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.


  1. Just browsing. Enjoyed your blog. Thanks for the tech info. I'll stop by periodically. See you around!

  2. came across this when i typed flash in google...:)


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