Last week I downloaded the latest "stable" bios for my mobo (v1010 for those interested). There was a beta available(v1011), but I don't really fancy trying beta versions of bios.
For several reasons, not least some large dl's taking place, I put off installing the bios until this evening. Promised were some improvements in memory performance, so I decided to update. The installation appeared to be ok, so I rebooted, set the bios settings and proceeded to launch XP.
At this point disaster struck. BSOD, stop 0x0000007B. Fortunately I was able to find out the cause of this stop using my other pc - BOOT DEVICE UNAVAILABLE. This stop has always struck me as strange, how on earth can it get to the point of loading drivers and then find it can't access the boot device. Microsofts suggested solutions included reinstalling Xp (update mode), but none of them really seemed to hit the mark.
I decided to go back to the mobo site (Asus) and dl the previous bios version. When I got there I found that version 1010 has no longer available, version 1011 was now the latest and the reasons for its release were - solves boot problems.
I dl'd this version and the previous one (v1008), and had to go through the Dos update feature to install the bios. I used v1011 and it seems to be ok. Sandra does indeed show slight bandwidth improvements, and bootup is certainly faster.
Anyway, my word of caution is this - make sure you have a way of reloading the previous bios before you update, or at least another way of downloading them. Without another pc I would have been well and truly up the creek.