Cатсн²² (in)sесuяitу / ChrisJohnRiley

Because we're damned if we do, and we're damned if we don't!

How to unbrick an EeePC

asus_eee_pc_900_black006Yes you read that right… Before we get to the easy part (I use that term loosely), let me tell you a little story.

There was a guy called Bob (no, not the same Bob from the Pauldotcom show) who had a brand new 1000HG eeepc. It was happy running Ubuntu (and XP, but that’s a problem for another time), but Bob craved for OSX. After spending a few hours fighting to get iDeneb’s version of OSX running on the little machine, he realised that the problem lay with the BIOS. Yes, you can see where this is going. So after looking all over for a modded (OSX ready) BIOS version for the 1000HG, he settled on one for the 1000H. After all the 1000HG is only a 1000H with added 3G support (or so he thought). After following the instructions to reflash the BIOS (renaming the 1000H.rom to 1000HG.rom, putting it on a USB stick, and then booting while pressing fn+F2), the flash program balked and complained about the wrong ROMID. Of course, it’s elementary my dear Bob. ASUS has wisely set the ROMID differently between the versions of BIOS to stop fools from flashing with the wrong version. 5 minutes later and the rom file was open in AMI’s editing tool and the ROMID was changed to the correct number for the 1000HG. If you can’t see where this is going now, then all hope for you is already lost. Anyway, starting up again, the flash utility took the new rom file without so much as a wimper, and flashed without a single complaint. Reboot, and wondrous blackness. No BIOS, no flashing error lights, no error message, no beeps, no power to the USB key I used to flash… OMG Bob you fool, what have you done.

So begins the journey for a fix. Bob tried everything possible. Removing the battery, power cable and pressing the reset point under the eeepc for 30 seconds (and also holding the power for 30 seconds). He tried booting with the correct 1000HG.rom file (from the original CD) on a USB and holding fn+F2 till his fingers bled (ok, maybe not, but you get the idea right). All seemed lost, and the hunt for a fiy seemed to have come up dry. Then, finally in the back of a deep dark eeepc forum he saw a shiny shiny light. FN+CTRL+HOME, Yes, this could be it. After all, 3 buttons are hands down better than 2 (just think of the 3-finger salute, CTRL+ALT+DEL), and FN+F2 wasn’t cutting it as a solution.

There was only one problem with this proposed solution… timing. As they say, timing is everything. So it began. I’ll leave out the part about frustration, having to hold the power down for 3 or 4 seconds to get it to turn off before retrying, and the general annoyance level caused, and move straight to the part involving happy. We rejoin Bob later (about 30 minutes later) having already completed more than 35 nerve racking reboots. However this time around luck was on Bob’s side at last. There was life in the eee pc yet… the flashing tool blinked up onto the previously lifeless screen of eee-death, and as luck would have it (ok it was planned, honest) the USB key with the original BIOS was in the machine’s USB slot. Never before had the text of a BIOS flashing tool shined like the words of *insert name of suitable deity here*. YES, yes, yes… (no not the scene from “when Harry met Sally”) but the sound of eee-resurrection.

One reboot later and Bob had his 1000HG working again. It was then that he swore never to edit BIOS rom files for his systems ever again (until next time) after all, he knew how to unbrick it now 😉

The moral of this story…. always use FN+CTRL+HOME to unbrick your eeepc, because 3 keys are better than 2 any day of the week.

* The names have been changed to protect the innocent (and dumb)
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20 responses to “How to unbrick an EeePC

  1. JMF October 31, 2010 at 21:13

    Hi All and Thanks for your suggestions.
    For those with problems of booting with EeePC try to unplugand plug Cmos Battery.
    Check this posts very helpfull http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=6036
    and this for the Updates http://forum.eeeuser.com/viewtopic.php?id=37175

    It worked in my case, it’s hard but it did the job.
    After I update the BIOS for the “latest” 2204.

    Thank you all.

  2. R&R June 16, 2011 at 00:38

    Been searching the webbernets for three days and finally came across this!
    I had not messed with the bios, RAM or anything. The screen was black, but power was there.
    1000H running fine again.

  3. Daniel March 29, 2012 at 15:46

    Hi, thanks for your post. i’m having similar issues with my eee pc 900ha. I tried your method but not having any luck. Can u please tell me at what moment do your press the key combination? Eg.

    1. Press power button then press the keys in a sequence?
    2. press power button then press all three keys simultaneously?
    3. Whilst holding down all keys, press power button?

    Thanks.

  4. ChrisJohnRiley March 29, 2012 at 16:48

    Sorry that you’ve also got this issue… It’s been a LONG time since I wrote this and I’m afraid that it took a LONG time to get the timing right. It’s unclear when to press what. Annoying I know, but I only work with the stuff!

  5. Dwain September 4, 2012 at 02:17

    I tried to follow this recommendation, and I was not successful. But I think I know why. Look at this procedure:

    http://wiki.eeeuser.com/howto:recoverfrombrick

    This one worked for me on my bricked 900A. But only after I got the name of the BIOS update file correct. The name of the file that I downloaded from the ASUS website was

    900A-ASUS-1102.ROM

    And that is the name of the file I used when I put it on the Flash drive. But neither of these procedures worked with that name. So I tried 900.rom, and that did not work either. But when I renamed the ROM file

    900A.ROM

    Bingo! The BIOS loaded and my Eee 900A was happy again. I bet the procedure listed on this Blog would have worked had I got the name of the file correct.

    Hope this helps.

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