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BIOS update instructions.

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Jon

Just Another Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 19, 2000
Location
Lawrenceville, GA
After seeing a few more of these pop up over the past few weeks I went and dug up the little BIOS update guide I did a while back and revised it a bit. Those of you that know how to do it already may have your own methods and do it a little differently, but I felt this was the most straightforward and fail-safe method for someone doing it the first time.

1. Go to BootDisk.com and download the Caldera Dr. DOS boot disk image. Run that program and make a boot floppy. The Dr. DOS boot disk is what I highly recommend over a standard Win95 or Win98 boot disk. It loads no drivers or other resident programs that could cause a hang during the update process. It's just a pure command-line environment.

2. Go to the manufacturer's website and obtain the BIOS update for your respective motherboard. They normally package this in a Zip format containing the BIOS file itself along with the flash utility needed to perform the upate. Others package it in an EXE format and you can run that to extract what you need. If the flash utility is not included, refer to the website as to what you need. All BIOS chips are not the same!

3. Copy the files in #2 to a seperate floppy (BIOS update and flash utility. Others may be included as well if it is done through a batch program).

4. This is not completely necessary but this is a fail-safe guide to flashing. Before restarting to the boot disk, enter the BIOS and remove any overclocking you may previously have had. Either set to default or underclock if necessary. We don't want anything that could cause a freeze up during the middle of the write process.

5. Restart your computer using the Dr. DOS boot disk. Once loaded, remove that disk and insert the floppy with the flash utility and BIOS update on it.

6. Run the flash utility from the command line by typing in its name. Example:

A:\>AWDFLASH <hit enter> (note: Some include a batch file called UPDATE.BAT, or similar, that will automate steps 7-11)

7. The flash utility should be started now. It will ask you the file you want to write. Type in your BIOS update name exactly as it is. Example:

Filename to Flash: BIOSUPDATENAME.BIN <hit enter>

8. It will now ask you if you want to back up your current BIOS. Say "Y" for yes and name it something like OLD.BIN.

9. After saving the BIOS it will confirm if you want to continue with the overwrite. Type "Y" for yes and it will begin the write process.

10. DO NOT REMOVE THE FLOPPY DISK, TURN OFF THE COMPUTER OR RESTART THE COMPUTER WHEN THE WRITE BEGINS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE. You will hose your ROM chip.

11. After it is done it will tell you it was succesful and you can restart. After restarting, go into your BIOS and set everything to BIOS defaults or Optimized defaults, save and reboot (You could also just reset your CMOS jumper...that is the most recommended method. Just unplug the power source and set the CMOS jumper to the clear position. It should be in your manual as to where this jumper is and what position it should be in to short it).

12. After #11 reboot you can go into your BIOS and set your BIOS settings however you want and you're all done.

I hope this helps anyone new and afraid to flash for the first time. It can be a scary process but if done correctly and with patience, everything should go fine.
 

Jackywebdesign

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Location
near ORD,IL
Jon, you made a great guide for ppl that's new to this, although I never thought of using anything other than win boot disks. O well, i learn something new everyday...:)
 

repo man11

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
As I said on the Abit side, well done. For those who'd like more information about BIOS, including a guide for hot swapping a BIOS chip, (It can really save your butt!) go to www.wimsbios.com , an excellent resource. Here is a how to on doing a bootblock flash, another way to recover from a bad flash.
One more tip for beginners. If it tells you "file not found", and you realize you wrote down the name of the BIOS file incorrectly, exit the flash utility, and then at the A: type in dir (A:dir). This will display the contents of the floppy, including the name of the BIOS file. Write it down, then start over by typing in the name of the flash utility again.
Ever wonder what some of those mysterious BIOS settings are? Lost Circuits has a BIOS settings explanation guide . To help you understand and get the most out of your computer.

Here is a listing of some of the many Awdflash keys:

/? - Help. Before you start working with Award Flash Memory Writer, it is advisable to use this key and to study carefully all the opportunities of this software.

/Py or /Pn - stands for answering "yes" (Y) or "no" (N) to the request concerning the BIOS reflashing. By means of /Pn you can ban FlashROM reprogramming. This option enables you to save the current version of the BIOS or to get its checksum without updating your BIOS. A backup copy will help you to restore the previous version of the BIOS. By default /Py mode is set.

/Sy or /Sn - stands for answering "yes" (Y) or "no" (N) to the request about saving the previous version of the BIOS. By default /Py mode is set again. In this case before reprogramming the FlashROM microchip you'll need to confirm saving by this request:

Do You Want To Save BIOS (Y/N)

/Sn is recommended to use for *.bat-files in case of automatic BIOS reflashing in systems without a display.

