DELL BIOS without SLIC Tables?

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by ADB, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. ADB

    ADB MDL Novice

    Feb 7, 2009
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    I have searched and searched and it looks like nobody has managed to add SLIC 2.0/2.1 tables to older DELL BIOS's? I have a few older Dell machines (Dimension 4600, Optiplex SX2800, Optiplex GX260/GX270's) that are all capable of running Vista/Windows 7 but it seems there is no way (currently?) to insert a SLIC 2.0/2.1 table into the BIOS. I also have three newer Dell machines that have SLIC 2.0/2.1 tables and have sucessfully installed Vista/Server 2008 onto these with the Dell OEM DVD's I have created with the help of everyone on here (thanks by the way :) )

    Dell have Phoenix BIOS's don't they? and I have seen updated BIOS's for other Phoenix BIOS'd boards so I assume it should(?) be possible for the older Dell boards? I am just after some conclusive information so I can either stop searching or attempt to search some more in other directions?

    Cheers, Andy
     
  2. drably

    drably MDL Member

    Feb 4, 2008
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    dude! you shouldn't have bought a dell :)
     
  3. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Stop searching & try to use loader (that is the only way apart from having a MAK key or KMS server)

    sebus
     
  4. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    #4 OleBent, Sep 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
  5. ADB

    ADB MDL Novice

    Feb 7, 2009
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    I have never had any issues with all the Dells I have owned - relatively cheap and meticulously put together. The newer ones that are designed for Vista with SLIC 2.0/2.1 tables are also excellent - I really can't say a bad word against them.
     
  6. ADB

    ADB MDL Novice

    Feb 7, 2009
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    #6 ADB, Sep 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
    (OP)
    Yes, I read through most of that thread. It seems it's only relevant for newer machines that have SLIC 2.0/2.1 tables and not older Dell BIOS's that don't have them.

    Andy
     
  7. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
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    Some dell bios are award..older ones. Any newer proprietary bios with no slic are not going to have one added. It is not possible now, and not likely to be researched in the future..All new machine bios have slic table..whether it is populated is another story...some are locked.

    sorry!:cool:
     
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  8. Aegan

    Aegan MDL Novice

    Apr 12, 2011
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    #8 Aegan, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011
    I don't intend any hard feelings contradicting you or bringing back an old post on the day that I have registered my account on but...

    I have a Dell Optplex GX260, like one ADB has, with an old Phoenix BIOS. I tried installing Win 7 with a Dell OEM disc (that I bought for $10 on eBay) and noticed that activation had not completed. This led me to believe that there were no SLIC 2.0/2.1 Tables present. Using tools found from here, experience, a bootable DOS Floppy, and a Linux OS with "dellBiosUpdate" installed, I had successfully added an SLIC 2.1 table to this old BIOS. I will be back tomorrow (perhaps later) when I have more time to give details.

    EDIT: I am runnung Windows 7 from my GX260 right now and windows shows that it is activated.:biggrin:
     
  9. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    Considering the bios mod tools have evolved a lot after almost two years of development since this thread started yes most dell bioses can now be modded.
     
  10. aperture_science

    aperture_science MDL Novice

    Jul 29, 2010
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    Perfect timing! If you want to post a BIOS for GX260, I'll be willing to test :)
     
  11. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Do it yourself with Andy's tool

    sebus
     
  12. aperture_science

    aperture_science MDL Novice

    Jul 29, 2010
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    Don't take it wrong, but I tried to do it myself a few months ago, and the tool I used, which I think was Andy's, didn't work with the GX260 BIOS. If I had managed to sort it out then, I know I would have posted a BIOS straight away.

    Now someone indicates that he's been having success and that he is going to post more details very soon, and, I would assume, a BIOS since:
    - as far as I could see, NONE has been posted so far
    - that is the most helpful thing to do to avoid GX260 owners collectively spending time reinventing the wheel, especially as per Aegan's and the previous posts from this thread, as well as my previous experience, it may not be as straightforward as it seems.

