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#1 [Request] How to Access Locked/Hidden BIOS Menu Settings by akm 31.07.2018 17:48

I have a laptop which has Intel Z97 Express Chipset motherboard. The system Bios like most laptops has very limited options. I was particularly interested in disabling HPET, Turbo Boost and other CPU Power Saving settings. I was wondering if there is any way to unlock the BIOS or access the locked options through EFI shell etc. for this system to access the foregoing locked settings.

#2 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 31.07.2018 18:02

Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS
Yes, I can help with all of that I believe, no EFI Shell needed either I think I can do all in BIOS for you.
Provide a link to the manufacturer BIOS. Do you have flash programmer (Ch341A)? If not, please order one now, and a SOIC type jumper cable, they're only around $3 each and can save your laptop if we end up with a bad flash, no reason to not order since it's so cheap
Like this, get green or blue model, even if you order from another seller get that. Don't get black/gold one, it needs a hard mod usually to bring voltage down.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/263458010112 - Choose "Blue" model
Grab one of these too
https://www.ebay.com/itm/263708580560

I have just contacted the ebay sellers to confirm if the Programmer and the Clip ship to India. As they confirm, I can order them. But using these will be a serious concern for me as I will have to completely disassemble the laptop (which I wonít be able to) to access the SPI chip. I will anyway order them as it would make me more confident to try out things on a desktop system.
For my laptop, I would rather prefer less intrusive/safer methods to access the locked controls that I want.
I have uploaded the BIOS that was last flashed on this system (in 2015). Some time back I upgraded the ME Firmware of the system to 9.1.37.1002. I have just requested the Notebook Reseller to provide the latest BIOS for the system and as I receive it I will upload that too.

EDIT:
I have uploaded the latest BIOS for my system here (as the size is greater than 6MB). The Reseller provided me some specific instructions for the BIOS update which are there in the shared zip Folder.
There is one concern here as mentioned in the previous post. The ME version in the latest BIOS may be lower than the latest version 9.1.37.1002 to which I have already updated.

#3 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by Lost_N_BIOS 01.08.2018 05:35

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The tools I mentioned for you to purchase are only necessary for safety reasons, in case a modified BIOS gives you a bad flash. That way you can recover and not have a dead laptop. You will only need to use them in an emergency, if there is a problem etc.
Mainly suggested for security in case something goes wrong with the BIOS edits.

The mod BIOS you wont need that to use a programmer, unless you are locked out of updating ME and need ME updated etc. For the changes you mentioned, this does not apply, that's all BIOS region only.
I can put ME version you're currently using in older BIOS into the new one if you want. Can you confirm the ME version in your BIOS chip (Not the BIOS file) is the ME version you think it is.
BIOS is set as locked out of read/write to ME, aside from within a BIOS flash process itself, curious how/if you got this updated or not, plus what I mention below
Do that by running MEInfoWin from a cmd prompt, from this system tools package, then post an image here so I can see the complete output. Thanks!
https://mega.nz/#!aMNCmAzL!hOm5iBndCxhTA...ZzxCATomBDlb3Bw

I'm also concerned with Intel Bootguard in the above MEinfo stuff, not so much ME version itself as I can make that same/new/whatever.
And yes, latest BIOS has older ME, so I will transfer back in latest one you wanted with settings transferred etc @ 9.1.37.1002_1.5MB_PRD_RGN

I will look into disabling those settings for you, no promises but I think I can do all you mentioned. But, I need exact specific settings you want, and what you want them set to for optimized default. Outline them all one by one, example below
1. HPET - Disabled by default
2. Turbo Boost = Disabled by default
3. Which specific power save setting #1
4. "" "" #2 etc

Which BIOS do you actually use in the 0314 folder you uploaded?
P770ZM.14 Or P770ZM8M.14 (I assume this one, it contains ME 9.1.20.1035, the other does not have ME)

Wow, sooooooo many errors and issues with both the old and new BIOS, I can't believe you can even boot to BIOS with either of those.
Their BIOS coding engineers need to go back into training, FIT table for microcodes isn't even setup correctly I'm surprised CPU can load, wow!
Sorry, lots more than that, but it's too much wrong to explain!

