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Sun, Feb 22, 2004 9:01 pm

Identifying a Motherboard from the Award BIOS String

When I turned on a fairly old PC, I received a memory test fail error as the system started the boot process. I opened the system to look for the motherboard model number, but couldn't find one, though I saw "Matsonic" stamped on the motherboard.

Since the system displayed the BIOS string at the bottom of the screen, I thought I should be able to identify the motherboard model from that string. The information displayed on the screen is shown below.

Award Modular BIOS v4.51PG, An Energy Star Ally
Copyright (C) 1984-97, Award Software, Inc.

Release 04/30/1998 S

Memory Test: 90112K OK

Award Plug and Play BIOS Extension v1.0A
Copyright (C) 1997, Award Software, Inc.
 Detecting HDD Primary Master None

Memory test fail

Press F1 to continue, DEL to enter SETUP

The BIOS string is in the last line. I know Award is the BIOS manufacturer, since I see "Award Plug and Play BIOS". The second to last group of dash separated characters, "2A5LDH09C" should hopefully identify the motherboard model. The interpretation of the BIOS string is as follows:


mm/dd/yy - the BIOS date in the form of month/date/year
For newer BIOS releases, you may see mm/dd/yyyy. In this case, the BIOS date is April 30, 1998.

The next group of characters after the first dash is usually used by the manufacturer for chipset and I/O name. In this case, I see "537+UMC8670F"

2A5LDH09C - the next group of dash separated characters can be interpreted as follows.