    So excuse me I prefer waiting to see more from Aegan before blindly attempting to "do it myself" or if I may sound selfish by asking a BIOS that would not just help myself, but every GX260 owner.
     
  13. Aegan

    Aegan MDL Novice

    Apr 12, 2011
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    #13 Aegan, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
    GX 260 SLIC BIOS mod

    I understand the need for this as many schools, businesses, and organizations are dumping their GX260's for upgrades. That means free computers to anyone who asks to look through their e-waste.

    Firstly, I apologize, as I can't insert links due to being new here. I also can't upload very large files either (only 97.7KB). Otherwise I would make a kickass instructional.

    Ok, so this is what I did...
    A. First extract the BIOS header. To do this:​
    1. I downloaded the BIOS update for the GX260 from Dell, I used the non-packaged one. (I'm unable to post links :()
    2. either write GX260A09.EXE to a DOS-bootable floppy/flash drive OR use DOSbox (tell me if you need details on this)
    3. Boot into your DOS floppy/flash drive or launch DOSbox.
    4. at the directory where you have placed the above file, type this command and argument without quotes: "GX260A09 -writehdrfile" *Note: this MUST be done in a DOS environment.*
    5. The above command will write "GX260A09.HDR" to the current directory.​

    B. Editing the .hdr​
    1. back in Windows, launch Phoenix Mod Tool 1.42 (I'm unable to post links, google it or search this site)
    2. Open GX260A09.HDR. If you get a "cant load modules" error, try again
    3. like normal, select your SLIC, I used */SLIC21/DELL/DELL.bin
    4. Generate your rw report with rw-everything and import AcpiTbls.rw (I assume you've read how to do this)
    5. Click "Go". *Note: clicking "Verify" will produce an error and delete your original BIOS, at least it did it to me.*
    6. If you get an error in the end, try the whole process again.
    7. If successful, these files will be created: 02_2.ROM, 02_2_slic.ROM, bios.gz, and GX260A09_SLIC.HDR.
    C. Flashing the BIOS​
    *Note: this may not be the most convenient way for you, but this is what I did because I have Linux Ubuntu on a partition. I don't know if it will work with a live disc. If you know of another way to flash a .rom or .hdr to a gx260, by all means do it your way.*

    For UBUNTU Linux:​
    1. place your mod'ed .hdr in an easily accessed directory, I prefer removable media
    2. boot into Linux.
    3. open terminal
    4. copy then right-click and paste into terminal the following commands, one at a time, in this order:​

    sudo su

    apt-get install smbios-utils firmware-addon-dell

    modprobe dell_rbu

    5. Change your directory to where you saved the .hdr file with "cd" command.
    6. copy and paste this into terminal:
    *Note: the "B" and the "U" in "dellBiosUpdate" MUST be capital*

    dellBiosUpdate -v -u --override-version-check --reboot -f GX260A09_SLIC.HDR

    (thanks aperture_science, I've made revisions)​

    7. reboot and your new BIOS will flash.​

    *End of instructions

    If you need help with any of this, or have any questions, please message me. When my post count gets higher I'll be able post an email address. Also, my intention is to offer help, the above process worked perfectly and I am not liable if you somehow screw up your computer because you did something wrong.
     
  14. aperture_science

    aperture_science MDL Novice

    Jul 29, 2010
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    Oh man, what a struggle!!

    Not your instructions, which were spot on (Thank you so much for posting this!!!), but the flashing of the firmware itself.

    I've been looking for hours to figure out a convenient way to do it outside of Linux (and then another hour to figure out how to do it from an Ubuntu LiveCD, eventhough I'm familiar with using Linux, but just so I can post a guide so that people don't actually have to install Linux if they don't want to - see below).
    You'd think that providing an utility that can flash an HDR from DOS, or even from Windows, wouldn't be the end of the world... but it is. Ah the joys of finding out that most firmware ugrade DOS executables (www jeffsplace net/projects/bios_hack) come with a -readgzfile option so that you can just feed the bios.gz provided by PhoenixTool... except the GX260 one, or that those bloody Dell tools (Dell Client Configuration Utility tools, IT Assistant, OpenManage), that are supposed to pop out a BIOS from an HDR or flash one have either been removed by Dell, or are incompatible with old bioses. I guess the only option to provide a GX260 SLIC BIOS that can be easily flashed from a DOS environment will be to repackage the original GX260A09.EXE somehow. That blows!

