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First post, by appiah4

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I have a K7VM2 motherboard with a very very limited BIOS. I want to enable some options (Mostly basic stuff such as Plug n Play OS option) and was wondering what are the right tools to use for manually editing a vintage BIOS and whether there are good tutorials for this kind of stuff.

Last edited by appiah4 on 2021-12-02, 11:16. Edited 1 time in total.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 1 of 13, by soggi

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I guess the K7VM2 has a AMI Core 6.xx BIOS - therefore you have to use AMIBCP 7.60. If you're lucky there are options to activate. The tool is self-explanatory, so you don't need any tutorial. BTW this is a DOS tool, you can't run it successfully within Windows - unlike the AMIBCP tools for the later AMI Core 7/8 BIOSes, which are Windows tools . You can also try the BIOS Patcher from rom.by for additional tuning.

kind regards
soggi

Last edited by soggi on 2021-11-30, 03:15. Edited 1 time in total.

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

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Reply 2 of 13, by appiah4

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soggi wrote on 2021-11-30, 03:13:

I guess the K7VM2 has a AMI Core 6.xx BIOS - therefore you have to use AMIBCP 7.60. If you're lucky there are options to activate. The tool is self-explanatory, so you don't need any tutorial. BTW this is a DOS tool, you can't run it successfully within Windows - unlike the AMIBCP tools for the later AMI Core 7/8 BIOSes, which are Windows tools . You can also try the BIOS Patcher from rom.by for additional tuning.

kind regards
soggi

After looking through a dozen or so versions of AMIBCP the only one I found to actually open the BIOS file was 7.00B12, but when I do this in DOSBOX it looks.. weird. I guess the columns on the left and right should not be empty? Should I try this in true DOS?

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Reply 3 of 13, by soggi

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Argh, this looks strange... Maybe this version is too early for this BIOS image!? Didn't ever try AMIBCP in DOSBox, only in Win98SE DOS (as mentioned: not in command on Windows) and it worked perfectly.

AMIBCP 7.60.04 can't open the image or didn't you found a source (here is one)!?

Actually I don't have a working Win98SE system, else I would test it on my own...I have to build one...I have to build a 3dfx system...I have to build...I have to do all the things on my to-do list...sorry, I digress! 😉

kind regards
soggi

Last edited by soggi on 2021-12-02, 00:38. Edited 1 time in total.

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...

Reply 4 of 13, by appiah4

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I did not have 7.5 or 7.6 but still same issue with both. I'm thinking it may be a DOSBOX problem, I'll try it in native DOS.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 5 of 13, by hyoenmadan

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Looks like your error is well known:
https://www.wimsbios.com/forum/post35948.html#p35948

It is caused by AMIBCP for DOS not being able to extract, load and use "Module 50", which is the module for language strings in last Core 070010 BIOSes. I'm not aware of any AMIBCP for DOS with this capability, but Core 0800 and later WinBCPs had it natively. I just couldn't find one which would work with Core 070010 BIOSes. I suspect WinBCPs from the v2.xx series can do it, but I couldn't made v2.25 BETA to work in my configuration (when opening the file, i get no error message, just an empty window with only the load and save buttons typical of MFC apps). And v2.42 is too new to open it.

You still can unhide certain options using AMIBCP for DOS v7.60, but you will have to do it "blind mode". The language strings for the setup options and messages are in "Module 50" which you can extract with the same tool, and try to match the strings with the empty options displayed by the tool.

You would like to have rom programmer just in case the tool corrupts the bios file on saving.

Reply 6 of 13, by appiah4

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hyoenmadan wrote on 2021-12-01, 21:58:
Looks like your error is well known: https://www.wimsbios.com/forum/post35948.html#p35948 […]
Show full quote

Looks like your error is well known:
https://www.wimsbios.com/forum/post35948.html#p35948

It is caused by AMIBCP for DOS not being able to extract, load and use "Module 50", which is the module for language strings in last Core 070010 BIOSes. I'm not aware of any AMIBCP for DOS with this capability, but Core 0800 and later WinBCPs had it natively. I just couldn't find one which would work with Core 070010 BIOSes. I suspect WinBCPs from the v2.xx series can do it, but I couldn't made v2.25 BETA to work in my configuration (when opening the file, i get no error message, just an empty window with only the load and save buttons typical of MFC apps). And v2.42 is too new to open it.

You still can unhide certain options using AMIBCP for DOS v7.60, but you will have to do it "blind mode". The language strings for the setup options and messages are in "Module 50" which you can extract with the same tool, and try to match the strings with the empty options displayed by the tool.

You would like to have rom programmer just in case the tool corrupts the bios file on saving.

Oh wow, that is so inconvenient.. I tried quite a few Win BCPs but they either can't open the file or report IO errors..

Could you possibly post the 2.24 and 2.45 versions of WinBCP here, I can't locate them online 🙁 Here are what I've been able to find so far, and none work - though BCP 7+ open the ROM but BIOS options are invisible, yet changeable.

