Tools to flash and recover BIOS on ASUS P8xxx boards (FD44Editor, FTK)

Discussion in 'Intel MoBos' started by CodeRush, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    This topic is my reaction to situation with BIOS corruption problems on current ASUS boards and inability to recover from it using ASUS tools.
    I have started this projects on overclockers.ru forum about 6 months ago, and now the tools I developed are proven to be working, stable and reliable by large Russian overclockers community.
    At first, I didn't think about translating that to English, but I see many topics and messages all over the Internet, where people with CPU-multiplier stuck at 35x are asking for help, but receiving only responses like "Try to clear CMOS", "Buy new BIOS chip from EBay", "RMA the crap" etc. Enough of that!
    I apologize for my bad English, but I hope that it is much better that Google-translated one anyway.
    I'm open for contact, so if you have something to say - you are welcome.
    You make anything described below on your own risk, there is no perfect bug-free software and flashing the BIOS is dangerous. Be prepared and don't blame me, if anything goes wrong.
    In addition: using this flashing methods and modifying your motherboard data is not supported by ASUS in any way and it could void your warranty, if spotted.
    Please use normal ASUS solutions like EZ Flash or USB BIOS Flashback for performing updates of fully-functional BIOS.


    UPD: uploaded new versions of FTK8 (for C600/6/7 series chipsets, based on Intel FPT 8.1.40.xxxx) and FTK9 (for 8 series desktop chipsets, based on FPT 9.0.22.xxxx)
    Batch files for making your own FTK bundle are here: https://github.com/NikolajSchlej/FTK

    Contents
    0. Problems and solutions.
    1. UEFI BIOS and BIOS image file structures.
    2. Flash Toolkit (FTK).
    3. FD44Editor.
    4. Preparing DOS-bootable USB-flash with FTK.
    5. Using FTK to downgrade/reflash/update the whole BIOS or some regions only.
    6. Using FTK to update ME from Intel BIN-file.
    7. Using FD44Editor to add/edit individual board data in BIOS image.
    8. Using FTK to flash modified BIOS file.
    9. Recovering from unbootable BIOS using FD44Editor and hardware SPI-flash programmer.
    10. Some additional notes.


    0. Problems and solutions
    P: BIOS setup shows ME:N/A on Main tab.
    P: Turbo-multipliers are absent or not working.
    P: System detects all the RAM, but can use only a half of it.
    P: Integrated GPU is not working.
    S: ME region is corrupted. Reflash ME region, as described in section 5.

    P: Integrated Intel LAN can't start, code 10 in device manager.
    S: GbE region is corrupted. Reflash GbE region, as described in section 5.

    P: After BIOS update my MAC changes to 88:88:88:88:87:88.
    P: After BIOS update my software activation is lost.
    S: Edit your individual board data with FD44Editor and flash the modified BIOS, as described in sections 7 and 8.

    P: System is unbootable and remains unbootable after using USB BIOS Flashback.
    S: Transfer the data from BIOS dump to another BIOS file with FD44Editor and flash modified file to SPI-chip using hardware programmer, as described in section 9.


