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. Thomas Sandberg January 9, 2009 at 23:28

    Well, my story is similar. Only I used the right modded bios for my 1000H and didn’t modifies anything. Wasn’t necessary the flashing went fine. But after it I’ve got a dark screen and just blue and green led nothing else. I tried
    Fn+Ctrl+Home about 50 times but got nothing. Of course I’ve putted an original BIOS on an USB stick and pluged it in. Any further suggestion ?

  2. Chris Riley January 10, 2009 at 13:39

    Sorry to hear about your problem. I’m no expert, as I said, my friend Bob had the same issues. The only 2 options I’ve seen for getting things running is botting with the USB (and correct .rom) and using either the fn+F2 or fn+ctrl+home key combinations. From my research both work on and off for different models and versions. One thing to note on the fn+ctrl+home option is that timing is everything. Try waiting a second before pressing. Start at ctrl, then press fn, and then press and hold home. As Bob told me 😉 it takes a while to work. The only other option is calling ASUS and telling them that your eeePC is having issues. What you tell them however is up to you.

    Good luck, and hope you get it working again.

  3. Frank January 28, 2009 at 13:35

    Hi!

    Did your friend Bob finally manage to run OSX on the eeePC 1000HG?
    I have the same Asus here and got stuck at the point of updating the BIOS.

    I already searched the web, but no solution can be found. It must be the BIOS.
    Any idea if Bob solved the Problem?

    Thanks,
    Frank

  4. ChrisJohnRiley January 28, 2009 at 18:35

    After almost bricking his eeePC the once my friend Bob decided to keep with the dualboot linux/Windows for a while. So no further movement on the OSX install. Until a valid BIOS is out for it, I think he’ll keep with things as they are. If you decide to go ahead though, let me know if you get it working though 😉

  5. HausX February 3, 2009 at 22:08

    is there a bios for the eeepc 1000h go out meanwhile?

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