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BIOS upgrade/reload without Floppy Drive

By shpl ·
This question relates to my earlier one on a Win XP/Win98 disk boot failure error message and booting problem that I am facing where without installation CD in CD drive I just cant boot but once I boot that way the system runs on the HDD installed OS. Having successfully rewritten on the master boot record fully many times I am now trying to upgrade/reload my Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG for 810ET chipset M/B that I just downloaded from The problem is this is a new system I was putting together and the Floppy Drive never really worked all right even once. It was always recognised on boot up but no data exchange happen with the M/B smoothly. So I cant really upgrade my BIOS using a boot disk nor can I even make a boot disk on that system. I started building the system on the Friday and all I have achieved in the last 24 hours is I have managed to load Win 98 over Win XP because XP does not give you a DOS prompt to try out things like bootcfg.exe or fdisk/mbr etc etc that I have. So the QUESTION is how do I upgrade my BIOS without needing to use my Floppy Drive. Also if my BIOS upgrade still doesnt solve the problem do I then try changing my M/B itself ??. Would deeply appreciate any useful advice. Thanks

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to BIOS upgrade/reload witho ...

The obvious answer tis to fit a working floppy drive it's just simpler. But if you don't want to do that instead of attempting to flash the BIOS you can buy a replacement BIOS Chip from

That way you'll get the correct BIOS Chip for that M'Board and never have the problem of attempting to load the incorrect BIOS. They are cheap & fast to deal with and offer an excellent service. I use them for my server Boards every time that they need upgrading as downtime is measured in 100's of K's per hour and the 5 minutes spent changing BIOS Chips is not worth the effort of getting a bad upgrade.

The main question here is does your M'Board support that size HDD? Even with the latest BIOS on it it may still not support that size HDD and you'll either have to change the M'Board to one that does support that size HDD or add a PCI to IDE card as these have a different HDD integrator built into them but if you do that you'll most likely need to install software from a working floppy unless you get one that is supported by XP and as far as I know only the Promise Technology ones fall into that category and are hard to come by currently. Still the PCI to IDE card is cheaper than a new M'Board, CPU & RAM.


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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

Sounds as if you have the wrong BIOS version for that M'Board firstly. If this is a pre-made system download the latest BIOS from the System Maker and if it's a White Box go to the M'Board Makers Web Site to download the correct BIOS and install utility.

As for the HDD you need to make sure that the BIOS will support it's size. The fact that you are relying on the install CD to use the HDD sounds very much like the HDD size is too big for the BIOS and isn't supported by that M'Board. If you are booting off the install CD you are most likely loading a piece of software that is tricking BIOS into seeing the drive as something different even though it is reported by Windows as being the correct size when Windows is running.

Seagate had a utility that would allow the same thing to occur a few years ago when the 40 GIG HDD became cheap enough to place into computers. They might still have a copy of it on their Web Site though it's been such a long time I'm not sure of what's it's called now but it is some form of Installed Utility.

You really need to read the BIOS and see how big a HDD it supports as every BIOS's will have an upper limit of supported HDD's so you need to remember this and stay under the max size supported by the M'Board. If you have to use something bigger you'll either need a BIOS tricking utility or a PCI to IDE controller Card to do the same job.

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by shpl In reply to BIOS upgrade/reload witho ...

I got the Award BIOS and the flash utility and tried doing a flashing of the BIOS from the boot floppy on the floppy drive of the system which suddenly worked. I had made the bootable floppy on another 98 system. The flash utility started all right but could not end the flashing operation because it cant detect what is the FLASH MEMORY type. The exact error message is "FLASH MEMORY UNKNOWN". I would also like to clarify my HDD is working fine and I only need to keep the installation CDs (98 or XP) for a few seconds at boot up but the HDD takes over all right after that. In fact the HDD was running XP and I loaded 98 over it and 98 is running fine from it. I can use/read other CDs after taking out the installation CDs immediately after a boot and thereon the system is like a normal system but I would like to end this dependency on the installation CDs at boot up. Buying a chip is not an option for me as I am doing this for a client and it would make the costing go awry.

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