Adaptec 2940UW BIOS Problem - Flash & Forget ?

Posted on 2004-08-06
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Adaptec 2940UW BIOS Problem - Flash & Forget ?

This is a follow up to my previous plea for help in regards to my Adaptec AHA-2940UW SCSI PCI Host Adapter for my PC.  My system: AMD Athlon TBird 1 Gighz, Gigabyte 7VT600-P-L Motherboard, 512 Megs DDR Ram, Geforce2 GTS videocard, SB Live! Soundcard, Iomega Zip 100 Internal Drive, Hitachi GD-7000 DVDRom, 40 Gig Maxtor 5T040H4 ATA100 HDD, 9 Gig Seagate ST39216W Internal SCSI HDD, Windows 2000 Pro.

My problem had to do with the Adaptec 2940UW SCSI Host Adapter's BIOS not being available at POST.  No <CTRL><A> for SCSISelect Utility banner displays during POST.  After several replies many of you pointed me to older versions of the FLASH.EXE util (ie. version 1.0, 2.0, 2.1) to get around the "No Bios Detected" during the flashing process I was experiencing due to a corrupt host adapter bios.  After tracking down the older FLASH.EXE utils (v1.0, 1.32, 2.0.5), i launched the util and Displayed the Current Bios Checksum which was 0000. I began flashing and was successful according to the util:
BIOS has been updated successfully.
New BIOS Checksum is 1300

However on reboot I still found no SCSISelect Util banner during POST.  On returning to the FLASH.EXE util to display the current BIOS checksum I discovered it to be 0000 and not the successful flash of 1300 just minutes earlier.

Someone, perhaps Folkert or Matt, suggested to use an older PC so I located one.  Pentium 1 with nothing installed but a floppy drive and the Adaptec 2940UW PCI Host Adapter + Seagate SCSI HDD.  Here's my sequence on the older PC:
[1]. I launched Caledera Dr-Dos to get to the DOS prompt
[2]. Launched FLASH.EXE v1.0 util
[3]. Once in the util I Displayed the Current BIOS Checksum, which came to be 0000
[4]. I Erased the BIOS
[5]. Again checked the Current BIOS Checksum, which came to be 0000
[6]. Updated the BIOS with 29402200.rom
[7]. Eventually the util returned the message: BIOS has been updated successfully. New Bios Checksum is 1300
[8]. Again, Displayed the Current Bios Checksum, which came to be 1300
[9]. I quit the util, which Reboots the PC
[10]. The system goes thru POST.
[11]. After the POST memory check and IDE drive detection, I *now* see:
 Adaptec aha-2940UW Ultra W SCSI Bios v2.20.0
 1999 Adaptec, Press <CTRL><A> For SCSISelect Utility
 SCSI ID:0  Seagate ST39216W  Hard Disk: 0
 SCSI Bios Installed Successfully!
[12]. I let the system continue running Caledera Dr-Dos from floppy to get to the Dos prompt.
[13]. I warm reboot the system and see the POST screen again, however this time there is *no* Adaptec Banner!
[14]. I return to the Dos prompt and launch FLASH.EXE v1.0.  Display Currnet Bios Checksum which is now 0000. ?!?

As you can see from the above it seems like the BIOS *is* being written to the Host Adapter its just not being 'permanetly' stored after the second reboot or even after a 1 minute power off of the system.  This old PC seems to be able to get much farther than my AMD Tbird system but what good is it if the BIOS isnt permanent!  Isn't the chip supposed to be EPROM?!

I did enter SCSISelect Utility during POST to have a look around.  Everything seems to be in order, I suppose.  The banner is set to display verbose, auto-termination enabled, Host Adpater SCSI ID is 7, Boot Drive is SCSI-ID 0, I have no clue what "Reset SCSI Bus at IC Initialization: [ENABLED]" nor "Send Start Unit Command: [NO]".  IRQ = 11, I/O Port = 6000H.

I did try using FLASH.EXE v2.0 Alpha 7 but it just popped up as a visual glitch and crashed.  Odd.  Basically the only utils which worked for me were v1.0, v2.0 Alpha 5.

Well, that's it.  I hope someone out there can help me get over this final hurdle toward getting my SCSI Host Adapter BIOS consistently functional on my current AMD Tbird system.

Thanks for any questions or comments.
Question by:ljaques
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 11741402
Sounds like you've rendered the BIOS useless...get a new SCSI card...T
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Dynamic1 earned 300 total points
ID: 11742195
Try Adaptec Support. I have ruined a bios chip before and they replaced it free of charge only I had to pay one way shipping. Sounds Like the bios chip is no good not holding Information longer than a few minutes. Give em a call they are usually really good with those types of problems and usually do not charge.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 11744522
Are there any jumpers/pin pairs at all on this board? If so make sure you haven't accidentally disabled the host adapter BIOS.

Author Comment

ID: 11757854
No jumpers/pins on the board.

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