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#1 [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by petergunn 23.12.2019 22:47

TLDR: Is it possible to add NVMe drive boot support to a DELL Precision T3610 BIOS and have it flashed back without special equipment and/or being an expert in subject or no?

Hi All,

Fairly new around, tried to find a solution before starting a new thread. Did not succeed, however, there is a chance I missed it.
Pardon me if so, did not mean to waste your time.

Rather certain I could create a modified BIOS by following the instructions found here, but unsure about the flashing part, because of this.

Dear experts, what you say?

Cheers,
Peter

#2 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 24.12.2019 07:25

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@petergunn - Yes, does this model have a ME/Service jumper, this will be two pin jumper and it should say ME/Service, FD, FDO near it.
Be sure to look above/below the memory slot thumb tabs, sometimes jumper hides there.

What you linked is methods to use NVME without a mod BIOS, and the last link is only one users knowledge/experience/attempts (not all method mentioned there)

* Edit - I had a look around and both T3600 and T3610 have this jumper, so you can easily dump BIOS, edit and flash back.
Please put a jumper on the pins, reboot to windows twice, then do the following and send me the file


Check BIOS main page and see if ME FW version is shown, if not then download HWINFO64
Then on the large window on left side, expand motherboard and find ME area, inside that get the ME Firmware version.
Once you have that, go to this thread and in the section "C.2" download the matching ME System Tools Package
(ie if ME FW version = 10.x get V10 package, if 9.0-9.1 get V9.1 package, if 9.5 or above get V9.5 package etc) - It's probably v8.0-8.1
Intel Management Engine: Drivers, Firmware & System Tools

Once downloaded, inside you will find Flash Programming Tool folder, and inside that a Windows or Win/Win32 folder.
Select that Win folder, hold shift and press right click, choose open command window here (Not power shell).
At the command prompt type the following command and send me the created file to modify >> FPTw.exe -d SPI.bin

If you are stuck on Win10 and cannot easily get command prompt, and method I mentioned above does not work for you, here is some links that should help
Or, copy all contents from the Flash Programming Tool \ DOS folder to the root of a USB Bootable disk and do the dump from DOS (FPT.exe -bios -d biosreg.bin)
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-add-c...creators-update
https://www.windowscentral.com/add-open-...menu-windows-10
https://www.laptopmag.com/articles/open-...ator-privileges

Or here is simply registry edit that adds "Open command window here as Administrator" to the right click menu
Double-click to install, reboot after install may be required
http://s000.tinyupload.com/index.php?fil...134606820377175

#3 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by petergunn 24.12.2019 10:20

@Lost_N_BIOS -

Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #2
...What you linked is methods to use NVME without a mod BIOS, and the last link is only one users knowledge/experience/attempts (not all method mentioned there)...
What I meant to show is how to extract the ROM form a DELL BIOS update executable. I understood I'd need to insert the NvmExpressDxe_4.ffs into that then flash it back. At least that seemed to be the case for ASUS boards.

Anyhow, you are right, one user's bad luck does not mean it is impossible, that is why I decided to reach out, give this a try
Will create and send you the dump later on today, thanks again!

Happy holidays!
Peter

#4 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 24.12.2019 10:58

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I don't need to know how to extract anything from Dell EXE, and you should not use anything extracted from a Dell EXE either, only in rare last ditch recovery efforts.
Asus BIOS is unrelated to Dell BIOS, nothing is related there but I'm not sure what exactly you meant.
In general, very general terms, yes, any BIOS, once you have the correct file to use (dump, or stock from manufacturer, depending on how you are going to flash it back), you inset the NVME mod and that is all.

Yes, that user did not look hard enough into google, or I guess didn't even look at his motherboard or manual, or he would have seen the service jumper and had no problems doing the mods he wanted

Yes, please send me dump and I will edit it for you and send back and then you'll be all set, simples

Thanks, happy holidays to you and your family as well!

#5 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by petergunn 24.12.2019 16:40

@Lost_N_BIOS - PMd you the dump!

Zitat von Lost_N_BIOS im Beitrag #4
I don't need to know how to extract anything from Dell EXE, and you should not use anything extracted from a Dell EXE either, only in rare last ditch recovery efforts.
You are right, I'm just trying to make this thread useful for others as well!

I do think these Precision machines are great, can easily be turned to budget gaming rigs or even proper workstations for CAD/CAM.

Who knows, this might going to save you some time in the future: should another T3610 owner have the same desire and stumble upon this thread..

