Flashing Dell M65 BIOS on D820 motherboard. Please need help!

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by tferi, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Hi for everyone!
    I have found the forum searching a solution to my “problem”.
    Firstly I am not skilled in BIOS modding, however with right guiding I should be able to do any work .

    I have bought from ebay an FF093 motherboard with Nvidia Quadro NVS 120M graphic chip, and 256 MB graphic memory. It was necessary to replace my faulty M65 board (with fried quadro 350 chip, and some brutal “service” interventions). The motherboard was sold as M65 motherboard, I had installed it, worked, but it is showing as Latitude D820 machine. I can’t complain for anything to the seller, because the board was bought by a friend, and send from USA to my country, in almost two months.
    Firstly I had try to flash it with A01_M65 bios, under DOS, using - forcetype switch, booting from CD and USB flash with dos. This was not a success; the message let me know that: Can not use a “Dell System Precision M65” BIOS in a “Dell Ssytem Latitude D820”. Changed the right service tag, had try with asset tag program to, unsuccessfully.
    I have extracted ROM and HDR file from the executable, thinking to try the BIOS “Recovery procedure” with a working BIOS. Find that the right name for file is COLO123.HDR, I have try the procedure with 2 GB USB, 512 MB USB sticks, with USD DVD-ROM, but without success. The laptop, after the red battery light, speeds up the fan, reading lights blinking on both USB type devices, and then the system shuts down.
    Maybe somebody will help to solve the situation with a BIOS mod.
    The motherboards are same for the D820 and M65, but in 3 days I can not get a solution to flash it.
    I will ask kindly, if can anybody help me with flashing a Dell Latitude FF093 board with Dell Precision M65 bios.
    Thank you in advance!
    Also sorry for my poor English.
     
  2. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    #2 tqhoang, Mar 26, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
    First, it appears that you bought a D820 motherboard. That said, the boards are probably identical as you know, but the key difference is the video card. Since the laptop is working with a D820 BIOS, then the video card ROM must be D820's (PCI Vendor 0x10DE, Device 0x01D7) instead of the M65's (PCI Vendor 0x10DE, Device 0x01DC).

    Even if/when you manage to crossflash the BIOS with the stock M65 BIOS, you'll probably end up with a blank screen. So I've made you an M65 BIOS with the D820's video ROM.

    To flash this, you will likely need to do the "HDR recovery method". Your original problem is that the D820 BIOS does not recognize the M65 BIOS recovery filename formats (M65???.HDR or COLO???.HDR). The D820 uses: D820???.HDR or BREW???.HDR

    So you should extract the HDR from my BIOS mod and rename it (ex: D820M65.HDR) and try the recovery again.

    P.S. My modded BIOS is Windows 7 ready too.



    UPDATE: Crossflash was successful using the 'readgzfile' method described here.
     
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  3. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Thank you very much tqhoang!

    I will try it within 1 hour ... I hope that the HDR recovery will work with 512 MB USB Stick, or with USB DVD-RW.
    Only tomorrow I will get an USB Floppy.
    I will post the results immediately as I can get a try!

    [h=1][/h]
     
  4. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Unfortunetelly the modded BIOS can not be loaded.
    Also I had try (with the the recovery method using the 512 MB USB Stick) loading the D820_A10 BIOS - succeed, than downgrade with the same recovery method to D820_A09 - also succeed. The file name was D820M65 - as you suggested. The same method, and same file name was not worked with the modded BIOS. The original BIOS was A01.
    So I will ask you kindly, when you will have some time, to try another solution.
    Thank you very much again for you help! Your effort is very appreciated!
     
  5. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    Have you tried deleting the service tag and putting it back into factory mode? Perhaps the "/forcetype" argument requires the no service tag be present?
     
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  6. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    The "/forcetype" argument requires to flash it with under dos, not in recovery. So I have changed back to the factory service tag, had try again with modded HDR - not worked (the recovery with End button). Than back on the factory svctag, had try to flash under DOS using /forcetype and -forctype - not succeed.
    Must be something else ...
     
  7. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    I didn't mean for you to put back the original service tag, I meant to actually delete it so you have none.

    Also just checking, but when you gave the BIOS executable the "/forcetype" argument, did you put a space in between? I seem to recall someone mentioning that it required a space. Ex: "M65_A10 /forcetype"
     
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  8. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Another question: When using the recovery method, which name must use in the HDR file name, not the one from the BIOS want to be flashed (In modded BIOS COLO???.HDR, or M65????) ? Or we I have to use the name from the BIOS from actually (working) BIOS (D820???.HDR or BREW???.HDR)? I am a little bit confused ...
     
  9. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Yes I have put the space. If you don't put the right sintax you have the "Bad command or file name" message.
    I will give a try even without service tag now, I will give the feedback in few minutes.
    thx
     
  10. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Not working even without service tag ... Nor with recovery, nor with /forcetype...
     
