VOGONS


First post, by biessea

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Hi there, I have a question for you all.

I tried to upgrade bios of this nice motherboard, from the 1997 that I have to a 1998 bios to make the machine recognize the K6-2 300MHZ that I would put up swapping from a P133.

I found some nice thread about that motherboard and a set of nice hints about it, comprehending the latest bios working with the AWDFLASH utility there.

So I did a floppy bootable and put the bios and the AWARD FLASH UTILITY there.

When I try to write that new bios it immediately shows me "erase chip fail".

I have no protecting on bios, I just controlled.

I have set the correct jumper to 12v. to flash it, I tried 5v. too but with the same results.

What could it be?

It is perhaps related to EPROM and EEPROM chip? I have an EPROM and it is simply not erasable?

I put a photo of the Award chips.

PS: It's strange cause you can find various people that flashed this bios successfully, and if it is not erasable why I can find newer bios online?

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Reply 1 of 49, by Repo Man11

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I would try Uniflash; if nothing else it should report the chip's information. You can also find out more by peeling the sticker back and Googling the part number you'll find underneath.

I do know that the PCChips M507 comes with an EPROM rather than an EEPROM so, on that motherboard, you cannot update the BIOS without replacing the BIOS chip. But my PCChips M520 did come with an EEPROM.

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"A lot of times when you first start out on a project you think, This is never going to be finished. But then it is, and you think, Wow, it wasn't even worth it." - Jack Handey

Reply 2 of 49, by biessea

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2022-09-25, 13:25:

I would try Uniflash; if nothing else it should report the chip's information. You can also find out more by peeling the sticker back and Googling the part number you'll find underneath.

I do know that the PCChips M507 comes with an EPROM rather than an EEPROM so, on that motherboard, you cannot update the BIOS without replacing the BIOS chip. But my PCChips M520 did come with an EEPROM.

Thanks a lot my dear, I will do in about an hour. I will let you know. Photos and all, thanks.

Computer lover since 1992.
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Reply 3 of 49, by biessea

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Uniflash says me on the Flash ROM chip: UNKNOWN.

I don't want to have a mess. I have the flash bios image voices greyed out.

What can I do? Try an older Uniflash?

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Reply 4 of 49, by biessea

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2022-09-25, 13:25:

I would try Uniflash; if nothing else it should report the chip's information. You can also find out more by peeling the sticker back and Googling the part number you'll find underneath.

I do know that the PCChips M507 comes with an EPROM rather than an EEPROM so, on that motherboard, you cannot update the BIOS without replacing the BIOS chip. But my PCChips M520 did come with an EEPROM.

AWDFLASH sees the chip, is a 28F010 /12V

let's see to the image.

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Reply 5 of 49, by biessea

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2022-09-25, 13:25:

I would try Uniflash; if nothing else it should report the chip's information. You can also find out more by peeling the sticker back and Googling the part number you'll find underneath.

I do know that the PCChips M507 comes with an EPROM rather than an EEPROM so, on that motherboard, you cannot update the BIOS without replacing the BIOS chip. But my PCChips M520 did come with an EEPROM.

this is the chip bios without the sticker.

What can I do now?

Please help, I cannot believe there isn't a way to flash the motherboard bios to later version, why should they made it so???

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Reply 6 of 49, by Repo Man11

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I wonder if it isn't actually getting 12 volts when you set the jumper? On my M507 I borrowed a chip out of another motherboard and left the jumper at five volts - Uniflash told me that it was an unknown chip. I then set the jumper to 12 volts and Uniflash was then able to recognize and flash the chip. Another possibility is that the BIOS chip is bad.

"A lot of times when you first start out on a project you think, This is never going to be finished. But then it is, and you think, Wow, it wasn't even worth it." - Jack Handey

Reply 7 of 49, by 80386SX

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I advice you to stop to try this kind of thing, especially with a PcChips motherboard (the BIOS chip can be easily corrupted).
And buy a true eeprom programmer (TL866) and a non OTP eeprom chip (AT29C010A, etc.) to make some bios versions tries.
And prog the good version on a OTP chip, like a NM27C010 or W27C010 to fix it.

