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#1
nostaglic98

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Well, after some work yesterday afternoon (08th June, 2013), I am back with Windows 98. My Processor arrived, but the heatsink has not (and I am stilling digging around looking for a floppy disk to flash the BIOS), so that it waiting.

Windows 98SE has been very stable, especially after installing the latest version of the Service Pack available for SE (3.24). I also discovered you can no longer download IE6-SP1/MP9 via the Microsoft applet that connects to servers. Nevertheless, I had a local copy of Media-Player 7 (the Me version?) and was able to use the MDGx website to find the SP2 upgrade to bring IE to 5.5 (also curious to note Wikipedia doesn't display correct after upgrading to IE 5.5). IE has been far more stable than I ever remember it out of the box, and wasn't scalding me with "This application has performed and illegal error" messages like it always used to.
I managed to get SeaMonkey 1.1.19 installed. No - I haven't installed KernelEx and don't really plan to, SeaMonkey is working absolutely fine. I had to disable images to sign onto the website, but I found a version of Ad-Block Plus I could use to stop ads blocking me from signing in.

I also discovered the following commandments from Windows 98: "Thou shalt not leave the Netgear WG111v1 USB Wi-Fi connected during bootup, for fear of hanging after the splash-screen. Instead, thou shalt connect it to any available USB port at the Windows Networking logon prompt."
And
"Thou shalt exit the Netgear application as soon as possible after logon, for fear of causing peculiar Explorer behaviour."

The computer is happily connected to the network, and required only me putting in the right Workgroup name. Didn't need to use the XP Network Setup wizard, more or less zero-config :)

I shall include a screen-shot, not to worry, I WILL be adding extra functionality to the system during today, after a complete backup of the system's state (so I can use the "pcrestor" function if anything goes south on me).

- Note that I have also ordered the graphics card, a nVidia GeForce FX-5500 (AGP 8x) graphics card (which will hopefully allow me to use the CORRECT resolution on my monitor) and an enSoniq ES1370, a PCI soundcard supposedly based on the SoundBlaster16 - which will hopefully eliminate the crackly startup sound - the only sound that has 'trouble.'

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Edited by nostaglic98, 07 June 2013 - 05:59 PM.



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#2
PROBLEMCHYLD

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Well, after some work yesterday afternoon (08th June, 2013), I am back with Windows 98. My Processor arrived, but the heatsink has not (and I am stilling digging around looking for a floppy disk to flash the BIOS), so that it waiting.

I was able to update the bios on all my computers through pure DOS mode. Copy the bios files to the HDD, navigate to dos and run the necessary app. It has worked everytime. Sometimes users need to improvise and I'm pretty good at that :w00t:

Windows 98SE has been very stable, especially after installing the latest version of the Service Pack available for SE (3.24).

Believe it or not, I wasn't going to release SP 3.24 until I had added IE and Direct X. I found some bugs when I was doing a clean install, and it annoyed the HELL out of me. I know the SP is far from flawless, but its a lot further from troublesome. I didn't notice any bugs, but................................

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#3
jaclaz

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Just for the record, you can normally use grub4dos and a floppy image to flash the BIOS, and/or a plain "CD from floppy".
A quick and easy way to make such a CD is hinted here ;) :
http://www.msfn.org/...post__p__971170
just combine the header with the floppy image and burn to CD.

jaclaz

#4
buyerninety

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Jaclaz said;
"Just for the record, you can normally use grub4dos and a floppy image to flash
the BIOS, and/or a plain "CD from floppy"."
Mmmm.., but is this }ASUS{ mobo, P4P800-MX , yes? and ASUS mobo
often have ... their own quirky software methods for flashing THEIR
BIOSes. Therefore, in case of ASUS, I would advise reading the
ASUS manual for their mobo? (ASUS P4P800-MX ,= e1696_p4p800-mx.pdf )
and proceed using the ASUS manuals instructions for flashing BIOS.
_
[and as other OP posts suggest he is not newbie, I would suggest OP
look for a second SAME BIOS chip, perhaps from a gutter 'dead' unwanted
mobo, to use as a 'backup/ready replacement' chip into which he could
flash another BIOS image for that mobo..
(e.g. P4P800-MX has removeable/replaceable BIOS chip)
(OP in Australia?, where it is not unusual to find computers 'kerbside')]

Edited by buyerninety, 08 June 2013 - 08:08 AM.


