Modding the L502X bios (The project)

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by capitankasar, Dec 18, 2011.

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rate your interest on this topic

  1. nice!, I want extra gpu performance! or underclock the gpu V to reduce the heat

    85.0%
  2. looking good :)

    11.7%
  3. ok

    3.3%
  4. I'm not interested at all in those stuff

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  1. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    hi, I has been reading in many forums about ppl who wants to mod their XPS 15 (L502X) BIOSes to allow GPU overclocking, change voltage for lower heat or extra overclocking and another stuff.

    I also am interested, but it seems there arent much info about modding the L502X bios or ppl working on it.

    so I decided to create a new topic and let everyone to investigate and help others with what they found and togheter finally being able of flashing moded bioses for this laptop and allowing higher overclocks / custom GPU voltages for the gt525m and the gt540m

    I will start with what I found by myself

    I supose, first we need is extract the bios (.wph) format.

    I tried stuff like

    Code:
    L502X_A__06.exe /writeromfile
    L502X_A__06.exe -writeromfile
    but didnt worked to me, so I discovered something bymyself.

    the files already are getting extracted, and it even tell you the flashing parameters.

    this is what I did (sorry for the spanish language at the screens)

    I opened the L502X_A__06.exe file (last bios update avalible)

    [​IMG]

    then click "ok"


    [​IMG]


    now, its very important DONT click ok again unless you want to flash the original bios again and reboot your computer.

    [​IMG]

    instead that, minimize that window, and open the task manager (ctrl + alt + supr)


    [​IMG]

    now click on "view" tab, and click on "select colums"


    [​IMG]

    now tic "command line" and apply changes


    [​IMG]
    now look for the winflash.exe process at the processes list (winflash.exe is the app trying to flash the bios file, the one you just minimized)

    now check the new command line colum, it shows the path from where it is being loaded!, and it even show the flashing parameters :D

    Code:
    WinFlash.exe /SA /BBL /BIOS /EC "%location of the wph file%"


    [​IMG]



    now go to the location and copy the winplash folder to another location


    [​IMG]

    when done, now you can kill both processes and abort the current attempt of start/initialize the flashing process, dont worry, it didnt started yet, so you will just kill the process cause there are not any "cancel" button.

    kill the winflash.exe process


    [​IMG]


    kill also the L502X_A__06.exe process

    now you are ready to open the winflash folder you just copy

    [​IMG]

    as you can see, everything you need is here, the flasher, and the bios file!!

    I also made a script wich contain all the default parameters to flash the file

    if you want to use it here is the code:

    just create a new text file, paste following code, and save it as a .bat file (not txt file)

    Code:
    @echo off
    echo trying to flash the file ...
    WinFlash.exe /SA /BBL /BIOS /EC "BIOS1.WPH"
    well, now you have the wph file, wich it is the bios file to mod, but the real pain start now, since you need to get the tools to edit it, and replace the gpu .rom file for a modified one.

    i also recomend make a backup of the BIOS1.WPH file before doing changes on it
    I will keep investigating for the next step

    ps, there are some modified rom files for the gt525m card

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/dell-inspiron-dell-studio/623006-n5110-bios-mod.html

    however those rom files has been extracted from another laptop, even the gpu is the same, I'm not fully sure it will work replacing the one from your bios.

    I will keep investigating about how to replace the .rom file inside the .wph file

    if someone have more/extra info , It would be nice to share :)

    edit:

    if someone want to try something, here is the original bios A07, it also contain the extracted folder with files such as the flasher and bios1.wph

    link: Bios A07 + extracted stuff for testing
     
  2. nomygod

    nomygod Notebook Geek

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    Question: do we need the modded bios for GPU overclocking, or do you mean the ability to control things like the fan? I say bravo for the initiative, especially since I have little knowledge of the subject, but would still like to be able to set fan speeds since speedfan doesn't play well with the l502x.
     
