Can Acer Aspire One's (AOA150) bios be modded to disable Onboard RAM

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by Muzafsh, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Muzafsh

    Muzafsh MDL Novice

    Jan 23, 2010
    7
    2
    0
    Newbie here, apologies.......if i am away from protocol.

    Can Acer Aspire One's (AOA150) bios be modded to disable Onboard RAM ???
    ==============================================


    In MSI wind...netbooks the bios allows to disable the onboard RAM so that one can max out his RAM to 2GB.

    Acer Aspire One (AOA150) - aka ZG5 has an onboard memory of 512 mb soldered to the MB. This lets one max the RAM only to a 1.5GB.

    A 2gb RAM MODD TO THIS MACHINE WOULD BE like a GREAT DREAM FULFILLED !!!

    Whether this is possible or not i do not know, JUST BEING POSITIVE and hoping on the lines of MSI Wind's bios!!!

    Need help from this forum to explore the possiblity of achieving a 2GB modd to a AOA150. Which has long eluded folks at the aspireoneuser forums, people have bricked their MB's trying to achieve a physical mod by removing the onboard RAM chips !!!

    How can we even proceed on this !!!

    well i don't know the technical intricacies !!! as i am not a tech wizard as quite a few of you folks here may be !!!

    To start with, Just hoping that somebody could try to unhide all hidden menus of this machines bios and check to see if they can find a way to disable the onboard 512 MB RAM.

    To test the modded bios(EXPERTS FROM HERE MAY PROVIDE), a friend at the aspireone forum had the equipment to do so. I have just messaged him to re-confirm the same.

    Will get him to post in this forum to test the modded bios's in an attempt to achieve this long eluded MODD !!!

    Looking forward to some help from you guys.

    thanks in advance.
    Muzafsh.
     
  2. Orbiting234

    Orbiting234 MDL Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    160
    86
    10
    I have an AOA150 and AOD250 both with their ram upgraded (1.5GB on the A150 and 2GB on the D250). Both running Windows 7. And to be honest, you're going to see zero difference between 1.5GB and 2GB of ram on an Atom processor.
     
  3. Muzafsh

    Muzafsh MDL Novice

    Jan 23, 2010
    7
    2
    0
  4. Muzafsh

    Muzafsh MDL Novice

    Jan 23, 2010
    7
    2
    0
    #6 Muzafsh, Jan 31, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
    (OP)
    A BIOS mode !!! to enable An Aspire One ZG5 to run a 2GB RAM on it !!!

    I guess i may have sounded a little choppy as one of the members PM'd me asking
    this "...but what exactly do you want to modify?..."

    a little background first.......

    An Acer Aspire One - ZG5 has a 512MB RAM soldered to the motherboard directly & there is 1 RAM slot for upgrading beyond the soldered 512MB RAM.

    The Motherboard that's gone into this machine is something that recognize's or supports up to 2GB of RAM. But the 512MB soldered to the MBoard is acting as a hinderence, to realizing the full potential of the MotherBoard (that is loading it with a 2GB RAM). If one tries to add a 2GB RAM to the slot provided the total adds up to 2.5GB which is beyond what the motherboard can recognize.

    So a lot of us (aspire one users) have worked unsuccessfully towards adding a 2GB RAM successfully. A few have de-soldered the 512 MB completely or tried to disrupt the power leads to the soldered RAM, in order to let the MBoard recognize only the added 2GB RAM. But unfortunately nothing of this has worked.

    And NOW the only hope, is to find a way to hack into this machine's BIOS, and look at a way to disable the onboard 512MB RAM(This is just not a unsubstantiated or wild try or hope. This hope emanates out of a reason, And that reason is a 'MSI Wind netbook' of the same configuration.)

    A 'MSI Wind netbook' has a 512MB RAM soldered to its motherboard. But this option, its makers have provided out-of-the-box into its BIOS to disable the onboard RAM and successfully MAX-OUT its RAM to a whole 2GB.

    Acer being a bigger player may have spent slightly higher(not much) resources to support their strategies & chose to may be hide this feature within their BIOS.

    The reason we believe may have spent much(not much), is bcos the motherboards of these netbooks carry the same chipset or are same mostly(99%) except say a few signatures vetted by their brands.

    A lot of us believe that this feature could have just been hidden within its BIOS, rather than not being designed into it at all. The possible rationale we believe on, is that 'netbooks' are known for being cheap, having said that all netbook manfactures would have allocated a very limited investment towards it. If you analyse the netbook market you'll realize that all brands of the notebook differ only on aspects like 3G, Blutooth, HD playing capabilities, and things like that and nobody has a technological edge over the other. Its more of bringing in together one or more options off the shelf and putting it together.

    And in all probability it seems running their own research and engaging indigenous efforts at designing any of the netbook could directly translate to bad business for a very cheaply positioned & very highly COMPETITIVE product as a netbook.

