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Can't get into BIOS. ISA bus is dead, so no Floppy drive or PS/2 Ports...argh...

By Mr.Bishop
Aug 30, 2005
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  1. Ok, so I'm running an AMD athalon 2600, in an Asus A7N8X-X motherboard.

    A little while ago, my PS2 ports went bad, which wasn't much of a problem. PIcked up a USB keyboard/Mouse, and enjoyed myself for quite a while.

    Then I had to change boot order in the BIOS, and I realised that I couldn't hit DEL to enter setup.

    I flashed the BIOS in hopes that it would somehow automagically enable USB boot support... (probably stupid)

    When I restarted the computer I got an error that says "No secondary ide cable inserted, disk drive failure" <or whatever it says when there's no disk drive>

    I then realised that with no way to hit F1 to skip disk checking, and no way to get into the bios to enable USB keyboard support I was royaly F*cked.

    So the computer sits there waiting for me to hit the F1 key. I guess I have to order a new mobo just to tell it never to use PS2 or floppy drives again?
  2. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,763

    You can order a new BIOS chip from Asus for $20. If your board is still under warranty you can get the chip for free.
  3. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 8,165

  4. Mr.Bishop

    Mr.Bishop TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, that's kind of what I figured. Replacing it with the exact same thing wasn't too expensive. I was just hoping that someone would have some sort of crazy workaround to save 70 bucks. :)

    Interesting problem though, and I haven't found too much about it on the internet.

    Ordering a new bios chip - would this chip be configured to accept usb input from startup?
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    Please would you take a few moments to read this post. A message for all newcomers. Thanks.


    Personally I doubt whether a new bios chip would already have the usb input enabled.

    If you contact Asus, I`m sure they would be able to tell you.

    I would go with RBS`s advice, and just get a replacement mobo.

    Ar least that way everything should work fine, plus you would have a brand new warranty as well.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  6. Mr.Bishop

    Mr.Bishop TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Here's the question: I have some time on my hands until the new mobo arrives, so does anybody have a trick to get around this? I'm looking at it as a fun challenge. Plus it'd be nice to use the old board as a file server or something... my buddy has a chip that would work in it.
  7. Triton

    Triton TS Rookie Posts: 112

    See if the retail BIOS service (you have to pay for it) can change the default setting for "USB keyboard support"
    www.unicore.com
  8. Cyber

    Cyber TS Rookie Posts: 89

    To the point i understand is that u cant use any keys like (F1 F2 del.....) while booting ur computer.... if that's the problum most of the keyboards (Usb ones) Come with a key (Office lock) or something like that... if the office lock is off turn it on... and then boot ur computer and try using the del.. key.. I had a problum like this it worked for me... i hope this helps....
  9. Triton

    Triton TS Rookie Posts: 112

    Originally I included this information in my first post in this thread, then became worried it might be too advanced for most users and deleted it.
    Because the information is already avaliable on the internet I changed my mind.
    The information here tells how to modify the default settings for your motherboards Award BIOS firmware using an Award utility and then flash the BIOS chip with the modified firmware.
    Any number of things could go wrong and your board could become useless (if the BIOS chip is not removable) If the chip is removable the chip could be replaced with a pre programed BIOS chip.

    ---------------

    A program called Modbin/Modbin6 can change the default settings for Award BIOS files. "USB keyboard support"
    Rather than turn this post into a long tutorial read all you can about how to use the program before using it and / or ask for help of someone you know who can be considered advanced user relating to hardware.

    The BIOS utilities in the following links were not intended for release to the general public, they are "use at you own risk."
    AWARE BIOS utilities for modifying AWARE BIOS files used by motherboard makers have been leaked to the public.

    Because your replacing your bad motherboard and you are "I'm looking at it as a fun challenge." I give the links here with this warning;
    Improperly flashing your BIOS and or modifying your BIOS and flashing it can make your motherboard unusable.
    If you "BAD flash you board and the BIOS chip is not removable it can not be reprogramed and the motherboard is junk.

    The program has to be run from MSDOS prompt (windowed) or command line.

    BiosMods
    http://www.biosmods.com/download.php

    Also "very important";
    It has been reported that Modbin/Modbin6 does not run properly from command line in WIndows XP
    A modified version of it "Tmod's BiosMod " is reported to work with Windows XP.
    Download links for "Tmod's BiosMod " were not working when I last checked.
    Also Modbin6 is a BATA release (Date 2000) utility for (soon to be released, at that time) series 6.xx Award BIOS and may not work with the latest Award BIOS.
    I can not stress this enough "USE AT YOUR OWN RISK"

    Tmod's Bios Mods
    http://www.freewebs.com/tmod/utilities.htm
    http://www.freewebs.com/tmod/biosmod36howto.htm

    If you can't boot to the floppy drive;
    In your case you would need to use a EEPROM programer or "hot flash" a working BIOS chip with the modified BIOS file then swap it into your board.
    I don't know if the Asus A7N8X-X BIOS chip is removable.

    Or have the retail BIOS service (you have to pay for it) change the default setting for "USB keyboard support"
    www.unicore.com

    A very good post, tutorial, on using Modbin6;
    http://www.icronticforums.com/showthread.php?t=2835

    Moral to this story, change your default BIOS "USB keyboard support" setting to ENABLE now before your PS2 keyboard port goes bad.
    And remember clearing the CMOS changes the setting back to the default "disable" .

    P/S
    I have found information that suggests that Award Modbin6 will not work on ASUS BIOS.
    http://www.rom.by/articles/BP/index_english.htm
    "I haven't information but it seems to me that Asus has rights to AWARD BIOSes and it writes their own BIOSes (with AWARD logo). It means that Asus has their own standarts and often has no any connection with "normal" AWARD BIOSes. So that is why such tools as cbrom or modbin can't work with Asus BIOSes. "

    http://wimsbios.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=29901&sid=d471eaafbe1e30d4c6c5f3f36fe77067

    You can search Google for more information; Keywords Modbin6 ASUS

    You may be stuck with a retail BIOS upgrade.
  10. Triton

    Triton TS Rookie Posts: 112

    I downloaded the latest BIOS for the Asus A7N8X-X motherboard;
    "A7N8X-X BIOS 1010 for A7N8X-X only, Support AMD Sempron CPU, 2004/08/10 update"

    I loaded it into Modbin6 v1.00.38 and it worked. I changed the default setting for "USB Keyboard & Legacy Support" to enable and saved the new BIN file.
    Everything seem to work normally.
    I don't have this board to test the modified BIN but the utility seems to work with the ASUS BIOS firmware for this motherboard.
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