Updating BIOS on my Mediacentre PC


I was thinking a bit slowly today. My mediacentre PC has had some stability issues recently culminating in the graphics card (ATI Radeon 2600 HD Pro) overheating and refusing to display output even after crafting on a ventilation unit – small customisation to remove screws.

So after a new card (ASUS EAH4350) which has no moving parts but a very large heatsink I decided to update the BIOS as the machine hadn’t been updated since v1 back in 2007 and later versions of the BIOS had explicit support for my cpu. It’s an ebay purchase so slightly anticipated as I’d had to muck about a fair amount in the BIOS to get the HDMI output working.

It’s an ASUS M2N-XE motherboard with Athlon 5200+ dual core chip. The BIOS update utility from Asus only runs in DOS. This machine has no floppy and I have no DOS source media anywhere.

So I did this:

Downloaded an ISO Image of MS-DOS 6.22 from http://www.bootdisks.us/ms-dos/5/ms-dos-bootable-cd-images.html
Added the BIOS update utility and ROM file to ISO image using PowerISO re-hosted on http://www.softpedia.com
Burnt the image to CDR using a Windows7
Booted off the CD and while able to access DOS but I couldn’t see my BIOS files, also couldn’t change drive to R:
Figured out that ISO image only contains drivers for IDE connected CD-DRIVEs and not SATA
Connected IDE CD-DRIVE to Mediacentre PC
Booted off CD into MS-DOS
Changed drive to R:
Ran BIOS update

The take-aways for me are:

  1. Athlon x64 emulation of x32 is spot on if an old OS like MS-DOS 6.22 runs fine
  2. The Asus site is hard to negotiate, lots of broken links
  3. The ISO image takes the updates ok which are viewable in explorer. MS-DOS booting rendered them non-viewable. They only become visible once the CD-ROM drivers are loaded



About Matt Sinfield

Work in the IT industry but have a couple of hobbies, Snowboard, Kitesurf and of course XBox
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