Asus striker extreme board bad bios flash

the board was working fine, when i saw that it was on a rather old bios version
so i decided to flash it, using ASUS EZflash program from the bios.
so i downloaded the correct file (2002) and used it to flash the bios
the program run ok, checked the file, and started flashing -  no problems whatsoever
only - it would not boot again after the flash - resulting in the infamous (or must i say famous) CPU INIT error you get at pwr on
i tried installing 800 and 556 DDR2 (for different ram voltages - as you find on the net  http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/253146-30-init-error-solution-maximus-striker
see also the kostakiss solution -  but neither helped

do you have any ideas?
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nobusAsked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Any chance the motherboard may have been bad, causing the BIOS update to fail?  Assuming you have the correct BIOS then it should update on a good motherboard.
nobusAuthor Commented:
yeas - that is what i was supposed to think - practice showed otherwise
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the board won't start, the only practical option I know of is to replace it.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
In general if a BIOS update fails and there's no way to redo it the board is a paperweight.

However, it does seem this board has a known history of this issue, and can usually be recovered with a lot of patience ... including some pretty extreme measures (e.g. putting the BIOS battery in with reversed polarity -- I would NOT try that except as an absolute last resort).

This seems to be the best outline of all the steps that folks have tried -- the author claims to have recovered 6 of the 7 boards he's dealt with that had this issue:  http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/243673-30-asus-striker-extreme-init

It does seem you need to be very patient in trying some of these steps -- if you don't wait long enough they aren't effective.
nobusAuthor Commented:
Gary tx for stepping in, appreciated
i must add i have been trying all kinds of solutions for several weeks, and my post here is a kind of "last straw" attempt
>>  the BIOS battery in with reversed polarity -- I would NOT try that  <<  would you believe that the ASUS support suggested that also ?

imo there must be some way the manufacturer can reprogram the bios on board, without soldering; on some older boards there was a connector even for it
of course- they don't tell us
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Agree putting the battery in backwards is pretty extreme.     As are several of the steps outlined by "jetfx" in the linked post (the long dialogue on 23 July 2007)

If the board is at the "last straw" point -- where you're going to just toss it anyway, it wouldn't hurt to try the "alternative option 1"  (backwards battery) ... but I suspect your board is simply dead.
nobusAuthor Commented:
already tried
it is weird; it was running ok - but after the flash (remember : no problems!) all i have at pwr on = side display with CPU INIT on it
i can start the fan, and stop it with the switch
i tried for weeks - letting it purge/bleed/die and retried occasionally
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
I have experience in laptops, not desktops. sorry. But one solution can be this:
Grab an older processor (a cheap duo) and use it on the board. That should let you boot up so you can downgrade your bios to your previous version. Many people also reported that 2002 version is buggy! you better revert back to 1901 if possible.

You can also check this out. It says you can purchase new bios chip for your board for a 10-15$ fee. That's perfect if all methods fail and you need to keep that old man around ;)

Can you tell me what is the bios chip brand (read the IC on the board) and how many pins it has?

I assume you have done the correct way of cmos clear procedure (as you're an expert, I don't dare to say you've done wrong, but sometimes experts miss a simple point too LOL, so double check that. Because sometimes a full default settings is needed after update). Here

Putting the battery upside down doesn't seem very harmful to me! lol. try it out... A 1.5 volt battery can't do much to your board :D
nobusAuthor Commented:
ok i got my microscope out and have the following Winbond chip :
w
also - as for replacing the chip  - it's soldered - not socketed
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
oh, I looked up your bios and saw it had 32 pins . My laptop bios had only 8 pins lol
So it can't be programmed by a regular/cheap hand made eeprom programmer!
And I couldn't find any raw bios images for this.

You could either buy a new bios, or throw it away. (or testing the reverse battery option)

"also - as for replacing the chip  - it's soldered - not socketed "
You can either de-solder it carefully (skill needed) or use a hot-air tool to remove it (skill needed).
Another option is to let a repair-shop replace it for you and the total cost is not much. Our local shops do this for around 7$.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
If the board's worth the effort to you, you could order a new BIOS chip:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/BIOS-CHIP-ASUS-STRIKER-EXTREME-/170976932999

Replacing it can be a tedious process, but if you've VERY careful it's not "hard" -- just takes a LOT of patience.   If it's a surface-mounted chip you can CAREFULLY cut the pins with a Dremel, then use a soldering iron and soldering braid to remove the residual bits; clean the pads; and then clean the mounting area with a solvent ... then just pop on the replacement BIOS chip and solder it in place.
nobusAuthor Commented:
Gary, i found that site too (in UK) - as for now, it looks like the only way out

if somebody knows how to get the board running otherwise-- plse tell me
nobusAuthor Commented:
i tried even buying the chip - but ebay did not let me register properly, or let me pay other than PayPal - which i don't have, or want
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Sounds like it may be time to just toss the board.
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
You can always search laptop repair shops, they may have an unused board, it may help you.

