Recover (or Mod?) Asus NV56VZ UEFI BIOS?

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by davebugyi, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. davebugyi

    davebugyi MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2013
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    #1 davebugyi, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013
    Hello Forumers,

    It is my first post (and even tough reading the rules and forums before), so I will sound a newbie.

    Long story short:
    After RAM upgrade the notebook does not boot (no ASUS LOGO at sratup, just black screen).
    I managed to get to the BIOS after I installed the ram checked - Restore defaults, Save&Exit.
    Ever since, the laptop does not boot, just black screen, I think the BIOS got corrupted.

    Can you point me to a method, which will help recovering the UEFI BIOS:

    -Manufacturer: ASUS
    -Motherboard Model: ASUS N56VZ
    -Bios revision: 216
    -Bios Type: AMI APTIO UEFI

    Also, the machine came with Win8, but after many issues i decided to put Win7 there after RAM upgrade. Maybe a modded BIOS needed?

    Appreciating any ideas, helps!
    Thanks


     
  2. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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  3. davebugyi

    davebugyi MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2013
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    That's not very good. The machine is still under warranty - so I send it back to RMA.
    I just thought it is possible to restore the bios like on a desktop.
     
  4. Boost

    Boost MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2009
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    #4 Boost, Aug 31, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
    Spent 5 days researching with the same problem on my N56VZ. My laptop died after changing the boot order in bios after installing new hard drive. Damn, how is it even possible?

    Anyway, bricked laptop problem was successfully solved.
    Most complex part was a returning full functionality of the Secure Boot module including PK, DB, DBX key importing/exporting.
    It's important if you have W8 preinstalled and don't want to loose your license after recovery. Or if you want Fast Startup feature with your W8.

    There are 2 ways.

    First one is easiest, and is suitable if you have no W8 preinstalled. You need to change 2 bytes of bios code with just absolutely any digits.
    Second one is more complex but not much.

    Bad news is that for both you will need SPI programmer. If you have some skills, you can make your own with 3 parts. If not, cheapest available SPI programmer will cost you $8 on eBay. Before buying, ask to be sure, it supports Winbond W25Q64 programming.
    Since our model warranty is coming to an end, in future it will be way cheaper comparison paying for the new motherboard in service center. Searching many forums about this problems i found buyers that changed their motherboards twice under warranty with same sympthoms. Thus solving the problem once won't prevent you from hardbrick in future with this notebook. It's not a problem that was solved in some "future board revisions", new bios versions or smth. like that. I saw bricked v204, v213, v216 and mine bricked was v217 bios.
    I'm not even sure buyers of newest N550 model won't expect same problems.
    Therefore i recommend you to have the programmer near you to feel safe. :)

    I've discovered 0 ways on how to do it without programmer. Absolutely any available on the internet described ways like creating "service ami" drive, pressing combinations while booting, removing CMOS battery, founding compatible auto-flashable bios filename on the external drive was tried and was absolutely useless. Simply because of the fact that was confirmed later - those areas in the Winbond flash that need to be repaired aren't flashable with standart bios programming tools like build-in bios EZ flash, Asus Update, AFUDOS, WinFlash.
    Even the BIOS file you've downloading from Asus website is only update part, 6Mb size, while full bios image is 8Mb.
     
  5. davebugyi

    davebugyi MDL Novice

    Apr 4, 2013
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    Thank you Boost for this detailed post, I already saved it for future reference, if this thing happens again. Hopefully not :)

    Anyway, I forgot to mention that I already returned to the retailer since it was under warranty and they sent me a brand new model back in May (I sent it back on 26 Apr - received it on 29 May).

    It had some differences, e.g. the cooling was different and it worked observably faster than the previous N56VZ (I received a newer one - made in March '13 - my faulty first one was from September '12, even though I bought in February '13).

    The issue was - dead motherboard - and since they could not fix it in time in the Official ASUS service (Czech), they sent me a new one, which did not had any issues so far.

    Thanks again for your informative post.
     