#4 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 01.08.2018 11:37

I updated the ME firmware through FWUpdate (using FWUpdLcl.exe -f NewME.bin from DOS). I have attached the MEInfo Dump that was taken when the ME firmware was updated.

For the Optimized defaults, I would suggest:

HPET: Disabled
Turbo Boost: Enabled (I would disable it afterwards)
C1E/ C States: Disabled
EIST: Disabled
SpeedStep: Disabled
(Basically all CPU Power Saving Settings disabled by default)

Regarding your question about the BIOS file used, both were used. And you can check that by seeing the contents of flashme.bat and FLASH.bat in the zipped Folder.

It shudders me to hear that the BIOS has technical issues. Although I havenít had any performance issues with this system, there has been another problem related to EC/KBC. The laptop officially supports NVIDIA 9xx series GPUs, but I asked the Reseller to provide me the system with an AMD GPU (AMD HD8970M). They found that the card was compatible with the system, so they agreed. The problem is that the BIOS is not able to identify the AMD GPU and due to incompatibility with EC/KBC, the AMD GPU is not able to control the backlight brightness of the laptop display. Basically, the AMD GPU is not able to have any kind of DDC communication with any display (there are no issues with the performance of the GPU though). Will it be possible for you to correct that as well in the BIOS files?

#5 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by Lost_N_BIOS 01.08.2018 13:30

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Thanks for the info and image, both types of bootguard are not enabled, so that is good for BIOS mod!

OK, thank you for your list, I think I can set all that disabled for you by default for optimized defaults. I'll have to look at the batch file closely then, to see why both are used, only one should be needed with or without ME version depending on how you want to update.
That right there tells you how little they know about doing things correctly. Yes, the BIOS is coded very sloppily, lost of errors and things not put in properly.
Do you even see a microcode version if you check for microcode revision in HWINfo64 or AIDA64, here's where to look for each


Tell me your CPU model, so I can show you what microcode the BIOS has in it, vs what you find at above, because you may actually see "Windows" inserted microcode instead of BIOS due to all the security issues lately Windows has been trying to keep up and override BIOS versions.
Actually, here, this is the microcodes in the current 0314 BIOS, since I think that is the one you are still using, if you don't see the matching microcode shown here for your CPU's CPUID then it's windows version instead. Same codes in each BIOS file, since only one is really needed (Derp)
Even on a clean install I don't see how BIOS could use any of these, they aren't coded in correctly anyway


I will look into backlight brightness setting for you too, this is often in hidden settings of the BIOS, so I may be able to enable for you or at least adjust. If I can't enable, I will send you a few BIOS to try with varying brightness settings adjusted while hidden still, then you can see if it even affects or not.
So they sold you a known incompatible built system, I believe that after seeing how they butcher a BIOS

#6 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by genius239 01.08.2018 14:46

Hi~~akm
I try to mod bios unlock with you provide 0314 file , below was my mod.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/x2d0isacm1...ZM_mod.rar/file

If my mod can unlock chipset tab and unlock some of options on advanced tab ,plz
capture some screens of them.


Good luck

Feng

#7 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 01.08.2018 19:46

@Lost_N_BIOS My CPU is Core i7 4790K. I suppose HWInfo/AIDA would show the Windows inserted microcode. But I will check.


@genius239 Hi Feng

I have some queries:

1. You havenít done the mod on the latest Bios, instead the older one?

2. Have you updated the ME firmware in your modded Bios?

3. If anything goes wrong in flashing the modded Bios, do you think the system will allow to flash the stock Bios? Or I will have to use the hardware programmer?

4. Should I be using the manufacturer provided instructions to flash your modded Bios too?

#8 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by genius239 01.08.2018 19:54

These file from you provide 0314.zip ,i don't know if it is the latest.

I only mod setup module , it didn't effect boot ,as long as flashing normally.
I think you need use my mod to replace original one(file name was the same) ,use original tool or bat file to flash.

