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Updating MXM VGA BIOS with different Vendor

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#1
I have a HP ZBook 17 G4 and recently I've got a very good deal on Quadro P5000 Mobile MXM. The only problem is the vendor of the card which is Dell. I have an external monitor connected via DisplayPort.
I've already installed the card and everything is OK on Hybrid Mode. I have audio through the DP cable and performance is fine. But on Discrete Mode, the laptop's monitor turns black. I can see a shade of white window when I drag one into that monitor, but no back-lit. The DisplayPort and HDMI are OK, but there is no audio.
After a lot of research, I figured the BIOS version of the VGA is 86.04.3A.00.25 (Jul, 25, 2016) but the version my laptop expects (found in system information) is 86.04.67.00.0A. Version 86.04.3A.00.25 is also on the board of the card.
The old card of my laptop is Quadro P3000 on version 86.04.67.00.08 (Jan 11, 2017) which matches the version my laptop expects, but the version on the board is 86.04.3A.00.14. So this card was updated to match the laptop.
My question is, if I get the BIOS version 86.04.67.00.0A, would I be able to update the BIOS without bricking the card? Is no, how to get this specific BIOS? I've already searched BIOS database but no luck :(
 

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#2
Most laptop gpu bios are a part of the laptop motherboard, plus there are white and blacklists in those bios. You will not flash it without bricking it so drop the idea.
 
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#3
Most laptop gpu bios are a part of the laptop motherboard, plus there are white and blacklists in those bios. You will not flash it without bricking it so drop the idea.
So I assume the version I found in the system information is the version my laptop locked to it. I'm talking to HP customer support for almost a week, hoping to get their BIOS update. Do you think if I update the BIOS with the version HP give me would be a bad idea?
 

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#4
So I assume the version I found in the system information is the version my laptop locked to it. I'm talking to HP customer support for almost a week, hoping to get their BIOS update. Do you think if I update the BIOS with the version HP give me would be a bad idea?
Yes it would be a bad idea
 

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#5
doesn't sound like a whitelisting issue sounds like you have a driver issue

if it was a white listing issue you would get nothing no drivers no detection in the device manager nothing
edit you can try updating the DP firmware region
https://www.nvidia.com/object/nv-uefi-update-x64.html

I have no idea if this will work on a mxm card or if it might brick it or even if it will help

I know dp was buggy on these cards hence the update

edit: it might be a buggy driver the optimus drivers are known to be super temperamental you can just forcing discrete only mode in the bios

but no to reiterate the issue is has nothing to do with the particular bios revision
 
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#6
Yes it would be a bad idea
In this case what do you think would be the reason of those missing back-lit and Audio? As a reminder, the card works perfectly in Hybrid Mode.
doesn't sound like a whitelisting issue sounds like you have a bad card or simply incompatible one

if it was a white listing issue you would get nothing no drivers no detection in the device manager nothing
edit you can try updating the DP firmware region
https://www.nvidia.com/object/nv-uefi-update-x64.html

I have no idea if this will work on a mxm card or if it might brick it or even if it will help

I know dp was buggy on these cards hence the update

edit: it might be a buggy driver the optimus drivers are known to be super temperamental you can just forcing discrete only mode in the bios

but no to reiterate the issue is has nothing to do with the particular bios revision
The card is compatible with my laptop (listed in user manual) and both P3000 and P5000 use the same section in the driver file. The Hybrid Mode works perfectly, but in Discrete Mode I have back-lit and Audio problem. I tried so many modified Quadro and GeForce drivers. No luck. I've been trying for about a week. The only difference I saw was the BIOS version. I need to add this, when I tried to submit my old P3000 BIOS via GPU-Z, it kept saying the BIOS was not valid, but for P5000, it was accepted. Maybe the BIOS HP put into that card was not OK either, but it was working at least.
 
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#7
After a lot of research, I figured the BIOS version of the VGA is 86.04.3A.00.25 (Jul, 25, 2016) but the version my laptop expects (found in system information) is 86.04.67.00.0A. Version 86.04.3A.00.25 is also on the board of the card.
The old card of my laptop is Quadro P3000 on version 86.04.67.00.08 (Jan 11, 2017) which matches the version my laptop expects, but the version on the board is 86.04.3A.00.14. So this card was updated to match the laptop.
When you say "on the board of the card", you mean printed on a label on the physical card itself?
 

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#9
if updating the DP firmware doesn't work I am not sure there is anything to be done
while mxm is claimed to be upgradeable the reality is it very rarely works and almost never in a optimus config
 
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#10
if updating the DP firmware doesn't work I am not sure there is anything to be done
while mxm is claimed to be upgradeable the reality is it very rarely works and almost never in a optimus config
MXM is still a total wild west s**tshow sadly. Different versions, different power requirements/support, ... I wish NVIDIA and AMD would get their act together and sort this out.
 
