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Sony Vaio SA/SB/SC/SE Advanced Menu BIOS Hack

Discussion in 'Sony' started by pyr0, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    PULLED because people do not read warnings and play around with settings they are not supposed to touch.


    Sony VAIO SA/SB/SC/SE BIOS hack available


    Since the Sandy Bridge generation VAIO BIOSes are almost similar, hacking the new VAIO S series' BIOS was simple.

    07/08/2012
    Advanced menu hack updated to newest BIOS version R2087H4. Please check if this version is suitable for your particular model before flashing!


    Many new options for tweaking revealed. These options most likely interesting for advanced users only.

    You find more info to this thread in the Sony Vaio Z2 (2011) Advanced Menu BIOS Hack thread.

    ________________________


    The disclaimer
    This project is 100% spare time driven. There is no warranty or support at all. Don't use this if you are unexperienced with computers. All you do with this BIOS is on your own risk! Flashing is a dangerous process. Make backups of your data. Your warranty may void with flashing this hack. Don't fiddle around with settings you don't understand - you may brick your laptop. All settings in BIOS get stored in the flash rom. Disconnecting the RTC battery will NOT reset the BIOS settings since they are non-volatile. If you fail, there is no return since BIOS recovery is unavailable to new sony laptops.

    CAUTION! Do not change the following options in your hacked BIOS or you will brick your laptop!

    * disable Intel GPU

    * set first GPU to PEG



    Prerequisites:

    - Check at the Sony support page for your notebook if the R2085H4 BIOS (release date 11/21/2011) is available for your model. If it's not available, DON'T FLASH this hacked BIOS as you may brick your laptop!

    - Create a backup of your stock BIOS - you might need it later for warranty reasons etc.:

    - Download this BIOS Backup tool
    - Extract it and run the contained file dump_BIOS.bat. Read the note and confirm. Then you will find the Backup Image as DUMP.ROM in the same directory.

    [​IMG]

    You can use the backup file with the flashing tool as follows if you need it later to recover to original BIOS (e.g. in warranty case).

    ____________________________

    Flashing process:

    1. Download the hacked BIOS package from the attachment of this thread (see bottom). Extract the archive to your harddrive (e.g. to C:\)

    2. Close all running applications. Charge your battery and leave your AC adaptor plugged in until you are finished.
    Navigate to the directory with the unpacked BIOS package and run InsydeFlash.exe as Administrator.

    3. Press Start and follow the screen instructions. After the flash completed, reboot your laptop. That's it!


    ____________________________
     
    phivas, lefty_, Skyratov and 8 others like this.
  2. jeremyshaw

    jeremyshaw Big time Idiot

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    :eek:

    Thank you very much! :)

    EDIT: the flashing process starts instantly after program execution, so watch out :p
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan NBR Moderator Moderator

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    Looks slick, I wish I could try it out but my GF has the SA...

    :D
     
  4. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Updated link with corrected Flashing Utility that now shows "Start" and "Exit" button for your convenience.
     
  5. darxide_sorcerer

    darxide_sorcerer Notebook Deity

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    thanks for your effort :) +rep'd!
     
  6. CyberWalrus

    CyberWalrus Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have been running an unlocked bios provided by "camiloml" from here for quite some time now. How does your bios differ, if at all, from this one?

    also, Camiloml has not found a safe way to re-enable SATA3, especially as the bios settings are not stored in volatile memory, and all bios recovery options have been disabled by sony. Is there any chance of a hack coming from you?
     
  7. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    I know camilo and had already a look on his BIOS. In terms of functionality, our BIOSes do not differ so much from each other except that he replaced ALL opcode 0x27 checks and I only enabled one that was necessary for the advanced menu. My opinion is that the latter is the safer way since it can not cause any side effects, but probably you can argue about that.

    Almost all current BIOSes store values in flash and sony generally does not implement recovery procedures to push their service sales. These two facts don't actually prevent me from hacking this but it would be easier if I had a SA/SB where I could hook up my SPI flasher to do serious alterations without risk of bricking laptops I don't own.

