Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to update to 2.x bios from 1.x bios (applicable for Acer\eMachines\Gateway\Packard Bell)

For its recent laptop models; Acer (and its subsidiaries) choose a weird way of delivering bios updates. When a model is sold without Windows 8, then it is delivered with 1.x bios which lacks UEFI booting and Secure Boot support. If the same model is sold with Windows 8, then its is delivered with 2.x bios with the option of UEFI booting and Secure Boot.

Problem is an user can't update from 1.x bios to 2.x bios with the downloaded bios update. Its shows: "Please update to the same type of bios (v.1.x)".

To avoid this detection, we have to hex-edit a bit. ;)

Open the bios update application with your favorite hex editor and locate the following:
DisableSecureCapsuleFlash=1
Change it as follows:
DisableSecureCapsuleFlash=0
Save the changes. You can now update to 2.x using this modded bios. Flash from DOS or Windows.

If you can't find the above string in the bios update application, then we need to take another path.

Extract the application using 7-Zip and try to locate isflash.bin (which is your bios file) & platform.ini. Then open them with hex editor and change like above. Now flash using InsydeFlash.exe.

To overcome all of the checks, we need to edit more:
DisableCompare=0
to
DisableCompare=1
&
SkipSecureBootProtectionCheck=0
to
SkipSecureBootProtectionCheck=1

If you want a SLIC mod, then mod the downloaded bios update using andyp's tool. We have to alter another thing to flash the SLIC modded bios.

Again open the bios update application with your favorite hex editor and locate the following:
[ForceFlash]
ALL=0
Change it as follows:
[ForceFlash]
ALL=1

After updating to 2.x bios, you can safely update to subsequent updates without any modding. Note that you may have to re-install your previous Windows 8 installation after updating from 1.x to 2.x bios

Credit goes to conghoaxa1@MDL & thanh2h@MDL.