Вопросы про BIOS


Краткий обзор обновления BIOS

1. Точно скопируйте номер (id) Вашего BIOS

2. Идентифицируйте вашу материнскую плату (модель) используя Award или AMI номера, чтобы сравнить вашу id строку BIOS с номерами в нашей базе данных.

3. Загрузите правильный файл BIOS с персональной страницы изготовителя через страницу BIOS Updates.

4.Загрузите соответствующую программу flash с персональной страницы изготовителя или cтраницы Utilities.

5. Обновите Ваш BIOS


  1. Что такое (Flash) BIOS ?
  2. How do you determine if your system has a Flash Bios chip ?
  3. Do you really need a (Flash) BIOS upgrade ?
  4. Where can you download Flash BIOSs ?
  5. What to do if you don't know the name of your motherboard ?
  6. How do you flash your BIOS ?
  7. What to do when the Award flasher says: Insufficient memory
  8. Can something go wrong ?
  9. How can you recover a corrupt BIOS ?
  10. What can you do if your BIOS is buggy and their is no update available ?
  11. Why aren't there no Flash BIOS on the Award or AMI site ?
  12. Where do you have to look for technical support (for your BIOS) ?
  13. What does PROM, EPROM, EPROM Burner stand for ?
  14. What does "The program file's part number does not match with your system" mean?
  15. My BIOS/Operating System doesn't recognize my XXGB hard drive
  16. How can you clear your BIOS with the DOS DEBUG command ?
  17. How can you hack the password protection ?
  18. What do the POST & Beep codes mean ?
  19. How to solve the AMI BIOS Beep codes ?
  20. How to insert NCR SCSI BIOS v3.07 or 4.03 into your MRBIOS ?
  21. What about the YEAR 2000 ?
  22. Where can I download the Award and AMI Flashers ?
  23. How to flash an Intel AMI BIOS on an Intel OEM board ? (e.g. when you have BIOS 1.00.xx.CB0H and want to update to a 1.00.xx.CB0 BIOS)
  24. How to flash an Intel Phoenix BIOS on an Intel OEM board ?
  25. How can you change the EPA logo that is displayed at boot-up on Award BIOS based motherboards ?
  26. How do you get rid of IRQ Routing Table errors in Win9x ?
  27. My BIOS is dead, and I can't get my floppy drive to work to do a boot-block flash.
  28. Why is there no option to enable USB in my BIOS setup?
  29. How do I over-clock my CPU?
  30. Why won't my VX motherboard recognize xxMB DIMMS/SIMMS?
  31. My hard drive is XXGB. Why is only XXGB reported?
  32. What is the BIOS actually doing when I turn on my computer?
  33. How do I identify a motherboard with a Phoenix BIOS?
  34. I flashed my VIA chipset based motherboard with the correct BIOS upgrade and it died. Why ?

1. What is a (Flash) BIOS ?

Pronounced "bye-ose," BIOS is an acronym for basic input/output system. The BIOS is built-in software that determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives, serial communications, and a number of miscellaneous functions.

The BIOS is typically placed on a ROM chip that comes with the computer (it is often called a ROM BIOS). This ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures. It also makes it possible for a computer to boot itself.

Because RAM is faster than ROM, many computer manufacturers design systems so that the BIOS is copied from ROM to RAM each time the computer is booted. This is known as shadowing, and should be disabled in the BIOS setup before flashing.

Most modern PCs have a flash BIOS, which means that the BIOS has been recorded on a rewriteable memory chip, which can be updated if necessary.

The PC BIOS is standardized, so all PCs are alike at this level (although there are different BIOS versions). Additional DOS functions are usually added through software modules. This means you can upgrade to a newer version of DOS without changing the BIOS.

PC BIOSes that can handle Plug-and-Play (PnP) devices are known as PnP BIOSes, or PnP-aware BIOSes. These BIOSes are always implemented with flash memory rather than ROM.

2. How do you determine if your system has a Flash Bios chip ?

Take the cover of the computer and look inside. Peel the sticker of the BIOS chip (28 or 32-pin DIP IC with the BIOS brand sticker on it). (source: c't 2/97/110)

