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Replacing BIOS

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by jackm126, Mar 26, 2004.

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  1. jackm126

    jackm126 Thread Starter

    Oct 24, 2003
    Presently have a 'dead' pc that I wish to revive. However; when I install MSDos 6.x it makes my 30gb hd a 2gb hd! Annoying as that is, if I could replace my Compaq BIOS with something I can better use, I might be able to circumvent DOS.
    As it stands, my BIOS setup limits me to the floppy or the C drive. I'd like to be able to boot from the CD drive, but that option is not available. I'm hoping to avoid the DOS install and go directly to my win98 CD.
    Any suggestions as to how to accomplish this! The computer is nothing more than a paper-weight now.
  2. JSanguancheu


    Aug 11, 2002
    What model number is the system? If it's really old, there should be a sticker on the side or back.

    Have you checked on the manufacturer's website for any BIOS updates?
  3. pronute


    Feb 12, 2003
    MS dos uses FAT16 and can only be partitioned 2 GB, there for you have to set 15 partitions of 2 GB each.
  4. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    I'm assuming that you don't have access to your CD-ROM from the boot floppy. Otherwise, ignore all that follows ;)

    You can install 98 on the 2 gig partition, use Drive Converter in the 98 System Tools to convert the drive to FAT32, and then use one of many utilities to enlarge the partition to fill the entire drive.

    Why is there a problem formatting in FAT32 from the startup floppy?

    Having been through this many times myself, I sympathize for you. I had 2 computers that wouldn't boot from CD and for which the generic CD-ROM drivers on the boot floppy wouldn't work. So, I often installed MS-DOS in order to install a CD-ROM driver so that I could start setup.

    Then, there would be the problem of trying to get Win98 to use its own drivers instead of DOS compatibility-mode drivers.

    But I came across a boot floppy online somewhere that conatined many more CD-ROM drivers to try. I always found one on that floppy that gave me access to the CD.

    Here are some links that may help:


    If I find that downloadable floppy that already contains the drivers, I'll let you know.
  5. cnclathrop


    Jan 17, 2004
    if you need to boot to load win 98 find some one with win 98 running and have them make a boot disk from it that will load most common cd rom drivers also you will need to fdisk your hardrive and reformat to make the drive a fat 32 the win 98 start up disk has all these utilies
  6. Elvandil


    Aug 1, 2003
    If you want to spend a little money to fix this, and you have a removable BIOS chip, you can get a new chip unflashed for $10 and flashed with the most recent BIOS (which you will probably need to supply by email) here:


    Any info you can give on the motherboard type and revision number would help us locate any updates for you.
  7. cnimbus

    cnimbus Banned

    Mar 1, 2003
    Another alternative: A used flash bios chip can usually be purchased for a buck or two from your local electronics surplus shop. Even for a new one, $10 is a little high. If you want to go this route, write down the number and text on the old chip (or bring it in with you), and see if they have any in stock. If you give them the BIOS image file, they may even be able to burn it on the chip for you for a small fee.

    Badflash.com seems to be for folks that have fried their BIOS, though. It would be lot easier to do a BIOS update from a floppy disk, if an updated BIOS verision is available.

    Your problem with the hard drive can likely be fixed with a IDE plugin card. Nearly all of the newer cards can handle the drive you have. They sell for about $15-$25.
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