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Another BIOS question

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14 replies to this topic

#1
Tommy

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So, I just got my hands on a free computer. It's a custom built one that has a Gigabyte GA-7VM400M motherboard in it. It has an AwardBIOS (yay!!) but I was a little disappointed how mediocre the bios really is. Usually a custom built PC should have tons of BIOS options and this has very few to say in the least. So, I thought about flashing the BIOS with the latest version available. I downloaded it from the site and when I went to open it up, it says American Megatrends Inc. on the flash utility. Hey, wait a sec. I have Award! How can it switch the version entirely and still work properly? Has anyone else come across something like this? I don't want to flash my Award BIOS with something else and break it.


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#2
dencorso

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Never seen anything like that. :wacko:
Are you really positive you've got the right BIOS and Flash tool? Please double check what you've done... and *don't* flash the BIOS for the time being.

#3
Tommy

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That's what I thought was strange too. D:

This is definitely my board right here: http://www.gigabyte....x?pid=1670#bios

I believe it has the F3 update it in already which is what Everest reports. Strangely enough, when I download the BIOS update and go to launch it, it too says American Megatrends Inc as the copyright. But the BIOS release dates are exactly the same which really baffles me. I've never seen anything like this either. I'll leave it for now but if anyone wants me to post a report on what Everest tells me, I will.

#4
CharlotteTheHarlot

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I've seen some cases where either BIOS are used. I had an i810 or i815 MSI board that had a variety of BIOS ( both companies ) from the community, and successfully flashed and tested each.

This happens when modders experiment and create several different releases, naturally they must fit the BIOS size and address all the parts that the other supports.

What you want to do is start searching for mods for that exact motherboard model and revision. It is old enough that whatever mods were done are well tested. If the options you see in your existing BIOS are very limited ( pretty unusual for most Gigabyte boards I've seen ) then there is a great chance that some people have already made a replacement BIOS to add back some common functions.

Some quick searching ( "BIOS mods GA-7VM400M" ) does NOT look promising however. It could be a very low-budget board aimed at the mass market and might have a small BIOS image as well. You'll need to do some research.

#5
Tommy

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http://forum.giga-by...hp?topic=7495.0

A couple posts down has screenshots of what I see, maybe someone can make something from it?

And yes, I thought it was strange too that the options are so limited especially since I can't even overclock anything. Usually I don't want to anyway but the idea is the options aren't even there. But since it is a Micro ATX (I believe that's what it is anyway), that might make a bit of a difference too. But the AMI BIOS from Asrock I have in this computer has all those special features in it. That's why I was expecting a lot from Award but this particular version is very limited. :(

(Reply #3 specifically shows the AMI flash utility I was talking about)

Edited by Tommy, 08 April 2013 - 02:42 PM.


#6
submix8c

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Rev-1 vs Rev-2? What does your MoBo SPECIFICALLY say on the board?

edit - Current version F3 implies Rev-1...

Edited by submix8c, 08 April 2013 - 03:12 PM.


#7
Tommy

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I can't find any specifics at all. Maybe the motherboard ID will help?

07/02/2003-KM400-8235-6A6LYG0RC-00 (As reported by Everest Ultimate Edition)

#8
submix8c

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Yep, that's the F3 BIOS (I downloaded it and the F9).

Post #9 http://www.bios-mods...hread-BIOS-help

You don't need awdflash as AMI made your BIOS and gigabyte sends you a working version of amiflash (flash879.exe) and the batch-file (autoexec.bat) with all the needed param's inside.

Version F3 uses FLASH867 (May 2, 2003) while F9 uses FLASH879 (Dec 30, 2003).

Usage: Flash879 ROM_FILE /<COMMAND1> /<COMMAND2>...
A: Command Line Mode
B: Flash Boot Block
D: Load CMOS Defaults
E: Clear CMOS After Flashing
G: Keep DMI Data
R: Reboot After Flashing
S<File_name>: Save Flash ROM Data To File
-<Options>: Disable Flag. e.g. -A: Enable Window Mode, -G: Don't Keep DMI

Incase you decide to "remove" the AUTOEXEC.BAT and enter the Flashing manually.

#9
Tommy

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That's interesting. So if I flashed it with F9, that would change it into AMI Bios? That's the part that is throwing me off a bit. I never heard of the BIOS software itself changing after a flash update.

#10
submix8c

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No, the actual BIOS is Award. In a Hex Editor, you will see in the BIOS file "7VM400M.BIN" which is typical naming convention for Award. However, apparently Gigabyte is using the AMI flasher PROVIDED to flash it (maybe a modified one)? It's CLEARLY an Award. I USED to have a 7VM400M-RZ (Award Bios v6), flashed it, and STILL had an Award BIOS (v6). And guess what? It used the SAME FLASH PROGRAM you have and the BIOS Filename was "7VM4MRZ.F5". Had a Sempron in it.
http://www.cpu-world...(Socket A).html

Your manual states

If you can't find the setting you want, please press "Ctrl+F1" to
search the advanced option hidden.

(btw - a misspelling found - actually say "widden" instead of "hidden") Mine said the same thing. It ALSO says

Frequency/Voltage Control - This setup page is control CPU's clock and frequency ratio.

Have you downloaded the Manual and looked at the BIOS options? What sort of "tons of BIOS options" were you expecting? Just because its "custom built" it doesn't mean the BIOS is anything other than the Vendor supplies. You will NOT be able to You can change your RAM settings. The purpose of RAM change allows for Mixed Speed RAM - I had to put the Higher speed in first, force it slower, then insert the Slower speed to get it to accept both properly.

Better check what "custom built" REALLY means (HARDWARE only). ;) In order to have BEYOND what the Vendor gives in a BIOS you have to do some SERIOUS HACKING. :ph34r:

There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG with using that Flash Program. You will get what you get in the way of BIOS Setup Selections (get that manual). I would SUGGEST getting a Binary Backup of you BIOS for "insurance" (see my post above), even though YOUR BIOS is still on the website.

HTH and happy Flashing!

edit - corrected misstatement about RAM with an explanation.

Edited by submix8c, 09 April 2013 - 07:59 AM.


#11
Tommy

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Well, I got the BIOS flashed and everything seems well! I do have a slight option to overclock now it seems but advanced bios features is so advanced... It has first, second, and third boot device and password setup. That's all. I figured there'd be a lot more to it than that. But what's more pathetic is I've found at least two or three spelling errors/usage errors. Not a big deal I guess but I just noticed it anyway. XD

What I don't like is it doesn't have an option for quick or thorough boot. I'd rather it really test the memory at startup but it really doesn't seem to. Oh well, at least it works and does what I need it to. Thanks for the information though!

#12
submix8c

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What exactly did you EXPECT to see in "Advanced"? :unsure:

#13
Tommy

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I don't really know, but something more in the tune of this

Posted Image

As for SMART, if I look fast it says that my hard drive is SMART compatible but is disabled, yet I can't enable it in the BIOS like apparently this one can.

#14
submix8c

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Different Mobo/Chipset? Bet that one's an Intel board.... Even an older BIOS (ATA66/100). The Giga you have is (bet ya) ATA-133 capable.

Edited by submix8c, 09 April 2013 - 07:09 PM.


#15
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Different Mobo/Chipset? Bet that one's an Intel board.... Even an older BIOS (ATA66/100). The Giga you have is (bet ya) ATA-133 capable.

"2 x UDMA ATA133/100/66 Bus Master IDE ports". Would have been sad if a 2003 board didn't have that.




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