ASUS U24E Review and Owners Lounge

Discussion in 'ASUS Reviews and Owners' Lounges' started by ALLurGroceries, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. mushlova

    mushlova Newbie

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  2. Addamus

    Addamus Notebook Enthusiast

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  3. mushlova

    mushlova Newbie

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    dzienky Addamus!

    and is the OS in Polish? Is it possible to change it in English?

    Last thing..how does the laptop feel in your hands? Is it resistent? does the screen tend to bend if pressure is applied? would you travel extensivly with this little jewel or does it seem to be too light and "nice" to travel with?

    cheers
     
  4. davidricardo86

    davidricardo86 Notebook Deity

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    For Windows languages visit:

    Download languages for Windows - Microsoft Windows

    Because of the aluminium lid the display is very sturdy and has very little flex. If pressure is applied from the aluminium side, there is no distortion of the display. The entire laptop feels solid and well built. It does have a little flex in the chassis if you force it hard enough but its not bad by any means. Same goes for the keyboard, if you press on it with a lot of force (not recommended), it will indeed flex. But normally it won't when touch typing. Its a very sturdy laptop.

    I have been commuting to and from school using public transportation with this computer and I am confident it can hold up to my travels. I bought an extra cushioned sleeve to add more protection when inside my laptop backpack. The fact that it is very light and thin is a benefit if "traveling light" is your main concern. My old computer weighed more than 6 lbs. so the U24E is much more enjoyable when I have to carry along a book. My way of looking at is this; don't be afraid to use your computer as much as possible, enjoy it and get your money's worth and as long you take good care of it, it will last a long time.
     
  5. Addamus

    Addamus Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Mushlova,

    I agree with everything davidricardo86 wrote about U24E. This is a great choice between price, power and mobility. I use my U24E everyday for work and after work. At least 8 hours a day. I installed SATAII SSD Kingston V100 256GB and 8Gb RAM so it makes everyday computing even more comfortable. This is a solid construction a I am not afraid to carry it. I had choice between 11,6inch Zenbook and U24E, but a I choose U24E. This laptop is great. I have Intel Core i3 which is enough for Office applications, Internet, e-mail etc. I don't use computer for games, for this purpose I have XBox 360 :) Of course there some pros and cons. For me the most annoying thing is BIOS error which won't let you to install SATAIII drives. This should be fixed in the future by updated BIOS release.

    Addamus
     
  6. mushlova

    mushlova Newbie

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    couldnt find this quote when i was posting my previous post, that's why of the w7 language question..anywho, should have read better as it appears vistalizator can sort the issue out..mmm microsoft...

    cheers guys you've been very helpful!
     
  7. davidricardo86

    davidricardo86 Notebook Deity

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    WARNING - Modifying and flashing a BIOS/UEFI always carries the risk of bricking your computer! There is a recovery process but that is not always a guarantee. This is for educational purposes, please use at YOUR OWN RISK!

    I did some research on our BIOS and found some good information. American Megatrends, Inc. (AMI) made our BIOS for Asus. But they don't support it. Asus is responsible for all its maintnnance and upkeep. The BIOS is controlled by a UEFI called Aptio. Then I searched for Utilities to work with or on Aptio and found:


    Resources:
    Training: An Introduction to UEFI
    Training: Comparing BIOS, UEFI and Boot Loaders
    UEFI - UEFI Learning Center
    The UEFI Primer
    “Ask a BIOS Guy” on Twitter
    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) on Wikipedia

    Aptio is AMI's next-generation BIOS firmware based on the UEFI Specifications and the Intel® Platform Innovation Framework for EFI. Aptio is specifically designed to address firmware portability and extensibility to future platforms.
    Along with silicon enabling components, Aptio can be expanded using a variety of drivers, development tools, support utilities and pre-boot application solutions:


    Aptio Development Applications:

    Aptio Support Utilities:

    • AMI Flash Utility (AFU) Suite
    • Change Logo Utility - OEM splash logo management
    • AMI BIOS Configuration Program (AMIBCP) - Change setup paramaters and strings in Aptio ROM images
    • MMTool - Manage modules, drivers and Option ROMs in Aptio ROM images
    • DMIEdit - SMBIOS data management
    • AMISDE - Command line tool for exporting setup date from an Aptio ROM image
    • AMISLP - Enables the insertion of Microsoft System Locked Pre-Installation (SLP) key files into the BIOS image
    • AMISCE - Command line tool for simple update of NVRAM variables
    • AMIUCP - Tool for customization and pre-configuration of Aptio Flash Utility (AFU)

    Aptio Features:
    AMI Text Setup Environment (TSE), advanced UEFI functionality with a familiar BIOS interface
    Compatibility Support Module (CSM), providing legacy BIOS compatibility based on AMIBIOS8
    AMI PreBoot Application (PBA) environment, allowing OEM/ODM to store and execute pre-boot applications in a protected hidden partition


    This is a list of most Aptio Utilities:

    Aptio® Utilities

    AMI’s Aptio® firmware offers an easy transition to the new Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
    model. With Aptio, OEMs have all the advantages of UEFI - modularity, portability, C-based coding - while
    retaining easy-to-use tools that facilitate manufacturing and enhance productivity. Aptio offers a rich
    set of utilities for customizing the BIOS ROM image without rebuilding the firmware, a true advantage in
    terms of both time and cost.


    AMI Firmware Update (AFU)
    AMI Firmware Update (AFU) is a scriptable command line utility for DOS, Microsoft Windows®,
    Linux, FreeBSD and the UEFI shell. Utilized for factory or field BIOS updates, AFU is flexible
    enough to update the entire Flash part or only a portion. It programs the main BIOS image, boot
    block or OEM configurable ROM regions.

    ***AMI offers several flashing options:
    AMI Flash Utility (AFU) is a command line utility for DOS, FreeBSD, Linux and Windows command prompt
    Winflash is a GUI Utility for Windows

    ***For a how-to & more information on the available flashing utilities, check out the "BIOS update guide for ASUS notebooks"

    ChangeLogo
    ChangeLogo allows developers to easily change logos displayed by Aptio at boot, via the GUI
    or CLI. The fullscreen “splash” logo and small logos appearing on the main screen during POST
    can be replaced with custom logos. ChangeLogo also allows logos to be extracted from existing
    Aptio ROM files.

    DMIEdit
    DMIEdit is a scriptable command line utility for DOS, Microsoft Windows®, Linux and the
    UEFI shell. The Desktop Management Interface Editor for Aptio enables customers to modify
    strings associated with platform SMBIOS tables (System, Base Board, Chasis, OEM string, etc). In
    manufacturing, use DMIEdit to embed platform serial numbers, UUID and license keys into the
    SMBIOS table, which identifies platforms to management software.

    MMTool
    Aptio’s Module Management Tool (MMTool) allows developers to manipulate Option ROMs and
    the UEFI DXE drivers embedded in an Aptio ROM image. Use MMTool to extract, replace and insert
    these binary components using a graphical or command line interface.

    AMIBCP
    The AMI BIOS Configuration Program (AMIBCP) for Aptio enables customers to modify parameters
    in a BIOS ROM without rebuilding from source. Developers can modify default values for BIOS setup
    parameters, modify default boot order in BIOS setup, view and edit sign-on and setup strings, and
    edit SMBIOS string data. AMIBCP also features multi-language string support for added utility.

    AMISDE
    AMISDE is a command line tool for exporting setup data from an Aptio ROM image, including
    spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel®. It generates a helpful summary report of BIOS
    setup parameters and default values that enhances productivity in testing and manufacturing.

    AMISLP
    AMISLP allows the insertion of Microsoft System Locked Pre-Installation (SLP) key files into the
    BIOS image. SLP keys are used for OEM activation of Microsoft Windows®.

    AMISCE
    AMISCE is a command line tool which provides an easy way to update NVRAM variables. Extract
    variables directly from the BIOS with AMISCE, and change settings using either a text editor or
    a setup program, and then update the BIOS. AMISCE produces a script file that lists all setup
    questions on the system where AMISCE is running. The user can then modify the script file and use
    it as input to change the current NVRAM setup variables.

