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Can I switch bios without changing chip?

By erwin1978 · 8 replies
Apr 2, 2002
  1. I was just wondering if it's possible to change from award bios to ami without changing the actual chip?
  2. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 704

    I have to say that I seriously doubt it, but I do not know for sure. I don't even know how you would go about that. I mean you need the bios to boot up and run your computer so how can you simply override all that information. Your best bet is to take a blank chip and program it with the new AMI bios and use it.

    I'm sure other people know more about this than I do, but this is just my opinion. Just curious, but why exactly would you want to do this???
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    The chip itself doesn't know its contents, it's just (nowadays) Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory, so you should be able to do it, if the flasher application doesn't prevent you. In theory, nothing should prevent you from writing anything there. But without a proper BIOS, the computer won't boot and usually it's not simple to undo it - you'll need an external eeprommer.
  4. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 704

    I figured you could erase everything and rewrite it, but I didn't know there was a device you could plug in to save your bios to or boot your computer from or whatever you would need do with it.

    I guess you learn something new everyday. :)
  5. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Topic Starter Posts: 287

    Now I'm very tempted, but I want to hear more from other people. I'm just worried that perhaps the motherboard is wired specifically to synchronize with an Award bios. An Ami bios might not even provide settings that my mobo is capable of.
  6. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 722

    I would stay far far away from this mod...
  7. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    Unless you have a Dual Bios board, you could ruin one bios, and still have a back-up...but don't do the mod like SVT said....
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,452   +6

    Does your motherboard really come in two versions - Award and AMI BIOS?

    Anyone - do such boards with alternative BIOSes even exist???

    BIOS must be _exactly_ for your motherboard, otherwise it will not work.

    If indeed there are diffrent (_identical_) versions of your mobo with different makes of BIOS, you can check whether they both use the same type of EEPROM chip (ROM chips aren't just about storing bits - voltages, sector layout, leg placement are all different). If this is really the case, then you can try this crazy stunt. You should definently save your old BIOS and have access to a chip programming device (must support your EEPROM chip!)or be prepared to get a new chip in case something goes wrong.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    Some (was it Award) BIOSes have an "emergency" BIOS, which allows you to boot from a floppy if flashing goes wrong or something like that happens. My former motherboard, Abit BP6, had this feature, and of course I had to test it - yep, it worked.
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