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Messages - Helgaiden

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1
Hardware projects / Re: Z420 BIOS mod
« on: May 10, 2017, 04:31:59 pm »
I posted a thread regarding modding the Z420/Z620 BIOS over on bios-mods.com, but to bypass the "press f1 to boot" issue. I hate to thread hijack but just wanted to throw it out there since this is on topic of modding that BIOS, do y'all think thats possible or doable? Thanks.

What is the reason you are getting the F1 prompts? If it is unplugged cables, you should be able to ground out the connections.

As for the bios it might be possible to unlock more bios menus / settings. I have looked at the Z420 bios by opening it with UEFI tool and extracting the IFR of the setup module - it seems to contain two sets of menus: HP menus and standard AMI menus. It might be possible to unlock the latter - there are various descriptions / guides on how to do this on bios modding forums. The challenge however would be flashing the contents back - mostl likely would have to be done from within the bios or if all else fails using an external programmer.
I have since sold my Z420 so unable to do any testing myself.

I wish it was that simple. The F1 prompts are because i have the Z620 motherboard in a standard case, and thus nothing is plugged into the rear fan header or the memory fan header. The rear fan header is 6 pin and if i plug a fan into the top 3 pins, one of the fan errors on bootup goes away but plugging another fan into the remaining 3 pins doesn't do anything, so it isn't exactly two 3 pin headers side by side. Some research on this showed that someone tried grounding the sense pin there, but the error didn't go away so im not sure what to make of that. The memory fan 6 pin connector on the mobo? That one i have no clue. I cant find a pinout, so i dont know which is the sense pin to try to bypass the error with.

As far as the BIOS modding stuff goes, yes as far as im aware the big issue is the encryption when trying to flash a modded BIOS back on. Thats a very interesting development in that it has the standard AMI menus hidden, but i've found 0 resources on modding this BIOS online. My thread on bios-mods.com has zero responses as well. Something tells me it isnt so easy to mod this BIOS. If you think you can pull that off, i could be swayed to send you my board to figure it out with.

Extracting the setup module from within the Z420 / Z620 bios shows we have the following menus available:


                                   Form Sets
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Offset:      Title:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
0xA5A6B      Main (0xA)
0xA8E6A      Advanced (0x20)
0xAC476      Chipset (0x22)
0xAD55D      Boot (0x24)
0xAE5B8      Security (0x3F)
0xAF329      Save & Exit (0x53)
0xAFB64      File (0x6F)
0xB03AA      Storage (0x85)
0xB1E1A      Security (0x3F)
0xB4CDC      Power (0xAE)
0xB570B      Advanced (0x20)

So there are 2 sets of menus - first 6 items are the locked AMI menus and the next 5 items is the standard HP menu. These are turned of using ""Suppress If:" There are some good guides available on how to unlock these hidden menus however not HP specific and I don't have the links available since I migrated to a new board.
As for flashing modified bioses to an extent it is possible from within the actual bios by just using the rom file. If something does not go to plan boot block recovery is always an option.

PS. What is the config of your Z620?

Ah, interesting info. What do you mean by asking the config of the Z620? Currently the mobo isn't sitting in anything, but the original plan was to use it with a single E5-1620 or 1650 (probably the 1650) as a secondary workstation in a standard ATX case.

2
About the cable sensing, I know it's by grounding the "detect cable" pin...
About the thermal sensor, here's some insight: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/HP-xw-SERIES-THERMAL-SENSOR-TRANSISTOR-SWAP-TUTORIAL/td-p/5156011
Pretty simple, huh? I just have to check for pinout in xw series service manual.

I've just got my board, it had some bent socket pins on CPU1, I'll fix it later when I get my hands on some test CPUs...
BTW, it's rev 03 :)

But I'll try to find a way to disable the BIOS BootBlock WP, I have all the tools to hack it and get it back in one piece. ;)

Of course I'll get it running before messing around  :P

All the tools to hack it? Like to modify the BIOS and flash a modded BIOS back to the board?

3
Hardware projects / Re: Z420 BIOS mod
« on: May 03, 2017, 04:12:17 pm »
I posted a thread regarding modding the Z420/Z620 BIOS over on bios-mods.com, but to bypass the "press f1 to boot" issue. I hate to thread hijack but just wanted to throw it out there since this is on topic of modding that BIOS, do y'all think thats possible or doable? Thanks.

What is the reason you are getting the F1 prompts? If it is unplugged cables, you should be able to ground out the connections.

