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Asus A7V BIOS Modification

Robert Richmond

Modification Procedure

Traditionally the BIOS update procedure can be managed directly from Windows with the utilization of Asus's LiveUpdate utility. However, this application will not properly flash the A7V133 BIOS to any other board due to a file checksum inspection process. This solution is Asus's older MS-DOS based AFLASH command line utility, as this application simply overwrites the BIOS EEPROM without the need for additional motherboard identification routines. To begin the process, it is imperative that one has the latest software versions available from Asus.

Index

Introduction

Performance Aspects

Modification Procedure


 

   

Required Downloads
Asus AFLASH v1.32
Asus A7V133 BIOS 1003

   
After downloading each file to a temporary directory (make sure to unzip the BIOS file), a boot disk will be required for booting the system to native DOS mode. More information about boot disk creation and potentially useful boot disk utilities can be found at BootDisk.com . Reboot the system to native DOS, change to the temporary directory created during the download, and execute AFLASH. Here is a short command script using C:\bios as an example directory:

A:\>c:
C:\>cd bios
C:\bios>aflash.exe


AFLASH offers a simple menu driven interface with onscreen instructions. The BIOS flash section will need to be selected and the proper BIOS file name entered. Assuming the earlier recommended v1003 is being utilized, the filename will be "1003.bin" (without the quotation marks). Follow the onscreen instructions, and within a couple of minutes a prompt asking to reboot will be displayed. Reboot the system and then hold the delete key to enter to the BIOS configuration menu. Reset any changes required for the particular system. Save the changes and exit the BIOS configuration. Now the system will reboot, and hopefully Windows will load just as before.

Due to the nature of the different BIOS, the first time Windows reloads it may re-install certain motherboard level devices. Upon reaching a successful boot, it is recommended to reinstall the latest VIA chipset drivers, available from our friends at
VIAHardware.com .

Assuming an issue does arise during the BIOS installation process, a great resource for system BIOS recovery can be found at
Wim's BIOS page. I have performed this A7V BIOS modification process with no issues, but not everyone's particular revision system may respond the same to this process.

As usual, the standard disclaimer applies: Neither myself, Romulus 2 nor anyone else for that matter can be held responsible for damages incurred through the usage of the information and procedures presented in this article.

Final Thoughts

While the concept of modifying the Asus A7V to with an A7V133 BIOS may be untraditional, the performance gains presented here clearly represent the possibilities for enhancing system performance. Memory benchmarks yielded an averaged 6% performance increase with no overclocking or other outside chipset tweaking. This level of performance gain can be closely associated with about the same potential as adding another 50 MHz to the processor's core operating speed. Another beneficial aspect of this process is possibly extended overclocking capabilities. The review system utilized for this review was able to be successfully run at 117 MHz front side bus with no stability issues. In contrast, the same board has proven to be limited to 110 MHz FSB in previous testing scenarios. Better performance, enhanced bus stability, and just the overall "coolness" factor of modifying a motherboard with an unsupported BIOS lends to this process being a must try tweak for all hardcore A7V users.

To discuss this article in further detail, be sure to visit the Romulus 2
Forums .
February 2001
   

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