Board index Do you need information? BIOS Utilities & Flash Programs AMI or AWARD? Contradictory information

AMI or AWARD? Contradictory information

Post Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:18 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.
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Post Sat Jul 05, 2008 5:18 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
Hi, first time here, and I've never flashed a BIOS before.

After long adventures blaming everything from HDD to next door's cat I now know I have an out of date BIOS and possibly even the wrong BIOS.

Trouble is... what have I got?

This is a 9 yr old Tiny. Stamped on the mainboard is MS6178 ver 1.1. I can't find that ver 1.1 anywhere.

ID string is 63-10b1-001169-00101111-071595-WHITNEY-1WHITNEY-H

I've ben looking in lots of places. Main one is http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?f...3&maincat_no=1
and also

and
http://support.asus.com/technicaldoc...Language=en-us
(that's good for advice on using the flash utility) and of course here.

That MS6178 wants an AWARD bios according to the website, latest 2.1, but I actually have AMI, v1.5. For the MS6183- I'm thinking the spec for the ver 1.1 may require the MS6183 bios??- latest is 1.7. There is also a MS6178E, but that has the same bios list AFAICT.

Checking against the ID string, it gets confusing. It's not listed where I checked http://www.wimsbios.com/faq/determinebiosupdate.jsp , closest reference I have so far is in http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/topic8056.html.

2 questions really:
I tried the awdflash, in the "file name to program" I entered the name of the new BIOS, reply was "the program file's part number does not match with your system". I now know that I have to disable cache in BIOS & short across the lock terminals with jumper, adjacent to BIOS on mainboard. However it might be due to my identification problems. I think there's a way to override this but mainboards don't make very good ornaments do they?

And the main question- which BIOS should I try here?

If I end up exploding my mainboard, it's not my main computer anyway. But these boxes (I have several) can be quite good so I'd prefer to salvage this one if at all possible.

Thanks guys.


Post Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:08 pm
Denniss BIOS Guru

Posts: 3138
Location: Near Hannover (CEBIT) Germany

You have an OEM version of the MS-6178 hence the AMI Bios.
A MSI retail Bios (Award) may work or not.

Post Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:47 pm
edwin The Hardware Archivist

Posts: 5973
Location: Netherlands

Time/Tiny Computers never even released a bios for this board. Would you mind making a backup with uniflash?

http://www.uniflash.org

And send it to edwin@elhvb.com or edwin@wimsbios.com for my collection of Time/Tiny bioses?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...

Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:24 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
Glad to help. BIOS emailed as requested (btw that website's gone but uniflash readily available elsewhere).

Is this 1.5 the same as the 1.5 for the MS6183, in which case upgrade to 1.7 is possible? However...

The problem has been hardware detection bug making the system unusable, in Linux Debian, Slackware, Ubuntu, but OK in Linux Knoppix also Win98 & WinXP, I'm aware of corebios. Noting that this is a soldered chip and that the comp boots fine I'm inclined to leave the bios alone now and work on malfunctioning kernel modules. Do you agree?

Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:23 pm
Denniss BIOS Guru

Posts: 3138
Location: Near Hannover (CEBIT) Germany

Check this thread:
http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/topic7497.html#49652

It seems this guy has a Bios version 1.72MR for your board.

Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:19 pm
rapid New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 1
hi OP, I have the same Tiny mobo and receieve the same "the program file's part number does not match with your system" when I tried the MSI AWARD 2.1 bios update.. Very annoying as my NIC isn't recognised by freeBSD on this mobo (trying to set up a nas box with freeNAS).


If it's true that Tiny never released any bios update, then I guess I'll try a new NIC before attemping a flash with Award .. :?

Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:59 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
rapid, I've only used uniflash to copy my bios for archive but it seems that it may be a better utility than awdflash (from comments) so if i can't progress with module selection and I can get the later bios I'll try uniflash.

