Dec 132017
Text file describing the details behind the advanced setup of the AMI BIOS.
File AMIBIOS.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category System Diagnostics
Text file describing the details behind the advanced setup of the AMI BIOS.
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Contents of the AMI_INFO.TXT file

The following is a collection of information on the AMI bios.

This is a scanned in document, subsequently extensively edited to make
it readable. Contains info on setup program, standard cmos options, advanced
cmos options. No information on the advanced chipset options.



AMI phone numbers:
Tech Support: (404) 263-8181
BBS: (404) 246-5838



Time Startup

Running AMI BIOS Setup Program

When the system is powered on, the BIOS will enter the Power-On Self Test
(POST) routines. These routines are divided into two phases:

System Test and Initialization (test and initialize system boards for normal

System Configuration Verification (compare defined configuration with hardware
actually installed).

The AMI BIOS performs the various diagnostic checks at the time the system is
powered up; if an error is encountered, the error will be reported in one of
two different ways. If the error occurs before the display device is
initialized, a series of beeps uill be transmitted. Beep codes are found in
the appendix.

If the error occurs after the display is initialized, the screen will display
the error message. BIOS error messages are found in the appndix. In the case
of a non-fatal error, a prompt to press the key may also appear on the

Normally, the only routine visible on the screen will be the memory test.
Figure 3.1 displays the screen which appears when the system is powered on.

At the bottom left corner of the screen, below the copyright message, a three
line reference string appears. This screen is used to determine the options
installed In the AMI BIOS.

If a problem occurs with the ssstem, copy these reference numbers down before
consulting your system manufacturer.

To "freeze" the screen, power on the system and hold a key down on the
keboard. Thls will cause a "keyboard error" message to appear on the screen
and the system will wait for the key to be pressed. At this point, you
may copy the three lines down and then press to continue the boot
procedure. NOTE: If the "Wait for if any Error option in the Advanced
CMOS Setup Program of the BIOS SETUP program is set to "disabled", it should
be set to "enabled" prior to using this method to freeze the screen.

After the POST routines are completed, the following message appears:

"Hit if you want to run SETUP"

To access the AMI BIOS SETUP program, press the key. The screen in
Figure 3.2 will be displayed at this time.

A record of the computer's system parameters (such as amount of memory, disk
drives, video displays, and numeric coprocessors) is stored in the CMOS
(Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) memory. When the computer is turned
off, a back-up battery retains the system parameters in the CMOS memory.

Each time the system is powered-on, it is configured with these values unless
the CMOS has been corrupted or is faulty. AMI's SETUP program is resident in
the ROM BIOS (Read Only Memory Basic InputlOutput System) so that it is
available each time the computer is turned on.

If, for some reason, the CMOS becomes corrupted, the system is configured with
the default values stored in this ROM file. There are two sets of BIOS values
stored in the ROM file: the BIOS Setup default values and the Power-On default

The BIOS Setup default values are those which should provide optimum
performance for the system. They are the best case default values.

The Power-On default values, which are the worstcase defaults, are the stable
values for the system. They are to be used if the system is performing
erratically because of hardware problems.

Listed below is an explanation of the keys displayed at the bottom of the
screens accessed through the BIOS SETUP program:

ESC: Exit to the previous screen.

ARROW KEYS: Use arrow keys to move cursor to desired selection.

PAGEUP/PAGEDOWN/CTRL-PAGEUP/CTRL-PAGEDOWN: Modify the default value of the
options for the highlighted feature. If there are less than 10 available
options, the CTRL-PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN keys function the same as the PAGEUP and

Fl: Displays the help screen for selected feature.

F2/F3: Changes background and foreground colors.

F5: Retrieves the values which were resident when current setup session was
started. These values will be CMOS values if the CMOS was uncorrupted at the
start of the session, or they will be the BIOS Setup default values.

F6: Loads all features in the Advanced CMOS Setup/Advanced Chip Set Setup with
the BIOS Setup defaults.

F7: Loads all features in the advanced CMOS Setup/Advanced Chip Set Setup with
the Power-On defaults.

F10: Saves all changes made to Setup and exits program.

NOTE: The default value for the prompts which occur when the , , and
keys are pressed is always (No). Actually executing these options
requires changing the to (Yes) and pressing .

