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Old 15th November 2015, 2:11 PM   #1
neRok Thread Starter
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Default Can anyone mod an older bios to support Phenom II CPU?

I have an Asus M3A78-EMH HDMI mobo, and I've tried to stick a AMD Phenom II X2 550 cpu in, but it's not recognised and keeps giving me BSOD. I already have the latest bios. Can anyone tweak the bios, pretty please?

Edit: I believe similar bios can help in this quest? FYI - M3A78-EMH HDMI mobo has 780G chipset. M3A78 PRO and M3A78-EM also have 780G and support the Phenom II cpu.

Edit2: I found a thread where someone tried to use the PRO and it didn't work, so the EM might be the best candidate? Also I am waiting for the posting rights to that forum so I can post to another thread.

Last edited by neRok; 15th November 2015 at 2:29 PM.
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Old 17th November 2015, 1:06 PM   #2
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You can try this. I have no way to test it, but All I did was extract the missing microcodes from the M3A78-EM Bios and insert them into yours. Nothing else was touched.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...EhfMnN6aDVuaHc

I claim no responsibility if this bricks your board. Make sure you have a way to recover the BIOS if it does not work!
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Old 17th November 2015, 3:02 PM   #3
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A+ for renza just for actually taking the time/effort to do it.
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Old 17th November 2015, 3:43 PM   #4
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Yer thanks, I'll give it a go.

I have a question though, I read that you really need to update the AGESA section of the bios, as that's where the real info regarding the different cpu's is stored. Can you comment on this?

Also, can you list the steps you took to mod this? I've got the MMTOOL program and opened the stock ROM and saw the CPU PATCH section. Did you just extract from one rom and instert into the other?

Edit- The link came up as accessed denied. You can click on the file and get link, then there is a button for "Get shareable link", which will make a generic link with no permissions (which doesn't allow access to any of your other files).

Last edited by neRok; 17th November 2015 at 3:48 PM.
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Old 17th November 2015, 4:11 PM   #5
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Try this link. I'm on my phone so I got it via the drive app, seems to work in private browsing but let me know if it doesn't work

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B7...EhfMnN6aDVuaHc

I updated the cpu patches and inserted the new microcodes (first tab)
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Last edited by Renza; 17th November 2015 at 4:14 PM.
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Old 17th November 2015, 4:13 PM   #6
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Got it, thanks.
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Old 17th November 2015, 8:33 PM   #7
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OK, I'm not 100% sure it actually flashed, but the bios flash tool (EZ Flash) did detect the new bios file had the same version and build date as the current one (to be expected, as only the microcodes were changed), and it went through the motions of erasing the old and writing the new. However, the bios settings weren't reset to default, which I presume should happen when replacing bios, AND the cpu is still undetected and giving me BSOD in windows.

So I'm investigating this AGESA module, which seems a tricky nut to crack in AMI bios (in the 1B module). Can anyone shed some light on this, because I can't find a comprehensive source of info, just bits and pieces? Regardless, I'm compiling some info of the 3 mobos, their bios versions and associated AGESA version, in order to find the best candidate. My first look shows the EMH-HDMI v1302 (latest) has 1B module RomLoc 0003F104, whereas the EM v2701 (latest) has 0000001C. I don't know if this is a problem (hence I'm compiling info), but I notice bios v2002 was the first to add support my cpu, and it also has RomLoc 0003F104, so even though this older version has less CPU support, it might be a better candidate?

PS- it doesn't matter if I brick this mobo, I'm just trying to assemble a few of the best PCs possible with the bits I have laying around so I can sell them. If it bricks, a new bios chip is only a few bucks it seems (presuming you can just stick them in like that).

Last edited by neRok; 17th November 2015 at 8:36 PM.
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Old 17th November 2015, 11:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neRok View Post
OK, I'm not 100% sure it actually flashed, but the bios flash tool (EZ Flash) did detect the new bios file had the same version and build date as the current one (to be expected, as only the microcodes were changed), and it went through the motions of erasing the old and writing the new. However, the bios settings weren't reset to default, which I presume should happen when replacing bios, AND the cpu is still undetected and giving me BSOD in windows.

So I'm investigating this AGESA module, which seems a tricky nut to crack in AMI bios (in the 1B module). Can anyone shed some light on this, because I can't find a comprehensive source of info, just bits and pieces? Regardless, I'm compiling some info of the 3 mobos, their bios versions and associated AGESA version, in order to find the best candidate. My first look shows the EMH-HDMI v1302 (latest) has 1B module RomLoc 0003F104, whereas the EM v2701 (latest) has 0000001C. I don't know if this is a problem (hence I'm compiling info), but I notice bios v2002 was the first to add support my cpu, and it also has RomLoc 0003F104, so even though this older version has less CPU support, it might be a better candidate?

