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BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 08:53 AM
LAST EDITED ON Aug-02-02 AT 09:08 AM (EDT)
 
I had some PC problems and I need help:)

Well, to make it short, 2 days ago in the early morning we had a MAJOR thunderstorm here and eventhough my PC was off, a thunder hit the near by phone line. The shock then hit my phone and fried it then it hit my PC modem and fried it too. As I always thought that the modem would absorb the shock, the thing didn't so it hit my hard disk and fried it to. The shock obviously wasnt gone so it managed to fry my bios too.

Anyway, I lost everything on the disk (what logic eh?) and went today to buy a replacement modem. Bought a Creative Modem Blaster V.92. Installation was successful, connection too.
And gotta admit the thing is very good, even faster then my old one


But this is the problem now:
When I was trying everything to get my BIOS working, I cleared the CMOS with the switch on the mobo.
Now, whenever I boot, I get "Unknown flash type" & when I want to flash my BIOS, I get an error "Unknown flash type" too and cant flash it. What's wrong?
Is it maybe related that I replaced the CMOS battery with the one from my Casio Palm Data Bank thing?

/edit:

The mobo is ABIT KA7 with Athlon 900 & 256 mb.


1. RE: BIOS problem
Twinhead Aug-02-02 11:26 AM
In response to message 0
No, it is NOT due to the battery you have replaced.

It is a miracle that your PC will boot up at all after it has been hit in such way!
Mostly the Mainboard is charcoaled as well.
The Flash EEPROM on your mainboard has sustained some damage.
That EEPROM contains your BIOS.
The EEPROM can be replaced on most mainboads, but it should be better to buy a new one.
The damage can also be cumulative.
This will say that it can grow worse.

** GeoAlloc: 52.518884(N) / 6.110530(E) @ www.mapblast.com **


3. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 12:36 PM
In response to message 1
LAST EDITED ON Aug-02-02 AT 12:47 PM (EDT)
 
>No, it is NOT due to the battery you have replaced.
>
>It is a miracle that your PC will boot up at all after it
>has been hit in such way!
>Mostly the Mainboard is charcoaled as well.
>The Flash EEPROM on your mainboard has sustained some
>damage.
>That EEPROM contains your BIOS.
>The EEPROM can be replaced on most mainboads, but it should
>be better to buy a new one.
>The damage can also be cumulative.
>This will say that it can grow worse.
>
>** GeoAlloc: 52.518884(N) / 6.110530(E) @ www.mapblast.com
>**

Yes, the PC works fine and the mobo too. The only problem is that I can not flash the BIOS. I can enter the BIOS and change settings and stuff.


2. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-02-02 12:22 PM
In response to message 0
Did you put the jumper back on pins 1 & 2? The battery should be a CR2032 and should be installed so the + is up. Larry

Q. How can the CMOS be cleared (e.g., a password is set in CMOS and is unkown or forgotten)?

A. There may be a CMOS discharge jumper near the battery. Most of them have three pins. Moving the jumper form one set of pins to the other will discharge the battery. Be sure the computer is off with the power cord pulled when you do this. Some motherboards can be damaged if power is applied with the jumper in the discharge position, but have not seen this to be the fact when I have done it in error. If you can't find this jumper...


4. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 12:39 PM
In response to message 2
>Did you put the jumper back on pins 1 & 2? The battery
>should be a CR2032 and should be installed so the + is up.
>Larry
>

Yes I did. I've shut down the sys, unplugged it from power, then put the jumper on pins 2 & 3, waited 10 miutes and put it back on 1 & 2.
The battery is CR2032 (both of them are) and of course the + side is up.

>Q. How can the CMOS be cleared (e.g., a password is set in
>CMOS and is unkown or forgotten)?
>
>A. There may be a CMOS discharge jumper near the battery.
>Most of them have three pins. Moving the jumper form one
>set of pins to the other will discharge the battery. Be
>sure the computer is off with the power cord pulled when you
>do this. Some motherboards can be damaged if power is
>applied with the jumper in the discharge position, but have
>not seen this to be the fact when I have done it in error.
>If you can't find this jumper...

Yes it was off and even unplugged.


5. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-02-02 12:53 PM
In response to message 4
I agree with twinhead. I would try to get the insurance company to replace the motherboard or the entire computer. They will probably require that be taken to a computer shop for inspection/testing. The computer may have other problems such a memory that will not appear for months. If I did not have insurance and the computer was not used for "company-critical data," I might be tempted to replace the flash chip. Larry

6. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 02:08 PM
In response to message 5
>I agree with twinhead. I would try to get the insurance
>company to replace the motherboard or the entire computer.
>They will probably require that be taken to a computer shop
>for inspection/testing. The computer may have other problems
>such a memory that will not appear for months. If I did not
>have insurance and the computer was not used for
>"company-critical data," I might be tempted to replace the
>flash chip. Larry

The insurance is one year, I had it for 2 years now, so no to that.

The weird thing is that the computer works fine, except the BIOS can not be flashed.

I tried discharging the CMOS again and strange, it did clear the CMOS and the BIOS settings but did not revert to the default BIOS which shipped with the mobo. It is still at the newest one available.

Everything else works fine, memory is 256 mb and working.


7. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-02-02 03:47 PM
In response to message 6
I was referring to house/apartment/business insurance. To my knwledge, most of them cover this sort of damage. I have repaired/replaced quite a few lightning-damaged computers covered by it. Larry

9. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 04:04 PM
In response to message 7
>I was referring to house/apartment/business insurance. To
>my knwledge, most of them cover this sort of damage. I have
>repaired/replaced quite a few lightning-damaged computers
>covered by it. Larry

Oh I see. No, I'm afraid I have none of that type of insurance.

Hmmm, a friend told me to set the CMOS to discharge mode for at least 1-3 days so the static electricity wears out(if any). He thinks it's good to try it cause the mobo still works.


8. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-02-02 04:02 PM
In response to message 6
There seems to be some misunderstanding. The CMOS memory is one chip and the BIOS is stored in another. The BIOS is in flash memory. When it is flashed, the BIOS is replaced by the new one. There may be another chip on the motherboard with the original BIOS, which the motherboard can revert to in the case of a bad flash, but most motherboards do not have that feature. The CMOS is the thing that holds the computer parameters and the memory that is changed by the Setup. If it is possible, you may want to consider reflashing the BIOS. I would check Abitís site carefully to be sure I had the right version of the BIOS. There are two versions your motherboard: KA7 and KA7-100. Larry

10. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 04:09 PM
In response to message 8
>There seems to be some misunderstanding. The CMOS memory is
>one chip and the BIOS is stored in another. The BIOS is in
>flash memory. When it is flashed, the BIOS is replaced by
>the new one. There may be another chip on the motherboard
>with the original BIOS, which the motherboard can revert to
>in the case of a bad flash, but most motherboards do not
>have that feature. The CMOS is the thing that holds the
>computer parameters and the memory that is changed by the
>Setup. If it is possible, you may want to consider
>reflashing the BIOS. I would check Abitís site carefully to
>be sure I had the right version of the BIOS. There are two
>versions your motherboard: KA7 and KA7-100. Larry

Aha, that explains why the BIOS is still the latest one. Thanks
Yes, I think my mobo does not support reverting to the default bios, I'm afraid.

That means discharging the CMOS worked ok then.

I downloaded the latest version of the BIOS for my mobo (it's the KA7-100).

As I said before, I can not flash it, the flash program just before flashing states an error "Unknown flash type" and exits.


12. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-02-02 06:05 PM
In response to message 10
Well, then, sorry to say, that unless you have something like BIOS Guardian, which is currently used by FIC motherboards to protect the BIOS from viruses, we have succeeded in absolutely proving that twinhead is correct about the flash chip. Larry

13. RE: BIOS problem
Veky Aug-02-02 07:07 PM
In response to message 12
>Well, then, sorry to say, that unless you have something
>like BIOS Guardian, which is currently used by FIC
>motherboards to protect the BIOS from viruses, we have
>succeeded in absolutely proving that twinhead is correct
>about the flash chip. Larry

Nope, don't have that BIOS guardian.

Are you telling me there's absolutely nothing I can do to make it recognize the "flash type" & flash the BIOS?
I remember it is Winbond "some numbers"


14. RE: BIOS problem
lbyard Aug-03-02 01:44 AM
In response to message 13
Yes. I would say that if the jumper is in the correct position (normal), the CMOS does not have a setting to prevent writing to the BIOS, and nothing else is present that would tell the flash program that the flash chip is write-protected, and the correct type of chip is installed, than either the chip, cmos, or motherboard is defective, and most likely it is the flash memory as indicated by Victor. Unless someone local has a burner, you will need one with the BIOS already on it. There are places that sell them. You might be able to get it from Abit or the place you bought the motherboard. Larry

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