Goal: upgrade older 13" Series 9 screen from HD+ 1600x900 to FHD 1920x1080

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by obiuquido144, Oct 6, 2014.

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  1. obiuquido144

    obiuquido144 Newbie

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    SUCCESS!

    BIOS and Windows are now also running fine using the 1920x1080 BOE AFFS panel, on NP900X3C :) Linux was fine all along. Brightness shortcuts work fine etc.

    This was achieved by replacing the 5 occurrences of the original panel's DTD sequence (part of EDID) in the AAC BIOS with the DTD sequence of the BOE panel.
    How to:
    1) Downgrade your BIOS to something older, following the guide in http://forum.notebookreview.com/samsung/696197-samsung-laptops-roll-back-bios-updates.html . I used P04AAC (ITEM_20120825_636_WIN_P04AAC.exe).
    2) Download the P07AAC BIOS update .EXE file (ITEM_20131127_21276_WIN_P07AAC.exe).
    3) Run the 07 exe (as Admin IIRC), but DON'T click OK or Cancel, but rather ALT-TAB to a different application.
    4) Go to c:\Users\[yourname]\AppData\Local\Temp\__Samsung_Update
    5) Copy out P07AAC.rom to a directory of your choice (e.g. c:\_biosupdate), once that's done, go back to the BIOS updater window and click Cancel (this deletes the files in __Samsung_Update with the exception of a log file)
    6) Download PhoenixTool Tool to Insert/Replace SLIC in Phoenix / Insyde / Dell / EFI BIOSes
    7) Download a Hex editor e.g. XVI32 Freeware Hex Editor XVI32
    8) Unpack and start PhoenixTool and at the top of the window, click the ... on the right of the Original BIOS field and load the P07AAC.rom file from the location where you saved it (this creates a DUMP directory under e.g. c:\_biosupdate, and pops up a dialog about SLIC files, which you dismiss by OKing it)
    9) Select Manufacturer: Other
    10) At the bottom click the now clickable Advanced button, click "Yes I'm SURE" and on the right in Control Options tick everything up to No SLIC,(i.e. "Ask prior..", "Allow user mod..", "Always allow...", "Allow user..", "Extract modules..." and "No SLIC"), then click the Done button.
    11) Click the Go button at bottom left, wait a little
    12) A dialog pops up "You can now make manual alterations to any module in the DUMP directory". DON'T CLICK OK JUST YET!, but ALT-TAB away.
    13) Go to the DUMP directory, and e.g. using Total Commander's search function (ALT+F7), search for files that contain the DTD of the original screen by using the first ~8 characters of the DTD: 40 C0 60 84 20 (don't forget to check HEX in the search options), this should come up with a list of 5 files - 2 .ROM files and 3 .BIOS files.
    14) Open them one by one in a Hex editor like XVI32 and replace the occurrences of
    38 27 40 C0 60 84 20 30 30 20 25 00 25 A5 10 00 00 19 (note the 19 at the end, which is different from the 18 from the monitor EDID... unless I originally mistyped it) and
    38 27 40 C0 60 84 20 30 30 20 25 00 4C BB 10 00 00 19
    by the BOE panel DTD:
    36 36 80 A0 70 38 20 40 30 20 35 00 26 A5 10 00 00 1A
    and save those changes.
    15) When you're done, perform the search in the directory again. It's possible that the BIOS6.BIOS file reverted to its original value. If that's the case, reapply the replacement and save. It seems that BIOS6.BIOS must be the last file that's being changed.
    16) ALT-TAB back to PhoenixTool, now click OK (and OK any dialogs that come up), this will generate a P07AAC_SLIC.rom file with your changes (or no changes if you clicked OK too soon...)
    17) Close PhoenixTool, copy the new custom .ROM file somewhere else, open it with PhoenixTool, and verify in the DUMP directory that there's no occurrence of the old DTD string(s), and that the new DTD string is correct in the 5 files.
    18) If all is OK, go to wherever you downloaded the original ITEM_20131127_21276_WIN_P07AAC.exe and start it (might need Run as Administrator), but DON'T click OK or Cancel!
    19) Go to c:\Users\[uname]\AppData\Local\Temp\__Samsung_Update and replace the P07AAC.rom file there with your version (you need to rename it so that it doesn't have the _SLIC suffix).
    20) ALT-TAB back to the updater application and click OK
    21) For me the update was quite quick: ~1 minute in a command prompt window that showed a progress bar of blocks being updated. When this finished I got a popup that the computer needs to Shutdown and start again. I clicked OK and the computer was stuck on the "Shutting down" screen for about 7 minutes, but eventually restarted. The Windows logo on start was then stuck for ages, too, so I just killed that by holding the power button. The next start was fast.

    This hack was obviously only possible thanks to the great community and the wealth of knowledge of the notebookreview forums. Without that I'd never have taken the few risks that have eventually proven fruitful, and would have just sold the laptop or got the original 900p screen. Thanks guys! :thumbsup:
     
    BigNerd042, zam0, apa64 and 3 others like this.
  2. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    I am impressed. :)

    And thank you for posting the detailed instructions in case anyone else wants to travel down the same path.

    John
     
  3. duttyend

    duttyend Notebook Enthusiast

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    Congratulations, that's awesome !!!
     
  4. oled

    oled Notebook Evangelist

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    !!!

    10chars
     
  5. petrosyan

    petrosyan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Is P07AAC the latest BIOS version for NP900X3C?

    I have Linux only and can't check for BIOS updates.
     
  6. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Yes, P07AAC (released in November 2013) is the most recent for the earlier X3Cs (and X4Cs) shipped with Windows 7.

    The newest BIOS for the Windows 8 versions of these notebooks is P10ABK (also released in November 2013).

    John
     
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  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    I feel compelled to honor your amazing work with a Rep and a [figurative] round of applause!! What an amazing effort for what some might consider a result not worth the time and work, but I for one respect the piece of work - and success! - for its own sake. Bravo!
     
  8. obiuquido144

    obiuquido144 Newbie

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    Thanks for your kind words guys. I feel like those Thinkpad guys with their "Frankenpads", but with a much better screen :)
     
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  9. zam0

    zam0 Newbie

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    Hi obiuquido144

    I'm wondering is it possible to replace the screen with a FHD 900X3E screen but just have it run at 1600x900 without messing with the BIOS?

    The reasons are I am reluctant to play around with the BIOS and the 900X3E screens seem to be much cheaper and more are available compared to the silver X3D on ebay. I'm running Windows 7.

    Thanks
     
  10. John Ratsey

    John Ratsey Moderately inquisitive Super Moderator

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    Which notebook are you wanting to change the display on? If you are wanting to use the X3E panel (FHD) on the X3C then you will encounter the problem discussed in this thread, namely that the 1600 x 900 resolution is coded into the BIOS which is where Windows gets its information about the display resolution.

    Samsung probably hard-coded the resolution into the BIOS because they only offer one hardware configuration and it reduces the boot time by avoiding the need for the BIOS to interrogate the panel. The only way around this is to modify the BIOS.

    John
     
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