MSI GT73VR BIOS: unlock, mod, factory restore, clear CMOS and prevent common issues

Discussion in 'MSI' started by Paloseco, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Temp1234453

    Temp1234453 Notebook Consultant

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    Theres an OC option, but I can only see the clock, not modify it. I thought such small overclock would be safe, but guess im gonna pass then.
     
  2. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    DO NOT BLAME ME IF YOU BRICK YOUR LAPTOP BY DOING THIS.
    this is at your own risk!! EXPERIENCED USERS ONLY.

    The purpose of this is to 1) bypass 45W TDP limit on your CPU permanently to avoid any power limit throttling, 2) disable MSI "overvolting" by setting core IA AC DC Loadline to "1".
    THIS HAS BEEN TESTED BY SEVERAL PEOPLE SUCCESSFULLY ON GT75 TITAN. (same basic instructions work on the older "VR" series, but a different version of FPTW64 may be rquired). No one has tested this on GS65, but MSI uses the same bios structure in their laptops and same basic type of EC code so it should work.

    DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    First, please uninstall Dragon Center.
    Dragon Center adds hidden throttling options to your Bios that the normal end users has NO access to.
    if you want fan control, use "MSI Silent Option".
    You can do EVERYTHING Dragon Center does, by using :

    1) MSI Afterburner.
    2) Throttlestop 8.60.
    3) MSI Silent Option.
    4) MSI SCM for hotkeys.


    THERE IS ZERO REASON TO USE DRAGON CENTER. ZERO. ZERO. ZILCH. IT JUST THROTTLES YOUR LAPTOP.

    Ok boys. at your own risk:

    1) UNLOCK YOUR BIOS.
    2) Set CPU power and performance->CPU VR Settings->Core I/A Domain ->IA AC / DC loadline, = 1
    **THIS SETTING DISABLES MSI AUTOMATIC OVERVOLTING WHEN THE CPU IS AT HEAVY LOAD**. When setting this to "1", you must **NOT** undervolt your processor anymore!

    3) Set VR Current Limit to 800 (this will prevent "EDP Other" or CPU Current throttling.
    4) make sure TDC is DISABLED and value is set to 0. MSI Dragon center messes with this option behind your back.

    5) brownie points: if you want to never, ever, ever, EVER EVER EVER reach "power Limit" throttling of 45W, set IMON SLOPE to 50, IMON OFFSET to 31999 and IMON OFFSET PREFIX TO NEGATIVE. Yes, negative. Then you can draw 100W of power and the CPU will only report about 35W. VERIFIED AND TESTED.

    To unlock your bios follow the instructions here starting on the first post and adding my information:
    (this thread actually):
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/thr...-cmos-and-prevent-common-issues.812372/page-8

    Get the INTEL CSME SYSTEM TOOLS V12.
    https://www.win-raid.com/t596f39-Intel-Management-Engine-Drivers-Firmware-amp-System-Tools.html

    For older GT73VR and GT75VR, v11 works, but if you get an ERROR on your GT75 Titan, that 'unsupported platform" with v11, use v12. IT WILL WORK.

    Run FPTW64 as administrator: FPTW64.exe -d MSIcancerbiosbackup.com -bios
    Download UEFITool and Universal IFR extractor from Paloesco's post I inked above.
    Download RU from the website as the one paloesco had previously linked in his tools had BUGS which would cause your entire laptop to shut off on "UEFI Variables"

    http://ruexe.blogspot.com/

    Make a backup copy of your bios dump you made. Save it somewhere.
    Download AMIBCP 5.0.2 from https://forums.tweaktown.com/gigaby...-info-benchmarking-stability-tools-print.html
    somewhere over there. 5.0.2 works on the older VR series also so it is safe. Note: USING 5.0.1 will CORRUPT THE APTIO BIOS CAPSULE ON THE GT75 and GS65 series !!!

    Now, first things first.
    Run UEFITOOL on your bios backup that you made. Open image file click the backup you made.
    Click FILE->SEARCH->Text Enter "Bios Lock" in the text search.

    At the bottom you should see "bios lock found at pe32 something". double click that.
    A menu tree will appear at the top with a PE32 field already highlighted. RIGHT CLICK THAT AND choose extract as is. Name it whatever, like "extractedfield.bin" or something.

    Close UEFItool and open universal ifr extractor. open the file you just extracted. . the words UEFI should be in GREEN. If so, good. click extract. And save it as the suggested txt file name. Should be no errors.

    Now open that new text file in windows notepad.
    Edit->Find, search for BIOS LOCK
    You should see it, then some HEXADECIMAL variable.
    WRITE THIS VARIABLE DOWN ON PAPER. Example: 0x8AA. Ignore the part in brackets.

    Now, follow paloesco's instructions on making a boot disk with RU
    Once you make a flash drive boot disk with RU, you need to disable secure boot, boot to your disk and boot into RU.

    In RU, you then need to follow the instructions shown by Paloesco and go to UEFI variables. And look for "setup."
    there should be two. A small one and a large one. The small one is wrong. You want the large one.
    Once you go to the large one you need to page down (i forgot if its control page down or not) through all the HEXADECIMAL OFFSETS on the left, until you get to the PROPER HEXADECIMAL OFFSET FOR BIOS LOCK.. Example: if yours was 0x8AA, then you would look for 08AA (leading zeros are basically placeholers.

    Press enter on that hex offset and change the "01" there to a "00". Should be pictures and more info in paloesco's thread.
    Click write value (forgot the key, might be control W). It will say its written successfully.

    use the next menu to exit RU and restart your laptop.

