[Solved] Replace VAIO quick web access, aka splashtop os with *anything*..?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by tomval2k, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. tomval2k

    tomval2k MDL Novice

    Jan 13, 2014
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    Hi,

    My Sony laptop comes with 3 special buttons: "ASSIST", "WEB", and, "VAIO". From poweroff, "ASSIST" launches the Windows recovery partition and "WEB" launches the splashtop OS. The splashtop OS is actually located in the Windows partition at c:\splash.sys

    What I would like to do is change it so that from poweroff when I press "WEB" the laptop boots straight into a different OS, rather than booting into splashtop or Windows.

    I know I could just press the normal power button and select my OS of choice from a bootloader, but I want it my way. It is slicker, absolutely not worth the time and effort, and only I will get any tangible benefit.


    I think it should be possible, after all, the laptop knows somehow to boot into the splashtop OS rather than windows when the "WEB" button is pressed, so I just want to change the target...somehow.

    If anyone could give me some pointers that would be great, thanks!
    Tom
     
  2. tomval2k

    tomval2k MDL Novice

    Jan 13, 2014
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    #3 tomval2k, Jan 18, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
    (OP)
    That link might be handy, will give it a good read through a bit later.

    I've been trying to experiment with c:\splash.idx as this file points to the directories c:\SPLASH.000\ & c:\SPLASH.SYS\
    contents of splash.idx:
    Code:
    root=UUID=CA4297374297276B defconf=en region=2057
    /SPLASH.SYS
    /SPLASH.000
    
    I've got linux mint installed on my Windows partition at the moment, under c:\linuxmint\, and I was trying to point the file to it but all I succeeded in doing was to cause the BIOS to tell me that Quick Web Access wasn't installed, of course it might help if I had a proper install of a linux OS, but as my laptop disk is full I might have to put that onto an SD card for now.


    I've had another idea of how I could maybe, (a big maybe), get this to work- could be that I place a .sqx archive in c:\splash.sys\ so that on boot, this file is run by splashtop os. This file could then execute a command to boot into another linux install. So I would be turning splashtop OS into a bootstrapper of sorts for a bigger + better OS.


    Will see what I get to work, or break.
     
  3. tomval2k

    tomval2k MDL Novice

    Jan 13, 2014
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    I've not had any luck with anything:
    • couldn't use c:\splash.idx to point to any other bootloader or OS, modifying this file causes a 'web access not found error'
    • removal or either c:\SPLASH.SYS\kernel.bin or c:\SPLASH.SYS\LTKNL.BIN result in 'web access not found error'
    • renaming a c:\SPLASH.SYS\*.sqx file causes a splashtop OS error
    • unpacking and repacking (with the same files OR different) *.sqx files also cause a splashtop OS error
    • removal of c:\SPLASH.000\, c:\SPLASH.SYS\persist\ just cause splashtop OS to go into read-only mode

    What I have found out:
    • c:\splash.idx appears to be the boot config that is fetched by the BIOS when the 'WEB' button is pressed
    • inside c:\SPLASH.SYS\ are 36 .sqx files. These are squashfs archives, made using version 3.1.
    • c:\SPLASH.SYS\version is a file that seems to be referencing the squashfs archives...perhaps modifying this file is key.

    The two errors I created when booting were distinct: 'web access not found' seemed to be an error message built into the BIOS; and 'splashtop OS error' is what I termed the error prompt from inside splashtop OS telling me to reboot.


    If I can modify c:\SPLASH.SYS\version to point to updated squashfs archives I might have some success, otherwise I think I'll call it a day.
     
  4. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    i think the .000 is a signature for the .sys so its sorta game over.
    need to rewrite the rom module calling the function.. hard stuff
     
  5. tomval2k

    tomval2k MDL Novice

    Jan 13, 2014
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    the .000 directory just enables persistence (ie saving of network settings, and maybe bookmarks) so removing that and entering a read-only mode is no drama

    stboot looks like the way to go...might test that out in a little bit

    I was trying to modify the c:\SPLASH.SYS\version - I've looked at the file with HxD and found a couple of things out:
    • first 16 bytes of file given to header: "_DeviceVM Inc._."
    • second 16 bytes of file given to date of create for version file
    then, repeating for each file:

    • 32 bytes dedicated to file name
    • 16 bytes dedicated to date string in format YYYYMMDD
    • 16 bytes unknown (but with changeable values I don't understand)
    • 16 bytes for the MD5 of the file

    I may have managed to change the date to something different without splashtop breaking, but inserting a different MD5 for a newly generated sfx archive caused failure within splashtop OS. But I was tired when I did this. The attachment just sort of shows what I said. The unknown 16 bytes I've highlighted if anyone wants to guess their purpose...

    So onto stboot...


    (and thanks for the links)
     

    Attached Files:

  6. tomval2k

    tomval2k MDL Novice

    Jan 13, 2014
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    stboot works, all I had to do was replace the file c:\SPLASH.SYS\LTKNL.BIN with CEFULL from stboot and it worked. Admittedly it only boots to my win 7 install for now, but once I have a proper linux install I should be able to insert my own custom MBR into the file so that I have one button on my laptop to boot windows, and one for linux

    cheers,
    Tom
     
  7. ASukrnet

    ASukrnet MDL Novice

    Jul 26, 2017
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    HI , So how did you decide your question?