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Bad BIOS flash bricked my 4870

Discussion in 'AMD / ATI' started by Millenia, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. Millenia

    Millenia New Member

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    I managed to brick my 4870 with a bad BIOS flash and seem to be unable to recover the damn thing. I did manage to re-flash it using a friend's 4870, but as soon as I plug my card alone in, the bloody thing doesn't even POST D:

    I'd RMA if this card wasn't bought from PixMania, whose RMA process is nothing short of a disaster :/

    Eventually I'll have to if nothing else works but please, give any ideas so I can avoid sending it to France D:
  2. Hybrid_theory

    Hybrid_theory New Member

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    Can't say im heavily knowledgable on the subject. But send it in, say it didn't work all of the sudden and wait for the repair. You mess up the BIOS it's done. It's that simple :(
  3. Flash

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    Most likely your warranty is now void because you updated the BIOS.

    You will need a PCI video card now to re-flash the BIOS again on your 4870.
  4. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Warranty not void

    Doesn't matter if you trash your BIOS, the warranty won't be void. They have to prove you bricked it for that to stand up.

    The retailer won't have the facilities to check for this and will simply swap it for a working one. Even if the manufacturer checks, they have to prove beyond doubt that you did this and it wasn't caused by some other failure, which they can't.

    I've had replaced a motherboard and two graphics cards that I bricked and there was no fuss at all. :rockout:
    phanbuey says thanks.
  5. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Which card was flashed?

    You said that you plugged in another 4870 - how do you know that you didn't actually flash that working one instead? It would run just the same.

    Try flashing again, preferably with a cheap PCI card instead of that 4870. Carefully read the BIOS flashing tutorials on TPU, use the right utility available here (RBE) and use a BIOS from the TPU archive. Resources don't get better than here at TPU. :D
  6. Lionheart

    Lionheart

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    can i ask u guys something, what does flashing your video card bios even do, is it similar to a motherboard bios update.
  7. Millenia

    Millenia New Member

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    Because I checked the card's stats in GPU-Z before and after flashing.

    Before I reflashed the card, it had 0 shaders and a 2,9THz clock and after reflashing it, everything looked fine

    I hear Pixmania has really really shitty RMA process so I'd prefer to avoid it if there's something I can do still.

    Yeah, especially as it DOES have a functioning BIOS now (at least GPU-Z displayed it correctly)

    Yeah, flashing usually just means updating the BIOS :p
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    128K v 64K BIOS

    Ok Millenia, so it sounds like you flashed it with a valid BIOS and you're not new to this sort of thing.

    Is it definitely the right one for your version of that card? eg reference card with reference BIOS from the same manufacturer - seriously, they might change it just that little bit to make anything else brick it, you never know. :eek:

    It's been a while since I played around with video BIOS flashing, but I remember that the 4870s have 128K BIOSes whereas the 4850s have 64K BIOSes and if the flashing program doesn't understand this, the card goes phut.

    I used Radeon BIOS Editor (RBE) to do the fan profile on my 4870 and it worked very well. If you haven't tried it yet, I think that this might well save your card. Get RBE here. A handy tutorial is available here.

    In the end it might just be possible that the card is physically damaged in some way (not necessarily visibly) and that's why it won't work. Let's hope not.
  9. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Similar

    Yes, it's the same exact principle - you would update it to fix bugs or improve performance in various ways*. The main difference between motherboard and video BIOSes, is that video BIOSes don't have configuration interfaces and are much simpler.

    *Or just like living dangerously. lol :)
  10. Millenia

    Millenia New Member

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    I used the newest BIOS from Sapphire's site and flashed it from DOS with the newest version of AtiFlash so I have no idea why it doesn't work :/
  11. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What command line are you using in ATi Flash?
  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Dude, try RBE. It's so quick and easy it's just untrue. :cool: I'm beginning to suspect that you've only flashed 64K somehow...

    EDIT: Also, it's possible this latest Sapphire BIOS doesn't work (happened with Seagate the other day, didn't it?) so try a BIOS from TPU with RBE and see how it goes.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  13. Millenia

    Millenia New Member

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    I used the flash.bat included with the BIOS from Sapphire's site, only changed the flashable card's number from 0 to 1

    Code:
    atiflash -s 0 1e85old.bin
    atiflash -p 0 1e8501sa.002 -f
  14. jimmylao New Member

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    I too, am experiencing the same problem. However, I have tried flashing the fixed bios using atiflash in dos mode to no avail. I haven't tried winatiflash, but that shouldn't matter if I did it with atiflash, right?

    I'm thinking it's time for me to RMA as well as for Millenia :-\
  15. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    See my post #8 about RBE. It's possible you may be only flashing 64k instead of 128k. That will brick it.
    jimmylao says thanks.
  16. jimmylao New Member

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    I am pretty sure I did not flash it with a 64KB file. However, when using RBE, it did not flash correctly and my computer did freeze right afterwards causing it to be a paperweight. The sad thing is, my computer started freezing just about a week ago and I'm pretty sure it was the video card as I had ran memtest (passed) and WD diagnostics (extensive test passed). My CPU temps were at 35C idle. So, I thought it would be the video card and thus I tried to fix the fan spinup bug with RBE (then failing and bricking).

    In any case, I tried fixing it using this http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/overclocking/vidcard/152, but it still won't give me a display during the POST.

    Thanks for the advice though :)
  17. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Try this

    I'm sure you didn't. :) I was thinking of some BIOS flash programs that are either not updated for the 4870 or just buggy, will only flash 64k. I used RBE quite a bit when I first got my 4870 in August and it worked perfectly within Windows XP and without any awkward command switches which are easy to get wrong.

    I'm sorry that RBE didn't work properly for you. It must be really frustrating. :( There are so many possible reasons for this, including hardware failure of your 4870, that it wouldn't be practical to try and figure out which here. Just a few generic tips now however, that might possibly help you recover your 4870 with that TPU article you pointed to:

    - Remove any CPU overclock - run everything at stock
    - Use a good quality branded PSU. Cheap generics on high end cards are a recipe for trouble. Heck, they're trouble anyway
    - Clean install of Windows (XP or Vista) on a spare HD and fully patch. This removes possibility of system problems or malware causing failures
    - latest motherboard chipset drivers
    - Remove any non-essential hardware from your system such as sound cards, USB devices etc
    - Try flashing the card on another system. There might be motherboard issues or something, you never know
    - No more than 1GB RAM perhaps. Sometimes systems can have issues with too much memory in ways you can't predict. Only a long shot, but worth it for temporary use

    GOOD LUCK!

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