April 23, 2008

Disabling a Write Protected BIOS Chip!

A BIOS Chip is one of the most important part of one's PC, without it a PC never works.BIOS chip seldom breaks down that's why a lot of us dont mind its function. The moment you encounter a "BIOS check sum error...." or suspect a hardware incompatibility,then you will start to remember how important BIOS is in a PC system.In such a situation the next you will think to do is to flash(replace the program) your BIOS via a utility provided by your board manufacturer.

What if your BIOS chip is write-protected?
BIOS can be write-protected via the software(by entering cmos setup) or via jumper setting on your board.But some manufacturer(refer to manual) don't provide jumper setting on their motherboard, so one option left is to write-enable it via CMOS setup,but the last solution mention above is only good if your BIOS setup is still accessible, in cases where you have a "Bootblock situation......" then it is impossible to enter your CMOS setup.

In this case your last option is to write-enable your BIOS chip directly,you have to disable the write-protect pin in order to flash your BIOS chip succesully.So, next thing you must do is to look(search the net) for the pin layout of a particular BIOS chip in order to bypass the write-protect pin.If your BIOS chip is similar to the figure shown above then you may proceed in write-enabling your BIOS.You may short it exactly as what it was shown in the figure,it will be easier to insert a thin wire in between the BIOS and the socket pin if it is socketed.

After putting a thin wire jumper on your BIOS chip you may now proceed in flashing your BIOS and it should flash successfully otherwise you wrongfully jumper your BIOS chip or has some non BIOS related problem of your motherboard.Remove the jumper after successfully flashing your BIOS chip.

This trick was successfully tested on the BIOS of a XPC Shuttle CPU, it may work on similar BIOS chip as other claim it, but don't held me responsible in case something worst happen on your motherboard.Its only a last resort solution before replacing a motherboard.If you don't want to take the risk I suggest that you try to order a BIOS replacement from your motherboard manufacturer or have it repaired to them.

April 21, 2008

Another brain buster problem!

Almost everyday in our line of work we encounter unusual problem(if not difficult),just recently I encountered a problem in a XPC Shuttle CPU which is a BIOS Boot Block situation(refer to image), it is a socket 939 with a 1GB DDR1 Corsair Mem(take note-its branded).

By looking the screen when you turn on the unit, you will say that its a corrupted BIOS(its an Award BIOS)program.Basically BIOS program in newer motherboards is divided into two blocks, these are the bootblock and the mainblock.The bootblock loads up if it will sense a damage mainblock portion of the bios.The mainblock is the one that will start when you power up your CPU.The purpose of the bootblock portion is, for you to have a chance to flash you BIOS mainblock so that your PC becomes operational again.

So to cut my story short I downloaded the specific BIOS bin of the particular model and flash the BIOS using the Award Flash utility software, everything went fine during the flashing of the new bios program, but after resetting the CPU it just came back from where I started(refer to image). I try to flash different latest version of BIOS files several times, still it does not work.

I give up troubleshooting and assumed that the BIOS chip itself maybe damage and it needs to be replace.While still looking for a BIOS chip replacement,I decided to transfer its existing memory on another system.And to my surprise the system also display an "Award Bios bootblock ..... please insert system disk......",I inserted a different memory module of the problematic PC and it works normally.

In my entire life as technical support, this is just the first time that I encounter a memory module causing a bios bootblock situation----take note---- its not just an ordinary memory module, its a popular brand.So, next time if your planning to buy a branded memory, choose the right one to avoid problems such this one.

April 1, 2008

Enhance your skills via computer based training!

Want to enhance your skills but don't have time to go to regular class? Worry no more, Computer Based Training(CBT) offers a process of learning that is not executed in the traditional manner one would find in the educational environment. Rather than the conventional classroom and instructor or professor setting, computer based training involves learning using software applications installed in computers, making it easy to replay any lesson you did not fully understand.

CBT offers excel training that will provide you the basic and advance knowledge in your daily computing needs.CBT also offers proper leadership program that will allow manager and CEO's to enhance their leadership skills and discover what they need to know to be extraordinary leaders.And if you want to be an efficient project manager and want to pass the pmp exam, you can have their pmp training program.

For more info, visit: CBT

Move out IE,Mozilla & Opera here comes Safari?

Since the Internet era has began internet browser has played a major role in delivering the world wide web(WWW) to homes and offices around the globe, One of the most popular internet browser used in every PC is the Internet Explorer(IE), considering it is bundled on Windows. Mozilla Fire Fox came close against IE while Opera has its own share.

And now the competition just got bigger, Apple company which is the manufacturer of MAC just recently released their Safari browser for PC machine. And they claim that its the fastest web browser on any platform, loads pages up to 1.9 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and up to 1.7 times faster than Firefox 2.

Safari browser are clean, sleek look that lets you focus on the web instead of your browser. The browser frame is a mere one pixel wide. You see a scroll bar only when you need one. One features I like with Safari browser is that whenever you land on a page that offers an RSS feed, it displays an RSS icon in the address field. You can click it and you view the simple RSS feed. Bookmark it and Safari tells you how many updates have been added since your last visit. The RSS view in Safari is customizable, so you can adjust article length or sort and filter articles by date, title, and source. You can also use the built-in search field to find articles relating to topics of interest.

Over all the Safari browser is doing fine in my browsing activity and maybe I will make it my default browser in days to come.

To learn more about it visit their home page: Safari