BIOS update failure
October 3, 2007 11:44 AM   Subscribe

I tried updating my computer's BIOS the other night. The update didn't work, and now neither does my computer.

I have a Gigabyte motherboard (model GA-K8NS Ultra-939). I tried updating the motherboard using Gigabyte's @BIOS utility. It would save a backup of the BIOS, but would not write the new version of the BIOS. I swear I soft rebooted (Restarted Windows) without a problem after trying to update it. Yesterday I turned the computer on (cold start) and after POSTing it would not boot; all I got was a black screen. That was bad. I tried booting Windows in Safe Mode -- it would get as far as "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS\System32\Drivers\Mup.sys" and then freeze. (See these for some
POST info
and the last bit of the last line I just mentioned.) That seemed worse.

So, it seems to POST correctly but will simply not boot up regardless what I try. I popped in a linux liveCD to see it it would boot; it would start loading but then freeze. I've sent Gigabyte a support request via e-mail, but don't expect to hear enlightening things from them in reply.

It definitely is the BIOS, right? Anyone know whether there's another way to update or reprogram the BIOS without performing radical surgery on the motherboard? (This motherboard is dual-BIOS, but when I enter the Q-Flash utility it freezes. Could I have a technician replace the borked BIOS with the good one?) Could it be a different problem?

Thanks in advance.
posted by cog_nate to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: First, read this.

If you can get as far as MUP.sys error, then you BIOS probably isn't hosed.

You're probably gonna want to enter your bios upon bootup and mess around a bit with the settings suggested int he article linked above.

Other things to try:
A new/different keyboard (sounds silly, but could actually affect thins)

Make a boot floppy with a copy of the new BIOS and use that to update your computer. No floppy, or the floppy route not working? Enable USB booting in your bios and and google around a bit for instructions on making a USB flash drive bootable and load your BIOS update on that.

There's also a whole lot of good information here.
posted by terpia at 12:07 PM on October 3, 2007

The mup.sys lockup usually means that the BIOS is mis-assigning values for the onboard IDE. That buggers up the boot sequence.

So you probably need to do one or both of the following: clear the CMOS (with the power unplugged, take out the battery for 30 secs) then switch to the failsafe BIOS settings. Once you've got it booting, you can then re-optimise.

If you can't get to the BIOS setup, try one of the following three-finger salutes: Ctrl+Alt+S, Ctrl+Alt+Ins, Ctrl+Alt+Esc.
posted by holgate at 12:16 PM on October 3, 2007

On the very unlikely chance that the problem isn't related to the update you attempted, you might as well check for bursting capacitors while you're in there.

They look like this.

I've seen bad caps cause issues like this.
posted by SlyBevel at 12:32 PM on October 3, 2007

(Image from this informative wiki page.)
posted by SlyBevel at 12:33 PM on October 3, 2007

If you're getting to the point where Windows is trying to boot, your BIOS is fine.
posted by mrbill at 1:20 PM on October 3, 2007

Response by poster: Set up a bootable flash drive, updated the BIOS (successfully, this time), set the BIOS settings to "Optimized" and it started back up no problem. Thank you all!
posted by cog_nate at 9:49 PM on October 3, 2007

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