#5
jaclaz

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, but is this }ASUS{ mobo, P4P800-MX , yes? and ASUS mobo
often have ... their own quirky software methods for flashing THEIR
BIOSes.

Well, as long as the "quirky" whatever comes as a floppy disk image running *any* real mode OS (please read as DOS, FreeDOS or similar) the grub4dos or El-Torito boot CD approach will work alright.

(OP in Australia?, where it is not unusual to find computers 'kerbside')]

Really? :unsure:
I thought our down under friends were too busy with other activities :
Spoiler

Spoiler

to throw away PC's along the roads....

jaclaz

#6
submix8c

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No matter WHAT anybody else tells you, do not under ANY circumstances flash a BIOS from ANYTHING other than Pure Dos (if such a flash file is available). You MAY brick the PC. AFAIK, newer PC's do NOT have "interchangeable" BIOS chips - unless you want to solder a socket onto it. ;)

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#7
buyerninety

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Jaclaz said;
"Well, as long as the "quirky" whatever comes as a floppy disk image running
*any* real mode OS (please read as DOS, FreeDOS or similar) the grub4dos
or El-Torito boot CD approach will work alright."
+Ahhhh, but is found long past by maker of UNIFLASH software (eeprom flasher
software now no longer maintained [but possibly extended by clannish Russians])
that some motherboard makers use 'non-usual' methods to activate/deactivate
access (flashing) }into{ the BIOS chip on their motherboards, particularly
in the case of BIOS chips that are FWH or LPC capable interface.
Therefore, a same eeprom BIOS chip may be flashable with 'generic' bios flasher
software in many other different makers motherboards, but fail to flash using
that 'generic' software in a 'particular makers' motherboard, because that
particular maker uses 'non-usual' method to flash - thereby requiring that
particular makers 'flashing software' to successfully flash the BIOS chip.
To be clear, this may not just be matter of software, but the 'particular
makers' (e.g. ASUS) 'flashing software' gains its access using 'non-usual'
method into certain pins of the BIOS chip, which only the 'particular makers'
flashing software expects/is ready to do (for sure, access methods that the
motherboards Southbridge is 'set up for/capable of', is additional factor also.)
(Analogy - most houses you gain access to by 'usual' method through door,
but maybe one particular house you can't because housemaker disables door
by locking it and only allows access by alternate 'non-usual' method of
climbing through window! Why? To force you to use their preferred access!
i.e. 'their flashing software'.)
[This is probably getting WAAAAY off topic however.. Jaclaz to explore further
refer UNIFLASH TXT of need for an "-ASUS" switch in that software e.g.;
http://webcache.goog...U&gbv=2&ct=clnk
]

Edited by buyerninety, 08 June 2013 - 11:27 AM.


#8
jaclaz

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@buyerninety
You can stamp your feet as long and as hard as you want :w00t: , but if the flashing program runs under DOS, it runs under DOS ;) and DOS has no way to distinguish a floppy from a floppy image loaded to memory by grub4dos or from an El-Torito floppy emulation.

If the recovery bootblock is used instead, then that is another thing.

If the flashing program does NOT run under DOS (i.e. it is a self-booting file, a windows .exe :ph34r: or *whatever*), again it's another thing.

jaclaz

#9
submix8c

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Just to slap another one on you...
I HAVE used Uniflash on "older" Mobo's.
And... Do you REALLY believe -ALL- BIOS updates are "complete"? (Thought not...)

AGAIN! I have TWO "bricks" sitting beside me because of "partial" BIOS plus done-in-Windows! (Nya-nya!) SAD part is, unknown to me, they WOULD have run under (safely) DOS. There's an EXACT MODEL (used) for $150 within 1 mile of me, so figure it out!.
As the saying goes, "buyerninety" beware! ;)

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#10
Arminius

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(OP in Australia?, where it is not unusual to find computers 'kerbside')]

to throw away PC's along the roads....

jaclaz

The computers are put out on the kerb for quarterly "council cleanup" days when household items not suitable for the weekly garbage are disposed of. Much of this stuff gets recycled. You always see guys driving around in trucks picking up scap metal and car batteries. If you expect to find a computer you have to be lucky, they don't last on the kerb long.

