Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

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Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:28 pm

Hey fellow techies, does anybody out there still have, or know where I can get, a utility cd for an Asus A8V-E SE motherboard? It's a Socket 939 from circa 2005/2006. Long story short, the system locked up right as the Asus update utility said "Erasing EEPROM." That's never a good thing. It locked at the instant I got the erasing eeprom message, so I had a glimmer of hope, however it apparently erased at least the beginning of the EEPROM. I'm guessing the beginning of the bios image may be somewhat important, you know, cpu initialization routines and what not.
<start rant/> Luckily, Asus, in their infinite wisdom put the CrashFree BIOS2 feature on this motherboard to allow you to recover a corrupted BIOS. All you have to do is boot from the motherboard utility cd and it will automatically recover the BIOS. Only problem is I can not find my cd, and Asus doesn't have one either. After being insulted repeatedly by tech support, such as "make sure computer is plugged in," and making them aware of the CrashFree BIOS2 feature, I finally got the answer that they don't have any way to get a copy of the cd. The back and forth dialog with tech support would be hilarious if it wasn't so frustrating. Here's a short excerpt of what I wrote:

"Thank you for your reply. The Asus Update utility caused the computer to lock up *
DURING * the bios update process, and as a result the bios is corrupted. I have tried
clearing the cmos as well as reinserting only necessary components and the
system will not post. In the manual it states that if the bios becomes corrupted it can
be recovered by putting the motherboard utility cd in the drive. The motherboard has
the ability to boot from the utility cd and reflash the corrupted bios according to the
manual. This is the CrashFree BIOS2 feature that is advertised on the product
feature page here http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_So ... 9/A8VE_SE/
This is what it says:

"ASUS CrashFree BIOS2
The CrashFree BIOS2 feature now includes the BIOS auto-recovery function in a
support CD. Users can reboot their system through the support CD when a bootable
disk is not available, and go through the simple BIOS auto-recovery process. ASUS
motherboards now enable users to enjoy this protection feature without the need to
pay for an optional ROM. "

I can not find my motherboard support cd that is needed to recover the bios. I would
be happy to burn the cd myself if you can send me a cd image file, such as .iso, or
you can mail me a copy of the support cd."


I would have gladly paid a few extra dollars for the optional ROM <end rant/>
Any help would be appreciated. I don't want to scrap the system as it still ran older games ok with an Athlon 64X2 4400+, Radeon 5770, and Corsair XMS3200LLPT memory.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:36 pm

Does it POST?
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:41 pm

Also, if you can post, do you get any BIOS/CMOS options? Cause if it won't post, I'm not sure how a boot disc is going to help you.

But, if it does work, I'd browse the Asus ftp site and look for an image of the disc. Or just the program for the whole crashfree bios2 or whatever its called.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:13 pm

That sounds really... odd. A CD for a BIOS, for a computer you can't boot? I'd check the manual to see if there isn't an onboard jumper that lets you switch to the backup BIOS.

Also, have you tried simply resetting the CMOS settings after the flash? That should always be done when moving to a new version.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:26 pm

Think for yourself, schmuck!
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 8:32 pm

Failing all that, I can speak from experience that the Asus RMA process is quite quick and pain free.
That may be in your future...
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:10 pm

Thanks for the replies everybody. No it doesn't post, and I did try to clear the cmos. Apparently this motherboard has some type of logic, probably an asic that's also related to the voltage and temp monitor, that can access the atapi and floppy interfaces before POST, and look for a specific boot image to recover a corrupted BIOS. They call it the CrashFree BIOS2 feature. The only problem is you have to have the motherboard utility cd to boot from, and mine is missing.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:54 pm

spiked_mistborn wrote:that can access the atapi and floppy interfaces before POST, and look for a specific boot image to recover a corrupted BIOS. They call it the CrashFree BIOS2 feature. The only problem is you have to have the motherboard utility cd to boot from, and mine is missing.


So how would you be able to boot to a CD if it doesn't POST?

Did some research, and if it won't POST, the program/disc will do nothing for you. This thread discusses how the software works, and how it won't work for your situation.

http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=20061209075150712&board_id=1&model=P4S800D-X&page=1&SLanguage=en-us
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:16 pm

Still way too early to give up and consider RMA. I'm sure I have a floppy drive that works in my parts somewhere. Next step is to try to find a floppy disk that works, fire up the 486 and make a dos boot disk with the flash utility on it, and see if it will boot from that. I'm also going to see if the bios is socketed when I get a chance to work on this. If it is socketed, it's getting pulled and flashed externally. Back in '03 when I worked as a computer tech I did an experiment where I took a corrupted bios chip and hot-swapped it into a running motherboard and successfully re-flashed it. I guess if bios shadowing is enabled and the code is running from ram instead of rom it doesn't need the bios chip after booting. I just have to see if I have a motherboard that has a compatible socket. Otherwise I'm sure I can find somebody in the Ann Arbor area that can flash an EEPROM (I knew I should have gotten one of those universal EEPROM flashers on ebay and learned how to use it).

@TheEmrys - Great link, but that basically contradicts what the manual says about the feature. The system does still poll the cd-rom drives, causing the access lights to blink, for about 10 seconds whenever it's powered on. This is not the normal cd-rom internal initialization routine that they will do when they are powered on. The motherboard has always done this. I believe this is some type of special logic, that is either independent of the cpu, or has enough code to initialize very basic system functionality, that is looking for the motherboard utility cd.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:45 pm

spiked_mistborn wrote:Great link, but that basically contradicts what the manual says about the feature.


This wouldn't surprise me in the least. Find an ISO on the Asus ftp site and see if it works.

Also, the only hotswap I've been able to do was with an identical motherboard. You may be better to cut your losses and just drop an E-350 in it.
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:35 pm

The hotswap that I did was also with an identical motherboard. Anybody know if these universal programmers work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Willem-Universal-EPROM-Programmer-27C256-27C512-u03-/200530843207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb091d647
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Re: Need help! BIOS flash went bad, A**s won't help.

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:34 am

spiked_mistborn wrote:The hotswap that I did was also with an identical motherboard. Anybody know if these universal programmers work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Willem-Universal-EPROM-Programmer-27C256-27C512-u03-/200530843207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb091d647

It may have been "universal" 15 years ago... but unless there's an included adapter that isn't pictured in the listing, it appears to lack the socket for programming a modern BIOS chip.

I've used badflash.com in the past, but given the age of the motherboard I question whether it is worth $30 to repair it.

@MaxTheLimit: Please re-read the OP. This is a 5+ year old motherboard.
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