Asus N53 SN/SV - some tries to update bios

First of all, hello and many thanks to all for the work you’re doing here !

I’ve been reading the threads for a few times now and as the week end was rainy, why not updating the bioses of my laptop ?

Since some years, I have a N53JG (I5-480m) for the work and a N53SN (I7-2630qm) at home.

I made many many upgrades on the N53JG throw the years and now, it’s “like” a N53SN (because of the mainboard) with an I7-2860qm, 32go ram, 2 ssd, wifi intel 7260AC, full hd mate lcd panel, chicklet keyboard.
The original N53SN only get I7-2820qm, 32go ram and 1 ssd (+the original hd) and same wifi board and keyboard as the other one.

Since I have one I7-2630qm left, I also get a cheap spare N53SV MB to have some testing platform.

Well, all this is good, but what have I done with bioses ?

First, bios files I started from are already modded and Here (many thank’s to this guy who made the mod)

I upgrade to these versions when I upgrade to windows 8 few years ago and had issues with hotkeys (so I don’t know what he has done, I must ask someday … I think the mod is from the N53SM since the bios was updated by asus and the platform is not far from SN/SV)

This week end, I succesfully upgrade vbios from 2117 to 2171 (only 4 parameters were deleted, so really not hard)
No issue with this, my home N53SN is working well except bios doesn’t report any vbios version ?

I have understood that’s because of the version we delete when we import the parameters to vbios. The last line “ASID:xxxxxx” is what the bios is reporting into the version shown in bios. (for gpu-z, the version was always 2171 since the vbios upgrade).

With UBU, I updated microcodes for ivy and sandy (and also pxe, I think I will use it on the N53SV for tests)

All was ok for the testing N53SV and its 2630qm, but in bios of N53SN : no microcode reported ?

In fact, UBU doesn’t have 06-2a-06 microcode (cpuid 6a6) for sandy, and removed all the old sandybridge microcode.

If you have a I7-2820QM (ES ! I forgive to specify it), you must add 06-2a-06 microcode with mmtool in order to have the right microcode loaded.
Without microcode, you will have only GT1 (HD) detected and not GT2+ (HD3000) (for instance, but that’s what alarms me first).

I didn’t find any microcode up to 22, if anybody know if there’s one somewhere ? (N53SM didn’t help me) ==> found 28 from lenovo T420 bios

After this, I wanted to upgrade ME. But bios is locked.

So, I unlock all menus (it can help for other things), in order to have access to the “ME firmware re-flash” option.
This option is valid only after first reboot.
Flashing to the latest ME7 went ok. (As I can now make a full backup with fpt with the upgrade option of ME set, I made one at every step, before, I was only backing up the bios region)

Does anybody see what can be done more ?

I have tried to upgrade to ME8 … I knew it was 99% chance to brick the board but … with full backup and spi programmer, it was safe to make a try …

As expected, the board passed out … But I unplug the battery bios (and every power) and … it’s back to life !
You will have access to the bios and options, it only hang on final post with a “can’t send post to ME” or something like that (I didn’t take a screen shot).
With power on and battery bios replugged, I was able with “Me reflash formware” option enabled to reflash the ME7 region and unbrick the board without the use of spi programmer (booting on a usb key and no hd/sdd connected)

So with these boards, on ME firmware bad flash (and all options in bios available), you have a chance without spi programmer to unbrick it.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to upgrade the ME settings in bios to be able to upgrade to 8 version ? (as it’s booting with ME8, it looks like it should be possible ? )

Edit : found microcode version 28 for my 2820qm from t420 lenovo bios : seems to work very fine. (also seems to have two versions for this microcode : 2010-09-15 and 2017-09-24 ?? only found 2010-09-15)

Attached file : the full patched bios (only 2.5Mb bios region) for N53SN : working fine on my home laptop

Edit : Attached file : the full patched bios (only 2.5Mb bios region) for N53SV : ok for quick tests on my test platform (1.06 MB) (1.06 MB)


Just a little update as thank’s to Plutomaniac, I’m trying since yesterday evening the pre-production microcode for cpu 206a6, version 90030028 of 2010-09-24.

No issue from now. I only updated the N53SN as I have the i7-2820qm (es) on it.

Here is the bios I’m using (for a week now, except for the updated microcode I only updated yesterday), with vbios 2171 (and the latest ME 7) : same is running on my other N53SN with i7-2860QM at work. (1.06 MB)