    Now:
    Boot to windows, Open AMIBCP 5.0.2, open that bios backup you originally made with FPTW64. Click on Advanced and change everything that you want unhidden to "SUPERVISOR".
    You also need to change each and every submenu and option that you want unhidden as well. Most boring thing you will ever do in your life.

    DO NOT USE AMIBCP 5.0.1 on anything newer than the GT73VR (GT75VR "may" be safe for this also), YOU WILL CORRUPT THE BIOS CAPSULE !

    Once that's done, save your settings, flash your bios capsule back with FPTW64.exe -f msicancerbiosbackup.bin -bios
    Shut off the laptop, wait 10 seconds, power it on, go in your bios and have fun.

    BETTER HAVE A SPI PROGRAMMER (SKYPRO RECOMMENDED) available to flash your bios chip if something goes wrong. The Bios chip is SPI Bus isolated, meaning it is SAFE to read and flash with a programmer, as long as AC power and battery connector are all DISCONNECTED.
    Note that the thunderbolt 3 chip is NOT SPI ISOLATED. Doing a read on this without desoldering the chip can DAMAGE The chip.

    You only need to worry about this for emergencies aka bricks :)
    On the MSI GT73VR, the bios chip is under MXM video card (crappy area, but at least there's no confusion.
    On the GT75VR and GT75 Titan, the bios chip has been moved by the fan location for the GPU. There is ANOTHER CHIP next to the bios chip. And I do NOT know which chip is which! if someone here knows, please post--it will be helpful to some people.

    This unlock method HAS BEEN ALREADY TESTED as working by another user here on his GT75 Titan.

    Doing this on the GS65 stealth is UNTESTED. It SHOULD work, but it has only been confirmed on the Titan. Finding the actual correct bios chip will be harder than following instructions to unlock your bios menus.
     
  3. Temp1234453

    Temp1234453 Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for the guide Falken. About this:

    According to this, MSI overvolts the CPU on load. But can we still undervolt it? (with less agressive undervolt I guess)
    Lets say the MSI Auto overvolt is +.100mV (made up number). Whats the advantage of this over doing a -.100mv? That you dont need to undervolt via software like XTU or TS? What if you wanna keep the .-100mV on all CPU states? Do you know actually how much does MSI overvolts?

    Completely different topic: Is it safe to send a dumped BIOS to someone? Like can they get laptop's S/N or embedded windows CDKeys?
     
  4. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    The MSI overvolt (IA AC loadline) is based on resistance and applies to the CPU VID. The higher the cpu load (current draw), the higher the overvolt. Alienware and Clevo do this also.
    Most DESKTOP motherboards ignore this setting (CPU VID) when using STATIC (override) voltages. (meaning CPU vcore can be different than CPU VID). our laptops do not.

    The problem with our MSI laptops is, MSI also uses "loadline calibration" to compensate for vdroop. The vdroop can be seen if you set IA AC loadline to "1" and IA DC Loadline to "180", but it will NOT be the real voltage at all (because the "hidden" loadline calibration will STOP the actual voltage from dropping to the VID point shown).

    the IA AC DC loadline=1 (setting BOTH to 1; DC Loadline must be also set to 1, rather than auto, so the VID is more or less accurate; leaving it at auto will show immense 'VID droop, as above, which will be a fake droop, since Loadline calibration (internal, and hidden) is "preventing the real voltage from dropping to the VID if DC=180). is what removes the MSI voltage boost. Or more precisely, IA AC loadline=1 is what removes it (Default=auto=180 or 179).

    The difference between UNDERVOLTING via negative voltage offests, is that undervolting applies to BOTH IDLE AND LOAD VOLTAGE. Meaning: it is possible to be STABLE at load, but BSOD at idle, because the idle voltage is undervolted too low.

    The IA AC loadline setting functions on RESISTANCE only.
    Meaning: at full idle, you would have no VID Boost.
    The higher the load and the higher the CPU current you would have a lot of VID boost (if IA AC were default or 180).

    On Clevo laptops, IA AC loadline=1 is basically unusable because the Clevos do NOT have built in loadline calibration to prevent vdroop. So you would get immense vdroop and insufficient voltage if you tried that on a clevo.

    Basically, tl;dr: IA AC loadline=1 due to MSI using its own built in loadline calibration, will almost NEVER give you an idle BSOD (unless your voltage is so low you cant load windows). But CAN give you a full load BSOD or crash.

    Undervolting can do either or (depends on silicon lottery), but is FAR more likely to give you an idle BSOD, when the full load BSOD is "barely stable or borderline".
     
  5. Temp1234453

    Temp1234453 Notebook Consultant

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    I see, thats useful since the full load = ok, idle=BSOD happened with my old laptop quite fast, so I had a very small UV.
    Is there a way to undervolt each CPU step or at least full load voltage only?
     
  6. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    Impossible.
     
  7. Support.4@XOTIC PC

    Support.4@XOTIC PC Company Representative

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    Some very good info in here :) I'll be sure to reference this if some wild issues with any MSI laptops arise.
     
  8. Falkentyne

    Falkentyne Notebook Prophet

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    For those afraid to brick their bios;

    left alt, right control, right shift, F2.
     
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  9. Pedro69

    Pedro69 Notebook Evangelist

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    alt +f2 on left side
    ctrl+shift on right side

    I had used this on the past and this not allow to show all the features that we need like core offset or BD-Prochot, anyways this combo needs to be pressed simultaneously.
     
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  10. Temp1234453

    Temp1234453 Notebook Consultant

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    What does this do? reset CMOS?
     
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