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How to Build a Computer with an
AMD Socket A Athlon or Duron Processor
Part 7 - Flash the BIOS and Setup the CMOS
Last updated: 5/28/2001

Flash the BIOS.  This step requires a computer which is interfaced to the Internet, to download the latest motherboard BIOS from the manufacturer.  It can be delayed until after you have installed Windows and the MODEM (or network adapter for broadband network access) is installed and configured, but is best done at this point.

First, I'll warn you that you will be taking a chance if you flash the motherboard BIOS and you will be doing it at your own risk. If something goes wrong (e.g., a power outage) during this process you could end-up with an unbootable motherboard.  If that happens you will have to find someone with the equipment to flash the BIOS, obtain another BIOS, or buy a new motherboard.  I've done it many times without a problem.  Someday it's going to get me.

91.  Boot the computer and record  the date/version of the motherboard BIOS, which is displayed right at the beginning of the boot sequence.  You may be able to freeze the screen by pressing the Pause key.  Pressing any other key (e.g, the Space bar) will unfreeze the screen.

92.  Determine the motherboard manufacturer's web site Internet address from the documentation that came with the motherboard or with a search engine.

93.  Connect to the web site and find the BIOS downloads for your motherboard.  Look in support, technical support, downloads...

94.  If it is newer than the one that you have, the motherboard BIOS should be flashed.   Download the BIOS and Award Flash utility from the web site,  The file I downloaded was kt7yh.exe.  It was "hidden" on Abit's FTP site and is newer than the one listed on Abit's U.S. and Taiwan web sites.  It is a compressed, self-extracting file.  Use the Windows Explorer and double-click the compressed file to extract the following files:

FILE

DESCRIPTION

ABIFAE.BAT Batch file which automates the flash process
AWDFLASH.EXE Award flash program
KT7_YH.BIN The new BIOS
KT7YH.TXT Release notes and instructions
RUNME.BAT Batch file which calls ABIFAE.BAT with the correct parameters for this particular BIOS

Other manufactures may have the files compressed, but they may not be self-extracting and you may need a program to extract (decompress) them.  I use PowerArchiver to extract zipped, etc. files.  It is totally free and without advertising.  WinZip is another popular program that works quite well.

95.  Read the release notes and instructions.

96.  Make a bootable floppy without autoexec.bat and config.sys files.

I use a Windows 98 Startup floppy made according to the Manual method.  You could use a Windows Me boot floppy.  A MS-DOS 6.22 bootable floppy works well.

97.  Copy the above files (or the appropriate files for your motherboard) to the floppy.

98.  Boot the computer with the floppy.

99.  Ok, let's flash the BIOS.  Abit makes it simple.  Just type runme at the prompt:

A:\>runme

But, let's assume, for demonstration purposes, that Abit did not make it simple (many motherboard manufacturer's do not provide the batch files). Typing the following at the DOS prompt will also flash the BIOS:

A:\>awdflash KT7_YH.BIN /cc /cd /cp /py /sn /cks /R

To learn more about the awdflash program, type:

A:\>awdflash /?

Or, you can do the whole thing manually, by typing...

A:\>awdflash

And enter the BIOS file name to program when prompted (in this case KT7_YH.BIN with the .BIN).

Indicate whether or not you want to save a copy of the old BIOS and, if you decide to save a copy, where to save it, when prompted.

I usually do not save the old BIOS.

Type "Y" when it asks if you if you are sure your want to program the BIOS and hope there is no power outage.

Push the F1 key when it's done to reboot the computer and power-down and unplug the computer.

100.  Move the jumper (CCMOS1) to left, rear of the CMOS battery to pins 2-3, the two towards the back of the motherboard.  Go get a cup of coffee while the CMOS discharges (I'd give at 10 minutes), come back and move the jumper back to pins 1-2, and power-up.

After flashing the BIOS it is a good idea to clear remnants and settings from old BIOS that may still be in the CMOS memory.  Do not apply power to the motherboard with the jumper on pins 2 and 3.  It can damage the motherboard.

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