My dad has an emachine with and intel D945GCL motherboard. Would it be safe to flash the oem bios with the bios from the intel website? Does anyone know if that bios would give me more control over the memory speeds and maybe some overclocking?
Why not try? The risk involved? The OEM version says it will support 4gig RAM, yet the emachines says only 2 gig. Is that just what emachine is advertising? Will 4 gigs work without flashing to the OEM bios? Thanks for any advise.
For your emachine, try using cpuid and get a board model number and google it. The 2gb rule may be per slot. Flashing the bios won't help; I've never seen a bios flash that changed the memory capacity.
A non-working board that cannot be recovered without reprogramming or replacing the BIOS chip? The boards used by Gateway (and thus eMachines) may or may not be identical to Intel's own-branded OEM/bulk boards. Have you checked Gateway's website for a newer BIOS? Gateway sometimes posts BIOS updates that eMachines does not. Same company, same boards, same BIOS.
The OEM version says it will support 4gig RAM, yet the emachines says only 2 gig. Is that just what emachine is advertising? Will 4 gigs work without flashing to the OEM bios? Thanks for any advise.
Its very possible that 4GB will work fine, eMachines may be advertising 2GB merely because it hadn't tested 4GB prior to launch.
If you are sure the Intel board is identical to the eMachines, you can use the recovery jumper and Intel recovery BIOS download. This will force the flash utility to program the BIOS without checking the BIOS ID. Download the User Guide for the Intel motherboard whose BIOS you intend to use, and follow the instructions for BIOS recovery procedure.
One caveat: even if the BIOS is completely compatible, you will wipe-out the OEM BIOS activation used by eMachines/Gateway. After the update, Windows will become de-activated. You will need to change the "generic" product key currently installed to the product key located on your COA label, then call MS to activate Windows.
Lastly, the Intel 945G chipset is hard-limited to 4GB total address space and does not support memory remapping. Meaning, you will have the old 32-bit limitation with 4GB RAM, which cannot be solved using 64-bit OS since its an actual limit of the chipset.