    With all the analysis and HOPES built over the above facts/possibilities :) :) :)

    We all are hoping that experts in BIOS modding, found here on this community could atleast attempt this as they have successfully modded so many BIOS's already for various fixes !!!

    Hope one of them would end up un-hidding a hidden 'option/menu/module' within the BIOS of an Aspire One ZG5 BIOS which could result in an aspireone finally with a
    2GB RAM up and vroooooooming way.........................


    then that would be TRULY SPECIAL !!! :) :) :)
     
  5. mudkicker7812

    mudkicker7812 MDL Novice

    Nov 19, 2010
    1
    0
    0
    Here's the real question, what is SLIC and what does it have to do with the onboard ram? The other question is can you run with the full 2.5 GB of ram using SlIC. I am new to all of this and don't understand any of those links. I am simple all I ask for is plain english :p
     
  6. qorw

    qorw MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2013
    3
    0
    0
    On board RAM has failed

    Here is another REAL GOOD reason to want to disable the oboard RAM.

    Mine has FAILED and ACER quoted me for a new Motherboard (since that is the only solution with permanently soldered in memory that fails) that will cost DOUBLE what the netbook sold for in the first place!!

    Meaning the netbook is now useless!!:mad:
     
  7. akirasan

    akirasan MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
    1
    0
    0
    Hello, I have the same problem :(. My netbook is useless because the internal memory (512Mb) has errors. I had tested with memtest86+ :(. Anybody know how to solved this problem??
     
  8. Galileo Figaro

    Galileo Figaro MDL Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    86
    13
    0
    Disabling RAM is quite simple, but you guys have been going on about it in the wrong way. I have no interest in doing any research for you, but generally what you do is finding a data paper on the memory chip. You are only interested in the pinout.

    You will find a lot of A pins, meaning Address pins. You will also find D pins, that's Data. But what you're after is something called CS - Chip Select. That signal controls if the chip should be active or passive. CS is always negative logic, meaning it is active when low. Since you want to disable this chip, you need to tie this signal permanently to High. At the same time, you must detach this signal from its normal source, the RAM controller chip. That can be achieved by removing a resistor between the memory controller and RAM or by cutting the lane connecting them.

    Thus, RAM disabled.

    Theoretically you could desolder the chips, but to do that in a decent way you need some quite expensive equipment. Unless such equipment is already at hand, there's no point going this route.

    How will you replace the disabled RAM anyway?
     
  9. qorw

    qorw MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2013
    3
    0
    0
    Thanks Galileo, I would have followed exactly this approach (cut the CS - ship select track) BUT, this looks like a multilayered PC Board and the memory chips are SMD (surface mount) so it looks impossible to get to the right track and/or pin(s):(

    The motherboard does have a RAM slot for plugging in more RAM, so if the onboard RAM was disabled the netbook would run off the plugged in RAM.
     
  10. Galileo Figaro

    Galileo Figaro MDL Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    86
    13
    0
    All chips in one bank have interconnected CS signals. So you need to do this only once, not chip by chip. That the board is multilayered is no problem in itself. It doesn't mean various signal traces run wildly all over the place. A CS signal only goes from the RAM controller chip to a bank of RAM. There's no other use for it.

    If you can't find schematics for your board, get a magnifying glass, or a camera with a zoom lens and start following the CS line. You also need an ohm-meter (resistance meter). Look for the RAM controller chip's CS pin, that is the source of the signal. If there's a resistor somewhere from the source to the RAM chip, removing that resistor will be an elegant way to break the connection. The remaining solder pad from that removed resistor, on the RAM side, will be an elegant place to solder a HIGH feed (normally +5V, but you better check).
     
  11. qorw

    qorw MDL Novice

    Feb 9, 2013
    3
    0
    0
    Ok I have checked this now and found the wiring schematics for this netbook. The onboard controller is an Intel 945GSE which has four Chip Select outputs to select either the on-board RAM (2 ranks) or plug-in SODIMM RAM (another 2 ranks). The controller and the memory chip use 1.8V and not 5V. Furthermore, all four CS singals are terminated with a resistor to VTT (which is half 1.8V i.e. 0.9V) which looks like it's there just so that the signals are never left floating (good practise it seems). In otherwords there is no series resistor between the controller and the RAM that can be removed or shorted out as you suggest. So it remains to cutting the pin / track and tieing the on-board RAM CS to 1.8V or removing all the onboard RAM chips altogether...BUT this still wont work since the controller wants to decode CS#0 and CS#1 to base RAM and if it cant find memory there it throws an error. So, the only thing that will work is cutting all four CS pins at the controller and then rerouting CS#0 and CS#1 from the controller to CS#2 and CS#3 of the SODIMM. Then the plug-in RAM will be decoded as the base memory and the BIOS will run properly. I will try that this weekend and let the forum know how it goes.