/CC - to clear CMOS after reflashing. This option comes in handy when there is a risk that the data arrays created by new BIOS version in CMOS may differ from those former ones. If so, then you are likely to have troubles with the mainboard startup. Clearing CMOS will let you avoid searching for Clear CMOS jumper on the board, which is really helpful if it isn't accompanied with a proper manual or is simply hard to access.

/CP - stands for clearing PnP (ESCD) Data matrix after BIOS reflashing. The information about PnP devices is stored in ESCD. The key /CP is an equivalent to Reset Configuration Data in PnP/PCI Configuration CMOS Setup. It makes sense to use /CP if you skip several versions of BIOS or if you have installed new PnP cards. If you don not update the ESCD, your board may suffer some startup problems.

/CD - stands for clearing DMI Data pool after reprogramming. Literally, DMI is a data base, containing all the information on the system as a whole. Clearing it may be fruitful in the above mentioned situations with /CP and /CC keys, as well as if some of the system components have been changed.

/SB - stands for no BootBlock reflashing. The BootBlock is the first unit to be addressed by startup and it is hardly ever changed. If the board manufacturer gives no other recommendations, there is no need to reflash BootBlock. In particular, if the BIOS reflashing fails, it may become impossible to restore the BIOS via software. On some mainboards there is a BootBlock Protection jumper. If protection is set, either you won't be able to reflash the BIOS without /SB at all or the system will face verification errors.
This setting has NOT been confirmed to work. It may or may not work on your motherboard. Use with caution. Thanks for the input Tmod.

/SD - stands for saving the data of DMI pool in a file. Part of DMI can be saved to be used by the software in future. Even though this key stands in the list, which is shown by /?, using it will bring no result. This key simply doesn't work.

/R - stands for the system reset after reflashing. It lets you have your computer restarted automatically as soon as you finish updating FlashROM. The option is useful for working through a *.bat-file.

/Tiny - stands for using less RAM. Without the /Tiny key, AwardFlash utility tries to put the entire BIOS file, which is intended for further reflashing, into RAM. Still, if have taken all the precautions but anyway you see a message saying "Insufficient Memory" during the BIOS reflashing procedure, then the key /Tiny should be used. It will make the data from the BIOS file loaded and reflashed in portions.

/E - stands for returning to DOS after BIOS reflashing. For instance, you may need it to make sure that the previous version of the BIOS is saved.

/F - stands for reprogramming by means of the system BIOS. Most contemporary BIOS's feature the procedure of FlashROM reprogramming. The key /F enables AwardFlash to reprogram FlashROM with the algorithms of the current BIOS version. If a mainboard peculiarities do not allow applying AwardFlash Writer algorithms, you should use the key /F.

/LD - stands for clearing CMOS after reflashing and not showing the message "Press F1 to continue or DEL to setup". Unlike /CC, this key lets you avoid this message by the following startup after clearing CMOS, provided you have set the properties by default.

/CKS - stands for showing the checksum of XXXXh file. The checksum is shown in hexadecimal representation. This option is advised to be used with the verification key.

/CKSxxxx - stands for comparing the checksum of the file with XXXXh. If the checksums are different, you'll see the message "The program file's part number does not match with your system!". As a rule, XXXXh for each BIOS update file is usually available on the mainboard manufacturer's site

/WB - Updates the BIOS Boot Block. This switch does not have to be used. The BIOS Boot Block will get updated with the flashing of the BIOS.
Thanks for the input Tmod

/CC = clear cmos data after programming

/CD = clear dmi data after programming

/CP = clear PnP (ESCD) data after programming

/R = reset system after programming

/PY = program flash memory

Here are some additional command line switches for the Award flashing program:

/? = show help menu

/SY = backup original BIOS to disk

/SB = skip bootblock programming

/TINY = occupy lesser memory

/E = return to DOS when programming is done

/F = use flash routines in original BIOS for flash programming

/LD = destroy cmos checksum and no system halt for first reboot after programming

/CKSxxxx = compare binfile checksum with xxxx

/CKS = show update binfile checksum

/PN = no flash programming

/SN = no original BIOS backup

/SD = save dmi data to file

/WB = flashes the BIOS Boot Block
http://www.cybertechhelp.com/html/tutorials/tutorial.php/id/65

I've recently read where /qi ( QI: Qualify flash part number with source file) can help you when you are doing a hotswap flash. Evidently it checks the part number against the BIOS file you want to program, and not the motherboard. If you're hotflashing a chip on another make and model of motherboard, this should prevent it from refusing to flash because of a part number mismatch.
 
