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[SOLVED] ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe does not post after failed BIOS upgrade

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe does not post after failed BIOS upgrade within the Motherboards, Bios|UEFI & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi ! I’m having problems with my ASUS MB M2N-SLI Deluxe that I had for 4-5 years working well but


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Old 06-16-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
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Hi !

I’m having problems with my ASUS MB M2N-SLI Deluxe that I had for 4-5 years working well but after some Windows SW issue decided to re-install OS and clean up computer. Though after initial success with Windows/computer re-install and clean up, machine worked great. Though had two blue screens during OS installation that made me a bit concerned?? So I decide to also upgrade MB BIOS (stupid…) as to make sure everything was tip top. That made things to go seriously downhill (Probably user error on my side) and now looks like I have dead MB and a nice book-stop.
So looking for advice on how to restore the MB

I have the following Equipment/setup
• MB: ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe Rev. 1.02G
• CPU : 2.70 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core
• Original BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD ASUS M2N-SLI DELUXE ACPI BIOS, rev 1102
• RAM: 4 GB (2 x 2 GB , each a Crucial Ballistix 240-pin DIMM, DDR2 PC2-6400 memory module
• Display Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT
• SDD (60 GB) Crucial as (C:)
• HDD (2 x 320 GB in RAID-1=> 298 GB Mirrored as (D:), 2 Maxtor Diamond Max 21, STM3320620AS
• Windows Vista Home Premium SP2 (fresh install)


This is what I did to cause the problem
• Installed a new Crucial 64 GB SDD to use as Program Drive

• Re-configured my stripped (RAID-0) HDD (2 x 320) as a Mirrored Local Drive (using MB Nvidia nForce 570 SLI MCP on MB), so resulted in a 298 GB RAID-1 drive

• Re-installed New fresh Window Vista + SP2

• Installed Basic Application SW (MS office 2003, Microsoft Essential, Java, , KeePass, Dropbox, ….). Took a System Back & and created restore point

• Decided to upgrade BIOS ….. (First Big Mistake)
o Installed ASUS Update Utility from MB System Disk
o Attempted to fetch BIOS using ASUS Update Utility,
this failed could not connect to Servers
o Decided to upgrade ASUS Update Utility to latest version from asus.com, Still could not connect and fetch New BIOS
o Fetched BIOS manually online from ASUS.com Website (BIOS rev. 1804)
o Ran ASUS Update Utility (windows BIOS update) that seem to work ok, however at completion of upgrade complained that file/upgrade was not successful/completed, that something was corrupt
o Decide to leave it alone and already then cursed myself that I was stupid enough to have tried it (Why ???, if it ain’t broke don’t mess with it …)

• Continued to load Application SW

• Though now after first shutdown/restart system could not find any OS to load!!!
o Repeated numerous time with same result every time
o Tried to run Windows Repair, however this failed.
o Suspected the failed/incomplete BIOS Upgrade being the source of this problem

• Read up on the BIOS in MB manual and found out that there is the ASUS EZ Flash 2 Utility can be initiated from BIOS during startup/POST

• Decided to use this to try to fix BIOS problem
o As BIOS 1804 did not seem to work for me, made second (bigger) mistake, as decided to take a different version of BIOS
o Downloaded BIOS Rev. 5001 from asus.com and put on a Floppy Disk and ran ASUS EZ Flash 2 Utility. That seem to have worked (don’t recall any error codes)

• However after this machine is dead, as I try to restart/power up
o I can hear fans and disk drives make some initial attempts, however does not seem run POST (no sound indications, display is dead…)
o Only way to get out of this is to Power off.
o When power on same thing occurs
o …..


What I have tried to do to fix problem, to get MB back into operation
• Tried to use the AWARDBIOS Flash utility
o Collected new BIOS re-named BIOS 1102.bin as m2nsli.bin and put on boot disk (tried both floppy & CD) with awdflash.exe as per instructions.
o Supposedly you trigger this BIOS load in DOS mode.
However how do I boot a MS Vista system in DOS mode??
Also even if possible to Boot in DOS mode, it does not seem to get past any BIOS activities, as does not succeed to run POST ??
o So gave up on that..

• Also tried the ASUS CrashFree BIOS 3 Utility,
o With this one you turn on system and load MB support CD, no success
o Can also use USB with BIOS file on it, have not tried this yet, but not sure I had USB as bootable option so not sure that would do any difference

• Chased threads for similar issue on support pages, forum and support groups to see if I could finds some help
o Found that clearing CMOS RAM (Clear RTC RAM, CLRTC) could maybe do the trick. Did that and no difference….
o Saw suggestion to power up without any other equipment connected, to see if I can get POST to execute….may be next step

What else can I do? Any good suggestions to resolve?

Hate to toss MB away, think it still has some life in it…..
Also irritates me that if I can’t use the MB not only do I have to buy a new MB and CPU, I also have to buy a new OS. As I can re-install my current OS on old machine/MB, but pretty sure I can not migrate to a new one so also means more money out the door .
Also engineer in me want to solve the problem….

Input/ideas welcome
Thanks in advance
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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If a Bios flash does not complete or goes wrong, it commonly bricks the Bios chip making the Mobo useless.
PC BIOS reprogramming, replacement, recovery
Bios updates are rarely required and should only be done if/when the Bios update directly addresses the problem(s) you are experiencing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BoInMcK View Post
(Why ???, if it ain’t broke don’t mess with it …)


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Old 06-17-2013, 10:09 AM   #3
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ASUS has a program where you can send the mobo back to them and they'll rechip it for you. They also sell BIOS chips singly. Here's the link: BIOS Chips from ASUS

I did not drill down to see if your mobo has a replacement chip available. I'll leave that to you.

