"In het verleden behaalde resultaten bieden geen garanties voor de toekomst"
About this blog

These are the ramblings of Matthijs Kooijman, concerning the software he hacks on, hobbies he has and occasionally his personal life.

Most content on this site is licensed under the WTFPL, version 2 (details).

Questions? Praise? Blame? Feel free to contact me.

My old blog (pre-2006) is also still available.

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BIOS upgrade to get DDR400

Recently, I've added an extra memory module to xanthe, my notebook. Originally, she shipped with 512 MB DDR400 (== 200Mhz) memory. I added 1024 MB DDR400. For some weird reason, this caused my memory to be clocked at 133Mhz instead of 200Mhz, even when both memory modules support 200Mhz. Removing either memory module makes the other module at 200Mhz again.

Tonight I was googling around for a fix for this problem, when I found that a new BIOS version was released (v6.70, while I was running v6.50). Since MSI does not seem to like changelogs, my only option was to just try. Easier said then done, since the supplied flash program needs dos to run. The recommended way for this is, as usual, "Make a dos bootable floppy and run the program". Not having a floppy drive severely limited my options here. So, I googled around and found the "ultimate boot cd", wich should be able to boot into DOS.

Trying the UBC (supplied as a 200M iso download) proved very handy. It provides a FreeDos and OpenDos installation (IIRC, the flash tool worked under OpenDOS, but not FreeDOS). Furthermore, a lot of testing utilities and hard drive tools are included on the CD. Nice to have lying around.

Anyway, updating the bios was succesful (though my laptop did a full powerdown when it was finished, I suspect this was a feature of the flash tool). I was unable to see directly if it also solved my problem, since the new BIOS does not show the memory speed anymore (which would be a very stupid way to 'fix' the problem). But, using Memtest86+ (also on the UBC), I found out my memory was correctly clocked at 200Mhz.

Dehibernating my linux worked, which I did not really expect and I experienced a significant speedup when dehibernating and especially deswapping Firefox. Yay!

Lastly, when I first bought my notebook, I promised to post pictures of her insides and a tutorial on dissassembling the S270. Just now, I've found a S270 disassembling guide by MSI themselves, so I won't bother anymore. I might publish the pictures anyway if I finally get my gallery plugin to properly work.

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