Standard Motherboards
For Pentium® Pro Processors
For Pentium® Processors
OEM Only Products

General Instructions: BIOS Upgrades

Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 1996


Motherboards manufactured by Intel incorporate the system BIOS in a Flash memory component. Flash BIOS allows easy upgrades without the need to replace an EPROM component.

The upgrade utility fits on a floppy diskette and provides the capability to save, verify, and update the system BIOS. The upgrade utility also provides the capability to install alternate languages for BIOS messages and the SETUP utility. The upgrade utility can be run from a hard drive or a network drive, but no memory managers can be installed during upgrades.

BIOS Upgrade Files Via FTP
The BIOS files for standard Intel motherboards are available at:

BIOS Upgrade Files Via the Intel BBS
Upgrade BIOS files for standard Intel products also are available on the Intel BBS located in the US at 503-264-7999 or in the UK at +44(0)1793-432955.

Instructions for downloading a BIOS upgrade file from the BBS: Please have the following information available prior to dialing the BBS:

  1. Motherboard Serial Number (found on a bar-coded label on the motherboard)
  2. Place of Purchase
  3. Brand of the System
  4. The version identification of your current BIOS (watch your monitor when you first turn on the system. The BIOS version is displayed at the start of the boot process and appears in a form similar to 1.00.05.CV2).
Steps for Downloading
  • Follow the on-screen instructions for logging into the BBS
  • At the 'System Selector' menu, enter [2] for Intel Application Support
  • Press [Enter] after reading and understanding the introduction screens until you get to the 'Main Menu'
  • Enter [S]ystem BIOS at the main menu.
  • Enter [Y]es to signify that you have read and agree to the terms of the software license
  • Enter your address information in the areas on the screen
  • You will be asked for the board serial number, brand, vendor and the last two letters of the BIOS version at the 'User Validation' menu. For example, if your BIOS version is 1.00.05.CV2, you would enter [CV] as the two letters. It is important that the upgrade BIOS you download have the same two-letter code as your current BIOS.
  • Make a choice from the list of BIOS files on the screen, which includes the current BIOS file and some previous revisions
  • Select the download protocol supported by your communications software. At this point, you may need to set up your software to handle the download.

BIOS Upgrade Instructions

Create a Boot Floppy(use a DOS system to create the bootable floppy)

  • Place an unformatted floppy diskette in the floppy drive and format the floppy using the /S option.
    Example: format a: /s
  • Alternatively, place a formatted floppy in the floppy drive and use the "sys" command.
    Example: sys a:

Before Upgrading to the Latest BIOS

  • Enter "Setup" by pressing the [F1] key during boot and write down all of your current CMOS settings. You will need to reset these settings after you have upgraded to the latest BIOS.
Creating the BIOS Upgrade Floppy Diskette
  • Download the correct BIOS file from the BBS or via FTP.
  • Follow the instructions (above) for creating a bootable floppy to create a bootable floppy diskette.
  • The file you downloaded will be a self-extracting compressed archive that includes other files that need to be extracted. Put the file in a temporary directory, then from within this directory, type the file name of the downloaded BIOS and hit [Enter]. This will cause the file to self-extract.
    Example: 10005CV2.EXE [ENTER]
  • If the extracted files contain files named LICENSE.TXT and BIOS.EXE, please read the software license covering the BIOS file. Then extract the contents of the BIOS.EXE file to the bootable floppy you created above.
    Use this DOS command: BIOS A:
  • If the extracted files do not contain the file named BIOS.EXE, you must extract the original file you downloaded to the bootable floppy in Drive A.
    Use this DOS command: [filename] A:
    Example: If the BIOS filename is 10005CV2.EXE, you would type: 10005CV2 A: [ENTER]
Upgrading the System BIOS
  • Place the bootable floppy containing the BIOS into Drive A: of the system that you want to upgrade and boot the system while the floppy diskette is in the drive.
  • Press [ENTER] to go to the Main Menu.
  • Select the option that reads "Update Flash Memory From a File".
  • Select the option that reads "Update System BIOS".
  • At the screen that asks you to enter the path and name of the file, press [ENTER], press [TAB] and press [ENTER].
  • Once the BIOS has been successfully loaded, remove the floppy diskette from the drive and reboot the system.
Resetting CMOS After Upgrade
  • As the system reboots, watch the BIOS identifier to make sure the new BIOS version was properly installed.
  • During boot, press the [F1] key to enter the Setup Utility.
  • Return the CMOS settings to the factory defaults by pressing the [F5] key.
  • Go through each screen of options and return the CMOS settings to the values that you wrote down prior to upgrading the BIOS.
  • Press [F10] to save the settings, then press [ENTER] to accept the changes.
  • Turn the Machine OFF and reboot

BIOS Recovery

Note: Not all standard Intel products support the Flash BIOS recovery feature. If your motherboard (for example, the Advanced/AS) does not have the recovery feature, ensure that you do not power down your system during a BIOS upgrade. This could corrupt the BIOS code. If your BIOS is left in an unusable and unrecoverable state, it will be necessary to contact the place of purchase.

In the unlikely event that a FLASH upgrade is interrupted catastrophically, it is possible the BIOS may be left in an unusable state. Recovering from this condition requires the following steps (be sure a power supply and speaker have been attached to the board, and a floppy drive is connected as drive A):

  1. Change Flash Recovery jumper to the recovery mode position (see note above; not all products have this feature)
  2. Install the bootable upgrade diskette into drive A:
  3. Reboot the system.
  4. Because of the small amount of code available in the non-erasable boot block area, no video is available to direct the procedure. The procedure can be monitored by listening to the speaker and looking at the floppy drive LED. When the system beeps and the floppy drive LED is lit, the system is copying the recovery code into the FLASH device. As soon as the drive LED goes off, the recovery is complete.
  5. Turn the system off
  6. Change the Flash Recovery jumper back to the default position.
  7. Leave the upgrade floppy in drive A: and turn the system on.
  8. Continue with the original upgrade.
Jumper locations can be found in the Technical Product Specification or on the "jumpers" page for each individual product.

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