Last edited:

MEMex

Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
Location
Visalia, CA
Wow, all i did was d/l-ed a file, copy it to a disk and boot off the a: drive and pushed any key to continue :D...

i forgot that it was gunna flash it and i craped a brick cuase it scared me to death cuase i know if you just sneeze when your flashing the mobo that it will turn into the biggest paperweight you ever had, luckly it only lasted about 6/8 secounds and it felt like an eternity to me since i never done it before, on my dads rig so he would chased me wit a knife if something went wrong.

My advice is to always know what your doing before you do it or you will realy regret it, just look at my overclocking experience, i underclocked my cpu 2 mhz cause i didn't know what i was doing lol :D

thx for readin my boring post if you did, id read all the info bout the upgrade you have before doing it.
 

@[email protected]

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Location
Chapecó-SC
Dady computer flash

He he, my firts
Memex said:
Wow, all i did was d/l-ed a file, copy it to a disk and boot off the a: drive and pushed any key to continue :D...

i forgot that it was gunna flash it and i craped a brick cuase it scared me to death cuase i know if you just sneeze when your flashing the mobo that it will turn into the biggest paperweight you ever had, luckly it only lasted about 6/8 secounds and it felt like an eternity to me since i never done it before, on my dads rig so he would chased me wit a knife if something went wrong.

size]


:p he he, my first flash was in my dady pc too... a p100 :) The first time is always a "eternity"....

Here´s some bios hacking on via chipsets to enable interleaving etc... Link from Ataxy: http://www.geocities.com/hendrikdejong/optionrom.htm
 

Doc_Skurlock

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Location
Grapevine, Texas
I flashed my BIOS. I went from P01 to P06. It wasn't hard. I was sweating bricks the entire time. I was like, please work, please work, I'll never ask you to do this ever again, just please flash and hook me up and I'll love you forever. It rebooted and I sit here today telling yall about it. It did indeed take an eternity.:burn:
 

Acko

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Location
UK
I`ve just flashed my Bios. from 1006 TO 1007 Final using the Asus EZ Flash utility I`ve done this since the first Bios. on this Mobo & I sweat every time. Yet we are told only to Flash if we
really have to!

Acko
 

Acko

Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Location
UK
Nice One Doc!

You really really had to!

I think I secretly hope it all goes wrong so as I can have an excuse to buy a Granite Bay.

Acko
 

Doc_Skurlock

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
Location
Grapevine, Texas
Yeah, when I bought it (grrrr) from Best Buy, it was running at 100mhz. It's the Main in my sig. It was a nice overclock, at the time. However, I just picked up a P4PE/L and I'm waiting till I can get my pick of some 2.4b Northwood's. Then I'll really have a screaming system.
Doc
 

paulie

Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2002
4 very important precautions to take before BIOS flashing:

1. Return all components to stock speed.
2. Disable CPU L1 and L2 cache (if possible)
3. Disable BIOS Cache (if possible)
4. Disable Video BIOS Cache (if possible)

Many bad flashes happen due to the above not being done.
 

maxwedge

Member
Joined
May 3, 2002
Location
CA, USA
I'm sure glad I got a bios savior, because the last time I flashed (I think I was drunk!) I totaly forgot to set my system to default settings and even left the wire wrap in, with the cpu volts set to 1.8v!! Everything turned out ok, but I'd recommend the bios savior to everyone.
 

Kronos138

Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2003
Location
Canadia...eh
thanks for the guide. i sent it to a friend who has already killed two rom chips attempting to update his bios. thankfully they've older rigs that he rarely used
 

aznchaos

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
This is prob a stupid question but do i have to restore any settings in windows before i flash a bios?
 

Sir Golitech

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Location
North Vancouver, B.C. Canada *Proud of it*
OK I've done what I'm supposed to do and this is what I get during the floppy boot up.
A:\>keyb cf ,,keybrd .sys
Invalid keyboard code specified
It won't let me go any further.
I typed A:\>dir and my BIOS and Flash are on it, but when I type the BIOS/Flash stuff in I get invalid command or something like that.
Can anyone help me out with this?
 

ktschmit

Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2003
Location
Alaska
Great guide!! Did my first today. Went like a charm! IC7g to version 18 I always had cold feet with bios flashing. Anyway, thanks for the info! Prescott here we go!!