G74SX in-circuit reprogram of BIOS SPI

Discussion in 'ASUS Gaming Notebook Forum' started by Sir Robin, Apr 11, 2012.

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  1. nbssss

    nbssss Newbie

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    Hi again!

    Just letting you know i'm typing this from my fixed asus g74sx using sir robin's method.
    It took me 1month and a half but i finally did it!
    I came across many problems along the way.
    At first the bus pirate wasn't recognised by my computer - turned out to be a faulty mini-usb cable.
    Then i couldn't get flashrom to detect the bios - tried updating firmware of bus pirate - no luck.
    Then figured out to be due to the SOIC-8 clip wires being soldering in the wrong positions! So bought a new one with detachable cables.
    Then flashrom still couldn't recognise the bios chip - so I disconnected the AC + battery, and connected Vcc to 3V3, and.....it detected!
    Then i used flashrom to read the bios chip...ok so far
    Then i used flashrom to write the bios chip but it failed to verify - so i tried it once more and.......now my laptop works!!

    I used the file Raul sent me to write to the bios.
    Thanks so much, its been tough, but i'm finally there :)

    In summary, the connections you need are:
    -The four signals mentioned by sir robin (CS, CLK, MISO, MOSI) - connect to their counterparts
    -Ground to Ground
    -Vcc to 3V3
    -Disconnect AC + battery

    Hope this helps someone in the future,
    Nabs
     
  2. lazale

    lazale Newbie

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    when you connected the 4 signal pins from the parallel port which sends TTL signals to the flash chip, did you consider the 5v from the signal pins could damage the chipset still connected to the Flash chip? The chipset has a max tolerance of 3.3v for the SPI_CLK, SPI_CS0, SPI_SI, SPI_SO pins.


    I'm considering using your method but I'm just worried it might damage the chipset, or am I missing something regarding parallel port signal voltages?
     
  3. nbssss

    nbssss Newbie

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    From: Bus Pirate I/O Pin Descriptions - DP

    "All bus pins output at 3.3volts, but tolerate up to 5volts (5.5volts maximum)."
    So...you have nothing to worry about :)

    Good luck with it!
     
  4. lazale

    lazale Newbie

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    I just finished reviving my laptop (IdeaPad Y460P).

    I used spipgm and built my programmer connected to the parallel port. I disassembled my laptop, but I never de-soldered the BIOS chip off it. I just removed the connection of the chip's ground pin (#4) from the board's GND. This is to avoid any chance of damaging the motherboard or any of its component, if I didn't de-soldered the chip's GND then the external power source would be powering the 3.3v rail of the laptop. And this could lead to unpredictable results.

    I don't have a soic test clip, what I did was I soldered wires from the programmer to the test points/dots connected to 5 of the chip's legs (MISO, MOSI, CLK, CS, VCC) then I just attached the GND wire directly to the chip's GND pin which was de-soldered from the board.

    Most of the laptops nowadays have BIOS chips connected directly to the chipset through the SPI bus. This bus is not shared with any other component/device in the board, so there won't be any conflcts or reliability issues.

    Just posting this for other users looking to repair their laptops without access to a soic test clip and have good enough soldering skills.
     
  5. GiGaLeOnZa

    GiGaLeOnZa Newbie

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    I resolved the prior issue I had mods, so no more talk of BIOS recovery for password-related issues from me :) I RMA'd the laptop to ASUS, not sure why the BIOS had that wonky password issue...

    Any who, my RMA return lasted only 2 hours before going into an infinite reboot loop of 5s on, 5s off, 5s on... etc. I RMA'd again, got it back right after new years and to my dismay, it came to me with BIOS v201. I setup a fat32 usb stick, flashed the 203 rom, and ironically... it's completely dead!!

    Knowing my laptop was going out for RMA #3, and that it'd be another week or so turn around time, I decided I needed another hobby. I have a BUS Pirate and bus pirate probe kit coming in the mail within the next few days and I am going to take a crack at fixing it myself. It'll be like a laptop disassemble for cleaning + rom OCing in one.

    I plan on taking out the motherboard completely and flashing on a counter top and using the BUS Pirate's 3.3v because I'd prefer not to cut a hole in the laptop... This is in case I fail to revive the laptop then at least I can RMA it still. I have 2 weeks left on the warranty, I have already disassembled the laptop for dust removal before so motherboard removal for BIOS reprogramming isn't too much worse...

    Wish me luck. Thanks to Sir Robin and everyone else who has contributed to this thread!! I will post up when I (hopefully) succeeded.
     
  6. GiGaLeOnZa

    GiGaLeOnZa Newbie

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    I am happy to report that my G74Sx is back to life! Thank you Sir Robin for being so detailed in your posts.

    Sir Robin, I noticed in your earlier posts you mentioned being unsure where the Serial Number lies in the flash. After recovering with some one else's BIOS, I noticed that ASUS pad's their BIOS updates with ÿ's and I guess that is character used when padding a BIOS File. The ÿ means to not overwrite data perhaps, because the spot where the serial resides in my BIOS rip is ÿ's in the ASUS BIOS flash. The serial can be reprogrammed within the 2.5MB section of the rom that you can flash via normal methods (easyflash, usb bootable winflash, etc.)

    I am in the process of figuring out how to put my serial back into the BIOS. I used some1's reconstructed file, before realizing the ramifications. My serial doesn't not get identified properly using the wmic bios get serialnumber command. Oh well, my G74Sx is back to life and that is the most important thing!!

    Thank you to all who helped. Ciao
     
  7. nbssss

    nbssss Newbie

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    Congrats mate

    Out of curiosity, did you power the motherboard with the AC power adapter, or only using the bus pirate's 3.3V like i did?

    Its nice to hear more success stories :)
     
  8. Trashking

    Trashking Newbie

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    I just bought a G74SX off ebay... Within the first hour I have bricked this unit going from 201 to 203. Im sick.


    Manually repairing this thing myself seems way out of my skillset. Would anyone be interested in repairing this for me? I'd be willing to pay. I live in the Vancouver BC area.

    Please help


    Why would Asus allow this. What garbage.
     
  9. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame

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    Chastity stated that a bad flash was covered under warranty. Depending on it's manufacturing date, your G74 could still be under warranty, call Asus and check if you can RMA it.
     
  10. Trashking

    Trashking Newbie

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    Yea I phoned and they told me it was no longer covered. I also got a pre-quote for fixing it and they told me they will probably charge 222$ for this service.

    Personally I don't feel at fault for this damage. This is an update that is supplied by the manufacturer with no documentation or even warning included in the download. I simply used the built in bios update function from within the bios and just searched the file that I downloaded from the site. Considering how many people have fallen into this trap, you would think they would take more proactive steps on preventing this disaster.

    Total cost so far is 75$ for shipping + 222$ (unless they revise the quote) plus return shipping. This could end up being a 400$ tab when all said and done. Pretty awful considering I paid 790 for the whole unit.

    My wife is a lawyer and she says there is reasonable grounds to believe I could be compensated in small claims. I plan on following through on that.
     
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