The generic menu options of the BIOS SETUP Program are shown in Figure 3.2.

A warning message is displayed each time one of the first three options
(Standard CMOS Setup, Advanced CMOS Setup, and Advanced Chip Set Setup) is
selected, before any changes are allowed to any of the setup parameters.


The Auto Configuration With BIOS feature uses the default system values before
the user has charged any CMOS values. If the CMOS is corrupted, the BIOS
defaults will automatically be loaded.

If you wish to use the BIOS defaults, change the prompt to and press
. The following message will appear on the screen:

"Default values loaded. Press any key to continue."


This feature uses the default Power-On values. You may wish to use this option
as a diagnostic aid if your system is behaving erratically.

If you wish to use the Power-On defaults, change the prompt to and press
. The following message will appear on the screen:

"Default values loaded. Press any key to continue."


The features selected and configured in the Standard Setup, Advanced CMOS
Setup, Advanced Chip Set Setup, and the New Password Setup will be stored in
the CMOS when this option is taken. The CMOS checksum is calculated and
written to the CMOS. Control is then passed back to BIOS.

Pressing (No) and will save the system parameters and continue
with the booting process.


This option passes control back to BIOS without writing any changes to the

Pressing and will return the user to the Main Menu.

Pressing and will continue the booting process without saving any
system parameters.


Standard CMOS Setup is the first option on the main setup menu. Press
at the highlighted selection to access this option. The screen in Figure 3.8
will appear.

The Standard CMOS Setup is used to configure the following features:

Date: Month, Date, and Year. Ranges for each value are listed below in prompt
box in the lower left corner of the CMOS Setup Screen.

Time: Hour, Minute, and Second. Uses 24 hour clock format, ie., for PM
numbers, add 12 to the hour. You would enter 4:30 P.M. as 16:30:00.

Daylight Savings: Disabled or Enabled.

Hard Disk C and Hard Disk D: Hard disk types from 1 to 46 are standard ones;
type 47 is user definable. The user must enter the hard disk parameters for
each drive.

NOTE: The USER definition entry allows you to perform a test on a disk drive
not defined in ROM. The USER definition entry is valid only during the period
that the test is performed.

The drive types are identified by the following characteristics:

This is the number designation for a drive with certain identification

This is the number of cylinders found in the specified drive type.

This is the number of heads found in the specified drive type.

WPcom is the read delay circuitry which takes into account the timing
differences between the inner and outer edges of the surface of the disk
platter. The number designates the starting cylinder of the signal.

L-zone is the landing zone of the heads. This number determines the cylinder
location where the heads will normally park when the system is shut down.

This is the formatted capacity of the drive based on the following formula:

(# of heads)x(# of cylinders)x(17 sec/cyl.)x(512 bytes/sec)

"Not Installed" is available for use as an option. This option could be used
for diskless workstations and SCSI hard disks. Type 47 may be used for both
hard disks C and D.

The parameters for type 47 under Hard Disk C and Hard Disk D may be different,
which effectively allows 2 different user definable hard disk types.

For Floppy Drive A and Floppy Drive B, the options are 360 KB 5 1/4",1.2 MB 5
1/4", 720 KB 3 1/2", 1.44 MB 3 1/2", and Not installed. Not installed could be
used as an option for a diskless workstation.

Primary display options are Monochrome, Color 40x25, VGA/PGA/EGA, Color 80x25,
and Not Installed. The Not Installed option could be used for a network file

Options for the keyboard are Installed or Not Installed.


The Advanced CMOS Setup program is equipped with a series of help screens,
accessed by the key, which will display the options available for a
particular configuration feature and special help for some of the options.

The options for the following features of the Advanced CMOS setup are either
"Disabled" or "Enabled":

Typematic Rate Programming
Extended Memory Test
Memory Test Tick Sound
Memory Parity Error Check
Hit Message display
Wait for If Any Error
Internal/External Cache Memory
(486) or Cache Memory (386)
Fast Gate A20 Option
Video or Adapter ROM Shadow
GA20 Line After System Boot

The option for the following features of the Advanced CMOS Setup are either
"Present" or "Absent".

Numeric Processor Weitek Processor

The options for Power-On Up Num Lock are "On" or "Off".

The options for System Boot Up Speed are "High" or "Low".

