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Updating BIOS in Windows XP

 
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ranger72



Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 300

Location: Gulf of Maine

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 6:51 pm    Post subject: Updating BIOS in Windows XP

Hi There Gnomies!


I am interested in updating or "flashing" my BIOS in windows xp not only in order to perhaps increase the efficiency of my motherboard/Chipset but also just as an excersize in increasing my knowledge of how my Confuser works.

I have done some googling on this and can't seem to find any type of comprehensive tutorial that would walk me through this.

I have also gone to the homepage of my Motherboard and can't seem to find info that isn't confusing the hell out me.

Can anyone post a link to a tute or something similar that would be helpful?

In the meantime I will continue to search the web.

Thanks,

ranger72
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osprey



Joined: Sep 04, 2003
Posts: 1390



PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

I do not know of any generic program that will flash BIOS via Windows. If the option is available, the motherboard manufacturer will have the needed Windows utility available for download (Asus =AsusUpdate, Epox = EZBios, DFI=Winflash) the downloads have links to instructions, and some a Wizard to process to help you through it. Basically the program sets up the Flash routine in the boot process as the first item. It is not much more than an automated version of the floppy routine, with the new BIos file located on your C: drive rather than the floppy. If the motherboard manufacturer doesn't list such a program in the Utilities available for your motherboard, it is probably a function your mobe does not support. You can alternately, make a bootable cdr with the DOS flash utility and BIOS bin file on it, boot to the cd and run the utility from there.

This link might also be of use. http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/01/04/bios_from_a_to_z/
From page sixteen it will take you through the DOS but not Windows routine for flashing BIOS.
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Start here http://www.wimsbios.com/bios.jsp
Be very aware that if the flash doesn't work or you select the wrong version, then you will have an expensive doorstop.

I've only flashed the BIOS on one of my six computers and only because the manufacturer, HP, told me I had to. I made sure I had all the directions printed out and all the software handy. I read over the directions many times before I got the courage to do it. This was a notebook and the directions were to not use the battery but keep it powered through the wall plug. Also do not even think about doing this if there is any danger that the electric may go off while you are attempting it.
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ranger72



Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 300

Location: Gulf of Maine

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Thank you osprey,


Thank you for the link to Tom's Hardware.

I will study the info there and I will determine what company did my Bios and go to their web page for more info.

I will let you know what transpires from this.

regards,

ranger72 Smile
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ranger72



Joined: Dec 05, 2002
Posts: 300

Location: Gulf of Maine

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Thank you, zlim,

I will definately heed your warning and I have heard this before and thank you also for the link.

I like links because I have found that one website often leads to another and before you know it you have tons of info on what you were looking for.

And just to inject a little humor into this post; If perhaps my MoBo and Chipset get Zapped by the Purple Light it will give me the kick in the pants I need to go LINUX.
Laughing


I just read a link here somewhere that describes how Gates and Co. are designing Vista so that Third Party Software designers will not be able to design and sell and end-users will not be able to buy and use the utility software of their choice in a windows box.

Gates and Windows are becoming proprietary to the point that even I am getting sick of it.

Thanks again for your help and I'll let you guys know where I go with this one.

ranger72 Cool
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tbernstein



Joined: May 16, 2003
Posts: 1676

Location: London

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

A BIOS is more fundamental than the OS (Windows or any other) It's the basic machine system that makes a lump of metal and plastic into a computer, with the operating system of choice simply sitting on top of it.
And since it's a semi-permanent utility that's factory installed by the manufacturer, anything that disturbs it is a major threat to the whole system. i.e. a working BIOS is needed even to load a new BIOS.
If anything at all goes wrong when you try to flash a new one in, that's the BIOS gone to that great recycling bin in the sky.
It's hard to envisage a situation when this would be a worthwhie exercise without the manufacturer having told you that you need to do it.
The risk is almost always far higher than the gains.
I very much doubt that you'd see any difference after you'd done it, other than if your PC won't boot ever again, of course.
And there isn't anything to learn from it. The usual system is that you put in the floppy disk with the new BIOS, and reboot the PC, then pray.
You might find that flashing the firmware for a CD/DVD writer is more informative and the process is very similar. Just less scary, if only because a DVD writer costs about 10% of what a PC does. It's also more useful to do.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Updating BIOS in Windows XP [Login to view extended thread Info.]

Danger, Will Robinson!!!

Never, ever, flash a BIOS unless there is absolutely NO other choice.

Most all mobo manufacturers will let you download a new bios, for lets say a two year old mobo, and will also give you the flashing program.
YOU MUST use their flashing program.....there is NO generic program that will work for all bios's or mobo's.

I just had a case where I took an old PC in on trade and I thought it would be neat to bring the bios up to date.
I went to the mobo's web site and found the updated bios that I thought would do the trick and downloaded it. It came packaged with their own (mandatory) flashing program. I made a boot floppy with all the necessary program and files on it, as instructed.

I booted up the old PC and began the flashing program.
In the past the programs have offered to copy the old bios to the floppy.
This one did NOT, but immediately erased the old bios and then began writing the new bios. Half way through the write, it gave me an error message that it could not read the floppy.

I was dead.....and so was the mobo.
It will only cost me $69 for another mobo that will work in that system, but it really ticks me off that it didn't make a backup of the old bios before starting to write the new code.

So the moral of my little story is, "Don't flash the bios on any mobo that you can't afford to replace." OK?

Cheers!
Shadow Cool
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