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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently tried to fix an old laptop (Toshiba) and to do so, I needed to do a BIOS upgrade. I downloaded the new BIOS flash files on another laptop, my new laptop (Acer Aspire 7520G with Vista Home Premium, 32-bit). The problem started when I tried to burn the files to a cd to transfer them to the Toshiba. When I clicked “Burn to CD” in Vista, it executed the files instead of copying them on my Acer. No idea why. And contrary to normal procedures, it didn’t even ask me for confirmation or nothing.

Symptoms:
All of a sudden the screen went slowly black and the laptop seemed to enter sleep mode. Silly me switched the computer off and back on again, breaking the BIOS flash cycle I guess…

When trying to start the laptop again, it beeped a few times (I didn’t pay attention to the number of beeps, as I had never heard of beep codes at that time, I am guessing 4 or 5), the power led was on, the dvd drive whirred as if starting and I heard the hard disk and fan kick in for about 10-15 seconds. In the meantime, the screen stayed absolutely black. Not a hint of light, no BIOS, no POST, nothing.

After several attempts, it stays the same apart from the beeps, which now won’t occur anymore:

-power led on
-dvd drive whirs
-hdd and fan works for 10-15 seconds
- screen stays black
- no BIOS, nor POST

Things I have tried:
Formatting usb pen drive with fat16 and copying correct Flash files onto it and trying to start laptop with that. Same effect.

Tried hard reset with battery removed, power button pressed and held, power lead removed, then reconnected etc. Same effect.

Looked for battery on motherboard to clear CMOS, but battery is soldered on.
Looked for jumper, of course no jumper on laptop. Found J1 jumper connection underneath RAM lid, shorted it for 15 seconds then tried again, same effect. It wouldn’t, I guess if the BIOS was wiped off.

Windows cd in dvd drive during boot. DVD drive whirs a bit longer and sometimes the “NumLock” light comes on. Apart from that, Same effect.

Tried Knoppix 6.4.3 cd, Same effect.

Tried Rescue disk, Same effect.

Took the whole laptop apart, trying laptop motherboard without dvd drive, no hard disk, no memory, no battery. Same effect.

Tried attaching other external monitor, Same effect.

Tried sending it to Acer repair center (out of warranty). I had to pay 70 euro (USD 95, £60) for pickup and delivery + diagnostic. They told me it needs new motherboard. Which costs another 320 euro (USD 435, £270). I declined it - of course - and they returned the laptop.

Now, I think it is obvious that I killed the BIOS chip. That does not mean that the whole motherboard is fried right? I don’t think there is anything wrong with all the other things such as hdd, memory etc, cause they were working fine until I badly flashed the BIOS by accident.

MY QUESTION:
In theory, if sent the motherboard and BIOS flash files to this guy in Holland (his site: Flashbios Developments) and have him remove the soldered on BIOS chip, then solder a newly flashed BIOS chip back on with the correct BIOS for 65 euro (USD 90, £ 55), it should work like normal again, correct? Or do I really need a new motherboard, which would mean I would trash the Acer and buy a Packard Bell EasyNote LM86 for 565 euro (USD 770, £ 475 ) with core i3, 4GB ram, etc?
 

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Re: Dead BIOS, replace BIOS chip or new motherboard?

Having the Bios chip replace "should" bring it back to life. Does FlashBios Developments offer any kind of guarantee?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Re: Dead BIOS, replace BIOS chip or new motherboard?

They do not guarantee that the motherboard willwork of course, but they do guarantee that the new bios chip will be correctly flashed. They test it after flashing to check if it works before they send it back
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Dead BIOS, replace BIOS chip or new motherboard?

Does anyone think I should buy a usb floppy drive and try to do a bios flash with a bootable floppy disk and bios file (Phoenix Crisis Recovery), or would this be a total watse of money and time at this stage? Should I just send it to the guy in Holland for a reprogramming job instead? I would love to hear your opinions...
 
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