The Super 7 Hardware Guide's BIOS FAQ
We hope that the following list of frequently asked questions will be of use to you. If there are any I didn't cover specifically pertaining to Super 7 BIOS please drop me a note. Thanks - Boomer/MediaTek
The BIOS is built-in software that
determines what a computer can do without accessing programs from a disk. On PCs, the BIOS
contains all the code required to control the keyboard, display screen, disk drives,
serial communications, and a number of other functions. The BIOS is typically
placed on a ROM chip that comes on the motherboard (it is often called a ROM BIOS). This
ensures that the BIOS will always be available and will not be damaged by disk failures.
It also makes it possible for a computer to boot itself. Because RAM is faster than ROM,
though, many computer manufacturers design systems so that the BIOS is copied from ROM to
RAM each time the computer is booted. This is known as shadowing. Most modern
PCs have a flash BIOS, which means that the BIOS has been recorded on a flash memory chip,
which can be updated if necessary. BIOS is standardized, so that all PCs
are alike at their most basic level (although there are different BIOS versions).
Additional DOS functions are usually added through software modules. This means you can
upgrade to a newer version of DOS without changing the BIOS.
The easiest way is to consult the manual. Barring this you will need to make a visual inspection of the BIOS chip. Take the cover of the computer and look inside. Look for a 28 or 32-pin DIP IC chip with the BIOS brand sticker on it. Peel the sticker of the BIOS chip. Anything without a Window that doesn't have a 28 or 29 as the preceding numbers of the part #, is most likely a standard ROM and will have to be replaced if you intend to upgrade the BIOS.
There are several reasons to update your BIOS. Primarily due to a multitude of peripheral devices constantly being released and the motherboard manufacturers in a rush to get to market true compatability is hard to achieve, so, new BIOS are written to catch up addressing bugs as they occur. The major reason used to be Operating System compatability. Older BIOS weren't properly configured to handle new OS's like Win95/98 or FAT 32. All harddrives that are sold today are larger then 528MB. and come in a wide variety of SCSI and EIDE interfaces.To support these drives the BIOS must have LBA (Logical Block Addressing) support, PIO mode 4 support, DMA support, etc. When your BIOS doesn't support LBA et. al. and you want to use your new drive at full it's full capability, OS's like Win95 will load virtual device drivers in an attempt to fool the BIOS. With some of these software drivers Windows 95 will load your HD in compatibility mode which means a performance loss. To let Windows 95 fully support Plug 'n Play you also need a PnP-BIOS. This is a very important reason to update your BIOS. If you are happy with the way that your system performs and don't intend to upgrade any of your peripherals we suggest you leave your BIOS alone. Problems have been known to occur when attempting a flash BIOS upgrade and why open yourself up to those headaches if you don't need to. On the other hand if your system has problems a flash BIOS upgrade may be of great help in resolving them.
If you have a Super socket 7 mainboard you can probably find the latest BIOS available here. If your motherboard isn't listed on the BIOS Update Page then you will have to search for your mb. manufacturer's web site.
To flash your BIOS you'll need 1) an executable Flash file and 2) a data-file.(most often with a The flasher 'flashes' the data-file into the BIOS chip. Download the files to a newly formatted bootable floppy (make sure to extract ZIP files). With the disk in your floppy drive turn off the computer, wait 3 seconds then turn it back on. I should boot to a DOS A:\ prompt. Type in the name of the EXE file (typically FLASHxxx) a space, then the name of the data file (typically xxx.bin) and hit enter. Most flashers will ask you to save the current BIOS. Choose Yes, so that you can always flash back to the original version if you're having problems with the one you are installing. Some manufacturers may use their own utilities to upgrade the BIOS. IMPORTANT! - Disable the System BIOS Cacheable option in the BIOS before flashing.
No, variances in the quality of the chips have generated problem reports, also, if you use the wrong Flash BIOS, there is chance that your computer won't boot anymore.
At the POST (Power On Self Test) hold down the delete key to enter Setup.
For AWARD BIOS based boards...
Drastic & Dangerous (Hot Swap)
For some Intel motherboards
Although there have been reports of
successfully upgrading BIOS from the same maufacturer we do not recommend that you even
try. Contact your motherboard manufacturer and question them about the availability
of upcoming updates. If there are none in the works start thinking about a new
Award and AMI custom create motherboard manufacturers BIOS for each specific board and the chipset(s) controlling that board. The manufacturer, using tools from Award/AMI, make final modifications to the BIOS before shipping the system or board. In other words, the manufacturer knows more about that system than AMI/Award do and is better able to provide a Flash BIOS upgrade.
Note: http://www.award.com.tw/download contains hundreds of Flash BIOS images, specific to each motherboard manufacturer but, you should only use these if you can't find an updated BIOS anywhere else.
At the Tech Support site of your motherboard manufacturer (if they have one). If you can't find the answers you seek there, drop them an email.
PROM (an acronym for programmable read-only memory) is a memory chip to which data can be written only once. Once written it remains there forever. Unlike RAM, PROMs retain their contents when the computer is turned off.
The difference between a PROM and a ROM (read-only memory) is that a PROM is manufactured as blank memory, whereas a ROM is programmed during the manufacturing process. To write data onto a PROM chip, you need a special device called a PROM burner.
An EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory) is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to ultraviolet light. Once it is erased, it can be reprogrammed.
EEPROM (Acronym for electrically erasable programmable read-only memory). Pronounced double-ee-prom, an EEPROM is a special type of PROM that can be erased by exposing it to an electrical charge. Like other types of PROM, EEPROM retains its contents even when the power is turned off. Also like other types of ROM, EEPROM is not as fast as RAM.
A special type of EEPROM, referred to as flash memory or flash EEPROM, can be rewritten while it is in the computer rather than requiring a special device called a PROM reader.
For AMI and Award BIOS:
Turn the machine off
then back on and allow to boot normally.
Most of the new SS7 motherboards have jumper configurations which allow you to clear the password. If yours doesn't try the following:
For Award BIOSs:
Except for beep code #8, these codes
are always fatal.
For 1 beep, 2 beeps, or 3 beeps try reseating the memory first. If the error still
occurs, replace the memory with known good chips.
Check out the following sites: