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Solomon

A possible solution to solve Non-Compatibility for MXM

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Solomon

Greetings everyone,

I'm going to be an owner of a X100 from Shuttle tomorrow and when I want to accomplish something I'll try my hardest to figure out a way.

Here's my quest ...

I've noticed from here that Gateway makes basically the standard MXM Type III modules from Quanta. I noticed that the folks who have used these modules are saying that the computer boots up, but nothing on the screen. Well I might have a possible solution for this but not entirely sure if it will work or not.

Talking with NVIDIA, the MXM list on their website are system builders that do use the MXM module. The problem people seem to be facing are that the cards are flashed with a BIOS that is sort of like how SLI and Crossfire work. The card checks to see if it's the correct system that it's installed in. From what users so far have experienced is that the card doesn't show any conflicts (by their system booting completely) but the screen doesn't output anything.

My solution is this:

I'm in early talks with a well known BIOS flasher to see if he can alter his flash program to recognize the GPU modules on the MXM cards. Considering it's a PCIe slot the flasher might just think it's a normal graphics card slot like AGP.

We do know for a fact that you can flash your desktop GPU to another brand if you shall so. This is what we have to find out if it's possible first.

Second, I'm trying to secure a reference MXM BIOS file for use with the flasher to overwrite the BIOS on these Quanta / Gateway cards. If these cards are successfully flashed it would turn the MXM modules into a reference module which in theory should be recognized by any motherboard.

Now you are saying "Well how can we flash it if we can't see any output" ... Well this is pretty easy as the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a bootable floppy or CDROM set before switching the cards. You can then have an autoexec file do all the necessary type entering that you need to do for the flashing of the BIOS. This should help those who have tried the Quanta's and booted but with no screen.

Of course all of this in theory and if these modules are anything like normal GPU desktop modules then the idea above should work...

I'll update this thread when I get more info from NVIDIA and the Flash Guy...

Regards,

3DChipset.com

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mobilenvidia

Could the Video BIOS be chacking the system subsys numbers to match the orignal system it came from ?

A bit like OEM driver INFs that only work with EOM"S subsys numbers.

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®®®
Now you are saying "Well how can we flash it if we can't see any output"
Solomon, it's not that this is LOST KNOWLEDGE... i think all we longtime NV enthusiasts have done that 4 or 5 years ago flashing our Desktop GeForce card with a modified VBIOS (RayAdams BIOS Editor) with help of a floppy disk (no USB stick at these days :) ) and a nvflash commandline in autoexec and the .ROM file on the floppy. That should be least problem.

Altering VBIOS of MXM cards is another story of course. But i have the feeling that this is definitely possible. It might be only a hex mod...changing a value from 1 to 0 or the like. To find that value which checks DMI or BIOS strings of Laptops Mainboard/Baseboard is the quest... i would assume.

Keep us informed about the progress :)

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mobilenvidia

May mean changing the vendor and susbys numbers to what ever the card came from.

Also not going to be easy to test, as if it goes wrong you may end up with a blank screen laptop.

A docking station with a PCI graphics capable card is recommened here.

But definitly interested if this works

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changing the vendor and susbys numbers to what ever the card came from.
NVFLASH supports all these. Have a look at /? to see 3 pages of commands :)

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Solomon

That's what I'm thinking... The MXM modules should in theory be treated like a desktop video card. That's the goal I think NVIDIA wanted to achieve with MXM.

Could the Video BIOS be chacking the system subsys numbers to match the orignal system it came from ?

A bit like OEM driver INFs that only work with EOM"S subsys numbers.

Yeah, That's what I'm going to try to discover if the BIOS's are just that a typical video bios. I wonder if Ice-Tea ever flashed a 7800 GO with a 7800 GTX video bios. Just first alter the timings of the core and memory and the just try to flash it. :-)

Solomon, it's not that this is LOST KNOWLEDGE... i think all we longtime NV enthusiasts have done that 4 or 5 years ago flashing our Desktop GeForce card with a modified VBIOS (RayAdams BIOS Editor) with help of a floppy disk (no USB stick at these days :) ) and a nvflash commandline in autoexec and the .ROM file on the floppy. That should be least problem.

Altering VBIOS of MXM is another story of course. But i have the feeling that this is definitely possible. It might be only a hex mod...changing a value from 1 to 0 or the like. To find that value which checks DMI or BIOS strings of Laptops Mainboard/Baseboard is the quest... i would assume.

Keep us informed about the progress :)

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Ice-Tea

Hey Solomon,

That's pretty much what I wanted to do for some time.

Bu the problem is that I can't seel to find a decent 7800 Go vBios. Problem seems to be that most flash readers yield corrupt results. I even started a thread on this on mvktech, where I found out about these problems.

Perhaps your 'friend' would be able to get a standard 7800 MXM vBios, eh? That's one of the questions I'll be sending his way :)

Ice-Tea

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®®®

I would also assume (in order for you to find a "reference"/"unlocked"/"unmodified" MXM board with a reference VBIOS) that you need

  • 1. to know and write down PCB revisions of MXM modules and
    2. compare these PCB numbers of the MXM modules which are in your list in order to find similar boards

PCB revision numbers are printed on the MXM modules. For example model P345, P262, P229H1 or NV28 P138.

Here's an example:

mxm.p263.jpg

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3DChipset

Well the update to the Shuttle X100 was halted. The X100 is completely capable of holding a Type III MXM card with no problem. The problem is when the card and everything was secured the computer wouldn't even turn on.

I'm wondering if that has happened to update users? When they swapped cards the computer just completely refused to reboot? Or it booted for ya with no picture?

Regards,

Solomon

3DChipset.com

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