Note: Depending on the panicular hardware and chip set combination of each
individual system, the options listed may or may not appear on the Setup
screen or they may not appear in the same order. There may also be more
options for your system than those shown on the setup screen. Refer to the
Appendix for options included in your system.

See Figure 3.9 for generic screen sample.

A short description follows for each of the options on the advanced CMOS Setup

Typematic Rate Programming: By enabling this option, the use can adjust the
rate at which a keystroke is repeated. The options "Typematic Rate Delay" and
"Typematic Rate" affect this rate. When a key is pressed and held down, the
character appears on the screen and repeats itself after a delay set by the
Typematic Rate value. When two or more keys are pressed and held down
simultaneously, only the last key pressed will be repeated at the typematic
rate. This stops when the last key pressed is released, even if other keys are

See Figures 3.10 and 3.11 for the values for these rates.

Extended Memory Test: This feature, when enabled, will invoke the POST memory
routines on the RAM above 1 MB (if present on the system). If disabled, the
BIOS will only check the first 1 MB of RAM.

Memory Test Tick Sound: This option will enable (turn on) or disable (turn
off) the "ticking" sound during the memory tesL

Memory Parity Error Check: If the system board does not have parity RAM, the
user may disable the memory parity error checking routines in the BIOS. The
user should check with the manufacturer regarding the proper setting of this

Hit Message Display: Disabling this option will prevent the message "Hit
if you want to run SETUP" from appearing on the screen when the system
boots up.

Hard Disk Type 47 Data Area: The AMI BIOS SETUP features two user definable
hard disk types. Normally, the data for these disk types are stored at 0:300
in lower system RAM. If a problem occurs with other software, this data can be
located at the upper limit of the DOS shell (640 KB). If the option is set to
"DOS 1 KB", the DOS SheU is shortened to 639 KB, and the top KB is used for
the hard disk data storage. Please refer to Figure 3.12 for this option.

Wait for F1 If Any Error: Before the system boots up, the BIOS will execute
the POST routines, a series of system diagnostic routines. If any of these
tests fail, but a non-fatal error has occurred and the system can still
function, the BIOS will respond with an appropriate error messap followed by
the following statement

"Press to continue"

If this option is disabled, any non-fatal error which occurs will not generate
the above statement, but the BIOS will still display the appropriate error
messap. This will eliminate the need for any user response to a non-fatal
error condition message. A list of error messages and their corresponding
explanations appears in the Appendix B.

System Boot Up Num Lock: The user may turn off the "num lock" option on his
enhanced keyboard when the system is powered on. This will allow him to use
the arrow keys on the numeric keypad instead of using the other set of arrow
keys on the enhanced keyboard. The BIOS will default to turning the "num lock"

Numeric/Weitek Processor: These options allow the user to mark the numeric
processor (Intel 80x87 or compatible) or the Weitek numeric processor (WTL3167
or 4167) as present or absent.

Floppy Drive Seek At Boot: The default for this option is "disabled" to allow
a fast boot and to decrease the possibility of damage to the heads.

The AMI BIOS will normal" attempt to boot from hard disk C (if present), and
if unsuccessful it will attempt to boot from floppy drive A. This sequence can
be switched using this option. If the option is set to "A:,C:" the sequence is
reversed. Please refer to Figure 3.13 for this option.

System Boot Up CPU Speed: The speed at which the system will boot up is
determined with this option. Choices for this option are "High" or "Low". The
default speed is "High".

Password Check Option: The password feature can be used to prevent
unauthorized system boot-up or unauthorized use of the BIOS SETUP. The option
in the BIOS SETUP only allows the user to enable the password check option
every time the system boots or upon entering SETUP only. A third option is to
disable the password option entirely. See flgure 3.14.

The default option is "Disabled". The prompt for the password will not appear
when the system is rebooted.

If the "Always" option is chosen at Setup, each time the system is turned on,
i.e. "booted", the prompt for user password will appear.

If the "Setup" option is chosen at Setup, the password prompt will not appear
when the system is turned on, but it will appear if the user attempts to enter
the Setup program.

The program allows three attempts to key in the correct password. After each
incorrect attempt, the prompt to enter the current password will appear,
followed by an "X". After the third incorrect attempt the system will lock and
it will be necessary to reboot. The screen will not display the characters

Internal Cache Memory: This option will appear only on 486TM systems which use
CPU's (Central Processing Units) with an internal cache structure. With this
option, the user may enable or disable the internal cache of the system's CPU.

