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MODBIN & MD8000 (MoBo: Medion MD5000 aka MSI MS-6701)

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 11:58 am
by mittern8
Hello there!
I'm facing a problem here and I hope that there are some specialists visiting this board that might be able to help me out.

It's concerning the PC mentioned in the subject, that has been sold allover Europe and even in the US of A.

First the stats:
BIOS Information
BIOS Version: Phoenix-Award BIOS v6.00PG
BIOS Info: 10/14/02-SiS-648-6A7I0M4BC-00
BIOS Message: W6701M7 V1.17 101402 13:50:00 MEDIONPC LN
Item Amount: 237
Group Used:
00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31
(why is the 08 shown highlighted in Modbin6 v1.00.48?)

Chipset: SiS648 rev 2
Super I/O chip: Winbond 83697HF at port 2Eh

As a result of the MD5000 beeing a OEM product of MSI sold by a food chain it has a very restricted CMOS-setup.

I took a closer look at the BIOS-image and and noticed some astounding facts.
The main menu items I missed in the CMOS-setup-screen (i.e. PC Health Status, DRAM Timing Control) are -according to MODBIN- available and should be diplayable and settable.

But although they are shown available they don't occure in setup. :cry:

Comparing two different BIOS-images I was able to figure out one difference:
in the most recent image they introduced a value for the Smart Fan Temp. Tolerance while it was disabled in the older BIOS (1.14: Disabled, 1.17: 5°C).
In fact, this item seems to work properly, the fan gets to a higher rotation speed when the Smart Fan Target Temp. (50°C) plus the Smart Fan Temp. Tolerance (5°C) is reached and not as seen before instantly when reaching the Smart Fan Target Temp.

This means, that the changed value works allthough the complete menu-item PC Health Status is inaccessable to the end user.

Anyone got an explanation?
Or, what even would be much better, anyone out there who has an idea how to make this items available?

If you want to take a look at the BIOS-image you can download it directly from Medion.

Guess it would help to have a SiS PCR-file for WPCredit, but also seems to be non existant :?:

Oh, one question left:
Can I expect to have a bootblock in that BIOS in case of a bad flash?

THANX ahead,

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 12:06 pm
by mittern8
Really no one?


Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:26 pm
by NickS
There should be a bootblock in a Phoenix-Award V6.00 BIOS, but it won't help if the BIOS you flash has the correct checksum. It's only of any use when the checksum is incorrect, indicating a corrupt BIOS.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 6:23 am
by mittern8
Ups, I wasn't aware of this! :cry:
Just wanted to ensure myself, that I could do a rollback in case I've been flashing a BIOS-image that wouldn't work at all.

But, did you take a closer look at the image itself?
I can't understand why there are so many Options set to normal or to show only (i.e. DRAM CAS Latency and don't appear in he CMOS-setup at all.
Have you seen such a behavior before?


Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 10:43 am
by NickS
Yes, I took a quick look but many of the menu items were shown as XXXXX, so I suspect that it does not make sense on my machine. :(

(I have not tried modifying a Phoenix/Award 6 BIOS, so I don't know what is meant to happen. All the machines I am happy to destroy use Award 4.51... the only Award 6 machine I have is the vital family machine.)

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2003 2:22 pm
by mittern8
Hi Nick!

Yeah, I noticed those X-ed ( :) ) entries to, but I thought they shouldn't cause problems as long as they stay unchanged.
I supposed that there just might be no corresponding entries in the _EN_CODE.BIN.
But, looking at the 2nd entry Voltage/Frequency Control in the Setup Screen Structure Tree, I noticed the values shown there are just rubbish. :cry:
I've seen that bahavior in older Versions of ModBin that where not aware of the options in recent BIOS-images.

Guess I'd need a newer release of ModBin6 ( >1.00.48 ) - but is there any?

Anyway, lot of THANX for your participation,

Up to now I was happy to destroy all the machines regardless of the BIOS they used :roll:

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2003 11:27 pm
by apple_rom
>I can't understand why there are so many Options set to normal or to show only (i.e. DRAM CAS Latency and don't appear in he CMOS-setup at all.
It`s meaning that they are disabled in the POST. You can make visible they if search like this code:
mov dh,1
mov si, offset _menus_data_string_
call _subroutine_to_disable_items_

Simply skip "call xxxx" with NOPs...

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 12:16 am
by apple_rom
I have look your BIOS (md5kv117).
It use another method to disabled option in BIOS Setup - with "addition subroutines". For "DRAM Timing Control" - offset 115c5 in original.tmp:
xor cx,cx
mov di,015CF;it`s offset of offsets_for_disable_"timings"-menus (CAS Latency, tRAS, tRP etc)
call 00001259C

Skip this subroutine with changing "xor cx,cx" to "ret"...

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:59 am
by mittern8
Hey Apple,
that's good news!
If this works, a lot of people will be thankful!

Already tried BiosPatcher, but that didn't help.

Well, I'll try to find the sequence you named in the new 1.1B BIOS. Then we'll see what happens if I change it.

Too bad that there is no "Show Setup"-option in ModBin6 as it was in 4.5. Award Bios Editor didn't help also, it just crashes.
Is there any other tool that can do this?

Otherwise I have to flash the BIOS inside the PC everytime I make a change.
That will not only take some time, but might crash the PC and I don't have a backup chip yet. :(

If you find some more info it would be great.

