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[SOLVED] Bios Flash questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by don pryor, Jan 18, 2003.

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  1. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    I have an Award MB that has a 32GB HD limitation. I will have to flash the bios once I can find the right Bios. I went to different sites on Bios flashing and each one had a different way of doing it. My MB manual says to download flash utility to a diskette. boot from drive A and run the flash, input a file name(?), save the old bios, turn off the system and clear the CMOS. Then reset jumper to default and power back on.

    One site said that I have to first download Autoexec. bac to a diskette and another said that I have to disable all caches(?).

    Is there a safe way to do this procedure without losing everything?

    Don don1noir @yahoo.com
     
  2. jbcalg

    jbcalg

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    here's the link i used to the Motherboard (Titanium) site, using an Award bios - really old PC 1995 or so

    basically (for my MB/bios anyways):
    enter the bios using delete or whatever works during POST
    disable the internal and external cache
    boot and press F5 to bypass auto.exec and config
    run the flash utility from A:
    save the old bios (give it a name , ie C: oldbios, can always move it later))
    then keep saying YES to replace and being sure, while praying feverently that it will work

    then reboot when all is done

    Make sure you find the correct site and bios upgrade from the MB and bios manufacturer - Award should be pretty easy to find though

    scary the first time!!

    good luck
     
  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you boot from a floppy with no CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT, you'll have successfully avoided the loading of any caching software. The principal issue will be to find the correct BIOS for your particular motherboard if it's not a well known brand.
     
  4. stu37

    stu37

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  5. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    To jbcalg, stu37, johnwill:

    Thank all of you for your prompt response. I have an AwardBios 451PG. I located some bios flash for Award but none of them indicated which flash was for which bios. The numbers began with v.7xx up and my bios should only be one v. up beginning with 5 and there isn't one. Esupport.com is designed for the more ambitious flasher and offers way more than I need. I just want to be able to install a 40GB HD on my comp.

    Thank you for the other valuable info. The floppy that will have the flash on it won't have msconfig and autoexec. bat on it and i'll disable the caches anyway, just in case.
     
  6. Rockn

    Rockn

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    If it's an Award BIOS, go to their web site and get the latest version of AFlash....I wouldn't consider using anything else. What is the make and model of the motherboard? Sometimes it's easier to find it through the board manufacturer.
     
  7. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Before you FLASH, make SURE you're using the correct BIOS. It's not just the fact that it's an Award, since many machines use the award BIOS. It's the specific configuration and chipset used on the MB that's significant, and there are hundreds of combinations that all use the Award BIOS! :eek:

    Let's be careful our there. :rolleyes:

    If you can't find the proper BIOS, a cheap solution is to use a Promise ATA-133 board, I've gotten several with hard disk bundles, and I think they're in the $15-20 range if you buy them alone. They'll handle disks at least as large as 200gig, since one of them is doing that here. :)
     
  8. jbcalg

    jbcalg

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    gotta agree with rockn ;) and the others

    make sure you get the award aflash - that's the utility i used (but forgot to name it above)

    and make sure the bios you want to upgrade is specific to your existing bios version and MB config/capabilities - i found mine on the MB site (or the link was there, it was kinda old by the time i flashed)
     
  9. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    To: rockn, johnwill, jbcalg:

    Here is info on my board and bios: It is a R-582 Pentium system mainboard with a Cyrixinstead 6x86mx cpu. The chipset is a Via VP3. The bios is an Award Bios v451PG. Rev:R582-004; PNP Bios Extension v1.0A 1998; Board Version A; S N 113318371 1997;
    PC PNPR-586E; 12/02/1999 VP3-586B-W877-2A5LER0BC-00.

    Will any Award flash work? How do I make a floppy with only
    MSDOS.SYS, IO.SYS, and Command. Com on it with no autoexec. bat and config on it? How do I find hidden files since IO.SYS must be hidden. I can remove autoexec. bat but none of the config files.
    I am going to go to a new board soon but I bought the board on UBID.COM and received none of the software for the board. It requires a software that flashes it as soon as I bring it up. What I am trying to do is install the Maxtor HD for the new board as a slave on this one, download all the necessary software and then install it as a master on the new board where I will be able to flash it as soon as it comes up.

    Thank you for your help, Don
     
  10. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    Hi Everyone:

    I thinkI have come up with a solution that will give me my software without flashing the board. I would still like to know the answers to the questions posed in the previous post.

    I bought a CD-RW for my new board. I am going to install it on this board, download the software and extract it to the CD-RW so that everything will be on one disk. I've never used a CD-RW before so I am going to research the procedures before attempting to use it.

    Thank you, Don
     
  11. danielno8

    danielno8

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    instead of flashing to be able to get your 40GB, why dont you partition it into something like 30GB and 10GB??

    Daniel
     
  12. slipe

    slipe

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    Right click on your A drive in windows explorer and select format. Check system files only and you will have everything most flash utilities need to flash the BIOS. One advantage of using the system files only is that it leaves room on the floppy to back up your current BIOS to it. It is a little confusing when it asks for a backup name during the flash – it just wants you to choose a name you can identify it by if you have to restore it.

    There is an award flash utility that you must copy to the floppy plus a separate specific flash for your machine.

    Partitioning is not a solution if your computer won’t recognize the drive. It has to see the whole drive to partition it.

    Go to the hard drive manufacturer’s web site and download their install utility if it didn’t come on a floppy with the hard drive. That utility should install an overlay that would allow your current BIOS to see the whole drive. You would then use the same utility to partition the drive if you wanted to do that. The overlay can cause problems with programs like Partition Magic. I usually prefer the BIOS flash to the overlay, but the overlay is much better than trying a flash you aren’t completely sure of.

    A burner is no substitute for a 40Gig hard drive. I prefer johnwill’s suggestion to install a PCI controller card. If you have a Maxtor drive you might consider a 133 card, but nobody else has gone to 133. You can get an ATA 100 card for peanuts and not have to fool with either a flash or overlay. Your bus is really slow – 33 Mhz I think. The card would allow your HD to use the 100Mhz bandwidth it is designed for and would be much faster.
     
  13. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    To danielno8 and slipe:

    Thank you for your advice. I can"t use the CD-R because it reuires a 400Mhz and mine is a 266Mhz. I have been to the award site but it doesn't tell you which bios is for which board version. It begins with a v.7 and my board is a v.1. My hard drive is a Maxtor and in the instructions it states that its software won't allow for the 32GB limitation. However, I can try to partition it the way you suggested and see if that works.

    I'll let you know what the results are. Thank you so much again. Don
     
  14. stu37

    stu37

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    don, just go here and where u see a circle, it says see detailed bios report and you're not obligated. I done it and got my award upgraded, but that's up to you. just a thought to find out what you have anyways
    bob

    http://www.esupport.com/
     
  15. don pryor

    don pryor Thread Starter

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    stu37: Thank you for the info. I went to the site and am now waiting for their response. I spent three hours today trying to find my Bios and was close to total frustration. Will post the results, Don
     
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