Packard Bell iStart 2311 BIOS MOD REQUEST

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by shotgun25, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. shotgun25

    shotgun25 MDL Novice

    Oct 18, 2009
    40
    2
    0
    #1 shotgun25, Feb 10, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
    Hi,

    I have a Packard Bell iStart 2311 PC, but I can not obtain a BIOS file from the packard bell website for the motherboard.

    I know that it is generally frowned upon and sometimes impossible, but I would like to know if it is possible to modify a backup .rom file created by Universal BIOS Backup Toolkit or if there is a duplicate/similar motherboard bios available, possibly crossflashing? I have seen an ECS-MCP61PM-AM but I don't want to take chances with my friend's PC. It does look like the BIOS chip is removable so any screw ups could be recovered without soldering or a new motherboard.

    -Manufacturer: PACKARD BELL BV
    -Motherboard Model: CHOP-MCP61PM-AM
    -Bios revision: MC61V008
    -Bios Type: Phoenix(/AWARD?) BIOS
    -Bios Download Link: -*NOT FOUND*-
    -RW Everything Report Download Link: View attachment AcpiTbls.7z

    -Backup .rom: View attachment PhoenixTechnologies,LTD-MC61V008.7z

    I would like either an SLIC 2.1 version of the bios version above or even a newer release of the BIOS for this motherboard. Even an original bios file would be fine because I am comfortable using AndyP's tools. Would there be a better backup created by another tool, maybe used from DOS?

    EDIT: I have modified the backup BIOS rom (attached above) with the AWARD 1.53 tool and it completed successfully, but I would like to know if someone can confirm if it is safe to flash since it is a backup bios? View attachment PHOENIXTECHNOLOGIES,LTD-MC61V008_SLIC.7z

    Regards, Shotgun25

    cpuz.png
     
  2. Galileo Figaro

    Galileo Figaro MDL Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    86
    13
    0
    A Phoenix BIOS would normally need some extra data, beyond the normal binary sizes, to be able to flash. But you mention that you used Award Tools when modifying it. If it really is an Award, you can flash. If Phoenix, no.
     
  3. shotgun25

    shotgun25 MDL Novice

    Oct 18, 2009
    40
    2
    0
    #3 shotgun25, Feb 11, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
    (OP)
    Hi,

    On the post screen and in the BIOS screens at the top, it reads "Phoenix - Award workstationBIOS v6.00PG".
    Hi Galileo Figaro,

    Thanks for your response, it confirmed what I read about Phoenix BIOS not safe to flash from backed up BIOS file.

    Also the PhoenixTool from AndyP says "Not Phoenix/Dell/Insyde/EFI BIOS" and the AMITool from AndyP says "Not AMI BIOS" so I guess that makes it Award.
    Does the RW-Everything report give any information that can confirm Award bios is correct for certain??

    Next question, which method and flash tool do I use to update this bios? I assume DOS but which AWDFLASH version should I use, or is there a custom flash from Packard Bell that is available?

    I would still prefer to obtain an original virgin bios file, but that seems a long shot since Packard Bell don't keep archives of BIOS files, only drivers on their FTP side of their support website.

    EDIT: On the RSDT tab it shows Creator ID as "AWRD" so I think that it is definitely Award bios, which goes along with my successful SLIC injection using AndyP's AwardTool yesterday. Still the question of which tool would be the safest to flash with and would I require any special parameters when using a backed up BIOS file.

    Regards, Shotgun25
     
  4. Galileo Figaro

    Galileo Figaro MDL Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    86
    13
    0
    If it is an Award, then just go forth and flash.
    When it comes to what flash utility to use, I can just give you my personal findings. My preferred order of flashing tools is:

    1. The built in flashing tool in BIOS, if such a thing exists. All you need to do is put the ROM file somewhere where the BIOS can see it. I prefer the root of C: but sometimes the BIOS will not understand NTFS, so some other place may be better.

