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MBX-160 , Rev: v1.1 , Chipset: Intel 945GM
#1
I have created this thread so that I can store all of the information that I have figured out about my notebook and its motherboard online (basically an information dumping area). I am going to be making modifications to this post/thread as I gather more information about my notebook. I will also be uploading more pictures over time. This thread is an ongoing work in progress.

This thread will be divided into sections and sub-sections. There will be three main sections (Basic/notebook info, BIOS info, & General Motherboard info). The BIOS section will have many sub-sections including a large list of discovered NVRAM values found by investigating TEMPLAT0.ROM and STRINGS0.ROM.

If you are looking for a schematic for this exact revision of the board, I do not have one. I can link you to schematics of other closely related revisions of this board, but they may or may not be useful for this custom Sony board.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NOTEBOOK INFO

BASIC INFO:
•Manufacturer: Sony
•Model: Vaio VGN-N250E/b (VGN-N = series)
•Compatible BIOS versions:
-[Current and original] R0070J4 (December 6, 2006)
-[Tested and works] R0030J4
•Motherboard Model: Sony MBX-160 MS71 Rev: v1.1
•Chipset: Intel 945GM

ADVANCED INFO:
(If specs are in one section, but not the other, it is most likely due to the fact that the hardware has not changed)

[Original] Specs:
•Operating System: [OEM] Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
•System BUS/FSB: 533 MHz
•CPU: Intel T2250 Core Duo 32-bit
-1.73 GHz
-Caches:
+T1 Cache: 64KB (32KB - Instruction, 32KB - Data)
+T2 Cache: 2MB
-Socket: 479 mPGA
-Technology: Yonah 65nm

•RAM:
-Manufacturer:
-Size: 1GB (512MBx2), 200-pin
-Speed: DDR2 PC-
-Electrical: 1.8v

•LCD:
-Size: 15.4"

•DVD Drive:
Model: AW-G540A -V2
Electrical: 5V = 1.5A
Firmware: v1.74
Compatibility:

•Wireless Networking: Intel Pro/Wireless 3945ABG
-Antenna: (Generic)

[Current] Specs:
•Operating System: [Genuine] Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32-bit SP1
•System BUS/Clock: 667MHz
•CPU: Intel T2700 Core Duo 32-bit
-Cores: 2
-External Clock Rate: 166 MHz
-[Default] Multiplier: 14x
- 2.33GHz
- Caches:
+ 64KB L1 Cache (32KB instruction, 32 KB data)
+ 2MB L2 Cache
-Socket: 479 mPGA
-Technology: Yonah 65nm
-Product Invented: 2007

•RAM:
-Manufacturer: PNY
-Size: 4GB (2GBx2), 200-pin
-Speed: {current} DDR2 PC2-5300 667MHz CL5 (4-4-4-12), Dual Channel
-Electrical: 1.8v

•Wireless Networking: Intel Pro/Wireless 6235 Advanced-N 150Mbps
-Wifi Antenna: Tyco Wifi & Bluetooth Antenna

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BIOS INFO


BIOS UNLOCKING:

I have found 3 parent menus that are "hidden" (unreferenced) in my BIOS image. Among these are the "INTEL" "ICH Workarounds:" and "MCH Workarounds:" menus.

INTEL Menu: The Intel menu contains a lot of interesting options and is usually the primary unlocking goal of most bios unlockers. It contains the 5 sub-menus in its normal state.

I have found a 6th menu called the "Workaround Control Sub-Menu" that I think also goes under the Intel Menu, but almost all of the options that I can think of that would go under it are in the other Intel menus (especially the "Video (Intel IGD) Control Sub-Menu").

MCH Workarounds: : This menu is full of Memory Cache settings. It controls cache ranges and the writing state of each. You can also set system BIOS and Video BIOS caching areas or even disable memory cache altogether.

ICH Workarounds: : I know that ICH stands for "I/O Controller Hub" and deals with South Bridge settings, but I am not sure what goes under it.




