Flashing M571 Bios
Disclaimer: Hundreds have flashed their M571 BIOS without problems, using the method below. Note: I will not be held responsible in any way for problems which may be encountered.
Do not flash your BIOS simply because you want the latest update, as you will not observe any direct increase in performance. Only update your BIOS if you are experiencing a specific problem that can only be fixed by an update, or if you require the update to provide support for new hardware.
Note: I am stressing this because BIOS flashing has caused more troubles for M571 upgraders and more problem reports than all other upgrade processes, combined! It is essential that you follow these directions without omitting or altering the slightest detail. This process has been followed successfully by so many that you may safely assume that if your BIOS flash was not successful, you have made some mistake in following this process.
The key advice I must pass on to you is to pay very close attention to all of this process and follow it exactly!
I have added the previous two paragraphs because I still am receiving many trouble reports concerning BIOS flashing. Please make sure you study and understand the BIOS flashing process before proceeding!
Note: There is a common myth concerning flash BIOS, saying that a chip can only be programmed a certain number of times. This is no longer true. The modern flash bios can be reprogrammed well over 10,000 times.
A vital task which must first be performed is that of identifying your M571 correctly. A number of systems have been rendered useless because they were identified incorrectly, causing them to be flashed with the wrong BIOS image. Avoid this problem by knowing precisely which board you have. Two questions must be answered:
The first question is easily answered by studying the BIOS string, which appears during the boot-up process.
1) Record CMOS settings that will need to be restored after the update is complete.
2) Create a bootable floppy disk. Do not use your standard boot or recovery disk. Programming must be done in a non-protected mode environment, i.e., nothing should be loaded into memory such as extended memory managers or any drivers. Create a suitable disk by typing "format a:/u/s" at a dos prompt.
3) Copy Amifl632.com and the appropriate BIOS update file to the floppy disk. Make sure that you have the correct bios rom/bin file for your board version. To avoid any confusion, Cain has named all v3.2/3.2A BIOS files with a '.bin' extension, e.g., "5710421s.bin", and all v7.0A BIOS files with a '.rom' extension, e.g., "990421s.rom". To check which version of the M571 you have, look next to the keyboard connector on the board itself.
4) Reboot the system using the newly created boot disk. This boot disk must be made from Windows 98 or 95, or an older version of DOS. A boot disk made from Windows ME, Windows XP, or Windows 2000 will not work with the amifl632.exe flash utility. You may need to change the boot sequence in bios in order to boot from the a: floppy drive.
5) At the command prompt, type
"amifl632" followed by the name and location of the new BIOS file.
e.g., amfl632 a:\990421s.rom. The location of the BIOS update file can also be entered from within the program.
6) When prompted to save a copy of the old BIOS, choose yes and save it to your diskette. Name it with a distinctive file name. (Always do this so you can revert back to your original BIOS if the need arises.)
7) You will then be asked if
you are sure you wish to continue; choose yes. This process should not take
If for any reason the flash is not successful (very rare, never happened to me), press Cntrl-Alt-Delete to warm-boot (do NOT switch the computer off). Run the flash utility again and restore the old BIOS file.
8) When the update is complete, switch your computer off and clear CMOS using the "clear CMOS" jumper on your motherboard (momentarily link JP2 pins 2-3). Consult the manual for this jumper's location. (This may not be necessary, but is recommended by many motherboard manufacturers. The purpose behind doing this is to clear out any extraneous data that may be left over from the previous BIOS code.)
9) Turn your computer back on. You will get a message saying that your CMOS settings are wrong. This is normal. Enter setup by pressing F1, and restore your original settings. In most cases all you will need to do is auto-detect your hard drives and you're set. Save changes and exit setup. You're done.
CAUTION - I strongly recommend that unzipped copies of amifl632 be removed from your hard drive. Accidently running it from within Windows may trash your BIOS. You can always come back to this site for another copy.