1st Character 2nd Character 3rd Character 4th Character 5th Character 6th Character1 7th and 8th Characters 9th and 10th Characters
BIOS Application Bus System / Topology CPU Type Chipset Manufacturer Chipset Name Flash Identifier
Manufacturer Code Model ID
1 BIOS before v4.2
2 EliteBIOS v4.5x (commonly known as Award Modular BIOS 4.51PG)
3 PowerBIOS v5.0 (Software on floppy disk)
4 CardWare PCMCIA
5 CAMPliant SCSI
6 Medallion BIOS v6.00
7 Socket services
8 Card services
9 OEM card manufacturing kit
1 - ISA
2 - PS/2
3 - EISA Video
4 - Other
5 - EISA / ISA
6 - SCSI
8 - SCSI / CAM
9 - SCSI / CAMkit
C - ISA / PM
E - PCI / PnP
1 - 8086 / 8088
2 - 80286
3 - 80386
4 - 80486
5 - Pentium class
6 - Pentium II/III class OR Cyrix 386
7 - Cyrix 486
8 - 386SL
9 - 386SX
A - 42
B - 80C51SL
U - Universal
1 - ALD
3 - Cyrix
5 - ST Micro
6 - ATI Tech
9 - Intel
D - HiNT
H - Contaq
I - SiS
J - Symphony [Winbond]
K - Acer Labs Inc ALi
R - Forex
T - ACC Micro
U - OPTi
Only useful with
chipset manufacturer
( see complete listing )
i Intel 12V
s SST 5V Flash ROM
A0 ASUSTeK Computer Inc. (Formerly Aorta Systems
A1 ABIT Computer Corp.
A2 A-Trend Technology Co., Ltd.
A3 Aquarius Systems, Inc. (ASI)
A5 AXIOM Technology Co., Ltd.
A7 AVT Industrial Ltd.
A8 Adcom
AB Aopen Inc.
AD Amaquest Computer Corp.
AK Advantech Co., Ltd.
AT ASK Technology Ltd.
AX Achitec
B0 Biostar Microtech Corp.
B1 BEK-Tronic Technology
B2 Boser Technology Co., Ltd.
B3BCM Advanced Research
BK Albatron Computer Corp.
C0 Chaintech Computer Co., Ltd.
C1 Clevo Co.
C2 Chicony Electronics Co., Ltd.
C3Chaintech Computer Co., Ltd.
C5 Chaplet Systems Inc.
C9 CompuTrend Systems, Inc.
CF Flagpoint
CS CSS Laboratories
CV California Graphics USA Distribution
D0 DataExpert Corp.
D1DTK Computer, Inc. (Advance Creative Computer)
D2 Digital Equipment Corp. (Purchased by Compaq)
D3 American Digicom Corp.
D4 Diamond Flower Electric Instrument Co.
D7 Daewoo Telecom
D8 Nature Worldwide Technology Corp.
DE Dual Technology Corp.
DI Domex Computer Services (DTC)
DJ Darter Technology Inc.
DL Delta Electronics, Inc.
E1 Elitegroup Computer Co., Ltd.
E3 EFA Corp.
E4 ESPCo (Elite Spirit Co., Ltd.)
E6 Elonex PLC
EC ENPC Technology Corp.
EO Evalue Technology Inc.
F0 First International Computer, Inc.
F1 Flytech Group International
F2 Flexus Computer Technology Inc.
F3 Full Yes Industrial Corp.
F5 FuguTech
F8 Formosa Industrial Computing, Inc.
F9 Ford Lian International Ltd.
FG Fastfame Technology Co., Ltd.
G0 Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
G3 Gemlight Computer Ltd.
G5 GVC Corp.
G9 Global Circuit Technology
G9 C.P. Technology Co. Ltd.
GA Giantec Inc.
GE Globe Legate Co. Ltd
H0 PC Chips Manufacturing2 (Hsing Tech)
H2 Shuttle Computer Group Inc. (Holco)
HH HighTech Information System
HJ Sono Computer Co., Ltd.
I3 Iwill Corp.
I4 Inventa
I5 Informtech International Ltd.
I7 Inlog Microsystem Co Ltd
IC Inventec Corp.
IE Industrial Technology Research Institute
J1 Jetway Information Co. Ltd.
J1 J-Mark Computer Corp.
J2 Jamicon Electronics
J3 J-Bond
J4 Jetta International Inc.
J6 Joss Technology Ltd.
K0 Kapok Corp.
K1 Kaimei Corp.
KF KINPO Electronic
L1 Lucky Star Technology Co., Ltd.
L7 Lanner Electronics Inc.
L9 Lucky Tiger
LB Leadtek
M0 Matra
M2 MyComp
M3 Mitac
M4 Micro-Star International Co., Ltd.
M8 Mustek Corp.
M9 Micro Leader Enterprises
MH Macrotek
MP Maxtium Computer Corp.
N0 Nexcom
NX Nexar
O0 Ocean Office Automation Ltd.
P1 PC Chips
P6 Protech
P8 AZZA Technology Inc.
P9 Powertech
PA EPoX Computer Co., Ltd.
PC Pine Technology
PF President (Formerly Wang Labs)
PK ALD Technology Ltd.
PN Procomp Informatics Ltd.
PR Super Grace Electronics Ltd.
PS Palmax
PX Pionix
Q0 Quanta
Q1 QDI (Quantum Designs Ltd.)
R0 Rise Computer Inc.
R2 Rectron
R3 Datavan International Corp.
R9 RSAP Technology
RA RioWorks Solutions Inc.
S2 Soyo Computer Inc.
S3 Smart D&M Technology Co., Ltd.
S5 Holco Enterprise Co., Ltd.
S9 Spring Circle Computer Inc.
SA Seanix
SC Sukjung (Auhua Electronics Co. Ltd.)
SE New Tech
SH Luckytech Technology Co. Ltd.
SJ Sowah (H.K.) Limited
SM Hope Vision, SuperPower, San Li
SN Soltek
SX Super Micro Computer, Inc.
T0 Twinhead
T4 Taken
T5 Tyan Computer Corp.
T6 Trigem
TB Taeli (Techmedia)
TG Tekram
TJ Totem Technology Co., Ltd.
TL Transcend Information, Inc.
TP Taiwan Commate Computer Inc.
TR Top Star
TW T&W Electronics (CZ) Co., Ltd.
TX Tsann Kuen Enterprise Co., Ltd. (EUPA Computer)
TY Aeton Technology Inc.
U0 U-Board
U1 Universal Scientific Industrial
U2 UHC Advanced Integration Research
U3 Umax
U4 Unicorn Computer Corp.
U6 Unitron
U9 Warp Speed Ink.
V3 VTech (PC Partner Ltd.)
V5 Vision Top
V6 Vobis
V7 YKM (Dayton Micron)
W0 WinTechnologies (Edom)
W1 Well Join Industry Co., Ltd.
W5 Winco Electronics
W7 Win  Lan Enterprise
W9 Weal Union Development Ltd.
XA ADLink Technology Inc.
X3 ACORP International
X5 Arima Computer Corp.
Y2 Yamashita Engineering Manuf., Inc.
Z1 Zida Technologies Ltd.
Z3 ShenZhen Zeling Industrial Co., Ltd.
Manufacturer specific