As for the bios it might be possible to unlock more bios menus / settings. I have looked at the Z420 bios by opening it with UEFI tool and extracting the IFR of the setup module - it seems to contain two sets of menus: HP menus and standard AMI menus. It might be possible to unlock the latter - there are various descriptions / guides on how to do this on bios modding forums. The challenge however would be flashing the contents back - mostl likely would have to be done from within the bios or if all else fails using an external programmer.
I have since sold my Z420 so unable to do any testing myself.

I wish it was that simple. The F1 prompts are because i have the Z620 motherboard in a standard case, and thus nothing is plugged into the rear fan header or the memory fan header. The rear fan header is 6 pin and if i plug a fan into the top 3 pins, one of the fan errors on bootup goes away but plugging another fan into the remaining 3 pins doesn't do anything, so it isn't exactly two 3 pin headers side by side. Some research on this showed that someone tried grounding the sense pin there, but the error didn't go away so im not sure what to make of that. The memory fan 6 pin connector on the mobo? That one i have no clue. I cant find a pinout, so i dont know which is the sense pin to try to bypass the error with.

As far as the BIOS modding stuff goes, yes as far as im aware the big issue is the encryption when trying to flash a modded BIOS back on. Thats a very interesting development in that it has the standard AMI menus hidden, but i've found 0 resources on modding this BIOS online. My thread on bios-mods.com has zero responses as well. Something tells me it isnt so easy to mod this BIOS. If you think you can pull that off, i could be swayed to send you my board to figure it out with.

4
Hi !

I'm wondering these post messages make pressing F1 a requirement: ???

If yes, has anyone managed to get these ports "sensed".

I've just ordered a Z800 board and I need to get this problem solved, It'll be used as a server!

Have a look at Attilio's posts on page 14

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Hardware projects / Re: Z420 BIOS mod
« on: April 19, 2017, 02:37:35 pm »
I posted a thread regarding modding the Z420/Z620 BIOS over on bios-mods.com, but to bypass the "press f1 to boot" issue. I hate to thread hijack but just wanted to throw it out there since this is on topic of modding that BIOS, do y'all think thats possible or doable? Thanks.

6
Here are more pics showing my Z800 MB fitted into a Thermaltake Armor+ VH6000 case with some fancy blue leds. The PSU is a TDPS-825AB from an xw serie desktop. The setup includes the temp sensor, firewire, usb connections to the front panel which silence many POST warnings about missing cables.  Now, only a back panel is missing, plus some fans providing input so to silence the POST warning about missing memory and rear fans. Job almost done :-)

Nice job, especially with the cables. The motherboard itself looks like a tight fit into the case. Did you drill your own holes in the motherboard tray to get it to line up correctly?

Thanks a lot: none of the original mainboard holes matched those on the case. First, I made myself a paper mask where i marked with a pencil the position of the holes in the MB, then I taped the mask to the case and drilled the metal. The result was a more or less good match of the 6 holes.

Now, this evening I fixed also the issue with the bios complaining about the missing memory fan. The original Z800 case had 2 rear fans, and the bios will complain if at least one of the TACH1 and TACH2 signals is absent. As my case has only room for one (big) fan, I modified the fan connector so that the TACH signal is split and reported to both TACH1 and TACH2 on the mainboard. The attached picture is taken from the rear, through an empty expansion slot, and shows the hacked fan connector (did something similar with the DASH connector) to silence another warning). FYI, the rear fan conn pinout is GND, +5V, TACH1, PWM1, TACH2,PWM2 from pin 1 to 6, where pin 1 is that closer to the expansion slots.Notice how pins 3 and 5 are connected together, whereas pins 4 and 6 are left unconnected as my rear fan is not PWM capable.

And this is the adaptor I built to connect a standard 4-pin fan to the memory fan socket. it takes +12V, GND, two TACH signals and one PWM (one is left unused) from the mainboard. The two TACH inputs to the mainboard are driven by the same TACH output of the fan. That was enough to silence the BIOS warning about the missing  mem fan. And this was the last warning: now I boot straight into the OS without need to press F1 no more :-)

Hi Attilio. I have this same issue with the F1 errors as everyone else experiences but with a different motherboard. The Z620/Z420 model, to be specific. The 6 pin "fan header" on the rear of the board is for a two fan kit and the weird memory fan connector is a 6 pin type. Here is a picture of the board:



[heres the link in case the picture doesn't work]
http://imgur.com/a/XIWZB

Would this be something you can maybe help me with? I'd happily buy adapters like you made from you, that would be awesome.

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