Flashing BIOS - is it easy?

  MichelleC 11:48 08 May 03

I've got to update my bios due to upgrade from 98 to 2000. The bios is Award Modular. It's in a 4yr Time pc. (there's nothing on Time site).

Is there anything I need to know which may prevent me from losing my cool? And does it cost?

  MartinT-B 12:03 08 May 03

It's free.

It's logical but can go wrong:

Flashing you bios is not done through windows and you need to make sure you have the following sorted.

1) Test the battery on your motherboard. You can safely remove it for up to 30 minutes (plenty of time) before the BIOS starts to lose memory. Most batteries should be 3V or slightly more when new. An old battery might only be 2.4v or less. If you try flashing with a weak battery the chances of failure go up. BTW I bought a CR2032 battery for my Mobo from MAPLIN (own brand) for £1.92, but it only had 2.9v new. I then bought a Duracell CR2032 for £3.99 which had 3.4v Itwas twice the price, but a battery is one thing you have to be sure of imho (in my humble opinion).

2) Find out the make and issue number of your MoBo. This should be in writing on it somewhere. Mine is between to of the RAM slots. )In my case it's Asus A7N8X Deluxe 1.04) You need this iformation to get the right BIOS. Without it you can't flash. You should have a MoBo Manual that should tell you where to look, if needs be Ring Time Technical Support and find out.

3) On YOur BIOS Chip there might be a sticker telling you the number of the current BIOS. Make a note of it.

4) it apeears you have Award BIOS. Award have a flash program (2 actually) that make flashing easier. Can you confirm this?

5) When you start your PC do you get the following msgs at the bottom of your screen:

To Enter Set-Up press Del?

To Enter AWD Flash press Alt+F2?

If you have the 2nd you're lucky as flashing just got a whole lot easier.

  NICK ADSL UK 12:04 08 May 03

hi MichelleC flashing the bios is easy but not on a tiny /time/pc world computer/what motherboard have you got i would think it was a msi? the reason being the brands above are custom made and msi would not know anything about your msi board that if it is msi your best course of action would be to contact time just to confirm that this computer cannot be upgraded it is what is known as a fixed moutherboard in the trade

  sil_ver 12:26 08 May 03

Another thing to be aware of is if your PC BIOS is set up the same as a Packard Bell, flashing the BIOS means that it will no longer recognise your master CD as it will think it's a different PC. It's worth asking the question of Tiny/Time.

  MichelleC 14:30 08 May 03

Thanks guys you've given me a lot of pointers. And I thought it was going to be easy...

  961 14:53 08 May 03

Unless there is a totally irresistible reason then don't. If it goes pear shaped you have major problems and with 4 year old computers the answer really is no.

One of the basic difficulties is that if the process is interrupted by a power cut or surge then the existing BIOS can be lost and the computer is then, basically, dead

Gigabyte have motherboards with a dual bios that helps to overcome this situation, but the advice you have above is sound and you should leave well alone unless you have professional help on stand by

  MartinT-B 15:24 08 May 03

Michelle says she needs to flash


I've got to update my bios due to upgrade from 98 to 2000.


If she has the Award BIOS it's not hard.

Speaking personally, your point about surges and power interuptions although valid is somewhat of a scare-mongering comment. In the 15 years or so that I have been using a PC I have had 1 power interuption (circuit breaker tripped the house).

Obviously you shouldn't flash in the middle of a thunderstorm.

As I stated before, most failed flashes are because people don't consider checking the battery.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:22 08 May 03

Why do you have to flash the BIOS? I work on computers that have never even had the BIOS scared for 6 years.


  GANDALF <|:-)> 17:29 08 May 03

forgot to mention that the computers have been upgraded to 2000 and have Award BIOS.


  MartinT-B 17:38 08 May 03

I'm going to take you question seriously Gandalf :)

There are reasons to flash a BIOS

If you have a new board it's like getting a patch for a new game. The board maker with release a new bios to resolve an issue that has come to light through general PC use. For instance the 1003 BIOS for my board was needed to "Enhance system compatibility with Transcend DDR333 memory modules(With Mosel chips).".

A new BIOS will be released to work with a new chip. When the AMD Barton came out, all MoBo manufacturers released a new BIOS for those that want to upgrade. This is the reason most people need to Flash. They have a board and they don't want to chaneg everyting, just get a new Chip or faster RAM in which case they may need to get a newer version of the BIOS.

I have heard some cases where changing your OS needs a new BIOS. This appears to be the case with Michelle.

  961 18:03 08 May 03

Sorry to be pedantic but if you live in the Scottish Borders power glitches occur on a regular daily basis without warning

Without surge protectors on power and phone inputs modems and other bits and pieces fry regularly. If you happen to be updating your BIOS at that moment then ooooops!

I agree if you live in a city with everything underground this may not be a problem

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