Insyde hacking - New Vaio Z - Advanced menu in BIOS

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by psyq321, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    @edit - Sony BIOS for new Z (VPC-Z) is now 0WNED!

    @edit 2 - For even more advanced options (Overclocking, undervolting!!!) it is needed to disassemble setup executable to figure out where are those items stored. They are definitely inside the setup, but are not accessible even with this unlock.

    VSS register which controls advanced menu is now: 0x258 (for old Z, it was 0x25A) - in advanced menu, you can configure SATA controller to IDE/AHCI/RAID, change lots of advanced features etc...

    Now, I cannot share my bios dump as the serial number is inside. But I can give you info how to do it.

    DISCLAIMER AND WARNING: This is HIGHLY EXPERIMENTAL and for EXPERIENCED PEOPLE ONLY - IF YOU ARE NOOB, PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS! - YOU MIGHT BRICK YOUR (EXPENSIVE) DEVICE!!! It goes without saying that fiddling with advanced options CAN (AND MOST LIKELY WILL!) VOID YOUR WARRANTY! I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY PROBLEMS THAT MIGHT BE CAUSED BY THIS - USE IT ON YOUR OWN RISK! THIS IS FOR NEW Z (VPC-Z) ONLY!! IF you decide to enable Advanced menu, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH FEATURES YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND! YOU MIGHT MAKE YOUR NOTEBOOK UNBOOTABLE AND CONVERT IT INSTANTLY INTO A VERY EXPENSIVE BRICK!!!!

    Also, VSS offset is for European Z11 and for the original BIOS version R1180C3 - this offset might be different for your new Z - if you are getting VSS errors with advanced_menu.py you will have to find your VSS offset. I suggest using d6z tools from here: http://thechaw.com/insydecodr (check main.py - but this requires python knowledge)

    @edit - Treofred posted an easier way to do it, without Linux - so here are two guides:

    ######## WINDOWS WAY ######## (by Treofred)

    Prep work (not as bad as it looks):

    - make a bootable USB key with FreeDos. Go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ and download the latest version. It will allow you to make a bootable USB with FreeDos straight out of the box.
    - Download Flash-it (disregard/remove the dash in each step) with the link in this thread and copy it to the key
    - Download Portable Python from http://www.portablepython.com/wiki/Download (you want version 2.6.1 and not 3.0.1 since you need Unicode per your python script.)
    - Install Portable Python to the USB Key
    - Download your advanced_menu.py script from your first post and copy it to to the App directory in Python installation directory on the USB key

    Do the patching:

    - Reboot the Z to the USB key.
    - Choose default boot options
    - Switch to drive C: (cd C:) - this is not your hard drive but FreeDOS ramdisk
    - perform "Flash-it dump.rom /g" process to extract the rom
    - copy the dump.rom file to the App directory in the Python folder
    - Reboot to Windows
    - Switch to command prompt on the USB key, in the python directory and do the "python advanced_menu.py dump.rom new.rom" command
    - Reboot to USB key
    - perform "Flash-it new.rom /f" process to write back the patched rom


    ######## LINUX WAY ########

    YOU WILL NEED:

    1. Linux with Python (I used Ubuntu)
    2. Insyde Flash-it utility (remove the dash in each step)
    3. USB drive which is bootable (DOS)
    4. Python files from: http://marcansoft.com/uploads/insydehacks/
    5. Python file from this post (advanced_menu.py which is attached in advanced_menu.zip, just unzip it)

    HOW TO DO IT:

    1. Copy Flash-it on your USB stick, and boot from it
    2. Backup your ROM with flash-it by: flash-it dump.rom /g (also, remove the dash in the command name)
    3. Reboot into Linux
    4. Copy dump.rom into directory where all python files are
    5. Execute: python advanced_menu.py dump.rom new.rom -> IT SHOULD REPORT NO ERRORS!!! IF YOU GOT ERRORS PLEASE DO NOT FLASH!!!
    6. Copy new.rom to your USB stick
    7. Boot from USB stick again, and flash your new BIOS: flash-it new.rom /f (remove the dash in the command name)
    8. You're all set - go to BIOS setup with F2, and you will see nice advanced menu :)

    IT DOES NOT WORK?

    If you are getting VSS errors trying to run advanced_menu.py, you need to find your VSS offset because it might be different in your BIOS. You can use d6z's main.py - but you will probably have to edit it a bit (dumpsetyp.py is missing operand 0x27)

    If that is too hard for you, you can also try to locate VSS offset with hex. editor - search for this hex sequence: 24 56 53 53

    Also, I added complete dump of setup options - they are in vpc_z.txt, attached with this post.
     

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  2. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    I see stuff for GPU overclocking and VID override... we have to have access to this :)
     
  3. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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  4. Negaiido

    Negaiido Notebook Consultant

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    What about IDE and AHCI mode? That would ease up things with SSD's.
     
  5. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    That's in, too - controller can be set up in AHCI, RAID and IDE as it seems.

    Check the setup binary - all is in in unicode text format.

    There is also an internal EFI shell... This must be cracked :)

    Bad news: looks like VSS register 0x25a is not responsible for Advanced Menu anymore - we have to parse the setup string table...
     
  6. jqrd

    jqrd Notebook Guru

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    interesting stuff! do you think in there somewhere lies the answer to the question of life, the universe, and battery drain? :D
     
  7. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    Latest EzH2O is seeing all options!

    Unfortunately it crashes every time I try to patch it..

    @I am installing XP in the virtual machine... maybe it will work there
     
  8. Metsn

    Metsn Maiku Hama Yokohama

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    Sure --> 42
     
  9. psyq321

    psyq321 Notebook Evangelist

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    Of course, it's 42 :)

    Check the attached picture... this is just a preview of things to come :)
     

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  10. Treofred

    Treofred Notebook Consultant

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    who knew Doug Adams would foresee battery drain !!!! What a genius :D
     
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