External Cache Memory: This option appears only on 486TM systems which can
have a caching scheme external to the CPU. With this option, the user may
specify whether the external cache is present or absent.

Fast Gate A20: This option uses the fast gate A20 line, supported in some chip
sets, to access any memory above 1 MB. Normally, all RAM access above 1 MB is
handled through the keyboard controller chip. Using this option will make the
access faster than the normal method. This option is very useful in networking
operating systems.

Video or Adapter ROM Shadow: ROM shadow is a procedure in which BIOS code from
the adapter ROM is copied to the DRAM. The BIOS is then executed from the
faster RAM. Each option will allow for a segment of 16KB to be shadowed.

Shadow RAM option: The same concept applies here, in this case four options
are available:

Video: Shadow video ROM only.
Main: Shadow system ROM only.
Both: Shadow both system and video ROM.
Disable: Disable shadowing for both system and video ROM.
Bus clock selection: This option will allow the AT BUS clock on the system
board be properly selected, for 33 Mhz systems clock 2/3 will set.

Bus Clock Selection: This option will allow the AT bus clock on the system
board be properly selected. For 33 MHz systems, clock 2/3 will set the bus
clock at 11 Mhz. Clock 2/4 and clock 2/5 will set the bus clock at 8.25MHz
and 6.66MHz respectively. For 25 MHz system, clock 2/3 will set the bus at
8.33MHz while clock 2/4 and clock 2/5 will set the bus clock at 6.25MHz and
5MHz respectively. At any instance the bus clock should be set to as close to
8MHz as possible for maximium reliability and compatibility.

256K/384K Memory Relocation: This option will allow the unused memory between
640K and 1M on the system board to be relocated and used as extended memory.

AMI BIOS Supported Hard Disk Drives

(table follows here)

Appendix A
Bios Error Beep Codes

During POST (Power On Self Test) routines, which are performed each time the
system is powered on, errors may occur.

Non-fatal errors are those which, in most cases, allow the system to continue
the boot up process. The error messages normally appear on the screen.

Fatal errors are those which will not allow the system to continue the boot up
procedure. If a fatal error occurs, you should consult with your system
manufacturer for possible repairs.

These fatal errors are usually communicated through a series of audible beeps.
The numbers on the fatal error list below correspond to the number of beeps
for the corresponding error. All errors listed, with the exception of #8, are
fatal errors.

No. of Beeps Error Message
------------- --------------

1 Refresh Failure - The memory refresh circuitry of the
motherboard is faulty.

2 Parity Error - A parity error was detected in the base
memory (the first block of 64 KB) of the system.

3 Base 64KB Memory Failure - A memory failure
occurred within the first 64 KB of memory.

4 Timer Not Operational - Timer #l on the system board
has failed to function properly.

5 Processor Error - The CPU (Central Processing Unit) on
the system board has generated an error.

6 8042- Gate A20 Failure - The Keyboard controller (8042)
contains the Gate A20 switch which allows thc CPU to
operate in virtual mode. This error message means that the
BIOS is not able to switch the CPU into protected mode.

7 Processor Exception "Interrupted Error - The CPU on the
motherboard has generated an exception interrupt.

8 Display Memory Read/Write Error - The system video
adapter is either missing or its memory is faulty. PLEASE
NOTE: this is not a fatal error.

9 ROM Checksum Error - The ROM checksum value does not
match the value encoded in the BIOS.

10 CMOS Shutdown Register Read/Write Error - The shutdown
register for the CMOS memory has failed.

Bios Non-fatal Error Messages

If a non-fatal error occurs during the POST routines performed each time the
system is powered on, the error message will appear on the screen in the
following format:

ERROR Message Line 1
ERROR Message Line 2
Press to RESUME

Note the error message and press the key to continue with the boot
up procedure.

NOTE: If the "Wait for If Any Error" option in the Advanced CMOS Setup
portion of the BIOS SETUP PROGRAM has been set to "disabled", the prompt
will not appear on the third line.

For most of the error messages, there is no ERROR Message Line 2. Generally,
for those messages containing a line 2 ERROR Message, the text will be "RUN
SETUP UTILITY". Pressing the key will invoke the BIOS SETUP PROGRAM.