For now THANX,

Posted: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:04 pm
by apple_rom
>Is there any other tool that can do this?
Only "hiew" or another HEX-editor... ;)
>...but might crash the PC and I don't have a backup chip yet.
Yes, for "experiment" is better flashing into "another" chip...
>If you find some more info it would be great.
What particularly it is necessary?

Posted: Mon Mar 10, 2003 2:49 am
by mittern8
Apple, you're great man!

I managed to find that "DRAM Timing Control" - offset 115c5 in original.bin although I'm a complete programming illiterate.

Code: Select all

 000115C5: C3                           retn
 000115C6: 33C9                         xor       cx,cx
 000115C8: BFCF15                       mov       di,015CF ;"§¤"
 000115CB: E8CE0F                       call      00001259C   -------- (1)
 000115CE: C3                           retn
and I changed it to

Code: Select all

 000115C5: C3                           retn
 000115C6: C3                           retn
 000115C7: C9                           leave
 000115C8: BFCF15                       mov       di,015CF ;"§¤"
 000115CB: E8CE0F                       call      00001259C   -------- (1)
 000115CE: C3                           retn
Hope that is correct?
And, ja, I used hiew (a proggi that's worth it's money! :wink: ).

But than I ran into the next problem:
How to get that modified original.bin back into the flash file :?:

I tried it the way as described in Martins BIOS Modding Guide:
  • I opened the md5k11B.bin image in one DOS-box with modbin6 1.00.48 and took the resulting original.bin to edit it with hiew in another DOS-box.

    Trying to copy back the moded original.bin to the modbin directory resulted in a sharing violation.
    There is a file lock on original.bin while modbin is running - what else should I expect?
How can I get around that problem? Any idea?

I'll try it with AWDHack in pure DOS :!:

apple_rom wrote: >If you find some more info it would be great.
What particularly it is necessary?
Should I be honest?

Everything! :oops:

No, to be serious.
I'd like to have a real CMOS setup instead of this crippled one.
PC Health Status, Frequency/Voltage Control and of course all that items to do a little tuning. :wink:
Overall this means, most of the options shown in modbin.

But I think this would be hard work and I don't wanna bother you with that.

So all I hope for is advice from you!

THANX ahead,

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 6:30 am
by mittern8
Nope - neither AWDhack nor the method described by BiosMan worked for me. :evil:

In Win XP while saving the updated BIOS-image I get the message:
!!!File 2MBIOS.BIN can't open!Thanks for using ModBin6 1.00.48
What is that (temporary) 2MBIOS.BIN?

And, might this result from some kind of code shift or an incorrect checksum?

Bet no, because:

In Win ME, trying to copy the updated ORIGINAL.BIN over the unmodified one I get a sharing violation, access denied.

Again, any suggestion?
Maybe I should install an older copy of Win 3.11 :lol:

Well, I jope I'm not to annoying :!:


BTW, what happened to apple_rom? Noticed his site has been suspended suddenly...

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2003 10:19 pm
by Rainbow
Some of the Award utilities do not work properly in Windows 2K/XP. They work OK in Windows 95/98/ME. To replace the original.tmp in BIOS, I use some other method using LHA compression utility and a program that can split files. Should be described in some other thread in this section (IIRC, something about >32GB patch).

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 3:59 am
by apple_rom
2 mittern8
For "packing" original.tmp after editing into bin-file.
1. Compress original.bin with LHA.
2. "Add" to this ("original.lzh") one byte (for example - with zeros) - for CRC.
3. "Add" to this ("original.lzh"+1byte) preliminary kept file with all packed "parts" (except packed original.tmp+CRC-byte). For this look up end of packed original.tmp (with search by "-lh"-string, begin is two byte on left side) in bin-file with hex-editor. End of "all_other_parts" is begin of FFFFFFF...
4. Write result file ("original.lzh"+1byte+all_other_parts) to begin of bin-file.
5. Recalculate CRC "new" bin-file with update in modbin.

Posted: Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:29 am
by mittern8
Guys, you are very helpfull!
Yeah I have read that postings (mainly from NickS) and they figured out as a little bit tricky and I'm new in this area.
So I wanted to do it the easy way.

But I already thought, that it would be the best way to strip down the image file with LHA and CBROM, than do modifications, LHArc it and add the other modules with CBROM again.
What I've been looking for was a more detailed information as given by apple_rom.
Thanks for that, pal!

Concerning the interdependence of Award tools and OSes I did my experiments on different plattforms now ( XP, ME and 98 ) but none of them lead me to satisfying results.
I also used different versions of that tools ( ModBin6 1.00.12, 1.00.38, 1.00.48 ).
Both 1.00.38, 1.00.48 came up with that File 2MBIOS.BIN can't open! error on XP and a file sharing violation in ME/98.
1.00.12 didn't show errors on 98/ME, but didn't reassamble the image. (But this gave me at least the chance to take a look into this 2MBIOS.)

Well, I'll stick to that and waste some more time on it till I (hopefully) can solve that problems.
Maybe it is worth doing that, because, as far as I heart, there are a bunch of new PCs anounced that are based on OEM boards from MSI (6701, 6703) and they probably will have a similar (crippled) BIOSes.

Furthermore it might be helpful to collect the informations to have a guide for modding new upcoming BIOSes without using the outdated ModBin tool.

THANX for now,