Reply 8 of 49, by biessea

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2022-09-25, 16:44:

I wonder if it isn't actually getting 12 volts when you set the jumper? On my M507 I borrowed a chip out of another motherboard and left the jumper at five volts - Uniflash told me that it was an unknown chip. I then set the jumper to 12 volts and Uniflash was then able to recognize and flash the chip. Another possibility is that the BIOS chip is bad.

I tried with the jumper on 5V and with the jumper with the 12V.

Same results.

I think I have to give up and remain with the 1997 bios.

I cannot understand so this brand Pc Chips make the bios updating if they put on motherboard chips that they doesn't program.

Astonished.

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 9 of 49, by biessea

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80386SX wrote on 2022-09-25, 16:53:

I advice you to stop to try this kind of thing, especially with a PcChips motherboard (the BIOS chip can be easily corrupted).
And buy a true eeprom programmer (TL866) and a non OTP eeprom chip (AT29C010A, etc.) to make some bios versions tries.
And prog the good version on a OTP chip, like a NM27C010 or W27C010 to fix it.

The motherboard is running perfectly fine.

I just wanted to update the bios with a normal AWDFLASH program, tunning from the bootable floppy disk like we always did it in the past.

But this time, and I don't know why, my bios can't be erased. Like it has a protection, or like it is a EPROM and not an EEPROM.

I photographed the chip "naked", I put there all my screens, I used various programs.

I don't really know what to do now. Anyway is so strange, cause another user flashed the card with the last bios and with tools he provided. I used the same version of AWDFLASH and it doesn't work.

Probably a bad bios? Anyway it works, the computer boots and I could have fun. Anyway now I try to put there a K6-2 300MHZ and see what happens.

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 10 of 49, by biessea

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Repo Man11 wrote on 2022-09-25, 16:44:

I wonder if it isn't actually getting 12 volts when you set the jumper? On my M507 I borrowed a chip out of another motherboard and left the jumper at five volts - Uniflash told me that it was an unknown chip. I then set the jumper to 12 volts and Uniflash was then able to recognize and flash the chip. Another possibility is that the BIOS chip is bad.

I tried to put the AMD K6-2 300mhz but no boot. No pc speaker beeps, nothing.

I set 2.5v., the currect multiplier, but nothing, no boot.

Strange, I was thinking that can boot even if a lower clocks.

So, at the end, I have no other chance to flash that 1998 bios ?

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 11 of 49, by smoke86

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Whoa, hold your horses man!
Your motherboard does not support ANY K6-2 CPUs.
It is pretty good chance that you fried your CPU since you did not mention tinkering with voltage - related jumpers.
If motherboard works OK with supported CPU - leave the BIOS alone.

Anyway, that may be OTP chip (one time programmable), and if you try to erase it - it's gone forever.

Reply 12 of 49, by biessea

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smoke86 wrote on 2022-09-25, 20:14:
Whoa, hold your horses man! Your motherboard does not support ANY K6-2 CPUs. It is pretty good chance that you fried your CPU s […]
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Whoa, hold your horses man!
Your motherboard does not support ANY K6-2 CPUs.
It is pretty good chance that you fried your CPU since you did not mention tinkering with voltage - related jumpers.
If motherboard works OK with supported CPU - leave the BIOS alone.

Anyway, that may be OTP chip (one time programmable), and if you try to erase it - it's gone forever.

hey cmon, I am on it for a full day today, and if you search a little you can find who did it.

"The Skinned Knuckles Workshop

HITSTATS By



If you have a VX-Pro+ based motherboard you may find the information posted here of interest.

They explain how I've managed to get an AMD K6/266 working on my VX-Pro+ motherboard, overclocked to 337Mhz.

-And-

How I have subsequently upgraded my CPU to a K6-2/350, running at 412Mhz.

