OK, did the flash as per Adam's instructions, then got creative when I got to the part about booting the XP cd. (BTW, H8.BAT ran fine, taking only a few seconds ***see note at bottom)
Went in Bios and enabled HT.
Booted WinXP Pro CD, into blue DOS-style setup screens.
Selected setup WinXP. Pressed F8, agreeing to pay homage to MS.
(Note: I was at winxp SP1a prior to doing this)
Pressed 'R' to repair my existing windows installation.
Setup is copying files... completed to 100%
When in the GUI portion of the setup, it asked me to browse for the sys file for my ATI video driver, which happen to be still on my C drive from where I extracted the 6292 m9 drivers.
Then it asked me to pick my workgroup for the network again. Then continued with more GUI install.
Rebooted. I didn't press any key (skipped the CD), got a small windows pro boot screen that said please wait..., then a big blue animated logo, then a small welcome screen with the animated ? in a circle.
pressed next, then answer no to register online, next, got thank you,finish
My windows looked fine, then after a little time, got a bunch of Serious error from windows dialogs, clicked them away, error report was hex stuff only a MS tech has derails on, other detail buttons didn't reveal anything either.
Two graphs on ctrl-alt-del must be two cpus. Woohoo.
Rebooted. Unchecked ATI tips box. No error boxes this time.
I went and noticed my driver version was 6218 and 6292 as I did my first 3dmark test, so I reinstalled (ran setup) from that same directory I mentioned earlier. Maybe that was the strange dialogs.
I also noticed it didn't say SP1 on my general tab, so I installed SP1a again. Rebooted. And SP1 came back.
I tried testing 3dmark2003 and bad results. Then 3dmark2001 and bump mapping locked my PC.
I reinstalled directx9, then tried the bump mapping test again and it worked!
Anyway now that I have my PC exactly as was before the repair install, down to business.
Result of various benchmarks:
ATI Driver 22.214.171.12492 1600x1200x16
No HT HT
Game Tests 3dmark2003 score:933 903 -3.2%
Game Tests 3dmark2001 score:6951 6757 -2.8%
pcmark2002 cpu 7311 5516 -24.5%
pcmark2002 memory 5634 4545 -19.3%
PCPitStop 1440 1035 -28.1%
Sandra A PR: 3373 4082 +21%
Dhrystone ALU: 7888 8572 MIPS
Whetstone FPU: 1766 2638 MFLOPS
Whetstone iSSE2: 4011 4777 MFLOPS
Sandra MM PR: 3374 4079 +21%
Integer iSSE2: 12158 14109 it/s
Floating-Point iSSE2: 15484 22380 it/s
I am a little dissapointed in the scores. It looks like the only thing that improved was the Sandra scores. Maybe I still have somes issue I need to find. I am curious how Q3 based games perform since I recall something about optimizations for multi cpu. I wonder if UT2K3 or UT2 have anything for SMP. Will look into these tomorrow.
I tried to disable HT in the bios and repeat these tests. Windows booted to a black screen and got stuck. I probably need to redo the update fix to do this. Re-enabled HT, and that fixed it.
I also noticed my touchpad tray icon went away and the mouse has that pressure strike "feature" turned back on. I'll have to look into why the synaptics driver went away.
Time to drown my sorrows away with beer.
***note at bottom
I went in with the following contingency plan in mind. If HT8.BAT takes more than 30 seconds, force power off by holding power button for 5 secs. The reason I thought this up was in fear of the bios routine to turn on fan might deadlock. With this contingency in mind, I knew the risk of following this course would have resulted in me shipping it back to Sager which to me would have been better then letting it sit there for minutes, possible running a 3G CPU without starting the cooling fan. My guess is that the bios routines control when the cooling fan kicks on. Someone, please correct me if I am wrong.