    AMIUCP
    AMIUCP is used to pre-configure the Aptio Flash Utility (AFU). Insert and exchange the default
    command string and ROM image used in AFU to create a customized version of the utility.

    AMIDiag for UEFI
    AMI offers the only PC hardware diagnostic solution for the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). AMIDiag for UEFI operates independently from the operating system, offering great advantages to AMI customers.

    • The only diagnostic product designed for UEFI
    • No dependency on legacy BIOS
    • Available for IA32 and x64 UEFI environments
    • For today’s UEFI systems & next-generation products
    • Builds on a long history of AMIDiag products
    • Tests leverage the original AMIDiag products
    • Designed by a pioneer in UEFI firmware
    • AMI has shipped Aptio UEFI firmware for years
    • Tested against multiple UEFI implementations

    AMIDiag for UEFI is available only to OEM/ODM customers. For more information, please contact a software sales associate.

    AMI Provisioning
    AMI Provisioning™ integrates firmware configuration, firmware update, hardware diagnostics and pre-OS applications in a Unified EFI (UEFI) environment. When combined with Aptio® UEFI firmware and AMIDiag™ for UEFI diagnostics, AMI Provisioning greatly simplifies system maintenance and configuration.

    Embed Utilities With The System — Replaces the "recovery DVD" with an always available pre-boot management tool. AMI Provisioning can be executed from the BIOS flash ROM, NAND flash, on-board USB devices, protected hard disk partitions and OEM proprietary storage.

    Power Pre-Boot GUI — Move away from text-based applications to an intuitive graphical interface. AMI Provisioning presents a consistent interface to the user, with OEM branding via customizable themes.

    OS-Independent Firmware Updates — Executing BIOS and firmware updates in pre-boot eliminates OS compatibility issues, and allows customers to recover in situations where the OS cannot boot.

    Simplify Pre-OS Configuration — Provide a GUI alternative to the text based "legacy BIOS" setup menu, taking advantage of UEFI standards.

    Integrated Diagnostics — Make system diagnostics readily available to the user. AMIDiag for UEFI integrates into the AMI Provisioning solution, enabling full system tests even when the OS is not functional. Avoid the cost of system returns due to trivial issues.

    Standards Based — AMI Provisioning is built on the industry-backed UEFI specification, simplifying usage across multiple platforms and market segments. Users experience a consistent management interface on AMI’s Aptio solution or other UEFI implementations.

    Easily Extensible — Create a framework for integrating new applications that leverage the same GUI and customized OEM themes.

    Key Features of AMI Provisioning:
    • UEFI 2.x (IA32 & X64)
    • Customized look & feel
    • Multilanguage support
    • Context Sensitive Help
    • Network support
    • (CIFS / NFS / FTP / HTTP)
    • Verify digital signatures to avoid using "tampered" updates
    • Firmware Update
    • Update all firmware components
    • Update from file, network share, HTTP or FTP
    • Verify authenticity and of firmware images


    I found some AMI Aptio tools right here, BUT we still need to find some of the most recent versions of these utilities...


    REQUEST: Clevo P180HM (Lots of Tools)

    Thread-UPDATE-14-JAN-CLEVO-P170HM3-incl-Aptio-MMTOOL-4-5-AMIBCP-4-53

    These are the links to the AMI Aptio tools I found, Version 4.x is the one I used to open our 202 BIOS.

    Here are all of the amiflash utilities:

    http://www.ami.com/support/downloadagree...npDrvID=90

    Here is the basic tools that Prema included, mmtool, amibcp, etc:

    MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service

    Here is a big collection of AMI Bios Tools I found:

    MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service

    And here is the BIOS (BIOS_P180HM_Default.rom)!

    BIOS_P180HM_Default.rom

    USE THESE FOR U24E 202 BIOS!!!

