Diary of a dumbass

For the family IT-goto-guy I certainly performed quite the err to bring my silicon savant status down to elderly home patron levels. Every once and a while I do something stupid but this one takes the cake and almost gave me a stroke and definitely is going to hurt the budget when I already have no money due to the new house furnishing kick Monika and I are on.

I was performing some cleaning on my main desktop PC and thought “Hey, I havent done a BIOS flash in like…eons.” It was a Monday night before bed so I am already tired but a BIOS flash doesn’t take that much time, right? Well, 20 minutes later my ASUS M2N Plus SLI Vista ed motherboard is as good as a brick.

My daddy always taught me “Son, once you past your f–k up point at night, do not try to do anything dangerous.” I don’t know if he was talking about driving or using power tools, but the quip definitely holds true to a BIOS flash. There are always points in your life where you do something to rebel against your parents and spit on their advice, I was just hoping that point in life was when I was 16, not 27.

I remembered reading somewhere that ASUS had this utility that let you update your BIOS in Windows and, better yet, it will grab the BIOS from the web to do the flash. I was far too lazy to be bothered with loading the file onto a floppy and running it the tried and true way. That would mean getting up and finding a floppy. Do I even have any?

First feat was finding this ASUSUpdate utility. ASUS didn’t even have it on their site anymore. That should have been my first clue. I found it on some third-party site, downloaded, and ran it. Press the “flash from Internet option” and watch the progress bars dance!

Verifying your BIOS……….done. “That’s nice of them.”

Verifying new BIOS………..done. “That’s even nicer. What a warm feeling!”

Erasing ROM………….done. “I guess they need to make room for the new one.”

Flashing new BIOS to ROM…………85% and system hang! No response from my Windows desktop and all input is frozen. “…….”

0.O

“That can’t be good,” says dumbass “better hard reboot.” No POST beep. Nothing. Just my PC flipping me the digital finger if that is what the blackness of my monitor meant. Well people have been flashing PCs forever, so I was sure that there was a way to recover my budget AMD board from this state. There is something called ASUS CrashFree BIOS and to my amazement my budget board supports it. I put the motherboard disc in the optical drive as instructed and turned the machine on….nothing. I put the new BIOS on a USB stick, turned the machine on……nothing. CrashFree didn’t work for beans.

So all in all, this board isn’t being sold by any of the local dealers and I can not justify trying to find a board on the local classifieds that will handle all of my still functioning hardware. Now it is time to save up for a whole new PC and god knows how long that will be and if I can slide it past Monika and the tight budget.

The dumbass conclusion and lessons learned:

  • Dont flash a BIOS through your operating system, Windows or otherwise,
  • If it aint broke…dont flash your BIOS, dumbass. BIOS updates rarely add fancy new features. They only fix existing issues that you may not even have.
  • You get what you pay for. Some of the new boards have 2 BIOS to avoid this problem. They cost a bit more but it is far better to pay the difference than buy a whole new computer.
  • ASUS CrashFree BIOS protection….doesnt work. Don’t rely on this as a safety net because you are bound to hit the dirt…hard.
  • Listen to yer pa!
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