Here, I found this one. Sells it at lower price (you can also get the extractor tool):
http://www.biosflash.com/e/Bios-Chips-ASUS-STRIKER-EXTREME-486.htm

striker.png
I don't know what is your method of payment
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
I also found another bios recovery method which matches your chip but is not for the faint at heart.
Requires courage, one Voltmeter and a Normal or USB floppy disk!
If you have the above items, inform me ;)
nobusAuthor Commented:
i have everything needed - so plse tell me

@Gary - the board is already out of commission, but it is just an attempt to see how far i get, and what can be done  ( i Always learn from difficult problems) - so see it as a study object
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Understand -- I've done that with a LOT of equipment over many years :-)
nobusAuthor Commented:
i never doubted that Gary - it's one of the  sparse ways to get knowledge
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
As your board uses AWARD bios, this general method for award may work:

Some BIOS chips have a built-in Boot Block sector, which allows the BIOS to be recovered if it is corrupted by a power mishap, misflash, or a virus. You really don't need to throw away a mobo just to recover from a boot block mode.
The shorting trick should work if the boot block code is not corrupted, and it would not be corrupted if /sb switch was used when flashing the bios instead of /wb switch.

plcc_dip32.jpg
The two (2) pins used in shorting to force a checksum error vary from chip to chip. Usually these are the highest-numbered address pins (A10 and above). Most common are pins number 2 & 3. (refer to image) These are the pins used by the system to read the System BIOS (original.bin for Award V.6), now, calculate the ROM checksum and see if it's valid before decompressing it into the memory, and subsequently allowing Bootblock POST to pass control over to the System BIOS.

You just have to 'fool' the system into believing that the System BIOS is corrupt. You can do this by shorting the two (2) high address pins, thereby making it difficult for your system to read the System BIOS subsequently resulting to a ROM Checksum Error and activating a Bootblock recovery.

There will be cases that shorting any combination of the high address pins would not work to force a checksum error in some chips, like in the case of Winbond W49F002U. Shorting the #WE (Write Enable) with the highest-numbered address pin (A17) worked for this chip. You just have to experiment a little if you're not comfortable with "Hot Flashing" or "Replacement BIOS".

According to your chip datasheet (attached) and the above statement you may first go for (3 and 4) or (3 and 30) or (23 and 30). (Refer to your datasheet not the numbers on the sample image)

If you're not sure which are the correct pins to short and avoid further damaging your chip, measure the potential between the 2 pins using a Voltmeter while the system is on. If the voltage reading is zero (or no potential at all), then it is safe to short these pins. But do not short the pins while the system is on. Instead, power down short the pins then power up. And as soon as you hear 3 beeps (1 long, 2 short), remove the short at once so that automatic reflashing from Drive A can proceed without errors (assuming you had autoexec.bat in it).

To make a Recovery floppy disk, use this link.
Get awdflash utility from here. (I think 7.78 or 7.75 suits you)

The tip of a screwdriver would do in shorting the pins but with such tiny pins on the PLCC chip, I'm pretty comfortable using a precision screwdriver. Short the pins at the point where they come protrude of the chip. Be careful not to short other pins as this might damage the CMOS chip or the mobo itself.

I've done shorting before on flash drives too. And restored some dead flash drives!
Good luck
datasheet.pdf

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nobusAuthor Commented:
Thanks a lot for that info - Always useful Arman
 i'll have a go at it the coming days
in the meantime, you said "and it would not be corrupted if /sb switch was used when flashing the bios instead of /wb switch"  i assume that is when you use a DOS system for flashing?  -- and what doezs the switches mean or do?
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
You're welcome
As far as I know "wb" switch wipes and re-writes the boot block and "sb" skips the boot block.
WB = wipe bootblock/write bootblock
SB = skip bootblock

I also think that all automated methods of flashing under windows skip the boot block. Because it's not recommended to flash the bootblock without reason. You may still have a chance!
nobusAuthor Commented:
well - it is bad like it is -  so i have nothing to loose - and a lot to gain kpax (why is that name not shown?  a bit confusing)
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
Right. However I always do all these things on living and fine systems lol, I don't care if I break it. I always learn more!
If this method doesn't work out, you can try changing the bios chip, if you like.

I'm glad if i can help.

