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BIOS FAQ


  • Why sticker on the mainboard "PhoenixBios Pentium IV"?
  • Pentium IV is registered by Phoenix® BIOS company .

    Pentium is registered by Intel® .

    Pentium IV is Pentium IV ( with IV ) NOT Pentium for Intel .


  • When I start flash utility, the computer hangs. Why?
  • Most likely there's not enough memory to complete the operation. Don't load non-essential drivers (sound, mouse, anti-virus) and check that himem.sys is loaded in the boot disk's config.sys.



  • Why not update BIOS?
  • In 90% of cases, a BIOS update is released to address a problem with a particular piece of hardware or software.
    Therefore, the new BIOS gives the system some new (different) parameters to work with. Newer BIOS'es contain all fixes from previous versions. If the fix list of a new BIOS does NOT address any of problems that you may have, it is unreasonable to update BIOS only for sake of it, because you may be using a combination of hardware/software that is incompatible and not yet tested with the BIOS version you're upgrading to.
    It is recommended to refrain from updating BIOS without a good reason. If you don't see your problem listed in the fix list, do not update BIOS - better go to a shareware Web site
    (winfiles.com, shareware.com, tucows.com) and update your software or do something less dangerous.
    And finally, some 10% of BIOS updates contain new CPU ID strings and code enhancements (ACPI, etc.). For those an update is recommended only when it is necessary (i.e. the processor ID does not display properly, the system must have ACPI, etc.).
    A typical situation occurs when a user wants to update BIOS because the new version supports a CPU he/she "plans" to buy sometime in the future. With some bad luck, the user ends up with a wrong BIOS (wrong PCB, or chipset, or I/O or all of them) and consequently damaged BIOS chip.



  • How do I clear BIOS password?
  • To clear the CMOS password, you have a put a jumper cap on jumper CPW.
    Once this is done, put a jumper cap on CPW pin header, the system will erase the CMOS password on bootup and will normally not ask you again for the password.



  • How do I flash a new BIOS?
  • All newer FIC motherboards ensure that upgrades are easily performed by incorporating the system BIOS in a FLASH Memory component. With a FLASH BIOS, there is no need to replace an EPROM component. Once downloaded, the upgrade utility fits on a floppy disc allowing the user to save, verify and update the system BIOS.
    Read the
    BIOS Update Procedure for details as how to go about flashing a new BIOS.



  • How do I know if my motherboard has a flash BIOS
  • The motherboard's BIOS is stored on a chip of one of two kinds: an EPROM Chip or an EEPROM chip (Flash EPROM). You can only flash a BIOS if you have a Flash EPROM chip.

    All FIC Pentium and Pentium Pro motherboards use a Flash EPROM chip, (with the exception of the PN-2000). However for many 486 boards this is optional.

    The following FIC 486 motherboards have a Flash EPROM BIOS chip.

    • 486 PIO-2
    • 486 PIO-3
    • 486 POS
    • 486 VIP-IO2 (PCB Rev A2)

    The following FIC 486 motherboards have an optional flash EPROM (BIOS) chip.

    • 486 GIO-VT2
    • 486 GIO-VP
    • 486 PAK-2
    • 486 PVT
    • 486 PVT-IO
    • 486 VIP-IO2

    If your 486 motherboard is not listed here it does not support a Flash EPROM chip.

    If your motherboard has either an SST or Intel BIOS chip of the kind listed below, it is an EEPROM and therefore flashable.

    The part numbers are listed below.

    • SST 128*8 150ns  DIP  PH29EE010   03-10037-05
    • Intel 128*8 150ns  DIP  P28f010      03-10037-00

    If your 486 motherboard does not have a Flash EPROM chip, it is not possible to upgrade to one. To do this would require changing a resistor which end users are not encouraged to do.