Cheers,
Peter

#6 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 24.12.2019 21:18

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@petergunn - OK, sorry, I thought maybe you thought I needed help with that or something I have however asked for help on your actual mod, it's a tricky one, BIOS gets messed (padding added above microcode) up no matter what move I make.
Usually I can get around that, but no luck so far with half hour spent, I will more as time permits, usually if I keep at it I eventually get it sorted out If not, hopefully Fernando will come to the rescue

Don't worry, one of us will get it done safely, it will just take more time than expected. Please wait, thanks

#7 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by petergunn 24.12.2019 21:50

God no! Didn't mean to explain anything quite the opposite! You can find How-to videos about this on YouTube. After watching some I had a feeling many of the creators/uploaders for those vids. didn't know what they were doing! Simply didn't trust them or the shown methods. At least the linked tools were not infected with malicious code guess thats something! People should treat such stuff with caution!

Sure, take as much time as you need, no rush, deadlines, whatsoever! Don't want to brick this baby, thanks

#8 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 24.12.2019 22:07

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It's OK, I see now what you meant, to help others in future Yes, some people who upload how-to videos may not know a lot, or may only know one method of many (and maybe not proper/best) to do something for the specific system the video is about.

Yes, that is my goal and reason for pause, I don't want to send you brick BIOS either

We'll get it eventually, but it's not something to rush through and test possibly bricked BIOS unless you have a programmer.
Some BIOS may be OK with what I mentioned that happens, others brick instantly, so best to avoid that always, unless user has programmer then it can be safely tested if it's OK with the added padding in there
Sometimes it's fine to add or remove, but flash and brick or not is only way to know

* Edit - @petergunn - I've finally danced around the issue, and think I have BIOS for you, but am not 100% sure it's OK (99.99% sure though)
Do you want to test it? Do you have a flash programmer for recovery, or no?

#9 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by millertime 26.12.2019 18:41

@Lost_N_BIOS and @petergunn - Hi! I don't want or mean to hijack this thread, but would it be possible for me to get a copy of your original(before) and modded(after) BIOSes?

LONG story short, I've been trying to recover my T3610 for the past few weeks, due to accidentally leaving off a command-line flag/option during an ME only flash....it's been a slow and educational road to recovery, to say the least. I currently have a mostly working BIOS flashed back on my system, but due to the unique and "one-off" nature of Dell workstation builds, some additional hardware components of my specific build, such as my TPM chip, are currently non-existent/not functioning.

Through this amazing forum I've been able to acquire four different T3610 BIOS dumps, which has allowed me to get to the almost fully recovered state I'm currently in, but I'm still trying to find one that's a closer match to the specific motherboard I have(CN-09M8Y8...A01), sometimes referred to as their V2 build of the T3610.

Any dumps/files you could provide, would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

#10 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 26.12.2019 20:39

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@millertime - Tonight I will send you a package of dumps. Do you have an original dump of your chip directly following the bad FPT write? If yes, send to me, I can probably fix for you.
You made this move, correct >>> FPTw.exe -f me.bin
Instead of >> FPTw.exe -me -f me.bin
If not, please give me your exact mistake command if you remember. I probably wont need it once I see your BIOS dump after that, but just in case.
Also, I do not need any other dumps or fixed BIOS from you etc, only the single dumped file you dumped off chip before you began recovery (hopefully you made this!)

#11 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by millertime 26.12.2019 21:37

@Lost_N_BIOS - Thank you so much for your help! I do...the link below contains a dump of the 8MB and 4MB chips, immediately after the bad FPT write, but before any additional modifications or recovery efforts. I also have a combined(12MB) dump I can provide you, if needed, but I wanted to make sure I provided you the most original/raw dump files, especially since my programmer added 1KB of "blank" data to the end of each dump for some reason.

http://www.filedropper.com/millertimet3610dump

You are absolutely correct. I typed FPTw.exe -f me.bin, then FPTw.exe -greset......it wasn't until my system was about to restart that I looked up at the flash command I typed, saw the grave error I had made, and then let out a barrage of expletives which only got worse when the system failed to post after reboot.

Thank you again for your help. Using the wealth of knowledge contained in this forum, I've tried to recover my BIOS back to factory as much as I could on my own, but after a month of trying I can admit that I'm in over my head, lol.

FYI, I have an original ME only dump from a few months back, before any system modifications at all, if needed/wanted.

#12 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by petergunn 27.12.2019 11:58

@millertime - worry not about hijacking I do try to turn this thread into something useful for all T3610 owners, not just me! Make it a source of useful knowledge (as most of this forum already is).

The board I'm using looks to be the same as yours (see attached pic.), and it seems Lost_N_BIOS will get you covered!

Fingers crossed!