#9 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 01.08.2018 20:37

@genius239 The latest Bios was shared in Post #3. The link is:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/eqdb4czqh3...Latest+Bios.zip

#10 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by genius239 02.08.2018 02:53

Hi~~akm
Try this one again.
https://dailyuploads.net/obf6xb16th57

#11 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by Lost_N_BIOS 02.08.2018 10:24

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Thanks for jumping in to help @genius239 - if you still need my help with any of this let me know @akm

#12 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 02.08.2018 14:29

@Lost_N_BIOS I will be needing your help. I think I would want to try out first your provided modded BIOS as you have observed some technical issues with the stock BIOS files. You pointed out the CPU microcode related issues which I think are really serious to be there in the stock BIOS. I am also concerned about the older ME firmware in the stock BIOS, which you said you would replace it with the one I am using. You also said that it might be possible for you to fix the display brightness issues. So, it would make sense that I work with you (in providing all the info you need) and try out your modded BIOS. Hopefully, that should address my requirements and fix the problems. If we get stuck anywhere, we can loop in @genius239 who has been kind and helpful to quickly provide a modded BIOS.

@genius239 I am thankful to you for both the mods. I had certain questions and some concerns, which I am not raising now. I will raise that as we loop you in. This thread was actually in continuation of PMs between me and Lost_N_BIOS, and all the problems have been described to him in detail. So, it can only make sense to try out his suggested fixes first.

#13 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by Lost_N_BIOS 03.08.2018 09:37

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Did you try his BIOS yet? If you did, and it works, we can carry on from his mods to the other things I mentioned trying to help with. That would save me some time, if he's already fixed the menus and settings as you wanted

Are you still on the .14 BIOS? If yes, did you check what microcodes are shown by the way I mentioned?
If it's not Revision 1D then windows loaded microcodes, and only way you'd be able to tell if BIOS actually loads one ever, vs windows stock one is a clean install without being connected to the internet, then see if 1D shows or something else (Which would be windows stock included)
It's not a big deal, and I will correct this in the BIOS anyway as I update the codes, I was simply curious what really happened in an instance where the BIOS was messed up like that.

I see in BIOS, GFX Low Power Mode is enabled for either fail safe and default, so that could affect you if you are a gamer, but that may be always like this for laptops
In regards to what you mention, I see "Backlight Control" is set to PWM Normal, there is three other options there, but I am unsure what they do. But, there is no levels like I've seen in some.
One is PWM Inverted, GMBus normal and inverted too. I was thinking trying PWM Inverted, but if that fails to load the screen for you then you'd have to recovery BIOS blindly (with autoexec.bat file) or flash programmer.
Changing settings like this can be risky, without you wanting to use a programmer Often it's easy to access your BIOS chip without having to take it all apart, usually only bottom needs to come off.

These are the hidden settings in regards to graphics

#14 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by akm 03.08.2018 21:57

Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
Did you try his BIOS yet? If you did, and it works, we can carry on from his mods to the other things I mentioned trying to help with. That would save me some time, if he's already fixed the menus and settings as you wanted

No, not yet. I had some concerns/queries which are mentioned below:

1. I checked with ME Analyser the version of ME Firmware in the modded BIOS. It is 9.1.30.1008. I already have a higher version installed, so I am concerned that the manufacturer suggeted BIOS flashing process may attempt to downgrade the ME firmware version and can cause problems. (The screenshot of ME Analyser is attached)

2. Is there any modding required in the rom file that is there in EC1 folder in the latest BIOS folder that I uploaded, so as to make things consistent with the changes done in the other rom files while modding?

3. As per the manufacturer recommended BIOS flash process, I should flash the EC1 and EC2 first and then flash the main BIOS. Do you recommend the same or there is some change due to modding?


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
Are you still on the .14 BIOS? If yes, did you check what microcodes are shown by the way I mentioned?
If it's not Revision 1D then windows loaded microcodes, and only way you'd be able to tell if BIOS actually loads one ever, vs windows stock one is a clean install without being connected to the internet, then see if 1D shows or something else (Which would be windows stock included)

Yes, I am on .14 stock BIOS. I have attached the screenshots of AIDA64 and HWInfo64. My CPU is Core i7 4790K. The Microcode is 1Eh.