BTY, you presented one of the most clear and concise descriptions of your problem and attempted fixes I've seen here on the forum in a long time. Thank you for that.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure that particular Mobo uses a soldered chip.
BadFlash would most likely be the cheaper alternative but you can price through Asus to be certain.



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Old 06-17-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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Learned that the hard way now :(
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #6
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Yes Bios is soldered :(, will see if I can figure something out
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:00 PM   #7
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I fully expected the flash to be soldered, and having replaced those flash chips myself, I don't find it that difficult. But...I have the equipment.

In addition, I was able to find a part number on the flash chips that I could cross to a readily available generic chip and find it at several electronic parts distributors. I think you mentioned that you're an engineer. It shouldn't be that hard for you to find the resources and equipment to do the work.
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Old 06-18-2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim !
Talked to ASUS, not much they could do if no POST.
I tried to reset CMOS RAM again CLRTC and removed all peripherals, MB + CPU only, no beeps, MB+CPU+1 RAM no Beeps, So looks like it is fried.. :(

So seem only remaining option to save is to replace BIOS physically, seem I can get a BIOS & Chip fairly cheap $10-15, however challenge is to replace the surface mounted soldered BIOS...

Pretty handy, but not feeling to comfortable with that one...
Though not much more I can loose on this one...

Any suggestion on how to do that ?
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #9
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Sure. I have a set of dental picks and a tiny soldering iron. Then I have a pro soldering station with many sizes, wattages, and styles of tips. What I do is preheat the area with a heat gun. Then I melt (with the soldering station iron) an easy to get at corner pin for the device and when the solder on the pad/pin is melted pry up the pin. Then work all around the chip doing the same thing.

Sometimes I cut the chips legs off very close to the body to make it easier (very carefully with a very sharp and small pair of cutters so as not to lift or destroy the pad on the PCB). After all, the old chip is no longer usable, no need to try to save it.

After the chips off, I clean the solder pads with solder wick. Then with tweezers or surgical clamps holding the new chip I place pin one down on its pad and solder it in place with the mini soldering iron. Then adjust it so it's in the correct position. The leads can take a little bending. Then solder all the other pads, sometimes switching to my bigger soldering iron, holding each pin down with a dental pick.

BTY, you need to know the orientation of pin one on the chip and where it goes on the PCB first so make note of any odd shaped pad (usually square while all the others are oval or longer then the others) or a marking on the PCB, like an arrow. And the chip will have some way to tell too. Like an indent or a white dot or arrow.

Yeah, I didn't think that the BIOS chip would be very expensive. It probably cost the mobo manufacturer $0.15 since they buy them in quantity. $15 sounds about right though from the manufacturer at retail.

But you know, if you don't feel up to changing it, once you've identified the chip and have the details, take it to an electronics shop if you must and let them change it. Or even a local tech school. Class project or something.

Now, if the chip is a ball grid array, land grid array, or some other esoteric device that requires hot air to replace it, that's a whole different kettle of fish. Let me know and I'll give you some guidelines.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:22 AM   #10
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Replacing a soldered Bios chip is not a task for the novice and I would be more than hesitant to even suggest it.
Bad Flash or a trusted local PC shop would be my recommendation.



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Old 06-19-2013, 11:12 AM   #11
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True, it's not for the novice. But...how does a novice become skilled? By doing it. The best reason for doing it is that it provides the opportunity to buy new equipment and tools! Next best reason is the experience it provides. Third reason is the satisfaction of fixing it yourself. Fourth is that you can save some money. And so on...

Really depends on whether the OP is willing to scrap the board if it doesn't work later and buy a replacement. Sort of like trying to decide whether to rebuild your own engine or buy a used one from the junk yard. Then dropping the crank shaft and bending it after you've decided to rebuild it yourself. Decision is made, it's back to the junk yard for a used but working engine.

Amazon has a used ASUS M2N-SLI Deluxe for $200. eBay has them for $33 to $100. That's the entire mobo. The chip itself is here: BIOS chip. For around $15.

Now that I see the chip, I can see that it's one that would need a hot air station to remove. Or a special All-in-one PLCC solder tip ($70). Though with the proper skill, and a nice sharp pair of cutters, not that hard to remove with traditional soldering equipment. Really depends on how populated the circuit board is in that area when it's time to solder in the new one.

But of course this is all academic, it's really the OPs call.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #12
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Spending money on equipment, to do a job that requires technical skill to do, doesn't seem to me to be a viable option when the chip can be replaced by BadFlash or possibly a PC shop for a fraction of the cost of the required tools that will probably never be used again.
From 35 yrs. turning wrenches, I have a drawer full of very expensive special tools that I was required to purchase to do one repair.

Experience by learning can be a good thing if it is actually a useful experience but I seriously doubt the OP will be changing a lot of Bios chips.
And, as noted, it's the OP's decision.



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Old 06-19-2013, 06:24 PM   #13
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Thanks Jim & Tyree for all the advice.
Not sure I need any new tools that I probably will never use again.
Also now from own experience soldering small things that it is not always successful first time... So not sure.

Think I will try to see if I can find someone locally here in McKinney Tx that has the skills and can do it for me.
Otherwise looks like I have to go shopping .. :)
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #14
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Didn't say you needed new tools, just that this was the opportunity to get some.

Anywho, shouldn't be too hard to find a qualified tech to do the job. Have fun!

BTW, the question for the shop or tech would be: "Can you remove and replace a PLCC chip?" And/or: "Do you have the equipment to R&R a PLCC chip on a motherboard?"
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