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Can a AWARD rom be hotflashed to AMI bios chip ?

Discussion in 'Motherboards & Memory' started by r9, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. r9

    r9

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    The mainboard that I used to hotflash has AWARD bios and the chips that I used are AMI type. When I try to flash awdflash is returning error "BIOS not recognized" and if I force it with /F switch it is freezing. The chips that I`m trying to flash should be compatible as far as I know because all chips including the motherboard BIOS are 8x512B 4MB 3Volt BIOS chips and the pins positions and roles are identical. Is there any software that would flash this scenario, uniflash maybe ? And is some other parameter that must be met in order for BIOS chips be compatible beside Voltage, Size and pin roles ?
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  2. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Why would you want to do it?
  3. r9

    r9

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    I have dead boards that I suspect some of them have corrupted bios and I`m trying to reflash them.
  4. overclocking101

    overclocking101

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    no you absolutely cannot. if you could bios mods would be a lot more universal, the only way is to flash the right bios to the right chip
  5. r9

    r9

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    I don`t think that you get what I`m trying to do. I`m trying to clone the original bios to another compatible chip that is not the same bios as the original bios. But bios is just memory.
    Why not be possible to flash AWARD to AMI bios chip ? If you have hdd with windows it is windows drive but when you erase it and install Linux it would be Linux drive.
    I`m not trying to run AWARD BIOS motherboard with AMI bios. The board would end up with same bios type just the new bios chip earlier was AMI and than AWARD.
  6. _JP_

    _JP_

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    Bad comparison/wrong analogy. A hard drive doesn't behave like a EEPROM chip. Never did.
    You can't flash one into the other because, although both chips seem identical, the boot block hash checksum prior to flashing will fail, due to the rest of the blocks being different (they will be labeled as corrupted, most likely).
  7. BIOSEng New Member

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    Sure you can do this. You need to use something like FlashROM.

    We do this type of thing from time to time when creating "insert my company's BIOS name here" BIOSs for commercial motherboards that I'm porting to our "insert my company's BIOS name here".

    Assuming you have a socket on your boards. Take board A & BIOS part A with the Award BIOS and board B and BIOS part B with the AMI BIOS.

    1. Boot the A board with the A BIOS
    2. take out the A BIOS
    3. put in a blank part
    4. use FlashROM to flash BIOS B to the blank part
    5. wait until FlashROM is finished
    6. pull the power plug
    7. swap back to the A BIOS on board A.

    Don't try to boot the AMI BIOS (B) on your original Award BIOS board (A). Unless you are extremely lucky, the AMI BIOS will not boot that board. Each brand and even most different models have specific information the BIOS requires. If you want to know more, become a BIOS programmer, it's not the most difficult type of programming around.

    Although it's easier to use something like a Dediprog with clips. But you have to have a lot of motherboards to justify buying a Dediprog.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
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  8. _JP_

    _JP_

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    Wow. I didn't know that.
    Thanks.
  9. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    Yeah, I've hotflashed my Abit AV8 Socket 939 BIOS before on another Abit Socket A board (similar flash chip with equivalent voltage), as the AV8 had some corruption issues. Just boot up the donor board regularly, pull the donor EEPROM, insert the corrupt EEPROM, use flashing program, pull power plug, and swap the EEPROMs.

    This works because the system BIOS is loaded into RAM on bootup, so the EEPROM can safely be pulled with IC clips after POST has completed.
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  10. r9

    r9

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    @BIOSEng
    The Uniflash description said that can do AWARD to AMI and vice versa. But the Uniflash 1.4 is outdated I guess it would not recognize the newer bioses. I`m going to look at Flashrom.
    And what you mean by "4. use FlashROM to flash BIOS B to the blank part" What you mean with "BLANK PART" ?
    And thanks for your effort to explain. I see this is your first post. Usually people join forum to ask question not to answer and if they join is to brag for example "I work for IBM and we do this ..." :D.
    @JP
    You see you are wrong :D.
  11. BIOSEng New Member

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    As I said, BIOS programmers do this sometimes.

    You DO have to be very careful. There are +-12 volts, +-5 volts, +-3 volts, and grounds on the board. If you connect any of these together it can cause damage to some of the parts. Many of the removal tools are conductive, so they could make the board unusable.

    The plastic sockets are fragile, the connections to the board are fragile. Use care.

    Also, it's possible to do something that would hurt you. I've seen short on a board cause a small capacitor to fly off the board or one of the big ones to explode. You don't want to be bending over either one when they pop.

    But the theory works fine.
  12. BIOSEng New Member

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    >> And what you mean by "4. use FlashROM to flash BIOS B to the blank part" What you mean with "BLANK PART" ?

    Sorry, I assumed you were using blank parts out of a tube of flash parts. Doesn't matter.

    FlashROM will erase the part, then reprogram it.

    You can't just change a BIOS flash bit from 1 to 0 to 1. On these cheap flash parts, you have to erase a block to all ones before changing some of the bits to zeros. That's typical although sometimes the bits are erased to all zeros and then you change some to ones. It depends on the manufacturing technology.

    Yes I am strange in that I have Google Alerts on BIOS topics. If I have some extra time I'll answer questions on random boards. It depends on how difficult it is to register on the forum. In my job I frequently speak for the company. So when I'm not, I don't identify myself.
    r9 says thanks.
  13. Widjaja

    Widjaja

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    Well we hope to see you around BIOSeng.

    Definitely some very interesting info which I'll be keeping in mind.
  14. r9

    r9

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    I successfully hot flashed different BIOS chips from another board using Hirens boot CD > Linux Recovery that has flashrom. All chips were winbond different models same size and voltage. I did tried hotflashing 5 volts Bios chips (AMIC brand) on the same board they were not recognized and no damage was done to the board or chips.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
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