  11. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    You need to use the one that your current BIOS uses. Reason is that the bootblock has the strings inside it.
     
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  12. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    Ok. Thanks for the clarification.
    Anyway the method is not functioning, I think that the bootblock is reading also inside the modded bios, and there are string with COLO and M65. It seams that the bios must be moded, to show somehow that is for D820. Just guessing...
    Anyway thank you again for the help, and I am still hoping for solving somehow that issue.
     
  13. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    I haven't done it in a while, but what you're asking is possible. I did a similar thing to get the D510 BIOS flashed to the D610 in order to get 48-bit LBA for the PATA hard drive...here.

    There is a real danger though that you can brick the motherboard.

    Honestly though, is the only thing that you're wanting is the BIOS to say "Precision M65" instead of "Latitude D820"?
     
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  14. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    #14 tferi, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
    (OP)
    I wanted, at time of the buying, to buy an M65 motherboard. And I had think that I bought one. After 2 months, when it came to my country (Romania) my first thought was, that I have to modify the BIOS to see like other people see in many stories, a D820 motherboard running like M65. This put me on lecture ... normally on the Internet. In 5 days I have learn and read a lot of things, unknown to me. Things about Slice 2.1, about bios recovery method, and other stuffs, mainly about dell. Some years ago, I have modified and write firmwares to MTK based DVD players (using dedicated tools), as interested in satellite reception for more than 20 years, I have flashed bricked Dreambox receivers and so on. It was just a hobby. My profession is just basically related to the IT: mechanical engineer. The thing with this BIOS is that I am "obsessed" now, after so many lecture, to see my laptop in the right state: a Precision M65 laptop with M65 BIOS, even it is modified. Normally if it possible, after reading on some related stories, about D820 motherboards flashed as M65, I think that could be possible.
    About bricking the motherboard: after a failure, the BIOS can not be recovered with the usual methods (HDR)?
    It is any other danger, that can be happen? Sorry for this questions, but as I said I like to think and learn.
    Again thank you for your help, and for your answers!
     
  15. gabiz_ro

    gabiz_ro MDL Member

    Feb 2, 2010
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    Then just desolder flash chip,extract ROM file from exe BIOS,(made if not already have one,flash programmer) from schematic I see flash chip,is SST25LF080A maybe will work with simple SPI programmer from rayer.ic.cz
    Next erase then write that ROM.

    Then you have a M65 and you can flas it as M65 in future.

    Take note that I don't know for possible isues. I did similar thing with my E1705,flashed to M1710 amd M90 but at POST stage was a long delay since laptop think is docked and other thing,wired network use other chip so was not working if enabled in BIOS but was working if disabled in BIOS.
     
  16. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    That wold be the last thing, I still hopping to get somehow a soft solution. It seems that will not be the first time. Just I will give a try with a M65 BIOS, checking for D820. Maybe tqhoang can help me, or somebody who have any experience with this kind of modifications. What tqhoang is saying, about a video ROM for D820 and the rest of BIOS for M65, seems to be a fair solution, and maybe the one.
    Thank you anyway, your proposal will remain as a last solution.
     
  17. gabiz_ro

    gabiz_ro MDL Member

    Feb 2, 2010
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    What if you try to insert M65 hdr into D820 exe BIOS and try to flash from ms-dos?
     
  18. tferi

    tferi MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2012
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    I don't know how to do that, but if it wasn't worked with recovery method (End button, the power up, orange battery LED, BREW123.HDRm, D820123.HDR, COLO123.HDR ... and a lot of other names), but the flashing had worked with the original D820 BIOS, no meter up or down version I had try. I think the solution must be inside the M65, BIOS. Your proposal may be also good, but I don't know how to do it.
     
  19. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    #19 tqhoang, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
    Instead of re-integrating the M65's HDR, you can probably try this:

    1. Extract the HDR file from my modded M65 BIOS with the D820's video ROM.
    2. Rename the HDR file to "bios" without any file extension.
    3. Gzip the "bios" to create a "bios.gz".
    4. Copy the original D820 BIOS EXE and the "bios.gz" to your USB stick.
    5. Boot into pure DOS.
    6. Run the D820 BIOS EXE with the -readgzfile argument.
    Ex: D820_A10 -readgzfile

    If it complains still, then the BIOS updater is actually reading the HDR file and getting the motherboard ID, instead of having the motherboard ID info stored someplace else. Then I'll make you a hybrid M65/D820 BIOS.
     
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  20. gabiz_ro

    gabiz_ro MDL Member

    Feb 2, 2010
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    #20 gabiz_ro, Mar 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
    Here is D820 exe with M65 hdr.
    Don't know about hardware diff at video card.
    Link removed since untested and some people may brick laptop.

    Try at your risk.