VOGONS


First post, by jakethompson1

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I just got a board with the bug where Award BIOS has a botched check for dates earlier than 1994 where it forgets to check the century, and resets the date to 2094 on every boot.

I found a usenet post from 2000 where someone was able to fix this. https://groups.google.com/g/comp.software.yea … WF52yIpgc?pli=1. I had a little trouble finding the table mentioned in the post as I have a 128K bios and the check ended up being around E000:8000 or thereabouts, which was one of the last places I looked. However, the ultimate solution was as simple as changing 0x94 to 0x00 in that location. I did not have to fix the BIOS code checksum as that location apparently isn't included in the checksum computation.

Reply 1 of 8, by Horun

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ahh the good old days of Usenet. When the power comes back up will do some searching and see what I can find, right after 6pm had a major blackout which is effecting a lot of residences. Am trying to save what little juice is left on the ups 😀
Really want that NG powered generator !

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 2 of 8, by Bremen Saki

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Just had to register to say thanks for the link to that Usenet post - I recently rebuilt an old 486 and it had exactly that version of the Award BIOS, and the instructions worked out perfectly. Found the table in the right general area, wrote a new EPROM (I did need to adjust the checksum on mine, and it was a 64k ROM) and suddenly my 486 doesn't freak out when you tell it the year is 2020 any more - unlike me.

Reply 3 of 8, by jakethompson1

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Bremen Saki wrote on 2020-10-31, 11:05:

Just had to register to say thanks for the link to that Usenet post - I recently rebuilt an old 486 and it had exactly that version of the Award BIOS, and the instructions worked out perfectly. Found the table in the right general area, wrote a new EPROM (I did need to adjust the checksum on mine, and it was a 64k ROM) and suddenly my 486 doesn't freak out when you tell it the year is 2020 any more - unlike me.

Nice. I wonder if yours, like mine, works fine with an 8.4GB hard drive but displays the wrong capacity as like 2094MB or something. It also displays an Am5x86 as an Enhanced Am486DX4 but that's to be expected and it works fine.
These BIOSes have these silly bugs, but then again, if you look at how Windows 10 x64 now has a .WIM file over 4GB and how that creates problems with FAT32 install media, we haven't learned much.

Reply 5 of 8, by Horun

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canthearu wrote on 2021-10-29, 14:16:

Another shoutout. This worked for me too, on a 486 motherboard I just repaired! 😀

Great ! did you hexedit the BIOS .bin or use the old Phoenix tool ?
I have a small collection of the Y2K dos and win tools and added the text from that google group post to it...

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 6 of 8, by canthearu

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Horun wrote on 2021-10-30, 23:39:
canthearu wrote on 2021-10-29, 14:16:

Another shoutout. This worked for me too, on a 486 motherboard I just repaired! 😀

Great ! did you hexedit the BIOS .bin or use the old Phoenix tool ?
I have a small collection of the Y2K dos and win tools and added the text from that google group post to it...

I hex-editted the BIOS .bin from within Xgpro, which is the software that reads/burns my eeproms from my tl866II plus. It is very simple to apply this patch.

Reply 7 of 8, by Horun

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canthearu wrote on 2021-10-31, 00:30:
Horun wrote on 2021-10-30, 23:39:
canthearu wrote on 2021-10-29, 14:16:

Another shoutout. This worked for me too, on a 486 motherboard I just repaired! 😀

Great ! did you hexedit the BIOS .bin or use the old Phoenix tool ?
I have a small collection of the Y2K dos and win tools and added the text from that google group post to it...

I hex-editted the BIOS .bin from within Xgpro, which is the software that reads/burns my eeproms from my tl866II plus. It is very simple to apply this patch.

That is Great ! Did not know you could also edit the BIOS in Xgpro (I have a TL866ii Plus, but only used to save/write bios files).
Was it hard to find the proper BIOS offset for your board ? I know am asking many questions but if you can give any extra information it will help many of us 😀

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 8 of 8, by canthearu

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I just searched for 94 hex until I found the 94 in the right place (surrounding bytes are correct as per the usenet post).

Then I change that byte, and add 94 to the final byte of the BIOS.

Burn it to a compatible eeprom and install into motherboard. Note that a lot of the bioses at this time were burned to one time programmable EPROMs, (ie, an normal EPROM with no erase window), you can't erase and reprogram these.