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Old 02-19-2006, 08:17 AM
ipodman ipodman is offline
 
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Default Updating my BIOS

Updating my BIOS

Well, I am thinking about updating my BIOS but what have I got to look out for when doing it? Could if I do the install wrong cause the whole computer not to boot up right?

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Old 02-20-2006, 07:32 AM
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Stealth Stealth is offline
 
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Yes, flashing your BIOS improperly may cause the system not to boot. There are several ways to make sure it does work, though.
  1. Insure that you have the BIOS for the right motherboard. It has happened before that you download and try to flash the motherboard with the wrong BIOS, which inevitably causes failure to boot up.
  2. Prepare a working floppy disk or CD-RW, although, a floppy will suffice, as BIOS images usually are small enough to fit on one. The medium has to be formatted as a system disk so you can boot the machine off it.
  3. Have the computer connected to a charged UPS, or if you don't have one, pray that the power doesn't go out at the exact moment.
  4. Finally, figure out a backup plan such as a friend who has an EPROM programmator - more on this later.

Some motherboards allow you to flash the BIOS from Windows itself. If yours does, do so - and make sure to make a backup image of your current BIOS version, simply as a precaution. Also, some boards have a Dual BIOS feature so in case the system crashes it will revert to the old BIOS version. If you have one of those, you made a wise investment.

In case of a badly flashed BIOS, any of the following may happen:
  • The system boots up, but is unstable. That's what the backup image is for, simply reflash the motherboard with the old BIOS revision and carry on with using it.
  • The system refuses to boot. If you know of someone who has the same motherboard, and the BIOS chip sits in a socket, you can swap the BIOS chips before booting so the system would start properly. Then, while it's working, replace the working BIOS with your own, faulty one, and attempt a re-flash. Do not, under any circumstance, lift the chip out of the socket with your bare hands - you might wipe the chip with static electricitty. Also, do not attempt to lift it with a metal object - use a stiff plastic stick to avoid short-circuits. This commonly works.
  • The system won't boot up, and you know someone with an EPROM programmator. If they are good with soldering, ask them nicely to unsolder or unsocket the chip and flash the BIOS with an external programmator. Afterwards, it should work properly. The same precautions as swapping BIOS chips applies, except the person with the EPROM programmator probably knows all that by heart.
  • The BIOS isn't socketed and you know nobody with an EPROM programmator. You're out of luck, unless the shop where you got the motherboard is willing to help you with reflashing.

Hope this helps. I realize it sounds like the "worst case scenario list", but in about 90% of the cases, it'll work without a problem. I had performed about 10 BIOS flashes so far and each and every one worked flawlessly. Good luck.

Last edited by Stealth; 02-20-2006 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 02-20-2006, 10:49 PM
bongo bongo is offline
 
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i think a good idea is to look up your brand of motherboard in the offical web site and download the update in the offical web site..Follow the instructions in the web site and you are done!
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