Help BIOS flashing

Discussion in 'Motherboards' started by Relayer, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

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    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    I have a gigabyte GA-X38-DS4 mobo that's still running the 1st release bios. The newer bios says that it offers enhance memory performance, add new version super I/O code, and Improved CPU compatibility when compared to the original 1st release bios.
    They say not to flash your bios if you aren't having any problems/bugs. Well, my system runs fine, but the improvements in the newer bios seem to be worthwhile.
    I've never flashed a mobo before and there's all kinds of gloomy warnings about doing it. I was hoping to get some advice from folks with experience before I give it a go.

    1, Is it really that dangerous and daunting that I shouldn't attempt it unless my system is experiencing problems?

    2, There's a utility called @bios ( http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/NewTech/old_motherboard_newtech/tech_a_bios.htm ) offered for download on Gigabyte's web that seems like it should take all of the drama and guess work out of it. Anyone here have any experience with it, or could recommend it?

    3, Or am I just being paranoid and is it as simple as installing anything else on a computer? Unless I'm missing something it doesn't seem that complicated. You just don't want anything to go wrong while you are doing it, from what I can gather.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

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    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Never mind. I decided to just try it. As it turned out, it was easier than updating my video drivers. The @bios utility did everything. Just had to reboot and reload the defaults after it was done. That reset everything so I had to redo my OC settings. Shows the updated bios (F3 was F1) when I use 3D mark '06. No issues to report. So, I guess everything went fine.
     
  3. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas
    Despite what they say you should always run the most current BIOS. Many things don't work or function well in their first several BIOS releases, and newer hardware isn't optimized.

    I use @BIOS myself, it's a great little tool. Exactly what it needs to be. Just as a tip, never flash the BIOS from the website, download the BIOS to your drive first and then tell @BIOS to use that one instead of looking online.
     
  4. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

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    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    That's exactly how I did it. Seemed foolish to allow for the possibility of an internet hiccup (any sort of outage) screwing up my computer. I guess if you aren't competent enough to know what model mobo you have then it's the lesser of 2 evils.

    I didn't do any controlled readings prior to the flashing. (I honestly wouldn't have known what to look at) but my ram usage prior seemed to run just over 500meg at idle. At least it was that high every time I looked at task manager. It now runs just under 400meg at idle. I don't know if it's real or just because I'm looking for something that I wasn't before, but, memory wise, it does appear to be operating more efficiently now.

    Just wondering. Was it going into the bios and reseting defaults that undid my OC? If so, is it really necessary to do that? Could I have just updated the bios and kept my settings?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  5. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    Gigabyte's @bios is one of the best BIOS updaters I've ever used. I have had one problem before with a failed BIOS, but I think it's definitely an isolated incident. Gigabyte's "Dual BIOS" feature came in handy that night, let me tell you. The best BIOS updater would have to be Intel's though... no question. You download it to your desktop, double-click, click next, reboot and it will install it. Couldn't be easier.

    I wouldn't recommend flashing a BIOS when using anything but stock settings. Most of the time, there won't be an issue, but other times, the BIOS itself might add or adjust features, and if they are anything but stock, there could be instabilities. I've gotten in the habit of always resetting to default before flashing the bios, just in case.
     
  6. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

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    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the advice. I'll keep that in mind next time.
     
  7. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Mar 6, 2008
    Texas
    Yes, resetting the defaults does exactly that, it clears out your BIOS settings.

    You should always do this yourself after flashing a new BIOS, plenty of times some setting was changed it caused odd behavior until I remembered to load defaults and save them in the BIOS. After that I reloaded the settings manually. Saving a profile and using that to reload your old settings kinda defeats the purpose, so that is why BIOS profiles are wiped when you flash a new BIOS.
     
  8. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

    12,080
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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    I am a total hypocrite. I installed a new Gigabyte board last night (EX58-UD5), configured all my settings to my liking, and what did I do? I went and updated the BIOS! That's what happens when you pay little-to-no attention to working!

    Nothing of course broke, but I'll still stand by my original statement, even though I'm now a hypocrite. ;)
     
  9. Relayer

    Relayer E.M.I.

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    Mar 19, 2008
    New Zealand
    That's pretty funny, Rob. Good going admitting it. Nice to see you aren't afraid to admit you're merely mortal.
     

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