#11
nostaglic98

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Well, after some work yesterday afternoon (08th June, 2013), I am back with Windows 98. My Processor arrived, but the heatsink has not (and I am stilling digging around looking for a floppy disk to flash the BIOS), so that it waiting.

I was able to update the bios on all my computers through pure DOS mode. Copy the bios files to the HDD, navigate to dos and run the necessary app. It has worked everytime.


Is that the option of booting into DOS from the start menu? I'd need some guidance if I were doing that, because I'd hate to brick the computer. Personally, I would much rather use a Floppy and the method prescribed by ASUS (And yes, it is a P4P800-MX).

Also, I haven't noticed any bugs. Only thing I've actually noticed is all the processor information disappearing from "System Information." I'd also like to get a picture to fill in that blank next to it - since it looks awful bare!
The only "bug" I have is the Wi-Fi one (and I will attempt to explain it here). When the W98 splashscreen shows, it will do some loading, screen "flicks" black, then back, Wi-Fi light flashes a couple of times than stays steady. It repeats (flashes/steadies) this just before finishing the loading sequence. On most occasions, it will keep flashing, and Windows will hang just after the splash screen, with some "physcadelic" green in the top-left corner. Rebooting yields the "Your computer was not started properly last time. This menu will let you choose the useless configurations," Windows boots into 640x480, 16 (or 2, if you choose) colours. Reboot again (WITHOUT THE Wi-Fi), and all is well. So, I don't plug in the Wi-Fi till I get to the logon screen, and all is well. Machine still gets the internet and network drives, but the Netgear utility loads, and I have to close it (to prevent odd fonts and behaviours in Explorer). Yes, I've tried using Msconfig, but it seems to stick itself right back in there :realmad:

On a side-note, regarding this PC and my "server" (Not AD/DHCP yet), I'm thinking of running distributed.net or something of the like, when I'm not on there (Not around the clock, just when idle for some time). My question about this is regarding bandwidth: How many MB/GB of data should I expect this to use on my internet connection? Is it lots or only a few - dozen? Reason being, we only have 12GB of data (and I am working at getting that changed - we can get a MUCH better deal with the same provider, just that getting it done means changing a host of other services that are bundled with the net service...)

#12
buyerninety

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@Jaclaz:
No stomping of feet or other such personalizations necessary...
The method (reached via the post) you cited COULD be utilized by the OP, let's see whether he wants to trek down that route.

@submix8c:
you seem to be confused, only nostaglic98 used the word "complete" that you specifically quoted, perhaps readers will take your comments in context of disappointment with your previous, er, non-successful flashes; seriously, please share what specific motherboard(s) did be 'bricked'?

@nostaglic98:
Well, make darn sure you make a BACKUP of the bios, how to is described in your mobo manual, p2-4, 'Crashfree Bios 2'.
Specific information people may want you to tell us: exact Processor you had delivered, everything your BIOS screen shows in CPU Configuration, ditto Chipset, are you using graphics card or plugging VGA cable directly into mobo (has onboard 865GV 'Extreme Graphics 2'), Monitor maker/model (from rear of monitor).
"How many MB/GB of data should I expect this to use on my internet connection"? :wacko:
How long is a piece of string? Without even knowing which distributed net app you'll use... (surely that info is given as an estimate on the particular apps webpage?), remember internet provider download plans are like mobile plans, Unlimited DOES NOT mean unlimited, google is the best way to find out which provider is least likely to shaft you...

#13
nostaglic98

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There is some misunderstanding as to what I meant about the backup and "complete." I was referring to Microsoft Backup IN Windows 98 (That tool that backups data, system files and the registry), backing up the registry and system after setting up the system the other day. I was NOT referring to the BIOS in any way, shape or form.

