Flash a BIOS without a removeable drive?

May 19, 2011 at 08:43:43
Specs: Windows NT , 64mb
hello everyone,
this is my first post, but it's a bit of a doozy. (For me anyway). I have a piece of equipment that has an OEM hard drive of 2GB. As you can guess from the size of this monster, the machines ( about 600 of them) are antiquated. The original installed hard drives are starting to fail mechanically, and I can no longer accuire drives small enough for the BIOS to recognize. The equipment (a touch screen terminal) is a sealed unit that does not have any removeable drives. It does have an IDE chain, and uses laptop hard drives. There is an ethernet port, but it has never been used, and I'm not even sure it would function. There is also not a removeable BIOS chip that could be removed and flashed externally. Does anyone have any ideas on how to work around these limitations?

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#1
May 19, 2011 at 08:53:49
Why do you need to flash the BIOS?
Such an update should only be done if the update specifically addresses a problem you are having. Do you have access to such an update and what does the supplier recommend?

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#2
May 19, 2011 at 09:35:07
Just curious...but (assuming there has to be some type of software on them to run the equipment), when one of the hard drives does fail, how do you get the software on the drive when it is recognized?

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#3
May 19, 2011 at 13:04:05
Get an IDE to cf adapter and buy a lot of 2 gig cf cards. Might use dd or other g4u type clone.

Not all ide to cf are bootable but they will state that their unit is fully ide compliant if not buy another brand.

Many drives still have a jumper to limit chs.

We paid a hard drive maker faux some drives scsi drives for us. At 600 they'd do it.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.


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#4
May 19, 2011 at 20:15:50
Are you even sure a bios update is available for whatever machines you have?

I assume you want the update in the hope you'll be able to use larger drives. As they are now, if the bios can see a 2 gig drive it'll probably see up to 8 gig. And the CLJ, as already mentioned, will make higher capacity drives usable.

Even if they don't have floppy drives, do the motherboards have a floppy port? If so you can temporarily connect a floppy drive to do the update, assuming an update is available.

Ding dong the witch is dead. . . .


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#5
May 20, 2011 at 05:15:47
Thanks for the responses, they came faster than expected. There is a floppy port available on the SBC, and I can go that route. The next issue is to locate an updated BIOS version. I'm sure there is a version that can work, as the machines the company purchased toward the very end of the run came equipped with 40gb HDDs, and those few units are indeed able to run the new 120gb HDDs. Perhaps, as a last hope, the manufacturer may be able to help out, though I don't know if my company will pay for the services.... Thank you all once again, I'll post when/if I resolve this.

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#6
May 23, 2011 at 09:48:11
Just a follow up. I have discovered the solution to my problem is as simple as pulling the old BIOS chip, and replacing it with an updated one from the manufacturer. I guess that's why they say to keep it simple...

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#7
May 23, 2011 at 20:40:07
Thanks for posting back. Most bios updates now are software downloads but a new chip is just as good. You must have had to pay something for the new chips and with 600 computers I imagine that'll get expensive.

Ding dong the witch is dead. . . .


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#8
May 24, 2011 at 19:26:45
The beauty of this solution is the cost of the chip is a pittance compared to the revenue the machines will generate. However, yes if price for the fix was the mitigating factor I may have been disappointed with this fix. Thank you again for the help.

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