    1. UEFI BIOS and BIOS image file structures
    The new UEFI BIOS is common for almost all modern boards and described in Intel documents, that are belong to TianoCore project.
    UEFI BIOS consists of the following:
    1. Descriptor region. This region must present and the board is unable to boot if it becomes corrupted. Not affected by any ASUS BIOS tool, with one exceptions, that I describe later in section 5. Has Intel BIOS Region Lock bytes at 0x60 offset, that can prevent read and/or write access to another regions. Can be locked by region lock. Update is possible but brings nothing.
    2. GbE region. Presents if and only if the board has integrated Intel LAN, with minor exceptios like Z77 WS, that has two Intel cards but no GbE region. Not affected by any ASUS BIOS tool. Has MAC-address of Intel card and some setups. Can be locked by region lock, can be updated using BIOS image, but I can't see any difference between old and new versions.
    3. ME region. Must present in BIOS for boot, must not be corrupted for proper work. Has no unrecoverable data, so it can be reflashed without modifications. Affected by USB BIOS Flashback (only by flashing really old files like first BIOS releases, was disabled in new ones) and by ASUS MEUpdate tool. Can be updated with numerous benefits like Windows 8 support or ability to set tighter memory timings, but can bring issues as well. Typical firmware update. Update can be made using BIN-file or BIOS image with updated ME. Can be locked by region lock.
    4. PDR region. Presents only on rare non-Asus OEM boards, consider it absent in 100% cases.
    5. BIOS region. Finaly, the BIOS code and data. Has FD44 module with individual board data. Affected by any ASUS BIOS tool (Captain Obvious to the rescue :)). Can be locked by region lock, but I haven't seen any board with locked BIOS region, because it will be unable to update BIOS on it.
    That was BIOS image structure, now about BIOS file structure.
    A BIOS file on modern ASUS board can be ROM-file or CAP-file.
    ROM files are simple BIOS images with Descriptor region start at 0x00. CAP-files or "EFI Capsules" are having 2kb Capsule/UBF header before start of Descriptor region.
    The problem with flashing the CAP-file with any non-ASUS tools is that: actual BIOS data that must be flashed to SPI-chip is started not at 0x00, but at 0x800 of that file. So, if you try to use FPT, flashrom or any other software programmer, that don't know anything about that 2kb header, it will be flashed on the place of Descriptor header in BIOS, that makes the PC unbootable and unrecoverable by UBF after that flash. You must remove that header before flashing CAP-files. FTK and FD44Editor do it automatically, but if you must do something with you BIOS by hands - you are warned.


    2. Flash Toolkit (FTK)
    FTK is a set of utilities and batch files to flash BIOS on modern ASUS boards without losing individual board data such as System UUID, Motherboard S\N, DTS UltraPC key and Integrated MAC address.
    The toolset consists of the following:
    1. Intel FPT, FwUpdLcl and MEInfo utilities, that do all the flashing work.
    2. FD44Copier utility, that copies individual board data from one BIOS image file to another.
    3. Bunch of batch files to make use of utilities above a bit easier for end-users.
    There are DOS and Windows versions of toolkit, but I'm using DOS one in this guide.
    If you want to use Windows version, run commands described below, that are represented by batch files, as Administrator, but it is dangerous to flash BIOS under Windows, so I don't recommend to use it.
    The use of different parts of FTK is described below.
    FD44Copier source code is BSD licensed and available on Github.
    The latest version of FTK you can find here in my original topic on overclockers.ru.


    3. FD44Editor
    FD44Editor is GUI-based editor for ASUS BIOS image file, capable to view BIOS information like board name and versions of BIOS, ME and GbE and to add or edit individual board data. The utility is named after the GUID of EFI-file containing individual data on ASUS boards (FD44820B-F1AB-41C0-AE4E-0C55556EB9BD).
    The GUI looks like this, if you open your BIOS backup:
    [​IMG]
    The use of FD44Editor is described below.
    FD44Editor source code is BSD licensed and available on Github.
    The latest version of FD44Editor you can find here in my original topic on overclockers.ru.


    4 .Preparing DOS-bootable USB-flash with FTK
    Before the middle of last month I used Windows-versions of FTK, but then testers realized that there are many programs like antiviruses or virtualization tools that can interfere with flashing process and it can lead to unbootable systems. Because of that, I decided to make DOS-version the one and only. But for using it, you must boot to DOS first. For anyone that can do it right now - read next sections, instructions for other people are here.
    0. Insert your empty USB-flash drive.
    1. Download Bootable USB Drive Creator, unpack and run it.
    2. Select the option "Create Bootable Drive" and select MS-DOS folder, that was unpacked at step 1. Other options are for you to set.
    3. Press Start and wait for program to finish.
    4. Download the latest version of FTK (link is section 2) and unpack it to the USB-flash root folder.
    5. Your FTK-flash is ready. Try to boot to DOS from it. If it boots - cool, if not - try another utilities like Rufus or Grub4Dos.


    5. Using FTK to downgrade/reflash/update the whole BIOS or some regions only
    This is the main section of all of that topic. Most of problems caused by BIOS corruption can be solved using one of the following methods.
    For using any of that methods you need FTK-flash created in section 4. Boot to DOS and enter one of the following commands.

