BIOS flash boot disk

I have a new Soyo Dragon Plus motherboard and an Athlon XP 1700+ and I want to flash the BIOS, which I've never done before, and rather than learning the hard way, which I usually do, I want to sort things out first and maybe not screw up.

I have Windows XP and I'm not sure how it works with DOS but these are the instructions I'm trying to follow, which came with the BIOS release that I downloaded:

"Prepare an empty bootable disk. In order to do this, format a disk using the format a: /s command (use b: or other drive letter if appropriate). Make sure that there is nothing on the disk except for boot files. (The reason for doing this is that AWDFLASH, the utility used to upgrade the BIOS, does not allow ANY other program to be running in the background. A clean boot from floppy will reassure this is the case)"

Firstly, I don't know how to get into DOS other than by using the 'Command Prompt' window in XP's Accessories. I remember in W98 the 'DOS-in-a-window' deal wasn't quite the real thing and to do anything properly you had to boot into DOS. Is there any other way in Windows XP to boot into DOS before making a boot disk?

Secondly, according to my Complete Idiot's Guide to DOS, to make a bootable disk you need to use the format a: /s command and then copy config.sys and autoexec.bat. To my way of thinking, config.sys and autoexec.bat are boot files and without them it's not a bootable disk, so should I leave these off?

Thirdly, I've tried the format a: /s command (that's FORMAT space A colon space slash S) in the Command Prompt window (having changed directory to C:) and I get 'Invalid parameter - /S'. It just doesn't seem to work.

Any suggestions appreciated.
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More about bios flash boot disk
  1. I have not seen Windows XP yet, so maybe this will not work, but in Win95 and I think Win98, you could make a bootable disk using Windows Explorer. If you put in a floppy in a:, right click on the a: drive in windows explorer. You get a Format option about mid-way down, and when you click that, one of the format options is to copy system files only. You can then boot from that disk - at least I could. If you know someone still running Win98, you should be able to get them to make the disk and then boot from it. I think it's pretty generic because I messed up my home system once and made a boot disk at work from Win95 and was able to boot from it.

    I'm going to have to do the same thing soon, (Soyo Dragon+ bios flash), so good luck.
  2. NEVER put an autoexec.bat or config.sys on a boot floppy which you're going to use for BIOS flashing, the chance that you screw your BIOS is very great.

    My case has so many fans that it hovers above the ground :eek: .
  3. Svol to the rescue again!!

    Thanks, guys, that stuff is very good to know: one or two less ways of messing up.

  4. Hurray! I'm getting famous.

    My case has so many fans that it hovers above the ground :eek: .
  5. on xp its basically the same, only the option is "create msdos boot disk" this is exactly what you need!, make this disk, then copy the flash utility (awdflash.exe)to it, and also the .bin file (your new bios), boot from the floppy, and at the A: prompt type awdflsash (or awdflsh- cant remember- whatever the name is) and press enter, the flash utility will load, it will ask you for the name of the file to program, put XXXXX.BIN where XXX is the name of the new bios, it will then ask you if you would like to backup your old bios, chooshe yes, and when asked for a name, call it OLD.BIN or something you can recognise, it will then save this to the floppy. Next it will ask you if you are sure if you want to flash, say yes and you will see a sort of progress bar, once done, it will say exit or reset, choose exit, then power off, reset the bios (jumper on motherboard) and reboot without floppy in, you will need to set the time etc in bios as its been reset. if you have probs with the new bios, boot from floppy, go through the procedure again but when asked to backup the current one, say no- as you already have it, and when asked for the file to program, choose OLD.BIN (i.e. the one you saved last time)time) and dont backup.

    Next time you wave - use all your fingers
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