what files to use

Discusses BIOS flashers and utilities from Award, AMI and Uniflash
The UniFlasher
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 4:16 pm
Location: Slovakia

Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
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Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2002 7:29 pm
Location: windsor ontario canada

thanks, Rainbow
The New Guy
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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2002 10:32 pm
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

Perhaps the confusion is this...

I think nork is refering to the Windows "Startup" disk that you use to setup a new Windows installation...the one that has all the tools, etc... on it. It loads a RAM Disk and other stuff that you don't really need to Flash a BIOS, even though it gives you a "DOS Mode" in the end.

A Windows "Boot" disk just has IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM on it...this is what you get with "format /s". No Frills...

Rainbow and NickS mentioned this earlier in the thread. All you then need is your Flasher Utility, and your BIOS ROM file.

I don't think it matters which version of DOS you use...I don't even think the Utilities care...but I could be wrong. Having as much free Conventional RAM as you can get would be a good thing, although I personally have never seen the "not enough free RAM" message...

Maybe this will clear up the terminology.
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2002 7:29 pm
Location: windsor ontario canada

oh ya, its cleared up by now all right.
Mainly I was concerned that even though I have done a ton of bios upgrades using win98se startup disk, I knew that I was essentially asking for trouble, that sooner or later I would have a bad flash and a dead mobo. So i figured that I would at least possibly delay that by finding out what constitutes a "bios flash floppy setup" and now I have it.

Also, as I said earlier, I think, that I have heard that one shouldnt use the win startup disk as one can have a bad flash as a result of using this startup disk, mainly to do with memory allocation or something related to memory.

I imagine I am not the only person who has benefitted from this. I know that my next and future bios flashes will be done with a boot disk and not a startup disk.

Thanks all, been a nice post, no thread crapping, everyone nice, wow!!!
Thats my rant for the day. I just wish that the mods would do a better babysitting job and clear the forums of the worse thread crappers. I have a feeling they would if you people would rant like me and let them know you have had enough. And hell, I'm actually Canadian. You know, the people who take a screwing and ask for more!!! As opposed to the Americans who dont take any s**t from anywhere and anyone!!
I am only kidding here because my American friends tell me that I act American and they are surprised when they find I am Canadian.
So dont think I'm picking on Americans, I am very proud of the way America has handled the whole 9/11 tragedy and I admire George Busch for having such control as I would have blasted bin ladens butt by now and gotten myself in trouble with the whole entire world by now!!
Not bad for a geeky Canadian, eh?
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2002 5:17 am

Hi Nork, What I put in my response is what I have found to be the bare minimum boot disk to flash a BIOS, which as you will note is the bare minimum plus enabling the HIMEM.SYS memory manager.

As you know, a normal DOS or Windows format creates a completely blank disk; a DOS or Windows format to make a system disk creates a blank disk plus IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS or COMMAND.COM, which are the required base O/S files to get you to a DOS prompt with the bare minimum loaded. These files need to be in specific locations of the disk which is usually only achieved correctly by using the system disk or boot disk option in the format program, or by running a utility such as Microsoft's sys (command line utility) which will transfer the above three files from another bootable disk (such as your bootable hard disk) to a disk of your choice such as a floppy which you choose to make a boot disk.

One thing you can do further to ensure you only get the bare minimum configuration as described in the paragraph above (which creates a bare minimum boot disk) or the bare minimum plus the HIMEM.SYS memory manager is to enable the Windows explorer options used to display system, read only, hidden and operating system files. These may show DBLSPACE.BIN or DRVSPACE.BIN on a bare minimum boot disk that you have just created. These two files are used in various versions of Windows for the Double Space and Drive Space disk compression programs included with the operating system. If you are sure your disk is not compressed with these programs you may delete these two files, which to my knowledge is the only other thing you can do for a bare minimum boot disk, which will prevent these drivers from attempting to load and will save considerable disk space on the floppy. Do not delete them from your hard disk; only from the floppy.

So in summary:

Bare minimum boot disk should contain: (in specific locations)

Bare minimum plus HIMEM.SYS memory manager:
CONFIG.SYS containing the configuration I described in my earlier post.

If you want to get really particular you can also use the F8 key when STARTING WINDOWS 95 or STARTING WINDOWS 98 appears during the boot process (with WINDOWS 98 you may need to press F8 sooner - is a bit tricky) to bring up the boot menu. For the bare minimum choose SAFE MODE COMMAND PROMPT MODE and for the bare minimum plus HIMEM.SYS choose STEP BY STEP and say YES only to CONFIG.SYS, DEVICE=HIMEM.SYS and DOS=HIGH,UMB. Say NO to everything else.

Hope this helps you further.
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