"why is that name not shown?  a bit confusing"
Because in the new site launch they added a feature for users to input their first name and last name. If you update these two fields, they replace your nickname in the site comments.
You probably didn't update your name section in the profile edit or entered your nickname in the First name field and left the last name blank ;)
nobusAuthor Commented:
from the datasheet, it seems the 2 pins to short are 3 and 4 - right?
b
and instead of a bootable  floppy, can i use a bootable USB2 stick, formatted as FAT ?
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
You can try different combinations. Yes, in picture above you can try (3&4) or (3&30) or (23&30) or (5&6) or other combinations like (5&3). Just test it with multi-meter/voltmeter. I believe any combinations of GPI0-GPI4 and #WE can be done.

Also As the mobo is old it may not react well to USB disks. You'd better try the floppy first. My old mobo cant boot from USB.

You said you had a floppy above!
nobusAuthor Commented:
Arman i totally agree with you; i have many floppies and drives - the only reason i asked about the usb stick is that it is more trustworthy regarding data reading / writing

ok  floppies tested - disk drive ready
i have awdflash778.exe
can you tell me what i put on the floppy to start the flash automatic - as you said?
it starts up to dos ok
but  i have no room enough for copying the bin file on the floppy
the Dos system takes more than 550Kb - and the bios file is 1.024 Kb
How can i solve this -  ?
if i put awdflash in the root + 1801.bin file (=bios update file)
i assume i put awdflash778 1801.bin in the autoexec file but what options ? - can you post an example ?
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
Why 1801 ?  As Far as I know only 2002 is faulty. You can download 1901 version from here.

I also found the best AWDFLASH tool for your mobo, which is version 1.31 and is only 30KB in size!
Get it from here.

Capacity is a big problem in floppies lol, but you could try cleaning up the dos disk a bit!
Many files in the dos disk are not needed. Give me a screenshot and I can tell you which is safe to remove. As far as I remember, you can safely remove SCANDISK.EXE, SCANDISK.INI and SCANREG.EXE. The files starting with XCOPY can be removed as well.

If after removing all unnecessary files you couldnt fit bios in the floppy, you may have to make a USB disk. but before that you can also try a smaller/older bios file from here. The initial release is only 620KB in size!

Just don't blame me if all tries fail! I just wanna help!
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
2 Notes came to my mind!

1- After visiting Bootdisk.com download the 3rd item (Driver Free Disk For BIOS Flashing).  It's the most small boot disk and all unneeded files are removed.

2- Delete the config.sys file. If you cannot see this file, make sure that the viewing of both hidden and system files is enabled in your Windows Explorer settings.
If there is no config.sys file on your boot disk, open the file ‘autoexec’ with notepad. Delete anything that is in there and copy and save these lines:

@ECHO OFF
@AWDFLASH BIOSFILE.BIN /cc /py /sn /r

Make sure that, when you save the file, the file extension is .bat, not .txt (If you wanna use "Save as" usually you have to select "All files" in the file type and put ".bat" manually at the end of file name in the save as dialog). Replace ‘BIOSFILE.BIN’ with the name of the BIOS image. For example if you wanna use "1901.bin" your autoexec should look like this:

@ECHO OFF
@AWDFLASH 1901.BIN /cc /py /sn /r

3- Don't try to test this floppy disk on another AWARD/Phoenix/Dell motherboard as it may flash this file to it, LOL you can test with virtual machines or systems with other bios systems.
Use with caution!

I take no responsibility if you damage anything in this regard! You do it all at your own risk!
nobusAuthor Commented:
ok - i followed your guide to the point, and was able to create the startup floppy like that, with the bin file + awd flash on it
i removed the auoexec.bat file for testing -  and saw it won't work; it asks for date and time, as you can see here
s
the files on the floppy look like this
d
i guess were very near the final try now - and wish to thank you for all the effort you made for me, and info you gave
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
!!PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!
I didn't say anything about removing Autoexec.bat !!
I said remove config.sys if it exists!

Don't remove "Autoexec.bat"! Just Right click on it and select "Edit". Copy and paste the following 2 lines in it and then save it:

@ECHO OFF
@AWDFLASH BIOSFILE.BIN /cc /py /sn /r

I think if you wanna see verbose output you can write this:

ECHO ON
AWDFLASH BIOSFILE.BIN /cc /py /sn /r
nobusAuthor Commented:
Arman - i know that
i removed it for testing the floppy on a working pc - without starting to flash it
i know i can also use REM in front of any line in the autoexec file

i wanted to be safe while testing - and if the data/time question comes up - it does not get as far as the autoexec ithink - or am i wrong ?
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
I wanted to be safe while testing - and if the data/time question comes up - it does not get as far as the autoexec ithink - or am i wrong ?
If you wanna test the functionality of the dos floppy without removing the Autoexec.bat, you can replace the  "AWDFLASH BIOSFILE.BIN /cc /py /sn /r " line with something like:

echo "Hello World!"
echo "Autoexec Works Properly!"

