Hell trying to recover BIOS

Hot-swapping and Boot-Block flash & Boot block flash and floppy support
Post Reply
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Thu Jun 07, 2012 2:07 am

Hi, i have been here before to try to find the BIOS binary file for my motherboard, which BIOS is corrupted, and need to be flashed. After a living hell of more than one month until i could finally find the file (because the motherboard was a relabeled foxconn, and it didn't show the BIOS string, so i had to do visual comparations to identify it), i got it and got the awdflash as well. I put the file and the awdflash in a diskette, and booted it... everything was ok, until it showed me the message "Flash ROM is write protected, verify if write protect (WP) jumpers are either set or not". Since it gave me this message, i looked my entire motherboard, and everything i found was the TBL jumper, what would only prevent the overwriting of the bootblock, but not the overwriting of the rest. Notice that once my BIOS is corrupted, is absolutely impossible to boot anything else than a diskette, and i can't enter the BIOS setup. Looking again, i found three empty connections, where would be the WP jumper, so i tested it: i took a multimeter, and i checked that the middle pin was connected with the pin 8 of the BIOS chip slot (where the BIOS WP pin is connected to), and the other pins were one was connected to a positive 3.3v source and the other one was grounded, so changing the jumper position you can change the logical level on the BIOS WP pin. Ok, i tought it was it, everything was double-checked, so i tryed again and... NOTHING. It still is giving the write protected error. I tested again with the multimeter, to check if the logical levels were changing on the BIOS WP pin, and it was changing, but it still was giving that error. Do anyone have any idea of what to do? I'm considering take a EEPROM recorder and put the BIOS file on it to record this.
thanks by the attention.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6215
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:53 pm

relabeled foxconn = Compaq?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:09 pm

No, i don't remember the name, but it's a brazillian branch of the foxconn. Anyway, i identified the original motherboard, it's a 661FX7MI-RS. Talking about the problem, i'm thinking in try using another motherboard manufacturer, with the same bios chip type, and use another flashing program other than awdflash, and put my BIOS chip on the place after booting, so i can flash it. I even tryed that with another foxconn motherboard (a original one), but it gave me the same error, and in this other one i could check the BIOS setup, so i removed every option that could cause problems, such as SuperBios protect, memory shadows, memory hole, spread spectrum, virtualization technologies, hyper-threading, acpi, and all the devices and IRQ'si that i wasn't using, and i also checked if the WP jumper was set or not (this motherboard had one), and i checked if there was a high logical level at the pin 8 of the chip (what disables the write protection, according to the to the chip datasheet) and there was. Again, everything were OK and double-checked again, but the program still said it was write protected. This motherboard had an different version of awdflash on it's BIOS, so i tried it, but it gave me the same error. Obs.: In order to flash mine BIOS chip on other motherboards, i firstly boot the motherboard with it's own BIOS, and then i replace it's BIOS chip with mine, so the when the flash program runs it recognizes my BIOS chip. Also, i did tried using the same file with another BIOS chips, such as pmc and atmel chips, but all them give me the same error, in the two motherboards in which i tried this (mine and that other foxconn).
Sorry if mine explanations are confusing.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6215
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:15 am

I think the problem may be the board is trying to use 3.3V for flash voltage and the chips are 5V flash voltage chips.

Do you have any board that is NOT foxconn with the same chip type socket?
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:11 pm

That's exactly what i'm going to try next, another motherboard. By the way, yes, the voltage that the motherboard applies is 3.3v, but i forgot to check in the chip datasheet how much was the voltage of the high logical level.
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:31 pm

i just checked and the chip works with 3.3v as high logical level. So, by the hardware side, everything is OK. Maybe the version of the awdflash i using have a bug?
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6215
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:34 pm

Can be the version you try to use doesn't recognize the flash chip properly. What is the version?

There's still the possibility of Foxconn implementing some sort of extra flash inhibitor on their board, set by jumper or otherwise inside the bios.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:20 pm

So, i'm having different problems with different chips and different awdflash versions.
Now i discovered that my motherboard is actually a 661FX7MF-RS, and i downloaded the right BIOS for it.
The chip that came with my motherboard is a sst 49lf020 or 49lf020A (i don't know, because mine i throw it in the trash).

The chips i have now are:

1 SST 39SF020A (it's not recognized by no awdflash versions)
2 SST 49lf020A (are recognized but the program refuses to write, saying that the file size is different, and when i save the bios on the disk, and then try to write with it's own bios file, the erasing fails at adress 00EA00h, and it says it's write protected)
1 SST 49lf020 (it's not recognized by no awdflash versions)
1 Atmel 49LH004 (it's not recognized by no one awdflash versions)
1 Pmc Pm49Fl002T (it's not recognized by no awdflash versions)
2 Pmc Pm49Fl004T-3JJc (It's recognized, and it accepts the file size, but the flash erasing fails at adress 02FE00h, and it says it's write protected)

Remembering that again, there was 3.3v in the TBL# and WP# pins, so there where no hardware protection.

Any ideia of what to do now?
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6215
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:40 am

edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:07 am

Finally it worked out! Using Uniflash + another motherboard, it finally worked out!
Anyway, i had to destroy the pins 7 and 8 of the chip, because this motherboard was totally blocked against flashing, so i had to physically force 3,3v on the chip, so the write could happen. And more, the bios file i downloaded worked out perfectly on my board! Thank you so much, Now i'll finally use my pc again, after 5 months of using only my laptop. Thanks.
edwin
The Hardware Archivist
Posts: 6215
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:34 am

Thank you very much for your patience and your persistence on this matter. You say this is a Brazilian OEM version of the Foxconn board, can you give details on who has been selling it, the markings and what bios file from Foxconn you used to make it work?

I have a feeling there's more people with the exact same problem and by writing all the info in one post, it will be easier to find through Google.

Thank you in advance.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
guferr
New visitors - please read the rules.
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:46 pm

Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:49 pm

This motherboard is a digitron http://www.digitron.com.br/2.0/ dg 661fx 2.0,which it's actually a
661FX7MI-RS, and it's drivers, manuals and bios can be found here:
http://www.foxconnsupport.com/download. ... rds=&sort= (foxconn is having some problems in this site, so you firstly have to click in this link: http://www.foxconnsupport.com/Default.a ... uage=en-us, and then click in the first link). Anyway, the digitron workers don't seem to understand my problem, and neither know anything about the motherboard, because they thought it was a gigabyte motherboard ¬¬.
Anyone with a digitron motherboard will have some problems if the bios get corrupted, because it was a question of luck that i found the right bios in the first guess, cause the bootblock doesn't show the BIOS string, and the motherboard doesn't have any markers, except by the N15235 marker, which can be a lot of different foxconn motherboards. Thanks.
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 750
Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 12:14 pm
Location: Belgium
Contact:

Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:46 pm

thanks for the info!

fyi all awdflasher versions are now online at http://www.wimsbios.com/awardflasher.jsp, plan to add more (ami, ...)
Post Reply