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Beginners Guide: Flashing a Video Card BIOS

Beginners Guide: Flashing a Video Card BIOS - PCSTATS
Abstract: While not something for the novice to undertake, flashing your video card BIOS may lead to performance and feature enhancements.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Aug 24 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Troubleshooting Section - What If Something Went Wrong?

You made your backup right? Good. If you saw an error message during the video card BIOS flashing process, the worst thing you can do is restart your system, so DO NOT RESTART the computer. If incorrect or corrupted information has been written over your video card's BIOS, you will likely get garbled video, no picture at all, or even a dead card for your troubles. Instead, reflash the card right away with the backup you made.

Assuming you called the backup 'backup.rom' type this from the 'A:\' prompt:

'nvflash -p -u -f backup.rom' for Nvidia video cards using NVFLASH or

'flashrom -p 0 backup.rom' for ATI video cards using FLASHROM.

And press ENTER.

Your old BIOS information will be reprogrammed onto the card, and hopefully will put everything right. If you see no errors during this process, restart and hunt for a different BIOS file to try.

If for some reason you restarted the system after an error, or you lost video for some other reason, you can still salvage things, but it's going to take a little hardware. You will need a PCI video card installed in your system before you can attempt the rescue. Note that if you are using an Nvidia AGP card, trying to use an Nvidia PCI card to repair it may cause problems with NVFLASH. It's better to use a different brand of PCI card for this operation.

Once you have a PCI video card installed alongside your ailing AGP card, plug the monitor into the PCI card and boot the system with your BIOS flash disk. From the 'A:\' prompt, type the following:

'nvflash -p -u -f backup.rom' for Nvidia video cards using NVFLASH or

'flashrom -p 0 backup.rom' for ATI video cards using FLASHROM

Then, press ENTER. If the flash goes correctly, you can shut down the system, remove the PCI card and replug your AGP video. It should be back to normal.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the PCSTATS Forums. Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest hardware reviews right here.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guide: Flashing a Video Card BIOS
 Pg 2.  The procedures for Flashing an ATI BIOS
 Pg 3.  The procedures for Flashing an nVidia BIOS
 Pg 4.  — Troubleshooting Section - What If Something Went Wrong?

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