Bios Help + Bios Editing

Video, SCSI, modem, CDROM/CDR/CDRW, etc.
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Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 6:21 pm


I have a Dell Inspiron E1505 that I purchased less than 2 years ago and purchased it almost totally decked out. Unfortunately, I didn't know I purchased the laptop at the end of that chassis/chipset design as they switch over to the 965 instead of the 945 chipset. I have always been displeased with the ATI x1400 video card which is a shared 256mb (hypermemory) video card which utilizes your ram for the additional video memory.

Being that I enjoy cracking open electronics and modifying them I under took the task of retrofitting a Dell 8600m gt card. I had to desolder the NIC port on the board as well as the wireless apdapter port on the motherboard and the wireless card attachment on the board. I made a 1/4 inch thick custom copper heatsink that mounts where the stock heatsink went. I had to do a bunch of other tweaks but it looks to be good and you can't tell from the outside that anythings been modded. I will be getting a wirless and ethernet card that slides into the side of the pcmcia slot of my laptop.

Now the problem I can't get my laptop to take nvidia's 8600m gt video drivers. I think this is because my bios doesn't recognize the card. When I enter Dell's bios, it states under video settings (can't modify them)

Video Controller = Unknown
Video Bios Version = .
Video Memory = 256mb

I believe that my bios is reading the card since it picks up that my 8600m gt card is 256mb of video ram.

SO the question is, how can I get my bios to pickup the card. I checked under device manager and it shows my video controller (VGA as having 14mb). I ran the vista score test and it gave me a 1 in graphics score so its definitely not working.

In a nut shell, Need to get Dell inspiron E1505 with an ati x1400 card to read a Dell 8600m gt card. I have the latest E1505 bios version which is A17. I was thinking of flashing my motherboard with a inspiron 1520 bios or a XPS M1530 bios, but the chipset is a different family and that could render my motherboard dead. I'm also considering flashing my MB bios with a Intel 945pm series bios which might work as wel..[/QUOTE]

I originally posted this in the mobile part of this forum, but thought this could apply to desktops as well. I think their is only 3 ways to attack this problem and I'd appreciate any constructive feedback you guys might have

Current system is Dell E1505
T7200 processor
4 gb ddr2 6400 (not installed yet, have just 2gb in their this moment)
320gb Hard Drive
WSXGA+ screen
ATI X1400 video card (8600m GT trying to get it up and running)

As you can see this laptop is still a very good system and I'd like to get it back up and running.

A) Flash bios with the inspiron 1520 which replaced my laptop and supported this video card. The flaw to this is that the MB chipsets are different 945 vs 965. They share lots of similarities though.

B) Flash bios with non dell bios and use instead intels 945 bios. This hyperthetically would allow me to change cpu specs and should allow driver support. Downside of this would be for sure that my OS would no longer be valid and I'd need to either put Win 7 on it or put a new vista cd key on. Theirs also potential for the bios not to take and I'd have to buy a new bios chip and solder it on my MB since its soldered on. Its only an 8 pin chip so I shouldn't have to much of an issue with this.

C) Find a utility that can read Dell Bios's and find whats different in the Dell Insiron 1520 and copy that section to my E1505 bios. THen flash the bios and hopefully it'd work.

Anyone know of a bios utility that I can use to edit the MB bios?
Last edited by KachiWachi on Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed [QUOTE=JJ91284;1035579950]
The Hardware Archivist
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Joined: Wed Mar 20, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Netherlands

given the fact most laptop bioses are vendor locked so you can only fit a limited amount of hardware known not to burn the inside due to much more heat, I think this is not ging to be possible. You might try and find out what the PCI ID is of the new card, the old card, use a hex editor and replace the old ID with the new (several rules apply, see the mini-PCIE thread for wireless cards on HP notebooks we have here).

Do not assume anything

System error, strike any user to continue...
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