CURRENT MODIFICATIONS:

Parent Menus:
•Intel
•ICH Workarounds:
•MCH Workarounds:

Sub-Menus/Options:
•INTEL>Workaround Control Sub-Menu
•Advanced>(4 keyboard settings)
•Advanced>Frequency Ratio
•INTEL>CPU Control Sub-Menu>Dothan CPU Control Sub-Menu>
•reorganized the CPU Control Sub-Menus


NOTE: (Frequency Ratio) This setting controls the CPU external clock multiplier. It won't actually change anything as the CPU has a factory PLL lock. This setting is probably supposed to go under the INTEL Menu, but I was replacing a duplicated (located in both the INTEL and Advanced Menus) "Core Multi-Processing" option. The Frequency Ratio setting was not originally under any menu in the BIOS.

EXCLUDED MODIFICATIONS:
•Power Options. Reason: I found a lot of power settings in a setup table in TEMPLAT0.ROM, but I am not sure what menu they are supposed to go under...




Here is a list of some of the NVRAM Registers that I have traced from the NVRAM Token Table dump to their respective settings in TEMPLAT0.ROM/STRINGS0.ROM (These settings are now editable without flashing the BIOS or even entering the BIOS menus themselves):

•All of the memory cache settings in the "MCH Workarounds:" BIOS menu. •Passive TC1 & Passive TC2 Values •DTS Enable •Processor Power Mangement •DTS Calibration •Frequency Ratio •MEF Support •EMA Support •Critical Trip Point •Active Trip Point •ALS Support •FACP - PM Timer Flag Value •Enhanced C-states enable •Fast C4 Exit Support •Thermal Control Circuit •PROCHOT# Enable •DBS Cycling Temperature •PCI Clock Run •Serial IRQ Quiet Mode •BIOS iAMTx •Thermal Offset •Thermal Monitor Enable •AC97 Modem PME Enable •Clock Power Management •On-board LAN •Root Port ASPM Support •Timestamp Counter Updates •PXE OPROM •Memory Throttling •TS on DIMM •Port 80h Cycles •Spread Spectrum Clock Chip •!!PCI Express Graphics Port!! •PCI Express Root port settings (such as PCI Express - Root Port 1) •GPLL Power-Down Enable •Azalia - Device 27, Function 0 •a lot of options corresponding to different settings each with the name "Minor Standard" •Vaio Animation Logo •Set Max Ext CPUID = 3 •External Drive Boot •!!VT Feature!! •!!Enhanced AHCI!! •Fast String Operations (NOTE: "FOR DEBUG ONLY") •Installed O/S •Numlock •Hot-Plug Bus Gap •I/O (this is literally the entire name of the option) •various hard drive settings such as "heads" "cylinders" "sectors" etc. •!!Pre-allocated Memory Size (Graphics memory setting)!! •!!Total Graphics Memory (another graphics setting)!! •BIA Control •GMCH BLC Control (backlight/inverter setting) •etc etc etc


EDIT (May 25, 2014): I updated the BIOSfiles.rar archive.


LINKS:

•R0070J4 BIOS:
.rar   R0070J4_BIOSfiles.rar (Size: 1.8 MB / Downloads: 627)
-NOTE: "bios.wph" within this file is a CONFIRMED WORKING and FLASHABLE image
-NOTE: This archive contains documentation of this mod and several other useful files related to the modding of this BIOS/addition of platform data to it.
•R0030J4 BIOS:
.rar   R0030J4.rar (Size: 597.93 KB / Downloads: 87)
-NOTE: "R0030J4.wph" within this file is a CONFIRMED WORKING and FLASHABLE image. This file was placed into a separate file for uploading purposes and is still the image that was used to insert the platform data into the R0070J4 BIOS image.

!!!!!PLEASE READ!!!!!! Our Ukrainian friends are undergoing atrocities right now and need support. There are two things you can do for starters:

1.) Donate to one of various organizations offering medical, military, and psychological support to those impacted: Support Organizations

2.) Combat misinformation on social media. 