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
It's not a big deal, and I will correct this in the BIOS anyway as I update the codes, I was simply curious what really happened in an instance where the BIOS was messed up like that.

That will be great if you update the correct codes.


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
I see in BIOS, GFX Low Power Mode is enabled for either fail safe and default, so that could affect you if you are a gamer, but that may be always like this for laptops

Yes, I am a gamer too. And this laptop is a gaming laptop. It is a shame that they have enabled the GFX Low Power Mode. Do you think there could be any issue with disabling the Low Power Mode?


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
In regards to what you mention, I see "Backlight Control" is set to PWM Normal, there is three other options there, but I am unsure what they do. But, there is no levels like I've seen in some.
One is PWM Inverted, GMBus normal and inverted too. I was thinking trying PWM Inverted, but if that fails to load the screen for you then you'd have to recovery BIOS blindly (with autoexec.bat file) or flash programmer.
Changing settings like this can be risky, without you wanting to use a programmer

Trying to recover BIOS blindly would be a daunting task. So, if such a risk is there, I would suggest to leave it as it is.

I have the information that EC firmware and GPU drivers are responsible for backlight control. If that makes sense, could you please check the rom file that is there in the EC1 foler in the latest BIOS folder that I shared in post #3. Perhaps that may shed more information.


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
Often it's easy to access your BIOS chip without having to take it all apart, usually only bottom needs to come off.

It is not so in this laptop. Please see the attached image of the Backside of the laptop opened. Below the heatsinks are the socketed CPU and GPU (MXM3.0b card). The entire unit will have to be disassembled for accessing the SPI chip. It would not be possible for me to do that.


Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #13
These are the hidden settings in regards to graphics



Hmm. Thanks for all the info.

#15 RE: Accessing Locked BIOS Menu Settings by Lost_N_BIOS 04.08.2018 11:32

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1. OK, I was only curious, to see if his BIOS settings were as you wanted, if so I can update ME there and continue.
2. That is why I asked you which BIOS you used, so I wouldn't have to modify both. I can do both, but it will take longer, not too much though. Really you only need to flash one, with ME or without (One does not have ME)
I checked flash.bat and flashme.bat, one is flash BIOS the other is flash BIOS with ME from the larger BIOS w/ ME using FPT instead of AFU. All that could be done in one action, with one BIOS, and one programmer.
Or ME by itself, no need for second BIOS, but I see how they code BIOS, no wonder they have this convoluted flashing process! I'll update both w/ final changes to make your life easier, so you can use their process to update

3. I read their instructions, see above, I would follow their advice on method and order. EC updates will not matter to what we'll do.

Thanks for the images and microcode check. See, BIOS .14 contains only 1Dh microcode for your CPU, so that 1Eh must be loaded by windows/windows update
I'd love to see what code is shown on a clean install, never connected to internet, but that's up to you only if you're bored and have a spare disk and enjoy stuff like this

I do not know outcome of changing the low power mode, it could brick the BIOS, or it could overheat the laptop, or it could have no effect. I don't know, and wouldn't want to do unless you have recovery options ready

I'll look over the LG datasheet and see if anything catches my eye. And thanks for pointing me to look at the EC1, I will check it out.

I see what you mean about the insides of that system, stuff might have to come out, but not sure I'd need to see more and larger pics. At very least, that black shell surrounding things might need to come out, probably not heatsinks on the CPU/GPU
BIOS is usually close to CMOS, that's why I was thinking the black shell might be in the way. Can you add a close up good image of the 8-pin chip there on the left side right under the fan, that may be the BIOS. There is similar but smaller one on the graphics card in the middle, that's it's BIOS.

Changing the things you asked about initially probably will not be any issue, and would not be something to be concerned about needing to recover from. But their BIOS itself worries me, and the process too but it should be OK.
I was laughing for a good bit, thinking if I fix something in the BIOS it might actually break it, so I will try to limit the fixing as I go

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