  3. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    You might want to work from the latest BIOS A07.
     
  4. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    hey nomygod
    well, I also have very little knowledge of the bios modding, but I wanted at least move a little the subject by extracting the bios from the package and start look for mor info.

    relating your question:
    no you dont need bios modding for gpu overclocking, you can overclock the card with msi afterburner or another apps like this.

    however, with bios mod, you can control another things like voltage, and maybe the fans too.

    it also allow permanent overclock, wich consist in boot the device already overclocked without needing windows software to overclock it everytime you need it.

    also raising the voltage to higher levels I supose we can go further with the overclock, in the other hand, decreasing the voltage can help to decrease the heat produced and maybe improve battery time a little too.

    there are a lot of interesting stuff avalible if we acomplish this, however we need more ppl at this topic for that ^^

    oh, did a new bios got relased, I didnt even noticed (last time I checked the dell site, they were making changes at the drivers ant the L502X stuff were unavalible) :O
    going right now to the dell site.
    do you know what are the improvements/changes over the previus version?
     
  5. toronto

    toronto Notebook Deity

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    There is a list of changes somewhere, maybe on the downloads page. I received my XPS 15 six weeks ago and it came with BIOS A07.
     
  6. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    ok, found them
    Code:
    1. Updated Intel microcode. 
    2. Added support for i5-2450M. 
    3. Fixed system may stay in S3 state when doing BIOS update 
    4. Fixed system can't boot from USB3.0 ODD if set CD/DVD as first boot device in Setup Menu. 
    5. Fixed Function Key Behavior and Charger Behavior in Setup Menu will be disabled if to do load default and exit without saving. 
    6. Fixed system does not handoff XHCI controller correctly before enter OS 
    7. Enhanced compatibility of Windows flash utility, to support BIOS update if only 1GB RAM installed. 
    8. Prevent OS pop up the warning message to notify user to change battery even if the battery capacity is not less than 40%. 
    9. Change Intel IGD VBIOS to v.2104 for PSA compatibility. 
    10.Enhanced compatibility on Lite-On LAT-256M2S SSD for fixing system cannot switch to Delldiag partition after PSA test is done.
    however the L502X_A07.exe download link does not work for me , the funny thing is the DL link from the 06 version does
    L502X_A07 link:
    http://downloads.dell.com/FOLDER00202999M/1/L502X_A07.exe

    edit: googled for the dell ftp and browsed manually for the file,found it under some weird directory, this link worked for me
    http://ftp.dell.com/FOLDER00202999M/1/L502X_A07.exe

    kinda funny dell have dead links at their driver download site :D
     
  7. RainMan_

    RainMan_ Notebook Evangelist

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    This is VBIOS'S :
    GT-525M STOCK + Undervolt VBIOS - Guru3D.com Forums

    I undervolted mine ( Dell Inspiron N5110 ) using the BIOS mods for my laptop , temps under load decreased to about 10 Celsius which is worth it and no performance loss , I used a GT540M mod undervolted to 0.85v from 0.95v.

    But I reverted back to STOCK because I don't like messing with the BIOS !
     
  8. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    thx for the vbios link MPIXAPP

    what steps did you did to extract the bios?

    I supose you had to extract the vbios from bios, replace vbios, repack everything and flash the moded bios.

    I browsed some forums, used some apps such as phoenix bios editor, but nothing seems to work, also my knowledge is very limited on those stuff, after reading the whole aftermoon I just got a headache a a big mess of stuff in the HDD :mad:
     
  9. alinad

    alinad Notebook Consultant

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    Can I restore back old version bios ? A6--->A5 ? thanks.
     
  10. capitankasar

    capitankasar Notebook Deity

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    when I tried, it worked for me.

    anyway, not sure if is posible to rollback previus versions from A07, cause I recived a error message while flashing it again (unable to flash, similar or older bios detected)

    but it was fine while restoring previus stuff from the A06 I think, at least it worked for me
     
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