Looking for BIOS upgrade for old Packard Bell system

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OzzFan
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Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:36 pm

Hi all,

I'm looking for a BIOS upgrade to an old Packard Bell / Intel Socket 4 motherboard using an AMIBIOS. The BIOS version displayed on screen is 1.00.02.AU0R, and the BIOS string during startup reads 51-0100-009999-01111101-111192-PCI82430-0. I wrote to eSupport.com a while ago but have not heard back from them so I thought I'd search around the net which brought me here. If you require additional information, please let me know. Hope someone here can help me.
edwin
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Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:25 pm

http://www.elhvb.com/mboards/intel/index.html
1.00.xx.AU0R: Packard Bell OEM version of Intel Premiere/PCI Low Profile AKA PB520

more info here:
http://www.uktsupport.co.uk/pb/mb/520.htm

All limits mentioned in there are hardware limits, a bios upgrade is not going to remove those limits.

(I see I need to update some links on my website).
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
OzzFan
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Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:30 am

Thanks for the links! The second link indicates that a four memory socket board should be able to support up to 136MB of RAM. When I populate 128MB into the four sockets, the BIOS can count all 128MB of RAM but it is not addressable by Windows NT 3.51 or NT 4.0 (haven't tried later OSes). This usually indicates a problem with the BIOS reporting all available memory over INT 14h (I think?). I'd still like to try to see if a BIOS upgrade would help. Even if it doesn't, there may be other enhancements such as support for Windows 3.11's 32bit Disk and 32bit File Access.

[Edited to add] I'd also like to add that if I use QEMM under DOS, it has a SCANMEM utility that tells me how to add an argument to QEMM's command line to get full use out of all 128MB. So I know that the board supports 128MB and I know it's possible to access 128MB through unconventional means. Again, even if a BIOS update doesn't allow NT OSes to address > 64MB, I'd still like to ensure I have the latest BIOS for other possible enhancements. :)
edwin
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Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:13 pm

http://gunkies.org/wiki/Windows_NT
On the i386 the maximum memory supported is 64MB (which was common limitation of ISA machines back then).
I have a gut feeling that a reasonably recent build of Linux will see all 128MB as will Windows 2000. In the mean time I am hunting down the bios update for your PB520/PB527 board, the last release known is 1.00.06.AU0R but the original Packard Bell legacy support folders have vanished. I have found a retailer that claims they have them on their FTP server but that is not allowing access at the moment.
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
OzzFan
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Wed Sep 04, 2019 7:18 pm

Thanks for all your help! Any update on the download? I've been scouring the Wayback Machine but it doesn't look like they archived any downloads from the old Packard Bell or Intel sites. :(
OzzFan
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Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:24 pm

edwin wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:13 pm
http://gunkies.org/wiki/Windows_NT
On the i386 the maximum memory supported is 64MB (which was common limitation of ISA machines back then).
I have a gut feeling that a reasonably recent build of Linux will see all 128MB as will Windows 2000. In the mean time I am hunting down the bios update for your PB520/PB527 board, the last release known is 1.00.06.AU0R but the original Packard Bell legacy support folders have vanished. I have found a retailer that claims they have them on their FTP server but that is not allowing access at the moment.
Finally dawned on me that you're suggesting that 64MB is the maximum memory amount of NT 3.51, however I know this is not the case. I've installed NT 3.51 on a different machine with 128MB of RAM and it is able to see and use all of it. NT 4 supports the full 4GB address space of a 32bit processor.

I don't think the issue is OS support. I'm certain it is the BIOS's reporting at issue.
edwin
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Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:29 pm

I seem to vaguely rememeber having a copy of a PB ftp site somewhere but that is at least 10 years ago, so that takes some serious diggin' I can tell you. The retailer hasn't replied so far...
edwin/evasive

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
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