#14
submix8c

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@buyerninety - as nostaglic98 said... so please pay more attention as I was speaking BIOS and FYI they are both E521's. Lots of "bricks" due to several BIOS updates actually downloaded via the Dell Update Software - bricks galore (including the C521's). The SUCCESSFUL ones were apparently when run in Pure DOS since they "expand" into RAM to run (OMG!) Mflash (Mitek Flasher) and is therefore NON-standard Flashing and the BIOS embedded is ONLY partial and contains ONLY the portion applicable to the "update". Dell DOES do some "odd" things, e.g proprietary power supplies, towers, RAM, MoBo's (E521/C521 are mBTX), etc etc. Care to argue that? Thought not...

Go ahead and get the BIOS for one and hex-edit it... It CANNOT be "stand-alone" installed and MUST be installed via that fubar-prone file. Argue all you want - it's true. Therefore the argument of ALWAYS (if possible) use a DOS-based BIOS flash! PERIOD! Direct experience.

Not OT - Gigabyte has a facility of updating the BIOS via the (OMG) BIOS and a FlashStick or Floppy!!! Just stick the "stands by itself" BIOS file on it and tell the BIOS to Update. Seems that they see it as a "safer" (alternative) bet.

Jaclaz' post #8 is not "magical" and is quite simple, so why the "trek down that route" comment?

Also bear in mind that THIS PC has been loaded with Win98SE and the Unofficial SP, not to be confused with the OTHER PC... (MAY be a "glitch" in the detecting of the CPU for display in System Properties.)

Edited by submix8c, 09 June 2013 - 10:13 AM.

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#15
jaclaz

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Sure, I guess that there are some misunderstandings. :unsure:
As I see it:
The OP wrote:

Well, after some work yesterday afternoon (08th June, 2013), I am back with Windows 98. My Processor arrived, but the heatsink has not (and I am stilling digging around looking for a floppy disk to flash the BIOS), so that it waiting.

Both PROBLEMCHYLD and myself provided possible alternatives to a "real" floppy drive.
Nothing more, nothing less.
buyerninety raised some doubts on the suggestion I provided and I tried to tell him how his doubts were IMHO not justified/backed up, then he insisted with his doubts and I tried again to explain in more detail why IMHO they were not really an issue.
submix8c (who is still shocked by the nice doorholders he made out of a couple of his Dells :w00t: :ph34r: ) provided some further ranting about updating BIOS under Windows (that was never discussed/mentioned/implied before).

Everything seems to me cool enough B) , only some OT has sprung by magic out of the blue (it happens all the time, nothing to worry about :) ).

jaclaz

#16
PROBLEMCHYLD

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Is that the option of booting into DOS from the start menu? I'd need some guidance if I were doing that, because I'd hate to brick the computer. Personally, I would much rather use a Floppy and the method prescribed by ASUS (And yes, it is a P4P800-MX).

Thats fine if you are not comfortable using me and jaclaz methods. We were just informing you, that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

AGAIN! I have TWO "bricks" sitting beside me because of "partial" BIOS plus done-in-Windows! (Nya-nya!) SAD part is, unknown to me, they WOULD have run under (safely) DOS.

I have never done this, but in case I do, how do you fix something like this?

Only thing I've actually noticed is all the processor information disappearing from "System Information."

Also bear in mind that THIS PC has been loaded with Win98SE and the Unofficial SP, not to be confused with the OTHER PC... (MAY be a "glitch" in the detecting of the CPU for display in System Properties.)

You both are correct. Here is the thing, SYSDM.CPL 4.10.0.2224 from Win98 SE hotfix/update removes the cpu information. Microsoft did this, not me. If you install Main Updates you'll get SYSDM.CPL 4.10.0.2224. If you install USBSTACK.EXE, which updates SYSDM.CPL 4.10.0.2224 to SYSDM.CPL 4.90.0.3002, you will get the cpu info back. It also allows silent installation of USB flash drives etc... You can also use the original Win98 SE version, but it doesn't have the bug fixes. Thanks submix8c and nostaglic98, I will add it to important notices/bugs in the chm file. There is also some threads about this issue, I'm too lazy to search atm.

Edited by PROBLEMCHYLD, 09 June 2013 - 12:36 PM.

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#17
bphlpt

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AGAIN! I have TWO "bricks" sitting beside me because of "partial" BIOS plus done-in-Windows! (Nya-nya!) SAD part is, unknown to me, they WOULD have run under (safely) DOS.

I have never done this, but in case I do, how do you fix something like this?


