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Step-by-Step Tutorial on HotFlashing a Corrupted/Non-Working BIOS Chip

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Old 07-20-04, 08:46 PM Thread Starter   #1
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Step-by-Step Tutorial on HotFlashing a Corrupted/Non-Working BIOS Chip


Hot Flashing 101 – The Basics


**YOU ARE GOING TO NEED A SPARE BIOS CHIP, SO MAKE SURE THAT YOUR SPARE BIOS CHIP IS COMPATIBLE WITH YOUR CORRUPTED BOARD.**
*Edit 09/22/08* - just realized you could always flash your bad/corrupted BIOS chip in another motherboard that is compatible with the BIOS chip**

**Usually a bios from the same platform/chipset will work. Thanks to TMod, the attached image below is a compatibility list that he linked me to (obtained from biosmedic.com but the direct link is broken now). Match your Flash ROM chip type with any other one in the list of same colors, and it should be compatible. Go here if you do not know how to check your Flash ROM chip type. That should DEFINITELY explain it to you, but if you still have problems and/or still not sure ask around. DO NOT MAKE GUESSES or something CAN and WILL go bad without the right chip.**




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The Procedure (ONLY DO THIS IF YOU VERIFIED COMPATIBILITY):
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1.
You first need to make sure you have a boot-up floppy disk. Since most have WinXP I will explain how to do it in that O/S (if you have a different O/S I’m sure you already know how to do it). To make the boot disk you put in a 3½” floppy disk into your floppy drive. You then go to the A: drive, which you can access from My Computer and right click on the A: drive. Go to Format…, and when the format window pops up you'll see a few checkboxes that you can check. The one you want to check reads Create MS-Dos startup disk. Make sure you check that and nothing else, and click on Start. Once it is done formatting continue onto the next step.

2. Download the flash utility you will need to use (I use Awdflash.exe for my Abit board), and also download the bios you want to flash to (it should be a *.bin file). (You can check BIOS utilities and recommendations at your motherboard's official website). Put these two files also onto the MS-DOS startup disk that you had just created. The easiest way to flash is to get one of those go.bat files (For more information about go.bat files check the bottom of this post --Note B.). If you really don’t know how to flash then just do a Google search on Flashing BIOS or just search for it on your Motherboard Manufacturer’s website as I stated earlier. Once you have put the necessary files onto the MS-DOS startup disk you can take out the disk and put it into the computer you are going to HotFlash. **Note: There are also modded BIOSes that you may want instead of the Official ones offered by the Motherboard Manufacturer. You can find these by browsing, or by asking in the correct Motherboard section in our forums here .**

3. Pull the power plug out of the computer you’re going to HotFlash and take out the motherboard battery for at least a few minutes. After taking out the battery make sure you clear the CMOS. I do this by moving the jumper to the Clear CMOS position and then back to the regular position.

4. If you already haven’t bought a new one get a new BIOS chip out of another working board, making sure the power plug is out of that board. Verify that there is an existing BIOS on that chip or this will not work. If you need to buy a BIOS chip make sure you verify a BIOS exists on it. An empty one is no good.

5. Take out the BIOS chip in your motherboard and replace it with the new (or working) one. Keep your old one handy. You're going to need it.

6. Put battery back in (if you already haven't).

7. Turn on the computer with the boot-up floppy disk that you created in Step #1. (If you cannot get the floppy to boot go into your BIOS and enable floppy as 1st Boot up device).

8. Once you get into MS-DOS take out the new BIOS chip that you had put in (Yes, while the computer is on! That is why it's called a "HotFlash”), and put in your old BIOS chip. Be careful you put this in the correct way. Match the little corner in the correct spot, making sure that the sticker is facing up toward you. (There is a corner that doesn't come to a sharp point like the other three. Match that dull point with the BIOS socket’s dull point). Some people have a tool to remove the BIOS chip and some people don’t. If you do not have that tool handy (I didn’t have one with my first HotFlash), use a very pointy object, such as a pin or needle. You just need to slowly lift on the edges to get it out. Two of the four edges should have a very small opening to stick something into. BE VERY CAREFUL. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MALFUNCTIONS! THIS IS JUST A TUTORIAL.

9. You should still be in MS-DOS and should see A:\. Type in “awdflash” or whatever program you are actually using and hit ENTER. Follow the basic procedure on a normal flash. If you have a go.bat file just type in “go” and it’ll do it for you. (Just make sure that your go.bat file is edited correctly to the name of the BIOS you’re flashing to).

10. When it says that it is done flashing power off your computer. (Make sure the power plug is out, or if you have a switch on your PSU that it is turned to the off position). Now clear your CMOS and then put it back to the regular position. (I explained how to do this before. If you do not know how to just consult your manual on the procedure). Turn on your computer and you should be set. Go back into BIOS and fix whatever it is you want. Go to Save Changes and Exit which should reset the computer. You’re original BIOS should be back in business with the new BIOS you just flashed it with.

11. Put the other BIOS chip from the new board (or working board that you took it from) back into that board and it should be fine. Just make sure the spare board’s power plug was off the entire time.



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Notes:
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A.
After my first BIOS HotFlash I bought the BIOS Savior. The BIOS Savior is a very neat tool to recover corrupted BIOS chips. It consists of its own BIOS chip and your original can also be plugged into it; thus, consisting of two BIOS chips. This device is then connected to a switch that allows you to switch between BIOS chips, which is mounted to the back of your computer in place of a PCI slot. You can get it at www.frozencpu.com or wherever else you may find it. It shouldn’t cost you much more than $30 shipped.

