A few weeks back, I was resurrecting some old PC components to create a file/torrent server. After checking all the components, replacing the CPU & the RAM, I had a fully functional system.
However, when I added a few terabyte HD’s I found the embedded SiI3114 controller wasn’t so happy with them; The system hung at the controller’s BIOS drive detection.
After a bit of Google-ing I found it could be solved with a simple BIOS update. Phew, saved right? Guess again…
Apparently, the latest BIOS update was only for PCI cards using the SiI3114 chip. The embedded chips have their BIOS integrated into the system’s BIOS. Checking DFI’s support site, it seemed I already had the latest system BIOS.
So I was left with only one option: assemble my own BIOS.
Looking through various forums, I found a nifty utility: CBROM [2016 EDIT: link fixed]. It allows you to integrate or remove addon BIOS’s from a system BIOS, so after carefully reading up on it, I managed to remove the old SiI3114 controller BIOS and integrating the latest one.
Since the PC in question only had a ‘floppy drive flash’ option, and only a DOS utility for flashing, I created my own boot CD containing DOS 6.22, the modified BIOS and the flash utility. After booting that & flashing, the drives worked perfectly!
All in all, a lot of time went into finding a solution for this problem, but it saved me from having to buy a new motherboard, or an entirely new system. Plus messing around with the BIOS was fun.
For anyone who is interested, I’ve uploaded the files I’ve created here. Remember when booting the image to switch from the RAMdrive to the actual CD or you won’t find the BIOS and the flash utility.