To my knowledge, unless you are using a "newer" system with a dual, or backup, BIOS for just such an emergency, there is no way to fix this using just the PC itself. You either have to get a replacement BIOS chip from the motherboard or system manufacturer or some other BIOS chip supplier or eBay or something, or you have to borrow one and make a copy, if you have a EPROM programmer and a blank EPROM, assuming your BIOS chip is socketed, which all older ones were. I know of no other way.

Cheers and Regards

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#18
jaclaz

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AGAIN! I have TWO "bricks" sitting beside me because of "partial" BIOS plus done-in-Windows! (Nya-nya!) SAD part is, unknown to me, they WOULD have run under (safely) DOS.

I have never done this, but in case I do, how do you fix something like this?


You miss this reference ;):
http://www.msfn.org/...us-bios-update/

jaclaz

#19
bphlpt

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If you mean hot-swapping, then yes i guess you could say that is another way, or you could just say that is using the PC in place of the EPROM programmer and using your existing "broken" BIOS chip instead of a new blank one and still requires you having to borrow or obtain another BIOS chip that works in the PC, if I understand the procedure correctly.

Cheers and Regards

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#20
jaclaz

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If you mean hot-swapping, then yes i guess you could say that is another way, or you could just say that is using the PC in place of the EPROM programmer and using your existing "broken" BIOS chip instead of a new blank one and still requires you having to borrow or obtain another BIOS chip that works in the PC, if I understand the procedure correctly.

Cheers and Regards

Yep :), and with the motherboards where the chip is soldered is evidently a much more complex thing to do.

BTW it of course depends, but it seems like the "boot-block" (in those chips that do have it) is the same (i.e. it is not "model specific") which can enlarge the choice of possible candidate "donours".

jaclaz

#21
buyerninety

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@jaclaz said;
"Both PROBLEMCHYLD and myself provided possible alternatives to
a "real" floppy drive. Nothing more, nothing less."
+Rather, more was less... your method required a CD burner,
burner software, burnable disc(s) and a learning curve the OP
intelligently and politely declined to follow. You are to be
commended for your eagerness to provide information, however
simply obtaining a working $5 floppy drive and carefully
following the motherboard makers directions proved to be the
'smart' choice. I suggested that course as a result of actually
investigating the OP's previous posts to see how knowledgeable
(and importantly how }careful{ ) he seemed to be.
[Did you try, for instance, to ascertain what motherboard he had,
which would be very relevant if that motherboard happened to have
a 'Phoenix Award Bios v6.00PG'? Reference via your own link.]
@jaclaz said;
"submix8c"... "provided some further ranting"...
+Mmmm, like you, I'm not convinced that he has taken all the
actions (cheaply) possible to get his Dell E521's fixed.
PM to him from me w/suggestions to follow tommorrow. (PM's to
nostaglic98 regarding some of his other troubles occupied earlier.]
@submix8 said;
"Jaclaz' post #8 is not "magical""... [emphasis] "and is quite simple,
so why the "trek down that route""... [quotation] "comment?"
+You should be aware that when you use "magical" in double quotation
marks, readers 'will' think you are quoting someone... go figure.
Could you please consider using single quotes e.g. 'magical', so
everyone realizes you are e.g. merely emphasizing the word 'magical'.
[I say Perdue University has a lot to answer for.]
@jaclaz said:
"Everything seems to me cool enough"..."sprung by magic out of the
blue"...
+Yep, which calms us all with the pleasant mental image of jaclaz
pounding away on his keyboard, (strange scents hazing the air),
whilst attired in Joseph's Technicolor Dreamcoat.....
~Goodnight~!

Edited by buyerninety, 10 June 2013 - 07:03 AM.


#22
jaclaz

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+You should be aware that when you use "magical" in double quotation
marks, readers 'will' think you are quoting someone... go figure.

Not really :no: , on a board, UNLIKE what you normally use, there are QUOTE tags that EVERYONE uses to quote someone else, and double quotes are used to mean " between quotes" (either single or double).

Question :w00t: , when you make gesture "between quotes" do you use just your index (or middle :ph34r:) finger or both of them?
http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Air_quotes

Now, if you would be so kind to learn how to use the board software properly and along the conventions everyone else uses, I am sure your posts would be much more readable :).

jaclaz

#23
submix8c

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Yep... it's a Bee-otch reading that stuff! "My eyes, my eyes!"

