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Windows 7: Gigabyte DualBIOS will not run as advertised

27 Jan 2012   #11
Sardonicus

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

The DualBIOS files cannot be modified, manually.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
27 Jan 2012   #12
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Sardonicus View Post

You should be able to make a backup to external media, using Q-Flash, that should be on the menu, or by using the @BIOS utility.
How much of that is guessing, considering the 2 "shoulds"?

How would a BIOS backup to external media (USB stick normally) then be presented in a menu read from a motherboard chip?

There isn't the slightest reference in any documentation I have seen that I have to back up anything or use a USB stick in order for DualBIOS to be functional.

It's cryptic and poorly documented. The implication of all I have read is that the board ships with 2 BIOSes---to be revealed in an F9 menu. The "backup" is supposedly updatable via Alt F12---according to Gigabyte forums and Golden's report when he chose Alt F12..."and YES, hitting ALT+F12 during boot give me the option to copy main BIOS to backup".

It works that way in Golden's case, but not in mine.

It may well be that optional software is required and I'm hoping Golden can shed light on that. I typically do not use any optional software found on motherboard manufacturer's discs and have seen no online references that optional software is needed for this functionality.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #13
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Hi,

I didn't install any of the optional Gigabyte applications, incl. the SmartBIOS utility - only the chipset drivers etc. were installed.

Do you think updating the actual main BIOS might help? I'm assuming of course your current F4 ins't the latest....

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Jan 2012   #14
Sardonicus

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

No guessing, I did look at the manual before making the statement. Sorry, I should have been more definitive with my answer, as you can save to external media using those options.

The manual is vague about the DualBIOS, cause there's really not to much to say about it. The system makes a second copy of the BIOS that is loaded into the ROM. When the main BIOS in the ROM is detected as corrupt or damaged, the system loads the second copy from the ROM after bootup, which keeps the system from failing to boot.

One can make a copy of the main BIOS file, but not the backup copy, by using Q-Flash and the @BIOS utility. I had a couple of Gigabyte boards with the DualBIOS and like others I too was frustrated with it. The name implies more flexibility, but really it's just the same file sitting in the ROM, twice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #15
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Hi,

I didn't install any of the optional Gigabyte applications, incl. the SmartBIOS utility - only the chipset drivers etc. were installed.

Do you think updating the actual main BIOS might help? I'm assuming of course your current F4 ins't the latest....

Regards,
Golden
Thanks again, Golden.

I seriously doubt the main BIOS is the issue. My F4 is less than a year old. The newest F6 is nearly as old---July 2011. The board was introduced less than a year ago.

There is no indication at GB site that newer BIOSes address any DualBIOS issues.

The only reason I got inquisitive about DualBIOS is that I was contemplating a flash to F6 and I got to wondering about backups. I have a niggling problem or two and foolishly think that F6 might resolve those issues.

There are reports online that it is not highly reliable. I'd probably be even more foolish to count on it in a jam anyway.

The worst of it is the lack of proper documentation. Not surprising, motherboard manufacturers being what they are.

And I don't even know if it is operational at all.

Did you in fact over-ride your backup BIOS with the main BIOS, via Alt F12?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #16
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Did you in fact over-ride your backup BIOS with the main BIOS, via Alt F12?
Nope - I only checked to see that the option is there.

I wonder if its a dud board? BIOS chip?

There is an option in the CMOS to backup the BIOS to an HDD - perhaps try that before the flash to F6?

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jan 2012   #17
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post

I wonder if its a dud board? BIOS chip?

There is an option in the CMOS to backup the BIOS to an HDD - perhaps try that before the flash to F6?
Could be an issue peculiar to my board only, but there's quite a few online posts bitching about it, with the recommendation to do some goofy stuff with the PSU switch and power button to get it to "kick in"--which points to it just being not ready for prime time generally.

I also saw a comment from the geniuses at GB tech support that DualBIOS is NOT intended to recover from a "seriously" corrupted BIOS. I'm not even going to try to parse what that means.

Nor would I RMA over it. I'll just ignore it and move on. And do whatever else I can think of to back up the existing BIOS should I be unable to resist flashing.

Thanks for your good work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #18
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

No worries, pity we couldn't get to the bottom of it. Try the BIOS backup to HDD, and see what it does.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #19
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Here's an update with a new development:

I flashed to F6 using Qflash from a USB drive without issues. I first chose "save bios to drive" from menu, which backed up the existing F4 bios to my USB drive. Then rebooted to confirm the backup and then went back to Qflash and chose "update bios from drive", which did the flash from F4 to F6.

I'm not sure if that backup is valid or will ever bail me out, but it's all I could do. I'm leaving it on the USB stick and also filed it away on my HD.

The new development is that an Alt F12 now DOES bring up a screen offering to overwrite my backup bios with the current bios. I said OK to that and now presumably have F6 as both primary and backup. Probably a doofus move now that I think about it.

However-------an F9 from within the bios still shows only the main bios, with no indication that I have a backup bios at all. I hope I never need it and don't even know if I have it.

I'm not sure what it all means, but I temporarily relieved my itch to do something.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jan 2012   #20
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Mmmm. Thats quite bizarre.

At least you have the backup on HDD/USB if you ever need it, but it would be nice to see both under F9....

And thanks for the rep too.

Regards,
Golden
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Gigabyte DualBIOS will not run as advertised




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