Motherboard Help Pages
7. I have attempted to flash
upgrade my BIOS and the upgrade failed and now the system
will not power on - what should I do?. Friends have told me
it is possible to "hot flash" the BIOS to get it back - is
this correct and how do I do it?
Yes it is possible to recover from
a failed bios upgrade and the procedure to do it is to "Hot
Flash" it. The hot flash procedure is straightforward but
does require another motherboard (or bios chip) in order to
do it. The easiest procedure is if this motherboard is identical
to the failed motherboard. The procedure is unlikely to damage
the "new" motherboard (certainly I nor any of my colleages
have ever damaged one doing a hot flash) unless you physically
damage a chip when inserting or removing it from its socket.
If you have an identical motherboard
1. Remove the bios chip from the failed board. (careful
levering with a small thin bladed screwdriver - remember to
note the correct orientation)
2. Remove the bios chip from the working board
3. Rest the working bios chip (correctly positioned)in the
failed board such that it has full contact with all pins but
is not pushed home because you need to be able to remove it
by hand without the use of any screwdrivers or levers.
4. Power on the system (identical boards so it will work)
and boot to dos only - command prompt only from safe mode
menu or boot to a floppy.
5. Remove the new board bios chip by hand (just your fingers
will do fine as any metal objects could short pins and damage
chips) - the system will keep on working just fine.
6. Rest the failed bios chip in the socket.
7. Run the flash bios operation again. Assuming this runs
correctly this time then your motherboard is now back fine
and after checking that it boots correctly and everthing still
works you can push the bios chip back home fully and return
the borrowed chip back to its motherboard.
If you do not have an identical
motherboard then it is still possible to operate a similar
procedure with a non identical board. However there are a
few limitations to which board you can use.
1. if your board is an AWARD bios then the flash board needs
to be AWARD too (same applies to AMIBIOS etc).
2. the bios chip must physically be the same size. (most are
but there are a few peculiarities)
3. You would prefer to use a board from the same manufacturer
if at all possible (though it is not essential)
4. Make sure that both boards set the same voltage for the
bios chips. Because you don't have the identical board then
you will need to run the hot flash procedure using the system
that is working as the base for it (since yours is currently
The procedure is then identical
except that when you come to do the actual flash upgrade you
are likely to get an error message that in effect says that
the flash upgrade you are about to perform is wrong (this
is since it still believes that it still has the bios chip
it started up with). You can safely ignore this and choose
to proceed anyway. Once this has run you just need to return
the bios chips to the correct motherboards and all should