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Why is it anything that flashes hardware requires DOS?

post #1 of 13
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i just had to flash a hard drive for my 360 and it seems like everything that allows you to flash hardware requires dos. gpu bios FLASH. MoBo BIOS and alot of others. Why is that? does it have something to do with drivers running or just windows itself not being reliable enough?
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post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by philhalo66 View Post

i just had to flash a hard drive for my 360 and it seems like everything that allows you to flash hardware requires dos. gpu bios FLASH. MoBo BIOS and alot of others. Why is that? does it have something to do with drivers running or just windows itself not being reliable enough?

I believe it is a few things actually, for one dos is only command line, command line works for flashing you dont need a GUI. However the biggest reason I think is dos requires less hardware and way less resources to run, its a lighter operating system that is less likely to fail while changing aspects. Some PCs do allow you to flash the bios through windows however.
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post #3 of 13
I think you're confusing DOS and commandline.

They're not the same thing. DOS simply used a command line interface because a modern GUI didn't exist yet.

There's nothing wrong with commandline as an interface, it's simple, powerful and lightweight.
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penicilyn View Post

I think you're confusing DOS and commandline.

They're not the same thing. DOS simply used a command line interface because a modern GUI didn't exist yet.

There's nothing wrong with commandline as an interface, it's simple, powerful and lightweight.

No he is right, ATI Flash, NVFlash, and other Bios flashing programs are DOS based, very few actually will allow flashing inside of windows. The lightweight is key here I think, I think it is because flashing in DOS allows for less resources being tied up. It also does not require all the drivers ect, you are interacting with the hardware on a lower level.

The programs he is talking about require you to boot a DOS based program from a CD or USB, they then are a DOS based program that only fulfills the flash and nothing more. It is a good question as well, I have never questioned it personally. I would like to know the answer as well, although I think its because it is lightweight.
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post #5 of 13
I thought Windows 95 was the last DOS based version. Since then its been command line, at least I remember that you could boot to DOS in Win 95 and I dont think you could in Win 98 and after.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slink3Slyde View Post

I thought Windows 95 was the last DOS based version. Since then its been command line, at least I remember that you could boot to DOS in Win 95 and I dont think you could in Win 98 and after.

I am confused on what you are asking, If your asking if new versions of windows are DOS based then ya you are correct they are not. "Command Line" is simply the name of the windows gives that kind of GUI, there are other names for it, Linux and Unix call it "Terminal".

You can and still boot DOS (but you have to have the OS, it wont boot from windows), when flashing Bios'es and I think Memtest is still DOS based? Anyway when you do this windows is completely out of the equation, you dont not boot windows at all. The programs that use this feature are self sufficient DOS programs that run a version of DOS OS with there specific needs in mind and nothing more. Kinda like specialized Linux Distros, like Gparted, that is a linux based OS that serves a purpose and all functions are related to that purpose and that purpose only. The Flashing software does the same but DOS based.

These DOS or Linux based utilities are generally the least reliant on the system as they can be. Most do not even used harddrives anything they need file wise is on the CD or USB. Alot of them also use the USB as a swap file so the Ram of the system is not needed, That is why I think the flashing programs use it. By using a DOS based program they can effectively cut out any board resources aside from a small amount of CPU resources and of course Video needs.
Edited by Cyber Locc - 2/9/16 at 9:34pm
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyber Locc View Post

I am confused on what you are asking, If your asking if new versions of windows are DOS based then ya you are correct they are not. "Command Line" is simply the name of the windows gives that kind of GUI, there are other names for it, Linux and Unix call it "Terminal".

You can and still boot DOS (but you have to have the OS, it wont boot from windows), when flashing Bios'es and I think Memtest is still DOS based? Anyway when you do this windows is completely out of the equation, you dont not boot windows at all. The programs that use this feature are self sufficient DOS programs that run a version of DOS OS with there specific needs in mind and nothing more. Kinda like specialized Linux Distros, like Gparted, that is a linux based OS that serves a purpose and all functions are related to that purpose and that purpose only. The Flashing software does the same but DOS based.

These DOS or Linux based utilities are generally the least reliant on the system as they can be. Most do not even used harddrives anything they need file wise is on the CD or USB. Alot of them also use the USB as a swap file so the Ram of the system is not needed, That is why I think the flashing programs use it. By using a DOS based program they can effectively cut out any board resources aside from a small amount of CPU resources and of course Video needs.

Lol to be honest I should have kept my nose out, I know Memtest runs outside of Windows at boot, and of course the motherboard BIOS gets flashed before Windows loads but I'm not sure on the technicalites of whether its DOS or a command line or infact what the command line is.. I'll take my herping and derping elsewhere it wont help anyone here:)
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slink3Slyde View Post

Lol to be honest I should have kept my nose out, I know Memtest runs outside of Windows at boot, and of course the motherboard BIOS gets flashed before Windows loads but I'm not sure on the technicalites of whether its DOS or a command line or infact what the command line is.. I'll take my herping and derping elsewhere it wont help anyone here:)

Lol its no problem man smile.gif I honestly dont know why either I do know they run DOS, I am not sure why however. I mean I think its because of my reasoning above but I do not know for sure I am curious to know why as well. I am just taking what I do know and making an educated guess thumb.gif

Command Line is just a GUI its a way to interact with the OS on a Text based basis. Its more powerful as usually a lot of deep seeded features are not changeable in the normal GUI as they do not want non advanced users changing or messing with those things in Command you can edit and change a lot more.

I am not sure that all of them are DOS based, however a lot are. Of the boards I have and of course NVFlash and ATIFLash they are DOS based, the easiest way to find out is when you make the bootable medium, you have to make a DOS boot USB/CD to run those programs.
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post #9 of 13
Its generally way safer flashing hardware in DOS as you can send low level commands direct to the hardware with minimal overheads and less chance of other background software causing an issue.

In the majority of cases it really has not much to do with the fact whether its is CLI based or not. - Its just simply safer and better from a programming perspective to handle it in plain DOS with direct calls to the hardware.
Edited by Costas - 2/9/16 at 11:22pm
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slink3Slyde View Post

I thought Windows 95 was the last DOS based version. Since then its been command line, at least I remember that you could boot to DOS in Win 95 and I dont think you could in Win 98 and after.
Windows 98 could also boot to plain DOS. Then you typed "win" at the command line if you wanted to go back into Windows. Windows ME took that ability away, although it was fairly easy to restore. Windows ME was the last Windows to use DOS as a bootloader.

As far as why it's used for flashing BIOSes and other ROM's, it's because of its simplicity. Any operating system that accesses advanced operating modes of an x86 CPU carries more risk of a crash, which is catastrophic if you're flashing a ROM. There have been flashing programs that run under Windows, and failures with them were almost nonexistent, but why take the chance? Just boot to DOS, keep the CPU in real mode with the barest possible overhead, and get the job done. If something ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
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