Please read this thread before upgrading the FPGA:
The issue is which Quartus Prime software version to use. For many, including myself, 18.1 works whereas the latest 21.x does not.
To find out what the current firmware is, you can use Quartus to verify (=compare) against pof files. There aren’t that many versions so it is doable to verify going down from the latest (2.10 as of this writing).
I was able to perform the upgrade by using the cheapest USB blaster from Amazon (only $9 & had many bad reviews but I am glad I ignored those).
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