[Suggestion] Learn how to unlock the hidden menus of bios


Considering the recurrent requests, don’t you think it would be useful to put a tutorial online tutorial to learn how to unlock the hidden menus of bios

It will be very attrative for your site especially if the tutorials are effective…

Yes, please make one (Somebody, everybody!) And make sure it covers all type of BIOS >> AMI pre-Aptio IV, Aptio IV, Aptio V, Insyde, Phoenix (Old and new), and any others I forgot to mention

Just kidding, but yes, it would be great if someone had the time and knowledge to put something together like that. It’s too hard to do, even for one type of BIOS, different brands can do things in different ways, so even a “here’s how to unlock Aptio V” guide wouldn’t cover even half of all Aptio V BIOS.

Do you edit BIOS @Kjose ? If yes, what do you feel you are best at doing? I’ve written a few little nuggets and some short guides around here, but nothing really in depth or all-encompassing for any BIOS type.
I hate Insyde BIOS, but can do it sometimes. I rarely mess with Phoenix menus, doing certain menu edits on older BIOS give me hassles now since it’s been so long too. I feel I do best with Aptio 4 or Aptio V, I think my best knowledge is with Aptio V BIOS
All the above is in regards to menu editing, stuff like microcodes or other roms, that’s not usually a problem to update for most any BIOS type

I’d love to put together a BIOS editing team, find out who’s best at what, get all of our helpful notes and nuggets we know all use together and written down in one place. Then try to teach each other all we know for whatever area we excel in, that would be awesome!
It’s so hard to find good info to absorb sometimes, guides are hidden in random places around the web, some half hidden unless you have xx posts or pay to join, others lost to time and aren’t archived.

@Lost_N_BIOS For the moment I don’t pretend to edit bios because I’m not invented methods for that, but I would like to know some possibilities and that’s why I made this suggestion .

Starting with a material at hand is a good source of motivation, but without a precise guide it is impossible. Collecting the decisive technical data seems to me essential and indeed too often when the information is fragmented it is very difficult to progress very quickly .

Then there are huge testing phases that could be reduced, I tried to find bios emulators/simulators/virtualisers (to test a bios quickly) and I didn’t find any really interesting information, which would be exceptional to progress https://sourceforge.net/p/bochs/discussi…hread/8ff10850/ even if it is possible but unexplored (correct me if I’m wrong).

@Kjose - all you have to do is tinker, research, tinker some more, test, fail, test more, learn etc. All this requires editing BIOS all the time, to best absorb and retain the knowledge.
And you need at least a BIOS programmer and cables, and a few boards of different BIOS types/series to edit yourself to learn how things work/fail.

I’ve never seen the tool you linked, interesting thing! Is there a “Windows” or image to be used with VMware for that BOCHS? That’s the only thing I’ve ever seen that would be close to a BIOS emulator.
I think VMware in general can maybe use other than VMware BIOS, but I’ve never tried it or looked into that, have you?
* Edit - downloaded thatBOCHS to check it out, but sad to see >> The usage of external large BIOS images (up to 512k) at memory top is # now supported, so doubt it would be of any good use on any modern BIOS

What kind of BIOS are you interested in editing right now? Maybe I could link you to some specific info for that BIOS type.

@Lost_N_BIOS I don’t have an image with a BIOS, however VMWare only tolerates the 440BX+BIOS Phoenix chipset-motherboard components, which goes back more than 20 years.

The BIOS is systematically associated with a chipset (a priori), so if the chipset is not virtualizable the BIOS no longer have.

If you have any information to unlock the Phoenix SecureCore Tiano BIOS menus they will be welcome, on some systems it is impossible to disable the integrated GPU from a BIOS menu. There are really references to avoid so sometimes you have to do things by yourself…

Phoenix BIOS, I only have two versions of Phoenix BIOS editor to work with some BIOS, rest some old decompressor tools I have for those, and of course CBROM
Link me to BIOS you are trying to disable iGPU in and I will see if I can find method.

@Lost_N_BIOS Blocking the GPU was just an example and the ability to display a menu that allows you to switch at will is not systematic which can be problematic in case of overheating on certain models

Well not all BIOS are same as you know, so I’d have to look at example BIOS that is giving you issue, to see if I could find method required to do whatever you wanted.

But how can we learn with tools that do not work systematically ?

Even with a generic bios (same brand and same references) completely unlocked - to compare it with the blocked one - you have to know how to identify the sectors and their functions and it’s not a matter of luck.

I want to get “linked in” here, too.
Cause i need to modify an no longer supported GIGABYTE Z170X SOC FORCE BIOS (latest rev: 20K) to unlock the hidden THUNDERBOLT settings.
For all kind of ASRock BIOS files i always used AMIBCP rev 5.02.0023 - but ASRock Files are at this time the only BIOS files which i was able to save after modifying them for my deserved needs.
I’ve tested a lot of other manufactors like GIGABYTE, ASUS, MSI etc - but all of them make AMIBCP crash when it comes to save the edited entrys.

So for now i am looking for some othe ways on how to unlock hidden menus. For right now i only need to unlock the Thunderbolt settings within the above mentined GIGABYTE BIOS for Z170X SOC FORCE.
Also as mentioned befor the BIOS file could be opened in AMIBCP, also could be edited to unlock the hidden features, but it comes to save the so midfied File, AMIBCP will crash immediatly. So we need to find
an other way to unlock hidden menus.

I also was able to extract the right section of BIOS file with UEFI tool and extract needed settings with ifrextractor - but it seems there is no way to get the so edited settings back into the BIOS file, cause IFRExtractor
only “extract” those sections, but seems not to be able to write back edited sections back into the BIOS file - or i just even don’t know how to do so.