PS- it doesn't matter if I brick this mobo, I'm just trying to assemble a few of the best PCs possible with the bits I have laying around so I can sell them. If it bricks, a new bios chip is only a few bucks it seems (presuming you can just stick them in like that).
I've had a quick read / play around with a few tools now (this thread has piqued my interest!)and I believe 1B is the BIOS menu's etc (it is not allowed to be replaced using MMTOOL).

I did find that E1 however contains AGESA information:

M3A78-EM-ASUS-2701.ROM - E1 Size 64kb
M3A78-EMH-ASUS-HDMI-1302.ROM - E1 Size 48kb

I have used the existing modded bios and replaced the E1 section. If you want to give this a go, it's up to you. At worst it will brick the motherboard, so if you want me to upload this modified bios let me know.
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulFire-Z View Post
I've had a quick read / play around with a few tools now (this thread has piqued my interest!)and I believe 1B is the BIOS menu's etc (it is not allowed to be replaced using MMTOOL).
1B contains the system DSDT amongst other things, so replacing it would certainly break things enough if the onboard devices are connected differently or are completely different chips.

There are 4 blocks with E1. Did you copy them all across?
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoulFire-Z View Post
play around with a few tools now
Upload your modded bios somewhere, I'll take a look at it. BTW, what tools did you use other than MMTOOLS?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renza View Post
1B contains the system DSDT amongst other things, so replacing it would certainly break things enough if the onboard devices are connected differently or are completely different chips.
I'm going back and reviewing other asus mobos now, because I found some on other international asus sites using different model numbers, but still using 780G chipset. What features should I be focussed on to rule in/out a mobo as a potential bios donor?
1) Does the south-bridge matter (some are SB700, some are SB710)?
2) How about if 2 mobo have 6 sata, but 1 has all internal, the other has 5 internal and 1 external (esata)?
3) My mobo has floppy connector, but a lot of others don't seem to. Does this matter?
4) I take it if a mobo is full atx with 2 pcie-16 ports, its a definite non contender (mine is microatx with only 1).
5) My mobo has a HDJ1 connector, which either sends the video signal to the HDMI or DVI connector. There is a corresponding bios setting for this. If the other mobo does not have this, would it matter?

Last edited by neRok; 18th November 2015 at 1:00 PM.
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Old 18th November 2015, 1:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renza View Post
1B contains the system DSDT amongst other things, so replacing it would certainly break things enough if the onboard devices are connected differently or are completely different chips.

There are 4 blocks with E1. Did you copy them all across?
I believe I did. I'll double check when I get home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neRok View Post
Upload your modded bios somewhere, I'll take a look at it. BTW, what tools did you use other than MMTOOLS?
I'll upload when I get home this afternoon.
I found another AMI tool that lets you see the actual BIOS menus / strings etc. I used it for sanity checking the CPU PATCH tables, could probably enable some hidden functionality using it too (didn't dig around too much)

I tried out CBROM as well, but this was for .bin BIOS's (and it could extract the .ROM along with various other things)

I haven't hacked around with BIOS' for a long time now, but I am finding this particularly fun!
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Old 18th November 2015, 7:14 PM   #12
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i have that cpu from a am3 board
i dont think its going to work

https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M3.../HelpDesk_CPU/
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Old 18th November 2015, 10:23 PM   #13
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I've been farting around with NFI for a while, and found an AMIBIOS 1B module modification tool. I extracted 1B from the M3A78-EMH HDMI v1302 bios rom, and run it through that program, and there was no mention of an AGESA module, so I think you must be right that it is now in a different module. I've definitely found a few sources that said the AGESA was in the 1B module in other bios circa 2007, so it must have moved since then
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Old 20th November 2015, 6:47 PM   #14
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sorry for the late reply, lots of games and forgot to update this thread.

I used Renza's modified bios as the base and have just updated the E1 area of the bios. Caution, could brick I guess?

Hopefully this contains the agessa update required. If not, I'll have to keep digging

Download link here


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Old 20th November 2015, 8:27 PM   #15
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I downloaded your ROM and checked it in a hex editor, and it still seems to have AGESA 3.1.6.0 in it, as there were still six references to `AMD!GESA....!!AGESA V3.1.6.0`in the rom., the same as the source one. Did you send your modded one?

The E1 module was definitely bigger (as you described), and I extracted it and searched it in a hex editor, and there was no mention of AGESA. Are you sure it's in the E1 module?
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