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Windows 7: Trying to update BIOS but need an MS/DOS environment

18 Nov 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 
Trying to update BIOS but need an MS/DOS environment

I have a problem with my graphics card (new) where it doesn't give a video signal through the DVI connection until Windows loads the driver. At this point it works fine. Also, if I connect through the card's HDMI O/P to my TV, I do get video. I've tried the card on another system and it works fine through the DVI O/P.

Since I've tried everything i can think of including updating the VBIOS of the card, all I'm left with is to update the motherboard BIOS. Since the latest BIOS has a file size of 2MB and the inbuilt flash tool only supports 1MB BIOS files, I need to use the MS/DOS tool that comes with the new BIOS file. This has to be run in MS/DOS so I'm wondering if I can run it if I boot into the Command Prompt safe mode, and if so will I see my hard disks and/or a USB stick?

Thanks,

George

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Nov 2012   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by grn62 View Post
I have a problem with my graphics card (new) where it doesn't give a video signal through the DVI connection until Windows loads the driver. At this point it works fine. Also, if I connect through the card's HDMI O/P to my TV, I do get video. I've tried the card on another system and it works fine through the DVI O/P.

Since I've tried everything i can think of including updating the VBIOS of the card, all I'm left with is to update the motherboard BIOS. Since the latest BIOS has a file size of 2MB and the inbuilt flash tool only supports 1MB BIOS files, I need to use the MS/DOS tool that comes with the new BIOS file. This has to be run in MS/DOS so I'm wondering if I can run it if I boot into the Command Prompt safe mode, and if so will I see my hard disks and/or a USB stick?

Thanks,

George
The usual recommendation is that you should not update your bios unless it is absolutely necessary.
Also If you need further help, in-case you do need to update your bios, or otherwise, it would be beneficial if you fill out your system specs!

To help us help you please do this:
System Info - See Your System Specs
You could also use this:
Speccy - System Information - Free Download
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Just be aware that you can do everything right and still fail the bios flash. If this happens the computer will be rendered unusable, and likely will not be able to be repaired by anyone but the manufacturer.

That said if you absolutely must update do to a specific problem you have that is solved by the bios patch.
I suggest seeing here
Flashing BIOs - Bootable DOS CD? - Microsoft Community
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Nov 2012   #4

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

First thanks for the replies and I take onboard the warnings about BIOS flashing although I am well aware of the potential dangers. I have been building my systems since 386 days going back to Win3 and have only once flashed the BIOS. In fact, the reason for posting my question is specifically because I am concerned about the flash failing but it appears to be the last resort to try to resolve my problem and even if successful there is no guarantee that this will solve the problem.

I have been asking for help from the MSI, Gigabyte and NVidia forums having exhausted everything I could think of trying - the MSI forum was where it was suggested I flash the VBIOS. Gigabyte technical support has told me to flash the BIOS and that is where my question comes from and my reluctance to flash it. There are 3 ways to flash my BIOS: an inbuilt tool (QFlash) built into the BIOS, a Gigabyte utility (@BIOS) that can be run from Windows and an executable that comes with the new BIOS file that has to be run in MS-DOS.

I cannot use QFlash as the latest BIOS is a 2MB file and my current BIOS QFlash will support 1MB BIOS files only - the BIOS update will replace Qflash with 2MB file support. Second, I have read many reports of @BIOS failing leaving users with dead motherboards and add to that @BIOS reports my motherboard as a Rev 1.0 board so it doesn't fill me with confidence. This only leaves the executable option and hence why I was wondering if the Command prompt option in the Windows boot menu gives me an MS-DOS environment.

Given that my system does work albeit, as it stands, I can't get into BIOS to change settings or be able to get into safe mode when required, it is still usable. If I can't find a way to flash my BIOS with a reasonable degree of confidence, my fallback solution will be to buy a cheap graphics card and install it beside the 670. The cheap card will let me get into BIOS or Windows boot menu when I needed although would be a pain having to switch the connection but I'd live with that rather than risk ending up with a dead motherboard. Given that getting a socket 1366 motherboard now is quite difficult, it could be an expensive experiment (new motherboard, new processor and possibly new CPU cooler fan).

Thanks for your help,

George
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #5

WIN7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Best tip I can give you
(and where many screw up Bios updates and feck their motherboards etc)
Make sure the usb stick is always DOS/FAT32 formatted (if required)

Then download the 'zipped' bios onto hard drive/usb drive and
ONLY "UNZIP" THE FILE ON THE FAT32 USB stick
(cos unzipping it on an ntfs formatted drive trashes the bios data)
= Bios update success.

I've been building/updating pc's as long as you and never trashed a M-board/graphics/dvd drive etc yet!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by neo101 View Post
I've been building/updating pc's as long as you and never trashed a M-board/graphics/dvd drive etc yet!
Good to know, I haven't either but I do try to avoid it

Also, thanks for the unzip tip - I had unzipped it to NTFS but thankfully hadn't tried to flash it yet although strange that the @BIOS tool has an option to flash from a file and that runs in Windows but says nothing at all that it has to be on a FAT32 file system. Maybe one of the reasons that it leaves dead motherboards in its wake.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

To be honest I've had a number of boards fail bios updates ...well the updates were successful but killed the boards anyhow. Only one of them actually belonged to me, all asus and all failed after the process had completed successfully they never booted again.
This combined with the worst customer support I have ever endured is what made me switch to asrock boards instead.

I have not had a bios flashing problem on any other make of board even gigabyte which I hate seems to be able to handle them for the most part.
I always feel the need to warn people though. It can and does happen.
I've dealt with more computers than I can count in my time though and the actual overall percentage of failures is next to nothing... if you remove ASUS boards from the equation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2012   #8

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Thanks for the info. I've had one ASUS board but was not impressed although never had to flash BIOS. Encouraging to hear your experience with Gigabyte boards though, it gives me some more confidence it was just the @BIOS tool wrongly identifying my motherboard and the reports I'd read of it failing, including a recommendation from one of the Gigabyte forum moderators to avoid using @BIOS if at all possible.

George
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Trying to update BIOS but need an MS/DOS environment




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