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Hoot

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Location
Twin Cities
Going on a hunch and not wanting to some day spend a week or so waiting to get my NF7-S back on the air, nor wishing to pay ~$30 for a bios savior, I tried an experiment last night.

I had a recent vintage motherboard laying around, collecting dust and upon looking up its bios flash prom 49FL040-33, I discovered it was the same capacity (4Mb), pin and level compatible with the PMC PM79FL004-33 on my NF7-S.

Before embarking upon this venture, you need to have FlashMenu installed and functional. That's what I always use for updating my bios, so I was all set. I took the flash prom out of the ASUS motherboard, set my NF7-S bios for System BIOS Cacheable and rebooted. I then did a Shutdown/Stanby and once the PC settled down, I pulled out the flash prom on the NF7-S. I then seated the flash prom from my ASUS board in its place and woke it up from Standby, holding my breath. Sure enough, it woke up fine and after it settled down into the desktop, I launched Flashmenu and programmed it from the file I already had in the FlashMenu directory. When it finished verifying, I rebooted and it worked perfectly. I rebooted several times, changing this parameter and that, just to make sure it was repeatable. Once satisfied, I shut down and swapped the Abit flash prom back in. Now, I have a backup flash prom.

Unfortunately, if I ever want to put the ASUS board back into service, I'll have to reprogram its flash prom back to the appropriate bios for that particular model.

For now, it's nice to be able to play with odd overclocks and not have to be concerned about possibly screwing up the flash.

Look around, you may have a similar situation.

Hoot
 

bafbrian

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2003
Location
Atlanta, GA
Hmm, I wonder if I could use my old ECS K75SA for the same thing. I will have to check out the bios chip to see if I can do that.
 

Gnufsh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Location
Shasta Lake, California
I doubt the K7S5A has the same chip as the NF7-S.

I've done this sort of thing before, it gives you good piece of mind to know that you either have a replacement chip, or a board that you can use to hotflash laying around.
 
OP
H

Hoot

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Location
Twin Cities
bafbrian said:
Hmm, I wonder if I could use my old ECS K75SA for the same thing. I will have to check out the bios chip to see if I can do that.

According to the ECS web site, that's a 2Mb prom not a 4Mb.

Hoot
 

UnLoadeD

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2002
Location
miwest, usa
Hmmm, I wonder how much those chips cost bought blank? It would be nice if somebody offered backups at more reasonable price than $30. I understand they have to recoup price of an expensive programmer, but once you take away that overhead, the biggest investment would be time.

peace.
unloaded
 

Sonny

Senior TIFOSI
Joined
Aug 3, 2001
Location
VARIANTE ASCARI
What advantages does using this method over the basic HOT FLASH technique, does it limit the problem of killing BIOS chips?

Cost of chips was mentioned one time by Tmod being $5 or less if I remember right.
 

G|-|oST

Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2003
Hoot

Great tip man, I want to try that myself now. What did you use to remove the BIOS chip out of the board? You have the proper tool for it? Cause I really don't want to damage the socket by trying to force the chip out.
 

Gnufsh

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2001
Location
Shasta Lake, California
If it's one of the PLCC style ships, you should probably use an extractor. I find that I bend fewer pins on DIP chips pulling them by hand than with a DIP extractor. As for advantages over the hotflash technique, it is hotflashing the old chip. It is better than the conventional way because you don't have to have two working motherboards, just two working, similar/identical chips. I think it also means that you won't have to use a third party flash utility if you manufacturer doesn't include the option to force a flash in their utility. Also, it will be faster to get up and running again after a bad flash because you already have the replacement programmed.
 
OP
H

Hoot

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Location
Twin Cities
Hmmm, I wonder how much those chips cost bought blank? It would be nice if somebody offered backups at more reasonable price than $30. I understand they have to recoup price of an expensive programmer, but once you take away that overhead, the biggest investment would be time.

I found them for somethin like $2.40 each with a minimum order of 30 plus whatever shipping and handling works out to. At that price, I'm good for two. If I can get enough people interested in the remaining 28, I'll be more than happy to order them and divvy them up.

Hoot

Great tip man, I want to try that myself now. What did you use to remove the BIOS chip out of the board? You have the proper tool for it? Cause I really don't want to damage the socket by trying to force the chip out.

Ideally, you would use the two-prong plastic extractor. I have a good selection of dental picks and one has a small hook on the end. That's what I use. Pry a little bit on one of the two designated corners, then switch to the opposing corner, then back, etc until it falls out. As long as you are patient and considerate, it is no big deal to do. A super small jewelers screwdriver will work as well. The key is not to try and horse it out in one yank. If you can't control yourself, don't attempt to do it, plain and simple.

Hoot
 

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
I did the same thing with my old ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe 2.0 board - this is a great trick (Hoot - I will take one of those BIOS chips as well if you order 30 of them).

I had two BIOS chips for it, and would "Hot-Flash" using only the one board and two chips every time a BIOS corruption occured (I had about 30 corruptions with that board - even after changing the battery to a Duracel). Ths BIOS corruptions mostly occured while overclocking memory and FSB above 200.

I used Thumb tacks to remove the corrupt BIOS chip from the board, and then remove the good chip after booting off of it, during the AWDFlash prompt screen - board fully powered up. It also worked fine in Windows with ASUS Live Update - again using thumbtacks to remove and swap the BIOS chips with the computer fully powered up, and running Windows.

I bought a RD-1 PMC-4 BIOS savior from FrozenCPU for my NF7-S, and switching the BIOS chip in Windows with the computer fully-on works fine.
 

Tmod

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
I don't know if this is allowed or not, But I am selling pre-programmed bios chips for $15.00 including shipping to anywhere in the U.S.

I am also offering to re-program your current chip for free if you purchase a chip from me.

Not all chips are compatible so be careful in what you purchase.
 

felinusz

Senior Overclocking Magus
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Taiwan
Why don't you post an Advertisement

HERE

or,

HERE

So that the hundreds of people who use this forum can see what you are selling? :)
 
OP
H

Hoot

Inactive Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2001
Location
Twin Cities
Gnufsh said:
I don't have an NF7-S, but I'd like to know if one of those chips would work for me. Can you tell me the manuufacturer/model number/etc?

The chip is an SST 49LF040-33-4C-NH. Here is a link to its data sheet. Same as the PMC chip in the NF7-S and I suspect many other 4Mb flash memory chips in motherboards.

Hoot
 

Tmod

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Here is a link to a table that I had put together for bios chip compatibility.

Basically if the chip is in the same set of color boxes they are interchangable.

Hope it helps.
 

Tmod

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
No problem,

If anyone out there needs a Bios Savior and doesn't know what model to get here is a link to a menu system that I made up for the selection of the bios savior based off of the chip you have.