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Rant: BIOS update procedure fail

Posted by Daniel Hölbling on March 7, 2009

Upon helping a friend of mine assembling a new kick-ass gaming PC. Once the whole system was put together he called me the next day stating that the system feels incredibly slow and crashes whenever he starts up a 3d game.

I rushed to help and after some tinkering we found out that the CPU (a Core 2 E8500 2x3.16 Ghz) was operating at almost 80°C. By contrast, my Core2 E6600 (2x2,4) reaches 36°C under full load.
So, since the CPU cooler was spinning, I am quite convinced that it has something to do with a faulty mainboard or (rather unlikely) a faulty CPU.
My initial thought was to try updating the BIOS in case the problem may go away.

So I went to the ASUS download site, selected the appropriate mainboard model (P5Q) and downloaded a zip file containing the newest BIOS. Now imagine my excitement when I was presented with a .ROM file inside that zip. Pretty cool huh?
So I went on to download the Afudos BIOS update tool V2.36 that should install the .ROM bios. 
Started it: sorry doesn’t work on Windows. (WTF?)

So, following the instructions provided by ASUS I’m supposed to:

Please insert a clean, unformatted disk into A:\ drive and boot the system into DOS mode. In DOS mode, please type in C:\> FORMAT A: /S or click on“My Computer”icon under Windows O/S, right click on drive A:\ and choose“Format”. By using the procedure above, you can create a boot disk without AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files.

Drive A:\ ? DOS? Autoexec.bat? Config.sys?

ASUS: Are you out of your mind?

When I needed to flash my Dell XPS M1330 Bios with a new version, I didn’t even have to leave my browser to do so. Some weird ActiveX thingy just started and updated my BIOS revision while I was casually checking my email. And ASUS is really telling me this is the way to go if I want to update my brand new socket 775 P45?
C’mon, that’s so 1994 – not even funny any more.

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