TechSpot

Bios Upgrading

By Conjon
Apr 12, 2007
  1. Hi,
    Trying to upgrade my bios so it has full support for my processor. I read through the instructions given, made a startup ms-dos floppy, and booted from the floppy (with the bios update on it). All I get is an error saying:
    I/O disk error
    Why is this? I've read through over forums, but nothing seems to help in terms of changing the cables around etc, the drive is working as I managed to copy files onto it.
    Please help, anyone?
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Likely an error in the download. Those BIOS updates are protected as much as possible from defects. If there is any chance of a problem, the BIOS install will not run, because it can permanently ruin the computer.
    Suggest you run a new download when all this bad weather has stopped stiring up the internet.
     
  3. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Don't think it was the download, I couldn't type a command to get that far, erm, is it possible to do it through a flash drive, like a usb or something?
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Perhaps you could tell us how you obtained, or traied to obtain the BIOS file you were attempting to use to update.
     
  5. CraigMc

    CraigMc TS Rookie Posts: 29

    Also, which instructions did you follow to create the boot floppy? It sounds like the system files are not present, or the oot sector has not been written correctly on your floppy disk.
     
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    When uploading the BIOS, there is another program usually (DOS based) that you boot from the floppy first. It will ask you for the data file to upload onto into the BIOS. Both programs the loader and the data file have to be on the bootable floppy.
    BEFORE you update, COPY and save the OLD BIOS to another floppy in case the new one doesn't work or you jack it up.

    Be very careful and patient when updating BIOS. 1 screw up in the middle and you have a dead motherboard that has to be re-programmed.
     
  7. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

  8. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Just to check - the diskette was formatted as: 'format a: /s' ?

    You unzipped the bios package to a C: drive file first then copied the extracted files to the A:\ diskette ?
     
  9. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Yes unzipped to C: first, then copied it to my floppy disk, to format it I right clicked the Floppy drive and clicked on format, and I formatted it to be a startup disk. Is there a way of using a usb flash drive? it would be so much easier.
     
  10. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I don't know if anything but a floppy will work.

    I wonder tho, a 'boot disk' format isn't the same as a simple 'format a: /s' since boot disks get a bunch of other stuff put on them. Could it be that?

    :)
     
  11. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Yeah that was a bunch of files, but the guide said create a boot disk, so I did?
    I copied the bios files onto the floppy and put them with all the other files.
     
  12. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Actually bro it says "Create a bootable system floppy disk", which is a horse of a different colour.

    :)
     
  13. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    So basically what I need to do is format the floppy normally, then put the files on?
     
  14. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Aye! The idea is that the bios stuff on a floppy done as 'format a: /s' basically boots to write the bios - with the one you made the floppy was trying to boot to dos AND interfering.

    Just be DARNED sure you have the correct bios - latest, right mobo, right OS, right version (32 versus 64 bit), etc.

    gl
     
  15. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    I did it but it just says:
    Remove disks or any other media
    Press any key to restart

    So i remove the floppy and press enter, it searches again and says 'Not Found'
     
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    HOW to FLASH/ UPDATE BIOS

    Flashing a BIOS simply means updating the BIOS. The rule of thumb with updating BIOS is "if it ain't broke - don't fix it." This is because if a BIOS update is incorrect or not done right, you essentially have an expensive paperweight. BIOS stands for Basic Input Operating System. It is a program "burned" into an EPROM - an Eraseable Programmable Read Only Memory chip on your motherboard. The EPROM is a computer chip which contains simple instructions required for the most basic of computing functions - it tells your motherboard how to boot, self-checking functions, and hardware default settings among other things. Motherboards may vary slightly in updating procedures, but not by a whole lot. Generally, you will be using a floppy drive. Yes- remember that old floppy drive? (A real floppy - not a USB type.) You're gonna need one. While BIOS flashing can be done with CD ROMs on some newer motherboards, this is not recommended. This is because BIOS updating works at the core level of computing functions. ALL Intel based computers (this includes AMD) have the ancient 8088 microprocessor architecture at their very inner core in order to perform BIOS functions. Whether the chip is dual-core, AMD, 486, Pentium-D, Athlon XP, 64, etc... it does not matter... at their most inner recess, they have this function. What you are attempting to do is essentially a "brain-swap." BIOS updating SHOULD ONLY BE DONE if there is an issue with your CPU or if a motherboard has difficulty with hardware and it is a known BIOS issue. Check your motherboard manufactuer to see if you need one.
    BIOS updating is a methodical, precise and slow procedure. If you do not have patience or you are unsure what you are attempting to do, then DO NOT do it yourself.

