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Thread: Bios flash-upgrade

  1. #1
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    Question Bios flash-upgrade

    Happy New Year to you all and many thanks for all your posts here which I've read during my work on systems and got a huge hand of help from. Guys, my daughter's PC is in need for a BIOS upgrade/update, and this will be my first time. I installed Dr Hardware on it, ran the overview, and wrote all the details down. So now I'll just copy/paste from the document. I have her pc on my desk now, running on input2 of my monitor.

    CPU - SL5WH
    willamette
    intel p4 steping : D0
    1900mhz-curent clock speed 1900mhz
    32bit, hyperthreading (1 threads)
    mmx, sse, sse 2

    cpuid value 000F12h
    brand id 8h intel p4/0.18Ám

    mainboard: ECS
    chipset VIA Apollo P4X266+VT8233 southbridge via V-link
    memory 255.5MB
    L2 cache 256KB Unified Cache

    main bios

    Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
    id string 10/05/2001-P4X266-8233-6A6LWE19C-00
    10/05/01
    (C) 1984-2001, Award Software, Inc.

    memory

    128MB/ * 2
    Parity: no, ECC: no
    LVTTL (not 5V tolerant)
    Cycle=7.31ns (CAS Latency 3.0)
    Module64, Prim.SDRAM: x0/x0

    smbios= no info

    PCI BUS

    host bridge, pci-pci bridge, isa bridge, ide mass storage controller, usb serial bus, audio multimedia, these are all by VIA

    VGA Video controler: nvidia fx5500 256mb ram
    Ethernet controller Realtek, on PCI, added-on.

    on the mainboard itself, it says P4VXAS, but low and behold, on the ecs AND the viaarena website, that mainboard is not mine. i did not find it, everytime i thought i finally located it, i'd download the manual, and didn't match, it would say it has 3 rows of simm and 2 of dimm, or that it supports AGP 8x. My Mainboard supports AGP 4x, or at least that's the highest option in my outdated bios. and I have 3 RAM slots, SDRAM the ones with two notches.

    the jumper settings matched from the other manuals, and then when i finally installed dr hardware and it told me the northbridge chipset is the VIA Apollo P4X266, i finally found the manual, but then again, the manual says nothing about the writing on my board, P4VXAS.

    This is why I'm here asking for a hand, I need to do the following:

    1. back up my bios
    2. update bios because it's outdated and it throws out a message "unknown flash type" during POST

    I got a floppy installed, so i'm here and ready, but won't do it until one of you guys tell me how to back it up. i don't even have the bios flash utility, all i know is that need a floppy drive and some floppies.

    Thanks for looking in on me so fast there Bill, here's the issue:

    During POST, I get a message saying "unknown flash type", the system goes on to boot into xp and all is fine. I need to specify that this started happening after i fiddled with overclocking on it. I had the multiplier on 8x and 9x on most tries, and the cpu/agp/pci on the 100/66/33 option at best. when i thought it was stable, i went and turned up the ram from 100 to 133, and n reboot i got a loud series of beeps followed by a checksum error message. and although i've reset the cmos jumper over and over since, the POST error "unknown flash type" is still there. At first I thought it was something about my 8gb flash usb memory stick. then i googled the error and i got all types of warnings that it's a bios problem. that's why i'm thinking of flashing it. do I want to do it ? Oh hell NO. But I want to be able to step it up to a 2.3ghz as I had it, 8x and 100/66/33, and run stable. My daughter kept calling me up to her room telling me it keeps restarting when she plays online games and also when she's on websites with lots of video load. If you think I can be helped solving this w/o flashing, I'd do it.

    Also, I forgot to mention something. Even though on boot I get the award bios show, on the board there's a sticker over the bios chip, a silver sticker by phoenixbios D686 Bios code 039016693. and next to it, also on the bios chip, there's a white sticker with "P4VXAS 204" written on it. So I'm lost.

  2. #2
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    I already said that "flash protection" is the likely cause of your unknown flash type error. Chec that setting in your bios. The fact that you've reset the cmos repeatedly supports my theory.

  3. #3
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    Red face mishap

    i apologize for the thread hijack.. wasn't intended that way.. nor am I an expert in the forums manners. honest to God, I started a new thread on another forum few months back, and people told me "there's already a thread called 'how to OC an old AMD Rob, why don't u write there' so I figured I'd get off on the right foot here with you guys if I did just that.. lol apologies again.

  4. #4
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    there is no flash protection in bios, however there's a flash protection jumper next to the bios chip. let me look in the manual and see if it's on the right pins.. yes it is. 2-3 = protected and it's on 2-3 now. it's been that way. .

  5. #5
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    I guess I wasn't clear. You need to UNPROTECT the bios.

    "unknown flash error" occurs when flash protection is enabled. Disabling it should clear the message.

  6. #6
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Just move the jumper to pins 1-2 to disable the protection.

    After the flash update is finished, move the jumper back to 2-3 again.

