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Old 04-18-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
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GA-8IG1000MK, BIOS flash gone wrong. Any recovery options left?


Well, here's your chance to help me out for once.

Victim is an unbranded machine with an old Gigabyte GA-8IG1000MK. The BIOS flash process had to be done using Gigabyte's "@BIOS" utility in ClippyOS due to fd0 not being present at that time. I backed up the BIOS and flashed the original BIOS version to ig1000mk.fb. Rebooted OK. Taking it up to ig1000mk.fc lead to an error (exact text not saved) during flash process about "flash memory being read-only". Reboot gives one (pre-BIOS?) beep and then the process stops.


What I've done sofar:
- read the motherboard manual,
- read "fix corrupted Phoenix BIOS using Crisis Recovery Disk" texts like [0|1|2],
- read the PhoenixBIOS 4.0 user manual about the Crisis Recovery Disk procedure,
- attached an fd and used crisis-recovery-disk-creator.zip and B1800_crisis_recovery_disk.zip to create a CRD disk replacing BIOS.WPH with renamed ig1000mk.fb,
- removed CMOS battery for over 10 mins,
- shorted the CLR_CMOS switch (near CMOS battery),
- booted with the CRD disk in fd0 while holding either key combo WINKEY+B or WINKEY+ESC,
- booted a SD card with the CRD disk contents while holding key combos,
- booted with CRD disk contents on an USB stick while holding key combos some more.
PSU fan is audible as are CPU and case fans and the disks spin up too but that's about it. So now I'm wondering if I've got just a paperweight left...


If you have previous experience with fixing corrupted Phoenix BIOSes (not AMI or whatever else) then I will be grateful for the recovery options you can give. Feel free to ask for clarification if necesary. If you offer advice or pointers please ensure, for efficiency sake, that whatever you post does not duplicate what I already did.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 07:55 AM   #2
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Oh man, a bad BIOS flash is always my greatest fear, for this very reason, it can be bricked so easily. For future reference, this is why I prefer a DOS boot disk rather than flashing from Window$ or wine ... very dangerous. For Gigabyte, use the Q-Flash, it's easier and safer, they even recommend it over other methods.

In the manual I don't see any CLR_CMOS switch, only CLR_PWD for clearing the CMOS/BIOS password, so I don't think the switch will help, unless you actually have a switch labeled CLR_CMOS.

What kind of BIOS do you have, are you sure it is a Phoenix BIOS, in the manual it says it's an Award BIOS (or AMI), so I would look for guides for that specific BIOS:

http://www.biosman.com/biosrecovery.html
or a different section of the one you posted:
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...ery-procedures

Tell me if I'm wrong, but it's better to be as accurate as possible, each different BIOS is recovered in a different way.

Well hope that helped some, it's not gonna be easy, but it usually can be done with some effort, keep trying and good luck.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-18-2010 at 07:59 AM.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
For Gigabyte, use the Q-Flash, it's easier and safer, they even recommend it over other methods.
At that point the paperweight didn't have no fd. No fd means no Q-Flash AFAIK.


Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
so I don't think the switch will help, unless you actually have a switch labeled CLR_CMOS.
My paperweight actually has one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
What kind of BIOS do you have, are you sure it is a Phoenix BIOS, in the manual it says it's an Award BIOS (or AMI),
Good q. The specs on the website say Award, the manual mentions Award and Phoenix and if I run 'strings -an4 *|egrep -ie "(ami|award|phoenix)"' the tools from B1800_crisis_recovery_disk.zip return .*phoenix.* and the ig1000mk.fb BIOS returns "Award BootBlock BIOS v1.0" (Phoenix bought Award long time ago) and I'm sure I got the right BIOS files as I downloaded them from the Gigabyte site. If I assert it's an Award BIOS (definately not AMI) then the biosman site (read it already) and mydigitallife both assume the floppy will be read (meaning a regular POST). Unless I'm mistaken those BIOSes don't offer Boot Block access by key combo (or other workarounds) I need since the machine doesn't go through a regular POST...

Thanks for your reply.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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Yeah, it looks like you do have an Award BIOS "Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG", so you should follow the Award instructions here:
http://forums.mydigitallife.info/thr...ery-procedures

Extract the BIN file (ig1000mk.BIN) from the lha (ig1000mk.fc) inside the exe (motherboard_bios_ga-8ig1000mk(rev1.x)_fc.exe) of the BIOS you want to flash (I used 7zip), use the BIN file and the instructions above.