  • Am29F010: AMD 5 volt flash ROM
  • Am28F010, Am28F010A: AMD 12 volt flash ROM
  • AT28C010, AT28MC010, AT29C010, AT29LC010, AT29MC010: Atmel 5 volt flash ROM
  • CAT28F010V5, CAT28F010V5I: Catalyst 5 volt flash ROM
  • CAT28F010, CAT28F010I: Catalyst 12 volt flash ROM
  • 28F010: Fujitsu 12 volt flash ROM or ISSI 12 volt flash ROM
  • HN58C1000: Hitachi 5 volt flash ROM
  • HN28F101, HN29C010, HN29C010B, HN58C1001, HN58V1001: Hitachi 12 volt flash ROM
  • A28F010, 28F001BX-B, 28F001BX-T, 28F010: Intel 12 volt flash ROM
  • M5M28F101FP, M5M28F101P, M5M28F101RV, M5M28F101VP: Mitsubishi 12 volt flash ROM
  • MX28F1000: MXIC 12 volt flash ROM
  • MSM28F101: OKI 12 volt flash ROM
  • KM29C010: Samsung 5 volt flash ROM
  • DQ28C010, DYM28C010, DQM28C010A: SEEQ 5 volt flash ROM
  • DQ47F010, DQ48F010: SEEQ 12 volt flash ROM
  • M28F010, M28F1001: SGS-Thomson 12 volt flash ROM
  • 28EE011, 29EE010: SST 5 volt flash ROM
  • PH29EE010: SST ROM Chip - Flashable
  • TMS29F010: Texas-Instr. 5 volt flash ROM
  • TMS28F010: Texas-Instr. 12 volt flash ROM
  • W29EE011: Winbond 5 volt flash ROM
  • W27F010: Winbond 12 volt flash ROM
  • X28C010, X28C010I, XM28C010, XM28C010I: XICOR 5 volt flash ROM
  • 29LVxxx - 3V Flash memory (rare)
  • 28Cxxx - EEPROM, similar to Flash memory
  • 27Cxxx - With window. EPROM: read-only, requires programmer to write and UV to erase.

Anything without a Window that doesn't have a 28 or 29 as the preceding numbers of the part #, is most likely a standard ROM.

3. Do you really need a (Flash) BIOS upgrade ?

OS Support - It's possible that Windows 95 isn't configured 100% correctly on a computer with an outdated BIOS.  To let Windows 95 fully support Plug 'n Play you also need a PnP-BIOS. This is a very important reason to update your BIOS.

Large HDD support - All harddisks that are sold today are more then 528 megabyte. To support these harddisks the BIOS must have LBA (Logical Block Addressing) support. When your BIOS doesn't support LBA and you want to use your new harddisk at full capacity you have to use software drivers that trick the BIOS. With some of these software drivers Windows 95 will load your HD in compatibility mode which means a performance loss.

A third important reason to upgrade your BIOS is to solve bugs. Other reasons are e.g. new settings in your BIOS: Booting from CD-ROM, Boot from SCSI before IDE harddisks,...

There is no guarantee a new BIOS will solve your problems, and flashing can be risky.

4. Where can I download Flash BIOSs ?

Well, start looking at my page. If your motherboard manufacturer isn't listed on the BIOS Upgrades page then there is big chance they don't have a web site, or are out of business.  Post in our BBS and if it exists, someone will find it for you. (But do your own web search before you post, and let us know what you find out.)

If that fails, contact us and we'll add your description to the Wanted BIOS page. If you know of any Flash BIOSs not listed on my Flash BIOS page, please let me know.

If you found your Flash BIOS stored on this site, you should first check the Flash BIOS page from the motherboard manufacturer to see if there are any updates. (I can't check all the sites of motherboard manufacturers daily to see if there are any updates.)

5. What if you don't know the name of your motherboard ?

The part number of each Award & AMI BIOS usually contains information identifying the chipset it supports, and the manufacturer. This information appears at the bottom of your screen after power on, during memory count up.

Copy down your BIOS id string EXACTLY when it appears on your screen. Better yet, dump it to the printer (Print screen key). The PAUSE key should work at that point, allowing you to read the part number, the BIOS date, and the version.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the manufacturer removes that information. Then your only recourse is to contact the board manufacturer.

Check either the Award or AMI BIOS Numbers page and search for your BIOS number. Partial searches work best, ie: 2A5LDH09C.

If you can't find it, post a question in our BBS. Before you post, run CTBios (written by CT), and put the results in your post. Make sure the full BIOS id string is included. If you have an AMI BIOS you can also try the AMIBIOS Motherboard ID Utility (written by AMI)

If you have an Award BIOS, you can also email AWARD at award888@ms1.hinet.net or support@unicore.com and give them a) version, b) part number and c) release date.

