Dell Optiplex 780 Intel Raid Option ROM ICH10DO 3TB Drive help

We all know the story, we plug in some new hardware and find out, oops doesn’t work as expected.

I have two Optiplex MT 780’s that I use in my personal business. One tower is the server and presently houses 2 1TB Drives Raid 1 Mirror via Matrix Storage Manager, also could use RST. Have had similar systems with this RAID array in the past, and drives have followed/upgraded/etc. Just works.

Operating System is Windows 7 x64

Anyways, 1TB of storage mirrored is running out of space, didn’t want to just double the space with new 2TB drives, so went 3TB, now the troubles.

Current Optiplex 780 with latest BIOS A15 has Intel Option ROM and now we see the problem. Thanks to this forum and it’s resources I have learned about the 765GB limit (which I experienced although more extreme, system will not boot to existing drives (even non raid) with new drives attached to controller in AHCI Raid Mode). I learned about the possibility of replacing the option ROM within the BIOS with one available via this website to version 11.x.x being preferable.

I just don’t know how to get the process going.

I can extract the .rom file from the A15 BIOS Executable, but then I’m at a loss of what to do with it from there, then ultimately, how to flash a Dell BIOS file onto a system that’s already running A15.

I know where the post is but at 100’s of pages I just can’t find enough info on what do to exactly. Never done this before, although I am Tech Savvy as a former IT Manager, this one is something delicate I’d appreciate help on.

Thank you!

@chevydiesel :
Welcome to the Win-RAID Forum!

The procedure depends on the architecture of the BIOS (AMI or Award/Phoenix). >Here< is an introduction.

If you attach the extracted “pure” BIOS file as *.ZIP or *.RAR archive, I wll do a look into it.

The flashing of a modded BIOS into your Dell computer may be the biggest problem.

Dieter (alias Fernando)

I’ve PM’ed you the password for download.

It’s a RAR arhive with both a .rom and .hdr file (only two switches I found that work with the .exe flasher to export).

This is accomplished by running the O780-A15.exe /writeromfile or /writehdrfile

I read recently there is a recovery option that the Dell systems use with the .hdr file on some models for bricked systems. That may be the method to get the modified bios back onto the system.

Thank you for volunteering to take a look at this. From what I’ve read it’s a Phoenix Bios.

@chevydiesel :
Thanks for the link to the BIOS.
I was able to open it by using andyp’s PhoenixTool v2.73. The related download link can be found within the start post of >this< thread.
After having opened the BIOS file, you will be able to find the 70 KB sized Intel MSM RAID ROM v8.5.2.1002 within the DUMP folder. The related Intel RAID module is named 20_21.ROM. You can verify its content by opening the module with an Hex Editor like HxD.
Since I don’t have any own experience with andyp’s PhoenixTool, I cannot help you further on.
As far as I know, you will have to replace the 70 KB sized module named 20_21.ROM by a module with the same name, but an updated content. You need a >100 KB sized Intel RAID ROM version v10.5.x.xxxx or higher to get >2 TB sized RAID Volumes detected (best choice: v11.2.0.1527). You can find the download links to the appropriate Intel RAID ROM modules >here<. After having replaced the module named 20_21.ROM by the identically named module with the desired RAID ROM version, you will have to recreate the complete BIOS file by using the PhoenixTool and then to flash this modded BIOS.
If you have any further questions, please post them into the linked PhoenixTool thread.
Besides the problem to get the modded BIOS properly recovered and flashed, I want to let you know, that the procedure may fail nevertheless, if the Intel RAID ROM “loader”, which is within your original and modded BIOS, should not be able to load a >100 KB sized Intel RAID ROM module while booting. In this cas your RAID array will not be detected at all. This loader problem can only be solved by Dell as the manufacturer of your mainboard.

Good luck!

Thanks for your reply and info.

I looked at the referenced ROM with HxD and confirmed what you were looking at as well. I appreciate your time in looking at this bios with me.

I messaged the author of Phoenix Tool to see if there was any advise on using it just for this rom change. I will report back when I do this.