Mod ACPI tables in BIOS? n280 based netbook maxed at 1.33ghz

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by paranoidone, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    I really don't know much about what I am asking, but it is a well documented problem that bioses (biosii?) for N280 based netbooks have erroneously maxed the CPU freq. at 1.33ghz when it should have an additional setting of 1.66ghz. So the power management of any OS sees 1.33ghz as the maximum speed, when in reality the proc is a 1.66ghz.

    MSI has realized this problem and fixed it with bios update. I have an Acer, and they seem to be fairly incompetent and want me to pay for tech support when I am merely trying to get them to document a known bug in all of their n280 based netbooks!

    Anyways, is it possible to edit that portion of the bios to reflect the actual max cpu freq?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    bump? anyone?
     
  3. PinkFreud

    PinkFreud MDL Novice

    Oct 5, 2009
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    Have you compared the updated MSI BIOS to the faulty Acer BIOS? Are they both Insyde H2O BIOS, or does MSI use some other format? How similar are the motherboards?
     
  4. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    I haven't compared them. I believe the acer is the H20 that you speak of. I'm pretty new to all of this, and am looking for a solution to fix my xmas gift that is under performing!

    How can I check the similarity of the mobos?

    If the MSI Bios is similar, is it possible to take the snippet of code that defines the processor speeds available?

    I have come across linux forums where people have somehow shown the code that states the proc is 1.33ghz, 1.07ghz, 800mhz, as the available speeds.

    Thanks for the help.:)
     
  5. PinkFreud

    PinkFreud MDL Novice

    Oct 5, 2009
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    Post a link to your Acer BIOS here, and I'll attempt to take a look at it. It may be they forgot to enable the string flags for the 1.66 GHz setting in their BIOS, which is definitely a manufacturer defect. :(
     
  6. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    Thanks again!

    I've received a response from Intel - see below. It might help someone with more advanced knowledge recognize what needs to be fixed. Unfortunately Acer is 133% incompetent and continuously keeps responding with lame generic emails asking me to pay $59.99 for tech support on an issue I know they will not understand or be capable of fixing!

    I only have a few days left to return the netbook, so if you can take a look and let me know if it is fixable, I would be in your debt for ever!

    From Intel:
    In this particular case, no one else had previously reported this situation to what we have had to do some research on this matter. The issue has proven not to be related to the processor itself but to the way the system BIOS might be seeing the microcode of the processor or the possibility that the ACPI table in the BIOS is , in fact, limiting the BIOS from letting the processor work as it maximum

    The microcode of the processor is an electronic string that works as an identifier that the system BIOS and the motherboard itself use for communicating to the processor when it comes to data transference.

    At this point we recommend waiting for a new BIOS release for your system which in this case, as MSI* did, it should fix the recognition issue allowing the computer to properly identify your processor.

    And the BIOS link:
    http://global-download.acer.com/GDF...One&Step3=AOD250&OS=722&LC=en&BC=Acer&SC=PA_4

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
     
  7. PinkFreud

    PinkFreud MDL Novice

    Oct 5, 2009
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    #7 PinkFreud, Jan 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
    My wife's AOD-250 has an N270 Atom running at 1.60 GHz, and it's only on BIOS v1.21. Since the BIOS you linked is v1.25, I'd expect it should recognize the N280 processor running at 1.66 GHz. I'm taking a look at the BIOS .FD image file right now. It's really a shame :( Acer didn't include the release notes with this BIOS, because they usually include these details in that text file.

    Can you download and run CPU-Z on your netbook, and post an image of the output here?

    Looks like someone posted comments at Newegg.com about this exact BIOS issue with the N280 versions of the AOD-250 / KAV60 netbook. :(

    I'm trying to dump the Setup strings from the BIOS, but it's significantly different from the two-year old AS5315 / ICL50 BIOS I've been working on.
     
  8. Orbiting234

    Orbiting234 MDL Member

    Jul 20, 2008
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    #8 Orbiting234, Jan 3, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010
    Even before getting a CPU-Z screenshot from you, I can pretty much guess where Acer f'd up.