6. How do you flash your BIOS ?

  1. To flash your BIOS you'll need a) a flasher, and b) a data-file. The flasher programs the data-file into the BIOS chip.
  2. Boot to the DOS prompt, either using a CLEAN boot disk or Safe Mode DOS Prompt.
  3. Type the following at the DOS prompt, where xxx is the name of the BIOS file you downloaded:

awdflash xxx.bin (for Award BIOSs)
amiflash xxx.bin (for AMI BIOSs)
mrflash xxx.bin (for MRBIOSs)


7. What to do when the Award flasher says: Insufficient memory

1. In CMOS Chipset Features Setup, disable every form of caching and shadowing you can find, ie: Video Bios Cacheable. Save and exit.
2. Reboot and hit Ctrl+F5,when you see "Windows Starting" (This temporarily prevents Drvspace.bin from loading-making 108K more Memory available.)
Award 7.x flashers now have a switch /tiny . If you use that switch (eg awd7xx /tiny newbios.bin) the Award flasher will need less free memory.

8. Can something go wrong ?

Yes, if you use the wrong flash BIOS, or have a power outage, or have a defective chip, there is chance that your computer WILL NOT BOOT.  We recommend not to flash unless absolutely necessary.

9. How can you recover a corrupt BIOS ?

Solution 1: Boot-block BIOS

Modern motherboards have a boot-block BIOS. This is small area of the BIOS that doesn't get overwritten when you flash a BIOS. The boot-block BIOS only has support for the floppy drive. If you have a PCI video card you won't see anything on the screen because the boot-block BIOS only supports an ISA videocard.

Award: The boot-block BIOS will execute an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a bootable diskette. Copy an Award flasher & the correct BIOS *.bin file on the floppy and execute it automaticly by putting awdflash *.bin in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

AMI: The AMI boot-block BIOS will look for a AMIBOOT.ROM file on a diskette. Copy and rename the correct BIOS file on the floppy and power up the PC. The floppy doesn't need to be bootable. You will see the PC read the floppy, after about 4 minutes you will hear 4 beeps, this means the transfer is done. Reboot the PC and modify the CMOS for your configuration.

Solution 2: Get a new BIOS chip

  1. Contact your motherboard manufacturer to see if they sell BIOS chips. Some motherboard manufacturers send them for free.
  2. Contact a company that sells pre-flashed chips, like Unicore Software, FlashBIOS.ORG or BadFlash

Solution 3: Hot-swapping

Note: I'm not responsible for any damage this method may do to you or your computer !

  1. Replace the corrupt chip by a working one. The best option is to take the working BIOS chip from a motherboard which has the same chipset although that's not absolutely necessary. It just has to give you a chance of booting into DOS. Before pulling the working BIOS chip out of it's original motherboard, set the System BIOS cacheable option in the BIOS to enabled.
  2. After you have put the working BIOS in the motherboard with the corrupt BIOS boot the system to DOS (with a floppy or HD).
  3. Now replace (while the computer is powered on) the working BIOS chip with the corrupt one.
  4. Flash an appropriate BIOS to the corrupt BIOS and reboot.

Note: Use a flasher from MRBIOS. They are known to work best. You can find them at ftp://ftp.mrbios.com

Solution 3: (for Intel motherboards)

  1. Change Flash Recovery jumper to the recovery mode position (not all products have this feature)
  2. Install the bootable upgrade diskette into drive A:
  3. Reboot the system
  4. Because of the small amount of code available in the non-erasable boot block area, no video is available to direct the procedure. The procedure can be monitored by listening to the speaker and looking at the floppy drive LED. When the system beeps and the floppy drive LED is lit, the system is copying the recovery code into the FLASH device. As soon as the drive LED goes off, the recovery is complete.
  5. Turn the system off
  6. Change the Flash Recovery jumper back to the default position
  7. Leave the upgrade floppy in drive A: and turn the system on
  8. Continue with the original upgrade

10. What do if my BIOS is buggy and their is no update available ?

Apply a bios that is not specifically written for your mother board. Try this AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I found this posting in a newsgroup:

I have just done some testing of various manufacturer's BIOS on my Triton chipset motherboard. This was an experiment to see if a motherboard can use the BIOS from a different manufacturer.
The answer: Most Yes, but somewhat No. For the most part, it works, but your mileage will vary. This WILL, however, allow you to upgrade to a newer BIOS that may even fix some (or many) bugs.

NOTICE: My motherboard never became totally dysfunctional with any other company's BIOS, but be aware that I may have just been lucky!

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE A DIFFERENT COMPANY'S BIOS UNLESS: 1) You have an EPROM programmer handy. 2) You have another flash capable motherboard handy and know how to do the "hot-flash" method. 3) You like living on the edge and are willing to risk killing your motherboard.

The experiment: I wanted to upgrade the BIOS on my Amptron PM7700B motherboard from a v4.50PG BIOS to a v4.51PG BIOS in the hopes of fixing a Power Management bug (monitor blanking out randomly, and HD falling asleep even while I'm typing). My config: Maxtor 1.6GB HD Pri/Master, Aztech 4x CD-ROM Sec/Slave, SB16, AMD 5k86-75 oc'd to 90MHz (older SSA-5 version).

