> I'm trying to install a second (new) SATA WD 160gb HDD to the SATA 2
> connector on my Biostar P4VTG V7.8 socket 478 mobo and find that Windows XP
> reboots during it's startup (doesn't get to desktop). If new HDD is hot
> plugged during normal Windows operation, it freezes so no chance to view in
> Disk Management. My existing 2 yr old SATA Maxtor 160gb works fine on the
> SATA 1 connector but an unusual clicking noise is heard sometimes so think
> it is on it's way out.
> After reading Biostar's FAQ, I'd like to update the Bios as a possible cure.
> Utility is Phoenix Award Bios V6.00PG, VTG 0806BF.
> First a puzzling query: Is there a reason there is no listing in the CMOS
> Utility for my SATA HDD? I only see 4 IDE drives listed, the A, B and the
> floppy. Yet when scanning drives after the bios loads DOS correctly shows
> 'Serial CH0 Master' as my Maxtor HDD.
> Here's where I'm at on updating the bios:
> I've used Winflash to save my existing Bios file to a floppy. I have
> downloaded and run the Upbios Utility setup.exe for my board
> http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en-us/...s.php?S_ID=257 and unzipping
> results in the Tseries Update folder. Included is the file bios.exe 1,257kb
> file version 0.9.0.3. Thinking that running it will request to save it to
> floppy, when I try to run the bios.exe in Windows it errors "not
> responding", but I suspect I'm not suppose to run it here).
> In order to now update the bios do I save the bios.exe in the Update folder
> to floppy and run it in the Bios Update part of the Setup Flash Utility? I'm
> a bit hesitant as this may not be the correct exe file and I don't want to
> corrupt my bios and cause boot problem. I posted this question to the
> Biostar Support 3 days ago but no reply.
> Any suggestions?
I found BIOS update files here, each of which is 262144 bytes (i.e. a 256KB BIOS chip).
You might check your archived BIOS image, and see if it is the same size. ftp://ftp.biostar-usa.com/bios/P4VTG%20v7.x
For each BIOS file, I used my hex editor, to search for the module that supports
the VT8237 SATA ports. The version for all the BIOS files is the same. Based
on this information, I would not expect a BIOS update to fix the problem.
The Upbios package appears to be a Windows flashing tool. There is a main
code module, and then a separate module for Award or AMI that would be
called after the motherboard BIOS type was determined. Since the Upbios
doesn't appear to have an actual BIOS file in it, it probably goes to the
FTP or HTTP site to find a file to download. The program could be hanging
due to a networking problem, or it could be that the software used to probe
the motherboard is failing (Windows security feature or antivirus
software). I'm not going to run the program here, because it'll bomb when
it sees a non-Biostar motherboard. The interface might look like this,
based on some of the icons in the installed program folder. http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en-us/.../biospage.html
SATA drives connected to a VIA chipset, if they are SATA II, should have
the "force" jumper installed on the back of the drive. VT8237 might
have a problem if the drive supports SATA II, which is what the
"force 150" jumper fixes.
SATA drives are not hot plug capable with just any driver running. At
least recently, hot plug support seems to exist with AHCI drivers,
and RAID drivers seem to be in the same class. But as far as I know,
a default Microsoft driver doesn't support hot plug.
Have you considered it could be the SATA port itself, or the
cable used, which is the problem ? For example, you could continue
to use one drive, as a test case, and move the single SATA drive
to the other port, then boot into Windows. Does Windows restart ?
Next test case, would be to use the cable that connects to the
new disk drive. If that cable is used with the single working
drive test case, does Windows reboot when that cable is being
I did find an Award flasher here. This would likely be a MSDOS
floppy based flash tool. But whether it would work, or brick your
board, is unclear. In the old days, the suggestion would be to use
a BIOS Savior (duplicate flash chip), as that allows "safe" flashing.
If you brick the board by flashing it, you could be looking at a trip
to the badflash.com web site, and ordering a replacement flash chip
from them. The program has a list of command line options, which would
probably show up on the MSDOS screen if you tried AWDFL882 \? at the
AwardBIOS Flash Utility V8.82
In DOS (and with the file extension of the BIOS file changed to .bin),
the command syntax might look like this. You should look at what \?
returns, for more details on what each option does. Or do some
googling on awdflash command line options. This might be an example
of something to type in DOS, after booting a MSDOS boot floppy with
the AWDFL882.exe and Vtg1119.bin files added.
AWDFL882 Vtg1119.bin /py/sn/wb
py: Program Flash Memory
sn: No Original BIOS Backup
Wb: Always Programming BootBlock (this is the one that increases
the risk of bricking - a bootblock
allows recovery from a bad flash,
in theory, but only if the bootblock
is not erased)
Your board has a VIA chipset. The Southbridge is listed as VT8237CD.
In some ways, the storage interfaces are split into two categories.
The two IDE ribbon cable interfaces (up to four disks) are considered
part of the chipset (which is why they appear in the disk setup parts
of the BIOS screens). The two SATA ports are treated as an "add-on"
hardware device, as if the two SATA ports were on a VT6420 RAID
controller chip. The above named ROM code module, provides INT 0x13
services for the two SATA ports, and handles the SATA disks either as
a RAID array, or, without RAID metadata on them, the disks would be
handled like ordinary SATA disks. (At least we hope so. There have
been some SATA RAID interfaces in the past, that only work in RAID mode.
But you know that isn't true in your case, because your single drive
There may be some messages when POST is running, saying something
about "disks... detected", but there may not be an interface
that tells you a lot about the hardware in the BIOS setup. On some
motherboards, pressing <tab> in the BIOS, will bring up the VIA RAID
setup screen (part of the RAID ROM code), but there would be nothing
in that interface that is relevant to solving your problem. (Maybe
you could look at the drive status screen, but converting your drives
to a RAID array would be a bad thing to do at this point.)
Anyway, try a few more tests first, before going for the flash update.