A description of the error messages appears below:

1. CH-2 Timer Error - Most AT TM standard system boards include
two timers. An error with timer #2 is a fatal error, as explained
previously. If an error occurs with timer #2, this error message appears.

2. INTR #1 Error - The interrupt channel #1 has failed the POST routine.

3. INTR #2 Error - The interrupt channel #2 has failed the POST routine.

4. CMOS Battery State Low - There is a battery in your system which
is used for storing the CMOS values. This battery appears to be low in
power and needs to be replaced.

5. CMOS Checksum Failure - After the CMOS values are saved, a checksum
value is generated to provide for error checking. If the previous
value is different from the value currently read, this error message
appears. To correct this error, you should run the BIOS SETUP Program.

6. CMOS System Options Not Set - The values stored in the CMOS are
either corrupt or nonexistent. Run the BIOS SETUP Program to correct
this error.

7. CMOS Display Type Mismatch - The type of video stored in CMOS does
not match the type detected by the BIOS. Run the BIOS SETUP Program
to correct this error.

8. Display Switch Not Proper - Some systems require that a video switch
on the motherboard be set to either color or monochrome, depending
upon the type of video you are using. To correct this situation, set the
switch properly. (Remember to shut down the system first)

10. Keyboard is locked...Unlock It - The Keyboard lock on the system
is engaged. The system must be unlocked to continue the boot up

11. Keyboard Error - The BIOS has encountered a timing problem with the
keyboard. Make sure that you have an AMI Keyboard BIOS installed in your
system. You may also set the "keyboard" option in the BIOS Setup program
standard CMOS setup to "Not Installed" which will cause the BIOS to skip
the Keyboard POST routines.

12. KB/Interface Error - The BIOS has found an error with the keyboard
connector on the system board.

13. CMOS Memory Size Mismatch - If the BIOS finds the amount of memory on
your system board to be different from the amount stored in CMOS, this
error message is generated. Run the BIOS SETUP Program to correct this

14. FDD Controller failure - The BIOS is not able to communicate with the
floppy disk drive controller. Check all appropriate connections after the
system is powered down.

15. C: Drive Error - The BIOS is not receiving any response from Hard Disk
Drive C. It may be necessary to run the Hard Disk Utility to correct this
problem. Also, check the type of hard disk selected in the standard CMOS
Setup of the BIOS SETUP program to see if the correct hard disk drive has
been selected.

16. D: Drive Error- The same error has occurred with hard drive D. Follow
the procedures for error #15 to correct this problem.

17. C: Drive Failure - The BIOS cannot get any response from the
hard disk drive C. It may be necessary to replace the hard disk.

18. D: Drive Failure - The same error as #17 has occurred with hard
drive D.

19. CMOS Time & Date Not Set - Run the Standard CMOS Setup of the BIOS SETUP
Program to set the date and time of the CMOS.

20. Cache Memory Bad, Do Not Enable Cache! - The BIOS has found the cache
memory of the motherboard to be defective. Consult your system manufacturer
to repair this problem.

21. 8042 Gate-A20 Error - The gate-A20 portion of the keyboard controller
(8042) has failed to operate correctly. The 8042 chip should be replaced.

22. Address Line Short! - An error has occurred in the address decoding
circuitry of the motherboard.

23. DMA #2 Error - An Error has occurred with the second DMA channel on the

24. DMA #1 Error - An error has occurred with the first DMA channel on the

25. DMA Error - An error has occurred wilh the DMA controller on the

26. No ROM BASlC - This error occurs when a proper bootable sector cannot be
found on either the floppy diskette drive A or the hard disk drive C.
The BIOS will try at this point to run ROM BASIC, and the error message
will be generated when the BIOS does not find it.

27. Diskette Boot Failure - The Diskette used to boot up in floppy drive A
is corrupt, which means that you cannot use it to boot up the system.
Use another boot diskette and follow the instructions on the screen.

28. Invalid Boot Diskette - The BIOS can read the diskette in floppy drive
A, but it cannot boot up the system with it. Use another boot diskette
and follow the instruclions on the screen.

29. On Board Parity Error - The BIOS has encountered a parity error with
some memory installed on the system board. The message will appear as


where XXXX is the address (in hexadecimal) at which the error has occurred.
"On Board" means that it is part of the memory attached directly to the
system board, as opposed to memory installed via an expansion card in an
I/O (BUS) slot.

