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Is it possible to change the memory in an existing bios?

passatgt

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#1
Hi!

I'm trying to flash this bios onto a card that was pulled from a Dell, which is exactly the same, except it has 1gb of memory.
Flashing the apple version onto the dell card should work, but obviously i will only get 512mb memory. Is it possible to change this rom to utilize all of the available memory?

I'm using a Raspberry Pi with a SOIC 8 clip and flashing with Flashrom.

Thanks
 

eidairaman1

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#2
Hi!

I'm trying to flash this bios onto a card that was pulled from a Dell, which is exactly the same, except it has 1gb of memory.
Flashing the apple version onto the dell card should work, but obviously i will only get 512mb memory. Is it possible to change this rom to utilize all of the available memory?

I'm using a Raspberry Pi with a SOIC 8 clip and flashing with Flashrom.

Thanks
Why are you wanting to do this? What's the reasoning for it? What machine are you trying to put this in? Do you realize mac osx is x86 compatible now?
 

passatgt

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#3
I'm trying to make a non-apple MXM3.0-A card compatible with an iMac with the same bios as the factory version, so i have boot screen and brightness control. And the reason is, the 1gb dell version costs $50, while the 512mb apple version costs $200+ on ebay. Its an identical card, just different memory and bios.
 

eidairaman1

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eidairaman1

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#7
Is it possible to change this rom to utilize all of the available memory?
In theory, yes, it's possible. I've done it once and had it work.
Its an identical card, just different memory and bios.
Like how different is the memory? It's important because the only way I know how to do it is to swap out the VRAM_Info table with one from a card that, is not only the same model, but also has either the same brand/model memory ICs or a vBIOS that supports whatever brand/model memory ICs the card you want to flash it on has.

So...first question. What brand/model are the memory ICs on the Dell card? Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR_ACOFF?
 

passatgt

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#8
In theory, yes, it's possible. I've done it once and had it work.
Like how different is the memory? It's important because the only way I know how to do it is to swap out the VRAM_Info table with one from a card that, is not only the same model, but also has either the same brand/model memory ICs or a vBIOS that supports whatever brand/model memory ICs the card you want to flash it on has.

So...first question. What brand/model are the memory ICs on the Dell card? Hynix H5GQ1H24AFR_ACOFF?
Yes, it appears to be H5GQ1H24AFR_ACOFF, this is the bios for that card.
 
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#9
Ok, then it should be pretty straight-forward. Just swap out the VRAM_Info table. I don't suppose you know how to do that...j/k...would you like me to do it for you? Or do you want to learn how to do it yourself? Either way I'm going to end up doing it myself. Just to make sure I remember correctly how I did it. Which is going to take me a little while. Maybe an hour or 2. Maybe less. Anyhow...after I get done I can attach the file here for you and call it good. Or give you a detailed how-to on doing it yourself.

So...you've got time to make up your mind about that. I'm off to go do this. See ya soon...
 

passatgt

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#10
Thanks for the help! I'm a little over my head on this, so any help is greatly appriciated. I ordered the card a couple of days ago, so its still a few weeks until it arrives(its from aliexpress), but i'm just preparing and trying to educate myself to do the flashing myself. I already tried the TechPowerUp Radeon Bios Editor app, but i don't see an option in this. I'm guessing i need a hex editor to change this.
 
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#11
Yes, a hex editor...and then some. Anyway...I believe I got it done correctly(about as good as I can get it anyway). Wasn't as easy as the first time I did it. But no insurmountable obstacles...so far as I can tell. I mean...it should work. I'm not 100% sure if the UEFI GOP functionality was retained. But...if worse comes to worse...you'll just have to get by without it. You should be able to turn it(fast boot, secure boot, etc.) off in the motherboard BIOS. The UEFI GOP module is there and enabled. But messing with the legacy rom might have broke it. Maybe(most likely actually). Maybe not. And my trick to make sure it does work(with a modded legacy rom)...doesn't appear to work. Because it's Apple. And apparently they do things differently with their UEFI GOP implementation.