Cheers,
Peter

#13 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 27.12.2019 21:19

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@millertime - sorry I didn't send you any dumps yet, got busy and was waiting to see your dumps first really anyway (since I may be able to fix for you)
The added padding at end of each dump you make is due to the program you used to dump it, I see it from time to time, I think flashrom does that but can't remember for sure if that is the program that does this (I never use it myself)
No, I just want the raw dumps you made, I will compile to edit, thanks.

It's too bad FPT doesn't pause for us and ask to check the flagged commands included, like "Are you sure, flash me.bin without -me"?

Yes, go ahead and send me your me only dump from a while back too. I will use that, your original dumps, and see if I can fix the BIOS as it was, then update the ME FW to latest for you too while I'm there (anything else you want done?)

@petergunn did you see my edit in post to you at #8?

#14 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by millertime 27.12.2019 22:35

@Lost_N_BIOS - No worries at all. I've been at this for over a month now, so I just appreciate the help!

Here's the link to my ME only dump from a few months ago.
http://www.filedropper.com/millertime-me-only-dump

I appreciate the offer for additional modifications, but after a month of trying one thing after another, I'm just looking to get back to an O.E.M./pre-Modd state at this point.

Thank you again, and please let me know if you need anything else.

#15 RE: [REQUEST] NVMe Boot support for DELL Precision T3610 by Lost_N_BIOS 28.12.2019 08:28

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@millertime - OK I will fix your BIOS with no additional changes The ME FW you used to brick will be the ME FW I put in there, hopefully your edit was OK If not, we'll fix it with other ME FW next
I think you also messed up the BIOS region as well That shouldn't have happened with how you wrote, so not sure what's going on here, but I'll sort it out.
Anyway, not 100% sure yet, still sorting it out to recompile, I'll update soon

* Edit - Yes, your BIOS region was corrupted too (the main volume inside the BIOS region), how did this happen, were you also trying to do other edits? Just curious, because this shouldn't have happened with only the failed ME FPT write we discussed.
Or maybe, this happened once you tired to run the system after the FPT write? I guess anything is possible.

* Edit 2 - I see what happened, ME FW also written over this volume as well, very odd how this would happen (ME FW data written ONLY into middle of BIOS region).
The only reason for this I can think of is the FD knows this BIOS is split between two chips, so maybe it took the ME FW you gave as source and tried to write both chips full with that ME FW in a split (4MB first half of ME and 2MB other half directly into 8MB chip at the split location which = middle of BIOS region)
This must be it, because I know during a normal dump/re-write with programmer BIOS region is split right there between both chips. So, sadly, due to this you've lost all easily replaceable system info, but I can sort it out manually
Confirmed via hex, what I mentioned above with the ME FW Split, this is exactly what happened and how! I was hoping your BIOS region would be untouched, I forgot BIOS starts at the 4MB chip here and ME FW is 6MB so both chips took a hit with that FPT Write

*** EDIT #3 - @millertime - Apologies for above mention of using your dumped ME FW from bricked BIOS. I cannot use that, that ME FW is corrupted ie two ME FW Headers within same file, looks like a bad edit you made before you tried to flash that ME FW
So I have used your ME only FW dump instead

Here is "Fixed" BIOS top try Quotes due to the padding at 650000h, I checked three different dumps from exact same system, and all look VERY different here (all start with DVAR, some one, some have it several times in there)
And in all, the data after DVAR is veru different, some looks corrupted when it's not, others look nothing like the rest, etc - in other words this is not alike in any way, in any BIOS I found.
Except for the legible Unicode text, some of that is same, in different places, in some BIOS that repeats with more or less data following it, some it's only there once.
This padding file is not in stock/HDR BIOS region, so no tips found there However, some of that "Unicode" legible text I mentioned is in the extracted HDR files (8_Section_Info_1.0.0.0.data)
Hopefully this is something that is auto-populated with info as the board starts/runs, or during BIOS updates etc

If this fails, it must be due to this area, and I'll just have to copy this data from one of several known working dumps I have from members here (one with least repeating info is Petergunn's) so we'll try that first if needed.

At F000h in this padding is MB Serial, so I placed that in this padding, and added DVAR at start then FF'd the rest (in your BIOS, it was all compressed, not correct info there).
Either put on jumper and flash whole via FPT (FPTw.exe -f Fixed2Test1.bin), or program in the included split files. And, in case I do end up having to make you another, please let me know how you flash so if the split files are not needed next time I'll just send the 12MB

https://ufile.io/3u6vb1cp


And hey, since you have programmer, once we sort all this out, would you be willing to test an NVME edit mod for us, so we can be sure it's OK for Petergunn?
You don't have to have NVME, only test you need to do is confirm it's bootable and not a brick

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