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Need help with BIOS flashing

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May 31, 2012 12:13:06 AM

Hi all!

Please forgive my "newb-ness", but I'm in the process of building my first rig and I've run into a snag. First, my specs:

==============================
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K @ 3.40 GHz
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
MOBO: Gigabyte Intel Z77 (GA-Z77X-UD5H)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB
PSU: Corsair Enthusiast Series TX850
Optial: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD Burner
Case: Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel
Montior: ASUS ML228H
OS: Windows 7 Professional (64 bit)
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Now, in first putting it together, I had no problems installing Windows 7. After installing all drivers and updates and in the spirit of being thorough, I used Gigabyte's @BIOS utility to flash to the newest bios version (F7) from the factory default (F4). Bad idea! :pt1cable:  Almost immediately, the OS went wonky. This is probably where my inexperience really hit hard. I thought maybe OS files corrupted somehow, so I just needed to reinstall the OS. No luck.

Currently, I can't even install Windows 7 on the hard disk. I can get to "Unpacking Windows files..." when the installation freezes and (eventually) the system reboots on its own.

I'm at the end of my obviously feeble skills, and I humbly ask: "what the heck did I do?!!?"

Thank you all, in advance!

More about : bios flashing

a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 12:54:09 AM

It sounds like an ahci/ide mode problem.

In the BIOS, go to where the hard drive transfer mode is selected (either AHCI or IDE) and make sure that IDE is selected.

If that doesn't work, report back.
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May 31, 2012 1:33:52 AM

abekl said:
It sounds like an ahci/ide mode problem.

In the BIOS, go to where the hard drive transfer mode is selected (either AHCI or IDE) and make sure that IDE is selected.

If that doesn't work, report back.


Thanks for the quick response, abekl. I forgot my mobo has dual BIOS, and I was able to boot from my backup BIOS (still at version F4). The Windows 7 installation is going fine, now. I'm somewhat confused as to why version F4 would work while the newer version F7 would cause such problems, but I'll leave it at being happy that I at least have a system that runs.

In the interest of my education, what's the difference between AHCI and IDE and why would that be causing trouble?
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a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 1:59:40 AM

AHCI and IDE are different interfaces that use different algorithms for reading and writing to storage devices. IDE support has been build in to windows since win95, but AHCI support didn't appear in windows until Win7 SP1.

Basically, if your BIOS is set to AHCI, then it is expecting the OS to use that interface to read/write to storage. But the OS has to support it also by way of a driver.
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May 31, 2012 2:09:26 AM

abekl said:
AHCI and IDE are different interfaces that use different algorithms for reading and writing to storage devices. IDE support has been build in to windows since win95, but AHCI support didn't appear in windows until Win7 SP1.

Basically, if your BIOS is set to AHCI, then it is expecting the OS to use that interface to read/write to storage. But the OS has to support it also by way of a driver.


Your description makes complete sense, thanks! But if I'm installing Win7, why would I need IDE?
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a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 2:19:07 AM

Becasue your installing win7 Pre SP1.
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May 31, 2012 2:27:42 AM

abekl said:
Becasue your installing win7 Pre SP1.


Oh man, I feel like a doofus for not realizing that! More curious, though, is why don't I need to change any settings for version F4 of the BIOS while I may have to for version F7?
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a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 2:31:35 AM

Ahhh. Here's where I'm guessing.

When you flashed to f7, your bios settings got scrambled, and you didn't reset them to optimized defaults. So the next time you booted, the scrambled setting for ahci/ide (which is IDE by default) defaulted to AHCI, and hence, the problem. When you flshed back to f4, the settings must hve taken properly (IDE) and no problems.
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a c 462 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 4:07:29 AM

to flash a mb right you have to to f5 next then f6 and f7 then f7a. dont do in windows use the flash tool built into the mb bios. all you need to do is put the flashs file on a usb stick.
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a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 4:43:04 AM

smorizio said:
to flash a mb right you have to to f5 next then f6 and f7 then f7a. dont do in windows use the flash tool built into the mb bios. all you need to do is put the flashs file on a usb stick.

That's incorrect. You can go straight to the latest version. There's no need to flash the intermediate versions. Don't spread misinformation.
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May 31, 2012 11:22:59 AM

abekl said:
Ahhh. Here's where I'm guessing.

When you flashed to f7, your bios settings got scrambled, and you didn't reset them to optimized defaults. So the next time you booted, the scrambled setting for ahci/ide (which is IDE by default) defaulted to AHCI, and hence, the problem. When you flshed back to f4, the settings must hve taken properly (IDE) and no problems.


So it's been pure dumb luck, eh? :kaola:  That doesn't surprise me in the least. Needless to say, I'm a little wary of trying to flash up to F7 again, but I think I'm going to try what you suggest smorizio (using qFlash at the BIOS rather than in Windows) but jump directly to F7. Everything I find supports abekl's response that I can go straight there without intermediate versions, as long as it isn't going from, say, version 1 to version 12. I'll make sure the correct BIOS settings are in place, and hopefully that'll do the trick!

Thank you both for your help!
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a c 125 V Motherboard
May 31, 2012 11:25:36 AM

Yep. Just make sure, after flashing the latest BIOS that you load Optimized defaults and reboot before doing anything else.
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!