'Unknown flash type' when trying BIOS upgrade on Abit BH6 mainboard

I use an old PC for a 'plug things in to test and trial' machine.  It has an Abit BH6 mainboard with 4.51PG BIOS version HN.  I wish to upgrade to the latest / last (still old, but newer!) SS version in order to test a wireless network card.  

The machine as it stands, works fine.  At the end of the boot up POST, 'unknown flash type' appears.  When trying to upgrade the BIOS, the same error appears when using the appropriate Award or third party BIOS flash utilities.  

There appears to be no BIOS lock visible in the setup lists. Note - I have an electronics / IT hardware background and am quite at ease doing BIOS upgrades.

Any ideas / solutions to get the flash type to be able to be recognised would be most welcome.

Cheers,


Stuart
stunickAsked:
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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I have one of those BH6 motherboards, which I ran up to 1GHz with a Celeron.  You have to be sure you are using the right flash program, or it won't work.  AWDFLASH is the right one, but the program is different, depending on whether you got rev a 1.0 or rev 1.1 motherboard.  Check the PCB lettering on the side.

http://www.anomaly.org.au/bh6faq/Bios_Info/bios_info.html
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Sam CohenConsultant to Digital/DeveloperCommented:
see you need to make sure that the right "ver" of that model is selected when you flashed the bios
abit has a program that will do the bio upgrade for you and would have detected early if you installed the wrong
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stunickAuthor Commented:
Thanks all4artz.  Yes I'm more than familiar with the version issues, available flash utilities and so on.  To this point I've not yet been able to flash the BIOS owing to the flash RAM not being recognised by the flash utility (whether from Abit, Award or whoever else).  I guess perhaps that the flash RAM device has a perhaps unfixable problem, however that remains to be seen.  Does anyone have any ideas with regard to any 'lock' or other blocks that may exist on the BH6 board and/or pertaining to the flash RAM that is installed on it??  And if so, how to access it and unlock it??  Or any other thoughts and ideas on this issue.  

Cheers

Stu
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Sam CohenConsultant to Digital/DeveloperCommented:
you cant get to the floppy drive boot up to reflash it?
when are you getting the error?is it after the POst the drive and bootupdrvs?
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Sam CohenConsultant to Digital/DeveloperCommented:
do you hav an back up of the original file.
also did you clear cmos?
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stunickAuthor Commented:
The error appears after the POST texts.  That is not a problem - the machine itself works OK.  However in trying to run any of the DOS flash utils, they all fail when trying to access or identify the flash RAM type.  Yes, I've cleared the cmos right before attempting the upgrade and always do bios upgrades from the floppy where I do have a backup of the original bios.
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stunickAuthor Commented:
Further to the above, using the little 'BIOS Agent' test utilty (BA.exe) from eSupport.com the results show as 'Unknown' for BIOS ROM  'In socket' and 'Size' checks...  (other machines here show the correct answers)
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stunickAuthor Commented:
And even more on the above problem...  I got hold of a dead Abit BH6 mainboard and swapped the BIOS module (which had a slightly newer BIOS version QN installed).  Still same problem - the 'Unknown Flash Type' error is displayed at the end of the boot up POST and I cannot do a BIOS upgrade using any of the standard flash upgrade utilities.  So that comfirms its not the BIOS chip that's at fault, directly anyway.
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stunickAuthor Commented:
Yup, well thanks to everyone.  I've got another newer M/board which solved the problem, though still leaves me with the old populated one on the shelf!!
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kwallerjr1Commented:
Hi Stuart,

I realize that there's an Accepted Answer, however, I thought you might be interested in this.  I had exactly the same "problem" with a K7SEM v1.0 MB.  Just after POST, I would see the Unknown Flash Type message, and when I tried to flash the BIOS with the Award AWD822A.exe utility & the K7SEM11E.BIN file, I would also get the Unknow Flash Type message and the process would terminate.  I found the MB user manual online and noticed that there is a jumper JP3 that is used to enable or disable BIOS Read Only.  After I changed the jumper to pins 1 & 2 (the disable setting), the Unknown Flash Type message at the end of POST was gone, and I was able to flash the BIOS.

Regards
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stunickAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your note re the jumper BIOS enable / disable setting.  Yes, I am aware of such hardware jumpers particularly on older M/b's, but try as I might am unable to locate anything on that board that even looks like it may have such a function!  It is the only remaining solution that comes to mind, but, wow, finding it is something else.  Its not mentioned in the user manual and being an older board there is little or no tech support available.  Pity as tho its a slower board, such things are certainly still useful here and there.

Cheers
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CallandorCommented:
I have flashed my BH6 from the early BIOS versions all the way to SS, and I am sure this board does not have a jumper to prevent flashing.
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