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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 10:27   #1
Yozzer
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Anyone know how the Gigabyte virtual dual bios works

Hi, I have a Gigabyte PA 35C DS3R, and it is supposed to have "Virtual Dual Bios" according to their web site. I have written twice to Gigabyte support now asking about this, as I can find no mention in the handbook They referred me to a web page which described dual bios, (2 real bioses) which show up in Qflash, and Quad dual bios which has two bios and also uses a hidden portion of the hard disk to keep a copy of the bios, but nothing on the virtual bios or how it works, or even how to use it.
My concern is recovering from a bad flash or a virus attack, which is what a dual bios is mainly for.
Anyone used this or know anything?
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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 14:53   #2
EDC
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Check your installation CD for GIGABYTE Xpress3 Series Software then install it, it contains Xpress Install, Xpress Bios Rescue, & Xpress Recovery 2.

(Xpress Bios Rescue is what you need & there should be instructions once it's installed)

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/M...x?NewTechID=84
Last edited by EDC; 23rd Jun 2007 at 15:33.
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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 18:57   #3
Yozzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDC
Check your installation CD for GIGABYTE Xpress3 Series Software then install it, it contains Xpress Install, Xpress Bios Rescue, & Xpress Recovery 2.

(Xpress Bios Rescue is what you need & there should be instructions once it's installed)

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Support/M...x?NewTechID=84
Hi EDC, I have checked the installation CD, and it does not offer it as an install.
I went through the folders, and could only find Xpress 2 which is an option. I went to the Gigabyte site to see if I could download it, but I must be dumb or something because I could not find it for down load.
The Xpress install program supplied with the motherboard, which apparantly should control what is installed is in fact a beta, and looks nothing like Express3.

Further clarification would be gratefully received. I wonder if it is because the board is new and does not have the right software yet to provide Xpress bios rescue?
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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 20:56   #4
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Sounds like it's either a BIOS image that you keep saved on the HD or on a CD which you then use to recover from but you right the site doesn't make it clear and some of the links pointed to haven't been updated to reflect their current range.

I've got dual BIOS on my DS3P which I can access from QFlash but have never really thought about what to do should the main BIOS die, from what I understand with dual BIOS it should detect and revert to the other automatically.

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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 22:04   #5
EDC
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I have found these 2 links for " How to Enter Dual BIOS Utility " and "Dual BIOS explained"


GIGABYTE Dual BIOS explained
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/..._explained.htm

How to Enter Dual BIOS Utility
http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/...bios_setup.pdf
Last edited by EDC; 23rd Jun 2007 at 22:35.
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Old 23rd Jun 2007, 22:49   #6
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Many thanks for the input, I have read the info on the links, and what I thought was Xpress 2 on the CD labelled XPR2 was an "LBApatch" whatever that is?

I will keep looking, but I get the feeling the info at Gigabyte is lagging behind the hardware and software utilities. If anything turns up I will report back if I have success.
I would have thought if Virtual dual bios technology is being used as a selling point there would be alot more info on it. As it seems to be on the newer boards replacing dual bios proper then the info on it should be more available.
Thanks again,

Brian
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Old 24th Jun 2007, 03:35   #7
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Their website is utterly confusing regarding BIOS recovery for the Gigabyte GA P35C DS3R, they mention a number of safety features including ... "Virtual DualBIOS BIOS crash free protection with physical BIOS and Xpress BIOS Rescue" But where the hell all this resides is anyone's guess. I don't have this board, I have it on a shortlist together with the Asus P5KC, I will be buying one or the other next month. If I hazzard a guess it's somewhere on the installation CD. If you find it let me know.
Last edited by EDC; 24th Jun 2007 at 03:38.
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Old 25th Jun 2007, 12:24   #8
Yozzer
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This is the question I sent to Gigabyte

Sent : 6/24/2007 03:09
Question : I have since my last question discovered Xpress3 is supposed to install the bios recue utility, but it is not on my installation CD, and is not available for download on this motherboard, (GA-P35C-DS3R). I am becoming concerned that though the adverts and technical desription assures the reader this motherboard has it, it in fact does not.
Please explain, and if you can, point me at where I can download this for my motherboard. (Please review my previous question)
Regards, Brian

This is the answer

"Answer : Only Xpress 2:-

http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/Support/M...lity_List.aspx "

I am not overly impressed, I expected an answer, and this is not.
As it is, it would seem I have to trust that there is automatic recovery in the case of a corrupted bios. I have looked at every file on the CD and cannot find bios recovery, and Gigabyte cannot explain.
Last edited by Yozzer; 25th Jun 2007 at 12:46.
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Old 25th Jun 2007, 14:17   #9
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"Express Recovery 2" is an image backup and restore utility for system files and partitions, it supports only PATA hard disks and not SATA, and has sod all to do with BIOS recovery. It may be that the mysterious "Virtual DualBIOS crash free protection" is incoprorated in the motherboard and activated automatically if the bios gets corrupted, But I would not want to chance it. From reading around the forums Gigabyte technical support is not the best. For a quick answer you could try Gigabyte Europe in Holland phone: Mon-Fri, 9h-21h. NL: 0900-GIGABYTE. (20 cents per min)
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Old 26th Jun 2007, 09:25   #10
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** UPDATE **

I emailed Gigabyte support ... it wasn't a pleasant email but here's the gist of it

Question : Where is the Virtual DualBIOS crash free protection and BIOS Rescue for this motherboard.

