P150em - trying to get 980m working, Prema mods gone

Discussion in 'Sager and Clevo' started by FalconFour, Aug 5, 2019.

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  1. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hey!

    I've Googled the absolute heck out of this. Lots of talk of overclocking, excitement of upgrading back when it first came out. Lots of threads from 2015 and excited people linking to Prema mods site, but of course nobody attaching it to the thread or rehosting it... I guess nobody expected Prema to just pack everything up and disappear from the internet. Also pretty awful that archive.org doesn't/didn't keep the site around, too...

    I've got a P150em, a rebuild project from a blown power control IC and a bunch of other issues. Its GPU was fried, think it was a 670 or something, giving that nasty Code 10 error. Took a deep breath and splurged on a 980m after a fair bit of research. But the depths to which one needs to crawl down this rabbit hole apparently are deeper than I was able to go...

    It don't work. It's identified, but it presents itself with a corrupted SUBSYS ID of 51051558 with the latest (17) stock BIOS. With the Eurocom Prema mod (I ain't gonna say where I got it, but it's nearby and pinned!), it got a SUBSYS ID of a similarly useless 52811558, matching that of a GTX 970m, but with the 980m's device ID.

    With Prema "1060" mod BIOS (the only one I've found): PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1617&SUBSYS_52811558
    With stock BIOS: PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_1617&SUBSYS_51051558
    Of course, being as though the subsys doesn't jive with the proper ven/product IDs, it doesn't install, and this will now be the only Google result for these IDs.
    upload_2019-8-5_18-40-13.png

    Also pulled the VBIOS but the Vendor ID in the ROM doesn't match any part of the SUBSYS it's presenting, so unlikely that has anything to do with it (though it is an MSI card):

    upload_2019-8-5_18-40-49.png

    I might end up ripping apart the BIOS in UEFITool and comparing sections... but dear god, if the work's already been done and there's an easier way, it'd be nice to just do that.

    I was able to get the driver installed and initialized by modding the INF and disabling driver signature enforcement, but ... the card wouldn't function when called upon. It'd end up rendering with the Intel GPU (Furmark) or just plain freezing (CUDA compute apps), without even starting. That's when I reflashed the stock BIOS.

    Where can one even begin looking? I'm pretty far down this crazy rabbit-hole hell, and I really just want stock performance (not a fan of overclocking).
     
  2. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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    aaaaaaaaaaaand now it's bricked, tried to patch that hard-coded ID in the modded BIOS using UEFItool, so I can stop using driver signature enforcement override (can't play games with that, anticheat refuses to run with DSEO). Flashed it, now it's just no-screen, no POST. AWESOME.

    Why can't it just honor the card's subsys ID in the VBIOS?! On what planet is it OK to override the card's identification with something from the BIOS?!

    Fn+B, nothing. LEDs on (unless I hold Fn+Esc, then just the power LED flashes orange, doesn't turn on). Fan spins, but no evident POST sequence. Just dead. Gonna have to pull off the ROM chip and read/flash it externally. I died a little inside tonight. Prema seems to be Clevo's saving grace, everything always links to that blog or those mods... now that it's all gone, it's a barren wasteland of obsolescence and dead hardware. :(
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  3. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Likely for driver compatibility.
     
  4. senso

    senso Notebook Deity

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    Prema is still around, but he got feed up with people stealing is work..

    You can @Prema and he will get a ping to this topic.
     
  5. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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    I can relate and definitely see how that could happen. I'd want to just keep old hardware alive and out of landfills, especially powerful stuff like this.

    I've ordered an SOIC8 adapter for my programmer, so I'll pull the ROM chip (thankfully, it doesn't require a full disassembly, just below the MXM card) and see if I can compare/patch it back to the proper modded version. I only changed 2 bytes, sheesh... but being compressed, who knows how much that'll change. Hopefully it doesn't change offsets and ****. Optimally it's just a flat-written binary (1:1 as seen in my ROM file) like the desktop boards I've done.

    I'd still need help from the one and only @Prema to get the subsys ID tagged correctly for this thing... apparently you can't just flash a Clevo VBIOS onto it because it's a 4GB card and there was never a Clevo 4GB 980m. Maybe that's why it's applying the wrong subsys ID... but given that the subsys ID it's getting is one for a 970m card (according to the nVidia INF), I feel like that's maybe a hard-coded thing that could be easily changed. I did, after all, find the exact full 32-bit subsys ID (little-endian packed) coded into the ROM, which is what I tried to patch...

    (hell, I'd even be happy with the 980m card handicapped as a 970m for power constraints and whatnot.)

    edit: compared the original (Prema mod) file & my UEFItool modded file... same size, but the last ~600kb of the ROM file is completely different just with that 2 byte change. Fn awesome. so this'll definitely be fun to put back together, sigh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
  6. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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    And we're back ;)

    Pulled the BIOS chip (16mbit), found it was supposed to be the first 2MB of the ROM file... it was nothing like the file. Gibberish. Reflashed it as 1:1 of the file contents. Then, with it reinstalled, the behavior changed... now the lock LEDs would flash and fans would roar full speed after about 10 seconds from power-on. Tried a USB flash drive, but no activity LED flash, so I assume it wasn't doing recovery (plus also not clear if P150EM uses UEFI-based recovery or bootable DOS-based recovery).

    So then I tore the whole thing apart, pulled the EC chip (32mbit), ran a diff against the second ROM file (4MB), found that it had differences at the top and at the end - but the differences at the top seemed to contain NVRAM data - things like serial and MAC, UEFI boot devices, etc. So I diff'd the original and my crap-patched version, found only differences at the end, and went back and patched only the far address space with the original file. Reflashed that too.

    And it POSTs and runs normally again :)

    I'd still super appreciate a hand from @Prema getting the 4gb MSI 980m properly recognized without needing driver-signature bypass and a modded INF, but for now, I'll live with it, and if I get tired of it, I'll sell this 980m card and get a 970m card known to more likely work properly (has a flashable Clevo VBIOS).

    Whew.

    update: Finding that the 980M just doesn't seem to work right in this PC. Seems to refuse to run 3D rendering, but GPU compute seems to work. Maybe takes too much power. I'm researching swapping it for a 970m and all my problems should go away like magic. One can hope. This might just be the end of the thread, then ;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
  7. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Cards are normally plug and play for this IIRC, what card exactly did you get?
     
  8. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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  9. Meaker@Sager

    Meaker@Sager Company Representative

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    Yeah the 4GB card was a bit odd IIRC.
     
  10. FalconFour

    FalconFour Notebook Enthusiast

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    Yeah, since I can't get it to run any 3D operations, and it seems to put a HUGE strain on the power system when running GPU compute with full CPU as well (folding@home), I'm going to swap it for a 970m. Just pulled the trigger on an MSI 970m 6GB card locally, seems like an identical board to many other offerings shipped via slow boat (so at worst I'd need a VBIOS flash, but hopefully not even that much). Pretty sure it's smooth sailing from here once I swap the card. :)
     
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