    How to obtain a BIOS update
    First, you would need to find out the make and model of your main board (motherboard). The next step would be to visit the manufacturer's web site and try to find a page that has something to do with downloading, motherboards, support, or anything that will inevitably lead you to a BIOS update (if available).
    Once you have downloaded the correct BIOS file for your main board, view any specific instructions about flashing the BIOS. This is usually contained in the downloaded archive, or online the manufacturer's site.
    Backup the BIOS first!
    Before you update, ALWAYS back up your old BIOS first. Most BIOS programs will ask you to save a copy of the current BIOS. Always save it in case your flash fails, you can attempt to re-flash using the old BIOS while your computer is still turned on. Once you turn off your computer with a failed flash, you're jacked - time for a new motherboard.
    Begin by creating a windows bootable floppy disk. Then save your old BIOS onto that floppy. Make a note of the old file name. Use a fresh floppy disk. Old floppies laying around have a high failure rate and you don't want one to fail when updating. Murphey's law baby! Also ensure you have good, clean power - preferably have your system on an Uninteruptable Power Supply (UPS). Any power failure will also the flash to fail.
    If this happens, attempt to reload the old BIOS *before* you turn off your computer. If the computer is powered down after a failed flash (due to power outage / hardware failure / corrupt BIOS*), there is a good chance your computer may never boot again -- at least, until it is repaired by the manufacturer.
    Upload the New BIOS
    After you have obtained the new BIOS file, SAVE it to the bootable floppy disk you created. Note the NEW file name.
    Now boot the computer with the bootable floppy. Run the DOS file that loads the new file. It will ask you for the name of the new BIOS. Enter that name. You may have to do this as a command at the DOS prompt. Programs vary. Again check the manufactuer's instructions.
    Typically, BIOS flashers only work under DOS and generally work like this:
    DOSprompt:\> biosflasher.exe biosfilename.xxx
    For example:
    A:\>biosflash.exe NEWBIOS.dat
    NOW BE PATIENT. This can take a minute or two. Ensure it completes. DO NOT POWER off the computer until it says complete or it is done. Once everything is complete, then you can reboot the system without the floppy. Cross fingers and everything should come up ok. You may have to also update other drivers and software as necessary. Again, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,703   +1,887

    Sorry to use the "I" word but,

    Intel offer BIOS updates as an .exe file to be run from inside Windows, in addition to the other "normal" methods.
    I'm not trying to comment to other manufacturers modus operandi, but it certainly bespeaks to question, doesn't everybody?
     
  18. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Erm, I was trying to do it using an old floppy, and I definatly dont want a dead motherboard, might not do it after all, it's just my CPU doesnt run as good as it could, and I get crashes on my game due to it.
     
  19. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    there are other methods.... the DOS method is the least error-prone.
     
  20. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    All I could download from Asrock was a DOS file though.
     
  21. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I would like to apologize Conjon - in my posts 10 and 14 above I had a brain fart.

    XP doesn't 'format a: /s' - you do need a boot disk to get to the a: prompt at which time, if you have downloaded the ASRFLASH.EXE bios executable and the correct bios upgrade file, you run the executable specifying the name of the bios file (as example A:\ASRFLASH K7S41GX2.00 where K7S41GX2.00 is the name of the bios file).


    Again, I apologize. :(
     
  22. Conjon

    Conjon TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 56

    Yeah, but the thing is i cannot make it to the prompt lol
     
  23. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    OK - you might want to start a new thread now since the issue isn't bios updating but has become 'floppy drive - can't boot to A:\ prompt'.

    :)
     
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