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Clevo 2800T Bios problem

Hi all - a client has recently performed a bad flash on a Clevo 2800T laptop. At the moment the machine is dead. I've 90% stripped it and can't find a socketed Bios chip anywhere. I also can't find a mobo layout or mobo details for this model anywhere. The questions are as follows :

1 Can I get a mobo layout for this model anywhere ? (mfrs website provides poor support)
2 If 1 is a no, does anyone know whether this models bios is hard wired, or should I really turn it into 1000 pieces to check ?
3 If it is hard wired is it possible to reflash it ?
4 If I can't do 3, does this model take a generic mobo, and where can I get one ?

All input welcome.

Krakers.
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krakers
Asked:
krakers
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1 Solution
 
AuriclusCommented:
Hello Krakers,

You can download the manual for the laptop here: http://www.clevo.com.tw/download/USRManualOut.asp?model=2300T%2F2800T&menual=+GO+

The manual says that the BIOS for the Clevo is SystemSoft MobilePro.  However, after going to the SystemSoft site, they state they no longer provide BIOS and have discontinued their support.
http://www.systemsoft.com/l-2/l-3/support-bios.htm

After searching for awhile, it appears that the SystemSoft BIOS are not out there, so therefore the motherboard is obsolete.  You will not be able to use any kind of "generic" BIOS to replace it, it needs to be specifically the SystemSoft BIOS.  I understand how your client got into this trouble, as it seems they wanted to upgrade but ran into the same problems, namely, they couldn't find an upgraded Systemsoft BIOS so they tried a different version which brought the whole thing to its knees.

Now that you have the laptop open, take out the hard drive and fit it into a 2.5 external casing with USB so that the client will at least be able to access all of their data again from another machine.

Too bad more can't be done. Win some, lose some.

Auriclus

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rindiCommented:
There probably is not much you can do, except maybe look on ebay or a similar place for a mainboard for your PC.

I have never before heard of the "Clevo" Brand, so I'm assuming this is a "noname" type notebook. Under "noname" I understand a smaller company which by itself doesn't make the parts, it just buys the mostly finished parts from a bigger manufacturer, sticks its own label on the PC and sells it under it's name. So it is likely that there are a lot of similar notebooks of other brandnames around, all using the same motherboard etc. If you have the time you might therefore want to look for a notebook which looks similar to yours and has the same locations at the back of it for the connectors, and at the bottom for the ram modules. If you can find something like that, you may also get lucky and be able to use that motherboard in your notebook.
Personaly I don't think it is worth all the research and time, so a new PC probably is cheaper, or even returning it to clevo for repairs...
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nobusCommented:
you can try this :

http://www.recoverybios.com/                              replace bios
http://www.badflash.com/                                        "          "
http://www.amptron.com/documents/Recover.pdf                  recover BIOS
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krakersAuthor Commented:
Hi Auriclus, Rindi and nobus thanks for your responses.

Unfortunately it seems that you've all just revisited where I've already been. The questions were quite specific and after a morning again working on the laptop I can answer them myself now.

1 Haven't been able to find a good mobo layout anywhere. Did manage to get a pic of the 2300T http://www.pchub.com/uph/catf/BigPicture.aspx?iid=6833&PhotPath=6320736088679687502_ACCMBOAPR2300T.jpg which is identical as far as I can tell. This didn't show a removable BIOS chip.

2 I took it totally apart anyway just in case the BIOS was stashed away in a corner and was removable. It isn't, its hard wired to the mobo.

3 As its hard wired, the only way to reflash it (I believe) is to unsolder it from the mobo and use a flashing service or Eprom burner then resolder. As you may appreciate this is a lot of trouble to go to.

4 The mobo model number is 71-22T00-D03. Can't even find similar no-name laptops with this mobo so I could have a greater number of spares to go at. These guys http://www.pchub.com/uph/catf/showitem.aspx?catid=64&iid=6833&mid=400 are offering one for £100 but are out of stock.

Krakers
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nobusCommented:
BTW, the links above include companies that reprogram the bios
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krakersAuthor Commented:
Hi Nobus - I'm aware of both of these companies. They only reprogram *removable* BIOS chips, hence the reason for my originaly question.

Krakers.
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waffleironheadCommented:
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krakersAuthor Commented:
Hi waffleironhead - thanks for your link.

I had searched Ebay myself, but I came up blank - you're obviously a better searcher ;-)

The mobo comes with no warranty (untested). Obviously I'd be replacing a dead one with it and there'd be no guarantees this one hasn't suffered a similar fate. I've sent a message to the seller anyway asking if they have any history on it. A used one would be fine, I just need to know it works first.

I'll keep you posted.

Krakers
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waffleironheadCommented:
http://www.laptopsolutions.plc.uk/clevo_spares.htm

well it seems ive wasted the better part of the morning looking and this is all ive found, might want to email them to se if they have one...

good luck

hth
waffle
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PCBONEZCommented:
Here it is... Or a link to it.. It's a working link, I checked.

http://www.bios-drivers.com/drivers/256/256317.htm
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krakersAuthor Commented:
PCBONEZ - not sure why you've posted that link as it doesn't address anything asked.
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AuriclusCommented:
PCBonez posted that because instead of purchasing a new mainboard, you could reassemble the laptop and try and reflash the BIOS with the correct BIOS update which the link he provided leads to.  It is possible to fix a bad flash by reflashing with the correct BIOS.  Keep in mind, the system will need be in good enough working shape to run a boot disk.  If the client flashed the BIOS with one which is completely different, you might not even be able to get a boot disk running and therefore won't have any alternative but to replace the mainboard.

