BIOS ROM Checksum Error

Discussion in 'MSI' started by olli, May 24, 2004.

  1. olli

    olli Guest

    I bought my new PC about a month ago and just received a floppy with
    the latest BIOS on it (Award BIOS v5.3). I therefore phoned up my PC
    manufacturer's technical support (they sent me the floppy in the first
    place) and went through the whole flash process with them. Everything
    seemed to go okay (they were no errors and the process completed) but
    the PC will now longer boot. Instead, I it starts the BIOS BootBlock
    program, displays the "BIOS ROM Checksum Error" and asks me to insert
    a system disk. When I boot from the floppy, I can get back into the
    Award Flash utility (AWFLxxxx) and DOS, but only the A:\ drive is
    present. The PC manufacturers are sending out an engineer, but that's
    not for a week. So in the meantime, I was wondering if there was
    anything to do to rectify the situation. My questions are therefore:

    1. What would cause the flash to fail in the first place? As I
    mentioned above, the whole process seemed to go smoothly. I've flashed
    other devices before (though never a BIOS), but all throught the
    process, I was following instructions from technical support.

    2. Is there are way I can recover from this, or should I just wait for
    the engineer? I tried to reflash the BIOS, but it just hangs when it
    gets to the flashing stage.

    My apologies for not being very detailed, but I'm currently typing
    this at work, so I haven't got all the information in front of me. I
    think the motherboard is the MSI-6729 (Athlon XP 3000 processor).

    Thanks in advance,
    olli, May 24, 2004
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  2. olli

    rstlne Guest

    If you can enter the bios then the first thing to do is reset it (your
    better off doing this from the motherboard BUT I wouldnt say do it if you
    have a contract)..
    Instead when you enter the bios tell it to reset to default
    after your done with that then detect new drives.

    IF it gives a checksum error every boot then that's not good (but resetting
    it via board might fix)..
    Basically you can have values (settings) that were written pre-update and
    they have stayed and now some of those values might not be used (or might
    even have changed structure)..
    So if you can enter bios, then reset to default, look for new drives, then
    reboot and see if it works.
    rstlne, May 25, 2004
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  3. One (unfortunate) possibility, is that some machines take several seconds to
    actually finish writing the BIOS, after the process has apparently
    completed. It is fairly common to get this type of error on these...
    An other possibility is that the flash utility itself had a problem.
    The other very common problem (in the past, relatively rare now), is that
    some cards, can cause problems with the BIOS flash. It is allways best to
    have the machine fairly 'bare' when flashing. For instance, in the past
    there was a similar problem on some Asus boards, when certain Adaptec cards
    were present. What appeared to be happening, was that the flash utility
    attempted to use part of the memory map, that was occupied by this card, for
    temporary storage during the flash, and the data then got corrupted...
    Probably the most likely problem though, is that there is actually a fault
    in the flash chip, which has now shown up. :-(
    Is there a slightly older BIOS, and possibly another copy of the flash
    utility on the web?. If so, try making a disk carrying these.
    You are talking about the _CMOS_ setup here, not the 'BIOS'. Though it is
    good advice to allways do a CMOS setup after flashing a new BIOS
    (unfortunately the meaning of some CMOS bits can change from version to
    version), a BIOS checksum error, has nothing to do with the CMOS.
    If the error is a CMOS checksum error, rather than a BIOS checksum, then
    this would apply. However the message being described is long before the
    CMOS handling is even reached. Most BIOS's have a basic 'boot block', which
    contains support only for the floppy device, and to talk to the screen in
    basic EGA mode. This remains unchanged normally when flashing the rest of
    the BIOS. This code is (just) enough to allow the machine to boot a floppy,
    and reprogram the BIOS. This code is executed before the CMOS is accessed,
    with the machine normally running in it's slowest speed, and tests the
    checksum of the main BIOS, and executes this if the checksum is OK. It is
    this that is still running.

    Best Wishes
    Roger Hamlett, May 25, 2004
  4. olli

    CrimsonLiar Guest

    Just one quick question...

    Do you have any other boot roms on cards in the PC; such as Network or
    raid/SCSI cards. If so just check that those cards are firmly in their

    CrimsonLiar, May 25, 2004
  5. olli

    olli Guest

    I don't believe so. I'm definitely not operating RAID or SCSI. I am
    unfamiliar with Boot ROMS on network cards. I've got a standard
    Ethernet port, an Actiontec USB wireless adaptor and a Firewire port,
    but I don't believe any of these would have ROMs.

    olli, May 26, 2004
  6. olli

    olli Guest

    I think the BIOS had definitely finished flashing as I think there was
    a message at the end. I was considering trying to get hold of the
    previous version of the BIOS (ie my original version) but it may be
    quite tricky finding it - the MS-6729 is an OEM board and it took me
    ages just to find acknowledgement of its existence on the MSI website.
    I did try reflashing with the current version, but it won't flash it
    all - it displays the flash progress screen but just hangs.

    olli, May 26, 2004
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