A bit of hand holding for Bios upgrade.

14 replies [Last post]
CARLOS
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Joined: Sep 6 2000

Hi there.

I'm at the start of an upgrade to my PC. I had a 10GB and a 27GB HHD installed as 10 GB master 27GB as slave. Have now removed 10GB and put 27GB in as master, changed jumper settings, formatted, and continued to install master CD'S (windows 98, provided software, etc.) which came with the system when I bought it.
All went well untill I checked on the harddrive size of (c)>drive in "My computer" and saw a H.D. size of only 7.82 instead of 27GB I was expecting.
Everything worked fine when both the 10GB and 27GB drives were working both showing their round about G.B. sizes.
Through a weekend full of checking and searching I believe I may need to perform a upgrade on my bios, hopefully to enable it to see H.D. sizes larger than it is seeing.
My motherboard manufacturer is 'Microstar'and the motherboard is a 'MS 6119 ver1.1 BX2' the bios is 'AMIBIOS ver 1.16'. My system is an intel pentium 2, 400mhz, running windows 98.
I downloaded the update for my AMI bios (A6119 ver 1.3) from Microstars website www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_detail.php?UID=105&NAME=MS-6119 into a folder in 'My documents'.I have double clicked this exe. file and was presented with a 'DOS window' which informed me from this exe. file it had opened several other files (txt.file, flash.doc file which tries to explain how to install the AMI bios upgrade.)

I'm afraid that I am a bit lost and confused when reading these installation instructions and was hoping someone could hold my hand and explain the process in idiot terminology, I am sure I will be capable of completing this upgrade with this help. These are the instructions as pasted from the microsoft word.doc

!!!!! IMPORTANT NOTES BEFORE PROGRAMMING !!!!!

Note1: This BIOS is a Plug 'n Play BIOS, and has to be used with SST or Winbond
Flash Memory. If this BIOS is programmed in EPROM or other brands of
Flash Memory (not SST nor Winbond), there will be a problem with Windows
95 RESTART function.

Note2: If your on-board BIOS is AMI BIOS and you want to program the Award BIOS
file into the on-board BIOS, you must use the "AMI" flash utility
(i.e.: AMIFL530.COM, AMIFL620.COM).

Note3: If your on-board BIOS is Award BIOS and you want to program the AMI BIOS
file into the on-board BIOS, you must use the "AWARD" flash utility
(i.e.: AWDFL52B.EXE, AWDFL534.EXE ).

How to use the AMI FLASH Utility
-----------------------------------

This utility is used to program a new BIOS into a Flash memory. You have to
make sure first that the BIOS installed in your mainboard is Flash memory,
and not EPROM.

1. Turn on your computer.

2. Boot up clean, bypassing your AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.

3. Then, run the AMI FLASH UTILITY file.

DRIVE:\>AMI_FLASH UTILITY_FILE BIOS_FILE
EX: C:\>AMIFL530 A37A.ROM

The programming screen will be shown. At the bottom of the screen, the
following message will appear:

Press "Y" to Continue, "N" to Reboot

Press "N" if you do not want to continue programming the new BIOS.

Press "Y" if you want to continue programming the new BIOS. The new BIOS
will then be programmed. When it has finished programming, the following
message will appear:

Flash EPROM Program Successful. Press Any Key to Reboot.

You have successfully programmed the new BIOS.

Any help would be gratefully accepted
Cheers
CARLOS

[This message has been edited by CARLOS (edited 02 February 2003).]

colinb
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

In windows create a directory called say "bios" on your C: drive, and copy the EXE file you downloaded into that directory. Double clicking teh file should then unpack the files into the "bios" directory as you described.

Create a rescue/boot floppy in windows. Edit the contents of the autoexec.bat and config.sys files on the floppy so that they are empty.

From what I can remember, updating the BIOS will cause Windows 98 to re-detect almost all of the hardware. This is fine and dandy but I remember having problems with conflicting and duplicate drivers caused by the previous entries in Device Manager.

I found that the cleanest way of doing this was, just before shutting down Windows 98 for the last time (before flashing the BIOS) boot Windows into safe mode then go into device manager and remove EVERYTHING.

However, as you seem to have the incorrect drive size, I'd assume that you will be reformatting the whole disk and re-installing windows, so you won't be worried about the above.

Now boot up off the floppy, and at the C: prompt type

c:
cd bios

and now run the command in your step 3. The exact command and file name will depend on the files that were unpacked into the BIOS directory.

When the flash completes and the PC reboots,
go staight back into the BIOS and check the settings, correcting any such as CPU speed, and re-detecting hard drives if necessary - this should also show you whether the full drive capacity is recognised. Then save the BIOS settings and reboot the PC.

