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Is it possible to change BIOS settings with a boot disk?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by vibe666, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. vibe666

    vibe666 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
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    Here's the deal.

    I'm administering a LAN consisting of IBM NetVistas (Phoenix BIOS v4.00, mostly) and there is a BIOS setting to have 3 different boot orders depending on the startup type. Primary, Auto & Error startup sequences depending on the circumstances.

    What I want to do is disable the last 2 boot preferences so that only the primary is used, and I also want the primary to always boot in the following order: Removable > CDROM > Hard Disk 0 > None. I also want to disable a thing called the PXE Boot Agent, which keeps trying to boot of the LAN, which is a real pain.

    When I originally build these PC's I'm using a ghost boot disk which I have set up to automatically boot into ghost and deploy a pre-determined image.

    Is there something I can use to change the BIOS settings on each PC as I build it so that the settings above are applied? As usual IBM are no help. I either get told it's not possible (seems doubtful to me tbh) or that they'll 'get back to me' which obviously never happens.

    Am I asking too much?

    The reason I need this is that if this is not done and the PC is not shut down properly, the BOIS the PC then goes into the error startup sequence which automatically tries to boot off the LAN, and no matter how many times the user tries to reboot it stays stuck in this loop, meaning I have to go out to each user this happens to (at least 5-10 per week, on our 1500 PC site).

    thanks in advance.

    ***viBe***
     
  2. Skivvywaver

    Skivvywaver

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2001
    Messages:
    13,948
    You would most likely need a bios editor to do what you want to do. It is a very risky operation to edit a bios. One wrong string and the board is shot or would need a bios chip. You can repair a bad flash with a working chip but I know nothing about doing it.

    Johnwill knows about these things. Maybe he will stop in???
     
  3. Rockn

    Rockn

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2001
    Messages:
    21,334
    Why would it go to one of the other options in the BIOS if you have it set to boot from IDE0? Are users accessing the BIOS and changing the startup options?
     
  4. vibe666

    vibe666 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    There can be up to 3 different active boot sequences at any time on this BIOS. Primary (i.e. Normal), Error (Failed previous boot) and Automatic, which I assume is when it's either booted from a WOL command or a timed boot.

    In addition to that there is the PXE boot agent which listens for network commands to do things when the machine powers on (such as for booting off the LAN or other such things (remote ghosting for example)).

    I need to turn off the 2nd two boot options and the PXE boot agent without having to do it manually on every PC (as these are what is stopping the PC's from booting properly on occasion) 1500 is a LOT to do, so I'd prefer to do it on a gradual basis as we re-ghost the machines, as this is probably the most economical way as this is only a minor disruption, but an un-necessary one which I'd like to eliminate eventually if it's at all possible.
     
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