Updating BIOS MSI P45 NEO2 Motherboard

After many crashes, broken transfers, lost data I got jack of this machine taking a dump on me. In a nut shell, and saving 3 pages of the the process and pain to get there a single BIOS update has sorted out all the issues…

Typically I found the box was almost guaranteed to crash if I was copying data from one harddrive to an external one or a network drive, this developed into sporadic crashes whilst using fairly memory and cpu intensive programs, ie CAD software and sometimes CSS. I put up with this for quite sometime, thinking that it was possibly those dodgy 7200.11 Seagate harddrives, however after flashing the harddrive firmware, which by the way is a first for me and also a very deep breath…and… replacing the hardrive (after it got full) I thought, well hangon, it probrably ain’t the HDD *click*.

So, when i say crashed, took a dump etc, basically I got nothing, nada, nuttin, not even a BSOD! that would have been welcome?! Since things seemed to get a bit worse over time, I thought, why not take this opportunity to updagre to the next M$ version, that so happened to be Win 7. Maybe that will solve my problems. Well after installing windows 7 only to find it crashed with ever so much more with consistent frequency i was ready to smack something. BUT, it did give me some tasty BSOD’s. Some research later and some very wild and varied BSOD’s, for example,

PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONE_PAGED_AREA

BAD_POOL_HEADER

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

MEMORY_MANAGEMENT

I began to head towards the idea that my RAM was bad, but handon, didn’t i Memtest that yonks ago to rule that out? Now I was trully stumped, so off to buy some more tasty RAM, fyi i got some of that OCZ DDR2 800/1067 stuff that was pretty cheap and had a lifetime warrnaty. Swapped over the RAm thinking great…time to stop these crashes…..blam..crashed just after I thought that..expletives later…i calmed down and thought very seriously about buying a new mobo.

Well, as a last resort lets update the BIOS, maybe there is a new version out, low and behold, I was running V3.0 and the later version was 3.4

3.2 Update Date 2008-09-02
Description – Update CPU Micro Code.
– Improved memory compatibility.

3.3 Update Date 2008-11-20
Description – Update CPU Micro Code.
– Support L2 function.
– Support 1000GB HDD.
– Improved memory compatibility

3.4 Update Date 2009-03-09
Description – Update CPU Micro Code.
– Improved memory compatibility.

oohhh..this is looking promising me thinks…So its been a few years since i have flashed a BIOS and I am not the kind to do any of this BIOS from within windows flashing crap, so I thought, floppy drives…i aint got one of those stoneage devices in my box…

After tracking one down and finding some dusty floppys and spending an hour trying to get a single decent formated floppy it dawned on me that the 4mb BIOS file was not gonna fit anyway…expletives later….fine then I will burn the bios to a CD and boot using the UBCD into Freedos or similiar. Finally after a few attempts I go FreeDos running and was able to excute the supplied BIOS flash utility and flash the BIOS.

And, zomg, it has been fun and games ever since. I have run Memtest for a whole day with not errors, almost cooked the computer doing it but hey…

So, at COB we have:

Lost time, probably about 5 nights

Cost: New Hardrives + RAM

OS: now Win 7.

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