Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-10 @ 19:49

Hi all,
I have an am486DX2 running on a Genoa 486VLB - X2 board that has an Award bios of 07/26/94-SIS-85C471B/E-2C4I9F20-00. I've been looking all over the net and also on here for another bios, but haven't found anything. I see a couple of guys (BeginnerGuy, MCGA) here have this same board and was curious if anyone had a more updated/hacked bios. I'd particularly like to get past the 8GB HDD size limit. It's a great board aside from that and, I know it's crazy, I'd like to build Linux From Scratch on it, but I'd like a little more room too. I'd have PM'd them but I get no link when I hover the contact text on their profiles, maybe because I'm a noob on here.
Last edited by Overlord_Manny on 2019-9-12 @ 13:32, edited 1 time in total.
Overlord_Manny
Newbie
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 2019-8-20 @ 14:48

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X2

Postby bakemono » 2019-9-11 @ 21:03

I have a Genoa X4 with Nov 94 BIOS date. But I use a VLB EIDE card with it's own BIOS and only have a 2.5GB Quantum Fireball connected so I haven't encountered the disk geometry limits. What IDE interface are you using? Maybe XT-IDE BIOS would help?

Can't Linux bypass BIOS limits by using it's own IDE driver? Maybe it has the same problem that WinNT does, but I've never understood why an OS that doesn't use BIOS functions for disk I/O still needs to be subject to BIOS limitations.

BTW, my board was not Y2K compliant so I have an add-on ROM card to fix that issue.
bakemono
Member
 
Posts: 311
Joined: 2018-1-15 @ 06:56

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-12 @ 03:22

It's an ISA Multi IO with a Winbond chip. It has one IDE port, two serial, one floppy, a game port and a parallel. Not sure of the model number but I don't think it has it's own bios. I've been using one of those cheapo CF card adapters with an 8GB flash card as a HDD. It works well in DOS, I probably don't need anything bigger really. I haven't tried linux on it yet. I usually use Arch linux, which won't work on a 486, but a bleeding edge OS doesn't seem a good fit for it anyway. It's been years since I made an LFS build though. Seems like a fun (lengthy) project.

You wouldn't have a dump of your bios would you. I'm not sure what all Y2K compliant entails but mine will accept 2019 as a year date in the BIOS. Here's the dump of my bios.

EDIT: I just realized I put X2 in the title when is should have been X4.
Attachments
07-26-94-SIS-85C471B_E-2C4I9F20-00.7z
GENOA 486VLG - X4 BIOS
(41.29 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
Overlord_Manny
Newbie
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 2019-8-20 @ 14:48

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-12 @ 13:39

Oh man, I dumped that bios last night and everything seemed to go well. This morning I booted up the computer and it can't recognize any partitions, the bios sees the drive, but fdisk can't see the partitions. I tried to start fresh and fdisk makes the partitions but they don't save and are gone after reboot. I don't know what could have happened it's not like I wrote to the eprom. I just dumped it.
Overlord_Manny
Newbie
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 2019-8-20 @ 14:48

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-12 @ 18:44

I have no clue what caused the issue but it's resolved now. I re-seated my IO board several times and changed the IDE cable and that didn't fix it. I put in a 16GB Sandisk CF card instead of the one of the two 8GB Transcend I had been using and it started working. But now the two Transcend CF cards work too.

Anyway, I was able to locate a couple more bios roms. They are actually for a Freetech F38xg but that board seems identical to my Genoa by appearance. Maybe one or the other is a rebrand. I've tried both of these on my board. One is just a hack of the other. The unhacked one makes my 8GB cards report properly in the bios splash and FDISK (the Genoa bios always reports 1592MB, though FDISK sees it as 7.6GB), and the hacked one makes my 32GB card report properly (more or less) in the bios splash but Win98 FDISK still only shows it as 8024MB.

I haven't tested them much but, I'll post them here, who knows maybe me or someone else will need them in the future.
Attachments
Freetech F38 award 38x-g Bios Roms.7z
These work with my Genoa 486VLB - X4
(41.91 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
Overlord_Manny
Newbie
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 2019-8-20 @ 14:48

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby bakemono » 2019-9-12 @ 21:04

here is my dump :)
Attachments
genoax4.zip
(44.63 KiB) Downloaded 2 times
bakemono
Member
 
Posts: 311
Joined: 2018-1-15 @ 06:56

Re: Bios Hunt: GENOA 486VLG - X4

Postby Overlord_Manny » 2019-9-13 @ 19:36

Thanks. I'm gonna try it out this weekend.
Overlord_Manny
Newbie
 
Posts: 17
Joined: 2019-8-20 @ 14:48


Return to General Old Hardware

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dionb, Doornkaat, dr.ido, Google [Bot], HanJammer, hwh, mpe, Nemo1985, pan069, PTherapist and 20 guests