At this point you will probably want to re partition the whole drive using your rescue floppy or PArtition MAgic or whatever.

Colin

remove the floppy and it will boot back into windows

CARLOS
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

Thanks for your reply Colinb.

OK....

Created a folder in windows as you described and named it as- c:\bios

Copied and pasted the downloaded .exe file into this 'bios' folder. Double clicked it and sure enough the other files were unpacked. One file is called Amifl814 and another A619c313.rom the other two are just the .txt and .doc files.

Now then..... created a start up disk, via control panel/ add+remove programs. I opened this new floppy start up disc to find a number of files. I noticed one of the files you mentioned, the Autoexec.bat, and right clicked it, then clicked open. A small Dos window opened showing information. Question is I believe I need to delete all this info to leave this file blank, HOW DO I DO THIS ????. Also amongst the other files which are on this start up disc I can't see the config.sys file you mention, WHERE is it ??.

THEN YOU SAY

1. boot up with the floppy inserted and at the c: prompt type
c:
cd bios ,is this exactly as I have shown here with the cd bios wording underneath the c: as shown. Should there be a space between cd and bios ???. WHAT DOES THE 'cd' STAND FOR ????. Do I then press the enter key on the keyboard AFTER I HAVE TYPED THIS ??.

2. You then say run the command as in step 3.
I am presuming here that there will be another c: prompt at which point I would type c:\>Amifl814 A619c313.rom these two being the files in my 'bios' folder. Question.. Do I leave a space between Amifl814 and A619c313.rom or not ??????. Do I then press the enter key on the keyboard AFTER I HAVE TYPED THIS ??.

3. Are there any more prompts / things I need to do, or is this the end of my bit and the bios are being flashed.

I'm sorry to go so much into detail but I have never done this before and am aware that the slightest mistake could be the end of my PC so I would rather go on a bit now than get it wrong.

Thanks for all your help

CARLOS

CARLOS
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

Anyone ??????

colinb
Offline
Joined: Dec 1 2001

<<
Created a folder in windows as you
described and named it as- c:\bios
>>

Good

<<
Copied and pasted the downloaded .exe file into this 'bios' folder. Double clicked it and sure enough the other files were unpacked. One file is called Amifl814 and another A619c313.rom the other two are just the .txt and .doc files.
>>

Yup. The Amifl814 is the program that does the flashing, and the A619c313.rom is a data file that contains the new image that will be flashed to the BIOS. Just be absolutely sure that you downloaded the right file for your Motherboard!

<<
Now then..... created a start up disk, via control panel/ add+remove programs. I opened this new floppy start up disc to find a number of files. I noticed one of the files you mentioned, the Autoexec.bat, and right clicked it, then clicked open.
>>

Ah. Sorry, you need a bit more low-level help. Start windows explorer and click on the A: drive to show the contents of the A drive. You will see autoexec.bat but you will probably not see config.sys because it is marked as a "hidden" file. To be able to see it you must change one of the Windows Explorer options - it is called something like "Show Hidden Files" and you need to enable/tick this option. You will then find that config.sys will appear.

The problem you had opening autoexec.bat is because you clicked "open" which runs the file, you should instead have chosen "edit" from the right-click menu. Notepad appears with the contents of the file, so you just edit out the complete contents and then click File->Save and File->Exit

You should now have an empty autoexec.bat file on your a: drive

Unfortunately there is no "edit" on the right-click menu for config.sys so you will have to do this slightly differently. Now SHIFT-rightclick the config.sys file (remember the SHIFT!) and the menu will give you an "Open using" entry - choose that and you will be given a selection of programs that you can use to open the file - you should choose Notepad.

Notepad will then appear with the contents of the config.sys file. As before edit out all the contents and save it.

<<
1. boot up with the floppy inserted and at the c: prompt type
c:
cd bios
is this exactly as I have shown here with the cd bios wording underneath the c: as shown. Should there be a space between cd and bios ???.
>>

Yes to both questions. The two lines are two separate commands. You press RETURN at the end of each command, so they will appear on separate lines. Press return after the c: and aslo after the cd bios

The cd is a command telling DOS to change folder and the "bios" is the name of the folder to change-to. Quite simply it puts you in the bios folder.

<<
2. You then say run the command as in step 3.
I am presuming here that there will be another c: prompt
>>

Actually I think the prompt will have changed to c:\bios which just tells you that you are now sitting in the bios folder.

<<
at which point I would type
c:\>Amifl814 A619c313.rom
these two being the files in my 'bios' folder.
>>

Yes but you don't type the c:\> prompt.