I tried the following BIOS's: Award v4.51PG from ASUS for their 430FX motherboards, Award v4.50PG from FIC for their PT-2003 430FX board, Award v4.51PG from ECS for their TR5510 board, and Award v4.51PG for Shuttle's HOT-541 board.

NOTE: You often CANNOT flash another manufacturer's BIOS if they use a different flash program (ASUS is one such company that uses a different flash program than others). AWDFLASH v5.2 works fine to flash all BIOS except ASUS's. I discovered that MR-BIOS's 29C010.EXE (use the program suitable for your chip) will flash ANYTHING into the chip. You can find 29C010.EXE and 28F010.EXE on ftp://ftp.mrbios.com. Their shareware is gone, but those programs can be found inside a few of the .zip files found there that are >60k in length.


* ASUS BIOS worked fine, but only detected (and counted) 8MB when I really have 16MB. Win95 auto-detected many new devices, but promptly got rid of this one due to the memory detection.

*FIC 430FX BIOS, couldn't access floppy (system would freeze if I tried), but HD booted and worked just fine. Promptly got rid of this one.

*ECS TR5510 BIOS, this one works great, and is what I'm using now. It fixed the APM bug, and also fixed a bug where before, SHIFT-F5 would throw me into Safe Mode while booting Win95 while it's SUPPOSED to boot directly into DOS. ECS BIOS fixed it to where it works correctly, I am assuming this was caused by a slight incompatibility between Amptron's BIOS and the AMD 5k86 CPU (which Amptron tech support had already told me wasn't quite stable on their board). Also, the ECS BIOS benched considerably faster with the AMD 5k86 under WinTune96 (RAM access and HD access also increased a few MB/s).

*Shuttle HOT-541 BIOS, this fixed the same bugs the ECS BIOS did, and also ID'ed my AMD 5k86-75 (SSA/5) as an AMD K5-PR90. Although this was the newest BIOS (8/96), it didn't allow Win95 to detect my CD-ROM drive so I reverted back to the ECS BIOS.

In Conclusion, none of the 4 non-Amptron BIOS that I tried had any permanent and unrecoverable negative effect, and most worked about 90-100% (the ECS even fixed bugs that were in the original Amptron BIOS). Some IMPORTANT things to remember if you wish to try something like this: Use *ONLY* BIOS's from motherboards with the SAME chipset!!! Also, make sure the I/O chip from that motherboard is the same as yours, in my case, I only flashed BIOS from motherboards that used the UM8669 I/O chip. I don't know what might happen if you flash a BIOS designed to support a different type of I/O chip, your serial ports might not work... or worse! Lastly, you must make a copy of a KNOWN perfectly working BIOS and flash program on your hard drive, this is in case your floppy drive won't boot, but your hard drive still can.

Anyhow, these were my findings, and I am very pleased to have found that the ECS BIOS fixed every single bug my motherboard had. I also don't recommend doing this without some kind of backup plan. I own an FEPROM programmer so if a BIOS killed my motherboard, it wouldn't have been a problem to fix it. I never had to use it, but you may not get so lucky. Sorry for the lengthy message, but I thought someone might find this educational.
Shawn Lin - slin01@mail.orion.org


11. Why are there no Flash BIOS on the Award or AMI site ?

Award and AMI give m/b manufacturers a BIOS customized for each specific board and the chipset(s) controlling that board. Then the manufacturer, using tools from Award/AMI, makes final modifications to the BIOS before shipping the system or board. In other words, the manufacturer knows more about that system than they do and is better able to provide a Flash BIOS upgrade.

Note: http://www.award.com.tw/download contains hundreds of Flash BIOS images, specific to each motherboard manufacturer. You should only use these if you can't find an updated BIOS anywhere else.


12. Where do you have to look for technical support (for your BIOS) ?

At the website of your motherboard manufacturer (if they have one). If you still have questions, you should email them.

13. What does PROM, EPROM, EPROM Burner stand for ?

PROM - (programmable read-only memory) is a memory chip on which data can be written only once. Once a program has been written onto a PROM, it remains there forever. Unlike main memory, PROMs retain their contents when the computer is turned off.

The difference between a PROM and a ROM (read-only memory) is that a PROM is manufactured as blank memory, whereas a ROM is programmed during the manufacturing process. To write data onto a PROM chip, you need a special device called a PROM programmer or PROM burner. The process of programming a PROM is sometimes called burning the PROM.

EPROM - (erasable programmable read-only memory) is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet light. Once it is erased, it can be reprogrammed. An EEPROM is similar to a PROM, but requires only electricity to be erased.