    The N270 is a 533MHz bus chip (133MHz "quad pumped" x 12x multiplier = 1.60GHz)

    The N280 is a 667MHz bus chip (166MHz "quad pumped" x 10x multiplier = 1.66GHz)

    If Acer screwed up and is running the N280 on the same 533MHz bus setting that is for the N270, that would explain the 1.33GHz you are seeing perfectly (133MHz "quad pumped" x 10x multiplier = 1.33GHz). Pretty dumb blunder on their part. With the BIOS source code I'm sure it'd be easy to fix the CPU detection and associated automatic bus setting, but reverse engineering will be tricky at best. The processor isn't being held back by the BIOS as it's working at full speed as far as it knows. It's just saddled on the wrong bloody bus speed setting!
     
  9. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    Pink:

    I saw that post on ncix as well. The N270 has never had a problem with any version of the bios, only the N280 unfortunately.

    Acer absolutely does not want to recognize a problem and continuously asks me to call their paid support line! This is driving me pretty crazy. Intel's tool shows the proc with everything correct, confirming the problem is somehow related to the bios.

    I believe the MSI bios is similar (I think both use H20 Insyde), and MSI has fixed the problem for their N280 based netbooks.

    Orbiting234: sounds like you enjoy a good challenge??? :D Interested in trying to help figure this one out??
     
  10. bugmenot0

    bugmenot0 MDL Novice

    Nov 19, 2009
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  11. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    Hi fellow frustrated user!

    Try opening an issue with intel support, which can be done via their live chat. Hopefully they can put pressure on Acer, since Acer is a fortress through which no end user can penetrate without a credit card for paid support!

    Although it wouldn't hurt to submit an issue to them via their website as well. Perhaps one of us will hit a competent support person that knows who to forward the issue to!
     
  12. bugmenot0

    bugmenot0 MDL Novice

    Nov 19, 2009
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    Hi paranoide. That's what i did this afternoon, they claim to answer within a business day so I expect the response tomorrow afternoon. If that's unsuccesful, i'll try with Intel.

    Big thanks!! and yes, we can!
     
  13. bugmenot0

    bugmenot0 MDL Novice

    Nov 19, 2009
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    Told'em bout this bug, bout MSI BIOS update and the thread at launchpad and this is what they told me:

     
  14. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    Wow, not bad...looks like their support in the UK is somewhat competent in understanding you!

    I think I am going to return mine...Acer has been ridiculously bad with this one...

    I wouldn't hold your breath for a repair. The best answer I have so far is that they have no plans to increase the processor speed with a bios update!
     
  15. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    Any bios gurus willing to take a stab at this one??

    What did you guys want to see from CPU-Z?
     
  16. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    It would be nice if they could actually make proper English sentences that user does NOT have to guess the meaning...

    sebus
     
  17. paranoidone

    paranoidone MDL Novice

    Dec 25, 2009
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    CPU-Z shows my proc go to 1.66ghz - so which is accurate??

    WIN 7 says 1.33 max, as does linux. CPU-Z shows me 1.66...so what is my proc REALLY running at??
     
  18. Orbiting234

    Orbiting234 MDL Member

    Jul 20, 2008
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    Look at the correct part of CPU-Z. For instance on my N270:

    [​IMG]

    The red circled number will always just say what the model of the CPU is designed to run at regardless. This number will never change. The green circle though will always be your actual speed. Of course you can only know for sure when you have a load on the CPU as EIST will cause the CPU to drop to a lower voltage and multiplier while not in heavy use (800MHz on the N270).

    Like we all said before, just post a screenshot of it and we'll decipher it for you.
     
  19. noyod

    noyod MDL Member

    Jul 19, 2009
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    I think you should download and install the utility published by intel in order to get a foolproof indication of the cpu speed.

    Here's the download location of the "intel processor identification utility":

    http://www.intel.com/support/processors/tools/piu/sb/CS-014921.htm :)
     
  20. Orbiting234

    Orbiting234 MDL Member

    Jul 20, 2008
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    #20 Orbiting234, Feb 2, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
    Acer has fixed this! "Fixes Atom N280 CPU frequency incorrect in Windows 7 OS."

    Here are the new BIOS files with the Acer 2.1 SLIC added: