Back in Business!

Well, I went to Frys and the cheapest flash programmer they had was $200, so I didn’t get one.  I started reading some more stuff online.  The BIOS maker for my BIOS does include a recovery option: if you put the BIOS ROM file on a floppy disk it will load it at boot (only if the current one is bad).  However, I saw complaints in Zotac’s forums that since newer boards don’t even have floppy connectors (SATA only), they were unable to recover from failed BIOS flashing.  But, I did find that some machines have special instructions to recover from a USB stick, but those instructions were tailored to specific models.

So, I plugged in my USB stick when booting, and I noticed that the light on the stick would flash every couple seconds.  So, I tried using the floppy instructions only substituting the USB stick.  And what do you know!  It recovered the BIOS and now we’re back in business.  In fact, I’m writing this blog post from the CES computer!

I tried changing the BIOS image to different formats and a couple different ways of flashing, but still no luck.  I was using a tool created for the AMI type BIOS to automatically replace the image.  So instead, I downloaded a newer tool that is more complicated and manages all assests in the BIOS ROM.  Using this tool, I removed the current boot image and inserted mine, and this time it worked!  Now, when I hit the power button on the computer, this is the first thing seen on the TV:

BIOS Logo Replacement Test

This was just a test image. I will create the final logo later and put some more time into it.

Next, here is the replacement text and animation for Windows boot up.  This is seen immediately after the BIOS logo (click on picture to see larger image):

Windows Boot Replacement Test

Again, its just a test with an animation I downloaded online.  I’ll do my own animation for the final version.  Here’s an image of Dolphin running Super Mario Bros. Wii:

SMBW Dolphin

Ready to keep moving forward!

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