Open in new window


If the above message shows up it means that if you replace those lines with award flasher commands it will actually flash the bios.
nobusAuthor Commented:
i thought that would be my next step - though i replace world with Arman
i will close this and award you the points right now
and continue in another Q
this one :  http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28928627/bad-bios-flash-on-an-Asus-striker-extreme-board.html
nobusAuthor Commented:
thanks for all the trouble you took, and patience !
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
You're welcome! But Still you have a lot to do, and I wasn't expecting the closure of this question so fast, LOL!
Anyway I'm glad to help. I hope the rest goes fine, and you succeed.

Good luck flashing!
nobusAuthor Commented:
in any case - i'll post the outcome here too
i only wish you could have more than the poor 500 points
you deserve more for the way you kept helping !
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
Thank you!
Also see your board manual. maybe there's an easier way to flash.
Waiting for the results, will be happy to see a dead board come back to life!
Have you tried turning on the computer without CPU? it may get past the post...
nobusAuthor Commented:
i tried by shorting pins 2-3, and 3-30 ; but nothing happens as i expected

it simply comes on at power up with the display CPU INIT

>>  Have you tried turning on the computer without CPU? it may get past the post...   <<   really? i never saw any board do anything without cpu

plse clarify what you mean
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The BIOS runs on the CPU, so it can't post without one.   There is an auxiliary microprocessor that's part of the chipset (years ago it was an 8085; I'm not sure what the architecture is on modern chipsets) that controls things like the "soft power-on"  [i.e. monitors the power switch and communicates with the power supply to turn it on -- also monitors the switch for a "hold down" to force an outage if the main CPU is "hung"; and does a few other ancilliary functions].    But that isn't used to run any BIOS code.    Some Asus motherboards have an additional dedicated microprocessor that provides a "BIOS Flashback" capability => you can actually flash the BIOS without a CPU installed !!    But you can't boot to that BIOS without installing the primary CPU :-)
nobusAuthor Commented:
Gary - in your opinion - what does start the cpu  - or what holds it in the CPU init phase?
plse understand - this is only out of interest - the board is since long considered bad
but if it can possibly be waked up - it's nice to try
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The chipset microprocessor monitors the reset button, and when it detects that it's been pressed (i.e. when the appropriate two pins are shorted on the motherboard), it sends a reset signal to the primary CPU, which causes it to start executing at the default address.   With an 8086 this address was FFFF0H => and for at least the next several generations that was still the case ... they would revert to Real mode and start executing at FFFF0H on reset => this was always an address within the BIOS, which would then set up the registers, switch to protected mode, etc.

I do NOT know if this has changed with the newest generation of processors ... been "out of the loop" too many years -- but I suspect the general process is the same, even if the specifics have changed.

Unless you have an oscilloscope and can monitor the address bus signaling to see what's happening at reset, it's unlikely you can really do much else with that board.    Even if you could confirm that it's resetting correctly, that won't help if there's no code at the reset address for the CPU to execute (i.e. if the BIOS is corrupted and isn't executing the correct set of initialization instructions).
nobusAuthor Commented:
Well - the above is certainly worth knowing
i have an oscilloscope (not digital)
so - if you  have more info on that topic (=inspect what happens) please tell me, or where to find it

again, i love learning things - and i don't care if the board is wrecked (it does not work now anyhow, so i cannot loose anything)
i have even working older boards from that era to compare
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Without a digital scope that can capture the address bus on a reset, I don't know how you could actually confirm exactly what's happening at the moment of a reset.     In any event, it's highly unlikely that's an issue -- at this point if you want to keep working on the board, I think it's time to (a) de-solder and remove the BIOS chip; (b) buy a replacement (You may have to create a PayPal account to buy the one we discussed earlier); and (c) install the replacement chip.

That likely has the best chance of actually bringing the board back to life.
nobusAuthor Commented:
that i agree to
but why is it hanging at cpu init??  that's bugging me
if you like, i'll open another Q for this matter ?
Arman KhodabandeIT Manager and ConsultantCommented:
The 2002 version of that bios is faulty. And by chance it conflicts with some boards/configurations.
I've seen a ton of cases on the net which led to disaster after updating to 2002.

Have you tried other bios pin combinations? don't limit yourself to that 2 combinations. try many combinations. Just test with multi-meter and short.

Also did you try the reverse battery?
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... but why is it hanging at cpu init??  " => What's likely happening is that the instruction (or at least the instruction sequence) stored at the initial execution address is incorrect due to the corrupted BIOS.      So on reset the CPU starts to execute at the appropriate address ... but the code it's trying to execute isn't correct.
nobusAuthor Commented:
so all we need is to restore that...
a pity we can't easily access it

i don't see that other pin combinations can do anything then - but i will try more
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