BIOS Savior strangeness.

Discussion in 'Abit' started by Joe, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. Joe

    Joe Guest

    I have an NF7-S v2 with a "Bios Savior". I have nothing against
    overclocking but since it carries some risk I dont do it without need. With
    all software running smoothly there has been no need so I have not messed
    much with BIOS setting and the like and the BIOS Savior has been unused
    since installation. It has been so unused that while one side had the latest
    BIOS 27 the other side languished with BIOS 23.

    The other day I happened across the old Bios27 install floppy and decided to
    finally update that 23 to the latest 27. That's when the trouble started.

    I had thought that BIOS Savior yealded two compleatly separate Bios's,
    enabling the user to make and save setting changes in one that would in no
    way effect the other. This turned out not to be the case. Every change I
    made in one Bios was duplicated in the other making it impossible to have
    one Bios set "this" way and the other Bios "that" way.

    Not only this but, for some reason, my cable internet connection failed.
    Even with the BIOS settings that have worked fine for months I could not
    reestablish the connection.

    It occored to me that, while Bios Savior may allow two separate Bios it may
    be that both share the same area of memory to save the settings. With both
    Bios being identical versions (27) the name of the file both Bios save and
    read may be identical as well. That would explain why changes in the
    settings of one Bios would be seen in the other but it does not explain the
    death of my internet connection.

    I ended up flashing Bios 26 on one side leaving 27 on the other. Normal
    operation returned.

    Anyone know what is going on here?

    Comments appreciated
     
    Joe, Sep 9, 2005
    #1
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  2. Joe

    0_Qed Guest

    Hate to even "ask" ...
    did you flip the switch on the backplane upright ???

    Its doubtful the switch 'shorts', its seems to be a spdt type,
    seems too, to be break before make.

    Use DOS and [awdflash] ... less 'drama' involved.

    An 'odd' one, if all holds true.

    Qed.
     
    0_Qed, Sep 9, 2005
    #2
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  3. Joe wrote:
    |
    |I have an NF7-S v2 with a "Bios Savior". I have nothing against
    | overclocking but since it carries some risk I dont do it without need.
    With
    | all software running smoothly there has been no need so I have not messed
    | much with BIOS setting and the like and the BIOS Savior has been unused
    | since installation. It has been so unused that while one side had the
    latest
    | BIOS 27 the other side languished with BIOS 23.
    |
    | The other day I happened across the old Bios27 install floppy and decided
    to
    | finally update that 23 to the latest 27. That's when the trouble started.
    |
    | I had thought that BIOS Savior yealded two compleatly separate Bios's,
    | enabling the user to make and save setting changes in one that would in no
    | way effect the other. This turned out not to be the case. Every change I
    | made in one Bios was duplicated in the other making it impossible to have
    | one Bios set "this" way and the other Bios "that" way.
    |
    | Not only this but, for some reason, my cable internet connection failed.
    | Even with the BIOS settings that have worked fine for months I could not
    | reestablish the connection.
    |
    | It occored to me that, while Bios Savior may allow two separate Bios it
    may
    | be that both share the same area of memory to save the settings. With both
    | Bios being identical versions (27) the name of the file both Bios save and
    | read may be identical as well. That would explain why changes in the
    | settings of one Bios would be seen in the other but it does not explain
    the
    | death of my internet connection.
    |
    | I ended up flashing Bios 26 on one side leaving 27 on the other. Normal
    | operation returned.
    |
    | Anyone know what is going on here?
    |
    | Comments appreciated
    |
    |

    Hi Joe -

    The BIOS Chip and BIOS Savior contains a complete copy of the BIOS code.
    They do not, however, contain the CMOS settings, which are maintained in a
    CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) chip, with the motherboard
    battery maintaining power for their retention.

    So .. your BIOS code will be different with the switch on the BIOS Savior ..
    but your CMOS settings will not.

    This often doesn't pose a problem .. EXCEPT when items are rearranged, added
    or removed from the setup menus between BIOS versions. When this occurs,
    things can get a little scrambled and your board may not even POST.

    When flipping the switch on the BIOS Savior, it's generally a good idea to
    manually clear the CMOS with the CCMOS1 jumper (power removed, of course)
    and then press DEL at the first POST to reenter all your settings, starting
    with Load Optimized Defaults.

    Jef
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 9, 2005
    #3
  4. I forgot to mention that your cable modem ceased to function because it's
    registered with the MAC address contained in your original BIOS chip.

    Because the BIOS Savior didn't have this MAC address hard-coded into it, it
    now contains a 'default' value from the BIOS code.

    There are a few ways to deal with this problem.

    .. The simplest: Unplug your cable modem, wait a couple of minutes and plug
    it back in. This will re-register your MAC address with the modem to
    provide authentication to the cable company.

    .. The not so simplest: using the original BIOS, go into a command prompt and
    type "IPCONFIG /ALL" (less the quotes). Write down the Physical Address
    shown for your on-board NIC. Then go into Device Manager and bring up the
    Properties sheet for your on-board NIC. Under the Advanced tab, type this
    address to override the address from your BIOS .. this will work for both
    copies of the BIOS (the original and the BIOS Savior).

    .. The hardest: Scrounge around the forum at http://forum.abit-usa.com (check
    out the nVidia Motherboard Socket A page and BIOS page) for the syntax to
    use with the Awdflash.exe version that's packaged with the NF7/NF7-S
    revision 2.0 BIOS' to change the MAC address. You can then alter the MAC
    address of the BIOS copy in the BIOS Savior so that it matches the MAC
    address stored in the original chip. This will be maintained from one BIOS
    update to the next, unless you have to have your chip reflashed (either on
    another board, using the /F switch or with an external EEPROM programmer).

