New SK8N 1.04 Bios - How to Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Asus' started by Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. I've got an SK8N, which I updated last weekend to the then-current BIOS
    1.03 using the ASUSupdate utility. This week, a 1.04 release appeared on
    Asus web site, which is labeled in big red letters to *not* be installable
    using the
    ASUSupdate tool. The documentation, such as it is, says that one should
    the files to a floppy, and execute the SK8N1004.exe binary. Unfortunately,
    I do that, I get the error message: "ERROR: BIOS has no flash information

    Is anyone else out there experiencing this, and is there a work-around?
    Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 12, 2003
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  2. Kevin D. Kissell

    K-Gun Guest

    copy all files from zip to a formatted floppy. boot to floppy and type the
    exe command sk8n1004.exe that will do the trick!
    K-Gun, Dec 12, 2003
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  3. Just what do you mean, "boot to floppy"? I'm running
    Windows 2000, where there is no boot-to-DOS mode
    as such.
    Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 12, 2003
  4. Kevin D. Kissell

    Ed Guest

    Set the boot device order in BIOS so "Floppy" is first, put a bootable
    DOS floppy in the floppy drive with flash and the new bios file. has em if you don't have one laying around.

    If you don't have a floppy drive then that's a different issue. ;p

    Ed, Dec 13, 2003
  5. The issue isn't one of not having a floppy drive. The issue
    is that Windows 2000 doesn't provide users with the means
    to generate bootable floppy images! I've probably got an old
    DOS floppy around here somewhere, so if I can find one, I'll
    try copying that, or I'll use the site you suggested. Thanks!
    But I'm really surprised that ASUS is doing this, given that
    the board is only supported by Win2K, XP, and 2003Server.
    Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 13, 2003
  6. Kevin D. Kissell

    Tim Guest

    I havn't tried it, but some (nero does) cd writer apps come with iso images
    of boot floppies for making bootable CD's. This will surely give you access
    to your floppy once up. Note: you don't want to load emm386, himem, or any
    other extra stuff, just a very plain dos 6 or compatible boot. To avoid
    drivers being loaded, press F8 in MSDOS boot as soon as the MS Dos ....
    message comes up. (or is it F5 or F6?)

    - Tim
    Tim, Dec 13, 2003
  7. OK, I found an old DOS floppy in my archives, copied it,
    installed the upgrade stuff, booted it, and was able to upgrade
    the BIOS. It didn't solve the problem I was mostly trying to
    solve (SuSE 9.0 for x86-64 can't install the NIC driver), but
    it did finally allow me to run my Opteron 146 with a 400MHz
    FSB. One word of caution, though. I reset and rebooted
    directly after having done the upgrade, and the system was
    completely unstable until I did a full power down/up cycle.
    Now it seems to be fine. But I still can't install SuSE...
    Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 13, 2003
  8. Kevin D. Kissell

    Mike Gorman Guest

    I think anytime you flash your bios you want to go in immediately and reset
    to default then power down and power up to avoid instability. At least
    that's how I've been doing it.

    How do you like the SK8N?
    Mike Gorman, Dec 13, 2003
  9. That's certainly how it used to be. I was impressed that Asus provided
    a Windows utility to automatically find and install updates on-line, which
    worked to get from 1.01 to 1.03, but isn't recommended for 1.04.
    It screams, particularly now that I've got the FSB set at 400MHz.
    I was holding off for months, waiting for the registered RAM supply
    situation to improve and for prices on Athlon64/Opteron to come down,
    but a dead print server forced my hand and made me execute the upgrade
    of my primary workstation sooner than expected. There have been some
    teething pains.

    - As it's AGP 8x only, I had to get a new graphics card. I got a Matrox
    triple-head P750 to replace my double-head G450, and discovered that
    the SK8N BIOS (at least as delievered) doesn't handle it correctly during
    initialization, so I had to plug in an old G250 PCI to be able to do the BIOS
    setup. The problems were only with the logo screen and the BIOS setup
    screens, not with booting and installing from the Win2K CD. Fortunately,
    once the system is up and running, there's a program bundled with the P750
    which updates the graphics card BIOS to work around the bug, which
    is apparently pretty common.

    - There's a bit of a trick in installing the Windows 2000 drivers for USB 2.0.
    If you use the GUI on the SK8N installation CD, you get a message
    telling you that the necessary drivers for XP are included in XP SP1.
    However, while you need Win2K SP3 or 4 (I went direct to SP4),
    you also need a driver which is on the CD, and which you need to
    locate using Windows Explorer and install "by hand".

    - I'm using a boxed AMD Opteron 146 processor and cooler. The chip,
    according to the AMD web site, is rated to 70C, and not the more usual
    80C. If the machine is just idling, the Asus probe software reports temperatures
    around 47C. But if I load up a compute/graphics intensive program, it heats
    up. I'm running [email protected] as a burn-in and benchmark, and with that
    cranking full-time, the processor heats up quite a bit before stabilizing at 60C.
    The AMD-provded cooler isn't extremely noisy, but it isn't quiet either.
    I installed a very quiet Zalman 400W supply on the system when I upgraded,
    and I'll probably install an aftermarket Opteron fan once they become
    generally available. I've never been much into overclocking (I do real
    work, and not games on my machines), but I'm not even going to experiment
    with it until I've got more cooling headroom.

    - I do need to get some flavor of Linux running on the beast, and the newness
    of the nForce 3 chipset, the Promise RAID controller, and AGP 8x graphics
    cards may complicate that process. I actually turned off the RAID controller
    in the BIOS, as I have no intention of using it, short term.

    I've only been up on the Opteron with Win2K for less than a week now,
    running VC++, FrameMaker, Photoshop, and miscelaneous MS Office
    tools, but it's been perfectly solid and well behaved, except when I rebooted
    after the last BIOS update.
    Kevin D. Kissell, Dec 13, 2003
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