    AMI APTIO TOOLS (UPDATED to AMIBCP 4.53, THX@qtm):

    Download amibcp mmtool.rar from Sendspace.com - send big files the easy way

    ***You're going to need WinRAR (or equivalent)!


    Here is our UEFI and BIOS info:


    American Megatrends, Inc.
    Aptio Setup Utility 2010
    2.01.1204 (U24E)
    Version: 202
    VBIOS: 2111.1I200870.01
    EC version: 203D0F0000
    ME FW Version: 7.0.10.1203

    BIOS Vendor: AMI
    BIOS Version: 202
    BIOS Release Date: 09/22/2011
    BIOS Start Segment: F000
    BIOS Size: 2048 KBytes

    "2011.10.14 Update" (this date is listed on the Asus U24E Download Support page for BIOS 202)


    Next, here's what I did to get access to the contents inside the BIOS/UEFI "U24E.202"...


    1. Download the BIOS 202 file from the Asus U24E download support page. The file will be a .zip archived file.
    2. Extract the U24E202.zip file and locate the U24E.202 file.
    3. Right click the U24E.202 file and then click properties.
    4. I then renamed the the U24E.202 file to "U24E.202.rom" A warning will appear, click yes.
    5. The file will then have been converted to a .rom file. We can now use it with AMIBCP, MMTool Aptio, Change Logo and other AMI Aptio tools.

    Here is a screenshot of the U24E.202.rom from inside of AMIBCP. From AMIBCP we can enable/disable things like hyperthreading and turbo mode among many other things:

    [​IMG]

    Here is another screenshot of some SATA-related options:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a screenshot of the U24E.202.rom from inside of MMTool Aptio:

    [​IMG]

    Here is a screenshot of the Change Logo program:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the original logo, a .bmp file (with this we can set our own custom logo during the BIOS/UEFI splashscreen):

    [​IMG]


    To be continued...


    With these AMI Aptio tools we can modify our UEFI. I will update this information as I make new findings. I don't know much more than what I have shown you here. I do not yet know how to create a final flashable BIOS/UEFI yet.

    Asus is reportedly working on a BIOS/UEFI update. I am trying to learn more about this and my ultimate goal is to learn how to add SATAIII storage device support and unlock hidden advanced menus, if possible. I need help though, I am not a programmer and just passionate about learning about computers, so if you or someone you know knows more about this subject, please contribute to this topic and share! We all want SATAIII in our U24Es (plus other updates and fixes).

    I DO NOT OWN a SATAIII SSD/HDD to eventually test on, so I will need help from those guys that do.

    1/16/2012 - I am comparing the BIOS 206 from the UX31E to our BIOS for anything that looks interesting or clues. The UX31E does support SATAIII SSDs.

    1/18/2012 - Awaiting feedback from members from bios-mods forum. Seeking help.
     
  8. Addamus

    Addamus Notebook Enthusiast

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    davidricardo86,

    Great work!

    Here is what I did during weekend.
    - installed SATA3 SSD Corsair Force 3 240GB,
    - installed Gparted live cd on USB stick,
    - prepared Windows 7 HP 64bit DVD

    My goal was to check if SATA3 drive can be detected by UEFI or Windows 7 installer run from portable DVD in UEFI mode.

    First I double check that AHCI mode is on, then I run Gparted from USB stick. I erased all partitions, erase entire drive - writing (zero) to all cells on SSD SATAIII! SSD was never discovered by BIOS, but is perfectly seen on Linux based Gparted run from USB stick or CD only.
    After this operation I run Windows 7 installer in UEFI mode. But as I expected installer could not find a SSD to install system to (but linux could - strange)
    Conclusion: UEFI mode is unable to detect SATA3 drives.

    Well, I changed back my SSD to SATAII model - Kingston V100 256GB. And stared installation of Windows 7 in UEFI mode. Everything went very smooth expect audio device (realtek) could not be discovered and I spent few hours to figure out why, but I could not find solution. So I back to normal BIOS mode, and Installed clean Windows 7 without any problems.

    Addamus
     
  9. Addamus

    Addamus Notebook Enthusiast

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    davidricardo86,

    I compared our BIOS using your tools with Clevo P180HM which is base to our 202 bios.

    In original BIOS P180HM there is function which is missing in 202 - SATA Device Type and this can be set to HDD or SSD in failsafe and optimal mode.
    We also have additional function Port Multiplier

    I dont know much about bios programming but this can be very interesting :)

    Addamus
     

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  10. keeepc

    keeepc Notebook Enthusiast

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