Latitude D610 request - fix for 137GB BIOS limit

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by LATD610_please, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

    May 5, 2007
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    Thanks, I believe the D810 comes with X300 discreet, as long as the two seem similar would you be interested or concerned if we were to just convert yours to a D810? I plan to flash a 6000 board with a few different bioses tonight just to prove a measure of compatability, if all goes well I could explain what I did and the results, and we can go from there, if all goes well I may have an inspiron 6000 with lba 48 bit by morning, I don't expect much stability unless I can isolate and remove the extra slot from the bios, but if I do, it could be stable. I believe that yours is closer to the D810 and both seem very similar, the only difference I know of would be the X600 option in the D810, but it also came with a X300 so I suspect complete compatability..
    If you really want it to still say D610 we will likely have to spend more time at this, hopefully it is possible...
     
  2. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    Ooops, as I feared, I think I bricked my test board, lol.... I have tried everything I can think of through usb, perhaps the boards were not as similar as I hoped, hehe perhaps different southbridge? It seems to enter recovery mode but to no avail, I may try a bit more but.... I guess I might have tried switching modules first? I did read tho that as tqhoang suggested, the M70 and D810 are identical (only discreet video cards differ), so if we solve this for the 610 we will surely solve it for the M20
     
  3. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #24 shakeyplace, Sep 29, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
    The D510 because they both had the onboard graphics chip, It was just a test board, no real loss... Must be another incompatability. I'll have to look a little deeper, lol I know the dell bioses fairly well, some have the length bytes before the byte that identifies the particular module type and some have the length byte after, likely where I went wrong. I will look today and am learning a little more as I go. I don't believe this project dead by any means.. will keep looking deeper into these. I will post some things here as I go to keep the thread current. from what I can tell so far that identity byte does in fact identify the module and seems consistant from model to model, I suspect that each video card has it's own ie, every card with a particular hardware id will consistantly have the same id, I also found one module last night that seems to enumerate the devices, will look back and confirm the id number - perhapa the best place to start this
    the i6000 seems to enter recovery mode but quickly dies, I'll try again with usb floppy, see if it reads it, if not I'll toss it, assume the usb bus dead, broken somehow...
     
  4. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    I've been looking at these, between A03 and A04 the major changes appear in the 0X_x modules, specifically 01_1, 03_3, 05_5, 08_7, 07_6 and 0F_25
    I think we can exclude the last one because although there were many changes, the newer one is identical to the 0F module in D610's bios which isn't LBA 48 bit. 07 module I feel isn't a good candidate either, only a few bytes different near the end (I know a few bytes can be important but if you compare I think you may agree)
    This leaves 01_1, 03_3, 05_5, 08_7. Of these I hope that 01_1 is not it, it appears to be the rom that identifies the system model, very critical, perhaps the first module loaded, it may be critical to 48 bit LBA but not likely to be the only one (in my own uneducated opinion anyways) 03 seems to me to be the bios GUI, menus and such, quite possibly not critical to this project. 08 module seems to me to enumerate the system? it also contains the ACPI perhaps one of the bios Gurus can speculate on that, would identifying the hard drive size (including 48 bit LBA) be a function of that bios module? 05 also seems to contain many changes between the two bios releases in question and could also be critical to this. The rest of the modules are for the most part identical, one additional module in the newer bios but we can safely rule it out, it is a third party option rom (4x_x)
    If anyone else has any thoughts or can elaborate on any of this it will be appreciated,
     
  5. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

    Apr 29, 2008
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    Unfortunately the 48-bit LBA stuff is most likely in the "core" BIOS...likely to be the first module. The problem is that I'm not sure what goes along with module 01. I rebuilt the D610 A06 BIOS with the D810's 01 module + a "D810->D610" string change, but I haven't had a chance to test it. I haven't even tested the crash recovery yet.
     
  6. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    #27 shakeyplace, Oct 1, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
    there is a checksum in that module for sure, the ones I looked at checksum to 00, I took a quick look at a couple and don't see a single checksum byte, possible there is two together, would have to look deeper to see what portion would/could be covered with the second value... I recovered my D610 board with a hdr file on an external floppy. I'll have to look up the name again but it is identical to the names posted in the Dell bios recovery thread. I can look it up shortly if you wish.. An usb stick should work as well, I just used an external floppy first..
    I think however that I have edited the version, dates in that module before and it still boots fine, no errors, not really sure of the purpose of the checksums therefore, could be the right module too, it is very similar in the D810 A04, A05 which are both repotedly LBA-48 bit but lots of changes between A03 and A04. based on the comparisons I think the checksums are the 2 bytes immediately following the row of FF's and before the date at the end of the module, that, the date and version numbers and only 22 bytes scattered around in the middle of the module are the only differences,
     
