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GA-965P-DS3: Award Bootblock

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November 24, 2006 4:31:51 PM

So I've been OCing a bit of my new PC and when I was working on the memory timings and upped the DRAM voltage (1.9v->2.1v) it stopped booting. When booting, the screen just says (doesn't get to the BIOS post screen):
Award Bootblock BIOS v1.0
Copyright © 2000, Award Software, Inc.


Doing some research online it seems that this is usually occompanied by a message about searching the HDD or Floppy drive for a BIOS flash update/backup. My message has no such message and will not boot to a floppy.

I've done the following:
-Reset the CMOS by both removing the battery and using the jumper.
-Reseated the Video and RAM.
-Tried the RAM in different slots.
-Booted with no RAM.
-Booted with HDD disconnected.

Any other thoughts?

GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3 Socket T (LGA 775) Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 Conroe 1.86GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6300
eVGA 512-P2-N573-AR GeForce 7900GTO 512MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card
CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD2500KS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 70SB073A00000 7.1 Channels PCI Interface Sound Card
November 24, 2006 5:33:15 PM

The BIOS is corrupted. The Bootblock is a failsafe mechanism. Usually you won't get any video either. You need to make a DOS boot disk that has an autoexec.bat that will launch the BIOS update program which will load the BIOS file automatically. I've done it and it works.

Read here:

http://www.biosman.com/biosrecovery.html

Hope this helps.
November 24, 2006 10:02:49 PM

I've tried a number of boot disk options. The screen I'm getting is not prompting for a disk as the research I did showed it would. The CD drive light flashes, but the FDD does not. I've tried creating both Floppy and CD boot disks with no luck.

Did you create a bootable floppy with the Gigabyte BIOS on it and if so, how? I ask because after WinXP creates a boot disk, there is not enough space for the 1Mb F7 BIOS.
Related resources
November 25, 2006 3:18:49 AM

Quote:
I've tried a number of boot disk options. The screen I'm getting is not prompting for a disk as the research I did showed it would. The CD drive light flashes, but the FDD does not. I've tried creating both Floppy and CD boot disks with no luck.

Did you create a bootable floppy with the Gigabyte BIOS on it and if so, how? I ask because after WinXP creates a boot disk, there is not enough space for the 1Mb F7 BIOS.


My situation was with another "Award" BIOS motherboard, but it's the same principle. When the computer is in this state and it's powered on, it should be looking for a floppy to boot from. I went to www.bootdisk.com to create a minimal boot floppy which I copied the DOS flash utility "flash895.exe," the DS3 BIOS file "965pds3.f7," and a "autoexec.bat" file containing "flash895 965pds3.f7." These files are unzipped when you run the downloaded BIOS file. I then proceeded with the computer reboot and it started to reprogram my BIOS. Of course I didn't see anything, but I made sure there was no more floppy activity before I restarted the computer.

This site also has info on making a bootable CDROM. If you can get those files onto the disk then that might work. But since the BIOS is corrupt it doesn't know what a CDROM is. It knows what a floppy is though, since it's legacy. Try checking your cable and floppy again. I'm surprised you even have some sort of video output.

Hope this helps
November 25, 2006 2:49:26 PM

I created a number of different bootdisks on both Floppy and CD. Only the lights on the CD drive turned on but I never heard the motors rev up. I've tested my FDD in another computer and used a number of different hookup configurations. Thanks for your help, I think I'm up to my neck in it.

Unless anyone else has any idea, I think it's time to turn to Gigabyte and an RMA.
November 25, 2006 10:00:01 PM

I have the same problem I think.

I tried loading 2 floppys, one with a flash utility that loads a hidden auto exec, and i included the flash 7 software....

The other i just loaded the stuff from f7 unzipped.

I was wondering what you are refering to as a minimal boot floppy. Which one is this? what files does it consist of?

My light isn;t even going on on the floppy so maybe it needs other files.

The only thing im missing i think is htis minimal boot floppy, ive put the 3 gigabyte files on... if it asks to overwrite the autoexec should i?
November 26, 2006 4:58:36 AM

Quote:
I have the same problem I think.