  7. #7
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    oh, i see. but i don't think i'm gonna flash it anymore, because i can't find the bios. i finally found the mobo exactly as mine is, but there is nothing available for it there, drivers, manuals, bios, anything. maybe u can take a second and click http://www.motherboards.org/mobot/mo..._d/ECS/P4VXAS/ then try to get drivers/manual/bios, and give me a hand if you may? ok and about unprotecting the bios now.. if i'm not going to flash, how do i get rid of that error message "unknown flash type" ? remove the protection, then put it back on, maybe ?

  8. #8
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    Smile thank you !

    midknyte, sterling_aug, thank you all so much that was the move. i unprotected it, and during post it said updating escd...success, then dmi pooldata something (went too fast) but definitely no errors so i don't know how to thank you guys. you're awesome. to think if i had gotten dumb like i sometimes do, i'd have flashed it and probably lost mobo. because although i found the mobo online, the files for it are not available. on the ECS site, they're all mixed up, here's the menu problem they have... once i go to mobo downloads, first option is to select the socket, and as soon as i put in 423, there's no p4vxas in the next submenu. how about that? there's a p4vxas ver 1.1 like my mobo has written on it, under the 478 socket choices though, but i assure you all , mine is a 423 socket, i cleaned/reapplied thermal paste to it myself and i'm not crazy i know what i saw. so i DID find the mobo here, http://www.motherboards.org/mobot/mo..._d/ECS/P4VXAS/ but the clickable files download links lead to nowhere. but that is the one, the special (different) thing about it is that it can only support AGP4x, and the southbridge is VT8233. on the other versions of the mobo, p4vxad and the like, there's AGP8x, and there's VT8233c or VT8233A. The point i'm making, I learned how to identify it after weeks of downloading wrong manuals. I'd see AGP4x and delete the pdf. the chipset is definitely p4x266, although i can't see it(it has the orange Elitegroup heatsink on it), dr hardware detected that correctly. if you guys can help me with this next step, obtaining the manual, then I'd go on bugging you about helping me oc the willemette. how much can it stand healthily? i definitely don't want to stress the poor thing, but i'm hoping i can get it up from 1.9 to a 2.2-2.3 safely? bios offers vcore + of 0.05 and 0.1. can i mess with that, having this mobo? i have a capable pair of doublesided sdrams, 256mb each, paired, pc-133, and a 256mb nvidia fx5500 video card. 400watt delux psu, strong and obedient . the fx5500 has a fan, i went and mounted a larger heatsink/fan on the cpu, and added a case fan on the backwall. at 8x multiplier with a 110/60+/30+ clock, the proc stays at 2.09ghz, temp leveled at 50C. how am I doing? where should I work? on the multiplier? because the next step on the clock is 133 and last time i went there, i had to reset cmos. not that i mind resetting it. at that time i had less, slower ram, and a weaker videocard. besides, i probably had the CAS latency set to 2, and didn't know how to set the agp aperture, video/bios shadows, .. the latter i still don't know . will you guys help me? again ?

  9. #9
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    i unprotected it, and during post it said updating escd...success, then dmi pooldata something (went too fast) but definitely no errors
    Only after I told you to do it like 3 times.

    It's hard to read that many words in a big blob. Please split up your ideas for easier reading.

    You cannot change multipliers on a P4 423. The 423s weren't great overclockers, so don't expect too much. You generally don't mess with other settings besides fsb, voltage, etc.

    System Bios Cacheable: Disable
    Video Bios Cacheable: Disable
    AGP Aperature: 128

  10. #10
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    great, the two settings made the difference,
    System Bios Cacheable: Disable
    Video Bios Cacheable: Disable

    now i have it running at 2.03ghz STABLE really stable i benchmarked it and stressed it for 2 hours then did the windows updates and benchmarked it again did video benchmarks too, and it's definitely stable. and i did all this with vcore to +0.05, not +0.1 so it's all quiet too. thanks for your input it saved me hours of trial and error and risking. you all are proper.

    new train of thought, i'm gonna set up another system now, in like 2 hours probably, if i have questions about oc issues on it, can i keep posting here? or do i start a new thread under a different category ?

    all the best.

  11. #11
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    different computer, different thread. Plus you would put it in the CPU/Overclocking forum.

  12. #12
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    midknyte, anyone, can i please get some help finding the manual for this mobo ? the p4vxas from ecs. 4x agp, not 8x. the manual on their website gives me a different manual.. it's wrong. it says agp8x.

    since i'm using that 1.9 ghz p4 willemette on it, i need the fsb on the mobo set on 100, because of the quad pump, right?

  13. #13
    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    http://www.ecsusa.com/ECSWebSite/Pro...nuID=1&LanID=9

    Are you sure it's the P4VXAS and not the P4VXASD? I'm guessing that you downloaded the manual for the P4VXAS2, which is a 478 board.

    Yes you would use the 100MHz setting for a 1.9 P4.

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