    0. Making BIOS backup copy. Command: backup.
    Use it if you need to make a backup copy of your current BIOS.
    It is recommended to make a backup copy and store it to independent location before any flashing.
    Almost all other commands that involve flashing are making a backup before doing anything, so use it only if you need to store backup in some different place.
    This command can be used to see if your BIOS is locked by Region lock, because it will fail with Error 26 if any region is locked.
    There are three methods of unlocking BIOS:
    1. Powering the system on with GPIO line 33 pinned to GND with 1k resistor. Almost impossible on ASUS boards.
    2. Using EZ flash to update BIOS from ME7 one to ME8 one. The ME update process after the first reboot will disable this lock. It is available only on relatively old boards.
    3. Writing 00 00 FF FF 00 00 FF FF 18 01 FF FF to 0x60 offset of BIOS in SPI-chip with hardware programmer. The ultimate solution, but if you have hardware programmer, you don't need FTK anyway.
    Now I am working on BIOS modification to prevent that lock from working, and I have some relatively good ideas of how to do that, but there is no actual code now, so you have to wait.
    The output file of that command is called "backup.bin".

    1. Restoring BIOS from backup copy. Command: restore. The backup file must be named "backup.bin" and placed near FTK files.
    Use it to restore BIOS from previously taken backup.
    The command works as follows: Intel FPT erases all chip then flashes backup.bin to the chip as is.
    If the backup and the current BIOS have different ME versions, you need to use poweroff command after successful restoration to ensure ME restart. ME is powered with standby power line and doesn't restarts on normal reset, so you must use that command or remove power completely and wait for 30 secs to reset ME state. If they have same versions - normal reset is enough.

    2. Flashing BIOS region only. Command: biosrefl. The BIOS file to flash must be named "bios.bin" and must be in the same directory with FTK. You must use a BIOS file for your board.
    Use it to reflash/update/downgrade your BIOS region.
    It is the same BIOS reflash procedure as performed by ASUS BIOS tools with one difference - it's a reflash, so the region is fully erased before writing new data. It takes about 1.5x longer to flash that way, but it guaranties that old BIOS will have no influence to new one.
    The command works as follows: Intel FPT makes BIOS backup copy named backup.bin. Then FD44Copier copies FD44 module contents and SLIC tables (if present) to bios.bin file, checking if that file has the same motherboard name in it as backup file. Then it removes CAP-file header (if present) from bios.bin file. Then FPT erases BIOS region and flashes BIOS region from bios.bin file to BIOS chip. If something goes wrong, the error message will be shown. If so, you can use restore command to restore your BIOS to previous state.
    ME and GbE are not affected, so there is no need to remove power or use any commands, normal reset is enough.

    3. Flashing GbE region only. Command: gberefl. The BIOS file to flash must be named "bios.bin" and must be in the same directory with FTK. You can use a file from another board as GbE source.
    Use it to reflash/update/downgrade your GbE region.
    The command works as follows: Intel FPT makes BIOS backup copy named backup.bin. Then FD44Copier copies MAC to bios.bin file. Then it removes CAP-file header (if present) from bios.bin file. Then FPT erases GbE region and flashes GbE region from bios.bin file to BIOS chip. If something goes wrong, the error message will be shown. If so, you can use restore command to restore your BIOS to previous state.
    Again, no need to use anything special, normal reset is enough.

    4. Flashing ME region only. Command: merefl. The BIOS file to flash must be named "bios.bin" and must be in the same directory with FTK. You can use a file from another board as ME source.
    Use it to reflash/update/downgrade your ME region.
    Do not flash ME8_1.5M_Production.bin or similar 1.5M sized binaries from Intel that way, it will render your board unbootable! If you need to update ME using that kind of file, please use the method described in section 6.
    The command works as follows: Intel FPT makes BIOS backup copy named backup.bin. Then FD44Copier removes CAP-file header (if present) from bios.bin file. Then FPT erases ME region and flashes ME region from bios.bin file to BIOS chip. If something goes wrong, the error message will be shown. If so, you can use restore command to restore your BIOS to previous state.
    You need to use poweroff command after successful flashing to ensure ME restart. ME is powered with standby power line and doesn't restarts on normal reset, so you must use that command or remove power completely and wait for 30 secs to reset ME state.

    5. Flashing the whole BIOS. Command: reflash. The BIOS file to flash must be named "bios.bin" and must be in the same directory with FTK. You must used a BIOS file for your board.
    Use it to reflash/update/downgrade all BIOS regions including Descriptor and PDR (if present). Works totally like biosrefl, but flashes not only BIOS region, but all of them.
    You need to use poweroff command after successful flashing to ensure ME restart. ME is powered with standby power line and doesn't restarts on normal reset, so you must use that command or remove power completely and wait for 30 secs to reset ME state.