  • How do I enter CMOS setup?
  • Just press the "DELETE" key prior to power on until you enter the Setup



  • How do I know which BIOS version I have?
  • The BIOS version is usually displayed as the computer boots up after power on.
    If your computer shows an FIC Logo on bootup, press the "TAB" key to see the BIOS version.
    If you don't notice the BIOS version, press the "Pause" key during memory count.



  • How do I upgrade my BIOS if my motherboard doesn't have a Flash BIOS chip?
  • You will need to use an Eprom Programmer to update the system BIOS.
    1.) Download the BIOS File
    2.) Remove the BIOS chip/or get a new BIOS Chip so you still have a backup if in case you want to use the old one.
    3.) Program the BIOS chip with the new BIOS file using an Eprom Programmer.



  • What is the latest BIOS for my motherboard?
  • The latest BIOS releases for FIC motherboards, are all posted in our BIOS Update section (select model name first). They are updated regularly.
    The newest BIOS version includes all the improvements of the older BIOS versions for the same BIOS type and PCB version of the motherboard.
    Please read the
    BIOS Update Procedure in full (including the tips at the bottom of the page) before all BIOS upgrades. Please note that if your system is running fine, FIC does not recommend a BIOS upgrade because of possible complications.



  • Why doesn't my motherboard boot after flashing a new BIOS (BIOS Recovery Procedure)?
  • Please read again the BIOS Update Procedure, and check that you have followed the steps outlined.

    • If you are using an AMI BIOS, make sure to reboot the system holding the "END" key prior to power on until you enter CMOS setup. Eg the PT-2200 has an AMI BIOS.
    • If you played with the Flash EPROM Type jumper setting, check that it is set correctly for the EPROM chip installed on your board. Proper settings for some models is given below.

    If you've damaged contents of your BIOS chip by using DMI Utility or performing an incomplete BIOS upgrade, you can try the the Boot Block Feature (it's a BIOS feature) to recover your system.
    Try using an ISA VGA card and see whether that system will allow you to perform a Boot Block. The boot Block feature allows you to boot at least on Drive "A" for you to Re-program the BIOS using the Flash Utility (use the flash utility for the original BIOS that you want to restore, and not the utility supplied with the BIOS that you unsuccessfully tried out). Download a BIOS and Flash Utility from our Web Site and try programming your BIOS again.

    Steps to restore Boot Block BIOS:

    1. Have a bootable diskette (c:> format a:/s) with three files: flash upgrade utility, a BIOS binary file, AUTOEXEC.BAT file containing a line like <flashutility biosfile.ext /Py /Sn>

    Example:
    VL-603, Award BIOS v1.14in12 (FIC version v1.14in12, file name 114in12.bin), flash utility flash613.exe:
    Add the following line to autoexec.bat (note that /Py /Sn means Program=Yes, Save=No, and it makes the procedure run without user intervention)
    flash613 114in12.bin /Py /Sn

    2. Boot the system from the bootable diskette containing the three files from Step 1. The system then runs flash utility according to the line in AUTOEXEC.BAT. Note that because Boot Block BIOS is small, it does not support PCI and AGP VGA graphics cards - it supports only ISA VGA cards. If you cannot find an ISA card for this procedure, you'll still be able to complete it, but without seeing anything on the screen.

    You can also try to reset the CMOS by removing the CMOS battery for at least 2 minutes and try to short the negative and positive side of the battery socket by pressing it downward.

    If you still cannot recover the BIOS, try to find a computer or electronics shop (or friend) who's got an EPROM programmer (EPROM burner) that can burn-in a BIOS file into the Flash EPROM chip for you. You will need to supply the old BIOS file (either get a backup file from a floppy or download the last working BIOS from the FIC Web site).

    Finally, if you still cannot recover your BIOS, you can try to purchase a new Flash ROM chip (partially remove the sticker on your chip to find out the type/specs and try to find (don't forget to check Internet search engines like Yahoo) a shop that sells Flash ROM chips.  After you've got a new chip, follow the steps in the paragraph describing EPROM programming device (EPROM programmer). The ultimate failure in BIOS update is when Flash EPROM chip is soldered onto the board. In that case you will need to de-solder the chip and solder the new (or recovered) chip onto the board - note that this will definitively void the warranty so do not attempt to do it unless you are ready to bear all consequences of such action!

