Unknown Flash Type

Questions that don't belong in the other forums.
Brett
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I have recently purchased some old machines and have combined them to make one. The mother Board that I chose was the Abit BH6. It is running a PII 400. I noticed that at boot up a message comes up after the PCI list that says “Unknown Flash Type”. The machine works okay. However when I tried to update the bios to the latest version (SS) the AWDFLASH program also issed the same message and failed. Do you have any ideas as to what may be wrong and what I might do to fix it.

Thanks,
Worried Kiwi,

Brett
Rainbow
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Check if there's flash write protect jumper and also check what's printed on the BIOS chip. Maybe someone replaced the Flash ROM with EPROM (27Cxxx).
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
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Brett
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I have checked the Bios chip and it has an Award logo on it so I am presuming that it is the original. I also cannot find any mention of a flash protect jumper in the mother board manual (Abit BH6). Scrutiny of the actual board also has not revealed a jumper that I cant explain. Does anyone have a list on messages that the Awdflash program produces, that mentions the message Unknown Flash Type and possible causes ?????
janpopan
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Please remove the sticker from AWARD and look on the 'blank' chip. AWARD produces bioscode and some other guys produce flash-roms ... maybe Intel :-)
Jan
Brett
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The Award Sticker had "PCI/PNP 686 153168851" on it. The chip underneath had " MX C984810 28F2000T0C-12C4 1A2737 Taiwan". Any help ?

Brett
Rainbow
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Try different version of Awdflash or try another flasher (AMIflash, UniFlash, although UniFlash is know not to work on some Abit BX boards).
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
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georman
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generally there are two types of flash rom:28f(such as MX28F2000) and 29f(such as Winbond 29EE020), 28F series use +12V voltage to identify the chip's ID, 29F series use +5v. This is VPP used for write to the chip. Because pnp BIOS and Windows DO write something(DMI information,ESCD etc) to the chip,so if Vpp is wrong, these can not be done. Bios will display "UNKOWN FLASH TYPE", and Windows will hang if your installed a new device.
Therefore ,CHECK THE VPP !!!
Brett
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I have tried to determine the VPP (what does VPP stand for ?) but dont know where to look. Cant see anything in the BIOS setup that would allow such a change.........Is the voltage something that is manually set ?
georman
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VPP stand for Voltage for Programming.It connected to pin 1 of the flashchip. Some motherboard have a jumper to manually set the VPP ether 12V or 5V for different type of flashchip, but some do not have.
I am not familiar to ABIT motherboard, thus I don't know whether the jumper exists or not on your motherboard. The jumper usually set near the flashchip's PIN 1 and has three heads ,two of them shorted by a cap.
You can set the jumper to other position.
NOTICE: maybe the jumper is hardwire shorted, under this circulation, you must have an iron and do it by an expert.
Brett
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Thanks for your help guys/gals. I have searched the web for the pin layout on the Bios EPROM and havnt been able to find anything. I checked the pins at each corner during boot up and found that the voltage fluctuates depending on whats happening. At no time did the voltage on these pins exceed 4.5v . There is also no apparent way of altering the voltage. I have sent off an inquiry to Abit to see if they can confirm the chip that the board is supposed to have. I also provided the wrong Bios version above, it is infact GY which is a very early release. If anyone can give me the pin orientation on the 28F2000 chip I would be very grateful.

I will post the reply from Abit when I get it. I am surprised that no one else has had similar problems as I have two machines with this feature.....I am starting to sound like IBM.
georman
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You can get the datasheet of the MXIC28F2000 at http://www.flashbios.org/pdf/28f2000t.pdf. You need acrobat reader to read it. There is a diag on page 3 show which is pin 1 of the chip.
If you have a voltage meter (or multi-meter) you can measure the voltage on this VPP pin, IT SHOULD BE +12V( 10% tolerance) at any time when the computer powers on for correcttly recongize the chip and write ESCD information.
By the way, if there is not a jumper to maunlly set the voltage, maybe the flashchip WAS changed by someone else.
Rainbow
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If there's no 12V on the VPP pin, you can make an "adapter" that will allow you to flash the chip - I did it and put it here http://www.pppr.sk/rainbow/hardware/hotflash.html
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
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edwin
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:idea:


I see an old jive2-link that needs to be replaced there...
Rainbow
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I see it too :-) But it must wait there until I come home :-)
Patched and tested BIOSes are at http://wims.rainbow-software.org
UniFlash - Flash anything anywhere
Brett
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Armed with the chips pin configuration and my Fluke multimeter, I have determined that pin 1 does infact have +12v on it. This is probably worse than if it wasnt +12v. If the machine does write back to the chip, ( ESCD etc), then is it actually doing this even though it is issuing the Unknown Flash Type message ?. What could I do to test this ? I suspect that its not.

I have some questions about the bios code :? :

1. Is the BIN file, picked up from the manufacturers site, a complete copy of the bios program that is loaded onto the chip in a flash process ?

2. The reason that I asked the first question is that I am trying to understand the significance of Award in the scenario. I am assuming (which is not a good thing to do) that Award is just a particular flavour of Bios code, that it conforms to some kind of standard, and that the actual Motherboard also conforms to that same standard. Is this true ?

3. If I re-flash the chip (using Uniflash), is all code in the chip replaced ?

4. I have noticed that the menu displayed when in the Bios, is different than the menu illustrated in the MotherBoard manual. It is missing a line item. Am I safe in concluding that maybe the wrong bios has been loaded previously or could the manual be wrong ?

Thanks,
Brett
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