BIOS upgrade recommended?

  Heckmotor 13:30 24 May 2005

For much of the life of our nethighstreet desktop (over three years?), it has been prone to occasional crashes, even though it continues to work well for the rest of the time as a business machine that's quite intensively used.

Until recently the gist of the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis reports was 'you've recovered from a serious error, and it's anyone's guess what the problem was', but lately the report is headed 'Crash cause unknown: consider BIOS upgrade'. It goes on to say that '...the BIOS version on this computer does not match the specifications for the processor that is installed...' even though we've never modded the machine.

The MoBo's a Biostar P4TDG with a 2GHz Pentium 4, and 248MB RAM. Everything I read in the 40 previous postings on the subject seems designed to strike fear into the heart of anyone thinking of an upgrade, so what should I do?

  Completealias 16:07 24 May 2005

Ok looking on the Biostar website click here I can't find a listing for that motherboard so have you got the code correct?

Is your CPU correctly identified when the computer boots up? If it is then I would say that the BIOS is fine and your fault may lie elsewhere

The reason why there are alot of warnings when upgrading your BIOS is because if it goes wrong then you can end up with a completely unbootable computer.

  Taw® 18:41 24 May 2005

I had a problem with my pc long back when it kept crashing. After following great advice from pca forum members with no luck my last option wasa BIOS upgrade. AS i had never done one before and like yourself teh postings on this issue scared the life out of me, however it was a toss up between a pc that was crashing tha much it was almost useless, or having a go with the upgrade, either way I was in a dillema. I made sure I identified my mobo correctly, went to the manufacturers website and downloaded the upgrade, and all relevany help information for carrying it out correctly. I studied the info carefully and then proceeded with the upgrade, needles to say it all went well and the machine has run better than it ever did even when new.

I believe that everyone will advise against it, unless all other avenues have been exhausted, and then ensure you know what you are doing.
Good uck and dont forget to post back whatever you do

  Heckmotor 18:52 24 May 2005

Appreciate that, Taw. Must say that the Biostar site does seem to have quite logical looking page-by page instructions, even though it counsels an upgrade only if absolutely necessary. Completealias asks if I've got the MoBo code wrong, but I've taken it straight off the cover of the user's handbook that's in front of me right now, and the CPU spec off the pc's control panel. I'll certainly report back - this forum is a brilliant resource and deserves proper feedback, but it may be a few days before I pluck up the courage to go ahead with the upgrade!

  torver 18:58 24 May 2005

Have you tried a memory test program as a faulty memory chip i.e. the ram module can often cause crashes.
try this one they can take some time but are useful click here

  Heckmotor 19:28 24 May 2005

That looks a tad daunting to me Torver! I'll have to study the site more thoroughly later - I'm not working on the affected desktop at the moment.

  dan11 19:55 24 May 2005

Info on bios upgrades from biostar for the P4TDG
click here

CPU support also looks good. You can also get the manual and drivers from the same page.

  Heckmotor 20:26 24 May 2005

Thanks dan11 - nice to see some proof that my MoBo does actually exist! Because I'm just a user rather than a techie, I've now got some more questions, though!

I notice that all those drivers have quite recent dates - would I be wise to download and install all of them, particularly as the MS Crash Analysis reports used to suggest unspecified driver problems before they recently started flagging the BIOS issue? Is upgrading the drivers an easy, wizard-guided process?

Sorry to sound helpless, but I don't have a deep knowledge of the implications of these issues you can probably tell!

  Tubster 20:27 24 May 2005

For drivers just follow the accompanying notes, the general rule of thumb is to uninstall the old ones before re-installing the new.

  dan11 22:03 24 May 2005

Hi Heckmotor

Sorry, daughters maths homework. Hope I don't get detention AGAIN this

Glad the link has been of some use. I have had a quick look at the driver updates. They seem to be self extracting files.

If it was me, I would download each driver to the desktop and set each one going separately. If it finds the driver is newer, it should overwrite the older file. If it needs to delete the older drivers, it will tell you so and should give you any instructions you need.

So yes, it may be a good idea to download the drivers and give it a try. You will still have the option of a bios upgrade, if things do not improve.

Best of luck.

  Heckmotor 08:02 25 May 2005

Thanks again, dan11. I've got the basis for a plan now, I think ...drivers first, and then consider a BIOS upgrade as successfully carried out by Taw.

The only other issue that I'm having is a dialogue box that advises some sort of problem involving Win32, generic hosting, and the need to close down, which precedes an orderly but unplanned shutdown of the machine. I suspect that might be unrelated to the crashes, and have more to do with the synching software that we use for backing up onto a miniature portable HDD, and synchronising our data with a (brilliant and thoroughly recommended) Dell Latitude X300 laptop (with vast memory!). We sometimes get a message about a 'generic hosting' issue preventing disconnection of USB devices like a 2Gb flash drive, and have to shut down first, but this is probably all a fresh topic.

I'll leave this thread open for a bit, just in case anyone has any more thoughts, but I'm grateful for everyone's contributions.

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