[plug] Flash ROMS for Abit Mainbords (BH6)

Michael Hunt Michael.J.Hunt at usa.net
Wed Jan 5 22:29:26 WST 2000

Bill Kenworthy wrote:
> Len, is this a new type of bios setup?- I have only come across boards where
> the battery supplies the cmos chip holding user settings and the bios is in a
> flash rom (thus "flash.exe").  Sometimes these are in the same package (came
> across an older pentium board with this that caught a chenoble virus (from the
> symptoms) and it appeared to kill the bios as well as wipe the first few tracks
> of the HD! - didnt bother trying  to recover it,  put a new board in!).  In
> this case, trying to boot from a floppy is useless without a functioning bios
> and trying clear the bios by removing power only removes settings, not rom code
> - useless in this case.  Also many if not most cmos batteries I have come
> across are lithium these days and should not be charged - i.e., when flat
> replace, so I do not envisage flattening them on purpose.  Usually there are
> jumpers to disconnect them for this purpose of clearing the cmos.  I presume
> from Mike's comments that an isa vesa card on board bios can be pursuaded to
> boot a pc - maybe a helpfull fact to know?

I know from experience (and I have tried) that discharging any battery
only clears cnmos and not BIOS. I wish some flash manufacturer would
come up with a method to revert to an old working BIOS when doing
updates. Some option like backing up your old BIOS (which currently only
saves it to disk correct ???) and if the new none don't work for the
first three tries reverting to the old one (or making it a jumperable

Thanks all for the suggestion on the isa card but this failed to work
for me. It could be that I have no idea about the state of the isa card
that I am using. I seem to remeber it being in a working machine but
replaced that mainboard so don't really know its state.

> Despite my comments above, there are/were some older 386 boards that had a
> nicad battery charged from a diode off the power supply.  These tended to fail
> before the alkaline batteries that were the alternative in those days so (I
> presume) disappeared around the time that the 486 boards appeared.  In any case
> these only powered the cmos and flash roms were not common then (cost?)
> BillK
> * if thinking of hot swapping bios chips, you may need to check if shadowing is
> swithced on so that the bios is only read at bootup.

Basically this is what I am thinking of doing, though I am hopping I can
source a working ROM here in Perth. How are roms set up in the first
place ? Are ther rom flash units you can buy that attach to a serial
port or something ??? This for me would be the better option. At the
moment I am thinking that if I can't source a rom, I may just go and
upgrade my mainboard to a BE6-II (with  the ATA66 on board). Latter when
I have more time I will hot swap the rom, flash with correct BIOS and
use some extra memory to build a second machine up. Will keep your
advice in mind for when I do this. Would very much like to have a spare
ROM around just in case though.

Of course the second machine will need a case, maybe an upgrade of the
video card to a G400, a good sound card an Athlon processor a bit more
than the 64 meg of RAm that I have spare ....

More money spent on computers to fix a mistake !!!!!! Oh well (dreaming
of 700 mhz processor ......)

> > > If you have access to an old un-accelerated ISA video card, you might
> > > be able to recover your BIOS. Remove all cards and drives from your
> > > system, except for the ISA video card and the floppy drive. Then try
> > > to boot from a system disk (a bootable floppy with only the flash
> > > programs and corresponding BIOS binary). If you are able to boot to
> > > the floppy, you should be able to recover it.
> > >
> > > Mike

Thanks Mike but no luck here.

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