    If I have some spare time beside my Ph.D. work, I will continue working on this. There is a reason that Camilo stopped his development, the AHCI implementation is damn tricky on this one. In any case, my policy about publications here was, is and will be: I would never post something that has the immediate pontential to brick someone else's property.
     
  8. xplane9

    xplane9 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks, but have you managed to get the thermal management settings to function correctly. Even adjusting the thermal limits and fan speeds does not seem to produce a difference in the fan noise on the SA.
     
  9. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Since I have no S series VAIO, I can't confirm. It's the same for the Z - changing the fan stuff does not have any effect because the FAN control is coded outside of the BIOS.
     
  10. darxide_sorcerer

    darxide_sorcerer Notebook Deity

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    @pyr0: about unlocking SATA III capability: i still run the original BIOS R1031H4 on my SA which supports SATA III. if you think comparing the two BIOSes could be helpful to pinpoint what has changed, i can dump the BIOS and send it to you if you tell me which program i should use.
     
  11. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Compared and analyzed them already, thanks. Found some traces and starting points. Will dig into that deeper next week.
     
  12. redmimic

    redmimic Notebook Consultant

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    Any chance this can unlock the Rotate Screen function?

    Sony seems to have banned it from the SE and despite editing the registry, I cannot use the option that existed in my 4 year old Toshiba.
     
  13. unney

    unney Newbie

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    Thank you pyr0.

    I installed it in my VPCSB and it worked well... The installation was easier and quicker than original sony vaio updater program... :). I gone thru the options in the BIOS quickly, and its really an impressive work. Hats off you.

    One doubt, does the patched BIOS support SATA 3 ?


    Also a feature request - Option to set ATA HDD password
     
  14. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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    Thanks, it was fun to do the hack.

    No SATA3 support yet. Sony removed it from the newer BIOSes and I did not find time yet to approach reintegration - but I will.

    There is an option for ATA HDD password but it is critical to use at least for those owners that utilize RAID. You can use hdparm in a linux live cd for setting your passwords and doing fancy stuff like secure erase and drive lock.
     
  15. Strider22

    Strider22 Newbie

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    Thanks a lot pyr0. Related to this thread, I just want to ask a question. At the bottom of every Sandy Bridge Processor Spec sheet on ark.intel the following information is given:

    "Some products can support AES New Instructions with a Processor Configuration update, in particular, i7-2630QM/i7-2635QM, i7-2670QM/i7-2675QM, i5-2430M/i5-2435M, i5-2410M/i5-2415M. Please contact OEM for the BIOS that includes the latest Processor configuration update."

    I have a SB laptop with Core i5 2410M and AES-NI is not enabled. Do you think it is possible to enable this feature via your update?
     
  16. CyberWalrus

    CyberWalrus Notebook Enthusiast

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    For the safety of others, I would also recommend you disable/provide a big warning regarding the graphics options. In particular, setting "PEG" as the graphics card to use on boot will result in an unrecoverable brick. It would be helpful to remove this option entirely, to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
    The "enable switchable graphics" option is safe to use, however the machine will default to the intel graphics if graphics switching is disabled.
     
  17. AKZam

    AKZam Newbie

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    Hi all

    Thanks for the work you have done so far pyr0, much obliged.

    I have just installed the bios and it installs fine (on Sony VPCSA-290X), however when I try to change my IDE mode from RAID to AHCI, upon reboot it gives me a cyclical BSOD.

    I want to change to AHCI as I want to have another go at installing OSX on my laptop - hit a brick wall months ago when I tried as nothing I could do would get the OSX installation process to recognise my HD (as it is wasn't in AHCI mode).

    Any idea why I am getting a BSOD? I have not touched anything else in the BIOS.
     
  18. pyr0

    pyr0 100% laptop dynamite

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  19. CyberWalrus

    CyberWalrus Notebook Enthusiast

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    First a warning - Discussion of installing mac OS on PC's isn't allowed on this forum.
    that said, this link
    Have fun!
     
  20. mtroyan

    mtroyan Newbie

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    Any progres on unlocking sata3?
     

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