• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Emergency! Corrupt BIOS!!

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
I drove my ram a little to hard earlier this evening and ended up corrupting my bios. I tried to flash it but the flash screen stayed the same for several minutes and did not appear to be working. I got the bios from Epox' website.

Houston, we have a problem!

Mayday, Mayday...

I just can't do it Captain, we don't have the power!

SOS...SOS...SOS...
 

jonspd

Super Speedy Senior
Joined
Jan 18, 2003
Remove the battery from the mobo, power cable to psu, and cpu put it all back after you count to huuummmmmm 100 and then try to boot. Clear cmos, try different ram slot, try to boot, try different cpu try to boot. I have found that also try holding insert while tabbing delete @ boot work's something also.
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
Update:

I have pulled the battery and A/C power cord and left it for 30+ minutes. On power up I get a message that reads:

"Award BootBlock BIOS v1.0
Copyright (c) 2000, Award Software, Inc.

BIOS ROM checksum error

Detecting floppy drive A media...
INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER_"

I have BIOS version 8RDA3827.bin

and

8RDA3A17.bin

both downloaded from the Epox site. When I try to use either flash I get the following messages:

"File name to program: (each of the above file names)"

"Programming to flash memory"

I see no progress on the progress bar even after several minutes. During the entire time I have the two tone siren sounds from the case speaker and a 1b (or is it 16) error code.
I have tried the RAM in both dual channel in slots 1 and 3 respectively, and also in single channel in slots 1, 2, and 3. I get the same results each time.

These are dark times, I hope someone can help me!
 
Last edited:

sixshot666

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2003
if you havent tried yet and if you can download the latest
Magic Flash BIOS and put it on a floppy with a bin file.
 

Balrog

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2003
Location
Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Does Epox make any BIOS .exe files? If so download them on a Windows Boot Disk then once you get the A:\ prompt you just type the name of the .exe file and it will run. Some BIOS upgrades do hang a bit so give it time, my last one took 5 minutes to complete.

Regards, Balrog
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
Balrog said:
Does Epox make any BIOS .exe files? If so download them on a Windows Boot Disk then once you get the A:\ prompt you just type the name of the .exe file and it will run. Some BIOS upgrades do hang a bit so give it time, my last one took 5 minutes to complete.

Regards, Balrog

Exactly what I was thinking last night. It was getting too late to mess with it anymore. Now, with coffee in hand, it's time to try.
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
Another update:

I made an XP boot disk and copied the AWDFlash.exe file to it. I got an error saying "source file not found". I then tried it with the .bin file on the same disk with the .exe and boot files. Same thing happened as above. It tries to flash, but the progress bar never moves even after 15 minutes.

If I try it with just the XP boot files, I get an error saying AWDFlash.exe not found...Replace system disk and press enter. I can't get it to an "A:\" prompt.

My next attempt will be to get out a spare HDD I have and connect it to this machine and load win98 on it then make a 98 boot disk and try it.

Any other suggestions out there?
 

KILLorBE

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2001
Location
The Netherlands
You could download a Win98 or WinME bootdisk from www.bootdisk.com, but the DrDos(Caldera Dos) bootdisk seems to be better.

There are some commands to force a flash orso, type awdflash /? to see a list of commands.
 

mdcomp

Classic Administrator
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Ummm....am I missing something. I get CMOS/BIOS Checksum Error's all the time. They just mean you changed something and you need to just go into BIOS, save and exit to save the changes, reboot and you are all set. If you corrupted your BIOS I don't think the computer would even start up. The BIOS is the first program that gets loaded, if it was bad or corrupted the computer would not work. Try that. Good luck!

Matt
 

repo man11

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2001
From the above article.

Even after a failed flash, a potentially dead motherboard can possibly still be recovered. Most BIOS manufacturers (Award, Phoenix, and AMI) now include an option known as Boot Block protection. The Boot Block sector is write protected, thus it can only be damaged if the flash utility is explicitly directed by a command line switch to overwrite this EEPROM memory range. The Boot Block can load the most basic BIOS functions for the simple I/O operation of ISA video, floppy drive transfers, and keyboard input. Luckily these features are all that is generally required to rebuild the entire working BIOS.

One thing that still makes me wary of Nforce chipsets is how easy it is to muck up the BIOS.

Though they seem to have improved it, it is still too easy to paint yourself into a corner where all you get on boot is the bootblock screen.

Cuda, you did try holding down the Insert key on boot up?

If yes, then the bootblock flash, a hotswap, or a new BIOS chip are your remaining options.
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
mdcomp said:
Ummm....am I missing something. I get CMOS/BIOS Checksum Error's all the time. They just mean you changed something and you need to just go into BIOS, save and exit to save the changes, reboot and you are all set. If you corrupted your BIOS I don't think the computer would even start up. The BIOS is the first program that gets loaded, if it was bad or corrupted the computer would not work. Try that. Good luck!

Matt

Believe me, that was the first thing I tried. I can't get past the checksum error no matter what I do.
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
Yes, I tried the insert key as well. No help. I ordered another BIOS chip last night, as I don't have another board to do a hot swap.
I'm going to try the 98 boot disk with a pci video card next, using the info from the article repo man11 provided the link to. BTW thanks for the linky.
 

mdcomp

Classic Administrator
Joined
Nov 23, 2001
Cuda said:


Believe me, that was the first thing I tried. I can't get past the checksum error no matter what I do.

Ok. Because usually checksum errors are like nothing. Going to have to think about this.

Matt
 
OP
Cuda

Cuda

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2003
Location
West Virginia
IT'S ALIVE!!!

Thanks to KILLorBE for the DrDOS recommendation and the linky. Also thanks to repo man11 for the linky to the BIOS site.

Here is what I finally did in case anyone ever has this problem:

Put Dr.Dos on a floppy.
Copied AWDFlash.exe and the .bin bios file along with the associated .bat files from the bios folder to the floppy with Dr.Dos.
Stripped the machine to bare bones: floppy drive, pci video card, and keyboard ONLY. I unplugged everything else including the mouse and also pulled out the RAM.
I did not alter Dr.Dos at all.
Blessed it with an ostrich feather and some virgin chicken blood,
I put in the floppy and powered up. Wham bam alakazam flashed like a dream. On re-boot I jumped into BIOS and set Optimal defaults saved and exited. After the BIOS re-flashed the changes, and re-booted, I took the floppy out before it re-started, and waited for the boot to fail and ask for a system disk. I then powered down, hooked everything back up and here I am!

Thanks again to all who helped in this matter!
 

muddocktor

Retired
Joined
Nov 1, 2001
Location
New Iberia, LA
Yeah, I use the DrDos flashing bios exclusively for bios upgrades. You know ther's nothing in there that will interfere with a bios flash as it is just a basic dos boot disk.
 

Fronic

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2003
This is awesome, I still have my 8RDA+ lying around with the same problem, although I did rip off a NB heatsink, I do have a spare one. You guys just saved me 30+shipping on a new bios chip. I'm so gonna fix it now...

But I don't feel like tearing my current system apart so I'll order some stuff so I can fix it.