I tried loading 2 floppys, one with a flash utility that loads a hidden auto exec, and i included the flash 7 software....

The other i just loaded the stuff from f7 unzipped.

I was wondering what you are refering to as a minimal boot floppy. Which one is this? what files does it consist of?

My light isn;t even going on on the floppy so maybe it needs other files.

The only thing im missing i think is htis minimal boot floppy, ive put the 3 gigabyte files on... if it asks to overwrite the autoexec should i?


You want a "bootable" DOS disk with just the bare essentials. Your disk should just contain:

IBMBIO.DOS << Hidden file, starts up DOS
IBMDOS.COM << Hidden, starts up DOS
COMMAND.COM
AUTOEXEC.BAT << contains instructions to run flash program
FLASH895.EXE
965PDS3.F7 << BIOS file

All these files will total about 1.34 megs and will fit. Download "drdflash.exe" from bootdisk.com and run it. It will create the DOS "boot" disk for you. Once it's done copy over your created autoexec.bat, flash895.exe and 965pds3.f7 to that floppy. And yes, copy over the existing autoexec.bat. I'm not sure why your floppy is not be working, though. Good luck.
November 26, 2006 4:50:45 PM

I dont think my floppy is working because i never had it turned on originally. I think if i did have it turned on as one of the primary boot paths it may work now, but since it was not set to check it I dont think its giong to work now. I tried putting the stuff on an iso cd but that didn't work either.

Thank you for your help though. Its to bad the bios chip is embedded on the motherboard, otherwise i could hot boot it on another motherboard.
November 27, 2006 2:59:03 AM

Quote:
I dont think my floppy is working because i never had it turned on originally. I think if i did have it turned on as one of the primary boot paths it may work now, but since it was not set to check it I dont think its giong to work now. I tried putting the stuff on an iso cd but that didn't work either.

Thank you for your help though. Its to bad the bios chip is embedded on the motherboard, otherwise i could hot boot it on another motherboard.


Forgot something very important, my bad. The autoexec.bat on the floppy needs to look like this:

flash895 965pds3.f7 /auto /r

The /auto is for automatic (no prompt) install and the /r is to reboot the system. It takes about 3-4 minuntes and you might not see anything.

Were you able to make the floppy? The CDROM will not work. It will only read from the floppy. It also doesn't matter if you did not have it in the boot order. Remember, your BIOS is junk at this stage. The boot block's job is to only get its intructions from the floppy. Give it another try, otherwise an RMA would work too.
November 27, 2006 10:16:31 PM

Here's the response I got back from Gigabyte which points my situation to RMA:

Quote:
Hi,

Please remove the battery from the motheboard for several minutes then reinsert it back into the board. If it still prompts you with the same message then your BIOS is corrupted and you will need to send in the board for bios reprogramming by contacting our rma deparment via email ( rmausa@gigabyte-usa.com ) or online rma request

http://rma.gigabyte-usa.com

Thank you
November 28, 2006 3:34:46 AM

Quote:
Here's the response I got back from Gigabyte which points my situation to RMA:

Hi,

Please remove the battery from the motheboard for several minutes then reinsert it back into the board. If it still prompts you with the same message then your BIOS is corrupted and you will need to send in the board for bios reprogramming by contacting our rma deparment via email ( rmausa@gigabyte-usa.com ) or online rma request

http://rma.gigabyte-usa.com

Thank you


Removing the battery isn't going to do anything except to clear the CMOS. The BIOS has to be rewritten.

Anyways, I emailed the image to you (Grant). Give it a try again. If it doens't work, then it sounds like Gigabyte will repair your motherboard.
Let me know if you want it too, pdelre. I'd like to know, before you guys RMA it. :p  Good Luck!
November 28, 2006 10:51:05 AM

Ya, I liked their response. Especially when they told me to clear the CMOS which I mentioned in the problem I already attempted that in the way they described.