    6. Using FTK to update ME from Intel BIN-file
    There is another way to update ME region, but you need an update BIN-file from Intel, and your current ME must not be corrupted.
    If you meet both of that restrictions, you can use FTK to update ME from that BIN-file. Command: meupdate. The BIN-file must be named "me.bin" and must be in the same directory with FTK.
    After the flashing ends, simple reset is enough, because Intel MEUpdate tool is able to reset ME without need of any further steps.


    7. Using FD44Editor to add/edit individual board data in BIOS image
    In cases of BIOS corruption, BIOS data loss during flashing with AFUWIN or any other tool, etc. you can use FD44Editor to restore your board data.
    The best way to restore them is opening one of your BIOS backups, that was made before the loss of data, and saving all data to new BIOS file.
    You can use any sort of backup, including backups made by ASUS BIOS tools, as individual data source, but you must not use that kind of backups to restore using "backup" command - it will render your board unbootable.
    1. You have BIOS backup made before data loss.
    1. Download FD44Editor (link in section 3), unpack and run it. You will see something like this:
    [​IMG]
    2. Open your backup using "Open from BIOS image file..." button. You can open the file by dragging your backup file onto program icon or window too.
    If the backup you opened has empty data module, this message will be shown:
    [​IMG]
    Try opening another backup, if you have one. If not - read instructions on restoring data from board stickers below.
    If data module is not empty, but motherboard model in opened backup file is unknown to current version of program, this message will be shown:
    [​IMG]
    Please consider sending your backup to me, I will add support of that board to next version of editor.
    If your board is known to program, the data will be shown:
    [​IMG]
    You don't need to edit anything, if you want only to restore data in your BIOS.
    3. Press "Save to BIOS image file.." button and select new BIOS file downloaded from asus.com site. The program can't create a new BIOS file, it can only add or replace data in existing one. Confirm writing to existing file.
    If you have rights to write to that file and no errors are occurred, you will see "Written: BIOSFILENAME.bin" in programs status bar. BIOS file extension will be changed to BIN to prevent confusion between modified and original BIOS files.
    This modified file is ready to be flashed to BIOS chip as is using any BIOS programming solution like Intel FPT, AFUWIN, flashrom or hardware SPI-programmer. I will use FTK to flash it, the method is described below.

    2. You don't have any BIOS backups made before data loss.
    In this case you must use stickers on board as data source. I have described them once in another topic of this forum, but it will be better to repeat myself here.

    Motherboard S\N sticker can look like this:
    [​IMG]
    It has 12 significant symbols, and as far as I know, first 3 symbols of MBSN on boards with this type of sticker are Mx7, replacing x with capital letter. 90% of boards have MT7.
    So for that board MBSN appears to be MT7014K35900867 with 90% chance.
    Or it can look like this:
    [​IMG]
    It has 15 significant symbols, so for that board MBSN is 110294130003150.

    DTS Key sticker always look like this:
    [​IMG]
    Yellow, 8 bytes in hex.

    MAC address sticker looks like this:
    [​IMG]
    6 bytes in hex, located near RJ45, on ATX24 or on SATA connectors.

    Only System UUID can't be fully restored from stickers, but it can be reconstructed using this rules:
    1. If your board has DTS key sticker, then bytes 3 - 10 of UUID are same.
    2. It can be any random bytes except 00 and FF.

    Now about data format setup.
    If your board is known by current version of FD44Editor - do not alter that values, defaults is your choice.
    If not, use the following rules to setup your data format correctly:
    1. Open your latest BIOS file from asus.com in editor. It is empty and unknown to program, but please look at GbE version. If it is present, then your MAC storage is definitely "GbE region and system UUID". If not - set "ASCII string and system UUID".
    2. You can set any value for ASCII MAC magic byte, but all boards I have seen are using values from 20 to 2F.
    3. Select "None" as DTS key type, it is safe. If you wish to select "Long" DTS key type anyway, use "Default" as DTS Magic string.

    After filling all text boxes, save the data to BIOS image file from asus.com. The extension of that file will be changed to BIN and you can flash this modified BIOS image to BIOS chip as is with any programmer.