B. Here is an example of a command in a go.bat file:


AWDFLASH ABC_123.BIN /PY XYZ_789.BIN /SY /CD /CP /CC /CKS /R /F

**Note that I used ABC_123 and XYZ_789 only as an example**


Here's what this command does in this case:

Awdflash is the name of the utility (You may have AMIBIOS or something else. You were already told to check this in Step #2)
ABC_123.BIN is the name of the new BIOS BIN file to be uploaded
/PY is the command to program the flash memory
XYZ_789.BIN is the name of the file as which the old BIOS will be backed up to the floppy disk (YOU DON'T WANT TO USE THIS FOR A HOTFLASH)
/SY is the command to save the old BIOS as XYZ_789.BIN (YOU DON'T WANT TO USE THIS FOR A HOTFLASH)
/CD is the command to clear the DMI data after programming
/CP is the command to clear the Plug'n'Play (PNP/ESCD) data after programming
/CC is the command to clear the CMOS data after programming
/SN = No Save (As opposed to /SY, which would be Yes Save)
/R = Restart system after programming
/F = Always Flash
/CKS = show Update Binfile Checksum


--You can easily make a go.bat file in windows. Start up Notepad and in ONE LINE ONLY type all of the commands you want in the same format as the example above shows you. After you write in your commands save it. Now, go to the *.txt file you just created with notepad and rename it to go.bat. You have now successfully created a batch file to execute commands in MS-Dos. All you need to do is type "go" and then hit ENTER in MS-Dos to execute. Remember, for HotFlashes you NEVER backup the old BIOS to disk; therefore, remove the XYZ_789.BIN /SY part, and replace the /SY command with /SN (no save) instead.--



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Contact:
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Any questions please contact me via AIM/ICQ/e-mail. They are listed in my profile. I rarely use ICQ, so try to use AIM/e-mail. I am not responsible for any malfunctions. I wrote this up out of the kindness of my heart.


Good Luck!
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Last edited by g0dM@n; 12-16-09 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 07-20-04, 10:21 PM   #2
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*sticky
great tutorial

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Old 07-20-04, 10:28 PM   #3
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I vote sticky. I even voted for in a different thread. I think it's that great.
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Old 07-21-04, 01:59 AM   #4
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Deserves a stickity. Im sure ill be using this later on and someone else will too. Plus its an awesome tut
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Old 07-21-04, 03:15 AM   #5
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i vote sticky also, great job!

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Old 07-21-04, 03:59 AM   #6
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sticky

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Old 07-21-04, 12:45 PM Thread Starter   #7
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YESSSSS... this will be my first sticky if I make it. Enlight me my forum Gods.

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Old 07-21-04, 01:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g0dM@n
YESSSSS... this will be my first sticky if I make it. Enlight me my forum Gods.
need a mod to see this first...anyway...keep up the good work

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Old 07-21-04, 01:58 PM Thread Starter   #9
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Oh yeah, that's what I refered to as "forum Gods," hehe.

By the way, for my first HotFlash I used a metal dart! LOL!

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Old 07-26-04, 09:08 AM   #10
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Sticky it. Awesome job godm@n.
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Old 07-27-04, 08:38 AM Thread Starter   #11
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I'm waiting to see if a mod sees it at least. LOL, I think I lost =(

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Old 07-27-04, 08:42 AM   #12
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yeh man...where are the mods

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Old 01-19-05, 09:48 AM Thread Starter   #13
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I still get PMs and e-mails asking for help on HotFlashing b/c of this thread. When is it going to be stickied?

I've been waiting for MONTHS! Hehe.

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Old 01-19-05, 12:30 PM   #14
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Seriously this seems to be a great thread and I just wish I had seen it before I had to pay an extra $17 to get a board rmad because of a bad bios flash.

I vote sticky too.

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Old 01-20-05, 10:40 AM   #15
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Are there any mods out there to sticky this wealth of information!

Excellent job on the write up. Hopefully I never have to do this, but if so I know where I am going!

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Old 01-20-05, 12:55 PM Thread Starter   #16
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Old 01-20-05, 01:48 PM   #17
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Did you try contacting a mod yourself, maybe they just didn't see it or have a reason as to not sticky this thread.

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Old 01-20-05, 02:17 PM Thread Starter   #18
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How do I contact em?

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Old 01-20-05, 03:25 PM   #19
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You should explain these statements further:

Quote:
Download the flash utility you will need to use (I use Awdflash.exe for my Abit board), and also download the bios you want to flash to (it should be a *.bin file). Put these two files also onto the MS-DOS startup disk that you had just created. The easiest way to flash is to get one of those go.bat files
Explain what the difference is between different utilities, explain what the go.bat file is you refered to. You might also explain that there are official bios's and third party hacked bioses, so they know to look for the bios they want.

It is also very important when removing the bios from the socket that you avoid using a metallic tool... It would be very easy to touch in the wrong spot and send power where it shouldn't go. Anything plastic or non-conductive would be a better idea to use.

I also would recommend including links to resources for specifics.

Nice work though, you got a PM from me earlier.

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Old 01-25-05, 08:58 PM   #20
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I would like to offer a suggestion.

(1) In the tutorial there is not any language referring to the voltages or the pinout's of the different chip's on the market.

They should be compatible chips.

Quote:
If you already haven’t bought a new one get a new BIOS chip out of another working board
Another working board may not work and you may end up ruining the chip if it is the wrong voltage or pinout's. For instance a Abit NF7-S bios will not work on a board that is Intel based.

You have a great article there but I would hate to see anyone damage their motherboard by placing the wrong chip onboard for the HotFlash.

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