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#11
if its a dell card you may just need to get the stupid dell drivers.
Dell did have some amd desktop gpus for a while which were rebranded cards. like the card was obviously a 6750 but they called it something stupid like a 7690 (just random example numbers here)
made life hell for driver installs and you had to use the Del specific drivers which inevitably hadn't been updated since the 1st day they were made.
 
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#12
Most laptop gpu bios are a part of the laptop motherboard, plus there are white and blacklists in those bios. You will not flash it without bricking it so drop the idea.
Nope, he has an MXM card. Those have vBIOS on it, just like desktop cards.

My question is, if I get the BIOS version 86.04.67.00.0A, would I be able to update the BIOS without bricking the card? Is no, how to get this specific BIOS? I've already searched BIOS database but no luck :(
By the looks of it vBIOS flashing won't help, since both cards are officially supported and not blacklisted.
I did a quick google-fu and apparently that generation of Dell Precision laptops had issue with switchable graphics. Some people had problems in "optimus" mode (performance drop), some people had issues in discrete-only mode (no image, no BL or flickering screen etc). Dell is aware of it, and I'm not sure whether they've fixed it yet. You may wanna contact dell tech support (preferably higher-tier). Maybe they know the solution.
Meanwhile you may want to switch back to dual-graphics.
BTW, which laptop do you have?
 
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#13
By the looks of it vBIOS flashing won't help, since both cards are officially supported and not blacklisted.
I did a quick google-fu and apparently that generation of Dell Precision laptops had issue with switchable graphics. Some people had problems in "optimus" mode (performance drop), some people had issues in discrete-only mode (no image, no BL or flickering screen etc). Dell is aware of it, and I'm not sure whether they've fixed it yet. You may wanna contact dell tech support (preferably higher-tier). Maybe they know the solution.
Meanwhile you may want to switch back to dual-graphics.
BTW, which laptop do you have?
If it's what you say, it must be something wrong with Dell laptop BIOS. In very rare situations a manufacturer would update their own vBIOS, but it's worth the shot since I'm sitting on my butt waiting for HP to come back.
The Optimus has always had performance drop as its purpose is to lower power consumption. I hve performance drop in SkyDiver by ~3000 on internal monitor vs external one. I had the same drop with P3000 too.
I have HP ZBook 17 G4 and the card was taken out of Dell Precision 7720.
 
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#14
I have HP ZBook 17 G4 and the card was taken out of Dell Precision 7720.
There was an update for Dell 7720 regarding graphics issues, but it does not seem to be the case for HP Zbook.
Just in case update your BIOS, see if it helps.
Different vBIOS version on card and laptop may be also at play, but whitelisting hardware in BIOS is pain in the ass on HP laptops (in most cases requires desoldering BIOS and messing with dump in Hex editor).

I'm kinda in the same boat with my Probook 640 G1. Trying to install Intel wireless adapter and my DDR3 kit. It works, but I'm getting annoying boot errors, since these dumb f%^ks at HP forgot to add some decent Intel adapters to whitelist and limited "compatible" RAM do DDR3L-only (and not all vendors either).
 
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#15
After a lot of research, I figured the BIOS version of the VGA is 86.04.3A.00.25 (Jul, 25, 2016) but the version my laptop expects (found in system information) is 86.04.67.00.0A.
How did u figure out what version does the laptop expects, where is that system information you're seeing?

I also have similar problem after MXM card upgrade, but in my case laptop screen never works, because my Zbook doesn't support hybrid mode, it only works in discrete mode. If you see some shades on the laptop screen, I would definitely count it as driver issue and try different section in the .inf file where to register the card, also try different optimus settings. One guy in a different forum found the following to be working for him:

NVOptimusHCloneDisabled = 1
NVSupportOptimus = 1
NvSupportMSHybrid = 1
 
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#16
if updating the DP firmware doesn't work I am not sure there is anything to be done
while mxm is claimed to be upgradeable the reality is it very rarely works and almost never in a optimus config
In Hybrid Mode the DP works OK and has Audio as well as HDMI. Also the Optimus technology only works in Hybrid Mode which I have no problem with. The problem is Discrete Mode
if its a dell card you may just need to get the stupid dell drivers.
Dell did have some amd desktop gpus for a while which were rebranded cards. like the card was obviously a 6750 but they called it something stupid like a 7690 (just random example numbers here)
made life hell for driver installs and you had to use the Del specific drivers which inevitably hadn't been updated since the 1st day they were made.
I have tried whatever possible driver; Dell, HP, Lenovo, tried different sections, but non of them worked
There was an update for Dell 7720 regarding graphics issues, but it does not seem to be the case for HP Zbook.
Just in case update your BIOS, see if it helps.
Different vBIOS version on card and laptop may be also at play, but whitelisting hardware in BIOS is pain in the ass on HP laptops (in most cases requires desoldering BIOS and messing with dump in Hex editor).