30. Off Board Parity Error - The BIOS has encountered a parity error with
some memory installed in an I/O (BUS) slot. The message will appear
as follows:


where XXXX is Ihe address (in hexadecimal) at which the error has occurred.
"Off Board" means that it is part of the memory installed via an expansion
card in an I/O (BUS) slot, as opposed to memory attached directly to the
system board.

31. Parity Error ???? - The BIOS has encountered a parity error with some
memory in the system, but it is not able to determine the address of
the error.

Memory diagnostic software, such as AMIDIAG can be used to find and
correct memory problems.




#: 198689 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
15-Jan-92 23:37:58
Fm: Ron Harris 70304,3631
To: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231 (X)

Lets talk about the Cache options in advanced chipset setup.

The options are: Cache Write W/S , Non-Cacheable block-1 size, Non-Cacheable
Block-1 Base, Non-Cacheable Block-2 Size, Non-Cacheable Block-2 Base and
Cacheable RAM Address range.

Each of theses 7 setup questions have multiple choices available to each. An
F1 will list the available choices but no real help.

Let me know if you need any further data.


#: 198775 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
16-Jan-92 08:26:12
Fm: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231
To: Ron Harris 70304,3631


Good choice of beginning. The options you stated have to do with the
relationship of cache ram to main memory. On my machine for instance, it
allows up to 4 different addresses of memory to be excluded from the cache
memory. So why do you need this? Well, it seems that if certain code is
cached (like video rom or Bios rom), the cache will be inefficient because it
will constantly be updating the cache and thrashing (the quick exchange of
data in the cache, and in a circular fashion)and not really helping your
system obtain faster speeds. Certain programs cannot have their timing
loops in a cache because it runs too fast. These are some of the reasons
that option exists. The recommeneded settings on my machine are to exclude
the video rom and the system rom from the area of memory that the cache is
allowed to address, hence this option in setup. However, by personal
experience I disable all non-cachable blocks, setting all areas to 0 and find
my machine runs best in this fashion. What is the amount of cache memory on
your machine (I have a 8K cache on the chip, and 256K external Write thru
cache as a buffer to main memory.)? Does it have recommened settings?


#: 199056 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
17-Jan-92 00:22:28
Fm: Ron Harris 70304,3631
To: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231

I have 64K of cache to answer your first question.

Following are the options and available choices.
1. Cache Write W/S choose - 1 W/S = 1 wait state, write hit cycle.
0,32KX8 = 0 wait state, 128K / 256K cache. 0,8KX8 = 0 wait state,
32K / 64K cache.

2. Non-cacheable Block-1 Size choose - 64KB, 128KB, 256KB, 512KB, or

3. Non-cacheable Block-1 Base - if previous option has number other than
disable this option will increment by that number.

4. Non-cacheable Block-2 Size choose - same choices as above.

5. Non-cacheable Block-2 Base - works the same as stated above.

6. Cacheable RAM address range - minimum is 4MB, maximum is 64MB, and it
increments in 4MB steps between. (I have 4MB in my system)

7. Video BIOS Area Cacheable ? - yes or no

I don't see where you can enter a specific address range, like (if I
understand correctly) you can on your system.


#: 199073 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
17-Jan-92 01:04:43
Fm: Martin Doehring 70017,1031
To: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231

Actually, there is an even better reason for being able to turn off the cache
for a range of memory. If you have a card which has RAM on it that the CARD
can update ( such as a network card ), it had better not be cached! You want
to read the actual values on the board, NOT what you previously read. I ran
into this problem on the board my company makes. It is a high performance
digital video compression/decompression board with an Intel i960 controller on
board that talks to the host through a 16K window of shared memory. The
communication is via messages and when the host sends a message, it waits for
the 960 to respond by setting a flag. If the area is cached, the flag never
gets updated from the host's point of view when the 960 updates it, so we have
to make sure the area where the board is installed is not cached. Also it's
companion display board contains the decompressed images, which cannot be
cached for the same reason.

