For a v1.6 box you MUST use the Evox M8_16 bios. You can't use the x2.4983 or ANY other bios at the moment. Yes, unless you have a version of Cromwell/FlashBIOS higher than 2.2.8 on your other bank (I reeealy doubt it), you'll need a programmer.
BUT, after you get your chip fixed, your HD issue is simple.
You can lock your HDD using the Evox dash if you have the right commands in your Evox menu (re: the proper lines in your evox.ini file). Or, you can download Config Magic from xbins and use that.
Don't worry, your HD
problem is very minor.
Speak up if you don't understand (if you do want to try to use Evox to lock it, but don't know how, either tell us which version of Evox dash you're running or just post your evox.ini file here).