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Never upgrade your BIOS using Windows!

Don't do what I did

     
12:56 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is a warning for anyone thinking about updating their BIOS.

Always update from DOS!

Today I decided to update the new BIOS in my laptop, because it had 'issues' with WinXP and the manufacturer recommended I do so.

It doesn't have a floppy disk drive, so I updated it using the manufacturers Windows based utility, which crashed!

My laptop now won't boot!

The manufacturer doesn't want to know, pointing out I agreed to their disclaimer before I ran the s/w.

There was no mention of this, but I later found out, with a bit of searching, that if you use a Windows utility always:

Disconnect ALL external hardware
Turn you computer off then on again, to shut down all processes
Shut down ALL programs especially anti-virus
Make sure you are on a.c. (laptops)
Remember if can take upto 45 minutes, don't be tempted to reboot your computer even if it appears to lock up.

And wherever possible use a floppy disk and do it in dos

I hope this warning, stops others suffering my fate!

A call for help

I have an image of the BIOS on floppy, and being an electronics engineer have no problem removing the 39SF040 flash IC.

Can anyone here recommend a programming service (in the UK if possible), or point me in the direction of a quick build diy programmer?

Steve

1:24 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Uhmm... no, I would never update a bios from windows.

Are you saying it's a completely black screen - no boot? Does it spin up your CDROM when it starts?

Can you download the system bios and make a bootable ISO image using Nero etc - then boot from the CD and re-flash?

What system do you have?

1:40 pm on Apr 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Are you saying it's a completely black screen - no boot?

Yep, its completely dead. Its a Compaq Presario, when the BIOS corrupts they refuse to power up.

8:48 am on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I did exactly the same thing, made worse by the fact that i later found out the manufacturer's site gives the wrong BIOS update for my model of laptop and the instructions were so vague. I contacted them as it was under warranty and they replaced the entire motherboard (although it took them a month to do it).
11:26 am on May 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

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they replaced the entire motherboard

This seems to be the standard response. I've spoken to the manufacturer of my laptop and several dealers, they all want to install a new mobo, and charge accordingly!

Because the BIOS IC is soldered in place, they say it can't be repaired! That's complete rubbish, I've already removed it and fitted a socket in its place.

I'm waiting for a cheap programmer to arrive (35 euro's) then I'll reprogram the IC with the image I downloaded from the manufacturers site, and fingers crossed I should be up and running again.

8:42 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yep i was fortunate that this happened only a few months before warranty ran out, so i didn't have to pay anything. I believe mine was soldered in place also (as I had a quick look round inside, although don't tell them that :P). Perhaps it is cheaper for the mobo to just be replaced than for someone to be paid to replace just that specific chip, either that or maybe they just went for the first obvious solution, as they told me what they were going to do with only a brief phone conversation. I was quoted about a week turnaround for the replacement, but as I say I waited a month because they were waiting for the mobo to be delivered from abroad (I'm in the UK).

Good luck with getting it sorted and I hope you don't have to spend too much on doing it!

Cheers
Richard

 

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