How to recover the BIOS

Author on 19 March, 2011 | Print | Bookmark
In many cases, provided the 'bootblock' of your BIOS is not corrupted during a bad flash, the BIOS can often be recovered by following the recovery procedures detailed below. NOTE: this recovery method should not be followed for normal practice of updating your BIOS! As you will be invariably forced to flash from a floppy disk, you'll need both a known good working floppy drive (non-USB) and a good floppy disk.

 For Award BIOS

Make a bootable floppy disk*
Copy the Award flash utility & BIOS file to the said floppy disk
Create an autoexec.bat with "Award_Flash_Utility BiosFilename" in the content (e.g. awdfl823K w6378vms.130)
Sample on how to create an autoexec:
a. On Windows, open the notepad
b. On the notepad, write "awdfl823K w6378vms.130" (without the " ")**
c. Save the file as autoexec.bat

Boot up system with the said floppy (it will take less than 2 minutes before screen comes out)

Re-flash the BIOS & reboot.

*Need a bootable floppy disk? Look here:
**Make sure you enter the correct filenames for your flasher program and BIOS ROM file!


Rename the desired AMI BIOS file to AMIBOOT.ROM and save it on a floppy disk. e.g. Rename A569MS23.ROM to AMIBOOT.ROM

Insert this floppy disk in the floppy drive. Turn On the system and press and hold Ctrl-Home to force update. It will read the AMIBOOT.ROM file and recover the BIOS from the A drive.

When 4 beeps are heard you may remove the floppy disk and restart the computer.

 For new boards with AMI BIOS core 8 (4MB)

Discovered by Jack The Newbie:

Of course, the steps are similar to the standard AMI BIOS Recovery Procedure for internal floppy drives (rename corresponding BIOS File to AMIBOOT.ROM, hit CTRL + HOME after starting the system).

What has to be done (tested on P45 Platinum):

1. An optical SATA Drive needs to be connected to one of the Intel ICH10R SATA ports. {After a lot of testing, I found that it does not work with the same optical drive connected to the SATA Ports hosted by the secondary JMicron Controller.  Also, using an optical drive on the JMicron IDE/PATA port does not help either.}

2. A proper BIOS File has to be renamed to AMIBOOT.ROM and burned on an empty CD.

3. CMOS-Clear with main A/C power cable removed from PSU has to be performed. {If this step is not done, the system will reboot after pressing CTRL + Home and will not proceed with recovery procedure.}
4. Press CTRL + Home to trigger BIOS Recovery.  -> The system should enter BIOS Recovery Routine. {Will basically work with both USB & PS/2 keyboard.  However, a PS/2 Keyboard is recommended as the system will respond earlier to PS/2 Keyboard than to USB Devices.}

What should happen now:

1. After pressing CTRL + HOME the LED Status should change to "Intializing Hard Disk Controller" and there should be access to the optical drive connected to the Intel ICH10R SATA ports.

2. It can take up to 30+ seconds until the BIOS File that was renamed to AMIBOOT.ROM is found. {Drive Bay can be opened to try a different CD without turning off or restarting the system.}

3. When the system finds the BIOS File, LED Status will change to "Testing RTC" and there should be a message on the screen indicating that the Flash Recovery Procedure has started.

4.  Since the BIOS File is 4MB in size, it will take a while until the BIOS is actually reflashed.

Its also possible that BIOS recovery on boards with AMIBIOS8 can be done using a FAT-formatted USB stick, containing the renamed BIOS file. Be warned, in some circumstances it may take several moments before recovery procedure actually begins. 

If recovery does not work...

Locate the BIOS chip on your mainboard. If it is soldered directly to the PCB like...

...then you have no choice but to return the board to your supplier, or to MSI, for replacement.

If your BIOS chip is in a socket, like...

...then you may be able to source a replacement BIOS chip, either from MSI, or from a website such as

Was this article helpful?

Yes No

Category: BIOS

Last updated on 19 March, 2011 with 40351 views