EEPROM - (electrically erasable programmable read-only memory). Pronounced e-e-prom, an EEPROM is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge. Like other types of PROM, EEPROM retains its contents even when the power is turned off. Also like other types of ROM, EEPROM is not as fast as RAM.

A special type of EEPROM, referred to as flash memory or flash EEPROM, can be rewritten while it is in the computer rather than requiring a special device called a PROM reader. This is what most of you will have.

This information comes from PCWebopedia.

14. What does "The program file's part number does not match with your system" mean?

The file name of Award BIOS binary files is usually derived from the BIOS serial number. Because one file name resemble another, a customer may inadvertently use the wrong binary file when updating the system BIOS with the Award flash utility.

To help avoiding this problem, Award have added a new feature to AWDFLASH.EXE, version 5.33 and above - a warning message that appears if the program detects a mismatch between the BIOS binary file and the system board.

If a mismatch is detected, the following message appears when the user responds YES to the program prompt to flash the BIOS:

The program file's part number does not match with your system

This warning message appears only if the binary file name you specified in the program differs from the existing file in your system.

If you receive this message, check carefully to ensure that you have the correct binary file for your system.

You can bypass checking the serial number by typing the following at the DOS command line:

Awdflash 2Axxxxxx.BIN /Py

The /Py switch immediately flashes the new binary file to the BIOS EPROM.


15.My BIOS/Operating System doesn't recognize my XXGB hard drive

Proper "large" IDE HDD support is twopiece:

- Detection
- Runtime support

The former is sort of easy, AWARD BIOS older than 6/1999 screw up with >32GB drives anyway.

The latter means that the BIOS must offer additional runtime services to access what's behind the 8 GB border (1024x63x255x512 bytes, to be exact). That's usually called "Int13 extensions", and by far not every BIOS that detects any drive size has these.

That's why you see 20 GB in BIOS and only 8 in your operating system.

Required reading:

You have three options in this case:
  1. Get a BIOS upgrade.  Might not help, especially in older systems.
  2. Purchase an add-on EIDE controller card.
  3. Use Drive Overlay software like EZBios or Ontrack.  You can download this from the HDD manufacturer's home page.


16. How can you clear all of the BIOS settings back to their defaults with the DOS DEBUG command ?

Solution 1: for AMI and Award BIOSs:

C:\DEBUG (at a clear DOS prompt, don't do this in DOS-box in Windows)
-O 70 17
-O 71 17

Solution 2: for Phoenix BIOSs:

C:\DEBUG (at a clear DOS prompt, don't do this in DOS-box in Windows)
-O 70 FF
-O 71 17

17. How to hack the password protection ?


Do NOT repeat DO NOT ask us for any laptop password hacking info. We do NOT give this out, due to the high incidence of laptop theft.  If you are locked out of your laptop, contact the manufacturer, or take it, along with proof of purchase, to your nearest authorized service center.


Solution 1: for Award BIOSs:
Try these : AWARD_SW, j262 , HLT, SER, SKY_FOX, BIOSTAR, ALFAROME, lkwpeter, j256, AWARD?SW, LKWPETER, Syxz, aLLy, 589589, 589721, awkward, CONCAT

In the past, Award has defined Award_SW as its default security password. However, this password is now widely known, due to Award's large customer base, so it has lost its original function of security protection.

To reduce the opportunity of security breaches, Award Software International Inc. has canceled this default value in BIOS code with a release date on or after December 19, 1996.

Since no defalt value is predefined for the password, Award OEM customers must use the Award MODBIN.EXE utility, version 4.50.75, to customize their own password prior to releasing products to end users

Solution 2: for AMI BIOSs:

If you wish to attempt disabling the password yourself, you will need to erase CMOS. You should not do this unless you already have written down or printed out of all the BIOS Setup parameters, or if you are certain that restoring the Setup default values is sufficient for operating your system. Take these steps:

1. clear the CMOS (remove the CMOS battery until POST displays a "CMOS checksum bad" or a similar message);

2. re-install the CMOS battery;

3. run the BIOS Setup;

4. restore the correct BIOS Setup settings.

NOTE: it can take up to several days for the CMOS to go bad without a battery. This is caused by capacitance in the circuit. This charge can be safely discharged by using a 10k-ohm resistor, touched to the battery connectors for a few moments (while the battery is removed).

Dowload some BIOS password cracks

Download IBIOS here (works with AMI/AWARD)

18. What do the POST & Beep codes mean ?

19. How to solve the AMI BIOS Beep codes ?

For 1 beep, 2 beeps, or 3 beeps try reseating the memory first. If the error still occurs, replace the memory with known good chips.

