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AMD BIOS Signature Check re-enabled with ReLive, Locks out Polaris BIOS Modders

Raevenlord

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#1
If you are using a modded BIOS on your AMD Polaris card, and try to install AMD's excellent Crimson ReLive drivers, you might be in for a surprise. This is because AMD re-enabled their BIOS signature enforcement with these latest drivers. Basically, if you modded your card's BIOS in search of higher overclocking, more voltage or customized fan settings, the hash in your BIOS is no longer recognized by AMD the driver, since it differs from the factory values.

On detecting such a modded BIOS with an invalid checksum, the Crimson ReLive driver won't load, meaning that the system will run with the VGA fallback driver only, without 3D acceleration and Radeon Settings will not start. However, you can force your modded BIOS to load on Crimson ReLive if you're willing to jump through some hoops.





Overclock.net user asder00 posted a pretty nifty guide that enables the user to install a modded version of Crimson ReLive's 16.12.1 drivers, with a modified kernel that doesn't include the BIOS hash check. His work, based on lordkag's own, makes use of the mentioned modified kernel driver and Pixel Clock Patcher, enabling you to access Crimson ReLive's features even with a modded BIOS:

asder00's workaround:

  • Download the modified kernel driver here
  • Download the Pixel Clock Patcher here (needed for the windows driver signature workaround)
  • Navigate to the AMD driver extraction directory, usually "C:\AMD" then go into" Win10-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Crimson-ReLive-16.12.1-Dec7\Packages\Drivers\Display\WT6A_INF\B309333"
  • Extract the modified kernel driver in the "\B309333" directory overwriting the file
  • Uninstall current AMD drivers normally and DO NOT REBOOT when asked
  • Reboot with advanced options like so:
  • Press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard and click the Restart button.
  • Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings and click the Restart button.
  • When your computer restarts you'll see a list of options, press F7 on your keyboard to select "Disable driver signature enforcement".
  • This is needed only ONE TIME to successfully install the modified kernel, in the next reboot the driver signature enforcement will return to normal.
  • Install the driver normally with setup.exe in C:\AMD\Win10-64Bit-Radeon-Software-Crimson-ReLive-16.12.1-Dec7
  • DO NOT REBOOT WHEN ASKED
  • When the installation is finished run the atikmdag-patcher.exe (this will take care of driver signature for windows so we no longer need to disable the enforcement with F7)
  • Press yes to patch the file
  • When finishes reboot the PC and enjoy your modified bios

The patch has currently only been tested on the x64 version of Windows 10. AMD could, in a future driver version remove the active BIOS hash checking from their driver suite (which they historically did before) but whether that will or won't happen is something only those at the red team know.

Source: Overclock.net Forums
 
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#4

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#6
Polaris cards. Updated the story

It should be reflected on the news title then. Or people will definitely assume all cards are affected.
 

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#8
This is unfortunate. Hardcore OCers are a small market, but they are not afraid to spend money. And many of them used AMD cards after nvidia started making it harder and harder to squeeze more out of their GPUs with things like GPUboost and more locked down voltages.
 
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#9

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#10
Well that sucks, I don't have a modded BIOS so not a huge hit for me however.
 

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#13
Did you have a black screen or did you get the Windows standard VGA driver? ie Windows startup completing successfully
no black screens, tried to install like 6-7 times. Every time Win10 starts normally, but can't start radeon settings, I kept getting message that no compatible GPU detected. Additionally, win doesn't recognize GPU nor monitor
 

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#14
no black screens, tried to install like 6-7 times. Every time Win10 starts normally, but can't start radeon settings, I kept getting message that no compatible GPU detected. Additionally, win doesn't recognize GPU nor monitor
Thanks! I've updated the story accordingly
 
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#15
Can I guess it has something to do with features enabled with the new drivers, and AMD is trying to prevent reverse engineering both from competitors and from end users. I remember the issues with 5xxx series BIOS mods at first, it was a good lesson in how to modify an INI to support mods.
 
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#16
It's proberly due to this bios on http://overclocking.guide/download/amd-radeon-rx-480-unlocked-air-bios/ which cranks voltage up to 1.4v & 225w tdp.
No not because of that ....

Whilst a product (ie GPU) is considered "halo", driver will cross ref bios signature to see if ROM is unmodified.

For example you'll see W1zzard asking the author of VBE7 in this post how he circumvented bios signature check.

Then Hawaii had it for a period, then it was removed, see this thread from about post 32 the discussion occurs in a way. In that thread was where Hawaii bios mod occurred, prior to that you had only The Stilt's mining ROMs and Shammy's PT ROMs, both people that had access to getting ROMs signed.

By the time Fiji bios mod was done bios signature enforcement was not there.

Polaris did have it initially, then in driver Crimson v16.9.1 it was dropped, it has resurfaced now and will probably disappear again. Initially Lordkag of Fernado's WinRaid forum came up with a software patch for Polaris for drivers prior to v16.9.1 (I asked him and got some OCN members to test it), asder00 AFAIK knows how this mod was done, so he was able to sort it ASAP for Crimson ReLive :D (he has posted AMD drivers prior to release/modded ones on Guru3D ;) ).

Lordkag has also created a UEFI/GOP module which works on modified AMD ROM when motherboard is in "pure UEFI mode" (ie CSM=Off). With some minor test results from me he created the custom UEFI/GOP. You just can't have Secure boot enabled as the UEFI/GOP signature has not been resigned to account for modification.
 
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#18

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#19
amd is piece of shiiiit.
The driver works great for my system, also Nvidia is worse about choke holding the modding of their stuff.

110r+
 
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#20
That BIOS was made by an ASUS engineer and is signed. So that one will still work. Even without the work around.

I'll just wait for AMD to drop the BIOS checks again since ReLive doesn't seem to be whole lot faster in 3Dmark and that's pretty much the only thing I care about.
Id like to add that ReLive somehow dropped power consumption by a few watts on my cards though. Do you have a plausible theory on why that is? It isn't placebo i measured from the wall and from msi afterburner.
 
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#22
Perhaps, but you must enable Radeon Chill, by default it is off. It is also only supported by a few games so far.

 
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#24
Why are AMD being such killjoys? It's your card, you're free to do what you want with it.
 
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#25
I haven't had an nVidia card in 6yrs+, so no experience on bios on them.

Why the ROM also has a signature is down to UEFI implementation of secure boot.

AMD ROMs are hybrid ROMs, there is Legacy section which sets up cards for clocks/voltage, etc, then you have the UEFI/GOP module which the motherboard bios will look for when CSM is disabled so a pure UEFI environment is setup. Now the UEFI/GOP must authenticate the Legacy section, if it does not:-

This could be considered an unsafe practice to secure boot as the legacy VGA BIOS image doesn’t get the same signature and authentication as the GOP.
Quote from page 19 of this PDF.

You will note that PDF is from July 2011, prior to HD 7000 series release, which then had bios signature.
 
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