Email reports of 450, 500Mhz and K6-3/400 operational!!!!

"


Why ?

I had been running my VX-Pro board with an SGS manufactured Cyrix 6x86 PR166 and whilst this was providing a reasonable turn of speed I felt that there was room for improvement so I considered that;

My motherboard could only support processors upto 233Mhz (with the official 66Mhz front side bus)
The Intel processor supplies are running out (Intel now having stopped production)
Cyrix processors get poor reviews in terms of FPU performance
AMD K6 and K6-2 have a good reputation for performance (FPU not as good as Intel, but 2nd best)
IDT Winchips would be an unknown quatity in my motherboard and probably wouldn't give the 'rounded' performance required
After thinking about things for a while, I decided that a K6 or K6-2 would be the 'best bet'. In terms of which processor speed to choose, well I thought that as my system could officially run to 233 and with a 75Mhz FSB a processor could do 266, and near 300 with 83Mhz FSB I thought that a rating of 266 would be preferable. By doing so I wasn't paying the price premium for a 300Mhz part and would limit my over-investment if I really could only run at 233.

The next decision was as to a straight K6 or a K6-2 with the 3D support.

Pricing for the different chips was not significant, there was about a £15 premium for the K6-2 per clock speed.

I contacted a couple of suppliers and visited the WWW technical posts to gauge opinion, at that time most people and both suppliers said that "motherboard support" was required for the 3D support. So I went for a straight K6 at 266 Mhz.

** I now understand that, although motherboard support will enable a K6-2 to be identified and reported as such, the words of wisdom now seem to say that; If your motherboard will report a straight K6 (and hence configure the board to set the cache write enable etc) then it will also configure a K6-2 correctly - 3D support is in application software NOT the motherboard.

Too late for this time, but maybe next...

top

Core voltages

Anyway, Having plugged my new chip into the motherboard I came across my first problem - Voltage levels.

The K6, model6 (upto 233) was fabricated on the 0.35 micron facility and ran at a higher voltage than the K6 model7 (266/300) and K6-2 which are made on the 0.25 fab and run at 2.2V in the core.

My VX-Pro board has a lowest voltage setting of 2.5V - meaning, return to supplier, restocking fee etc.....arrrggggghhhhhh.

So,

At first I was using the chip at 2.5V core (the lowest the board will go to) with an overclocked bus speed of 75Mhz and a (default) 1.5/3.5 multiplier to give a 266 performance, the chip remained fairly cool with a top case temp of around 33 degrees ‘C’.


Bios

The main problem was one of 'cosmetics'- the BIOS didn't recognise the new chip. At bootup it just displayed that it found "-MMX CPU 66Mhz", it certainly appeared much faster than my previous Cyrix PR166 but I suspected that the internal CPU registers were not set for a K6. I scouted around on the 'net for some help and found a handfull of 'optimiser' programs that would correctly set the CPU for optimum performance but I still had doubts, at about the same time a new BIOS file for my motherboard was posted but with almost no details as to the enhanced capability - I emailed PCChips for confirmation of the K6 Model7 identification but as you might expect I got no reply!

The 'new' BIOS date is 4/30/1998S and the markings for my bios chip (which is 12V) was not listed on the PCChips Website either. The files were still available on the Taiwan PCChips website as of late October 1998.

So with nothing to loose but a cheap motherboard - I 'flashed' the Bios, which was completely painless and very quick! It solved the problem - I now had a correct BIOS identification of the K6 chip, mind you I still don't know if it would identify a K6-2 (or 3 for that matter) has anyone tried it?

Having tried altering the jumpers to give 3.5x66Mhz -233 and 3.5x75Mhz -266 and having the system stable like this for a little while, I thought I'd really like to get more speed out of this chip!

This is what I cannot do. Upload bios. I dont'really don't know why my motherboard can't erase the bios.