I'm kinda in the same boat with my Probook 640 G1. Trying to install Intel wireless adapter and my DDR3 kit. It works, but I'm getting annoying boot errors, since these dumb f%^ks at HP forgot to add some decent Intel adapters to whitelist and limited "compatible" RAM do DDR3L-only (and not all vendors either).
I'm on the latest BIOS version even though I didn't see anything regarding that in the release note. It's hard to say they are different just by looking at those cards. I can tell the RAM and other visible components are the same, and also on ebay, these cards are sold as compatible with Dell HP Lenovo. I used to have an Elitbook 8770w and replaced the K3000M with K5000M with no problem and later on replaced it with GTX 980M with no issues either. The only problem was using modified driver as NVIDIA locked the 8770w to only K3000M, K4000M and K5000M
How did u figure out what version does the laptop expects, where is that system information you're seeing?

I also have similar problem after MXM card upgrade, but in my case laptop screen never works, because my Zbook doesn't support hybrid mode, it only works in discrete mode. If you see some shades on the laptop screen, I would definitely count it as driver issue and try different section in the .inf file where to register the card, also try different optimus settings. One guy in a different forum found the following to be working for him:

NVOptimusHCloneDisabled = 1
NVSupportOptimus = 1
NvSupportMSHybrid = 1
In the BIOS setup (F10) there is a System information option. In there there is an Advanced System information. I found that BIOS version there. In Hybrid Mode the BIOS version of Intel Graphc Card is there. Maybe that's why I have no problem with the card in that mode.
Those options are all for Hybrid Mode which I have no problem with, and I doubt enabling support for optimus would work in Discrete Mode
 
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#17
In the BIOS setup (F10) there is a System information option. In there there is an Advanced System information. I found that BIOS version there.
Interesting, I do not have Advanced System Info in my bios.

Why the working Hybrid mode isn't enough for you? From Display Settings -> Graphics Settings you can specify which video card should run which app and be done with it.

P.S. Let me know if you get anywhere with HP support, so I get on their neck as well.
 
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#18
Those options are all for Hybrid Mode which I have no problem with, and I doubt enabling support for optimus would work in Discrete Mode
Optimus is a tech for dual-graphics. It won't work in discrete mode. If it works in hybrid mode, I'd leave it at that. It'll save you some battery life and keep overall temps down.
You'll be better off doing manual assignment for apps (either through context menu or GeForce control panel).
 
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#19
Interesting, I do not have Advanced System Info in my bios.

Why the working Hybrid mode isn't enough for you? From Display Settings -> Graphics Settings you can specify which video card should run which app and be done with it.

P.S. Let me know if you get anywhere with HP support, so I get on their neck as well.
When I'm at home and using my HP Docking it has similar performance as when it's in Discrete Mode on External Monitor, because those ports are coming from NVIDIA card. But when I run benchmarks on internal monitor, the performance drops. It's while all 3D processings are assigned to NVIDIA card explicitly. So overall, this Optimus tech does not give you the performance of your card at its full potential. This goes with non HP dockings as well when I take the laptop to work. That's why I prefer to be on Discrete Mode and that was how I found this issue from the beginning.
Also, to me this is still an issue and needs to be fixed.
About HP support, I don't know if they are willing to give me the BIOS update, but since those cards are MXM and they have already did the same update to P3000 even though the actual version was similar to my P5000, they definitely have that BIOS. It must be a matter of trust or availability to customer support to give it to consumers. I have seen BIOS updates as SoftPaq files for Z servers, but not for ZBook laptops. Anyway I'll let you know, You may want to search their SP database on their FTP Server and run a google search for your card model with "BIOS" keyword. I did for myself but found nothing
Optimus is a tech for dual-graphics. It won't work in discrete mode. If it works in hybrid mode, I'd leave it at that. It'll save you some battery life and keep overall temps down.
You'll be better off doing manual assignment for apps (either through context menu or GeForce control panel).
You are exactly right. Right now since my laptop is connected to AC all the time at home and work, I have no problem with excessive power consumption and performance matters to me more. And as I mentioned above, Optimus does not give you the full power of your card.
 
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