  7. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    Well, I give up, but more than willing to help out, we really need someone with the disassembly/programming skills I think, tried replacing the 3 modules I thought were the most likely, recovered each time, actually got to the boot screen before freezing once but that was the closest to actually booting let alone our goal, last ditch effort I replaced all 0x modules with ones from D810, no success, recovered bios no problem though...
    ps, usb stick did not work for me, used external floppy every time to recover bricked bios
    If anyone has the programming skils, I would be happy to flash the bios on the test board though..
    pps, never much luck with cross flashed board, can get it interested in external floppy with hdr named for recovering bios that was installed on it, so there is some life, but after apparently reading hdr file it shuts down without flashing, possibly rejects it, must be some internal check other than the obvious filename because with different names it doesn't take the time to read the floppy
     
  8. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

    Sep 16, 2010
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    Darn it... well I appreciate everything you've tried anyway. Hopefully someone else picks up the bait on this one :(
     
  9. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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    I hope so, may try a little more, kinda have a few more hair brained long shots, like you said, hopefully someone has some helpful skills and picks up the cause. I would really like to get lucky and solve this because it annoys me to no end when manufacturers sell you hardware and then limit it through the bios, just because they can, ie, well they never sold one with a 160 Gb hard drive so they deny there is fault in their bios. or it wasn't sold with a particular cpu so why support it... That is exactly why I buy components and build my own desktops... whitelists, unsupported devices... They just figure to sell another one if you can't upgrade it? I think they just get away with far too much.... sorry for ranting but it kinda annoys me, lol
     
  10. LATD610_please

    LATD610_please MDL Novice

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    I hear you - if it were economically feasible to build your own laptop, I would have no brand logos other than Antec, Coolermaster, or something showing.
     
  11. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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    #32 tqhoang, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2010
    LATD610_please - Could you post the specs of your hard drive (make, model, cylinders/sectors/heads)? I'm just reading up on 48-bit LBA and how that differs from 28-bit LBA.

    UPDATE: Nevermind...I picked up a WD Scorpio 320GB PATA drive for my D610...I'll experiment when I have the time.
     
  12. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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    #33 tqhoang, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2010
    Interesting...I was able to make a Frankenstein BIOS for my D610 using modules from the D410 A05 BIOS. The good news is that the BIOS sees my entire 320GB drive. I still need to install Windows 7 on there and see if everything works.

    The reason I used the D410 is that my D610 only has the Intel 915GM integrated graphics. I have no idea if my Frankenstein BIOS works with the ATI X300 graphics chip.

    UPDATE: Ok, it turns out that my DVD writer and Intel 2915ABG MiniPCI Wireless are no longer recognized...perhaps the D410 does not support CD/DVD drives? Guess I should look at the D510 or D810 modules next.
     
  13. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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    #34 tqhoang, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
    Ok, so I was able to build my "A51" BIOS. This BIOS version is named "A51" since I took modules from the D510 A04 BIOS and merged them with the D610 A06 BIOS using AndyP's PhoenixTool. Windows 7 is loading now, so hopefully I can create an RW-Everything report and add the SLIC in the morning.

    The good news: My D610 A51 BIOS recognizes most of my hardware now and my WD Scorpio 320GB PATA drive.

    The bad news: My D610 A51 BIOS probably only works with D610's that use the Intel 915GM graphics. Also it does not see my Ethernet card...probably because the D510 supported a Broadcom 10/100 card instead of the Broadcom gigabit card.

    The optimistic news: I have also created an "A81" BIOS made of modules from the D810 A05 BIOS for ATI X300 models. I can't test it since my video card doesn't work, but I do hear the BIOS POST and beep like it's looking for a bootable hard or optical drive. I don't think this one will have Ethernet problems since the D810 supported the Broadcom gigabit card too.
     
  14. kizwan

    kizwan MDL Member

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    Have you tried swapping option rom file for the ethernet card with the one from original D610's BIOS?
     
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  15. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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    Thanks but, I didn't overwrite the Broadcom PXE ROM...just what I believed was the core modules of the BIOS (i.e. lots of trial & error & crash recovery).

    Perhaps I should think backwards instead of laterally. I might try to use the D620's BIOS...aside from the chassis and newer Intel chipset, most of the hardware seems to be similar to the D610.
     
  16. gabiz_ro

    gabiz_ro MDL Member

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    PXE ROM is loaded by BIOS only if you choose network boot.
    Is not used to configure or setup hardware.
     
  17. shakeyplace

    shakeyplace MDL Addicted

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  18. tqhoang

    tqhoang MDL BIOS Modder

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    #40 tqhoang, Oct 11, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
    Cool...it would be interesting to know if my D610 A81 BIOS works and doesn't have the Broadcom Ethernet issue that my D610 A51 BIOS has. If it does work, can you upload an RW-Everything report for the A81 BIOS?

    I'll check out Yen's whitelist thread.

    UPDATE: I checked out the whitelist thread, so I didn't get any good matches for "E4 14" in the modules (outside of the PXE ROM). Unfortunately I don't know assembler so would have no idea what the BIOS does when you enable/disable the on-board LAN. I guess that is the key...to find that code and compare it between the original D610 (or even D410 or D810) and the D510.