    8. Using FTK to flash modified BIOS file
    To flash BIOS files modified by FD44Editor you can use FTK-flash created in section 4.
    Copy you modified BIOS file near FTK files and rename it to "prepared.bin"
    Boot to DOS and use flashprp command. It works totally like restore command described in section 5, but uses different source file name.
    If you flash BIOS with different ME version then current one, you need to use poweroff command after successful flashing to ensure ME restart. ME is powered with standby power line and doesn't restarts on normal reset, so you must use that command or remove power completely and wait for 30 secs to reset ME state. If they have same versions - normal reset is enough.


    9. Recovering from unbootable BIOS using FD44Editor and hardware SPI-flash programmer
    Because of lack of descriptor and ME reflashing option in USB BIOS Flashback on modern boards, you must use hardware SPI-programmer to recover the BIOS, that is unable to boot at all.
    You can use any programmer that supports your board, even another board with same BIOS size and unlocked BIOS regions (i.e using hot swap of BIOS chips).
    1. Make a dump of current BIOS chip and open it in FD44Editor. If there is no errors and all the data are present - excellent. If not - use information in section 7 to restore data from stickers.
    2. Save the data to the latest BIOS file downloaded from asus.com.
    3. Write that modified file to BIOS chip as is. If you are using hot swap, power the PC off right after the end of writing.


    10. Some additional notes
    Now I'm working on OROM updating utility, that will be added to that topic as soon as it will be finished.
    For anyone, who is interested in BIOS patching to enable Hackintoshed OS X native SpeedStep implementation in ASUS, MSI, Asrock, Dell and Lenovo BIOSes - here is my automated solution. As always, BSD licensed and available on Github.
    Feel free to try and comment. And good luck with your BIOS flashing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  2. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    It is it, I have finally finished this wall of text. Consider yourself a good reader, if you are here. :)
     
  3. antus

    antus n00bie

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    Thanks for taking the time to compile this information and translate it to english. Just today I have been experimenting with bios modding on a new asus P8H77-M LE motherboard, and found it would not flash my modified bios. I did not know about your tools, and used flashrom under linux and couldnt figure out what the capsule format was, so after backing up the rom I took a punt and trimmed 0x800 bytes off the end of the file and flashed, bricking my mobo. I knew I had a hardware programmer on hand, but I have not seen it documented anywhere that the capsule contains 0x800 bytes at the start of the file instead. I was able to use this to modify my system backup as I desired, flash it on to the spi eeprom directly, and bring the system back to life. Thanks again!
     
  4. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    antus, thank you for report.
    A decision to add capsule data at the beginning of BIOS file was one of the worst decisions about BIOS file format ever and cost much time and work for lots of people.
    I saw BIOS chips from EBay suppliers programmed the way you described, that was returned and thrown away as defective, I saw people flashing this files with Intel FPT (which asks something like "Input file is bigger then target flash area. Flash anyway?" and 99,9% of users answer "Yes") and hardware programmers and bricking their boards...
    There was no problem to add that capsule info as footer, that can be stripped away by programmer without any negative impact, but what's done is done.
     
  5. Write.exe

    Write.exe n00bie

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    Thank you so much for posting this. It's great to have so much information collected in one place regarding FD44Editor and FTK. Indeed interesting reading.
     
  6. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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    @CodeRush:

    I have a question:

    Can we use FTK to update a MOBO still on a BIOS with a v7 ME with a BIOS containing a V8 ME ?

    example: updating a P8P67 with BIOS 2303 to latest BIOS 3602.


    I think the answer will be no because of the region lock before ME update with ASUS tools but I prefer asking to be sure.
     
  7. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    mooms, if backup command don't fails with Error 26, then all regions are unlocked.
    If they are, you can use reflash command to flash 3xxx version without any issues. If not - you can remove lock with SPI programmer or update with EZ Flash to remove it.
     
  8. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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    Thanks for the quick response Code, so, if we can read, we can also write on the specified region ? I thought it was two different locks.


    also, an other related question:

    If we use FWUpdLcl.exe to upgrade the ME region and this one is locked, will it fail or will it unlock it automatically ?



    edit:
    Also, What is the situation for the series 7 MOBOs ? are they also locked on ME region? If yes, a first flash with EZ Flash will unlock them ?

    It is for clarifying my French topic on FTK.

