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Can the BIOS chip literall be fried?

Naujoks

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I'm trying to track down a problem with an ASUS A8N motherboard, which I got back from someone I sold it to on eBay. It was working in my PC, but the guy who bought it said it isn't working.
Just before I rip everything out of my PC just to put this board in in order to see what (if) is anything wrong with it, I inspected it visually and saw the (removable) BIOS chip looks somewhat charred on top, and also has a black pen marking on it. There's not way of me telling how it looked before, but it's the only odd thing I can see.

My question is if the guy could have literally fried the BIOS chip with something he's done.

Thanks for your help/ideas!
 

Naujoks

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It's the Asus A8N-SLI.

I guess will have to go through the hassle, rip my board out, put the other one in, rip it out, put mine in.... *sigh*
 

Dan515

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I don't know if that motherboard has a socketed BIOS but they might have taken their fried one and swapped it for your good one.
 

Naujoks

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Righto, it's taken me a while to get back to this.
I put everything together. When switching on the PC, all fans are spinning as normal, disks starting up, but no picture at all.
I can't say anything about system beeps, as this case doesn't have an internal speaker.
One thing I noticed, the south bridge chip cooler seemed to be very (too?) hot.

This motherboard does have a socketed BIOS, but I guess to get a new BIOS chip I would have to spend about £20, for which amount I could get a new (second hand) motherboard. I'ver never taken the BIOS chip out. How does it work? Do I just remove the actual black chip, or does that brown frame come off as well? When I wiggled it a little bit, both seemed to be possible.

One thing's for sure though: the guy I sold the board to said it didn't do anything when he switched it on. He must have done something wrong, as clearly the board has more life in it than he wanted me to make believe.

If anyone has any other ideas I could try, I'd be grateful.
 

dagger

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It's basically impossible to fry the bios without frying the chipsets, blow some caps...etc. It takes more power to fry the bios than other components.

The guy could've switched it from another board though.

And you just take out the black chip. The socket is soldered onto the motherboard and cannot be removed.
 

Naujoks

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I see I can order a replacement BIOS chip for £11.25. I wonder if it's worth it though. I also wonder if I damaged the BIOS socket myself, because it did come up a bit when I pulled it a bit. Pressed it back in place, but who knows...
The A8N is a good board though, although it can be moody with accepting certain memory modules. I tried it out today with 3 different sticks though, so I imagine at least one of them should have worked...
 
You need a special tool to remove the bios chip without damaging the socket. It looks like a thin staple remover with 2 bent tangs on the end to engage the bios chip on 2 corners. You insert the "puller" in each corner and sqeeze until the bios chip pops out of the socket. I found this tool at a computer store for $5.
 

Naujoks

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Owww I'm worried now I damaged the socket! It did lift off a little, without using any force, really... I wonder if pushing it down put everything back in it's place again.
 

dagger

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Maybe the guy who swapped you the bad chip damaged it. :na:

And as long as you tell them the right motherboard model number, they'll send the right bios. Version is usually the latest.
 

rasco_matt

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The socket shouldn't move even if you aren't using the correct tool.... you should be able to remove the bios chip by levering it out with a flat head screw driver.... if your careful you shouldn't do any damage. If the socket is moving it may suggest that there is more damage than just a fried bios chip.

Also the bios chip replacement that you can get....will it come already flash with the correct bios version for your motherboard ...? If it doesn't and you don't have some way of flashing it, you may be no better of.


 

Naujoks

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Yes, I will be able to get the right BIOS version.
I'd like to salvage the board if at all possible, but to buy a chip for £11.25 and to find out that it still doesn't work when a working second hand board costs £20 seems to be a bit of a risk.
 

rasco_matt

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Yes, I will be able to get the right BIOS version.
great...i wasn't sure where you were getting the bios chip from.

When the socket moves, do the pins that are soldered to the board move as well..and also, if you can get the bios chip out you may be able to see if there is any damage to the connecting pins on the inside of the socket..... there may be a few pins shorting out....which may have caused the problem..
 

Naujoks

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I'll have another look tomorrow. So far I hadn't taken the chip out completely yet, but I'll do that and report back.
Thanks for the input so far, guys!
 

rasco_matt

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Thanks for the input so far, guys!
No probs..http://img.tomshardware.com/forum/uk/icones/message/icon7.gif

I guess that the best thing here would be that the chip was damaged in another board and all that is wrong with this one is a damaged socket.... otherwise it makes you wounder what else could have be damaged.

take it slow when removing the chip without the correct tool.. especially if the socket is already damaged. don't try and lever it all the way out from the same corner...carefully alternate between corners.
 

Naujoks

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Bad news then:
Upon further inspections several pins were bent, one was sqashed underneath the socket. Despite trying to be very careful, the attempt to lift on of them resultet in it breaking off.

I imagine it takes someone really clever to repair the damage, so I probably have to consider the board as toast. Ah well.
 

rasco_matt

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Oh…not good news.

It’s hard to make any recommendations as to what you should do especially considering it is unknown what happened to the board while it was in the eBay buyer’s possession.

Assuming that he has returned your board and not a different one, then all that could be wrong with it is a screwed bios and a damaged socket.

He may have purchased your board with the intention of swapping over the bios, in the process he damaged the socket on your board. If this is the case then all that is needed is a replacement bios and socket. Provided that this is all that is wrong with the board then it would be worth fixing, that’s if you could do it yourself. "a bit tricky if your soldering skills aren't up to scratch"

Like you stated earlier, paying someone to fix it is not an option as it would be cheaper to simply buy another board.

It's your call.....hope it works out.
 

arttss

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I have similar question relating asus p5p800 se. After hard burning of psu the mb doesnt boot, no post. After renewing the electric supply to processor on mb VRM by master (it has helped yet once several years ago) the mb remained not bootable as before. "No codes" on post card. Last chance it seems for me to reprogram bios chip (cmos reset without results). But as it was written here - to fry bios chip it needs to destroy chipset so is my idea not feasable? Could it happened that big voltage burned chipsets (as it fused tvs 12 v on hd)? Moreover bios winbond chip is on the far edge from cpu and far from cmos battery that seems strange. Indeed it is probably fine it could be taken easy by some clippeps? So should it need the bios chip reflash or to try to check north bridge functionality?
 

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