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Pre-Built manufacturers might be doing away with CMOS/User changable BIOSes!?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by newtekie1, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Well I got an interesting rumor from the rumor mill around my work. Basically, manufacturers such as Dell/HP/Gateway will be switching to a new system in the near future that eliminates the CMOS. Instead the proper settings will be embedded in the BIOS chip itself, and no options will be user changable.

    According to the rumor, they are doing this to help cut down on the number of warranty claims and tech support calls they get that were the result of a wrong BIOS setting. This will also decrease motherboard costs, as it will eliminate the need for the onboard battery and CMOS chip.

    I would assume that the Optical Drive would be locked as the first boot device, or at least that is what I hope, since it would make working on these computers a real pain in the ass otherwise, unless of course they at least give us the option to select a different boot device by pushing a button during POST.

    Of course, the first thing I asked was how the date and time would work. The only way I could figure it would work is one of the manufacturer's start up apps sets the proper time every boot-up from the time servers, but that seems kind of like a crappy solution(though I wouldn't expect much more than a crappy solution from pre-built companies).

    I know this probably won't effect a whole lot of us in this forum because most of us build our own, but some of us don't and a lot of us probably work on pre-built computers for friends/family/work.

    Just thought I'd pass on the info.
     
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  2. Munki

    Munki

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    Oh....great. Maybe it wont be so bad. I kinda like them being able to change the BIOS, makes business moar betta. Now this is something else to make my revenue decline...
     
  3. blkhogan

    blkhogan New Member

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    Im really suprised they didnt do this a long time ago. I bet warranty issues due to BIOS changes are pretty high for pre-built models. Really dont blame them.
     
  4. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Such a thing was around for ages. We had a Compaq Pressario Pentium 133 MHz "high-end multimedia" desktop back in 1995 which had no user changeable BIOS. It detected drives on each boot, and had a fixed boot order of removable disks > fixed disks. Stuff such as disabling audio, VGA etc were done using jumpers. It had two motherboards (one holding the system, and the other with expansion slots and power. The slots board itself had a huge slot on which the main board sat.

    Later Compaq released a boot floppy that had a BIOS setup utility with mouse-driven GUI with 256 color graphics and icons (the utility didn't need an OS to run). To save changes it simply flashed the BIOS.
     
  5. hat

    hat Enthusiast

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    Meh, no major loss. From the prebuilt BIOSes I've seen, there's nothing to get a boner about in there anyway. As long as I can change whatever I want on my custom builds, I'm fine.
     
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  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I'm more worried about chaning the Boot order, and disabling things that might be causing problems. Such as the onboard NIC causing BSOD at boot, and disabling it in the BIOS fixes it.
     
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  7. KainXS

    KainXS

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    the last laptop I bought had a bios that was so stripped down and useless that the only thing you could do is change the order of the cd and hdd, and look at the system specs, had no options to disable anything, bought a card got a IRQ confict and can't fix it.
     
  8. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    Wow... the BIOS'es that come with prebuilts are terrible enough, now they're going to completely remove it?

    I can see this affecting businesses of those who open their own computer shops, no more doing easy upgrades for customers with prebuilts...
     
  9. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I don't think it will be too big of an issue for easy upgrades. The Processor/Memory/HDD/ODD should all be detected during POST, they aren't pre-set in the BIOS, so any upgrades there shouldn't be an issue. Unless of course they totally bork up the boot order.
     
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  10. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    IMO their not always bad -its different from the early days (1990-1999) when an OEMs use to run really cheap Foxxcon or ECS boards that had no model number with custom locked down bios's - no cpu or ram tweaking options. it was just a extremely stripped down bios. but later on when the demand for computers was starting to increase they started getting higher quality parts in - they stopped locking the bios down & just had their logo come up when you boot the system up.

    this new idea seems really really shit & if its really gonna happen then thank god I can build my own machines.
     
  11. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    My HP Pavilion from '06 had a stripped down BIOS. All I could change was the boot order and date/time and some other stuff like onboard audio etc etc. The issue is still around, this is even worse.
     
  12. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I've seen BIOSes in pre-builts go both ways. None have ever had overclocking options*, obviously. However, I've seen some that had a fair bit of options to play around with, like amount of system RAM the onboard video uses and such, along with adjustments for memory speed and timings, the options to turn on and off certain features of the CPU, enable or disable RAID/ACHI, and I've seen some that let you change boot order and thats about it.

    However, I've also bought boards for custom built machines that completely lacked overclocking functionality also. That is a common thing with most Intel motherboards actually, espcially their mATX boards. Obviously, ASUS and the other motherboard manufacturers tend to use more stipped down BIOSes for their OEM boards then they do for the custom boards.

    *There are obviously some pre-built machines that overclocking is actually a selling feature, so it is included. The HP Blackbird is one such machine, as are the higher end Dell XPS/Alienware machines.
     
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  13. beyond_amusia

    beyond_amusia New Member

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    It's EFI I bet - Apple already uses it and it's been supported since Vista SP1 - EFI and EFI compatible hardware could lead to the elimination of device drivers - the firmwares would just be updated as needed on the devices and EFI would handle the rest - that's what I heard a few years ago at least - no sign of it happening though.
     
  14. DigitalUK

    DigitalUK

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    i can see this causing problems, how many times have you told someone (who brought a pre fab) disable this or that in bios and see if it boots ,change this to that etc and see if BSOD goes away.
    i repair lots of computers most being pre fabs like dell, emachines etc, and the bios can be a lifesaver.
    even if it did cut down on costs for motherboard production which i doubt because companys would probably end up having to make 2 versions of the same board one for the retail companys dell etc and one for the end user who purchases from shop. that cost would never be past on same as always.
     
  15. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Shit, I hope this rumour is false. :eek: I work in IT and quite often have to fiddle with the BIOS of our desktops and laptops (HP & Toshiba mainly).

    There's too many things that would be screwed up by this, so I can't see it happening. It sounds like a classic April Fool story (yes I know it's the 2nd) if anything...

    News from a credible source or it's not happening.
     
  16. Phxprovost

    Phxprovost Xtreme Refugee

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    it my just be my personality but i see horrible things coming out of this. Sure it starts with the prebuilts...but then maybe it moves to the low end of DIY....then the mid range......then ultimately we will end up having to pay for the "enthusiast" mobos with the bios level control :rolleyes:

    more ot and less parinoid: Actually seems like a pretty good idea for the prebuilt section. :toast:
     
  17. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Kinda sounds like Apples firmware garbage.
     
  18. wiak

    wiak

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    crap, they should lock the first boot device as USB Storage, then the second CD/DVD ROM and the third Hard drive

    so people can update their bios using usb sticks ;)

    btw i think apple uses efi, and its the next gen bios, but i dont know how much apple has locked it, as EFI has been used on some MSI boards to
     
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  19. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    It sucks.
     
  20. wiak

    wiak

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    but in any case, it sucks yep ;)
    thats why i dont buy prebuilt unless its a laptop ;)
     
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