Friday, March 11, 2011

BIOS flash for ASUS M2N-E and 4 GB RAM

I recently upgraded my computer to Windows7 - yeah, I know, I know! But hated Vista and knew that Windows7 was a much better improvement and better to use. And for the first time, I have activated my Windows OS with Microsoft - a fully legal copy of Windows!

The installation was a breeze and did not have any trouble at all - no device drivers etc were needed to get things up and running though I wouldn't have been satisfied with that. So I downloaded all the drivers I needed - especially nVidia drivers and installed them.

To go with the new OS, I increased the RAM on the machine to 4 GB from 2. A small hitch there though - the OS could only recognize upto 3.5GB RAM. I knew this to be a known issue on 32 bit OSes but this was a 64-bit version of Windows7. Some googling and I found out that it was a feature on the motherboard that needed to be enabled - the memory remap feature. The motherboard is an old Asus M2N-E. Read up on the internet that the memory remap feature can be enabled from the BIOS settings. Tried to locate this for my motherboard and such a feature was not be found at all.

Finally ended up on the ASUS site and I'd read somewhere that this feature is automatically enabled on my motherboard and that I would have no control over changing it. But since it was still showing less RAM on my machine, I decided to try a BIOS flash - basically upgrading the BIOS firmware.

I remember in days of old where flasing the BIOS was a scary thing to do. Most of the times (as far as I knew), BIOS upgrades never were stable. Either the newer BIOS version was unstable or the flasing would render the whole motherboard unusable. You would also need to save the flash file on a floppy, copy DOS onto the floppy, boot up with this floppy and then flash the BIOS etc. And if the floppy was corrupt, then you would again end up with an unusable motherboard.

But all this has changed. ASUS has this nifty utility called ASUS Update wherein you can just install the software, it will check the BIOS version on your motherboard, let you take a backup of the existing BIOS version and even download the latest version of the BIOS for your motherboard. But best of all - you can even flash the BIOS from within Windows itself! This is for me - simply amazing. So I did that and flashed the BIOS - did a restart of the machine and voila - the RAM displayed as 4GB. Awesome.

Only downside was that Windows7 at once notified me that there has been a system upgrade and did some message-sending to the Microsoft office that I might need to validate my OS again if I ever tried something of this sort! :)

Well, now that my machine has 4GB of RAM - let me go check video editing and photo editing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Seagate hard disk service - Bangalore

Recently, my hard drive died. Thankfully, it was a slow death - gave me a number of days advance notice and then passed away gracefully. If only celebrities and some other people could....well, thats for another post!

Since this was the case, I was able to purchase a new hard drive and transfer all important data onto the new drive beforehand. I knew my older hard drive was in warranty and tried to locate information on where I would need to go to get it replaced.

Now started the hellish work of locating information. We seem to have so much access to information but very little real, useful information!! Anyways, to cut a long story short - here follow the details for the Seagate service center in Bangalore.

This is completely taken care of by Accel Frontline Services. Their address:
No. 2 & 3, New Raja Building
Narasimha Raja Road,
Opp Town Hall
Above Andhra Bank
Bangalore - 560 002
Phone: 080 41129213 and 080 41129214 (forget these numbers, they never pick the phone!) Thanks to Surya for the updated phone numbers.

The only problem with this address (on the internet when I was searching) was that they conveniently forgot to mention that most famous landmark - Town Hall. If they had mentioned that on the sites, would have made things a lot more easier.

Best way to reach this place is locate and reach TownHall. Go forward from there (if TownHall is on your left) towards the Mysore Road flyover. Just after the signal, the New Raja Building is on your left. Look out for the Andhra Bank on the ground floor. Accel services are on the 2nd floor.

Now, before you rush off - note that you will need to create a profile on their site before you take your defective hard drive to them. This is compulsory and if you do it beforehand, it will save you the trouble of having to scream at their staff! You can register at their site - http://myservice.accelwms.in/index.aspx by selecting Seagate from the vendor list and creating a new profile link on the next page. Thankfully, I had done that. Once you have registered, all you have to do is take the drive to them, get a token from the damn helpful little security guy there, wait your turn and give the drive over to the damn helpful person at the counter. Their warranty checker never works, so check for your warranty status before you go there. You will need to give them your profile id (where you'd created it on their site) and done - they will swallow your drive and let you know when you can go and collect a replacement drive.

Oh and the link to check the warranty of your drive - Seagate Warranty Check.

Another update that Surya has provided - "In case if anyone wants to take a back up before they go there and submit the HD, send a mail to india_cso@accelfrontline.in and once you receive reply from them, go ahead with backup. At the time of submission of hard-disk, all you need to submit is a print of the e-mail and invoice of the data recovery service provider."


Update on the working days/timings for Accel from Chandra - working hours will be 9:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m Monday to Saturday (2nd Saturday holiday)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March on!

Marching on into March.....

Won't this be a lovely "taxing" month!