<<
Question.. Do I leave a space between Amifl814 and A619c313.rom
>>

Yes

<<
Do I then press the enter key on the keyboard AFTER I HAVE TYPED THIS ??.
>>

Yes

<<
3. Are there any more prompts / things I need to do, or is this the end of my bit and the bios are being flashed.
>>

Once you have typed the above, the flash program will be running so I can't tell you exactly what it may ask you. It will probably tell you not to power off the PC while it is being flashed and may ask you if you are SURE you want to proceed - but it should all be very straightforward. At the end it will probably ask you to press a key to re-boot the PC (with the new BIOS).

When it re-boots I would probably go straight into the BIOS and check the settings before allowing it to boot up for the first time. It is sometimes necessary to re-detect the hard drives in the BIOS and this will probably show you whether the whole capacity of your new drives are recognised. When you've checked the BIOS settings (against the ones you noted down from your old BIOS), save them and exit the BIOS - the PC will then re-boot again. (Note that the new BIOS may have extra settings or extra options).

You *might* find in your case that because the whole drive was not recognised before that the new BIOS may not recognise the old partitions. In this case you won't be able to boot into your windows installation and you will have to re-partition and re-format the hard drive again. Even if your PC does boot straight into windows first time, it *might* be difficult to add a partition using the extra space. It's probably better to wave goodbye to your existing winodws installation and just re-partition, re-format and re-install windows from scratch.

<<
I'm sorry to go so much into detail but I have never done this before and am aware that the slightest mistake could be the end of my PC so I would rather go on a bit now than get it wrong.
>>

Yes, I have had to explain in a little more detail than I expected, and you are right to be wary. When I have flashed my BIOS I have always made sure I had downloaded a copy of the old BIOS which I was currently running, and that I have noted down ALL of the current settings in the old BIOS because after a flash some of the settings may change to "default" values.

I also make sure that I have taken an image of the C: partition using Partition Magic or Norton Ghost, but that's paranoia.

Colin

CARLOS
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Joined: Sep 6 2000

Well I've flashed !!!!!
All seemed to go well, booted back up no problems windows working ok and here I am using the internet. PROBLEM is when I go into BIOS set up its all in 'CHINESE' (literally). Can any one read chinese or offer some idea of how I can reset to 'ENGLISH'

CARLOS

mike velte
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

MS-6119 A619C313 BIOS Release
-----------------------------

1. This is the AMI(r) BIOS release ver 1.3 for Simplified Chinese version.

Try another version until you get an English one> then flash again.

GG
Offline
Joined: Mar 16 2002

Cheers Carlos,

This thread prompted me to see If I can get my old MSI6163-pro M/B going. It worked fine for about a year from new, but then the Primary IDE channel failed, not detecting the disks attached. Bios was V3.1. Got the upgrade to V3.10 from here:
http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_detail.php?UID=113&NAME=MS-6163

Guess what, the controller is working again

Looks like it's exactly the same place you got yours, so puzzling yours is in Chinese.

rgds

GG

BSOD - a truly unique Microsoft innovation!

CARLOS
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

Hi GG
Glad it helped you. Yes its the same place, obviously my motherboard is a slightly different model. My model as I understand it is a 'slot 1' type, model number= MS 6119 ver1.1 BX2. The link to my bios upgrade is http://www.msi.com.tw/program/support/bios/bos/spt_bos_detail.php?UID=105&NAME=MS-6119
Right down at the bottom of the list I found the AMI Bios, because I found the bios my system was using was AMIBios ver 1.16 I assumed that the latest version (1.3) was the one for me,WRONG!!. Obviously looking at the very bottom bios download (ver1.0) it does mention that one is 'This is the initial AMI(R) Bios release for simplified chinese version. I didn't think that this would affect my bios upgrade (ver1.3) but it did !!!!!!!!.
What I would like to know is, the Award Bios upgrades which are shown all above the AMI bios upgrades, could I install the latest "AWARD" bios upgrade version p2.9 over my now existing "AMI" bios ver1.3.
Perhaps you GG may have the knowledge to answer this question or perhaps mike velte or even colinb or heck, anyone who has knowledge of sorting this type of problem out.
My computer seems to bootup and work ok, although I'm having trouble trying to install Windows 2000pro and a Maxtor 120GB HDD ( just won't accept them).
I don't particularly want to learn simplified chinese so I would really like to sort this problem out.

Any help gents as usual will be warmly accepted.