I'm confident that I had the right boot disk at the end. The floppy drive light just never turned on to attempt to read anything. I've gotten my RMA from the retailer and sent it off.
November 28, 2006 4:37:45 PM

Sounds good. Grant is going to try it again. We'll see how it turns out.
July 2, 2007 8:35:38 AM

Hi,

I stumble on this thread looking to solve a probem simalar to what you were prescribing for on this old post.

My problem l;ooks like this. I'd love not to go thru a lenghty RMA. In short Ive done all the regular stuff and it really points to the bios.

Last nite my Gigabyte GA 965p DS3/e6300@ 3.4ghz went black. No smoke/funny smells, pops, nothing, just “blink” nothing on the screen. Weird in that, the system was still whirring away. Whole setup is only about 5 months old, running on an improvised test bed, light use, only really stressed awhile ago for O.C.ing and some video stuff.


OBSERVATIONS:

1) Fans on the board (noisy as ever) still fire up, drives spins up to.

2) The NB gets warm (usual state)

3) Graphics card, overclocked (but seldom under load) is warm…usual.

4) At time of crash cpu (e6300 @ 3.4 Ghz) was running at about 37c… just running word and a browser.

5) Rig had been crappng out intermittently for the last few days, sometimes requiring more than one cold boot to get started again (not the first time).

6) Can not log on to it from network, it just doesn’t show up.

7) Computer will start from keyboard with just the password programmed into bios (setup)

8) The display show nothing and does appear to be receiving as signal (usually displays a little blinking “digital” logo between the time the rig fires up until post screen appears. Also swapped out the monitor…Nada.

9) have unplugged and re-plugged in all peripheral multiple times

10) Tried running it on one stick of memory at a time.

11) Swapping monitors does nothing


CONCLUSIONS, By observation number (above):

1) (fans etc.) Rules out problems with bulk of PSU. At least some circuitry on board is working.

2) (NB) Would seem to indicate circuitry for NB (and I assume the same as the cpu) is powered up and doing something…not a PSU core circuitry lead problem.

3) (GPU) At a minimum its power up, but probably not receiving any signal to process and put out.

4) (Temp.)No weird smell, didn’t’ overheat and burn. Throughout its buggyness nothing been more than luke warm to “pretty” warm to touch)

5) (intermittent crapping) Seems to suggest a loose or bad connection, but pulled and re-plugged in everything, given all a good jiggle to. Corrosion unlikely in that here in So. Cal we’ve had the driest year on record.

6) Problem is not the monitor, the thing is not posting or booting in any hidden way. Dead CPU !!?, Dead mobo !!?

7) Bios is not corrupted, doesn’t jive with the intermittent crap outs anyways. But…

8) Monitor, blank: swapped it out, not getting any signal at all (but the cards warm)

9) Bad connections unlikely the problem.

10) Memory, not likely the prob, miracle for both sticks to die simultaneously

11) Monitor swap, Again not likely the problem, both monitors work on other systems.



So, It start up from the keyboard, everything gets to normal warmth, fans whire away, but Nothing on the screen & no access through the network. What dead and why? Mobo or CPU?

Have also sreset the BIOS and checked the battery voltage (O.K.) NOthing changed.

Hope your syill around!

Croak
July 2, 2007 5:15:41 PM

Well, it seems no one on this thread topic has been able to recover the BIOS (if thats the problem). Your BIOS can get corrupted from overclocking just like the hard drive, but I'm not sure the BIOS is your problem. I haven't been on my GA-965P-DS3 for a long while, but I'll look for the floppy image if you want.
July 3, 2007 5:54:35 AM

You say no one here was able to rejuvinate there bios eh. I have to admit I glossed over the posts and just noted a back and forth regarding a prescription...didn' pay attention to weather it worked or not.

If you think its futile, don't wory about trying to dig up the image, however if not...

You mentioned you weren't so sure about the bios being at fault, what would point you in another direction or what do you think it might be?

One reply I got on another forum was from a guy with the exact same sympton on the same ds3 board, same rev.(3.3) RMA'd it, they replaced the bios and sent it back. Everythings jiffy now.

THanks for your reply

Croak
!