BIOS Savior

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I think this is the best $20 for insurance I’ve ever spent. BIOS Savior is an add-on mini-board allowing you to rescue your system at the flick of a switch from a botched BIOS update. A must-have for worry-free BIOS updates.

Bios Saviour Kit

The BIOS Savior kit – the chip, switch and slot cover.

I saw BIOS Savior when I was shopping for some parts (in the CPU section) on Multiwave. I depend on my systems for daily use and really can not afford any downtime. As such, when I get a new board I buy an extra BIOS chip – just to be on the safe side. This lets me flash with impunity.

Now ABIT is real good about BIOS chips – I emailed them and for $10 and $1 shipping I get my backup. SOYO, on the other hand, looks on BIOS chips as a real profit center – they wanted $30 for a spare. I decided not to get one until I really needed it.

Then I came across BIOS Savior – intrigued, I ordered one when I bought some other stuff to check it out. This product is made by IOSS International, a Taiwanese company that I have not heard of before. If you visit the website, they list all the motherboards with which this product is compatible. Basically it looks like almost all boards using the familiar rectangular BIOS chip can use this product. One thing you will have to look out for is increased height – it needs about 7mm more clearance. I used this on a BP6 and there was no problem.

Mounting this on a motherboard is pretty simple; using a chip puller, carefully pull the original BIOS chip out, insert BIOS Savior, insert your original BIOS chip on top of the BIOS Savior, and your off and running.

To backup your BIOS, you start the system with the original BIOS chip and the switch on #1. Then make a copy of the original BIOS using the BIOS writer (e.g. Awardflash); without rebooting slide the switch to #2, start the BIOS writer again and flash the BIOS copy into BIOS Savior’s ROM. That’s it – now you have two BIOS chips – the original and a copy. You can boot the system from either BIOS. In fact, now you can slide the switch to position 2, remove the original BIOS chip, and use the BIOS Savior BIOS copy exclusively.

Updating is now worry free – with both BIOSs in place, you can use one or the other as the update BIOS. If for some reason the update fails, slide the switch to the backup and you can easily recover. If you have multiple systems, it’s the cheapest way to ensure worry free BIOS updates I can think of. In sum, a clever idea well worth $20.

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