Windows XP Gateway desktop Dead after flashing BIOS

April 1, 2012 at 08:28:57
Specs: Windows XP, Pentium 4
I have a Gateway E4300 Model: SL29310. Recently I made the mistake of messing with the BIOS (attempted to restore the system to it's original state as shipped from Gateway). I downloaded BIOS SE91510J.15A.2609 from Gateway and installed it. It installed with no errors and when I rebooted, the machine did not boot and there was no video either. I had verified that it was the correct BIOS but my machine is dead now. Can you help me restore my computer?

Thank you,
~sarepc


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#1
April 1, 2012 at 09:02:45
If the BIOS flash went bad, you may not be able to recover without spending more than that old system is worth. Did you try resetting the BIOS by using the ClearCMOS jumper? Make sure to unplug the power cord 1st, then move the jumper from the normal position to the clear position, wait a few seconds, then move it back again. Or the same can be done by temporarily removing the CMOS battery. The power cord MUST be unplugged or the BIOS may not reset.

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#2
April 1, 2012 at 09:20:43
if the bios reset did not work then i would say for future viewers,
do not flash bios if u do not know how, be sure to check ur exact version and motherboard support, all in all ask any experienced dude before flashing.
if u flashed bios wrong and resetting the bios did not work then tough luck

computers are a second home
NVIDIA GeForce
GS_Toxict51


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#3
April 1, 2012 at 09:44:37
I agree with you. My attempt seemed reasonable at the time and like I said, the BIOS update did NOT report any errors whatsoever. So I'm not sure what an "experienced" technician could have done different. Ultimately, I learned to never mess with the BIOS. What gets me is that the BIOS was retrieved directly from the manufacturer. But obviously, I did a mistake somewhere. I take it that it was fiddling with the BIOS in the first place. On the recommendation to try to reset the BIOS, where is the jumper located exactly? Thank you for informing me the power-cord must be unplugged. I think I had already done this as part as I didn't want to have any electric shorts. The jumper that I located might not have been the right one. Thank you for your help!

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#4
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#5
April 1, 2012 at 16:11:42
The moral of the story is do not flash your BIOS unless you have a specific problem that the newer version of the BIOS is reported to have a fix for. You did not need to flash your BIOS in order to do a Factory Restore which is done through your Recovery Partition or your Recovery Disk Set. This is a software only fix that only reloads your hard drive to the same as it was when it was shipped. This fixes nearly everything software related including corrupt system files due to a nasty infection and is useful also when you plan to sell a working system (as long as there was nothing extremely sensitive kept on the drive).
PS - I really hope you are able to get it running again, but I have doubts. The Clear CMOS jumper is about your best chance and if you can get anything out of it, then boot into your BIOS set up, and do a Reset Defaults (or Reset Optimal Settings if available) and you will be fine.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
April 1, 2012 at 19:30:56
If it had on-board video and you added a video card be sure to try both ports.

Some of the old Intel boards made for Gateway and others had a bios recovery jumper. It allowed you to flash a dead bios. You might check the manual and see if yours is so equipped.


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#7
April 2, 2012 at 12:02:31
It does have a bios recovery jumper. But how do you use it? Reading the documentation, unfortunately it doesn't explain anything further. There is some recovery disk but I imagine it is located somewhere on the drive (D: drive). But how can you get to it if your BIOS is messed up such that you can't get to your system up and you don't have any video?

Thank you,
~sarepc


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#8
April 2, 2012 at 23:28:46
You basically setup a floppy bootdisk with the update files to run without any user input. Here is the general procedure:

http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHER...

The configuration jumper number may not be the same as on your motherboard.

I downloaded BIOS_GATEWAY_SE91510J.15A.2609_A_A.ZIP, the bios update file shown for the E4300 which I guess is what you used for the update. I unzipped it and took a look. There's a dos folder there with three files in it--the bios update file, the flasher to install it and an autoexec to start it. You should be able to add those files to a dos bootdisk to do the install.

The best way would be to use the SYS command from a windows 98 machine to create a basic bootdisk and then add those three files to it. Then make sure the configuration jumper is in the RECOVERY position--I think that's usually 'no jumper' but you need to verify that for your motherboard. Then put the bootdisk in and start up the Gateway. Because nothing shows on the screen you may not know when it's done so just allow a few minutes even after you think it's done.

But first, did you try clearing the cmos as riider suggested? Or try both video ports if you've added a video card?

If you want to go ahead then double check again that you've got the right update file.

I can probably make a floppy bootdisk image file with the updates and email it if you're not sure about that part. Just let me know which update file you plan on using.


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#9
April 4, 2012 at 08:17:09
Thank you for your help. I used the BIOS update for my Gateway 9310xl machine, downloaded from Gateway. Like I stated before, the update did NOT report ANY errors and proceeded to a successful completion. After the BIOS installation (it stated to reboot the machine). I proceeded with a reboot but then it did not to boot up. I at least want to restore my system so I can work on it. I have backups which I can then use to recover my data. I think I will follow the instructions on the link you provided. Thank you again for your help.

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#10
April 4, 2012 at 18:02:57
You're welcome. It talks about the 'disk containing the recovery files'. That's the disk you need to make using the dos SYS command on a blank disk. Then you copy the update file, the flasher and autoexec.bat to it.

I think I've only used the recovery method once, and that was to flash the gateway branded bios back to Intel. I can't say for sure it'll work in your case since the problem may be elsewhere but I guess you have nothing to lose.


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