    Table below lists the Flash EPROM Type jumper settings for some older models. For models not listed here, check the user's manual.

    Model Flash EPROM Type
    SST
    29EE010
    Intel
    28F010
    Intel
    28F001BX-T
    AMD
    486-PIO-3
    J1=1-2
    X
    J1=2-3
    X
    PA-2002
    J2=1-2
    X
    J2=2-3
    X
    PA-2005
    MFG5=2-3
    X
    MFG5=1-2
    X
    PAK-2110
    MFG5=2-3
    X
    MFG5=1-2 MFG6=2-3
    X
    PT-2003
    J3=2-3 J4=2-3
    J3=1-2 J4=2-3
    J3=1-2 J4=1-2
    X
    PT-2006
    EP1=2-3 EP2=2-3
    EP1=1-2 EP2=1-2
    X
    EP1=1-2 EP3=2-3
    PT-2010
    EP1=1-2 EP2=2-3

    X

    EP1=1-2 EP2=1-2

    X

    PT-2200
    EP1=2-3 EP2=2-3
    EP1=1-2 EP2=2-3
    EP1=1-2 EP2=1-2
    EP3=2-3 EP2=1-2
    PTK-2110
    EP1=2-3 EP2=2-3

    X

    EP1=1-2 EP2=1-2

    X

    @

  • How do I clear the CMOS password on my Pentium motherboard?
    @
    1. Turn off the system, and remove the system unit cover.
    2. Locate the specified jumper for you board (see below), and cap it.
    3. Turn the system power back on. At this point , you will not be asked for the password to enter setup.
    Clear CMOS Password Jumpers:
    PA-2000 JCP
    PA-2002 JCP
    PA-2005 CPW
    PA-2010 CPW
    PAC-2002 JCP1
    PAC-2003 CPW
    PAK-2110 CPW
    PDA-2000  JP2
    PT-2006 CPS
    PT-2010 CPW
    PT-2200 CPS
    PTK-2110 CPS
    VA-501 CPW
    VT-501 CPW

    For other motherboards, consult user's manual.

    @

  • What is "Hardware-based intelligent virus protection"?

    This is a new BIOS feature based on anti-virus (AV) software that protects the system from boot-time viruses. It is intelligent in the sense that it uses rules modeled after virus's behavior. For example, it can tell the difference between normal writing to HDD boot sector and virus-attempted writing. It unloads after boot-up so it does not provide total protection and is not intended to serve as replacement for regular anti-virus software.
    This utility includes only Scan function and not Virus Delete function.
    It is not necessary to "update" virus definition files because there are none.


  • My system cannot boot, all I hear are beeps. What do they mean?

    Nothing good - BIOS beep codes indicate an error. Award BIOS has two basic code types (one long, two short and all the other combinations indicate some sort of RAM error), while AMI has a more elaborate scheme.
    BIOS beep codes and suggestions on solving them can be viewed
    here.


  • When I try to flash BIOS I get an error message saying about a wrong part number. Why?

    Flash EPROM ("BIOS") chips used on FIC motherboards vary (Intel, AMD, Fujitsu, etc.). As far as this problem is concerned, there are two possible reasons:
    a) you may have used a wrong BIOS or flash utility. Verify that both the BIOS file and the flash utility are the right versions.
    b) the flash utility you used did not recognize the type of flash EPROM installed on your motherboard. Verify that you have the right files and if you're sure in that, ignore the warning.


  • I updated my BIOS and am not very much pleased with the result (slower performance, new bugs, etc.). What now?

    Restore the old BIOS or wait until a newer BIOS is available. You should use the flash utility supplied with the old BIOS and NOT the flash utility you got with the new BIOS. If you do not know what flash utility it was, consult the Web support pages or contact technical support.

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