Also, please feel free to PM me if I have not replied again about your BIOS mod request after 5 days.
www find
quote
#2
I see this is a .rar file. I will download once I get home, but I would like to know: does this contain an executable file? And if so: can it be run under Windows XP? I would like to install this modified BIOS to my VGN-N160G to take advantage of the newly accessible options, also to explore to try to find an AHCI option for my SATA. Thanks!
find
quote
#3
Hello blockofdynamite,

I actually have another version of this mod: http://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread-Un...4#pid74294

The version in the link is a cleaner mod. Menus that were unlocked that are currently inaccessible, but visible were removed until they can be made accessible (I am still investigating it).

You can flash either one. I would recommend the linked one for now though.

-------------

No, the archive does not contain an executable. You will need to flash from DOS. Go to the BIOS Update section of this website (look at the bar near the top of the page) for instructions on how to flash your BIOS using DOS. Be sure to follow the instructions for Phoenix.

AHCI and VT-x are both unlocked.


~Steven

!!!!!PLEASE READ!!!!!! Our Ukrainian friends are undergoing atrocities right now and need support. There are two things you can do for starters:

1.) Donate to one of various organizations offering medical, military, and psychological support to those impacted: Support Organizations

2.) Combat misinformation on social media. 

Also, please feel free to PM me if I have not replied again about your BIOS mod request after 5 days.
www find
quote
#4
Exclamation 
Hmm... I have downloaded the .rar file with the .wph bios file in it. I've tried the steps on the page that tells how to update the bios but I cannot boot from the usb drive it creates the DOS on. My computer supports booting from usb and it sees the drive but it won't see the os to boot from. Any suggestions? Maybe is there an .iso file you have/could make to image a usb drive with? All I've ever used to update the bios is an executable from sony, so is there a way to somehow slip your modified bios into a program like such? I would put myself considerably above average for computer knowledge but I've never dealt with modified bios images or things of the like.
find
quote
#5
Thank you! !!!!!
find
quote
#6
hello!
i have a sony vaio vgn-n38z with same mbx-160 and i have R0100J4 bios version.
can you also unlock this one?
my problem is that i have 4GB ram installed but because of the disabled memory remap feature i can only acces 3GB with 64bit OS...


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
           

.rom   PhoenixTechnologiesLTD-R0100J4.rom (Size: 1 MB / Downloads: 10)
find
quote
#7
Hello sickplanet,

I was unable to fix this issue on my MBX-160 motherboard. I believe the issue was within my laptop's chipset. The maximum amount of memory that I would be able to get for my use is ~3.25GB, but I would need memory remapping knowledge that I do not possess.

I am, however, able to unlock the hidden Intel Menu within your BIOS image. This would include settings such as hardware virtualization, AHCI, and others. If you still want a BIOS mod anyways, please continue reading.

Since BIOS dumps do not contain special BIOS flashing instructions and other data known as platform data, I would need to take platform data from a similar BIOS image and apply it to your BIOS dump in order to make it flashable. I would need to know what your notebook's chipset is to do this. Could you download CPU-Z (just google search it), install it, launch it, click the "Mainboard" tab, and tell me what it says in the circled section from the attached picture?

~Steven


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
   

!!!!!PLEASE READ!!!!!! Our Ukrainian friends are undergoing atrocities right now and need support. There are two things you can do for starters:

1.) Donate to one of various organizations offering medical, military, and psychological support to those impacted: Support Organizations

2.) Combat misinformation on social media. 

Also, please feel free to PM me if I have not replied again about your BIOS mod request after 5 days.
www find
quote
#8
sickplanet
Open Device Manager, click View at the top of the Device Manager window, click Resources by type, and then select Memory. This should give you an output similar to the picture shown below
[Image: MemoryMap_Enduro.jpg]
Resize such window to show all information. Make and post a screenshot of it.
find
quote
#9
job done! sorry for the delay


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
       
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quote
#10
(02-24-2018, 03:39 PM)Sml6397 Wrote: Could you download CPU-Z (just google search it), install it, launch it, click the "Mainboard" tab, and tell me what it says in the circled section from the attached picture?
is already present in my 1st post
find
quote


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