Upgrading the HP EX485/487 MediaSmart Server Processor, Removing the Smoke and Mirrors (Page 3 of 5)
Categories: Server Mods and Hacking
More on the BIOS, Flashing:
It should be noted that some of the users on various forums have modified the EX49x BIOS to work in the EX485 using the newer dual-core processors. These modified BIOSes correct the sleep/power down function and allow proper CPU identification, clearing the way for other processor use. Unfortunately, these modified BIOSes created some fan issues that have not yet been resolved. Hopefully the developmental work will continue.
Sadly, two major players working on these changes and very familiar with flashing have bricked their EX485's during this endeavor. If you choose to use a BIOS load off the forums, it is most important you know the source of the BIOS you are using for flashing, but you must also know exactly what settings have been incorporated.
This can be very dangerous. You must be familiar with the flash process and have a stable power source before flashing. Consider plugging your MediaSmart Server into a UPS before starting this activity. Should your home power drop out during the flash process you might end up bricked. Never forget about Murphy's law.
Again, BIOS upgrading must be done BEFORE the installation of the new CPU (other than those using QFHQ or SLAY7).
How do I Flash the BIOS and which version should I use?
There are a number modified BIOSes available for the EX485 which can be obtained simply by reading the threads listed in the reference section titled "The original HP EX485 CPU Upgrade Thread", on MediaSmarthome.com You could download and apply one of them but that's up to you.
What I suggest is to extract a copy of your own BIOS running on your server. You can then make the necessary changes and apply it back to your MediaSmart Server. The chance of applying invalid or corrupted BIOS is greatly diminished going this route. You can also initialize the CMOS during this process. (The CMOS contains information specific to your EX485 such as memory size, disk types, CPU clock and bus values, initializing it sets it to a startup or failsafe value.)
Extracting and re-applying the BIOS requires a few software tools. Download these to another computer and un-rar them. They will be transferred to a MediaSmart Server shared folder. (Note: you could also download them directly onto your MediaSmart Server via the Remote Desktop connection if you have unrar and unzip software loaded on your server)
The tools you'll need are AFUWIN 4.xx and AMIBCP 3.xx. Click the links below to download them.
- Download AFUWIN 4.xx - After the download, unzip and find the folder name amiflash amibios afuwin 32 afuwin.exe.
- Download AMIBCP 3.37 - Un-rar to a folder you can get to late
Download to another computer then copy them into a shared folder on your MediaSmart Server under WHS. Now:
- Using the Remote Desktop Connection (or simply click Start, Run and enter: %SystemRoot%\System32\mstsc.exe /console /admin
- Log into your MediaSmart Server. Create a BIOS subdirectory under the C: drive, copy AFUWIN32.exe and AMIBCP.exe to this directory.
- Execute AFUWIN 32 and on the bottom click save (this will save a copy of your original bios, call it ORIGBIOS) You should always maintain a copy of this file.
- close AFUWIN
- Execute AMIBCP, open the saved BIOS file: ORIGBIOS you saved using AFUWIN above.
- Go to the Setup Configuration , Click Advanced then Click CPU Configuration and then on the right you should only change the following (see Figure 3 below)
- Change the Original Configuration
PECI 00 00 (old value)
PECI 01 01 (new value)
- This is optional and affects speed stepping
Intel® SpeedStep Tech 01 01 (old)
Intel® SpeedStep Tech 00 00 (old)
- Leave all other values as they are (unless you know exactly what you are changing)
- Save the file as (MODBIOS)
- Open AFUWIN and open the newly modified Bios file. (MODBIOS)
- On the SETUP TAB click on LOAD CURRENT OPTIMAL under CMOS Options.
- Take a deep breath and Click Flash. DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS. Let it complete.
- Reboot your server with original Celeron still in place to see if everything went right.
What did we change?
PECI was enabled and set to 1. PECI is Platform Environment Control or thermal control implemented into the Intel dual-core and not used for the Celeron 440. The MediaSmart Server will not boot if this setting is not changed and the dual-core installed. The PECI setting and speed stepping setting is totally transparent for the 440, so you can change/enable it at will. The Celeron will work just find with PECI set to either value.
The optional change disabled speed stepping (see this topic in this document for further info). Now that the correct BIOS setting are in place, let us start the hardware upgrade process.
>> Next page: The Hardware Upgrade Process: >>