BIOS won't flash :(
November 1, 2007 5:47 PM   Subscribe

I am not able to flash my BIOS on my gigabyte K8NF-9 motherboard using current @BIOS utility. Why do I keep getting write errors?

I need to upgrade to at least version F7 in order for it to support my new dual core chip I installed today(see). It currently has F2 on it. I "saved current" and whenever a write fails (with Error message: ERROR! write failed) I'm able to restore the F2 backup without fail. Why won't any downloaded BIOS images (f7, f3, f11, f10) write to the BIOS?
Could it be bad RAM?
Could it be a bad Motherboard? (it would suck to have to get a new motherboard for an old style chip, right)
I haven't tried flashing with a floppy disk cause I don't have a drive.
posted by ijoyner to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
I've not tried the windows @bios, with my recent gigabyte board I put the bios file on a usb drive and it worked fine: when the machine boots, either press the End key, or go into the bios (press Del) and then press F8; either of these loads Q-Flash which can find the bios file on a cd, flash drive, or even the hard drive (not sure but it probably needs to be in the top level of the first partition, which may also have to be fat32)
(keypresses for your board may differ, but I believe it also has the nice Q-Flash functionality)

in the bios, is there any security setting that allows/disallows bios flashing? (in olden times this was usually done with a jumper on the board itself...) mine definitely doesn't have that, but I have seen that setting on a fair number of machines in the past...

also, just because the bios doesn't recognize the chip as the exact name of what chip it is, doesn't mean it won't work -- does your operating system see 2 cpus with the new chip installed? "unsupported" may simply mean "not optimized for", or "the cpu is too new vs. the table of cpu names in the old bios"; but it's not so likely that it means "won't work at all"...
posted by dorian at 6:37 PM on November 1, 2007

also also, it appears there is revision 1.x and 2.x of your board, may want to check if you have the correct bios file as they differ between those revisions.
posted by dorian at 6:40 PM on November 1, 2007

Response by poster: mine is rev 1.x because the BIOS loaded on the board is F2, the rev 2.x firmwares have a different format fx (where x is a through e).
I attempted to load q-flash from the BIOS menu and it hung the system. I'm going to try to pull some ram sicks or something.
posted by ijoyner at 7:06 PM on November 1, 2007

ugh that is discouraging. yeah, if you can disconnect anything (pci cards, drives too, excess ram) other than essentials it's worth a shot.

otherwise it's sounding like rma time...

good luck!
posted by dorian at 7:38 PM on November 1, 2007

I recently had a similar problem with a Gigabyte board.

Try the bootable flash drive loaded with BIOS trick. It worked for me.
posted by cog_nate at 9:29 PM on November 1, 2007

My guess is that you aren't really restoring the f2 version, it is just that nothing ever changes, so when you write f2 it verifies.

Maybe there is a write protection setting enabled. Or, maybe some BIOS flashing hardware is burned out on your board.

You could try a hot flash. It isn't exactly hard, but you better be sure you've got it right..

"unsupported" may simply mean "not optimized for", or "the cpu is too new vs. the table of cpu names in the old bios"

Yes, it is often about microcode updates. Windows does it's own microcode update, so you don't necessarily have to have the right BIOS..
posted by Chuckles at 11:05 PM on November 1, 2007

I have flashed the bios on an identical board successfully using @BIOS, but it did not have a dual core chip in at the time.

I would try putting the OLD CPU back in and THEN flash with @BIOS again.

This would seem logical as the reason for the flash in the first place is to get the new BIOS to recognise the newer CPU. The old BIOS does not "know" the new CPU.

Good Luck!
posted by Zenabi at 4:20 AM on November 2, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, and Windows does not recognize the proc because the motherboard does not. In windows it shows as only 1 core, running at ~2.2 ghz and the device is an "AMD Hammer Processor - unknown family" or something to that effect.
posted by ijoyner at 7:40 AM on November 2, 2007

I'll second zenabi. put the old chip in.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:03 AM on November 2, 2007

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