For 4 beeps, 5 beeps, 7 beeps, or 10 beeps the system board must be sent in for repair.

For 6 beeps try reseating the keyboard controller chip. If the error still occurs, replace the keyboard chip. If the error persists, check parts of the system relating to the keyboard, e.g. try another keyboard, check to see if the system has a keyboard fuse.

8 beeps indicates a memory error on the video adapter. Replace the video card or the memory on the video card.

9 beeps indicates faulty BIOS chip(s). It is not likely that this error can be corrected by reseating the chips. Consult the motherboard supplier or an AMI product distributor for replacement part(s).

If no beeps are heard and no display is on the screen, The first thing to check is the power supply. Connect a LED to the POWER LED connection on the motherboard. If this LED lights and the drive(s) spin up then the power supply will usually be good.

Next, inspect the motherboard for loose components. A loose or missing CPU, BIOS chip, Crystal Oscillator, or Chipset chip will cause the motherboard not to function.
Next, eliminate the possibility of interference by a bad or improperly set up I/O card by removing all card except the video adapter. The system should at least power up and wait for a drive time-out. Insert the cards back into the system one at a time until the problem happens again. When the system does nothing, the problem will be with the last expansion card that was put in.

If the above suggestions fail to cause any change in the dysfunction of the system, the motherboard must be returned for repair.

20. How to insert NCR SCSI BIOS v3.07 or 4.03 into your MRBIOS ?

It's actually simple but varies for each version of mr bios. You need to download a program from Windows95.com called 'Hex Workshop' which allows you to edit files in Hexadecimal. The process involves cutting out the blank space at the beginning of the mr bios flash image and appending either the NCR flash image v3.07 or 4.03 and saving the file.

Notice the mr bios site describes the initial flash image as being 92k but when you download it its actually larger due to this extra blank space.

Cut out the appropriate blank space so the image is 92k, save. Then append the NCR v3.07 flash image by cutting and pasting and save. The file length should now be 108k (92k + 16k NCR v3.07 image). It is OK to append the larger 32k NCR v4.03 image if you like. The total file length will be 124k. This change of offset of the core bios will not hurt anything. As I am sure you know be VERY CAREFUL!

Thanks go out to William H. Lagarde for giving me this info !


21. What about the YEAR 2000 ?

Check out the following sites:





22. Where can I download the Award and AMI Flashers ?

You can find them on my Bios Utilities page, or get them at your motherboard manufacturer's home page. It is best to use the version of the flasher they provide/suggest

23. How to flash an Intel AMI BIOS on an Intel OEM board ? (e.g. when you have BIOS 1.00.xx.CB0H and want to update to a 1.00.xx.CB0 BIOS)

I haven't tested this procedure, so use this information at your own risk!

The following illustrates how to go from a "1.00.xx.CB0H"-type BIOS to a regular "1.00.xx.CB0"-BIOS. The extra letter means that it's an Intel motherboard sold to an OEM (in this case Vobis = "H").

Everything said here *should* also be applicable for other Intel motherboards (that use AMI BIOS) and other OEMs too. (e.g. going from 1.00.xx.BC0R to 1.00.xx.BC0)


The "1.00.xx.CB0"-BIOS was a BIOS developed by AMI for Intel's "endeavour"- motherboard (also known as "Advanced-E/V"-MB).
I guess that VOBIS did slightly modify this BIOS and called the modified version "1.00.xx.CB0H". It's likely that the letter "H" stands for "HIGHSCREEN" which is labeled on all of their PC's.

This brought me to the conclusion, that I could use the regular AMI-version since my motherboard WAS an "endeavour"-board.

You can download the "1.00.xx.CB0"-BIOS-versions from Intel. There are the versions 02, 03, 04, 05 and 06 available.
If you try to use any of these versions, you get an error saying that "the data are corrupt or you are using a wrong BIOS". The problem is, that the BIOS-ID string of the Intel-Files is only 1.00.02.CB0 but your actual BIOS is 1.00.02.CB0H, so the upgrade-program denies the execution of the upgrade.

I did the following:
  1. I downloaded the version 1.00.02.CB0 (equivalent to my actual version) and version 1.00.06.CB0 (the latest version) from the Intel-page.
  2. Following the instructions on the page "http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/genbios.htm" I created 2 boot-disks, one for each version.
  3. On the 1.00.02.CB0-Disk there are (among others) the files "1002cb0_.bio" and "1002cb0_.bi1".
I opened both in a text editor (WordPad, comes with Windows95) and replaced the string "CB0 " (the SPACE behind CB0 is important) with "CB0H".
Each file should have 1 occurrence of this string .
  4. Booting my computer with this modified disk, the "upgrade" from 02 to 02 was accepted. Surprising: the BIOS-ID was now 1.00.02.CB0 and not 1.00.02.CB0H
  5. I booted again with the (unmodified) 1.00.06.CB0-disk. This upgrade was accepted too, and now my BIOS-Version was 1.00.06.CB0.
     Up to now (3 weeks) everything works fine and my new 4.3GB-harddisk is recognized too(which was the reason for this trouble...).

  Please note:
  1. The Intel-upgrade-program allows saving your current BIOS to disk. YOU SHOULD DO THAT. Create a boot disk with your BIOS, then you have the opportunity to fall back to your "old" version, if something goes wrong. Even if the PC didn't boot: the endeavour-boards have a BIOS-recovery jumper. (See Intel's WWW-Page).
  2. It's likely that you can upgrade to Version 06 DIRECTLY by modifying the version-06-disk, but I haven't tried that. (Update: One visitor told me that this indeed possible and works!)
  3. There's a risk that VOBIS did not only put their company-name in the BIOS but did also other (functional) changes.

(Thanks to Veikko Summa for sending me this info)

24. How to flash an Intel Phoenix BIOS on an Intel OEM board ?

Try this process at your own risk.

  1. Download the newest BIOS from the Intel site for your motherboard.
  2. Put the downloaded Intel's flash BIOS on a bootable diskette. (see the text files in the zip-file on how to do it)
  3. Go into the BIOS and enable the option 'Check for User Flash ROMS' (it's in SETUP)
  4. Power down the computer
  5. Set the BIOS Jumper on the motherboard to RECOVERY
  6. Insert the bootable diskette you made in step 2 that contains the new BIOS
  7. Turn on the computer
  8. It'll now go through the recovery procedure and then load the new BIOS from the diskette.
  9. After that the recovery procedure is completed, power down
  10. Set the BIOS Jumper back to the normal mode
  11. Power up

You should now have the new BIOS installed!

(Thanks to Anne Munson for sending me this info!)

25. How can you change the EPA logo that is displayed at boot-up on Award BIOS based motherboards ?

Try this process at your own risk.

First of all you need a BIOS *.BIN file that you'll first edit and flash afterwards. Please make sure that BIOS file you're going to edit is the correct one for your motherboard.

Download BMP2EPA. It will convert a BMP to an EPA file. The BMP file must be 104x121, 1bpp.

Once you have the EPA file you'll need to find CBROM or CBROM6 to insert the EPA file into the *.BIN file. The syntax is : cbrom *.BIN /EPA savedEPA.epa (where *.BIN is the filename of the BIOS file, savedEPA.epa the filename of the EPA file.). CBROM should be used on Award V4.51 releases, CBROM6 should be used on Award V6.0 releases)

Now all you have to do is flash your bios with the edited BIOS file.

Note: Not all Award BIOSs support this (especially older BIOSs (486,old 586)

26. How do you get rid of IRQ Routing Table errors in Win9x ?

If you have a VIA chipset based motherboard install the latest VIA IRQ Routing Patch

If you still have problems then try disabling 'OnChip USB' in the BIOS. If this helps then contact your motherboard manufacturer to get a new BIOS without this bug. (eg. Shuttle HOT591P motherboards had this problem, but a BIOS update fixed it).

27. My BIOS is dead, and I can't get my floppy drive to work to do a boot-block flash.

Plug an ISA Multi-IO card, connect your floppy drive there, and flash your BIOS again, this time with one that really is for your motherboard.

28. Why is there no option to enable USB in my BIOS setup?

From Peter - The first round of system chipsets that was advertized as having USB was made to an early pre-1.0 USB specification, and shipped in the hope that this attempt would be close enough to the 1.0 spec that the chips would be useful.

After that it turned out that the specification had to be changed bigtime to get it working, and that the chipsets would have to be changed as well. That's why there are mainboards around that seem to have everything you need for USB, yet don't show any sign of actually doing it.

BIOS developers then were asked to hide these pre-1.0 USB controllers, both from BIOS setup and, where possible on chipset programming level (as with Intel's PIIX3 south bridge chip), from the PCI bus as well.

The big four chipset makers Intel, ALi, VIA and SiS all had pre-1.0 chips out. I don't have any detail for ALi and SiS. Intel's pre-spec PIIX3 is recognized by being rev. 0 (as read through PCI revision ID register) and marked "SU052" production S-spec. The rev. 1 "SU093" is the one with working USB. VIA has working USB in the 82C586B south bridge, and it seems the implementation in the original 82C586 and 82C586A was pre-spec, although I don't have confirmation on that (only the fact that Ocean Rhino 12 and PC-Chips M537 boards were advertized as "with working USB" once they sported the 586B).

