« Last post by mtothaj on Today at 07:23:40 am »
I hope this is my last post before I get my hands on the board!
According to this thread: http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Business-PCs-Workstations-and-Point-of-Sale-Systems/z820-e5-2600-v2-ivy-bridge-upgrade/td-p/5086052/page/7 , there's hope:
"I was pretty excited when I was able to dump the Descriptor section from my bios using FPT to a file desc.bin (fpt.exe -desc -d desc.bios). The result is a 4kb file. Then, using Intel Flash Image Tool (FITC) I edited Decriptor Region \ Master Access Section to remove the read / write locks. A problem however arouse on the last hurdle - flashing back the modified descriptor to the bios (fpt -desc -f desc.bin) as FPT reports that 'host CPU does not have write access to the target flash region'. It suggests modifing the descriptor settings (clearly just tried that with no success) to give host access to this region."
I am the author of the post you quoted. Bear in mind that that discussion was pertaining to the Zx20. I have very little knowledge of the Zx00 platform, however do recall that the board itself underwent some revision during its lifetime (4 RAM slots and then 6 RAM slots) + supposedly some chipset changes so I can not comment whether just the changing the boot block will suffice in terms or running the newer processors.
As for the Zx20 and perhpas also the Zx00 there is a method of unlocking the descriptor - you need to connect / short pins 1 and 5 on the sound chip with a 1k ohm resistor during POST. THe board will be in debug mode until reset allowing you to fully dump your bios and to write to the descriptor and with the various jumpers (boot block, me) in place to the rest of the bios. Just bear in mind that it is VERY EASY to end up with a brick if this does not go according to plan. There may also be other security features / locks in place on the actual bios chip which despite the appearance that you are able to write to the bios from the chipset side will result in an error halfway through your write and render the board inoperable. ALso, since you will be able to write to the entire bios, it may be the case that a failed write will corrupt your boot block to the extent that you will be unable to recover using the boot block recovery feature. You have been warned.
Check my response to the Z420 bios thread on this forum, I outlined the steps needed to safely update the bios boot block in that thread - basically installing a socket and programming a new bios chip with an external programmer. An external programmer with a chip clip is perhaps also an option, however these can be hit and miss hence I would not recommend using one without being mentally prepared that it may be necessary to desolder the original bios if things do not go according to plan.
PS. re the picture you inserted - crisis recovery jumper is for restoring the bios using boot block recovery. It will not grant you write access to the boot block area (FF0000-FFFFFF on the Zx20). On the Zx20 boards there is a separate jumper for that.