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Acer Aspire 5740G BIOS hacking (Switchable Graphics - not yet)

Discussion in 'Acer' started by sustmi, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Grrr, the LPC pins (those used by my new POST debug board) are not connected in my Mini PCI-E slots.
    These pins are not part of Mini PCI-E standard. It's only agreement between manufacturers so it's not obligatory. :(

    As the laptop doesn't have Mini PCI (the second option how to use the debug board),
    the only option how to use the debug board is to find LPC port on the motherboard or on pins of some IC (overkill!).

    Ok, better I will study for exams... :D
     
  2. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    One more information.
    Apparently there are few laptops which are very same to Acer Aspire 5740G.

    1. Packard Bell EasyNote TJ75 / TJ76 / TJ77 / TJ78
    - BIOS site
    - service manual

    2. Gateway NV59
    - BIOS site
    - service manual

    The schematics of these laptops could be very same too. Any of them would help a lot.
     
  3. ivanmmj

    ivanmmj Notebook Guru

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    sustmi, there is a new BIOS out. Doesn't look like too much changed, though.
     
  4. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi folks.

    I briefly examined the new version of BIOS (1.28) on a level of assembly code.
    I found that there are changes in PlatformStage2 module (the one which should set-up the Switchable Graphics).
    The difference is that now the setting Primary Display (Intel tab) has no effect any more.
    So the laptop will not be bricked when you set "SG" or "IGD". :)
    Bad news: Switchable Graphics still not present.

    The value of Primary Display CMOS token is loaded, but then overwritten according to the signals on input pins GPIO37 and GPIO57.

    Recently I found laptop schematic which is named as "Acer Aspire 4740 4745 5740 5745".
    Actually this in not schematic for Wistron JV50-CP motherboard, but for Compal NAL90/NALG0.
    Either way I looked in some other schematics for another laptops which I think are similar design.
    Often the GPIO pins are hard-wired as pull-up or pull-down (to VCC = 1 or GND = 0).
    These pins are probably used by BIOS to distinguish between different revisions of PCB.

    It's quite possible that my (and probably yours) motherboards doesn't have SG fully implemented in hardware and GPIO settings just reflects it.
    But we can't be 100% sure until we get schematic for JV50-CP motherboard. :rolleyes:

    I will try to make a table of possible GPIO values and how BIOS behaves when it reads these values. Then we can compare values (RW-Everything can read them).
    Maybe somebody has another PCB revision.
    Also, it would be interesting to see what values are read from these pins on 5740 version without discrete graphics.
     
  5. Rhadamanthis

    Rhadamanthis Notebook Evangelist

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    sustmi, hello do you modify this bios for frequency gpu and ram for my hd5470? i want gpu 850 and ram 950 forever, i don't wanto to utilize already software for example rivatuner to increse frenquency.....
     
  6. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Rhadamanthis.
    First of all, I don't like this over-clocking by flashing much.
    You can (possibly) damage your laptop so hard, that you won't be able to flash it back.
    But with every BIOS-mod you have to take this into account.
    Well, now, no one can tell I didn't warn you. :)

    It in not hard to overwrite video BIOS in WPH image.
    The harder part is to edit the video BIOS.
    I tried latest Radeon BIOS Editor, but I'm not sure if it supports this BIOS.
    I'll try to flash it tomorrow. (Hope I won't dead-brick my lappy :) [crossed fingers].)
     
  7. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    As I stated before I found that Switchable Graphics functionality is somehow dependent on values read from specific GPIO pins.
    These pins are GPIO37 and GPIO57 (and maybe some others I haven't found yet).
    Can somebody post your GPIO configuration?
    It can be read using RW-Everything tool.
    Short how-to:
    1. Click on PCI Devices button
    2. Select device "Bus 00, Device 1F, Function 00 - Intel Corporation ISA Bridge"
    3. On the right, look for GPIO37 and GPIO57, in the Summary tab.

    My values are GPIO37 = Input High (means 1) and GPIO57 = Input Low (0).

    So far, I realised this functionality:
    GPIO37=0,GPIO57=0 => Uses the Primary Display BIOS setting*
    GPIO37=0,GPIO57=1 => In this BIOS this configuration is handled same as the first (but some other laptops probably uses this to detect NVidia card, maybe Optimus...)
    GPIO37=1,GPIO57=0 => Use PEG (PCI-Express Graphics) no matter what Primary Display says
    GPIO37=1,GPIO57=1 => Use IGD (integrated Intel graphics) no matter what Primary Display says

    *note: This is probably the right configuration for Switchable Graphics.
     