Quick Flash Technique
(flash utility not required)
Note: This technique may not work on all boards, and in any event will only work if the bios boot block code is intact. If the boot block code has been corrupted, then see the Hot-Swap Technique which follows, or contact one of the flash bios support specialists listed below.
1) Ensure you have the correct BIOS for your board version
2) Unzip the BIOS update file, rename to "AMIBOOT.ROM" then copy to diskette in "A" floppy drive. The floppy disk does not need to be bootable.
3) Ensure that the 1st Boot Device in the Advanced CMOS Setup is set to "Floppy".
4) With system powered off and diskette with "AMIBOOT.ROM" file in "A" drive, whilst holding down the "CTRL & HOME" keys, power up the system. There will be no video, but it can be seen that the floppy drive is being accessed.
5) You should hear 1 beep - let go of keys. Then you will hear 2 beeps and then 3 beeps.
System should reset and you will notice a new BIOS release date at top of screen.
6) Enter BIOS SETUP, run the OPTIMAL SETTINGS OPTION, and change the BIOS SETTINGS for your configuration.
WARNING - If you are using the "password" option in the BIOS, you must DISABLE this facility BEFORE you flash the BIOS. The updated BIOS uses a new core and will save the Password at a different location. If you flash the BIOS without disabling the password, you may not be able to get into the setup. If this happens, you must clear the CMOS first, by momentarily linking JP2 pins 2-3.
Hot-Swapping Flash Technique
(for dead boards only - and at your own risk !)
Hot-swapping is a technique where the bios chip from a dead motherboard is flashed on another, working motherboard. I have been asked many times to explain how to hot-swap between boards, and the following information is for the technically competent only. NOTE: it is possible to damage BOTH motherboards by using this technique. If in doubt, contact one of the flash bios support specialists listed below.
It is important that both motherboards have similar chipsets. If they are very different, this technique may work but probably will not. Also, in my opinion it's best to perfom this operation with the 'good' working motherboard outside of it's case, unless you've got plenty of access to the bios chip.
1) Ensure you have the correct BIOS for your board version.
2) Note down the BIOS settings for your working motherboard. You shouldn't need them, but better safe than sorry.
3) Ensure that the 1st Boot Device in the Advanced CMOS Setup of the 'good' motherboard is set to "Floppy"
4) Power off. Gently remove the flash BIOS chip from the 'good' motherboard, then lightly re-insert. A wipe of lube (WD40 or similar) on the pins is a good idea.
5) Prepare a bootable floppy with the utility and update file you're going to use, then boot the 'good' machine from that floppy. After booting, the BIOS info will have transferred into ram, so at this point the BIOS chip can be removed.
6) Insert the flash bios chip you wish to program into the 'good' motherboard whilst the board is still running. Run the flash utility, but don't try to re-boot the machine afterwards unless the motherboards and BIOS images are identical.
7) Transfer the newly flashed chip back into the other board, and replace the original BIOS chip in the 'good' board.
8) The board you've been using for swapping (the 'good' board) should fire up as if nothing has happened. The other board may need the CMOS settings clearing (momentarily link pins 2-3 on JP2) before this machine will boot without complaint.
Note: Whilst performing this procedure, it's advisable to touch your hand against an earth (or ground, in the USA) before handling the BIOS chips, especially in the winter when there's a higher chance of static build-up. It is a better practice to work on your system using a ground strap. Also, you might like to mark the Flash Eprom chips clearly to make sure you insert them the right way around - which is important (!).
In the unlikely event of a power loss during the hotswapping procedure, simply restore the original BIOS chip into the 'good' working motherboard, restore the CMOS settings (which you saved), and start the procedure again from the beginning.
When all else fails - (flash support specialists)
http://www.flashbios.org/ - Netherlands - $7 usd - £5 stirling 12 dm etc
http://www.badflash.com/ - USA - around $20
Last modified 19 March 2006