    I'll have a look to see if I can find the syntax for Awdflash.exe to change
    the MAC address (I've got it around here somewhere...).

    Jef
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 9, 2005
    #4
  5. Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood® wrote:
    |
    <snip>
    |
    | I'll have a look to see if I can find the syntax for Awdflash.exe to
    change
    | the MAC address (I've got it around here somewhere...).
    |

    Found the instructions over at nForcersHQ. These same instructions work
    perfectly with Abit nVidia-based boards.
    http://www.nforcershq.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=21050

    Jef
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 9, 2005
    #5
  6. Joe

    0_Qed Guest

    Awww Geeze ... :_)

    'Smatter ??
    In the grippe' of yet another Senior Moment ...

    I' "assume" C;\awdflash /? might aughta do 'that' more easier_er, 'eh?
    y/n ???

    Qed.
     
    0_Qed, Sep 9, 2005
    #6
  7. Joe

    0_Qed Guest

    Gotta give 'me' an Awww Geeze too.

    Best I know, MAC addys are located in the Registry ...
    how ( or ?why? ) does [awdflash] read/write them ???

    Mite also be in the ESCD too ... dunno at all.
    Which raises more <?> than I can answer.

    Qed
     
    0_Qed, Sep 9, 2005
    #7
  8. Qed wrote:
    |
    | Gotta give 'me' an Awww Geeze too.
    |
    | Best I know, MAC addys are located in the Registry ...
    | how ( or ?why? ) does [awdflash] read/write them ???
    |
    | Mite also be in the ESCD too ... dunno at all.
    | Which raises more <?> than I can answer.
    |
    | Qed

    Qed -

    Aw Geeze!

    There .. feel better?

    An override to the embedded MAC address will be in the Registry .. probably
    under the NIC in the Enum section.

    A unique MAC address for the on-board NIC is embedded in the BIOS. It's
    placed there, along with the address for an on-board firewire, if there is
    one, with the /NVMAC:12digitnumber and /NVGUID:16digitnumber parameters to
    Awdflash.exe (assuming the correct version for nForce boards is used ..
    leading zeroes are added to the numbers from the stickers on the motherboard
    itself).

    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood® -
    Jef
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 10, 2005
    #8
  9. Joe

    0_Qed Guest

    Yahhh,
    sorely 'wounded', I are.

    Yes.
    Went from 'demised' to 'ICU' quickly.

    Ah HA!!
    " ... on-board NIC chip " ...
    I'd not properly picked up on that 'ref' ...
    a messy solution(hack) ... IMHO.

    Thanks for the 'straightener_outter'.

    Qed.
     
    0_Qed, Sep 10, 2005
    #9
  10. Qed wrote:
    |
    | Ah HA!!
    | " ... on-board NIC chip " ...
    | I'd not properly picked up on that 'ref' ...
    | a messy solution(hack) ... IMHO.
    |
    | Thanks for the 'straightener_outter'.
    |

    If it were only so easy...

    Happy to 'splain things to you.

    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 10, 2005
    #10
  11. Joe

    Joe Guest

    I had suspected the common saved CMOS file but had no idea what was fouling
    up my internet connection. Rather than using BIOS Savior to switch back and
    forth between different BIOS seems like the best use of that "second" BIOS
    is a a spare to be used only in if the "first" one gets corrupted in some
    way.

    Thanks as for the explaination.
     
    Joe, Sep 11, 2005
    #11
  12. Hence the name, BIOS Savior.... :)

    Regards,

    Margaret
     
    Margaret Wilson, Sep 11, 2005
    #12
  13. Joe

    0_Qed Guest

    <chuckle>

    Qed.
     
    0_Qed, Sep 11, 2005
    #13
  14. Joe

    Joe Guest

    Touche!

     
    Joe, Sep 11, 2005
    #14
  15. Joe wrote:
    |
    | I had suspected the common saved CMOS file but had no idea what was
    | fouling up my internet connection. Rather than using BIOS Savior to switch
    | back and forth between different BIOS seems like the best use of that
    | "second" BIOS is a a spare to be used only in if the "first" one gets
    | corrupted in some way.
    |
    | Thanks as for the explaination.
    |

    Hi Joe -

    Happy to provide the details. I know it can be confusing, as most believe
    that the settings made in the setup screens are retained in the BIOS chip ..
    which is not the case, as you now know.

    And, you're correct (as well as those who have already chided you), that the
    BIOS Savior is a BIOS backup, and nothing more. As I already mentioned,
    flipping the switch should be followed by manually clearing the CMOS. This
    would especially be a good practice as the CMOS settings may have been the
    problem preventing the system from booting, and not the BIOS chip itself.

    A weak motherboard battery or a momentary short to the motherboard may cause
    the CMOS memory to become lost or scrambled.

    Further confusing things is the on-board NIC and Firewire, which have their
    MAC addresses hard-coded on the original BIOS chip. As I've already
    mentioned further up the thread, the /NVMAC:12digitnumber and
    /NVGUID:16digitnumber parameters of Awdflash.exe can be used if you wish to
    'burn' these values into the backup BIOS. I generally would shy away from
    doing this and simply override the values from the BIOS using Device Manager
    ... then it wouldn't matter which chip you are running from.

    I'll resume my role ...

    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood® -
    Jef
     
    Lurking Rat in 'Da Hood®, Sep 11, 2005
    #15
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