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 13 of 49, by smoke86

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How did you solve voltage problem?
I had some motherboards with this chip (manufacturers apparently used different chips for BIOSes even in the same model) and trashed all of them - they were causing pall kinds of problems.
Try sourcing replacement chip (eg. from SST or ATMEL) and 'hot flash' it on that board with Uniflash.
Even is K6-2 survive raised voltage, your board will not recognize it properly until you give that BIOS proper microcode (but that include edition BIOS file itself).

Last edited by smoke86 on 2022-09-25, 20:35. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 14 of 49, by biessea

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smoke86 wrote on 2022-09-25, 20:25:

How did you solve voltage problem?
I had some motherboards with this chip (manufacturers apparently used different chips for BIOSes even in the same model) and trashed all of them - they were causing pall kinds of problems.
Try sourcing replacement chip (rg. from SST or ATMEL) and 'hot flash' it on that board with Uniflash.

Is not a problem for a K6-2 to work at 2.5. Is a bit high yes, but it work. This is what this person said after has updated the bios.

The bios microcode is included on that bios from 1998 that this person mention.

Ok ok so you are trying to tell me that the bios chip that I have now isn't erasable.

So I must give up.

Probably this users that make that guide to how use a k6-2 on this board had probably other bios chip, isn't it?

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 15 of 49, by smoke86

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Would you mind posting a photo of bottom side of BIOS chip?
No, don't give up just yet. I'd recommend sourcing new blank compatible chip and do this:
1. boot from FDD that contains Uniflash and new BIOS rom.
2. start uniflash
3. remove old bios chip and insert new one
4. program proper BIOS ROM to new chip (remember about setting 5/12v jumper correctly for the new chip!)
5. restart

It should work, if not - you always have old chip that will work.
That motherboard will not recognize K6-2 CPU properly - that information in even included in the guide you posted.

Reply 16 of 49, by biessea

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smoke86 wrote on 2022-09-25, 20:35:
Would you mind posting a photo of bottom side of BIOS chip? No, don't give up just yet. I'd recommend sourcing new blank compati […]
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Would you mind posting a photo of bottom side of BIOS chip?
No, don't give up just yet. I'd recommend sourcing new blank compatible chip and do this:
1. boot from FDD that contains Uniflash and new BIOS rom.
2. start uniflash
3. remove old bios chip and insert new one
4. program proper BIOS ROM to new chip (remember about setting 5/12v jumper correctly for the new chip!)
5. restart

It should work, if not - you always have old chip that will work.
That motherboard will not recognize K6-2 CPU properly - that information in even included in the guide you posted.

yes I understood, I had simply to buy a chip to program. I will do perphaps, not now. I was thinking I could do this with this one.

I think I can take my P133 overclocked to 166mhz.

That guy that wrote that information and guide, if you search a little, (dosdays.co.uk source) it seems that this board can handle a k6-2 with modified multiplier to more than 400 mhz. Just to say. I was thinking I could done that, only this.

I don't really know what chip to buy now, I'm not that expert. I updated lot of bios before on motherboard and video card, but I never encountered that problem.

Computer lover since 1992.
Love retro-computing, retro-gaming, high-end systems and all about computer-tech.
Love beer, too.

Reply 18 of 49, by biessea

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smoke86 wrote on 2022-09-25, 21:29:

I'm not discouraging you to try, just be aware of the risk.
You will need 1Mbit EEPROM chip in DIP32 package, eg. SST27SF010

ok thanks,

perhaps I will buy that chip and try, even if I think for a DOS and Windows 95 computer it's better to stay with my P133 now.

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Reply 19 of 49, by 80386SX

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Regarding the specs : https://www.digchip.com/datasheets/parts/data … 27SF010-pdf.php
If the motherboard have a jumper prog issue somewhere, theorically, you can force the programming mode, by peel the pin32 en plug on external +5.5v.
But really I recommend you to get a TL866 and backup your BIOS before screwing up anything.
It's always sad to have your motherboard that doesn't start anymore, this feeling of bitterness can stay.