Post Sun Jul 06, 2008 10:14 pm
JEWilson Chip off the ol' block

Posts: 109
Still can't open any of these BIOS images off-line to insert a uCode update.

I have copies of TINY OEM AMI BIOS versions 1.3 and 1.72 for those
interested.

Appears Edwin states Tiny never released any BIOS for this mobo.
In that respect, I am probably wrong then. However, MSI only
issued a v1.0 AMI BIOS (that was all I could find), all the rest are AWARD up to v2.1 - go figure!

HTH

Post Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:16 am
Denniss BIOS Guru

Posts: 3138
Location: Near Hannover (CEBIT) Germany

AFAIR the MSI Ami Bios was in chinese language only so not really helpful and very old.
Edwin should be correct with this statement as the Tiny Bios should have come from MSI but Tiny never made id official available.

If MSI offers similar boards as both retail and OEM they often use a different Bios manufacturer. In the "old" times they used Award retail and AMI for OEM. But starting with the Athlon/late P3/P4 CPU generation they switched to AMI retail and Award OEM. OEM Bios was exchangeable with retail Bios for the "old" times on several boards as they often had only a somewhat more restrictive Bios, it was never possible for boards with modications(like special OEM-specific revisions) or OEM-only boards. Bios switching used to be not possible in the recent days as the OEM boards tend to be OEM-only boards.

Post Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:47 am
edwin The Hardware Archivist

Posts: 5973
Location: Netherlands

JEWilson wrote:
Still can't open any of these BIOS images off-line to insert a uCode update.

I have copies of TINY OEM AMI BIOS versions 1.3 and 1.72 for those
interested.

Appears Edwin states Tiny never released any BIOS for this mobo.
In that respect, I am probably wrong then. However, MSI only
issued a v1.0 AMI BIOS (that was all I could find), all the rest are AWARD up to v2.1 - go figure!

HTH


Could you zip them and forward them to me? Have not seen the other backup bios yet.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...

Post Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:49 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
Have not seen the other backup bios yet.
Was that the 1.5? If so I'll email again.
Tried 1.7 & 1.3, uniflash refuses to install them at the "verifying image" stage, but I can reinstall my backup 1.5 from floppy, no harm done.
Thinking to try Corebios as they say some boards including MS6178 don't work on Linux, but it looks really involved. I'm thinking I need to build the image on another box, then use eg uniflash, anyone know anything about this?

Post Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:35 pm
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
have built a corebios, exactly same size as ami original, but "write error verifying data" from uniflash (or something like that)... what am I doing wrong please?

Post Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:51 am
edwin The Hardware Archivist

Posts: 5973
Location: Netherlands

are you flashing including bootblock?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...

Post Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:07 am
sonichedgehog New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 7
Yes. I'm (for now) on corebios mailing list, their advice is I may have a hardware fault- this may be true, hence my kill or cure approach to this mainboard. However I can use uniflash to reload my factory bios from floppy, it operates as uniflash should with the cute "success" bleeps, so the problem here is not uniflash vs my mobo, but something in the bios- any new bios, whether coreboot or the images kindly passed to me by JEWilson. I have heard that it may be the size..? But the size of all these images is the same as my factory bios.

I have tried disabling cache in BIOS, also both with & without the jumper adjacent to the bios.

I am considering installing a flash utility from corebios- not keen, as I have to either build from knoppix and hope it works with ./<<application_file_name>> from console- or perhaps reinstall debian etch, which sort of works with this mobo. But are there any other flash utilities worth a try?

Post Wed Sep 10, 2008 12:05 am
the phrog novice New visitors - please read the rules.

Posts: 2
Did you resolve the problem with the MS 6178 ver 1.1 motherboard? I now have a similar problem. The computer works fine, using Win 98 SE, but can't get modem to work, and graphics are limited to 16 colour 420 X something small. Keeps telling me its found PCI card and needs driver for it, I am assuming this is causing the problems. Any suggestions?

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