ASRock Instant Flash “No image file detected”, Why?

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

We tried updating our computer’s BIOS to the latest version because we were having some problems. We put the new firmware file on a USB drive, started the computer, and tried to update using Instant Flash. But, we got a message saying “No image file detected” even though the USB drive was plugged in with the firmware file on it. This article talks about how we figured out what was wrong and fixed it.

Related resource: How to Enable TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot on ASRock
ASRock Instant Flash No image file detected

What we tried first to fix the “No image file detected” error in Instant Flash

Ensuring the USB drive functionality

First, we checked if the USB drive was working by plugging it into another computer. We looked to see if it showed up and if we could open and move a small file to and from it. This step is important to make sure the USB drive itself isn’t the problem.

Formatting the USB drive to FAT32

Next, we made sure the USB drive was formatted to FAT32 because that’s what the BIOS/UEFI needs. We right-clicked the drive, went to ‘Properties’ to check its format, found it wasn’t FAT32, backed up our files, and then formatted it to FAT32. We chose FAT32 from the options and clicked ‘Start’ for a quick format.
Format USB in FAT32 file system

Deleting unnecessary contents in the drive

We also cleaned up the USB drive, leaving only the firmware file. This is because having too many files might confuse the BIOS/UEFI, and it might not find the firmware file. So, we made sure only the needed file was there.
Instant Flash no image file detected

Even after doing all this, we still had the problem. So, we knew the issue wasn’t with the USB drive or how it was formatted, but with the firmware file itself.

Linked issue: Can’t find TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot options in BIOS

What actually caused the “No image file detected” issue and how we fixed it

Firmware mismatch…

At first, we didn’t think the problem was with the firmware file. But after checking everything else, we looked at the file again. We compared its name and version to what was on the ASRock website for our motherboard model.

That’s when we noticed we had the wrong file. Our motherboard was “ASRock B450 Steel Legend,” but we downloaded the file for “ASRock B450M Steel Legend,” a different model. Firmware files are specific to each model, so this was a big deal.
Wrong firmware update for motherboard

The importance of correct motherboard’s firmware

The Instant Flash feature did a good job by not letting us install the wrong firmware. Wrong firmware can mess up the motherboard in many ways, even make it completely stop working. This safety feature probably saved our motherboard.

Downloading the correct firmware

Once we realized our mistake, we were very careful to get the right firmware file. We went to the ASRock website, found our motherboard model, and made sure we got the correct file.

It’s better to be careful with search engines like Google or Bing because they might lead you to the wrong model. Always double-check on the official website.
Example BIOS firmware update download

Successful firmware update

With the right firmware file, we tried updating again. This time, Instant Flash found the file, showing we had the right one for our motherboard.
Update BIOS firmware by instant flash

We ran the update without turning off the computer or interrupting it, because that could ruin the motherboard. After the update, we restarted the computer and saw that the BIOS was now up-to-date.
BIOS Instant Flash no image file detected

Final thoughts

Everything we tried, from making sure the USB drive worked, to formatting it correctly, and keeping only the firmware file on it, was important. These steps didn’t solve the problem directly, but they helped us focus on the real issue, the firmware file.

The feature that checks for compatible firmware is really helpful. It stops you from installing the wrong firmware, which could damage the motherboard.

Whether you’re experienced or new to building computers, always be careful with BIOS updates. Paying attention to small details, like making sure you have the right firmware model, can save your hardware.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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