    Now, with regards to the instructions, they were super easy to follow. The one additional I'll add, for those who are unfamiliar with this, is that to generate AcpiTbls.rw, they need to install rw-everything on their GX260 machine, then go to Access -> ACPI table and click the "Save All" button. I used PhoenixTool v1.83, which worked alright as well (hint: Phoenix Tool is a bit flaky with regards to the compression/decompression executable it relies on, and if any of those get stuck, you won't be able to open an image unless you kill them)

    So getting the HDR was no big trouble. And now it's even less trouble, as I am posting mine here: www mediafire com/?61sv1qlo2bjga19

    The flashing on the other hand... So I guess for now, it'll have to be dellBiosUpdate from Linux.

    In order to do that, if you don't have Linux installed:

    1. Download an Ubuntu LiveCD, such as one for 10.10 from one of your nearest Ubuntu mirrors
    2. Burn and Boot the CD, select "Try Ubuntu" if needed, then open a terminal and issue the following commands:
    3. sudo su #it's a Live CD - it's OK to be root
    4. vi /etc/apt/sources.list # uncomment the first 2 lines that end with 'universe'
    5. apt-get update # retrieve the package list from mirrors - this assumes a working network connection
    6. apt-get install smbios-utils firmware-addon-dell
    7. #pick up the HDR. Since you have network, you can just fire up Firefox and download from the links above. Don't forget to gunzip it then.
    8. dellBiosUpdate -v -u --override-version-check --reboot -f GX260A09_SLIC.HDR

    If you do that, the firmware should be updated on next reboot, and you will have the SLIC tables.
    Note that:
    - the --override_bios_version option seems to have been replaced with --override-version-check
    - I wasn't able to get the dellBiosUpdate to update the BIOS without using the -u (update on next reboot) option
    - If you expect a nice progress index with reards to the flashing from either dellBiosUpdate or the actual BIOS on reboot, you will be disappointed. I was actually surprised when I found the SLIC table was there, because I was pretty mush certain that, with the lack of any tool reporting "BIOS flashed OK", it must have failed.

    Aegan, I really can't thank you enough!

    Your detailed post helped big time (and I hope it will help others), even if I got so stubborn about trying to find a way to flash an HDR from DOS/Windows that I spent a lot more time on this than I would have liked. At least I hope, even if the flashing currently has to be done from Linux, this guide will be enough to help anyone who isn't familiar with the whole process.
     
  15. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    #15 sebus, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
    Good that you have it sorted, pity it is all this time spent for such old machine... (that was barely good enough to run XP, but maybe with Starter 7 it will still be usable to somebody)

    Still, Maximum Memory: 2GB (but that would be £70, more then the machine is worth!)

    sebus
     
  16. aka370

    aka370 MDL Novice

    Sep 23, 2010
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    Hello to all,
    I have DELL Inspiron 6400 (BIOS A17)
    When I import RW report (AcpiTbls.rw) to Phoenix/Dell/EFI SLIC Mod v1.83 I get error message:
    Error 13 - Could not find any recognizable digits.
    something that might mean?
    Thank,
    Andre.
     
  17. Liebo

    Liebo MDL Member

    Jul 9, 2009
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    Fantastic guides, I have a couple of GX280 (I think they are) currently running XP....
     
  18. charlesmagne

    charlesmagne MDL Novice

    Dec 19, 2010
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  19. Kido

    Kido MDL Junior Member

    Oct 2, 2011
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    Try using moded BIOS or ask someone to create one for you! Here many helpers are there:p, Else use Daz's Loader...
     
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  20. gfxcell

    gfxcell MDL Novice

    May 10, 2010
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    hiya
    I have a beefy Dell 4600 that I am trying to add a SLIC 2.1 tothe BIOS
    can some help guide me or perhaps put one together?

    thanks