BIOS Flash Gone Bad, With a Twist

Ed Note: An interesting experience – sometimes it’s the “little things” that count.

Well, I was flashing my KK266 to the 307 Turbo BIOS the other day when, in mid flash, the system froze and rebooted on its own…Needless to say I could feel my hair turning grey.

After numerous flashes on dozens of boards, this was the first time I ever ran into a problem. I pulled the power and let it sit for a minute as I tried to get all the cursing out of my system…then…not expecting much, I powered her up and was amazed.

As soon as the BIOS Checksum error showed up the floppy churned and awdflash.exe loaded up automatically.

It continued to load the BIN file and start flashing all of it’s own accord, while I sat back feeling slightly hopeful…almost 3/4’s of the way flashed, the system froze again…I tried this a few times all with the same result.

I called the retailer I had bought from and requested an RMA, fully expecting to be down for weeks (I had sold my backup system 3 days prior…D’oh!). I then took this opportunity to disassemble the system, repencil the bridges, reapply AS, clean HSF (it had a fur coat), and set the jumper to 100 FSB (a 200 chip).

As I was reassembling the system, I kept a sharp eye out for any shorts or anomalies to explain the odd behavior; checked everything from mobo, PSU, switches, rheostat Baybus – all looked kosher.

Since the system was being totally rebuilt, I decided to move some things around and placed the floppy in a different bay – the old cable I had been using didn’t reach, so I grabbed a new one.

Well, I booted up and held my breath…BIOS CHECKSUM ERROR…..Loading AWDFLASH.exe…KK0307.BIN…..

It flashed the BIN and rebooted fully functional, all on it’s own!

Curious why the system suddenly worked, I checked the only part of the formula that had changed…the floppy cable….as it turns out some insulation had worn off the side from an encounter with my 138 CFM YSTech and it was apparently touching the chassis.

Strange thing is I was experiencing no instability when I copied the BIN onto the floppy in Win2K.

With the recent plethora of BOISs available for the KT133 boards, I would seriously recommend the utmost thought and caution before proceeding. From now on, I’ll carefully inspect the entire system before a BIOS flash. The auto recovery I saw the IWill use is a great feature, but I don’t think I ever wanna’ have to rely on that again 🙂

(Just curious…this being my first bad flash – is this auto recovery an IWill exclusive? No one I talked to had ever heard of such a thing.)


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