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If you trashed your computer's bios,
we are THE RESOURCE you need!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Billing/Warranty/Order/Phone # FAQ's

Q. Why is there no 800 number or any phone number for tech support?

A. We do not provide phone support. This type of support is quite expensive and is not effective. It may be comforting and easy to just make a phone call, but spoken language is too inaccurate to properly communicate the motherboard model and web site links we need to help you. A single letter difference in a motherboard model or file name will spell the difference between success and failure. Our E-Mail support is very fast and accurate. We answer all E-Mails within 24 hours.


Q. How much is this going to cost?

A. See our "How Much" page.


Q. I E-Mailed you for support 2 days ago and have not gotten a reply. Why is that?

A. You did not provide us with a working e-mail address. You would be amazed at how many people have bad return addresses. When we reply to those addresses they are returned and we have no way to reach you.


Q. I have no credit card. Can you take a check or money order?

A. No, we only accept credit cards as payment.


Q. What is your refund policy?

A. No refunds are given once the ordered has been shipped. We will take responsibilities for any mistakes we make. We expect you to do the same. We will work with you and provide support for getting things to work, and even provide a free reflash (you just pay return shipping), but do not guarantee results.


Q. I ordered a bios chip and it didn't work. What can I do?

A. Most of the time the failure is caused by ordering the wrong file, or failing to follow the directions we list on our web page. If you ordered the wrong file for your motherboard you need to contact us and we will work with you to locate the correct one. You can then return the chip with a copy of the E-Mail authorizing the return, and we will fix it. You will only be charged for return shipping.

If you destroyed you chip by improper installation we will replace the chip for $10+ return shipping. Again, you need to contact us in advance and get authorization.

If the mistake is ours we will correct it at no cost to you.


Q. I am thinking of sending my chip in to be reprogrammed. What happens if the chip is dead when it gets there?

A. Check with us in advance to be sure we can supply a replacement chip for you. In the event your chip is dead when it arrives, we will provide you with a replacement chip for $10. Once we attempt to flash your chip we can only return the shipping charge, not the programming fee if you choose to not buy a new chip.


Q. I ordered a chip a week ago and I don't have it yet. Where is it?

A. We ship by Priority Mail in the USA. Global Priority Mail is used worldwide, except in the European Union, where the normal postal system is used for packages shipped from Holland. This service does not provide a way to track packages. Normal delivery time is 3-5 days. For international orders your wonderful Custom's Agents may take an interest in your package and decide to keep it, or just sit on it for a few weeks. They may then demand some sort of tax in exchange for letting you have your package. This is often the case with Canada.

In other cases, the problem is that you did not provide a correct delivery address. Be sure you provided us with a mail drop for Postal deliveries, not UPS. We only ship via Mail.

We have had a number of problems with packages going missing in most of South and Central America, especially Mexico and Brazil. New Zealand also has a high loss rate.

We will replace a lost package after 3 weeks once the correct delivery address is confirmed. If it goes missing a second time we can not ship a third time.


Q I ordered the wrong part by mistake. I wanted a 32 pin DIP but ordered a 32 pin PLCC by mistake. I guess I should have reviewed my order more carefully. What do I do now?

A. Contact us, let us know the situation. We will give you authorization to return the chip. You will be charged $9.00 for return shipping.


Q. I got a new chip from you and it isn't working. Now what?

A. Check the label that was on the chip to be sure this is the file you expected.

Discharge the CMOS! Sometimes all you need to do is clear the CMOS and then go into SETUP and set things back they way they should be. You clear the CMOS by using the appropriate jumper or shorting points on the motherboard. This is usually called CL CMOS or CLRTC. The jumper is used with power removed or the shorting points are shorted with a wired or screwdriver. If you can't find either of these then remove power, remove the CMOS battery. Short the terminals that the battery plugs into on the motherboard, and replace the battery. Failure to do this before you power up may require the chip to be reprogrammed all over again.

Many Upgrades will require the use of a "smart fan" plugged into the right header on the motherboard. Modern CPU's can overheat and burn out in under 5 seconds. To protect them they put protection into the bios requiring you to have the fan spinning at 2000RPM in under 5 seconds or the board will power down. If you power up the board and it turns back off after about 5 seconds, suspect this problem.

Double check that you ordered the correct file for your motherboard. If you were unsure of the file you needed or were not sure of the motherboard you had when you ordered the chip you need to contact us so we can help you. This really needs to be done before you order.

Some of the legs may not have gotten in the socket. This is quite hard to see, so check carefully.

You may have placed the chip in the socket backwards. The chip will have gotten VERY hot and label will be discolored if this is the case. You will need a new chip. We will reprogram another chip for you at no cost, but you will have to purchase a replacement chip and pay for shipping. You need to contact us for authorization.


Technical FAQ's

Q. You say to discharge the CMOS. Is it really needed and how do I do it?

A. This is important! Failure to clear the CMOS can corrupt the bios chip and cause the computer to fail to boot or hang while booting and may require the chip to be reprogrammed all over again.

You clear the CMOS by using the appropriate jumper or shorting points on the motherboard. This is usually called CLR CMOS, CMOS DISCHARGE or CLRTC. The jumper is used with power removed. If you have shorting points you must also remove the CMOS battery. The shorting points are shorted with a wired or screwdriver. If you can't find either of these then remove power, remove the CMOS battery. Short the terminals that the battery plugs into on the motherboard, and replace the battery. When you boot up you will normally get an error message about battery failure or CMOS checksum error. Enter SETUP and configure your drives and anything else that the default values are not good for, then save the settings are exit.