E52's are - DOORSTOPS! The BIOS are SOLDERED (I said that). The BIOS files are NOT "BIOS files" but some kind of Dell Abortion (I said that). The Boot Blocks are - ge-fudged (I think that should have been understood). I would HAVE to get - #1 a GOOD (FULL) BIOS, #2 an EEPROM programmer, and #3 the PATIENCE to desolder AND put it back afterward. Let it go, buyerninety, you did NOT go through the he$$ (time is $) I did with this (NOT a "noob", dude)! Jaclaz kindly provided a link to my "other" rants. DO IT FROM DOS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE or at MINIMUM "Safe Mode" if no DOS-based BIOS updates! NO HIBERNATES, ETC! You WILL blow it up! It's all about ME-MO-RY-U-T-IL-I-ZA-TION! Don't utilize it - the Update NEEDS it to be STABLE!

As for the OTHER responses by others, GOOD! It's "kind of" resolved (including finding the "glitch").

As for buyerninety's "assumption" that jaclaz was proposing JUST a CD-boot WOW just WOW!!! Perhaps they should look at Grub4DOS - never heard of a Bootable Flash Drive (I have a LiveXP one sitting right here)? WOW!!! YES, it would boot to a Floppy image that way as well!

"Goodnight (9:30 am)" (must live somewhere near jaclaz) O/T - Look up the phrase "bandying words"...

(WOW! :w00t: )

Someday the tyrants will be unthroned... Jason "Jay" Chasteen; RIP, bro!

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#24
nostaglic98

nostaglic98

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Made an attempt to do this yesterday. Floppy was readable when I got it, formatted, added the DOS Utility and BIOS file. Rebooted, and floppy has become unreadable, and is totally dead.

Go figure...

Does anyone have the instructions for the method via DOS? I'm willing to try that. It seems this floppy drive *MIGHT* be a disk-eater, though its barely used and didn't scrape the floppy at all.

#25
buyerninety

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@PROBLEMCHYLD, asked:
"I have never done this, but in case I do, how do you fix something like this?"
@bphlpt replied:
"If you mean hot-swapping,"... and went on to give his outline of it.

+I would add (hot swapping may not be necessary as);
It depends if the fu-barred computer can still spinup & read the floppy drive. If it
can, AND you have a BIOS image AND flashing software that understands how to flash the
image into that motherboards EEPROM (AND understands access method to EEPROM
through the Southbridge) then you can succeed.
(Even without a working keyboard!) How? Well like...; working floppy drive, a
Win98 system disk made using "format a: /S" and take off everything except IO.SYS
MSDOS.SYS & COMMAND.COM, ensure NO Bad Sectors & Defrag the Floppy disk,
then place an AUTOEXEC.BAT (onto it) with line awdflash bios.bin /py /sn /cc
(substituting your bios image filename for 'bios.bin'),
awdflash Bios flashing software, Bios Image file (a ROM or BIN or such).
The floppy spins up, is read by the EEPROM bootblock routines, throws to the StartUp
files on the floppy, which throws to AUTOEXEC.BAT, which throws to the Bios flashing
software which (with appropriate switches) automatically accesses and flashes the bios
file into the motherboard EEPROM (without need for keyboard anything!).
++ [HOWEVER, note that in the specific case where the original bios used
in the motherboard specified a }default option of 'Disable USB Keyboard'{ , in this case
I think that you would want to make sure that you are flashing the bios with a more RECENT
bios (that should have this option fixed!) to be }default option is 'Enable USB Keyboard'{ .
Attempting to flash using e.g. an original bios BACKUP, would just put the faulty 'Disable
USB Keyboard' setting back in. ]
(Others posting in this topic would no doubt point out that flashing could also proceed
using a CD Drv, given necessary CD driver files being available on the StartUp disk,
OR EVEN no floppy drv & a CD drv with CD in it & having filesystem/files on it -as jaclaz
could explain better than myself.)
Cheers (P.S. didn't ignore nostalgic98, just addressed him via P.M.)

Edited by buyerninety, 11 June 2013 - 01:29 AM.





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