So...there you have it. If you REALLY need to know how it's done...I guess I could go through all the dirty details. But...on second thought...I'd rather not. So I'm kinda hoping you won't ask. But I did offer...and I am good on my word...if I have to be. :laugh:

EDIT: Something doesn't jive. When I check the modded .rom file with ATOM BIOS Reader it says "Not a valid ATOM BIOS file". I think it might have something to do know it has something to do with that buggy ass tool I used to try and fix the table "alignment". Because it doesn't say that until after I use it to "align" the VRAM_Info table and save it. Which I'm not sure is even necessary. I'm going to cook up a version without the "alignment" fixed. Just in case the "aligned" version doesn't work(or doesn't work right). Give me a minute. Done.
 

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passatgt

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#12
Awesome, thank you! I'll try both once i have the card and see which one works. I'll report back with results.
 

passatgt

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#13
@MrGenius Well, guess what, its not working :) The bios chip on this card is "Pm25LD512(C)", which is 64kB and the saved rom from the Apple card is 128kB. So i'm unable to flash even the 512mb version onto the dell card:

Error: Image size (131072 B) doesn't match the flash chip's size (65536 B)!

Changing the bios chip to Pm25LD010(C)(which is 128kB) is a possible solution? Or its a stupid idea to try and this is not how things works.
 

passatgt

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#14
Quick update, i replaced the bios chip with Pm25LD010, flashed the 512mb Apple rom and i have boot screen! So appears to be working fine, but still needs to test it with a real OS. I'll try the 1gb roms @MrGenius created next week.
 
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#15
I'm sorry I missed your post about that. But I wouldn't have been able to give you a reliable answer anyway. I would've had no idea if that would've worked or not. It's pretty cool that it appears as though it did. Nice job!

However, if it hadn't worked, or if for some reason it still doesn't, I do have another idea which should work. To a limited extent at least. Since, basically, all that would need to be done to get the ROM down to a size that would fit on the 64kB chip would be to remove the EFI ROM(the part of the ROM that provides UEFI GOP functionality). Which would mean you couldn't use the card with any UEFI GOP features enabled(obviously). But other than that it should work fine.

Anyhow, let me know if you have any problems. I might be able to do a few things differently to get you squared away.
 

passatgt

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#16
I'm sorry I missed your post about that. But I wouldn't have been able to give you a reliable answer anyway. I would've had no idea if that would've worked or not. It's pretty cool that it appears as though it did. Nice job!

However, if it hadn't worked, or if for some reason it still doesn't, I do have another idea which should work. To a limited extent at least. Since, basically, all that would need to be done to get the ROM down to a size that would fit on the 64kB chip would be to remove the EFI ROM(the part of the ROM that provides UEFI GOP functionality). Which would mean you couldn't use the card with any UEFI GOP features enabled(obviously). But other than that it should work fine.

Anyhow, let me know if you have any problems. I might be able to do a few things differently to get you squared away.
No worries! I just checked both roms you uploaded, but sadly no dice. The system starts, but no display. The GPU is working though because its hot after the boot. The factory 512mb version works though!
 

eidairaman1

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#18
Well...I'm gonna have another go at it anyway. Here's a few more with some quick fixes to try. While I work on a total redo...

There's a couple the same as the 2 you tried, but with the EFI ROM removed(labeled No UEFI). And couple more the same as the 2 you tried, but I used a different tool to calculate the checksums(labeled v2).
 

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passatgt

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#19
No luck sadly :( I was only able to try v2 and v2 no-align, because the smaller ones won't work with the bigger chip:

Code:
Found PMC flash chip "Pm25LD010(C)" (128 kB, SPI) on linux_spi.
Error: Image size (64512 B) doesn't match the flash chip's size (131072 B)!
The system turns on, but it won't detect the video card(theres 4 diagnostic leds on the motherboard, the third should turn on if it founds a GPU). I checked again(just to make sure everything is ok and didn't damage something while pulling and putting back the card) and the led is on with the factory 512mb rom.
 
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#20
I'm having trouble getting the align tool to work for some reason. Which might be a good thing, if it isn't required. I'm gonna fiddle around with it a bit more to see what the deal is with that.

But, in the mean time, try these.
 

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passatgt

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#21
Tried both, sadly its not recognized. Thanks for trying! I just figured out i don't need to plug in a display to test it(i have the 3rd led without the display with the 512mb bios), so now i can swap the card faster as i don't need to reassemble the whole thing each time :) Only work on this if you have an idea what might be wrong, otherwise i'm fine with the 512mb bios, at least the computer works now, that was the original goal :)
 
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