The unhackable BIOS exists for one very simple reason: the manufacturer wants this PC to work for the broadest, simplest set of PC users. In other words, it does not want to have to bear the cost of support calls related to hacked BIOS settings. Completely understandable if this is a family PC but very frustrating if you’re a real techie and wish to experiment. All hope may not be lost. Many vendors use the same or a similar version of system boards that you can get off the shelf or by mail order. Link.
0 thoughts on “Hack an Unhackable BIOS”
Here’s another ad-revenue article by ecoustics about a not-really-a-hack-at-all. Loading a BIOS onto a motherboard that isn’t explicitly designed for it can cause big problems. You probably can “get away with” using a BIOS from a more-generic board (using a A7V BIOS on an A7V-M board, as the article states), but you’re looking down the barrel of the “completely dead motherboard” gun. Flashing a motherboard is slightly risky business even when you have the correct part for the correct board. On average, probably 1 in 100 fails for someodd reason. I’m a BIOS Engineer, I write and modify Award BIOS for the company I work at, so I have quite a bit of experience with this. A lot of times, the OEM version of a motherboard will have a difference in clock chip, GPIO pins, or things like RAID / onboard hardware. If you flash a BIOS with a different clock chip onto a board, it’s as good as a door stop unless you have a ROM programmer, and your board has a socketed ROM chip. Another incorrect thing in the article is the top image of the “ROM” chip. The picture they have is of the Super I/O chip just with an AMI bios sticker put on it. A PLCC ROM chip is roughly square, with 7 x 9 pins, and about the size of a fingernail. The pins are somewhere inbetween the size of surface-mount, and dip through-pin, and curl under the chip. If there is a socket on the board, it will be around the chip and is 99.9% of the time colored brown. If it’s soldered, you’re S.O.L. unless you have some expensive PCI boot rom hardware to boot off of.
No more crappy articles like this, please!
The more often you post a link to an article that does NOTHIN to help the DIY community as a way to generate revenue for OReilly, the more damage you do to the MAKE: brand image.