    Thanks you and have a nice evening
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  9. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    mooms, there are separate locks for read and write access.
    FwUpdLcl can't change lock status, because it affects only ME region and locks are in Descriptor region.
    All 7-series boards are unlocked by default, AFAIK, but if they do locked, then locks can be removed using external SPI programmer only.
     
  10. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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    Okay thank you.
     
  11. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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  12. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    New versions of FTK and FD44Editor are out.
    Changes for FTK: fpt -erase is replaced with -rewrite option. It speeds up flashing a bit and makes it less dangerous in Windows.
    Changes for FD44Editor: compiled with VS2012 U1 statically, Rampage IV Extreme added to internal database.
    Download links are in my overclockers.ru forum post, as usual.
     
  13. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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    Why -rewrite is less dangerous ?
    What is the difference between the two options ?
     
  14. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Because fpt is invoked only once, so driver must be loaded and device access must be provided only once. It was a small chance that fpt -erase will be executed succesfully, and fpt -w bios.bin fails because the device access driver isn't unloaded in time and can be loaded again. That was one of main reasons for using DOS versions as default.
     
  15. mooms

    mooms n00bie

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    Ok, thanks CodeRush, so Windows version is now as safe as DOS version if i understand.
     
  16. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    No. Antiviruses, BSODs, unexpected high load, etc. DOS is still better.
     
  17. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    New version of FD44Editor - 0.8.3.
    Changes:
    - Added data format autodetection for P8B server boards
    - Data copying to clipboard feature returned
    - Minor UI fixes
    - P8B-M added to database
    Download link is in my overclockers.ru forum post, as usual
     
  18. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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    I have followed these steps exactly, though i am getting hung up in the DOS Boot.... I am successfully able to boot up in DOS off of the flash drive, though when i go to type in reflash, i get a message saying "Bad command or file name"... any help would be appreciated.. thank you.

    Rob
     
  19. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Rob, have you unpacked FTK archive right? There must be no directories, just files in root folder.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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    Coderush,

    Yes i have the FTK folder directly on the root drive of the USB.
     
  21. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    I don't know what I can be. Try using Windows version instead.
    Unpack it, copy bios.bin to Win32 or Win64 folder, run reflash.bat as administrator, wait for completion, run poweroff.bat as administrator.
    After the reboot go to BIOS and check if it works normally.
    Report.
     
  22. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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  23. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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    That is what my flashdrive looks like... i will try using the Windows method as you suggested, unless you see something in the picture that doesnt look right, and i'll fix it.
    Thank you
     
  24. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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    Coderush,

    Nevermind i got it to work, just waiting the thirty seconds to plug the power cord back in!
     
  25. RobJay

    RobJay n00bie

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    OLD BIOS IS RESTORED! Thank you so much for the excellent tool and your help man. It really is greatly appreciated. Have a happy holidays!

    Rob
     
  26. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    No problem, you too.
     
  27. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Changes in FD44Editor 0.8.4:
    - Added recovery name field in UI.
    - P8Z77-V LE Plus and P8B-E/4L added to database.
     
  28. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Changes in FTK 0.9.3:
    - Added descrefl.bat file to reflash descriptor region.

    I have found a method of unlocking read/write access to all BIOS regions, but I hove no time to translate and post it now. Will do it a bit later.
     
  29. kevindd992002

    kevindd992002 Limp Gawd

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    Descriptor region is the PDR region, right?
     
  30. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Nope.
    Descriptor is the region in the beginning of BIOS image. It has BIOS map, firmware lock setup and PCI Strap setup.
    PDR is absent an ASUS boards.
     
  31. kevindd992002

    kevindd992002 Limp Gawd

    Messages:
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    In that case, what is the difference if I use 0.9.3 compared to the 0.9.2 that I used yesterday to flash my P8Z68?
     
  32. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    No difference at all. Just another batch file was added, I will describe the use of it later. Happy New Year, BTW. :)
     
  33. kevindd992002

    kevindd992002 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks mate! Happy New Year :)
     
  34. blackbird52

    blackbird52 n00bie

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    Dec 26, 2012
    Dear mooms i try to update ME firmware on my asusp8p67 and it is locked on ME region..my orginal me is 8.0.2.1410 so if i want to update to ME 8.1.20.1336 is there any way ? or there is any benefit to update ?
    can i update it by an asus bios that already got updated me .. if yes where i can dl it .. tanx and happy new year
     
  35. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Yes, download a BIN-file with 8.1 version from station-drivers and follow section 6 of this guide.
    Slightly better compatibility with Windows 8.