#: 199705 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
19-Jan-92 10:33:47
Fm: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231
To: Ron Harris 70304,3631

Ah another variety of Ami Bios options. It would appear that you have a
different though similar type of external cache than I do. My cache is a
write-through cache and yours appears to be a write back cache. (perhaps I
have them reversed). Anyway, you have two ram caches, the 8K cache on your
486 chip and the 64K external cache. You must set the first option to
0,8kx8=32K/64K cache since you do not have a 256K cache. You cannot set
address just amounts in the lower 640K that are non-cachable, and in 64K
blocks, hence your next two options. You are given the choice within your
cache framework of caching the video bios, experiment and see which gives
you the best results, with it cached and without it cached.

#: 199706 S4/Gen. Hardware [H]
19-Jan-92 10:33:56
Fm: Michael D. Spagnuola 73700,231
To: Alan H. Pesetsky (NYC) 75675,1535 (X)

All the system clock SCCK and processor clock refer to your 25 Meg clock.
When you see it divided by a number such as atclk/3, it means your system
clock divided by 3 or 8.1 Meg. The notations refer to bus timing. The bus
has build in delays depending upon the speed of your memory design, external
caches, etc. The higher the delay in buss timing, the higher your DMA wait
setting should be set. The higher the delay in bus timing, the slower your
system will run. there is no "magic formula", you must experiment. You want
the highest bus timing you can get, that is the syscl divided by the lowest
number that your cards will run reliably with. You have several permutations
to play with--I guestimate you will reboot your system about 100 times
experimenting. Some settings will produce a NON-OPERATING SYSTEM, so you
should write down a known set of parameters to fall back on. Only by trial
and error will you find the fastest set of parameters that will work reliably
on your machine. Sorry for the general terms, but that's all I had to work
with as well. Happy experimenting.


#: 199726 S13/486 Systems [H]
19-Jan-92 11:12:48
Sb: #AMI BIOS Problems
Fm: Hans Schleichert 100031,775
To: All

I have an AMI ROM BIOS on my compatible 486 PC. The documentation is
poor and my dealer told me AMI don't give more than what he handed me.
But I'd like to know how to use the BIOS in some more details. Is
there more information available? Or can anyone answer the following
1. In the Advanced CMOS Setup part of the ROM Setup Program there are
the following options that can be enabled:
- External Cache Memory
- Internal Cache Memory
- Turbo Switch Function
What do they exactly mean?
2. There is a Password Checking Option that can be enabled. I guess
that if it enabled I can't use the PC without the password. There is
also a Change Password menu entry. When I select it the computer wants
to know the current password which noone can tell me. How can I find
out? I don't want to lock my PC without knowing the password... On the
other hand, I'd like to password-protect it because everyone who knows
how to operate CIM can use CompuServe from my office desk.

Thanks for your help.
- Hans

#: 199765 S13/486 Systems [H]
19-Jan-92 14:16:05
Sb: #199726-AMI BIOS Problems
Fm: Stephen Conklan 71541,3373
To: Hans Schleichert 100031,775

Hans, I have a similar setup with poor documentation. The password option is
what you think it is. Be careful with it. The external cache depenp ends on
how much of a memory cache you have. It is usually 64, 128, or 256K.
Whatever the amount says is what it should be unless you add more external
cache memory. The internal cache for the 486 is usually 8K. It should be
enabled. It isn't user configurable. As for the turbo switch, it probably
lets you boot-up in 33mhz or 8mhz. It should be set for the maximum that you
have. You can use the switch on the case to slow it down manually if you need
to. Hope this helps some. Steve

#: 199773 S13/486 Systems [H]
19-Jan-92 14:57:38
Sb: #199726-AMI BIOS Problems
Fm: Clyde Washburn 70305,1211
To: Hans Schleichert 100031,775

The motherboard designer NOT AMI is resonsible for supplying proper
documentation, but AMI is helping by preparing 100 or so manuals for the new
Hi-Flex series BIOS's. I need the screen ID code from the lower left of the
screen while the RAM is counting to tell what Manual if any we might have for
that BIOS.

