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Big Trouble on BIOS

OK - I hope that I am not screwed. I am working on my wife's work PC, an HP a6400f. When first purchased three years ago, it was preloaded with Vista. I had to roll it back to XP, because her work applications were not Vista compatible at the time. Today, I made a total bonehead move and updated the BIOS, from the HP site, forgetting that I had downgraded the OS. Now, of course the machine won't boot.

Can someone save my cheese by telling me;

1. Is there a BIOS available for WINXP for this motherboard? It is an Asus IPIBL-LB (Benicia)
2. If the answer to 1 is yes, how does one go about flashing the BIOS from a boot disk.
3. Would it make more sense to upgrade the motherboard and processor, thereby forcing a new BIOS on this machine?
4. Where's the best place to crash if your wife kicks your butt?

Thanks for any help!
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CherishedImage
Asked:
CherishedImage
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2 Solutions
 
APNFSSCCommented:
have you tried setting the bios back to factory default's, also what error do you get when it will not boot?
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dbruntonCommented:
Old BIOS but I don't know if this is the original or not.

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareDownloadIndex?softwareitem=pv-66793-2&lc=en&dlc=en&cc=hk&lang=en&os=2100&product=3875703

There are directions on the site how to install it.
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pod86Commented:
Hey,

First of i like your humor :)

Like APNFSSC said can you enter bios at all? are you able to reset it to default? i dont think you can even enter bios right?

1. I have not found a driver for windows xp, but since its HP you can call and lodge a support call with them, they may have offline updates which are not on the internet. If they dont they can advise what steps to take.

2. Try using Ultimate boot CD, it has many features to help you restore your OS and its free.

3. There is a jumper reset on the motherboard to restore your bios to default factory settings, if this does not work you can think about upgrading motherboard.

4. You dont crash anywhere until you fix the problem :) or if your charming use that to buy more time :D
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dbruntonCommented:
An earlier version can be found here, 5.17.

http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t134732.html

Read the link carefully before you go that way.  That is a modded BIOS and I don't know how well it would apply to your system.



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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
Problem is I can't reset to default BIOS since it is for VISTA. The correct BIOS would have to come from an outside source. HP gave me the usual runaround because I chose to downgrade the OS, so they're no help. They told me to take the machine to a repair shop and ask them to flash the BIOS!
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sjklein42Commented:
All fun aside, when you say it doesn't boot, can you be more specific?
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dbruntonCommented:
Will it boot from CD or floppy disk?
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APNFSSCCommented:
ok one thing though, motherboard bios's are usually OS agnostic so there is no such thing as a "Vista Bios", the bios only controls the hardware on the motherboard.

If you cannot get into the bios at all then it's possible you have a "bad flash" and you are going to have trouble getting it going again if you have. (is usually a bin job).

If you can get into the bios then your board is ok and we can help you get it going if you can provide what error is displayed when you try and boot the machine.

Sometimes you need to hit the Tab button on the keyboard so that it displays the full post, do this just after the lights on the keyboard come on.


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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
The start up screen definitely has different graphics. When Windows goes to start, a screen flashes briefly. I notice that it had a command in bold that said "ctrl-I". When I executed the keystrokes a window appeared asking me if I wanted to change the drive to RAID. I exited, and a brief "blue screen of death" flashes and the process starts again with the startup screen. From that point on I get the failed Windows start screen asking if I want normal, safe, last good config, etc. None of these work.
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KCTSCommented:
The BIOS is not OS dependant so it does not matter if you have XP/Vista or indeed Win 7 ! there is no such thing as an XP BIOS or a Vista BIOS. If the BIOS is causing issues then I suggest that its either a 'bad flash' (in which case try again), or you have the wrong BIOS for your machine.
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edbedbCommented:
Okay, there is no XP or Vista specific BIOS. You will have to enter the BIOS settings to undo the change you made changing the drive controller to RAID mode.
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edbedbCommented:
Sorry KCTS, I guess I got sidetracked longer than I thought.
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APNFSSCCommented:
the bios that dbrunton posted above looks like the original bios that shipped with that model, it sounds like you have a driver issue in xp which is causing your problem.

I would look into trying to flash the bios using the version posted by dbrunton.
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edbedbCommented:
The BIOS is fine. It's the SATA controller settings that need to be set.
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dbruntonCommented:
See if you can get into your BIOS.  Not sure which key it is.  Try Del, F10 or look at your manual.

If you can, then exit and download a Linux Live CD such as either Knoppix http://www.knoppix.org/ or Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/

Make the CD and see if your machine will boot from it.  If it will then the question is why the hard disk isn't.
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
ok so when you say download a linux live cd you mean via a different machine?
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dbruntonCommented:
Yes.

I suspect your machine is OK and that it will boot from a CD or a Live Linux CD OK.

If it does then there is a configuration problem.

Note edbedb's comment above.
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
OK, so (forgive me for the newb questions) If I download the correct bios as an executable, and put it on the same disk as Live Linux, can I run the update if the machine boots from the disk?
 
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edbedbCommented:
Please forget about re-programming the BIOS. There is not anything wrong with the one you have.

The way to fix this problem is to enter the BIOS configuration menu, probably by pressing the F10 key when you first turn it on during the HP splash screen. It's okay to press it several times.

Then you will have to find the SATA or HDD controller section.

Post back with what you find and I will try to help you.
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dbruntonCommented:
No problem with the newb question.

Not as an executable.  Linux doesn't understand Windows files.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But before that can you identify which BIOS version you have?

If it is an AMI BIOS (which I think it is) then see here http://www.ami.com/support/bios.cfm

If you've got a Core 7 or AMIBIOS8 version then you can update it from DOS.  This means floppy disk which should be no problem.



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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
I attempted to run Live Linux. It boots and begins to load Live Linux, but says two command lines were not found, and then switches to a black screen with a bunch of ASCII characters and freezes there.
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dbruntonCommented:
Got a floppy drive in this system and a floppy disk?

If you haven't got DOS then go here http://bootdisk.com/bootdisk.htm and download the DOS 5 disk and make it.  Read instructions further down the page.

See if you can boot from the floppy.

------------------------------------------------------

And as asked can you get into this BIOS?
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
OK I am in the BIOS. It says AMI. The version shows 5.43. I am currently looking at the dries section. . .
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edbedbCommented:
Can you find anthing that refers to the HDD controller mode like RAID, AHCI or ATA for example?
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
Under the advanced tab it shows SATA controller mode set to RAID. Other choices are IDE and AHCI. The drives themselves on the main page do not have any change options other than to enable SMART.
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edbedbCommented:
Change the setting to IDE then save and restart the computer.
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
BINGO!!! You Rock! So my question is, Why would any BIOS update default the SATA controller to RAID?
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edbedbCommented:
"When I executed the keystrokes a window appeared asking me if I wanted to change the drive to RAID. I exited, and a brief "blue screen of death"

You may have pressed the wrong key at that point.
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CherishedImageAuthor Commented:
Weird, because I didn't enter that screen until the update had failed and the machine stopped working. Anyway, thank you for your sage advice! You and dbrunton were a huge help!
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dbruntonCommented:
Depending on how you originally installed XP SATA mode may work as well.

If you don't remember then leave it as IDE.
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