300PL "Processor Bios Update"?

IBM or Lenovo Desktops, Workstations, ThinkStations, etc. Recent vintage, hardware/software..
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Bookworm
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300PL "Processor Bios Update"?

#1 Post by Bookworm » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:26 am

I tried installing a 550 Mhz Pentium III in my 300PL (it came with a 450 Mhz PII) and it started up with an error message saying a "Processor Bios Update" was not found. Where do I get this update, and how do I install it?

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#2 Post by jdhurst » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:44 am

You can try going to the Lenovo site -> Support, and entering the machine type into the window to see if it pulls up your machine and download area for BIOS.

I recall putting a PowerLeap CPU (> 1Ghz) in my 300PL and it required a BIOS update. It was the IBM support site back then, but that (above) is how I did it.

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#3 Post by leoblob » Tue Sep 23, 2008 3:07 pm

I have three PC300's all with Powerleap converters and 1.4 GHZ PIIIs and all of them give me that error on startup. In my case, the error message does not seem to affect the computer in any way.

If the BIOS upgrade process suggested above doesn't work for you, then there is a setting in the BIOS that allows the boot to continue after displaying any error messages for 5 seconds. That way, your machine will boot completely (with a 5 second pause) without any operator intervention, even though it displays the error message.

However, if your BIOS is so old that it does not recognize a PIII 500, then I would definitely look for a newer BIOS version.
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BIOS Update

#4 Post by RobertJohnB » Wed Sep 24, 2008 11:50 am

I downloaded an updated BIOS for my 6892-N4U PC 300PL from the following site:
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site. ... BAR-3TYSNA

But at the same time it should be noted I did NOT install a newer, faster processor; I kept the one I had. So I hope this helps.

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#5 Post by Bookworm » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:37 pm

Mine doesn't work with the new CPU installed. The BIOS setup works, but it couldn't find an os on the hard drive, CD, or floppy. I had also installed a RAM that had a bad spot in it. With the bad RAM & PII Windows booted, but with constant errors. With the good RAM, Windows was fine, so I put the PIII back in, and *nothing* happened. (Yes, I did remember to turn it on.) This might have been caused by dust. I'll have it all apart tomorow to put in a new hard drive, so I'll vacuum it out and try again.

Does this sound like a bad CPU? How do I make shure it's compatible? It's marked 550/256/100/1.65V. The original PII doesn't have this info, but it sounds like it should work - unless the voltage is wrong. Is it?

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#6 Post by leoblob » Thu Sep 25, 2008 2:56 pm

Voltage should be OK. Those specs should be OK.

Sounds like a CPU problem... either defective or not installed properly.

When you plug in the computer (with the power off) do you hear the computer sound like it's starting up for a second, but then it stops? (This is normal behavior).

Also, are you sure that all RAM (both good and bad) is rated to run with a 100MHz bus speed? Are both RAM slots full, or just one? Reason I ask, I had a problem with my Intellistation when I upgraded to faster processors. There was no boot... nothing. Turns out that the RAM was in slots 3 & 4. Worked OK with the slower processors, but with the faster ones they needed to be in 1 & 2 or else no boot. I never figured out why ... ??

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#7 Post by Bookworm » Fri Oct 03, 2008 9:35 pm

It's working! I had to install the BIOS upgrade *after* the new CPU was installed. Upgrading the BIOS first won't work; with the new CPU and no BIOS upgrade, the upgrade disk is the only thing the computer will boot from.

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#8 Post by leoblob » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:33 pm

Very good detective work. That never would have occurred to me as generally (in my experience at least), you need the new bios FIRST or else the machine doesn't know what to do with the new processor.

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