Q. What went wrong?

A. Lots of things go wrong with bios upgrades:

1. The exact right file must be used. Most often the wrong file was used for the upgrade. Being off by a single revision is often enough to kill the board. If the flash seemed to go perfectly but try as you might the board remains dead, suspect having used the wrong file.

2. Sometimes all you need to do is clear the CMOS and then go into SETUP and set things back they way they should be. You clear the CMOS by using the appropriate jumper or shorting points on the motherboard. This is usually called CL CMOS or CLRTC. The jumper is used with power removed or the shorting points are shorted with a wired or screwdriver. If you can't find either of these then remove power, remove the CMOS battery. Short the terminals that the battery plugs into on the motherboard, and replace the battery.

3. Many Upgrades will require the use of a "smart fan" plugged into the right header on the motherboard. Modern CPU's can overheat and burn out in under 5 seconds. To protect them they put protection into the bios requiring you to have the fan spinning at 2000RPM in under 5 seconds or the board will power down. If you power up the board and it turns back off after about 5 seconds, suspect this problem.

4. You flashed in a Window or over the internet. This is computer Russian Roulette. It is only safe to flash from a bootable floppy with no drivers, autoexec.bat, and no config.sys. Even this is not risk free. You should ALWAYS save the old file to floppy.

5. You have a defective chip. You can just about bet on it if you peel back the sticker on your chip and find it is made by MX or ASD or marked with an H.T and then a string of numbers. Only about 1 out of 10 of these chips will take a reflash due to their poor quality. It is the failure of this chip that likely caused your flash to fail, unless you know you used the wrong file. If the flash utility properly detected your BIOS chip and gave you a verification error or a write error part way through it is very likely your chip is bad. If your flash utility can not identify the chip, suspect the chip is bad. If your flash went normally, gave no errors, but your machine no longer works, suspect a wrong or corrupted file.

6. Your flash utility is too old or too new for your board. New chips and chipsets are added all the time to flash utilities. They are also removed. You may need and older or a newer flash utility than the one you have.


Q. I flashed with the wrong file. Is there any way to recover?

A. If your floppy drive seeks on power up and then stops after a short period of time, you may have a chance to recover. The following information was obtained from Wim's Bios http://www.wimsbios.com/ FAQ's.  Corrections on AWARD Bios by Terry McGuire.

Award: The boot-block BIOS will execute an AUTOEXEC.BAT file on a bootable diskette. Copy an Award flasher & the correct BIOS *.bin file on the floppy and execute it automatically by putting AWDFLASH *.bin /sn /py /cc /r  in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file.  The * would be the correct bios .bin file and there must be spaces between the slash marks.  Put it in the floppy and turn on the computer when the floppy seeks it will load the correct bios and reboot by itself.  When it finishes you have to remove the floppy and enter the cmos SETUP and modify the CMOS for your configuration.

AMI: The AMI boot-block BIOS will look for a AMIBOOT.ROM file on a diskette. Copy and rename the correct BIOS file on the floppy and power up the PC. The floppy doesn't need to be bootable. You will see the PC read the floppy, after about 4 minutes you will hear 4 beeps, this means the transfer is done.

Kill Power to the PC. Clear the CMOS or RTC. Reboot the PC and modify the CMOS for your configuration.


Q. I have a PHOENIX bios and the PHLASH.EXE gives me no option to save the old file. What can I do?

A. The latest AMI and AWARD flash utilities can usually be used to make a backup of your old file. These utilities are available for download from any major motherboard site. If this does not work there is a great program called UNIFLASH available at http://www.uniflash.org/ that can also be used to save the file. DO NOT attempt to use any of these to actually flash your chip, the PHLASH.EXE program must be used for that.

E-Mail me a copy of the file along with the information from the chip (peel up the bios sticker to read them) and what board this came off of and I will tell you if the file was properly captured. There is no charge for this service. If something goes wrong this will enable us to get you working again.


Q. How do I know what type of BIOS chip I have?

A. See http://www.badflash.com/findbios.htm.


Q. You ask me for a bios file. Where do I find that?

A. Once you know what make & model of motherboard you have, you go to http://www.wimsbios.com/ and click on BIOS UPGRADES. You will then find links to most of the known motherboard makers.


Q. I don't know who makes my motherboard and what model it is. What can I do?

A. Look carefully at your board. You may have to remove the cards, or remove the board. Most boards are marked with a Maker, Model, and version or revision. If you see no makers name, you probably have a PCCHIPS motherboard. You should go to http://www.stud.fernuni-hagen.de/q3998142/pcchips/pccjs.html to look up your board if that is the case. Once you know who makes the board, most motherboard site will tell you how to figure out the revision or version. This may be printed in one corner of the board, or on the outboard ISA slot. You should also read over http://www.badflash.com/biosdownload.html.


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AMI, AWARD, PHOENIX, IBM, HP, Gateway, Compaq, Aopen are trademarks of their respective companies and are not associated with Badflash.com in anyway. Badflash.com does not sell bios files. We only sell a bios programming service. Your right to backup or recover your bios file is protected by US Copyright law.