  8. downloads

    downloads Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    My values are identical to yours:

    GPIO37 = Input High; GPIO57 = Input Low.
    BIOS 1.16
     
  9. Danspy

    Danspy Newbie

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    My valves are also the same, on BIOS 1.28

    GPIO37 = Input High
    GPIO57 = Input Low
     
  10. moral hazard

    moral hazard Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    I have the PM45 express chipset (different notebook), my values are:
    GPIO37 = Input High
    GPIO57 = Input High

    But I don't have intergrated graphics enabled (and can't enable them).

    Only my FX 3700m works.

    Any comment on my system?
    Do you think I can enable the IGD?
     
  11. pixor

    pixor Newbie

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    5740G i7-620M Bios 1.22

    GPIO37 = Input High
    GPIO57 = Input Low
     
  12. Arelenia

    Arelenia Newbie

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    5740G - i430m - AMD Mobility Radeon 5470
    GPIO37: High
    GPIO57: Low
     
  13. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi. You say FX 3700m? Is that Acer Aspire 5740?
    If not, then your values are probably irrelevant and I can't help you much, because there's almost no chance that GPIO pins would have the same functionality.

    Thank you all for your responses. It looks like we all have the same PCB.
    I found another schematic which should have the GPIO parts similar (even if it is has NVidia dedicated graphics).
    It has very same BIOS code which handles these GPIOs.
    I'm trying to find a way how to get it cheaper than $12.5, but even this amount is not that much if I think of how much time I've already spent with this. :)
     
  14. moral hazard

    moral hazard Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Mines not an acer notebook so yeah too bad...
     
  15. ivanmmj

    ivanmmj Notebook Guru

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    My Value are also GPIO37 = Input High; GPIO57 = Input Low and I'm on BIOS v1.22.
     
  16. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi everybody.

    In the schematic for Acer eMachines D730/D730G (which has some common parts of BIOS code) I found this:

    GPIO37
    High = No SG function
    Low = SG support

    GPIO57
    Optimus: High
    UMA: High
    Discrete only: Low

    Another unpleasant discovery is that "Discrete only" laptops mostly don't have the power parts for Intel graphics either.
    The power supply pins (VAXG) are simply not connected (or pull-down).

    I have no idea how to check whether the power supply for IGD is connected or not.
    And as I don't have the right schematic I think I reached the end now.
    It's sad, but it looks like we won't have Swithchable Graphics on ours 5740Gs.
     
  17. ruszok

    ruszok Newbie

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    Hi everyone.

    I try to activate "Intel" tab in my Samsung R580.

    Intel tab in TEMPLAT00.ROM 0FE7:
    Code:
    10 0A DA 05 00 00 68 40 84 40 00 14 A8 03 A6 03 8F ...
    Jump values [4068 - 4084]:
    Code:
    55 8B EC E8 02 00 5D CB 33 C0 9A 23 1D 00 F0 A8 04 75 05 B8 00 00 EB 03 B8 13 00 C3 55
    Can I get a token from this code? Unfortunately don't know how disassembly this code. Maybe You can do it?

    Thank You and best regards from Poland!

    Edit:
    OK! I disassembly this code like that:
    Code:
    ndisasm -a -p intel -u TEMPLAT00.ROM > output.dasm
    And we have:
    Code:
    00004068  55                push ebp
    00004069  8BEC              mov ebp,esp
    0000406B  E802005DCB        call dword 0xcb5d4072
    00004070  33C0              xor eax,eax
    00004072  9A231D00F0A804    call dword 0x4a8:0xf0001d23
    00004079  7505              jnz 0x4080
    0000407B  B80000EB03        mov eax,0x3eb0000
    00004080  B81300C355        mov eax,0x55c30013
    00004085  8BEC              mov ebp,esp
    So, what do you think?

    Files:
    http://ekonomia.ruszok.pl/upload/STRINGS00.ROM
    http://ekonomia.ruszok.pl/upload/TEMPLAT00.ROM
    http://ekonomia.ruszok.pl/upload/dissasm32BIT.dasm
    http://ekonomia.ruszok.pl/upload/dissasm16BIT.dasm
    http://ekonomia.ruszok.pl/upload/CMOS.SAV
     
  18. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi ruszok, I'm not sure whether your BIOS have hidden "Intel" tab or not.
    Have you already tried to open the BIOS image in Phoenix BIOS Editor?
    Don't you have "Advanced" tab?
     
  19. ruszok

    ruszok Newbie

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    Hmmm... I found Intel tab in string's file but kizwan tell me that in my laptop this menu's are in Advanced tab. And it is so I don't know why in files are Intel tab... Doesn't matter. I got what I wanted. And I know that can't enable IGD :(

    Thank you and best regards.
     
  20. sustmi

    sustmi Notebook Enthusiast

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