Crap... I see what you're saying. That sucks...
post #121 of 382
6/9/06 at 9:50pm
Originally Posted by MrToad
You can easily extract the dell bios from the distributed executable:
Basically is biosfilename.exe -writeromfile or -writehdrfile.
If you open the hdr dump in an hex editor and compare it to the rom dump you'll see that only the first and last bytes differ.
My experience modding bios goes as far as using cbrom to update the SATA RAID bios, which is not very far.
I have gathered some bits and pieces here and there, but if you want to look into this matter I don't want to give you any misleading information.
Problem is, without proper knowledge background, tackling this issue for me is like trying to calculate a comet's orbit without any knowledge of newtonian mathmatics. What I end up with is more about faith and superstition than science.
Originally Posted by cornholio
Assume we are completely green and eloborate a bit on what steps need to be taken as far as software to use and procedure to extract the Dell M170 system bios...
Originally Posted by MrToad
1.- Download A05MXG51.EXE to a directory in your hard drive (let's call this one c:\\A05MXG51, I'm feeling really imaginative today ^^)
2.- Go to Start > Run, type "cmd" in the dialog box and press "OK"
3.- In the command prompt type "cd \\" (the space between "cd" and "\\" is irrelevant here, but I can't help myself)
4.- Now type "cd A05MXG51" (here the space is relevant )
5.- Now type A05MXG51 -writeromfile
This "extracts" the bios code to a file with the same name and the extension .bin
If you open this file in an hex editor, the first thing you will notice is that is divided in four different sections. I haven't tested with the M170 bios, but with the XPS GEN2 the starting position if each section (or module) is a constant.
Here is where I obliterate science and I jump in the field of superstition. My best guess (and is a very wild guess) is that each section of code is a diferent module in the bios, same as in the bios of my desktop's motherboard, which can be confortably manipulated with cbrom and other tools.
Problem with this particular bios is that I know of no tool that can "extract" those modules to work with them, therefore any manipulation would have to be via hex editor and in it's "packed" form, which is far beyond my skills.
Edit: For the record, the bios files for the M170 and the XPS GEN2 are identical bit by bit.
Edit2: Even if we manage to succesfully edit the bios, we will have to figure out a way to actually flash the bios. Aparently if you run the bios updater (for example A05MXG51.EXE) under real DOS it will admit the command "-readgzfile", which some people speculate it might attempt to read a file with the same name of the executable, compressed in gzip. But afaik this is all theory. Besides, we don't know if it's the .hdr (the file you end up with if you use the command -writehdrfile instead of -writeromfile, which opened in an hex editor shows a few bits of code added both at the beginning and the end of the file compared to the .bin one) or the .bin file the one we need to flash.
In the Dell's server line is the .hdr file the one used to flash the bios, but idk about laptops.
Originally Posted by ciVick_EX
OK here we go, progress. It's really easy to change the actual board ID and make the card think that it is a 7800 when it is a 7900. So, you open nibitor, and click the advanced info tab. Now, you can see under "Device ID" a code for your card. I think it's as simple as selecting from the device dropdown box a 7800 Go or Go GTX ID and go from there.
Here's my logic: this shouldn't screw up the board, just simply make it think that it's a different card. In worst case, I believe you can still blind flash it back to the original bios. We're not really changing any memory, clock, or voltage settings. All we're doing is trying to get under the XPS2/M170 bios radar.
So to recap:
Nibitor --> load card bios info for 7900 Go --> Advanced info tab --> select 7800 Go from drop down box outside of tabs (my suggestion, to make sure we don't fry the card or something) --> save bios --> flash bios of pseudo-7800. Again, I really, really doubt it will hurt the card itself... on the other hand, I'm not sure how nVidia drivers will handle this. I still think it's worth a shot.
|But as far as I know this is feasible just as far as the Device ID is concerned as that is controlled by the graphics BIOS.|