Auriclus
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PCBONEZCommented:
Yes,, That's exactly what I was suggesting.
Sorry, I should have said so..
My pocket protector and I thought it was clear when I wrote it.
I just assumed it was understood.... So Sorry..
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PCBONEZCommented:
If you can get the thing to boot from a floppy disk you can probably reflash back to the old BIOS.
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krakersAuthor Commented:
I'm sorry guys, but both have you have not read my initial or subsequent posts properly. The machine is dead. Theres no chance of booting anything on it, let alone trying to reflash. The user manual which I had already seen (hence my reference to the mfrs website) did not contain a pic of the mobo either. I'd already been down those avenues before posting. My questions were quite specific concerning the bios chip and the mobo. I now know that the bios chip is not removable (as I posted) so the replacement mobo is now the only solution.

Thank you for your time anyway.
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PCBONEZCommented:
It's not the only solution if you know how to solder....
But profesionally I'm an electronics tech and not a PC tech so that's an easy leap for me...

Prestigio models 2300T and 2800T have the same mainboard model number but I can't see your's so you'll have to verify if it's the same board or not..

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=%2B%2271-22T00-D03%22&btnG=Google+Search

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krakersAuthor Commented:
Hi PCBONEZ - they are indeed the same mobo.

While I can solder, I'm actually a PC-tech and would only really attempt it if a replacement chip was readily available. As its a non-standard bios mfr (systemsoft), its also a non standard chip. If I could get my hands on a working chip I'd definately give it a go. Unfortuinately the companies you can buy ready made chips from only support the most popular formats. Also systemsoft don't produce bios anymore, so I can't even get one from the manufacturer.

I'd be quite happy to release the laptop to a third party to fix if the price was right. So far I've been quoted £197 from laptop solutions as pointed out by Waffle. Given its not the newest piece of kit its not really worth the spend (plus my fee).

If you're in the UK I'd be willing to let you have the business, again, subject to price.

Krakers.
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PCBONEZCommented:
I'm in the US..
If you have the BIOS code chips can be 'burned' in a device called an EEPROM programmer.
There are variations. Different programmers for different specific chip styles/packages.

All you have to have is:
The code.
.. (Systemsoft might not sell chips anymore but I'm sure they'd have the code on file. Would fit on a floppy.)
.. (This is NOT just the flash. I'm talking the WHOLE BIOS code.)
A blank (empty) chip of the right type to burn to.
.. (The 'blank' chips are standard electronics components. Usually cost like $5.)
Someone with a programmer for that blank chip.
.. (Fairly standard electronics equipment. This would be the real expense. I'm GUESSING $25-$50.)

While I KNOW it CAN be done,,
I totally agree that the best (speediest and most cost effective) solution is probably to replace the board or system.

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PCBONEZCommented:
The question was can it be easily fixed and the answer was no..
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waffleironheadCommented:
i would prefer that the question be PAQ'd. To delete this doesnt do anyone any good.





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krakersAuthor Commented:
The question was NOT "can it be easily fixed" as posted by PCBONEZ.

The questions were (Quoting my oringinal Q) :

"1 Can I get a mobo layout for this model anywhere ? (mfrs website provides poor support)
2 If 1 is a no, does anyone know whether this models bios is hard wired, or should I really turn it into 1000 pieces to check ?
3 If it is hard wired is it possible to reflash it ?
4 If I can't do 3, does this model take a generic mobo, and where can I get one ?"

All 4 Q's were answered by myself.

I agree with Waffleironhead that it shouldn't be deleted as the Q's were answered. However if the contributing experts would prefer a PAQ as some contributions may be found useful to people with SIMILAR problems, then I would be happy to award them all with 25 points and a grade of C. This is fair in view of the specific questions asked, and the fact that they were not addressed.

Krakers.
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waffleironheadCommented:
i'm really not interested in any points, although if i get enough together and put them with my 50 cents i should be able to buy a coffee, but i digress

the question should be paqed and refunded

.02
waffle

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NetminderCommented:
Closed, 250 points refunded.
Netminder
Site Admin
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PCBONEZCommented:
1 Can I get a mobo layout for this model anywhere ? (mfrs website provides poor support)
~~ So I can fix the motherboard..
2 If 1 is a no, does anyone know whether this models bios is hard wired, or should I really turn it into 1000 pieces to check ?
~~ So I can fix the motherboard..
3 If it is hard wired is it possible to reflash it ?
~~ So I can fix the motherboard..
4 If I can't do 3, does this model take a generic mobo, and where can I get one ?
~~ So I can fix the motherboard..

...

Out of the membership guidelines:

...1...
The correct answer to some questions is "you can't do that"

Sometimes, you'll get an answer that isn't what you want to hear; that doesn't make it a bad answer. When you ask a question, the assumption is that you don't know the answer, so how you ask the question is important. If you ask "how do I keep my HTML code hidden", the only answer that is legitmate is "don't post in on the Internet" -- and the fact that you don't like it carries no weight. Further, the fact that you offered points means that the person who first tells you "you can't do that". or "No, it cannot be done" is correct, and deserves the points.


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