It says that 'Ctrl+Home' may force the computer to read the floppy.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-18-2010 at 12:08 PM.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 01:46 PM   #5
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If, as you say, you have an old mainborad, then the chances of recovery from a corrupted BIOS are next to zero unless the BIOS is on a plugin chip. Even then, it would be more economical to replace the board.

The clear BIOS jumper on mainboards almost always clears password, date/time, and non-default settings only. If it did wipe the whole BIOS, you'd have no way of booting.

If, during boot, you can't bring up the BIOS GUI, your paperweight analogy is likely correct.

BTW, been there; done that.

Lou

Last edited by LouRobytes; 04-18-2010 at 03:14 PM.
 
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouRobytes View Post
If, as you say, you have an old mainborad, the the chances of recovery from a corrupted BIOS are next to zero unless the BIOS is on a plugin chip. Even then, it would be more economical to replace the board.

The clear BIOS jumper on mainboards almost always clears password, date/time, and non-default settings only. If it did wipe the whole BIOS, you'd have no way of booting.

If, during boot, you can't bring up the BIOS GUI, your paperweight analogy is likely correct.

BTW, been there; done that.

Lou
That's a very real possibility, but at least try a few more things before giving up.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Extract the BIN file (..) It says that 'Ctrl+Home' may force the computer to read the floppy.
Ah! Missed that one. Thanks, I'll try that (even though I kinda doubt it'll work since the machine doesn't go through a regular POST).
 
Old 04-18-2010, 03:55 PM   #8
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Even if it doesn't POST, it may still be active in the darkness, so pretend that it is still ok for now.
 
Old 04-18-2010, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Even if it doesn't POST, it may still be active in the darkness, so pretend that it is still ok for now.
POST is meant to test and initialize HW. Since the BIOS doesn't execute POST it never gets to detecting any BAIDs. Since no BAIDs are detected none are selected as IPL device to boot from. No key combo I've tried leads to a floppy seek (thanks for support offered but the CTRL+HOME key combo suggestion really is AMI-only) so there's no code loaded and the Award BIOS doesn't have AMI ISA video routines built in (not that the board has ISA) and this is no DIP or PLCC. As in USS Yorktown.
 
Old 04-19-2010, 06:50 AM   #10
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Well, it depends on how messed up the BIOS is, sometimes it can still access the floppy.

If you followed the Award instructions exactly and it didn't work, then it could be that you have a bricked mobo like LouRobytes said. That's too bad, but it does happen, and that's why you have to be careful. Sorry I couldn't help more.

NOTE: The recovery process of a BIOS is very much archaic, and like black magic. If you do everything exactly as they say, there's still only a small chance of it working. If you deviate even slightly, things as simple as CLRF terminators on files, or pressing the keys in the wrong order or at the wrong time, then there is 0% chance of it working.

P.S. Make sure the RAM is ok, because the same symptoms can also come from RAM that happened to go bad at the same time as you were flashing the BIOS. Maybe PSU check would also exclude it as a cause.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 04-19-2010 at 06:55 AM.
 
Old 04-19-2010, 06:05 PM   #11
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I think whoever coined the phrase Once burned, twice shy probably suffered an unsuccessful flash update.

Lou
 
Old 04-19-2010, 06:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouRobytes View Post
I think
Note I asked for people to respond who have previous experience with fixing corrupted BIOSes, not drawing conclusions (I can do that myself) nor banter (see the /General forum). If you don't have anything constructive to add that helps me (as you've done twice now) do refrain from posting.
 
Old 04-19-2010, 06:46 PM   #13
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Understood.
 
Old 04-21-2010, 12:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
Well, it depends on how messed up the BIOS is, sometimes it can still access the floppy.
I nthis case it just couldn't anymore (see explanation above). In any case thanks for your support. Case closed, I'm going to buy another motherboard.
 
Old 04-21-2010, 01:04 PM   #15
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Alright, well again, I recommend using either a DOS boot disk or Q-Flash (build-in DOS on Gigabyte mobos) next time. I've been able to recover a broken BIOS before, but I think I was lucky.
 
  


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