    2. The Windows based flasher. There seems to be a general distrust for these, but I think that's a bit unfair. Just make sure Windows isn't in the process of updating itself, which it is every now and then. Just turn off all networking and that won't be a problem.

    3. The DOS based flasher. I keep a 512MB MS-DOS bootable USB stick for that purpose. Bigger is not better in this case. I leave all flashers I have used on it, with their associated command description files.


    Flashing, with whatever tool, is a bit like hunting. You have to be cool, calm, know what you're doing and not invite surprises. After that it's easy. Just pull the trigger.

    If you're confused about what version of the flashing program to use, use the newest. Just google for them.
     
  5. shotgun25

    shotgun25 MDL Novice

    Oct 18, 2009
    40
    2
    0
    #5 shotgun25, Feb 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    Success

    Hi,

    Thanks for the encouragement, I have modded loads of BIOS's myself and only ever had 2 bricks due to other people modded BIOS files, one recoverable with another chip, the other I had to replace the motherboard.

    My main concern was flashing a backup BIOS as I know it is frowned upon/risky.

    I had success with AWD865.exe since it was from the same era the machine was made.

    I found some references to Foxconn and ECS motherboards using the same BIOS, but looking at the pictures those motherboard still had parallel and serial ports, where as this unit doesn't.

    Would sharing this bios file allow others to used it as it is SLIC 2.1 modded and working, or would it contain any motherboard serial numbers or mac addresses that relate to this particular board?

    I also took a BIOS backup with AWD865.exe by typing the following code

    Code:
    AWD865.exe /pn/sb
    
    and saving as backup.rom and verified that it had the same file hashes as the one I made using Unversal BIOS Backup Toolkit and both the UBBT and AWD865.exe modded backup BIOS files had matching files hashes, so I can say that using either the windows base UBBT or the dos based AWD865.exe to take the backup makes no difference.

    Also for the search engines, the details like the motherboard string and bios version this all relates to is as follows

    Code:
    Machine/Motherboard - Packard Bell iStart 2311 / MCP61PM-AM Rev 1.0A (CHOP-MCP61PM-AM)
    BIOS MOTHERBOARD STRING - 06/06/2007-MCP61-6a61ke11C-00
    Bios version+date - MC61V008 + 06/06/2007
    Bios type: AWARD (Phoenix - Award workstationBIOS v6.00PG)
    Modded by: AndyP's AwardTool
    Status: Successful SLIC 2.1 integration using Dynamic Method and activation using ASUS 2.1 SLIC.BIN and ASUS 2.1 Certificate.
    
    (Sorry if it is abuse of the code tag, just wanted it to stand out)

    Thanks for your help Galileo Figaro, very very helpful. And thanks to MDL for a great open minded and 100% free (freedom of speech) forum.

    Regards, Shotgun25
     
  6. Galileo Figaro

    Galileo Figaro MDL Junior Member

    Sep 6, 2010
    86
    13
    0
    Glad to have been of service! ;)
    You don't have to be afraid that there's a serial number or MAC address embedded into the BIOS file, cause there isn't.

    But you somehow have a point there.

    Some motherboards, laptop ones, can lose their MAC address when reflashing their BIOS. Make a habit of saving the MAC address (with Belarq for instance) before flashing, just in case.
     
  7. shotgun25

    shotgun25 MDL Novice

    Oct 18, 2009
    40
    2
    0
    Modded BIOS file

    Here is the bios file for anyone else with a iStart 2311 requiring SLIC 2.1. Although it worked first time for me, use at your own risk.

    View attachment iStart 2311 MCP61PM-AM Rev 1A v008 bios mod.7z

    Also another note would be to backup any UDID or whatever it is called, especially on Acer laptops...I think I have read that unless it is present and correct, some onboard recovery setups refuse to reinstall windows, so make sure to back it up and restore it if you are thinking of selling the laptop in future with the factory image usable.

    Thanks again and consider this post closed from my point of view.

    Regards, Shotgun25