  6. Jammin

    Jammin MDL Novice

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Thanks for this post! I have the same problem, which is complicated by the fact that I am travelling in Central America for the next few months, and not really in any one location long enough to wait for an Asus repair. I really depend on my laptop while on the road too :(

    I suppose I could try and locate an SPI programmer, or find somewhere in Costa Rica that has one. However i have no experience using one. If I can find one, do you have the details of the 2nd solution which retains the win8 license info? (Although mine came with win7 and I reinstalled with non-oem win8, not sure if this is required)

    Alternatively, if I could get a new chip shipped would it likely solve the problem?
    (Sorry I can't post links but go to ebay and search for "N56vz bios" to see what I mean)

    Any suggestions anyone has to get me out of this bind would be much appreciated.
     
  7. Jammin

    Jammin MDL Novice

    Dec 4, 2013
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    Damn I just noticed the Bios chip is not removable, and I don't have equipment with me to solder a new one in. So I guess in-place reflashing is the only option :(
     
  8. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    SO8 test clip.. pomona or 3M
    apply power to motherboard through ac power jack.

    or u can use a butane pen torch to desolder
     
  9. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    Hello guys,
    Could you please give me some hints on repairing a dead n56vv. It got bricked after setting the optical drive as the first boot device. I plan on using a buspirate to flash the rom, but don't know what to modify or what tool to use.
    Thanks.
    Have a Merry Christmas!
     
  10. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    PS. Does anybody know whether Boost has an account over at notebookreview forums? I'd like to contact him via PM, but don't have the required number of posts.
     
  11. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    #11 LatinMcG, Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
    trick is to read YOUR chip first.. make backup.bin then open it in hex editor then open dloaded bios and find the begining of dload bios in the backup.bin .. paste it there (merge) to end.
    save as fixed.bin (not to overwrite original backup.bin)
    now flash it.
    if it dont work u still have backup.bin to flash back.

    btw the home mades are HORRIBLE .. read it 3 times and compare all 3 files. i bet it is different all 3!!
    go cheap Ebay
    EN25T80 works for under $8.
    3m or pomona SO8 test clip optionally with wire to SPI programmer pins.. plug in laptop power but dont turn on.
    Luck
     
  12. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    Happy new year to everyone!

    Thank you very much, LatinMcG. I hope the buspirate will work, but first I must get a test clip.
    Should I power the notebook from the ac adapter? Won't the chipset try to access the flash via spi when I power it on?
     
  13. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    Reading Boost's post again, I'm afraid that simply doing a manual 'flash' with the bios that Asus provides on their website won't work as that the problematic area will remain unchanged. Wonder what's inside the other 2Mb of rom that aren't flashed by the update...
     
  14. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    2 bits need to be changed.. i saw the details a while back somewhere.
     
  15. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    If you remember where you've seen the details I'd be very grateful. My current plan is to flash the first 2MB from an n56vz dump. Hope the N56VV is compatible with the VZ in this regard (my laptop is a VV).
     
  16. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    no.. the dump u can compare with dload bios and merge it with bios in hexeditor

    most series with same but last letter usualy have same 2MB begining. the bios itself might be different
     
  17. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    What I'm worried about is the embedded controller. Hope it doesn't check serial numbers or other unique ids from the flash or the other way around (cpu comparing data to embedded controller data).
    I'll dig around to find out about those two bytes that should be modified. The problem is I don't know which notebook the discussion was about... maybe it isn't even an Asus.
    And Boost did not answer my PM...
     
  18. p1gl3t

    p1gl3t MDL Novice

    Oct 22, 2011
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    So... any other smart ideas?
     
  19. CodeRush

    CodeRush MDL Member

    Jun 20, 2011
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    Please don't worry. EC firmware won't check for anything (it's too simple for any complex checks) and NVRAM (the corruption of which had rendered your BIOS unbootable) will be overwritten in any case because it's a part of BIOS region.
    You need to transfer valuable data like Win8 key and serial numbers, but it can be done after flashing empty BIOS with normal flash tools.
     
  20. Boost

    Boost MDL Novice

    Mar 24, 2009
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    #20 Boost, Mar 12, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
    You don't need "buspirate" for this procedure, it's rather pricey. Use any $7-9 flash SPI programmer found on ebay, it is pretty enough to do this procedure.
    BTW, copy-pasting 2MB Asus website .bin content to 8MB dump won't help.

    Intel FPT utility can make full correct dump of the Winbond 8MB BIOS chip (i've compared it to the file i got when read flash with programmer) but you need notebook to be working to do this. It also can flash modified bin as well. :biggrin: