|"Oh, and I filled out an RMA form but that got rejected;"|
Flashing the bios is NEVER covered by the warranty.
If you can't find a replacement mboard, there are professionals on the web that can replace a soldered in bios chip for you (with a new one one that's already been programmed with the latest bios update for your specific model), but it can cost you as much for that service as a new mboard would (you must ship at least the mboard to them).
E.g. if you live in the US
(The $29.xx price applies ONLY if the bios chip is in a socket and is removavable - it is probably soldered into the mboard.)
If you live elsewhere, he MAY allow shipments from and ship to Canada for more bucks, or there are other web sites that can do the same thing that will except shipments from / ship to most places.
If you live in or near a reasonably large city, there may be somone local or not far away who can do the same thing, but it's hard for an amatuer to determine that - phone some local computer repair places to see if they can do it, or know of someone who can do it.
NOTE that passwords set in the bios on laptops made in the last twelve years or so are NOT stored on the bios chip - they're stored on another soldered in chip (that cannot have it's custom contents erased by removing power to it). If you don't know a password that was set in the bios, one of the ways of fixing that problem (that always works) is that that chip must be replaced (with a new one that has already been programmed).
You could have a local laptop repair place that is authorized to work on Asus laptops and is familiar with them analyze it for a fee.
"Anyway, following ur advice: how would i go about finding out the mboard type?"
For most laptops....
- you can search on the web using the specific model number along with motherboard and find listings for the possible mboards for sale
- there is either a service manual available from the brand name's web site for the model series (e.g. Dell, HP, Compaq models), or there are service manuals for the model series available on the web, for a fee, or for free (e.g. Acer, eMachines, Gateway, Toshiba models).
In this case I have found neither for Asus n61Ja .
By the way, that's not the specific model number - it's
probably Asus n61Ja-Jxxxxx
This is the closest I've come to finding a service manual - it's a part of one for a similar series:
You should be able to use that info to take apart the laptop without damaging anything, even if the inside components are not exactly the same.
Note that the halves of the bottom case often have hidden plastic "hooks" on one side that "latch" onto something matching their positions on the other side. After all screws holding the two halves together have been removed, the two halves may still be locked to each other. In that case you need to carefully use something thin and strong, such as a metal bladed putty knife at least a 1/2" wide, to insert into the crack and release the "hooks" from the other side.
The mboard has at least one part number on it, probably an Asus one on a stuck on label, and there may be the actual mboard maker's (which may not be Asus) model number printed directly onto the mboard surface as well
If you use one or the other or both of those part numbers to search the web with, you may find a used mboard on the web for a reasonable price, or a new one for more.
If not, contact Asus regarding where you could get the mboard from.
There are no release notes here where the bios updates are downoaded from.
N61Ja (home support page)
bios updates - 3 listed
says only "updated firmware"
211 download has the update file only
updated Windows flash utility is listed, for Win 7
No readme file or similar in the download
Since there isn't much info there at all, why did you want to update the bios ?
It MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL to flash the bios to cure a problem you're having if you EVER did NOT have the same problem with the existing bios version previously - the problem was NOT caused by the existing bios version.
ROMID error during bios update
It prompts the ROMID does not match during Bios update, how to find a correct Bios to update?
Please use Asus update or EZ-Flash to check the ROMID (model name) and then go to the download site to find correct bios file for Bios update.
In other words, it's the woing bios update.
Is that the message you saw ?
ASUS ServerCare Service Program
Free tools and troubleshooting guides that can help you resolve your technical issues
Unable to power on the notebook.
Some Asus desktop mboards have a way of recovering from a failed bios flash - they have two bios chips, or a specifically prepared USB flash drive can be used for that, but the computer MUST at least attempt to boot.
I've never heard of that applying to an Asus notebook computer. If that applies, there would probably be info about that in the User manual for your model.