SLIC with Phoenix bios on server mobos

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by romuluz, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    #1 romuluz, Oct 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: May 23, 2017
  2. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    #2 OleBent, Oct 18, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2008
    Yeah...

    I´d definitely would love to see some work on bios´es for the Supermicro server boards as well...

    Perhaps the X7SBA?

    On the other hand I´m a little reluctant when it comes to testing since the buggers at SM decided to solder the bios chip to the board.
    Real pain for someone who has done loads of hot swap flashes over the years even before slic modding times.

    Seeems more and more vendors do solder the bioses onto the boards.
    Bad practice!

    /OleBent
     
  3. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    I agree, hard-wired bios chips is a very bad idea. Not sure what benefits they get during production stage, but instead of shipping just a replacement chip they leave customers no other options but to send it for a repair (extra costs and up to 2-week delays). I just got 'asus striker extreme' back after it's bios got locked up and showing only 'cpu init' on lcd panel. It took asus 2 weeks to get it fixed (they sent me a new board, so much overhead or a tiny bios chip replacement). And forget about 2-3 year-old boards.. Would be nice if most vendors would implement polls for each product and people could just share their success stories or frustrations to guide future releases..

    I'd definitely avoid testing modded bios with on-board chip, unless it was tested and proven to work. And even then I'd check if I could initiate disaster recovery procedure prior to flashing..
     
  4. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #4 Yen, Oct 21, 2008
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  5. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Ok, I'll try to get you AcpiScope report tomorrow. I have only one board and one chip now. So it's going to be a one-shot deal, unless you know other tricks to revive failed bios. I wish there would be a program to simulate a boot sequence after flashing while still at command prompt before rebooting. To allow testing of the freshly flashed bios and reflashing if boot simulation fails (just an idea ;) Thx
     
  6. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    @ Yen

    Been trying to get acpiscope to run on the system with the SM board to give you more info.
    Error: Driver failed to start
    System is running server 2003 ee x64 and therefore has no boot menu option for disabling driver signing enforcement by F8.
    Tried disabling driver signing enforcement from within the OS as well.
    Googled all I could think of....

    So far NO luck at getting the app running.....

    Do you have any suggestions?
     
  7. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #7 Yen, Oct 22, 2008
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  8. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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  9. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #9 Yen, Oct 23, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    I had a look at these two bioses and I have to say amazing....
    These are the first two 2 MB bioses which PBE opens completely. Also the typical module structure is completely different.

    I know how to mod them both, but I don't know if PBE is able to rebuild them properly. I also have tried to find a way to mod them manually. It looks promising...

    FYI: Hole5 and HOLE6 are prepared to contain the public key and marker (the 2 parts of the SLIC) to be added.
    BIOSCOD1 has a renaming routine at offset E2B4h:
    Code:
    Offset      0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7   8  9  A  B  C  D  E  F
    
    0000E2B0               53 48 49 4D  41 53 53 44 53 2D 4F 4E       SHIMASSDS-ON
    0000E2C0   45 00                                              E.
    
    To make a successful mod you just have to edit the OEM and OEM table ID there to what you want. Additionally you have to fill up the holes5 and 6 with SLIC data. Finally rebuild the bios.



    romuluz,
    If you are able to recover your bios I would really like to make a mod.
    I continue finishing a complete manual mod to avoid to use PBE.
    Your renaming routine:
    Code:
    Offset      0  1  2  3  4  5  6  7   8  9  A  B  C  D  E  F
    
    0000DA20                               53 4D 43 53 4C 50 53            SMCSLPS
    0000DA30   55 50 45 52 4D 49 43                               UPERMIC
    
    Hole4 and HOLE5 are prepared to contain the public key and marker
    This is really exciting.....I've also seen that your flash.bat uses the /BBL command to flash, which means the bootblock of bios will be updated as well. This is always a higher risk to flash and IMO not needed to update the mod, if you're running the same original version already....

    Finally I'm able to make a complete manual mod without using PBE to rebuild the bios. All offsets are remained, this is the best way to mod......
    ..both manual mods are finished ;)
     
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  10. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    Hi guys, that is very exciting news!! :)
    I have one obsticle to overcome and will be able to assist you and try whatever is needed.. I still have 2 chips, the only trouble is that running server is at dif. location and I'll be there either tomorrow or sunday (couldn't get there yesterday, sorry). I should be able to try whatever you think would work. There are a couple of ways to speed up this process a bit..
    1. if you could give me 2-3 scenarios to try (with things to take notes of)
    then I'll try those and post back the results
    2. if we can get online at the same time and have a real-time communication while I'd be doing this.

    either way would work for me. I'll also try to fetch acpi dump for you if still needed. (hoping it wouldn't mess up a server setup as it's a bit time-consuming to restore volumes and images on raid configuration).
    Thanks guys!! ;) i'm very excited
     
  11. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #11 Yen, Oct 24, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2008
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  12. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    #12 OleBent, Oct 25, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
    Oh man.....

    I´m really tempted... :)
    But still it´s the board which runs our daily services here @home.....

    None of my suppliers here has this exact board in stock atm which could leave everything dead for several weeks in case of the worst scenario aka a bricked board.

    Still not flashing the bbl oughta minimize the risk a great deal....

    Oh man....

    Will have to take a deep dive into docs bout possible recovery strategies and then try to decide which side will win....
    The courios or the safe side....

