enter the BIOS setup, but Windows will not start. The computer does not make any beeps.
I have tried pressing the "Load Optimized Defaults" button in the BIOS before restarting. I've tried using the "Previous Values" button in the BIOS before restarting. I've tried connecting the CLR_CMOS pins before loading the defaults and restarting. I tried starting the computer with the Windows 10 setup disc in the disc drive (I made sure the drive was first in the boot order).
I tried holding down the power button for 30 seconds while the computer was unplugged before starting the computer. I tried starting the computer with and without Intel CPU virtualization enabled. I tried using a bootable USB drive made with Rufus to run FreeDos. I tried starting the computer with the hard drives disconnected.
None of these changed my computer's behavior.
I have NOT tried using Q-FLASH to change the firmware yet.
What, if anything, can I do to fix this?
Thank you in advance for your help.