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BIOS repair

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First post, by retro games 100

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I've got a mobo which won't POST. I was thinking of getting the equipment needed to flash its BIOS. (Of course, it would be useful for other projects, not just for this mobo.) The mobo is an Asus PVI-486SP3 (a 486 mobo), and the BIOS chip has a sticker on it saying "Award". It has 32 legs, 16 on either side. For the equipment needed, I have seen 3 items on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt … em=370358557604

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt … em=230460036803

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewIt … em=300415950181

Item #1 shows a BIOS flashing device. The largest socket seems to have 16 holes on either side: 32 in total.

Item #2 shows a 32 legged chip, with a smaller socket on top.

Item #3 shows some smaller chips.

Is this a completely mad idea, doomed to failure? Or is there about a 1% chance of this project succeeding? 😉

Reply 1 of 27, by PowerPie5000

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retro games 100 wrote:

Is this a completely mad idea, doomed to failure? Or is there about a 1% chance of this project succeeding? 😉

Theres no reason why it would fail if it's all done correctly. All you need is the correct bios, original bios chip and the required hardware/software to flash the chip 😀

I say go for it 😎

Reply 3 of 27, by retro games 100

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5u3 wrote:

Hold on a minute... I might have a leftover BIOS chip for PVI-486SP3. Just give me a day or two for locating and testing it...

Awesome - thanks very much if there's a chance for me to test a like-for-like BIOS chip. 😁

Reply 4 of 27, by 5u3

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Found the chip, tested it, doesn't work any more. 😠

I tested it in a v1.2 and a v1.6 board, which both run fine with their original BIOS chips installed, but with the replacement they play dead. No BIOS screen, no beeps, nothing.

Sorry for the bad news. 😢

Reply 5 of 27, by retro games 100

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5u3 wrote:

Sorry for the bad news. 😢

That's OK. Thanks a lot for trying. I will contact a BIOS repair company, and ask them to put an Asus PVI-486SP3 .ROM BIOS file on to a refurbished chip.

BTW, if it's convenient, please can you upload a suitable .ROM BIOS file, for the 1.2 PCB revision board? I did visit the Asus website, but they don't seem to have any BIOS files for this mobo anymore. Also, I did look on the net, but I can't be sure that the .ROM file I downloaded is the correct one. Thanks a lot.

Reply 6 of 27, by Amigaz

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retro games 100 wrote:
5u3 wrote:

Sorry for the bad news. 😢

That's OK. Thanks a lot for trying. I will contact a BIOS repair company, and ask them to put an Asus PVI-486SP3 .ROM BIOS file on to a refurbished chip.

BTW, if it's convenient, please can you upload a suitable .ROM BIOS file, for the 1.2 PCB revision board? I did visit the Asus website, but they don't seem to have any BIOS files for this mobo anymore. Also, I did look on the net, but I can't be sure that the .ROM file I downloaded is the correct one. Thanks a lot.

ftp://ftp.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/sock5/486sp3/

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 7 of 27, by retro games 100

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Amigaz wrote:

There appears to be two different chipset versions for the SP3 board: A4 and B.

(si4i0101.zip) A4 version chipset (A4 chipset)
(si4i0205.zip) BIOS rev 0205 (not sure if this A4 or B chipset)
(si4i0305/6.zip) SiS 496/497 B ver. chipset (B chipset)

I'm just guessing here, but maybe I should go for the rev 0205 file?

Reply 8 of 27, by Amigaz

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retro games 100 wrote:
There appears to be two different chipset versions for the SP3 board: A4 and B. […]
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Amigaz wrote:

There appears to be two different chipset versions for the SP3 board: A4 and B.

(si4i0101.zip) A4 version chipset (A4 chipset)
(si4i0205.zip) BIOS rev 0205 (not sure if this A4 or B chipset)
(si4i0305/6.zip) SiS 496/497 B ver. chipset (B chipset)

I'm just guessing here, but maybe I should go for the rev 0205 file?

Check thia thread regarding the revision

SiS 496/497 revisions

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 9 of 27, by retro games 100

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OK, it looks like I have the A4 board because the chips are marked MU and MV. The first file listed below (from the FTP / index.txt file) would be the safest to use, but the second file does not specifically mention the chipset version.

si4i0101.zip PVI-486SP3 A4 version chipset BIOS 0101.
si4i0205.zip PVI-486SP3 BIOS rev. 0205.

Unless someone specifically knows that the rev 0205 BIOS file is OK to use with the A4 mobo, then I'll use the first file: A4 / 0101.

Reply 10 of 27, by retro games 100

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5u3 wrote:

Found the chip, tested it, doesn't work any more. 😠

I tested it in a v1.2 and a v1.6 board, which both run fine with their original BIOS chips installed, but with the replacement they play dead. No BIOS screen, no beeps, nothing.

Sorry for the bad news. 😢

Do you still have that dead BIOS chip available? - just to check something on it. I've contacted a BIOS repair service, and explained that my BIOS chip has 16 legs on either side of it (32 in total), and it's got a sticker on it that says "Award". The BIOS repair person emailed me back and said that information is not good enough. I need to peel back the sticker on the BIOS chip. The problem is that the sticker is stuck down very firmly. As your BIOS chip is dead, is there any chance you could somehow scrape off the sticker, and then tell me the essential information underneath it please? Thanks very much if that's possible. BTW, did your dead BIOS chip come from a 1.2 PCB revision board?

Reply 11 of 27, by retro games 100

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I decided to scrape off the sticker on my BIOS chip with a sharp DIY knife. In fact, there were 2 of them, one underneath the other! The writing on the chip is very faint:

CSI
CAT28F010P <- not sure about the letter P, the writing is very faint.
-15 MSO9438B

Does this make any sense to anyone?

Reply 12 of 27, by 5u3

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Mine is a SST PH29EE010 150-3CF. There are probably dozens of EEPROMs from different manufacturers with the same specs.
I don't know for sure if the dead chip came from a v1.2 board, but they should be interchangeable.

Reply 13 of 27, by HunterZ

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Google says that CAT28F010P-15 is a model number for a 1 Megabit CMOS Flash PROM chip from Catalyst Semiconductor. As 5u3 said, there are probably other chip models that are drop-in compatible.

Reply 14 of 27, by retro games 100

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Thanks very much everyone. I've just placed an order with a BIOS repair service. I have emailed them the "0101" A4 BIOS .ROM file, and will let you know if it works or not in about a week's time...

Reply 15 of 27, by retro games 100

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I've just received the BIOS replacement chip for the Asus PVI-486SP3 mobo. Unfortunately, it hasn't made the mobo POST. Also, I still hear no beeps from the speaker. The mobo has a 5V Intel 486 DX-33 CPU in it. The jumpers are labelled:

1) Integrated IO jumper is set to -. (This means the first two pins have a jumper, and the 3rd pin is open. This configuration means that the integrated IO is Disabled.)

2) Voltage =
.
|

This means 3.45v, not 3.6v.

3) Cache jumpers =

-.
-.
-.

This means 256KB

4) CPU type =

-.-.
-.-.
-.-.
-....
-....
......
-....

This means an Intel DX CPU

5) CPU speed

.
|

and 6) CPU speed continued

.-
.-
-.

This means 33mhz

7) Wait states and bus speed =

-.
-.

This means 0 wait and <= 33mhz

8 ) This is the clear CMOS jumper

|

This means keep data / normal operation

9) This is the new BIOS chip. I have tried this chip in both positions: left/right and right/left. The information on the chip reads:

SST 29EE010
90-4C-PH
0321083-W

10) BIOS flash jumpers

-.
-.

This is 12v. According to the manual, it's the "normal/default operation" mode.

11) The speaker and also the turbo jumper are located here.

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Reply 16 of 27, by h-a-l-9000

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Thought a DX33 needs 5V.

> I have tried this chip in both positions: left/right and right/left.
You inserted it the wrong way around and powered it on??? You fried it.

1+1=10

Reply 17 of 27, by retro games 100

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h-a-l-9000 wrote:

Thought a DX33 needs 5V.

> I have tried this chip in both positions: left/right and right/left.
You inserted it the wrong way around and powered it on??? You fried it.

Yes, the DX33 does need 5V, but the only volts options on the board is for 3.45 or 3.6.

Re: BIOS chip - Which is the right way round?

Reply 19 of 27, by retro games 100

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h-a-l-9000 wrote:

The notches on the chip and socket must match.

Ugh. 😢 I didn't realise that. I honestly can't remember which way around I first tried the BIOS chip. It cost about 12 euros. I can't be bothered to pay for another one, because there's no guarantee that it will work. Oh well. 🙁