BCP621.EXE
BCP624.EXE
BCP624T.EXE
BCP7B12.EXE
BCP751.EXE
BCP760.exe
WBCP301.exe
WBCP313.exe
WBCP346.EXE
WBCP351.exe
WBCP453.exe
WBCP455.exe
WBCP501.exe
WBCP502.exe

Also is the file supposed to have a certain name or extension for WinBCP?

I have a TL-866II so I guess I could do the EEPROM programming myself if I get the adapter for the package type.. But one thing at a time, let me figure out this BCP stuff first.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 7 of 13, by soggi

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As far as I know all these 2.xx and later Win versions only work correctly with AMI Core 7/8/Aptio BIOS images. For the previous AMI BIOSes up to Core 6.31 there were only DOS versions of AMIBCP.

ASRock has been founded as the cheap brand of ASUS back then and ASUS was well known for hindering from editing their BIOS images by adding obstacles starting in ~2000. ASRock could have adopt this behavior and if I remember correctly, this was the case.

kind regards
soggi

Vintage BIOSes, firmware, drivers, tools, manuals and (3dfx) game patches -> soggi's BIOS & Firmware Page

soggi.org on Twitter - talent borrows, genius steals...

Reply 8 of 13, by appiah4

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soggi wrote on 2021-12-02, 02:45:
As far as I know all these 2.xx and later Win versions only work correctly with AMI Core 7/8/Aptio BIOS images. For the previous […]
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As far as I know all these 2.xx and later Win versions only work correctly with AMI Core 7/8/Aptio BIOS images. For the previous AMI BIOSes up to Core 6.31 there were only DOS versions of AMIBCP.

ASRock has been founded as the cheap brand of ASUS back then and ASUS was well known for hindering from editing their BIOS images by adding obstacles starting in ~2000. ASRock could have adopt this behavior and if I remember correctly, this was the case.

kind regards
soggi

I think this is a Core 7 image, could you confirm? Also, could you post 2.xx versions of the WinBCP if you have them?

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Reply 9 of 13, by appiah4

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I just tried every 7.x version of AMIBCP for DOS in real DOS and still the same issue - I can edit the BIOS but I can't see what I am changing. Is there a way to actually know which item is what? Maybe open the BIOS of another KM266 board's AMI BIOS and hope everything is in the same order or something?

If anyone haz 2.x version of AMIBCP for Windows and can post it here I'd be most grateful..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 10 of 13, by debs3759

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You probably have 2.42, but if not, here it is

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  • Filename
    AMIBCP2.42.zip
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    1021.76 KiB
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    95 downloads
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    Public domain

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Reply 11 of 13, by hyoenmadan

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I checked the executable with the provided AMIBCP 2.42... I only got the "Multilanguage Module not found!" error message, as described by other users.
I tried to open a proper AMIBIOS8 romfile with it, taken from an ECS board and distinguishable by the presence of the SLAB module (single link arch BIOS), and both AMIBCP 2.42 and 3.13 work properly with it.
So checked between the multilanguage files from both the provided KV7_VM rom, and the ECS AMIv8 rom, both extracted with MMTool for Windows v2.21 :

KV7_VM language file (tagged in rom as "Module 50")
file.php?mode=view&id=125138

ECS AMIv8 language file (tagged in rom as "Module 21")
file.php?mode=view&id=125139
It has a very different header structure, but the strings still are uncompressed later in the file...
file.php?mode=view&id=125140

As you can see, totally different format. As additional detail, supposedly "Module 21" is the official ID for language files in both AMIBIOS v7 and 8. If I try to insert a "Module 50" with AMIBCP v7.60 for DOS (as the supposed version to work with the KV7_VM rom), I get a "Module ID not valid", but still it gets totally recognized as "Default Language Module" by it.

KV7_VM rom uses v3.36 "Setup Client Module", as many proper v8 bios files from other boards. BIOSes based on the final v7 codebase seem like a rare mix from v7 and v8 binary code. I wonder if there is a tool at all which can manipulated the structures and separated language string files generated from these mixes. I tried to use AMIBCP for Windows 2.25BETA, but it doesn't seem to work correctly with XP. As I said before, with KV7_VM rom i get no response from the app, and with the ECS v8 rom, I get an AppCrash, on a WinXP SP3 VM... Probably this app only works correctly in Win2k or Win98SE, who knows...

Reply 13 of 13, by Horun

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-05, 19:50:

I can try 2.25Beta in Win9x if you post it here..

It is in Borg Number One BIOS Tool Collection along with some other 7.xxx dos versions.
Here is the old website....http://web.archive.org/web/20050419210329/htt … pix-art.com/en/

added: I uploaded the BNOBTCv5 to archive org, not sure if they remove it or not...just search software for bnobtcv5
oh well the new "beta" uploader put it up twice 😒

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Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.