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  1. #1
    Jen C
    Guest

    Default Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Hi all

    I have a friends computer here running WinXP home which is suffering from constant system freezes due to what appears a ACPI reading of an illegal IO port addresses. Information from MS Knowledge Base suggests a BIOS update is required.

    Now, this should be fairly straight forward, just visit the mobo manufacturer's site and get the latest BIOS update, but .... I cannot pinpoint down the exact mobo model.

    This PC is a remanufactured PC Company 950 Mhz Duron. The mobo manual supplied with the PC is for a Chaintech CT-7AIV5/7AIV5E board. This manual states the chipset is a VIA KM133 VT8365 or VT8365A + VT82C686B. Now Aida32 tells me this board is actually a VIA KT133 VT8363 Apollo chipset and the mobo is a Chaintech 7AIA board. I have examined the board itself and cannot find a model number printed anywhere on it. Does Aida32 (and Everest) mis-identify mobo's?

    The current BIOS ID string is 08/13/2001-8363-686-IA6LMC0DC-00 - Award Modular v6.00PG.

    Because this system is a remanufactured PC, I am concerned that the mobo manual might not be for this mobo, so does anyone have any suggestions of what else I can try to confirm this mobo's model number so that I can find the right BIOS update?

    Thanks
    Jen

  2. #2
    Murray P
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Hi Jen

    I guess you've looked in the usual place between the PCI slots for a model number.

    did you use the Award BIOS Agent to get the string, etc? There is a DOS floppy version if you're having trouble booting windows.

    Cheers Murray P

  3. #3
    bmason
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Grab the manuals for all of the possible boards and compare the layout of slots. And position & numbering of jumpers etc. If the north/south bridge doesn't have a heatsink you will be able to get the model number too.

    Hopefully you will be able to at least eliminate some of them.


    BTW, if its an ACPI problem there may be an option to disable it in the BIOS. It was very buggy in many of the early chips.

  4. #4
    Murray P
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Old Chaintech Website wit lots of pretty pictures but perhaps not your board.

    Cheers Murray P

  5. #5
    Jen C
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Thanks guys

    Murray>
    I got the BIOS ID string during bootup after POST (just hit the pause key to enable me to copy it down), Aida and that program you provided a link to both report the same string as well.

    Brett>
    I have been grabbing the manuals for both options of mobo, but lucky me, the boards appear identical visually.

    I did consider disabling the ACPI in the BIOS, but have read that this may render the PC unbootable (which is only one step down from its current instability).

    UPDATE: Well I was just looking in the BIOS now, I decided to try and disable the ACPI ... and it didn't boot after that

    So, this leads me to think Aida32 is mis-identifying the mobo name and chipset and I do have the correct manual for the board. But I am going to go over the mobo with a fine tooth comb and match sure the jumpers etc match the manual.

    Thanks for the advice so far.

  6. #6
    merlin-nz
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Hi Jen,

    I find Cpuz is the best.

    Aida 32 and Everest have both given me false info in the past.

    cheers merlin-nz ;-)

  7. #7
    Jen C
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Really big *sigh*

    Well, this board appears to be an unknown hybrid :_|

    This board has a south bridge with VIA VT82C686B on it. It has 1xAGP, 3xPCI and 1xISA slot. None of the chaintech models appear to have this combination! The manual I have here for the CT-7AIV5/7AIV5E doesn't even list/show a ISA slot (but looks indentical otherwise)!

    Using Merlin's cpuinfo tool, it has the motherboard manufacturer as THEPCCOMPANY, a model number of 8363-868 (this matches the BIOS ID string), a chipset of KT133 Rev81 and a southbridge of VT82C686B.

    So I have a board which does not match the manual it came with, and does not appear to be one of Chaintechs boards (the expansion slot combo I have), so that puts my BIOS flashing plan up the creek now.

    Hmmm ... this system really needs this problem fixed as it is near impossible to use with the frequent system freezes.

    /me stuck ... any further suggestions?

  8. #8
    tech_meister
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Hi Jen

    The Pc company, I'm pretty sure use there own OEM bios and is tied into
    the OS, so would be risky to use Chaintech's bios.
    If the PC has the OS it came with the problem is unlikely to be fixed
    with a bios update. Check the settings in the bios ACPI must be
    enabled for XP to work and also make sure ACPI aware setting is enabled also.
    The north bridge chip can be identified by the fact that the Via KM133 has
    onboard video and the KT133 does not.
    There is a 7AIV5 m/b on Chaintechs website,
    I would not get to hung up on the different expansion slots as OEM's often customize these things.(likely to be the E version) cheap!
    If all else fails try there bios, the OS installed may not like it though.
    Don't you just love OEM's!! :x

  9. #9
    Jen C
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    Hi tech_meister,

    I do remember now some comments about the PC Co using a OEM BIOS and how if you upgrade the BIOS the Recovery Disc would no longer work. The BIOS settings are set to ACPI enabled and ACPI suspend type S1 (POS), which are the defaults.

    The strange thing is, that this PC worked fine for the first year of its life and only now has these freezes. On every bootup the Event log shows 4 ACPI errors, which can lead to system instability. I have checked out every other cause of system freezes, including running memtest86 and nothing has come up.

    I am not willing to flash the BIOS if it results in the OS carking it. Do I tell them now that they should get a new mobo with a stock BIOS and then buy a full version of WinXP seeing their PC Co Recovery disk is now no good? Don't think they are going to like this news ...

  10. #10
    tweak\'e
    Guest

    Default Re: Identifying mobo for BIOS update

    > Do I tell them now that they should get a new mobo with a stock BIOS and then buy a full version of WinXP seeing their PC Co Recovery disk is now no good? Don't think they are going to like this news ..

    sory jen .....but thats what they get for buying a supermarket pc. mind you i have bought a new mobo and a copy of XP cheaper than a replacement motherboard for a brandname pc.

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