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christo1423
08-04-2005, 07:20 AM
I have heard on several occasions that all the bios flashing can ruin a motherboard. For this reason I was wondering if it was possible to use the basic stamp to read off the contents of the BIOS for a backup to be restored if·the BIOS gets ruined by the bios fashing utillity.··

Chris Savage
08-04-2005, 07:36 AM
Hello,

·· Reading the chip isn't the problem so much as getting the data back into the computer as a useable file.· But that's really beside the point, since every BIOS flashing utility I have seen has a function to save the current BIOS as a file.· Most manuafcturers recommend that, as well as not flashing your BIOS just for the sake of having the latest verison, but only if you're experiencing an issue related to the update.

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Chris Savage
Parallax Tech Support
csavage@parallax.com (mailto:csavage@parallax.com)

allanlane5
08-04-2005, 09:16 PM
If the BIOS gets ruined by flashing it too often, that means that the BIOS eeprom cannot be written any more. Thus, once ruined, having a backup of it doesn't help, because you can't write your backup into the BIOS eeprom.

However, it IS nice to have a backup file of your BIOS eeprom, just in case the original eeprom gets 'stepped on' inadvertently.

Chris Savage
08-04-2005, 09:55 PM
·· Actually, to the average person who doesn't understand what the BIOS is does, the motherboard becomes a doorstop if the flash programming fails for any reason.· I have many people come into my old computer shop saying they were afraid to upgrade their BIOS for fear of having a doorstop.· My first question was always, "Why do you need to flash it in the first place?"

·· Now whether it gets flashed too many times or stepped on, it doesn't really matter.· You either have a backup, or you don't.· Many companies such as ASUS have a standard fee, such as $5.00 to send in your failed BIOS chip and have it re-flashed by them with the latest BIOS version.

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Chris Savage
Parallax Tech Support
csavage@parallax.com (mailto:csavage@parallax.com)

christo1423
08-05-2005, 05:21 AM
the senerio I am trying to work with is where the bios gets stepped on in the flashing proccess.when this happens I would say it is probably not possible to use a backup file like the one mentioned in one of the posts because there would be nothing left of the computer to load up the backup. so what I am thinking is to use the basic stamp as a reflasher which is probably similar to what the manufacturer does except it would be practically free because I alrady own the basic stamp.And do any of you have any code that might implement this type of solution?

christo1423
08-05-2005, 05:24 AM
I forgot to say the reason I need this is the fact that I work in a comuputer lab where we sometimes flash as many as 80 computers at a time.So a cheap recovery would be very convenient.·

Chris Savage
08-05-2005, 06:05 AM
·· I just don't see an easy Stamp solution that doesn't involve a bigger circuit and removal of the chip from each computer each time you want to read it.

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Chris Savage
Parallax Tech Support
csavage@parallax.com (mailto:csavage@parallax.com)

Gadgetman
08-05-2005, 03:25 PM
Knowing a little bit about flashing EPROMS/EEPROMS I can only suggest that you invest in a VERY GOOD soldering iron and an EPROM burner.

The voltage needed to program the chips and the timing varies wildly from type to type, and doing it the wrong way may let out the magic, blue smoke.

Of course, then you'd also need a program that can either convert the saved BIOS image to a format the burner understands, or a program that can 'rip' the BIOS image directly from the PC.

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Don't visit my new website...

knightofoldcode
08-05-2005, 04:27 PM
Board,

There are commercial solutions to just this problem. For instance, my motherboard has "C.P.R." Basically it's got two BIOS's, if the first one failes, it switches to the second one, the second one can't be wrote to, it's the "defaults". Then using that second bios you can reflash your first running bios. My Motherboard is a Asus P4PE, REALLY good board.

However for your situation, in that your trying to implement this in a computer lab, I have to assume that you'll rarely encounter this.

They do still offer a commercial version. Look at these links:


http://www.frozencpu.com/bio-01.html
http://www.frozencpu.com/bio-02.html
http://www.frozencpu.com/bio-03.html
http://www.frozencpu.com/bio-04.html

If these links don't work, go to fronzencpu.com and under search, enter "Bios Savior".


This solution is designed for use in a permanent setting. However, I have the full compliment of 4, for my computer shop (they are only hooked into a customer's machine until the flash is completed, and verified working.) These work excellent, and I have used Frozen CPU in the past, and had nothing but good business with them.

The only problem with this solution is that it can't be backed up into a file and saved on a CD. And, you're not able to repair a system that has already been screwed up by the customer, this only saves you if the computer shop or you, screw it up. I have had customers who flashed, "because a friend said I should", and power goes out. All my systems are battery, and propane backed up when I do a flash for a customer.

Knight.