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Old 09-24-2008, 06:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default a three hundred dollar paperweight

oh man, i almost screwed the pooch...
okay, so i get my 4870 yesterday and decide that the first thing i should do after i install it and see the temps (which are actually normal) is fix the fan speed.
well, i didnt like doing it through a CCC profile, so i do a little research. seems there is a program called radeon bios editor that you can create a custom bios. and im like. "cool...ima doit, gimme another beer..." so i download GPUZ (luckily a late version of it...more on that later) and save the bios file and a backup. i then proceed to whip out the baddest custom bios a 4870 has ever seen. that took about 1 hour to get it where i wanted it.
so i finish it, save it and start reading about how to flash it. the directions say "best to use atiflash and a bootable device (floppy, usb etc)" they also say "you can use winflash if you want, but atiflash and bootable is much more preferrable". okay no problem. i am too lazy at this point to find my floppy drive (thats right i got one thank GOD). so im like, well, the asus windows utility works fine so, i'll just do that. hooray! bios loads into winflash, program progresses for about 30 seconds, freezes, and BSODs my god*&%$ computer. and im like..."****"...mouth open..."****..."
at which point my comp reboots and goes, "beep....beep beep beep" no POST, kiddos. then im really like ..."OMFG i totally ****ed up..."
so, i take a break for a bit. go beat the dogs, kick the walls, etc...you know...to calm down.
i then come back and proceed to do the research neccessary to find out how to recover the bios.
seems that i didnt do enough reading at first....
the new cards have a 128kb bios, as compared to 64kb or less for pretty much every one that has ever come out. so, what happens is that winflash (at least the version i had, and several other utilities that you could possibly use) doesnt see the other half of the bios...oh noes! and loads only what it recognizes, which, apparently...isnt enough lol.
so i am still lazy and dont want to find the floppy. actually at this point i am not even thinking of the floppy...i am thinking, "hmmm, what am i going to tell newegg?"...
so i find several articles that give advice how to recover. the one i try is making an ultimate boot cd, getting into DOS, and flashing from atiflash from there. so i get a copy of the hd4870 bios and go thru all the crap to make the disc and blah blah blah. its getting to be about 12:30-1:00 am by this time (i gotta work at 7 am). i have to totally rearrange my case, cos i have to put my 8800 in to boot from (which luckily i still have). get the bios flashed, finally. i re-start. picks up the 8800. i shut down. put the 4870 into the primary slot. no beeps. YES! oh..oh...wait...no display! "****!" i try flashing the same file over and over...it never takes again, just gives me an error...
finally i just say screw it....its 3:00 in the morning. i'll rma to newegg tomorrow and tell them to overnight me one.
wake up this morning, go to work all ****ed up and grumpy...
im the boss, so i can come home as i want...i come back about 9 and im thinking..."there has to be SOME reason that flash didnt take..."
i think maybe the 1gb has a different bios than the 512, which is most likely the one i tried to load on it. and im like, "hmmmm....i didnt try that gpuz backup..."
so i get my lazy *** up and find my floppy drive, format it as DOS bootable, put the atiflash utility and the RV770 backup from gpuz on it. pop it in fire it up, and try to flash the bios.
waiting...waiting....waiting...(remember, its a floppy lol), and presto chango it takes. i am not too hopeful, cos the last one did too, but it never worked.
i swap cards, reboot and YES! it works. turns out the later versions of GPUZ save the bios file in its entirety.
holy crap. i will never use a windows flash utility again. probably not even on my mobo, even though it works great.
i got the new version of rivatuner, cranked up the fan, and it is purring happily away. haven't tried to OC yet, i still have the shakes from my horrid experience.
i hope you all enjoyed my story.
the moral of it is...read extensively before you go and **** something up...and MAKE A BACKUP. i thought i did enough research, but as my baggy eyes can attest....i did not.
also, if any of you jack up your 4870's, let me know. i am now an expert in bios recovery because i tried every method known to man.
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

wow. im stressed out just from reading that :/

am I safe in assuming it's roughly the same procedure with the X2's? I have a feeling I'll probably do the same thing, lol :/ I'm not very good with BIOS flashing videocards.

glad it worked out for you though, yikes lol
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Old 09-24-2008, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

dude i would TOTALLY just leave the bios alone. the new rivatuner will support OCing and fan speed on the x2.
at some point in the near future i would expect ati tool or ccc to come out with some driver level fan controls that can ramp up as the temp does.
right now, id just crank it up with rivatuner (at 40% my 4870 stays around 60*, and it is pretty quiet...100%.? lol...holy **** you better have some ear plugs), and wait. people are killing their cards left and right trying these jacked up bios flashes.
AND ON THAT NOTE...
i strongly suggest that everyone avoid open box 4870's LIKE THE BLACK PLAGUE.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

Arghh...yeah ive though before about flashing my cards bios so i dont have to control fan speeds and clock with riva, but ive decided against it due to the horror stories associated with flashes gone wrong.
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Old 09-24-2008, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

ah gotcha dude, thanks for the heads up. I'm used to crankin the fans with rivatuner anyway, was just hopin to avoid it this time XD no biggie.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

yes this was definitely a horror story. but, it works now, so all is well. DUDE...COD4 looks SICK.
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

how would you compare it to the 8800GTS 512???
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

image quality is better IMO, im not kidding...it seems i could tell a difference in quality the first time i booted it. im rockin 80+ FPS on MPlayer COD4 1920 x12 with CCC set as high as it will go toward "quality". you know whats REALLY funny...? the 2d core speed is 500mhz. according to GPUZ's log, my card hardly ever ramps up to 785 (what i have it set at now)...it stays at 500mhz most of the time while im playing. this thing is a beast. fan at 40% keeps it under 60* load and around 45* idle.
im liking it pretty good right now.
it raised my 3dmark score about 1000 points.
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Old 09-24-2008, 11:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

you make me want to get one. Stop it!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: a three hundred dollar paperweight

Wow, gave me a heart attack man. Good to know you worked through it. Ive been down that road before. Where you try out something and you mess up, but you royally mess up. Thank god for backups.
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