How do I mod an Award BIOS?

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by Octopuss, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    I originally downloaded all of Andy's tools thinking they were for general modding, but soon learned the only thing they do is this SLIC stuff (which made me a sad panda).
    Well I have this BIOS for older Gigabyte board which I need to replace (update) ROMs in, but no matter how hard I look I can't find any program that could do it. CBROM doesn't list any ROMs, and modbin just doesn't work at all (says the BIOS is not version 6, which is bulls**t).
    Could someone recommend me a program that will do what I want to achieve please?
     
  2. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    Please?...
     
  3. urie

    urie Moderator
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    May 21, 2007
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    Perhaps some of the tools here
     
  4. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    That seems like a collection of extremely outdated programs from past 10+ years. I thought someone knew exactly what was I talking about. The BIOS in question can't be anymore special than anything else.

    Oh and regarding modbin: version 2.04.03 is giving me error message "Not compressed Award binary code", and any older version (2.03 for example) is stuck at loading the file. The progress bar is moving, but nothing happens even after several minutes.
     
  5. urie

    urie Moderator
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    Yeah they maybe outdated but that seems to be the only ones going about even over at http://www.bios-mods.com/downloads/ the tools are old. And rebelshavenforum seems unavailable.
     
  6. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    So I tested it a little bit further and it seems there must be something really funky about H55 BIOSes (for Gigabyte at least), because random P45 and P55 ones worked, as in CBROM showed components inside, and modbin didn't give me "Not compressed Award binary code" error message.

    Can anyone help? I saw people mod these on a few occasions, so it must be possible somehow.
     
  7. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    May 6, 2007
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    Modbin is really outdated. With different cbrom versions I had been always able to mod any Award BIOS ALTHOUGH often manually. Higher version numbers of cbrom doesn't mean it is really newer. It would be helpful to get a dl link of the BIOS you want to modify. Andy's tool comes with cbrom as well. Have you tried that?


    Gigabyte's Award BIOSES have some sensitive modules (MINIT, HTINIT and 2 PE32 in MB.) which might become affected when modified with a wrong version of CBROM (especially when releasing modules). A complete manual mod to take care of the offsets of the sensitive modules is also possible.
    I can have a look at the BIOS if you post a link..and also the modules to be replaced...
     
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  8. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    I tried at least seven CBROM versions from the pack urie linked, an none of them worked (some of them couldn't even read the file).

    I can't post any links due to some stupid postcount rule, unfortunately :(

    edit: maybe like this mediafire.com/download/m94ts2va677ipjx/h55mud2h.zip
     
  9. andyp

    andyp SLIC Tools Author

    Aug 8, 2008
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    Hi

    Sorry, when you PM'd I thought you were referring to the Phoenix/EFI tool.
    The Award tool can't manipulate modules like the EFI tool can.
    It would unfortunately require a complete rewrite which, as all BIOSes going forwards are EFI, isn't going to happen.
    Both the Award tool and the AMI tool aren't going to see any major modification in the future.
    Sorry I can't help

    Cheers
    Andy
     
  10. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    No problem, thanks for the info.
     
  11. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    Yen, did you have time to look at the BIOS file?
     
  12. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    Not yet. I am very busy. Have you tried both cbrom versions that come with AndyP's Award SLIC tool?
    Even if cbrom isn't able to list the modules it should be possible to update modules. I did that already before at a very old Award BIOS. I know the module structure, I know which modules are sensitive.
    What exactly do you want to modify / replace...pchahci.bin....pchraid.bin? And have you already the updated ROM?

    I will have a look at it ASAP.
    Btw: Is it a original Gigabyte BIOS you want to modify? If yes, could you link to Gigabyte's original BIOS update, please? Which mobo model do you have?
    I cannot download from file sharing services here @work...and I prefer to know that the BIOS is original...
     
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  13. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    The BIOS is latest "official" beta from Gigabyte (they never released a stable F12, but it works just fine), but it's a bit complicated, because the only source for these is a guy called stasio over at Tweaktown forums (forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/28441-gigabyte-latest-beta-bios.html), who is either an employee or just close to the company. If you ask Gigabyte's completely useless technical support, they would either deny anything about beta BIOSes, redirect the "conversation" elsewhere, or just give you plain retarded answer.

    Can I mail the file to you instead? I don't have anywhere else but mediafire to host it at.

    I tried CBROM versions 1.15, 1.82, 1.95, 1.96, 1.98. None listed any components.
    What I want to do is replace them with newer versions, basically anything I can. Adding might work, but I am not sure it wouldn't cause problems, since the original components would probably remain in. Also, there's no way of telling how much free space is there.
    I haven't gotten to getting specific updates yet, because I can't properly open the damn thing yet :D I definitely want to update the AHCI and RAID ROMs, and possibly the VGA and LAN ones. I'd like to do it myself if it's possible to do by means of normal program usage (if some sort of "hacking" was involved, I'd naturally pass).
     
  14. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    Well if all available cbrom versions cannot list the modules then cbrom is obviously not able to handle those H55 BIOSES properly. The only way would be to extract all modules with Andy's tool (press *) and then to think about which shall be updated.
    Then the updated ROMS have to be compressed by using a dummy BIOS and CBROM and replaced at the original location at the BIOSIMAGE. If the module size should be increased subsequent modules have to be moved as well....but you need an hexeditor then and some skills to do a manual mod.
     
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  15. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    Sounds complicated enough to stay away from it :(
     
  16. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    I have just tried h55mud2h.f11 which I could download here. Only listed modules are the systembios, the NCPUCODE and MEMINIT in bootblock...

    Btw: stasio comes originally from MDL, he is a long time member here...
     
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  17. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    That's as far as I got too.
    AndyP's award tool can unpack the file, but I have no idea how to put it back together. I wish MMTool worked for Award BIOSes :p
     
  18. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    Award BIOSES are quite old and were one of the first. The tools never had been very handy, but the structure of the Award BIOSES is 'simple'. Award BIOSES almost disappeared.

    Yes MMTOOL is quite handy and reliable..at least for AMI BIOSES, the MMTOOL APTIO for EFI is still buggy...
    When you use a 'dummy' award BIOS you can insert the new module there using cbrom and the appropriate command..cbrom always creates a file called bios.rom. This is the compressed new module which remains back at the same folder. This one you have to use to copy and write into the original h55 image. If its size has increased then you have to move modules as well.
    It is actually not very hard, but one has to be very careful not to screw the BIOSimage...
     
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  19. Octopuss

    Octopuss MDL Novice

    Jul 18, 2009
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    I got the newer version of the BIOS including the whole thing unpacked here, if you want to take a loook when you are at home.
     
  20. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    I think the structure is the same. If it cannot be listed by cbrom you have to go for a complete manual mod.
    When you have all the modules unpacked you can decide which one to update and get the updated module code.

    I hope today I have more spare time to have a look at the latest beta you have posted.
    At the BIOS F11 there is enough space to move, I guess at the latest beta there should be as well...


    pchahci.bin = AHCI BIOS
    pchraid.bin = Intel RAID for SATA
    rtegrom.lom = PXE

    Also some reported when updated the RAID controller there might appear problems with the current RAID array so they have to recreate a new one / recover the data... (better backup the system before)
     
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