1    This character may not be present. If you don't see an "i" or "s" in the 6th position, then the next two characters represent the manufacturer code.
2    PC Chips is just an OEM distributor for Hsing Tech.

The last group of digits, which in the case of the string "04/30/98-537+UMC8670F-2A5LDH09C-00" is "00", specify the BIOS version with "00" representing the initial release.

If I look up the chipset code 2A5LD, I see it corresponds to the VIA Apollo VPX (VXPro+) chipset. And I do see a Via chip next to the Award BIOS chip on the motherboard. The H0 after 2A5LD identifies the motherboard manufacturer as PC Chips, a distributor for Hsing Tech. At the Plasma Online website, I see that the Matsonic MS-5120 motherboard uses a VXPro+ chipset and is identical to the PC Chips M537DMA33 motherboard, so now I may be able to find a manual at the website for one of those companies which will tell me the maximum amount of memory the motherboard will support.

I went to the Matsonic website first. This company does a poor job of technical support. Not only didn't they put the model number on the motherboard, they don't provide any on-line manuals and I couldn't find any information at all on the site for the MS-5120 motherboard.

So I then went to the USA website for PC Chips at Fortunately, this company provides a manual for the M537D motherboard at However, that manual doesn't match my motherboard, since the USB connector on my motherboard isn't between the ISA and PCI slots as depicted in the manual, nor do the Via chip numbers shown in the manual match the numbers on the ones on my motherboard.

Fortunately, a Google search did provide a link to a site with Matsonic manuals. The manual for the MS-5120 motherboard indicates it can handle a maximum of 384 MB of memory. The manual states SIMM 3,4 and DIMM1 can not be use at the same time.


  1. IC Book
  2. ID HW

[/pc/hardware/motherboard] permanent link

Sat, Feb 14, 2004 9:00 am

AT Power Supply

Newer PCs will have an ATX power supply, while older ones may have an AT power supply. The AT power supply will have two sets of cables extending from it. When you connect the cables to the motherboard, the black wires from each set should go next to one another at the motherboard connector. The pinout for an AT power supply is shown below.

Power Supply

[/pc/hardware/power-supply] permanent link

Fri, Feb 13, 2004 10:33 pm


The Internet Storm Center is listing the following as the top ten attacked ports today:

Top Attacked Ports
mydoom 3127
epmap 135
ms-sql-m 1434
netbios-ns 137
www 80
SubSeven 27374
microsoft-ds 445
socks 1080
squid-http 3128
amanda 10080

Several of these ports are assoicated with the MyDoom worm. When a system is infected by the MyDoom.A variant of the worm, the worm opens TCP ports 3127 through 3198, which explains why both of those ports are listed in the top ten attacked ports for today. A later variant of the worm, MyDoom.B may use TCP ports 80, 1080, 3128, 8080 and 10080, which may be why all of those ports, but port 8080, appear in the top ten list for today, though I would expect port 80 attacks to be high even without this worm, since port 80 is the port most commonly used by webservers.

Ports 1080 and 10080, like port 80, have additional uses other than providing a mechanism for the MyDoom worm to provide a backdoor into systems. Port 80 is used for the socks protocol. Socks is an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard proxy protocol for IP applications. The Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver(AMANDA) uses UDP port 10080, but not TCP port 10080. Amanda is a backup system that allows the administrator of a LAN to set up a single master backup server to back up multiple hosts to a single large capacity tape drive.

[/security] permanent link

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