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  How NOT to install computer hardware 
  Oct 20, 2003, 12:00pm EDT 
 

Configuring the BIOS


By: Sander Sassen

If all else has failed and the system boots normally, the next best thing to do is ‘configure’ the BIOS. By that I mean flashing it with a random file from your harddisk. If a flash BIOS is ‘flashed’ with the wrong data, such as a BIOS for a completely different motherboard, or, more effectively, with any random file on your harddisk, the motherboard will, upon rebooting, cease to function until its BIOS chip is physically removed and re-programmed or replaced with one holding the correct data. Using a somewhat older flash utility is the best way to go about it, as these usually have no checksum or file-version checks and can upload just about any file into the BIOS. Alternatively, because of lack of a file of suitable size, or a flash utility willing to flash a random file to our BIOS, ‘update’ the motherboard with the oldest BIOS you can find and be sure to pull the powercable during the update process.

Replacing BIOS chip

Fig 6. Replacing a defective BIOS chip by using a screwdriver, push hard and fast for best result.

However, there’s more fun to be had. Suppose you want to replace the BIOS after the above mentioned ‘configuration’, then we’ll have to physically remove the BIOS chip and replace it with a new one. Removing it, however, can be just as productive as ‘configuring’ it. Most BIOS chips are socketed, meaning that the chip resides in a socket, much like your CPU, but without a lever. Thus, in order to get it out of the socket we have to use something else as a ‘lever’. A prime candidate is a screwdriver; by carefully prying on alternate sides, the BIOS chip can be successfully removed, but as before, that’s not the objective here. Prying it on one side until it pops right out of its socket is the best way to end up with severely bent or broken pins. If enough force is applied and the socket is of high enough quality, the BIOS chip can be effectively snapped in two, or can be ripped right off the motherboard with the socket still attached, resulting in unrecoverable motherboard damage.



1. Introduction
2. Opening the case
3. Mounting peripherals
4. Mounting add-on cards
5. Connecting cables
6. Configuring the BIOS
7. Configuring the motherboard
8. Mounting the processor
9. Conclusion

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