Acer Predator (Vega 56+Ryzen 2) Helios 500

Discussion in 'Acer' started by ThatOldGuy, Jun 3, 2018.

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  1. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Well in the course of dumping the bios somehow I bricked my machine. When booting it now just lights up the keyboard but otherwise just displays a black screen. The Acer Community forums seem to indicate that this issue is a corrupt EC, but trying to do a crisis mode recovery didn't work nor did simply writing the bios via the Skypro. For some reason the bios file stored in Acer's update is larger than 16,384kb so I am not sure if it is encrypted or signed or can otherwise be written directly with the Skypro.@DRevan any thoughts? I think you had this issue at some point with an Helios 500 Intel.
     
  2. Deks

    Deks Notebook Prophet

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    Ouch... that's no good.
    Did you save the original BIOS prior to dumping it and could you overwrite it or at least reset the CMOS by removing the battery and then re-attaching it (much like we'd do on desktops - that is if we used them)?
    Problem with the battery CMOS removal is that laptop MOBO's are configured differently so they don't exactly have a removable one (I think).

    Question: what are the latest Realtek Drivers for our Helios 500 with Ryzen/Vega? Control Panel is non-descriptive about the proper name of the sound card...
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  3. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    The Ryzen model has a battery reset switch just above the M.2 slots. I tried holding that down with the battery and AC pulled for a few minutes, but it didn't make a difference.

    I did dump the bios, and tried to rewrite it a few times. If the EC is corrupted I am not sure how I can recover that. I can access the EC flash, a GD25D10BT 128KB chip, but I do not have a good backup of its contents and the chip was not listed as a supported target in the Skypro software.
     
  4. BurnsXL

    BurnsXL Newbie

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    So forgive me for hipping in to this thread, but it seems like there's some people here who are pretty tech savvy and very interested in getting this model to support the 3700x.

    Hello - I have this exact laptop and a 3700x.

    My knowledge of hardware is limited at about "what it's called" and I can't tell you much more than say...the BIOS is the software? on the motherboard stored on its ROM. So TL;DR - I had a friend at work try to install the 3700x in place of the 2700 (which I knew was unlikely to work but possible given the AM4 socket). Obviously Acer could add support in a BIOS update but has not and has ignored requests on their forums for a commitment either way.

    That said, my friend believed that it would STILL be possible if he flashed the BIOS and did something I didn't understand, but that also did not seem to work. It's back to factory settings, but I wanted to post here and see if any of you had ideas or could potentially guide me in to getting it to work.

    If there's a fair to high level of confidence that you know how, I'm willing to be the guinea pig and to try it out. Thanks, I'll check back to see if there's any responses.
     
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  5. bobzdar

    bobzdar Notebook Guru

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    They key would be to find the desktop motherboard it's based on and use that bios. Acer don't make their own motherboards, so if we can figure out who made this, they may have a b450 desktop board that's essentially the same thing we can leverage for the bios. I believe that's how the Asus GL702zc guys got zen+ working on their laptop.
     
  6. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    It's a Quanta ZGX and the Intel version is a Quanta ZGQ. Quanta is (or was) big but I don't know if they make desktop motherboards. Good idea anyway, thanks for the tip.

    PS if anyone ever comes across someone selling the ZGX schematics I'd be very interested, ditto anyone selling the USB/headphone daughterboard schematics.
     
  7. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    Does the skypro support 1.8v EEPROMs? Thinking maybe the main chip is blown and the EC stalls without a go-ahead signal...
    Don't know why the file is so large however it _is_ encrypted and not a valid BIOS image unless decrypted, dumping a programmed BIOS via the flash utility seems to produce a valid one though.
     
  8. win32asmguy

    win32asmguy Moderator Moderator

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    Yes it supports 1.8v with an adapter. The Skypro is the same setup I used to do Pascal TDP mods on my MSI GTX 1070. I was able to successfully dump the bios, and can still read / write it. The failure to boot started happening after I initially dumped the bios. I have had it apart before even farther (motherboard completely removed) to swap the included ram to 32GB.

    I tried a few other things like popping out the RTC battery, so it was basically completely battery-less for ~1 hour. Another person at bios-mods.com checked my dumped bios and verified it was good (checksums, etc) and was able to unlock it for me. Sadly flashing (and verifying with success) either the original dump or the modified version doesn't help it boot. I actually took it to work today intending to try booting it up hooked to an external monitor, but got too busy and forgot to try that.
     
  9. BurnsXL

    BurnsXL Newbie

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    Meant to come back here and check this thread earlier...thanks for the specificity. It's actually extremely difficult to find ANYTHING about the Mobo in this laptop (at least for somebody with like "device manager is a thing I know how to use" skills).

    AIUI the MoBo is a "modified x450" but other than that the above posts are the most information I've been able to find anywhere. So....TL;DR should I be looking in to this brand/BIOS above, or is this a totally lost cause that I should accept and move on from?

    Really disappointed that Acer is staying totally silent on this - I'd rather have them confirm it won't work and explain why than total silence.
     
  10. Megol

    Megol Notebook Evangelist

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    I sure hope you get it working soon, been in similar situations with other notebook computers...

    It's a Quanta ZGX custom motherboard for the Acer Predator Helios 500. Don't know if Quanta makes the BIOS too but doubt it.
    With brand do you mean Acer? I don't know if Quanta which is the actual designer/manufacturer make desktop motherboards for Acer.
    It doesn't work as the BIOS doesn't contain the required CPU microcode and chipset support code, either Acer or someone else will have to release an updated BIOS for it to work.
     
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