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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 17th February, 2002, 03:12 AM
eobard
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Unbootable flashing????

A guy I know has a problem. I told him to come here but for what ever reason he doesn't seem interested. Anyhow I figured if I can get an answer from the people here he might join. I may not have all the facts straight but here's the situation as I understand it. He's got an old socket 5 or socket 7 board with some kind of Cyrix chip (6x86-MII range) that has a shot bios. He wants to flash it but the thing is the system can't recognise the floppy drive. I know there's a way to put a bootable flash utility on a floppy so you can fix the system as long as the floppy works but is there any way around the problem if the floppy can't be accessed. It's an old socket 5 or 7 so I doubt he'd be willing to put money out for a replacement bios and the motherboard manufacturer may not even have any anymore even if he would. Is he boned?
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Old 17th February, 2002, 03:27 AM
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Has it got a removable bios chip?
if so theres a very risky way of doing it, find a similar board, same chipset and bios vendor, switch chips then boot the board you messed the bios up on, it may boot with loads of errors but as long as the floppy and display work it's ok, then when you've booted to dos remove the bios chip and put the old one in and flash it again.
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Old 17th February, 2002, 03:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil
Has it got a removable bios chip?
if so theres a very risky way of doing it, find a similar board, same chipset and bios vendor, switch chips then boot the board you messed the bios up on, it may boot with loads of errors but as long as the floppy and display work it's ok, then when you've booted to dos remove the bios chip and put the old one in and flash it again.
You can hot swap a bios chip?????!!! Does this have any risk of killing the bios chip that you temporarily substitute in? Because he might be able to use the bios chip I have in my Cyrix machine.
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Old 17th February, 2002, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by eobard


You can hot swap a bios chip?????!!! Does this have any risk of killing the bios chip that you temporarily substitute in? Because he might be able to use the bios chip I have in my Cyrix machine.
You can kill the BIOS chip and the whole mainboard. Frankly, I wouldn't volunteer my BIOS chip for such a dangerous enterprise. Tell this guy to buy a new BIOS chip for the bad mainboard. If the mainboard's manufacturer or a third party doesn't offer new BIOS chips, give www.mrbios.com a try. What, you object to paying $75, minimum for a new BIOS chip? Doesn't your friend luuv this mobo?

Junk the old booger. Help rid the planet of Socket 5/7 mainboards. It'll add to the toxic leachate oozing from a landfill. Kill the planet more quickly! We passed the point of no return long before we realized that it existed. Stamp out the human race. It's such an embarassment.

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Old 17th February, 2002, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cloasters

Who, me misanthropic?
Damn dude, and I thought I was dark
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Old 17th February, 2002, 07:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pinky


Damn dude, and I thought I was dark
Look in the mirror, you're white with pink and red accents.


Another question: Is it true that you can use any bios chip in place of another so long as the replacement will allow booting long enough to flash? Ie: I take any pentium (or 486???) bios chip, put it in this guy's machine, try to boot it. If it boots to floppy then all I / he has to do is flash it with a correct bios "file" and it will now work as if it were the appropriate bios from now on??
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Old 17th February, 2002, 05:06 PM
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Yeah there are some risks for it, but I'd be quite confident going for it. Any one here had any experience doing this?
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Old 18th February, 2002, 03:18 AM
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Can you reconize ide drives? If so all you need to do is put the utility on an old ide harddrive. I flashed my bios, and I don't have a floppy controller on my board. If the utility is dos based it's even easier. Just get any non NT version of windows, and just boot dos from that, you have to press of the Function buttons at start-up, i forget which one, I'll find out if you need it.

good luck, satan
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Old 18th February, 2002, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by eobard


You can hot swap a bios chip?????!!! Does this have any risk of killing the bios chip that you temporarily substitute in? Because he might be able to use the bios chip I have in my Cyrix machine.
It's a piece of cake, if I can do it anyone can.

When I screwed up my Abit BIOS my buddy let me bring my chip over and use his abit mobo to hotflash.

Try this place. Bad flash
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Old 18th February, 2002, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by satan
Can you reconize ide drives? If so all you need to do is put the utility on an old ide harddrive. I flashed my bios, and I don't have a floppy controller on my board. If the utility is dos based it's even easier. Just get any non NT version of windows, and just boot dos from that, you have to press of the Function buttons at start-up, i forget which one, I'll find out if you need it.

good luck, satan

I can't recognize anything, it isn't my board. The guy who's board it is can't recognize anything either but that's because his bios is totalled. No floppy, no IDE, no nothing.
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Old 18th February, 2002, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by eobard



I can't recognize anything, it isn't my board. The guy who's board it is can't recognize anything either but that's because his bios is totalled. No floppy, no IDE, no nothing.
Ok, i misread it. So hot swapping is the only solution I see.
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Old 19th February, 2002, 03:47 AM
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Hot swapping, buying a replacement bios chip, flashing the chip in an eprom writer, or a new board are the options it seems.
I don't see the danger in hot swapping, the bios chips won't be active in a plain dos prompt so as long as you are careful and don't touch anything else.
As long as you are confident around electronics then go for it, if not then maybe letting someone else who is do it would be best.
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Old 19th February, 2002, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phil
I don't see the danger in hot swapping, the bios chips won't be active in a plain dos prompt so as long as you are careful and don't touch anything else.

I'm not entirely sure how you came to the conclusion that the BIOS chip isn't active at a DOS prompt? As long as the BIOS has been mirrored in RAM, then it shouldn't be active. However, this doesn't guarentee that the machine won't access the copy of the BIOS in the Flash. In addition, the BIOS is on a shared bus, so it's possible to corrupt data travelling across the bus... Worst case, connecting powered signal lines to the flash itself before powering it up can destroy parts of the logic.

The best way, I believe, is to interrupt the CS (chip select) signal on the way to the original BIOS (lift a pin or something), and wire it to a switch that allows you to connect it to either the original BIOS or the new BIOS. You'll need a pull up/down to ensure that the CS signal on the idle chip is kept inactive. Piggy back the two BIOS chips, and then power the thing up off the original BIOS.

Then you can switch to the corrupt BIOS and flash that. However, you need to ensure that the two Flash chips are identical, as different flash chips use different programming timing, and some use different voltages. (Older Flash chips tend to need 12V to program, newer flash chips tend to go bang in the presence of 12V)

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Old 20th February, 2002, 04:05 AM
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I've never heard of anyone messing up the hot swap procedure, if someone has please come forward and explain what you did so we can see if you went wrong somewhere, or if you just got unlucky in somethign thats pure chance.
I've done this as an experiment when I heard about it, before I did it though I prepared the board by taking the chip out and putting it back in but not fully so it could be removed easier. everything went fine, the chip I used to boot still worked, and the chip I put in flashed ok and worked.
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