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Upgrading BIOS

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Hal356, Jul 20, 2008.

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  1. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    There is an old computer that needs to have the BIOS upgraded on it because it is very low advanced, and only gives you 3 different options in the setup. It is a very good computer, but the problem with this BIOS is that it will not recognize any hard drive over 2 gigs. I am trying to install a 15 gig in there now.

    The purpose of reviving this computer is to give it to a friend who doesn't really have a computer, and I see this as a good alternative. I will also install Windows 2000 on this computer.

    Now I heard that installing the incorrect BIOS software will completely DESTROY the motherboard and render it useless. Could someone point me to the correct software upgrade? I am not sure where to find the info for the BIOS either, such as the manufacturer.
     
  2. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    Not without knowing the Brand and Model . . .
     
  3. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Wow that must be very old computer if it still has a 2GB hard drive limit.

    To find out what motherboard is in it you're best bet may be to open up the case and look for the model number printed on the board or on a sticker.
     
  4. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    See, that is the problem. The computer is SO OLD, that I am unable to find any information on it. It has been through some hefty upgrades throughout the years. Here are the original specs that I could not find any information on:

    CyberMax 486DX4
    100 MHz Intel (200 MHz now)
    1 Gigabyte Hard drive space
    32 Megabytes of memory
    Original OS = Windows 3.1 (Now Windows 95)

    Side Note: Back when I first bought this puppy, it was the top of the line in 1993/1994, and it cost me over 2,000 dollars!

    As I said, I found NO information regarding this model on the internet.
     
  5. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    I was looking and I found this information on the back of the machine:

    FCC ID: E5QFTNS4P00BM2
    SN #: 5001337668
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    There was no way to upgrade a 486 to a 650Mhz processor without pretty much replacing everything. So the motherboard must have been replaced at some point with something quite a bit newer.

    If its a 486 then its completely obsolete and not capable of being used for almost anything.

    If its running a 650Mhz P3 or AMD K6 series processor then it's a little surprising it has a 2Gb hard drive limit. Are you sure the hard drive parameters are not manually set in the BIOS for a 2GB drive and that the jumpers are correctly set on the drive and that you are using a boot disk that has support for partitions over 2GBs?

    Have you opened up the computer as I suggested to get the motherboard info?

    If the system is running Windows 98 then you might be able to use SIW to get the motherboard info: http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html
     
  7. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    Hmm, this machine probably doesn't have 650 MHz. That is what I REMEMBER my friend telling me when I had him upgrade it for me. He just said that he upgraded the CPU, he didn't say anything about upgrading the whole motherboard.

    BTW, I have the case opened up, but I don't know where to look for the specs. Can you guys tell me where to look? I did find out that the BIOS was made by this AWARD company.
     
  8. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    It appears that I was wrong about mostly everything, but I still want to upgrade it as much as possible, or close to what I said. Do I still need to upgrade the BIOS? Here is the info that I found on the board:

    Main Circuit Board
    Board: A-trend i430TX-SMC67X VER:1.0 03 GS
    Serial Number: ATC50301003GS
    Bus Clock: 66 megahertz
    BIOS: Award Software International, Inc. Ver: 1.0 03 GS 04/24/98
     
  9. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    If it only has a 66 Mhz bus, it's too old to upgrade to anything useful.
     
  10. prunejuice

    prunejuice

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    I find computers with much better specs than that on the curb every trash day.
    Surely you could find something a little more "modern" or get a donation from somewhere?
     
  11. Hal356

    Hal356 Thread Starter

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    Where should I look?
     
  12. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Try local computer stores or a place that recycles computers or the newspaper or online classifieds. The computer store I work at sells used Pentium III or similar computers with Windows 98 or ME computers for just this type of purpose for $50. And if you;re willing to spend more then used Windows XP machines can be had for a little over $100 these days as well.
     
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