    I´d also very much like to give you some feedback for your super effort and further work Yen....
    All other boards here in the household has gotten slic modded and tested even those in no current need :)....
    I´m weak when it comes to couriosity I know... :)

    Now I (finally) noticed that the mods you´ve worked on i s for romuluz setup...... Hehe
    That does relieve the pressure on my weakness....

    :)
     
  13. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #13 Yen, Oct 25, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
    Hehe, no......;)

    Your mod is done already as well.:D. Waiting on my HDD for romuluz results....
    If it'll work you've to decide again.......:D

    OleBent, you did already a great support. Your rw everything dumps are useful info.:) Thanks.
     
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  14. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    ARE YOU READY???????????? :)

    IT TOTALLY WORKED!!!!!
    CREATED a 2gb bootable usb stick, formated using HP utility,
    copied files (no BBL), changed boot sequence..
    Booted up, flashed, restarted..
    Windows, EVEREST.. mobo > acpi...
    SLIC - DELL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YEN, YOU ARE PIECE OF ART, I'M TELLING YOU!!
    I'll be back a bit later..
    Tell me if you need any other info..

    AND THAAAAAAAAANK YOUUUUUU!!!! :)))
    SOOOOO MUUCH !!!!
     
  15. romuluz

    romuluz MDL Novice

    Oct 15, 2008
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    About CPUs..

    Off the subject a bit..
    OleBent, which CPU do you have? I guess ur bios doesn't allow any FSB modifications too?
    I was able to get both CPUs to run at 400 (instead of 333) with FB-DDR2 800 @ 1:1 ratio. There is an easy mod involving isolation (covering with electrical tape) of one of the contacts on the CPU, which changes the FSB. On some CPUs it's a shorting of 2 contacts instead.
    Perhaps you already discovered this trick, but if not, let me know, I'll look it up again ;)

    Are you going to try your BIOS mod? :)
    In my original attempts I tried using winphlash (dif. 64bit versions) and they all caused sudden reboots, and dead bios. I had to do a recovery procedure.
    So, personally winphlash scares the .... out of me.. So I use phlash16 only..
     
  16. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    #16 OleBent, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
    The current setup on this server is the X7SBA board with an x3350 cpu and 8Gbs ram which is all this uni-proc entry level server board allows.
    Late spring when I purchase the kit the 3350 was definitely the best possible buy for this board in terms of price/performance and perhaps most availability.

    Im pretty sure the fsb clock for this board is locked too....
    Havent really looked into it yet.
    Since its running the services here @ home I´ve not considered beefing it up...(yet)
    Instead a core idea with this box has been to build a descent performing setup with the lowest possible noise without going to extremes besides padding the srv case and getting low noise fans.
    Dont go overboard looking for the tip. On the other hand if you actually do bump into it I´d certainlly love to know the details anyway. :)
    One never knows what crazy ideas could show up around the next corner....

    About the mod:
    Ive researched practicly every supplier in this country for availability of this board to be able to provide myself with a quick "exit strategy" for the unthinkable event of frying the bugger.
    Nobody has this exact model in stodk or even on their lists.
    Not that Im all that surprised. When I ordered the board originally it had to be shipped here from abroad. Took almost 2 weeks for the SM distributor to deliver it. Same time I guess it´d take them to replace/repair it.
    I can get my hands on the X7SBE which is pretty close but has only PCI-X expansion slots as opposed to the X7SBA also having a few PCI slots. I use these PCI slots for some cheaper xtra NICs for some virtualisation experimenting.
    Conclusion:
    H... I dont know :)
    ....am tempted but killing my atm very smooth running setup just to serve my couriosity and possible not being able to recover the setup from my "weakness" isnt a pretty thought.
    Still no bbl update......

    You feel my "dilemma" :)

    A long time ago I bricked a few boards experimenting with various Windows flash tools....
    (Luckily back then there was always the hot plug option for recovery)
    I´d go along way to avoid trying to get the flash done from within a running OS.

    BTW. Did you actually test the slic activation with a test setup?
     
  17. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    #17 Yen, Oct 27, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2008
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  18. OleBent

    OleBent MDL Member

    Aug 22, 2007
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    Hey guys

    I´ve also very much enjoyed our little journey here.

    Nice to be able to contribute a bit....

    Also now I do have the mod lying rite here on my drive dont I.... :cool:

    Looking forward to hear about the actual activation results of course.

    Thanks romuluz also for the link for the BSEL mod stuff also might come in handy... If not with this setup possibly others :)
    Of course giving it a go even for this setup just for the fun of knowing is almost impossible to avoid at some point where I have to do some work on it anyway. :)
     
  19. quixote

    quixote MDL Novice

    Oct 31, 2008
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    #20 quixote, Oct 31, 2008
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
    Wow, your guys work make me all excited!

    I tried to put in SLICs on a HP laptop DV9000. Some of these laptops were supposed to have a SLIC. Mine was not, because I bought this a bit earlier than the batch with a SLIC.

    All my tries to put in a SLIC failed using PBE. Black screen, could not recover with crisis disk. Then I thought, is not possible with Phoenix BIOS.

    I have a few other machines as well that for some reason do not have a SLIC (buy too early). The bad thing is that HP has not given any BIOS update on the website.

    But you guys showed that it's possible to put in a SLIC!

    First question: can you show me how to first BACK-UP the BIOS completely, using PHLASH16 ?


    Second question: can you try modding a BIOS that I upload to you by putting in a HP SLIC?