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Should I flash my bios?

I have a Taiwanese motherboard by the name Infinity, don't worry if you've never heard about it. It uses the Award Bios Plug and Play, my bios is Award Bios ver 1.0. My question is that should I flash it with the Award Bios 7.08 I have downloaded. A friend says that you shouldn't flash it, I should go to the motherboard manufacture's home page and dowload the bios thats there. I did this but it appears that they are still stuck with the old version of the bios. Would it be safe for me to flash the latest version? If I make a mistake i.e. flash the wrong bios how do I revert back to the old one and what is the safest way to flash it?
The motherboard is a 440zx socket 370 motherboard.
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sandman97289
Asked:
sandman97289
1 Solution
 
sandman97289Author Commented:
Edited text of question.
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jhanceCommented:
If it's not broken, then don't "fix" it.  

Are you having some problem with your system that the release notes of the BIOS update promise to fix?  If so, then go ahead.  If not, then why mess with a perfectly working system?
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RoadWarriorCommented:
I myself have sucessfully flashed 3 bioses, for compatibility reasons, not "just because there's a newer one" but every time I have seen the issue raised here, the questioner dissapears without trace :-( . I can only assume that failure is common to the inexperienced.  There is no safe way to flash a bios, unless you get a chip from a spare board and flash that instead of the one you have in. If it corrupts on the write, or you picked the wrong one, you are essentially screwed, you may end up with a dead system, if you are lucky, it is just a little flaky, stable enough for you to reflash your saved old bios. If you are very careful, select the right upgrade, sacrifice chickens in the right manner and dance a secret dance under the full moon at midnight, it might work.

....... I didn't do all that though, I must be special ;-)   actually, it probably worked for me because I was doing it on junk systems, I hoped it would work but didn't care all that much if it didn't, maybe the secret is not to give a darn. I also had  back up plans should disaster have struck. On one board it was that I was secretly wishing the bios would die so I could use the memory in something else, on another board it was that I had a board with the same chipset, and it is fairly likely I could have borrowed that bios then hotswapped for another try, on the third board it was to be a coup de grace, the darn thing was sooooo flakey I either intended to kill it or cure it, not particularly caring which. Murphys law works applied inversely if you can convince the fates you really mean it.

Oh, practical advice!

if you haven't read every page on this site at least 6 times, do so...
http://www.ping.be/bios/
....and go for the round dozen on the FAQ

regards,

Road Warrior
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RoadWarriorCommented:
Urgh, I just re-read and reinterpreted your question.

USE ONLY A FLASH BIOS THAT YOU GET FROM YOUR MOTHERBOARD MANUFACTURER!!!

do not use any other bios version than that recommended or supplied by the manufacturer.

A BIOS is not a commodity object, there are essential differences between a bios on one board and the bios on another. They are optimised, dedicated to the motherboard they are intended for. Some core routines and the setup program look and feel are identical across versions, but the rest is VERY DIFFERENT.

ver 1.0 >>> ver 7.08, what are you trying to do, add PIII support to a socket 5 motherboard??!!!??

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sandman97289Author Commented:
Sorry jhance, thats not the kind of answer I was looking for. I know what you are talking about, however my question was actually aimed at the intricacies of flashing a new bios.
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sandman97289Author Commented:
Roadwarrior, thanx for the info. No I don't intend on putting a P3 on my socket 370 although it supports it. I think the version I mentioned is wrong, that version probably regers to the Award bios flashing program and not the bios itself. I wanted to flash a new one because I wanted some new options in my bios, i.e. core voltage settings and stuff, however doesn't look like anything new has appeared after flashing it with the latest bios from the motherboard comapany. By the way I know a little trick that may work with socket 370 motherboards and the new p3 coppermine. The only visible difference between the coppermine and the earlier p3s is the placement of the reset pin, so if one solders the reset pin from the back of the motherboard to the one intended for coppermines it maybe possible to use a coppermine if your motherboard and ram supports the high bus speeds.
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phandokoCommented:
The best bios is the one provided by the manufacturer as certain chipsets require customised bios.

AS for retaining your current bios to reload it in case the current one is not compatible. YOu could use option 1 of the pflash.exe or aflash.exe utility.

They would be saved to A: for your future use if needed.

TO flash bios, you have to first find out whether the motherboard needs to be "boot blocked". Some motherboards need to have their jumpers changed before flashing of bios.

Unless you are encountering problems, there is no need to update bios.


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sandman97289Author Commented:
Thanx phandoko but Roadwarrior gave me most of the info that I wanted, another thing, is the bios accumulative, i.e. is there a limit to how many bios' I can flash onto the chip if my bios is flashable?
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vikiingCommented:
>>is there a limit to how many bios' I can flash onto the chip if my bios is flashable?

First of old, let's give names to things. "BIOS" stands for "Basic Input/Output System", the main, ultimate and most inner program of your machine; it's the first program which comes to life after pressing the power on button. Thus, a BIOS program is unique, and there exist only ONE at any machine.

To "flash a BIOS" means "to destroy the old program and load a new[er] one". BIOS programs are not cummulative, and if the flashing process fails, your BIOS becomes unusable, and your machine becomes a junk too 'cause you have NO WAY to go back. Some mobo's have a spare BIOS chip which lets you restore the old program if a newr fails, but that's not a rule for all motherboards.
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sandman97289Author Commented:
viking thanx for the info, knew that already though, when I said "another thing" it was intended to be read as "another question" and not "another bios", just clearing any doubts if there were any.
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sandman97289Author Commented:
sorry it took so long, I have been in town for some time.
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