    With locked ME region you can't use ASUS BIOS file as ME source.
     
  36. maleorderbride

    maleorderbride n00bie

    Messages:
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    Jan 9, 2013
    I have a Z9PE-D8 WS dual-socket ASUS board that I foolishly flashed to the latest BIOS version, 3302.

    I need to downgrade it to 3109, or lower, in order to be able to boot into OS X. I receive Error 26 when trying to use your tools.

    I then read your post with google translate (8.2): http://forums.overclockers.ru/viewtopic.php?p=9776728#p9776728

    This would work to unlock my BIOS--right?

    I edited the 3109 at offset 60 to your values:
    Code:
    00 00 FF FF 00 00 FF FF 18 01 FF FF
    Original:
    Code:
    00 00 1B 1A 00 00 05 04 18 01 09 08
    I saved it in my hex editor and renamed the file to BIOS.BIN and put it into the root of the FTK_0.0.3 folder and the root of the Win64 folder.

    I still receive Error 26 when attempting to use descrefl. What am I doing incorrectly?



    There is a 28 page thread on TonyMac of people that are having similar problems, so you would be helping quite a few of us!

    Thanks!



    Edit:

    I did some googling, and found that the new offset in 3302 is at 860 now. I edited offset 860 to your values and saved it. I then flashed my motherboard with that edited BIOS using EZ Flash. It took the flash, restarted, and booted into Windows. Everything seems OK.

    However, I still have Error 26 when attempting to backup or downgrade my BIOS using FTK.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  37. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    Before you can unlock BIOS with this method, you need to unlock descriptor region for writing.
    It's described here and involves shorting 2 legs of sound chip during boot process. Read section 8.1. of Google-translated FAQ on overclockers.ru to know more.

    I don't think you have to unlock all regions anyway. Boot from FTK-flash and enter command "fpt -bios -d dump.bin", if it doesn't fail, open this dump.bin file in FD44Editor and save your data to BIOS file from asus.com you need. Then rename this new file to bios.bin, copy it to FTK-flash, boot to DOS and enter command "fpt -bios -f bios.bin", if it doesn't fail, enter command "poweroff". Your BIOS is downgraded.
     
  38. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    I will update FTK to adress this "partial downgrade" possibility, but now I'm too busy to do it, sorry.
     
  39. maleorderbride

    maleorderbride n00bie

    Messages:
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    Thanks CodeRush!

    I did the following:
    1. Updated the BIOS to the standard 3206 in case my changes had any ill-effects
    2. booted from FTK-flash and did "fpt -bios -d dump.bin". It worked.
    3. Opened the DUMP with FD44 Editor, but the DTS key is empty. Only MAC, UUID, and S/N are filled out.
    4. I then downloaded the 3109.ROM to desktop (from ASUS) and clicked on "Save to BIOS image file..." in FD44, then selected the 3109.ROM and had it replace.
    5. I renamed this to BIOS.BIN and put it on the FTK-flash. I attempted to use "fpt -bios -f bios.bin". It read the flash again, but then I received Error 7: Hardware sequencing failed. Make sure that you have access to target flash area!

    Questions:

    Why is my DTS key empty? Is that causing this process to fail?

    Does that mean that I need to unlock all areas per the BIOS-mod post that you linked?

    Then re-edit my 3206 at offset 860?

    Then flash that edited 3206 to my board, then finally start this process again at the "fpt -bios -f bios.bin" stage?

    Thank you for your help with this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  40. CodeRush

    CodeRush [H]Lite

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    It normal to have empty DTS Key on your board. Actually, it's not empty, in doesn't present at all.
    Yes, this error means that you have to unlock regions first.
    DO NOT mess the things up with CAP-file and 860 offset, you will brick your system.
    You have perfect bios.bin file with all regions on correct places.
    Actually, read your board manual on page 2-28, set ME_RECOVERY jumper to recovery position and your regions will be unlocked. Set it, boot to DOS and try "backup" command. If it don't fails with error 26 - perfect, rename your bios.bin to prepared.bin and use "flashprp" command to flash it. If not - report and I will guide you further.