On an interesting side note, recently one Intel spokesman claimed that only around 100 SU052 PIIX3 had been made. From the number of those I alone encountered here in Germany, I don't quite buy that.

29. How do I over-clock my CPU?

We don't know.  Well, ok, maybe we do. But that's not what this site is about. For over-clocking info, see AnandTech or Tom's Hardware. Do not post in the BBS about over-clocking...we'll have to shoot you.

30. Why won't my VX motherboard recognize xxMB DIMMS/SIMMS?

The Intel VX doesn't have enough Memory Address lines to drive the higher integration DRAM technology, be it EDO or SDRAM. 16-MBit is the highest density supported, while the parts on a 64-MByte EDO SIMM are 64-MBit (eight chips)

Do the math - count the SDRAM chips on your DIMM (the large ones) [if they're ECC DIMMs, round down to the nearest power of two], and compute:

((total capacity in MByte)*8)/(number of chips)

The result is the density in MBit of the SDRAM components used.


32-MByte DIMM with 16 chips: 32*8/16=16, usable with Intel VX.

128-MByte ECC DIMM with 18 chips - round down to 16, 128*8/16 = 64, not usable on VX.

As current production is 64- or 128-MBit densities, the bottom line of all this is that SDRAM support in Intel VX is useless with today's DIMMs.

Also, in order to have your board recognize 32Mb per DIMM, you'll need the 16-chip versions. If you have the 8-chip version, only 8Mb (your case) will be recognized.

Remember, it's not a memory problem; it's a chipset limitation. And no, this can't be fixed by a BIOS update.

31. My hard drive is XXGB. Why is only XXGB reported?

Drive makers "define" their gigabyte as a billion of bytes, 10^9 or 1,000,000,000. Megabytes are 10^6 or 1,000,000 bytes here.

Real binary gigabytes are 2^30 bytes or 1,073,741,824 bytes. Megabytes are 2^20 or 1,048,576 bytes.

To make things worse, software can display either version. FDISK displays binary megabytes 2^20, so does the HPT's BIOS. Your system BIOS seems to sell 10^6 bytes for a HDD megabyte.

Doing the math, you'll see that's where your MB have "vanished", exactly the difference between decimal and "real" binary megabytes, rounding errors aside.

Windows 98's Drive Properties window displays capacity in bytes, plus decimal and binary megabytes, so have a look there to have it all side by side.

PS: Blame points to Quantum. They started doing that with the LP105 series. Even back then, people called in and complained "where are my five megabytes" since each and every software back then displayed capacity as 100.3 (binary) megabytes.
Quantum's drive specification sheet then was added a footnote (in 1pt Flyspeck Sans Serif font, of course) that said "Quantum defines 1 Megabyte as 1,000,000 bytes" ...


32. What is the BIOS actually doing when I turn on my computer?

When you turn on your computer, several events occur automatically:

  1. The CPU "wakes up" (has power) and reads the x86 code in the BIOS chip.
  2. The code in the BIOS chip runs a series of tests, called the POST for Power On Self Test, to make sure the system devices are working correctly. In general, the BIOS:
  3. During POST, the BIOS compares the system configuration data obtained from POST with the system information stored on a CMOS - Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor - memory chip located on the motherboard. (This CMOS chip, which is updated whenever new system components are added, contains the latest information about system components.)
  4. After the POST tasks are completed, the BIOS looks for the boot program responsible for loading the operating system. Usually, the BIOS looks on the floppy disk drive A: followed by drive C:.
  5. After being loaded into memory, the boot program then loads the system configuration information (contained in the registry in a Windows® environment) and device drivers.
  6. Finally, the operating system is loaded, and, if this is a Windows® environment, the programs in the Start Up folder are executed.

33. How do I identify a motherboard with a Phoenix BIOS?

You don't.  From the Phoenix FAQ:

If you cannot find the maker's name on or in the computer, in the copyright notice displayed during POST, or in the owner's manual, then you are out of luck. Phoenix does not make computer systems. There is no reliable way for Phoenix to determine the original manufacturer. The numbers listed on the BIOS sticker on the motherboard do not identify the BIOS version or the manufacturer of the system.

As you can see, Phoenix doesn't care much for end-users.


34. I flashed my VIA chipset based motherboard with the correct BIOS upgrade and it died. Why ?

Before flashing you have to disable Byte Merge in the Award BIOS. Not doing this will kill your motherboard BIOS. This behavior has been seen on the ASUS P3V4X and K7V motherboards when using ASUS own aflash.(It may not be limited to ASUS alone.)