Answer : The virtual dual BIOS is a BIOS protection feature. It will take effect if one of the BIOS ROM is dead. As a user there is no need to configure this function.

Regards,

GGTS
Last edited by EDC; 26th Jun 2007 at 09:31.
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Old 26th Jun 2007, 10:52   #11
Yozzer
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Hi EDC,
I also emailed sales at Gigabyte, a lengthy one explaining precisely what I wanted to know and why, even listing the points with numbers. I got back an almost identical response, even though I had asked for details such as how does it do it, and how does the user interact.

I must confess a somewhat hidden agenda here, as when flashing my bios using Qflash about 10 days ago, it failed, and on rebooting it emitted a continous tone, and the screen remained blank.

That is, the virtual dual bios failed! I did not wish to make this public, as I accept it may have been an isolated case, and I did not wish to put prospective people off. But the point is it did fail, and gave zero indications as to why, (it sum checked OK).

It is always possible for a flash to fail, though it has never happened to me before, and due to the lack of real explanation from Gigabyte, I am now suspicious of what they call "Virtual dual bios".

I returned the motherboard as faulty, and it was replaced, but I now sit with a new motherboard I am afraid to flash!

I did not go into explanation with the dealer as to how it had failed, as I thought that they might think I had overclocked it with inadequate cooling or something, and may refuse to replace it, (this has happened some years ago with a failed CPU I had never overclocked).

If you are considering getting this motherboard, I would watch this post, as I have replied to Gigabyte with a very stern note, and am awaiting a "final" reponse.

It is possible this is a great feature, but if it is, why are they not prepared to explain how it works, and why is it not fully explained on their web site. I am very pleased with the motherboard, it satisfies all my needs, except security of the bios, which due to the flash failure, is a worry. I was prepared to accept I might not have installed the feature, especially as it was possible "bios rescue utility" appears to require installing, but their insistance it is fully automatic and requires no intervention negates this possibilty.

I will keep you posted, and if they continue to evade giving details, I will escalate until I am satisied with the answer.
I do not wish to ring them, as that leave no footprint that could be referred to, as it is, all my emails are on there system.
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Old 26th Jun 2007, 14:15   #12
EDC
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As I understand it the whole BIOS recovery process is done automatically. There are no details as to how this works on the GA-P35C-DS3R webpage but if you look at the GA-P35-DQ6 webpage under Quad BIOS features you'll get an idea of how it's supposed to work. The only difference being that Quad BIOS has more recovery options than Dual BIOS. As for the bad flash, well that can happen but strange it should happen on a brand new board. And how come this wonderful Dual BIOS recovery didn't kick-in. Did you go into BIOS and set the default settings prior to the flash update.

http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/FileList/...s_work_dq6.htm
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Old 26th Jun 2007, 15:10   #13
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Yes I have read the quad bios recovery, and if it does work like that, then I would expect Gigabyte to say so, and even perhaps indicate where the image is saved so I could at least check it is there.
I did put all bios options to default, and just prior to that I had been checking the automatic overclock feature which seems to work well.
I have flashed many bios, and tend to prefer flashing in dos, so decided Qflash was the best option, which would be safer than doing it from Windows. I saved the bios first, all OK, and updated from flash memory in the USB key, as this seemed safer than using a floppy.
I did think it possible I had not waited long enough for any automatic function to take place as no indication is given in the manual, (it was hooting continuously for about 2 minutes), and when it failed to boot, thought maybe I had not installed the utility and it was my fault. It is possible it was just bad luck and a one off, but the very short cryptic responses from Gigabyte, though speedy, do not expand on previous responses, just seem to repeat themselves. Perhaps the replies are automated, which is why I eventually wrote to sales, but they simply bounced it back to support.
I am wondering, as the CD loader is beta, if there are problems in this area. I would actually prefer that be the case and be given a newer copy than trusting a utility which has already failed once. Seeing beta on a Driver CD is worrying in itself.
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Old 26th Jun 2007, 16:35   #14
EDC
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I think if your happy with the board and it's performing OK, keep it. It remains top of my list as the best P35 board to buy for the money. Qflash on paper looks like the safest way of updating BIOS providing you don't use floppies, but it didn't work for you using a pen drive. So your left with updating in Windows, just disconnect your internet first, close all running applications, close all background applications like anti-virus etc and use @BIOS to flash from Windows, avoid using "Live Update" and you should be OK. I know updating from Windows is not considered the safest method but I've never had a problem with it. I have however killed a mobo flashing from a floppy using DOS. Anyway it all depends on if you decide to keep this board.
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Last edited by EDC; 26th Jun 2007 at 17:08.
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