Award BootBlock wont read floppy

Hot-swapping and Boot-Block flash & Boot block flash and floppy support
Calder
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I ruined my 8KTA3+ mobo a few months back - this was a bad flash scenario.

I have just pulled it out of the cupboard in the hope that I can re-flash it.

I get the Award Bootblock message and have created a floppy with AWARDFLASH and a suitable BIOS file and AUTOEXEC.BAT.

The floppy seems to start to read but then makes a grinding noise and the PC asks again: INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER.

What is the solution here ? I don`t have another mobo with the same bios socket and I really don`t want to send off for a new chip.

Am I missing something in creating the bootdisk ?

Any help much appreciated.

Calder
a_user
Good ol' Boy
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Does the disk boot in another system... disable the autoexec 1st.
edwin
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http://www.bootdisk.com has a special disk-image for bios flashing.

Make a disk with that, THEN put the autoexec, flasher and flash file on it. Your current flash-disk is not a bootable one.
Rainbow
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BIOSes on some boards have bad bootblock (maybe a bug) that can't boot from floppy (because it does not initialize floppy controller properly) and is in fact useless. This can be your case - if you have ISA slot, try ISA floppy disk controller.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
Ger@ld
BIOS Rookie
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Location: Germany, Dresden

Hallo!


Try to copy your Disk to a old Harddrive and flash from harddrive.
I had have a Intel RC 440 BX with soldered BIOS chip and special Intel BIOS an an extra flashprogram. The first flash update to version 14 looks like good, but I don't have accsess to floppy. I tried BIOS 12 from Harddisk. This had kill all - except the Bootblock. Black screen and only some beeps. Now I tested a floppy disk - i had nothing to loose!
And it had work and reanimate my board!!!
Rainbow
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Award BootBlock can't access HDD.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
Calder
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Thanks for all your responses.

Sadly, I think I will give up. I threw all my old ISA IO cards a few years ago. And despite having three PC running in this house and two in pieces, none of them have ISA IO cards OR the same BIOS socket as the Epox.

I am now writing a cheque out for £6 to Epox for a new chip.

Thanks again for your help here but enough is enough :(

Calder
Denniss
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If you have an old 720KB 3.5" Floppy Disc try this !
A while ago I had a Bootblock Bios that won't boot from a 1.44MB Disc but no problems with a 720KB .
Rainbow
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Never tried that... Looks interesting.

If you don't have 720KB floppy, take 1.44MB, cover the hole (there are two - one is for write protect and the other for 720KB/1.44MB detection) with non-transparent tape. Then format it as 720KB and create system disk.
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
Calder
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I`m just doing this now.

It involves taking the PSU and various bits out of this (working) PC.

Will be offline a while but will return with my findings.

Calder
Calder
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No!!!

Didn`t work.

Worrst still, I crunched the corner off an 800MHz Duron :(

I won`t mess with it again, will wait for the new chip to arrive and then I can test that Duron at the same time.

By the way - it`s not the crunched Duron thats causing the problem - definately the fact that the BootBlock isn`t compatible with my floppy or floppy interface.

Regards

Calder
ajzchips
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Regarding Rainbow's 720KB advice... which is 100% true, of course, I must add that I've detected some old BIOSes (1996 or so), whose bootblock would support FDD's of 720KB, and not just the 720KB diskette.
Rainbow
The UniFlasher
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720KB drive? That's hard-to-get thing... I have one (at least I think that it's 720KB) in Didaktik D80 floppy system (Didaktik is clone of ZX-Spectrum computer made in Slovakia).
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
ajzchips
El cheapo dude
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Some 1.44MB FDDs have some semi-hidden jumpers at the back which, when properly set, will force the FDD to be recognized (and function) as 720KB FDDs. Strange, but true. I've managed to do this on an old Panasonic FDD a couple of years ago.
sandking
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I'm having a similar problem. My girlfriend's computer currently runs my old Epox 8KTA3 motherboard. This morning, I decided to go ahead and try patching the most recent BIOS update. I've been doing flashes for years, and never had a bad one (until now). I downloaded the bios exe file, and extracted it to a blank floppy.

I went ahead and used the the ALT-F2 command at boot-up to flash the BIOS. I've used it without problem on this 8KTA3 with no problems before, as well as my system's motherboard, the 8KHA+. The flash appeared to go fine, and the system rebooted. However, upon rebooting, I got the screen saying:


Award BootBlock BIOS - 1.0
blah blah blah

ROM Checksum Error

Reading media type Drive A...
INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER.


It's not word for word, but you get the idea. Anyhow, I had no idea what the bootblock was at first, so I did some research. I've been working on this for hours now. I've come to the conclusion that maybe I have one of these BIOSes that Rainbow spoke of, that has a corrupted BootBlock on it.

I've tried using 3 different floppy drives. I've tried using the same drive to create the system disk with as I try to boot from (to ensure maximum readability of the disk). I've tried Windows ME, 98, and even MSDOS 6.22 (thanks for the bootdisk.com link). I tried naming the BIOS file as old.bin and origin.bin (have seen some BIOSes that require a particularly named file to do the emergency backup flash). I found an old system in the garage (486, full ISA bus), and tried using the ISA video card from that system (I've read everywhere to use an ISA video card for the bootblock flash, but the results are the same, using it or an AGP video card). After puting the AGP video card back in (the 8KTA3 has only 1 ISA slot, and it's lucky to have that), I pulled the ISA I/O board out of the old system and put it in the dead system. Even using the ISA floppy controller, no luck. I tried making a 720k floppy, but none of my floppy drives seem to support it (I tried every possible way to force it).

I guess what it comes down to, is that I'm SOL. I'm going to try to hunt down a friend tomorrow that I think has an EEPROM programmer. If he doesn't, I'm going to call every local computer shop and see if they won't sell me one of the chips out of their boards, so I don't have to wait for one to be shipped. If all else fails, I order a new BIOS chip online. Should I try ordering one from Badflash.com or another 3rd party BIOS vendor, or should I order one directly from Epox themselves? My main concern right now is getting her system back up and operational ASAP, if that ultimately means buying a new motherboard tomorrow, and setting this one aside for a 5th operational system ;) If anyone can offer any other advice or suggestions, I'll gladly listen... Thank you in advance.

PS- A couple questions I forgot... Is it worth the risk to try hotswapping, if I find a friend with a KT133A chipset motherboard? What about using my 8KHA+ to try hotswapping? I have several other motherboards with PLCC socketed Award BIOSes. Is there a way to force the flash program to write to the BIOS, regardless of whether it "thinks" it matches? How hard would it be to make my own EEPROM writer, or does anyone know any places in the Dallas, TX area that will flash an image to a chip? Please, if you are reading this, feel free to answer whichever questions you might know the answers to... My goal is to get this system up and operational within 24 hours if at all possible. Thanks again in advance.
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