#: 199789 S13/486 Systems [H]
19-Jan-92 15:52:38
Sb: #199726-AMI BIOS Problems
Fm: Rob Doering 72607,1157
To: Hans Schleichert 100031,775

You are not alone in your confusion. I and others on this forum have been
after more information on the AMI CMOS/XCMOS features. It's true, AMI does
not offer any kind of manual, but I believe one of the programmers here is
putting together something to help us. At least I hope so. I've heard that
Upgrades Etc. might have some sort of manual, but since there are so many
widely varying versions of the AMI BIOS out there, I doubt it. (Let me know if
you'd like thier #; you can ask them yourself)

1. To enable or disable cache memory refers to the CPU cache. If you have a
486DX chip, it has an 8k internal cache built into it. In a single-user
environment, you would probably want this enabled. The specs on your machine
will tell you if you have an external cache as well on the motherboard, and
how big it is. Odds are that you do, and would also benefit by having it
enabled. There are very few reasons you would want to disable cache memory,
unfortunatly I'm not knowledgeable enough to tell you what they are. Ask
around, there are a lot of very well informed people on this forum. The turbo
switch function enables the button on your computer that says "turbo" If you
do not have such a button, you can disable this feature. If you do have such a
button, enabling it will allow you to change CPU speeds when you press the

2. The password is AMI. You may change it, but if you forget it, you will have
to unplug yur CMOS battery and let it run down. Then the password will revert
again to AMI.

Hope this helps, Rob

#: 207134 S13/486 Systems [H]
13-Feb-92 09:16:08
Sb: #207118-#AMI BIOS info
Fm: Clyde Washburn 70305,1211
To: Daniel C. Hunt 74255,524

Let me try to explain why the Extended Setup on AMI BIOS's tends to be a black
hole for information:

AMI BIOS's have one to three Setup categories, depending on the particular
chipset in use on the motherboard and the version of the BIOS:

a) Standard CMOS Setup

b) Advanced CMOS Setup (usually found only on the new Hi-Flex BIOS's).

c) Extended Chipset Setup

The category a) items are the familiar PC-AT compatible setup options, and few
questions arise on those.

The category b) options are BIOS functions, and AMI or a distributor, like my
company, can readily explain what those do.

But Category c) (where almost all of the usual questions are!) is NOT
information used by the _BIOS_, i.e. AMI simply provides a pretty screen to
enter parameters, which are then stored to the Extended CMOS and are retrieved
and used NOT by the BIOS, but by the _chipset_itself_. Thus the ONLY person
who knows exactly how those will work on a given board, which are actually
operative, and what the acceptable range of entries are, is the person who
designed the motherboard -- AMI simply does not know. New BIOS's are created
by AMI doing a BIOS for the chipset manufacrurer's demonstration board, and
the chipset manufacturer then promotes this to prospective motherboard
designers ("and you can get an AMI BIOS for our chipset . . ."). The
individual motherboard designer then does whatever he wishes with the chipset,
selecting RAM size and timing, port addresses, clock sources, etc, any of
which may or may not be like the demo version. AMI does not care what they do
here -- their contract is simply to supply a BIOS, not to approve the design
of keep track of it's details -- so long as the motherboard designer says
"yeah, it works OK, send me more" AMI assumes that they have taken whatever
steps are necessary to properly document the Extended Setup for the user.
Sadly this is often not done by the board manufacturer.

As an accidental benefit to board owners, AMI has, with the new Hi-Flex
series BIOS, started preparing manuals for some (not all) BIOS's which
includes the normal, i.e. demo board, operation of the Extended Setup. These
are offered to the motherboard manufacturers as a jumping-off point, from
which they can prepare their own manuals. We have made arrangements to get
these manuals for those who were supplied nothing of value with their board,
but we MUST have the 30 character ID Code that appears at the lower left of
the Boot Screen with the Hi-Flex BIOS. Manuals for the prior BIOS Plus series
(which had a 16 character ID string) are NOT available. There is a charge of
$15 per manual, and they may be ordered by email (NOT in the forum!) or by
phoning us at 800-836-8026. Note that there are _hundreds_ of such manuals,
we may not have the one you want, and it may take weeks to get one that is not
yet in stock.





American Megatrends, Inc.

Beep Codes

The following beep codes would be heard on power on. All of these errors are hardware related, so call you motherboard manufacturer or reseller for help in correcting the problem.

Beep CodeMeaning
1DRAM refresh failure
2Parity Circuit failure
3Base 64K RAM failure
4System Timer failure
5Processor failure
6Keyboard Controller Gate A20 error
7Virtual Mode Exception error
8Display Memory R/W Test failure
9ROM-BIOS Checksum failure

All of these errors are codes reported by bios



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