Cheers
CARLOS

P.S. If it helps here is a link for a full review of my motherboard. http://www.hardwarezone.com/reviews/mb/msi6119/6119.htm

[This message has been edited by CARLOS (edited 09 February 2003).]

[This message has been edited by CARLOS (edited 09 February 2003).]

GG
Offline
Joined: Mar 16 2002

Hi again Carlos,

I've just looked at your link again.

You can't install an Award update on a system with AMI Bios as far as I know, never tried it though. But should think it won't do it, or if it does that it will probably kill the M/B completely.

A look at the date for V1.3 (1999-3-25) is a give away. I should think it is highly unlikely that this version will support 120Gig disks.

My 6163 is a newer model Slot1 board, Bios V3.9 dated 2000-9-4 is where the support for disks over 65Gig was implemented, but this still doesn't seem to support disks of over 100Gig properly.

In a nutshell I think it's too old

rgds

GG

BSOD - a truly unique Microsoft innovation!

CARLOS
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

Hi GG
Yes I have had my system for a while now and would love to chuck it and buy a new one from one of the advertised NLE specialist dealers but I'm afraid funds and more so the wife won't allow it. So I am trying to do the best with the PC I have now i.e. bios upgrades, possible processor upgrade, larger HDD which my budget will allow.
My cunning plan was to, upgrade the bios, which hopefully would allow me to install a Pentium (3) 400,500 or 600mhz processor, A larger HDD (120GB) and install Windows 2000PRO as a dual boot system (along side Windows 98 I already have) which I then wanted to setup purely as a video capture and editing system making use of NTFS file system under windows 2000.

A question about the 120GB HDD, would I get past the problem of my bios not accepting the large HDD when connected as 'SLAVE' on the primary IDE by installing the drive in a external 1394 drive enclosure (e.g Pyro 1394 drive kit)(I have the Pyro OHCI firewire card fitted).

I have e-mailed the manufacturer of my MoBo (Micro Star) for info regarding the possabilities of Bios upgrades for my MoBo and am still waiting on a reply.
Until then replies from anyone who could offer further assistance would be great !!.

Cheers
Carlos

StuartV
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Joined: Feb 8 2002

I suspect that your disks may originally been installed using some form of "bios overlay" software (such as ez-bios installed using maxblast for maxtor drives).

If all else fails, you can always revert to the original bios and use this type of software to access large disks.

The only major problem would be transferring this disk to another system (as the data may be unreadable without this software).

Hope this helps

Stuart

Ron Wessels
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Joined: Aug 27 2002

quote:You can't install an Award update on a system with AMI Bios as far as I know

If you read Note2 in the FLASH.DOC document, it says that:
quote:If your on-board BIOS is AMI BIOS and you want to program the Award BIOS file into the on-board BIOS, you must use the "AMI" flash utility (i.e.: AMIFL530.COM, AMIFL620.COM).
That certainly implies to me that you could put the latest Award BIOS on to your board.

Now, I have no idea whether you want the "MSI Standard M/B" version or the "mainboard with CPU PLUG AND PLAY function" version. Hopefully your motherboard manual will specify that.

Now, going back to your original problem of trying to install large disk drives: you could always buy a relatively inexpensive ATA controller card (Promise cards are well thought of) and use that for your large drive. They have their own BIOS and can support disks greater than 137GB in size.

------------------
Ron Wessels

[This message has been edited by Ron Wessels (edited 13 February 2003).]

Ron Wessels

CARLOS
Offline
Joined: Sep 6 2000

Thanks for your replies guys.
I think I may have sorted out my bios problem via the Packard Bell web site but still looking into it, will report as soon as I know anything more.

I was actually looking at the promise cards to over come the HDD size, but I was also wondering about the possability of using the HDD installed in an external pyro drive bay working through firewire connection. Would this work and would it give better performance speeds than using a promise card.

Cheers
Carlos

Ron Wessels
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Joined: Aug 27 2002

The performance of an external FireWire drive will be worse than connecting it internally to an IDE controller. In fact, most external FireWire drives are simply IDE drives with a FireWire<->IDE bridge board.

Now, having said that, for DV capture, a drive is either fast enough or not. If the drive can keep up with the DV data stream, there is very little benefit to drive performance over and above that. Unless, of course, you plan on doing other stuff while you are capturing video, which is a really bad idea.

Finally, I will preface by saying that many people have gotten external FireWire drives to work flawlessly. However, I tried setting one up with a spare drive I had and got some sort of communication problem such that my partition essentially got completely corrupted. It wasn't worth it to me to diagnose it to figure out whether it was the FireWire card, the cable, the enclosure, or the disk drive that was causing the problem.

Ron Wessels