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Thread: CPU Microcode?




  1. #11
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    If BIOS can do it why not the OS?
    It also make much more sence, since the majority of PC users are not even aware of "BIOS" let alone ever updating it.
    Exactly how you can read about here: http://www.xn--sten-cpa.se/share/uni.../microcode.pdf

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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    @ Lsdmeasap

    An exceptional post Lsdmeasap, very helpful, I will try also attempt to educate myself on the matter but if you can't do it, I seriously doubt I will be able to, since lack of information on the internet regarding these matters is the problem for me too.

    In any case, thanks for taking your time including all relevant information about this - in addition I have already contacted GIGABYTE about this issue and am expecting a response (will update post as soon as I get something relevant) and I will also attempt to request an update from them, but I seriously doubt the possibility that they will in fact do an upgrade for me.

    I mean I already asked them for an Intel OROM upgrade, and they responded that (not quoted) the current OROM works fine and they do not see a reason for an upgrade, furthermore any attempts to change the BIOS will void warranty blabla.. That didn't sound like a person willing to help in my opinion - thanks to Acebmxer though I was able to do it myself as I previously mentioned.

    @ Chike

    Chike are you speculating or you in fact do know how to do it?

    Because as Lsdmeasap the situation is both abstract and delicate, if you know how to update the Microcode via the command prompt, OS, tools, or any other way, please fill us in with that knowledge.

    Thanks again guys, if any idea comes up regarding the issues mentioned, please let me know!

  3. #13
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chike View Post
    If BIOS can do it why not the OS?
    It also make much more sence, since the majority of PC users are not even aware of "BIOS" let alone ever updating it.
    Exactly how you can read about here: http://www.xn--sten-cpa.se/share/uni.../microcode.pdf
    BIOS does not do it, windows does - pulled from the BIOS by the OS, and this is done auto-magically as I mentioned previously. It USED to be possible to update this via windows, by pushing the microcode update into the BIOS manually, way back 5-10 years ago when the microcode file was only 2KB. That file is still used, but the majority (98%) of the microcode used today in Gigabyte award BIOS is inside the Ncpucode now, and this doesn't allow anything to be manually pushed into it from windows, and I doubt windows itself even allows this today even if we still used only the 2KB file because of security issues.

    The PDF you linked is from 2000, and talks of what I mentioned above, pushing an update on the 2KB file. I agree with Fabulist, if you know how to do this with today's Award/Gigabyte BIOSes and the ncpucode files, please let us know so I can let everyone know that currently messes with this kind of thing, the BIOS hacking professionals can only do it via extraction > hex edit > Insertion > then pray for working motherboard after flash.

    You are right though, it used to be possible, just not anymore due to the file structure changes due to the size of required included microcodes, and changes to windows itself as well I'd assume. The size of the updates in itself makes it not possible with the older methods anyway, because that only addresses the single 2KB file and that file must stay that size which is why they now also use ncpucode which can be any size as long as there is room

    Quote Originally Posted by Fabulist View Post
    @ Lsdmeasap

    An exceptional post Lsdmeasap, very helpful, I will try also attempt to educate myself on the matter but if you can't do it, I seriously doubt I will be able to, since lack of information on the internet regarding these matters is the problem for me too.

    In any case, thanks for taking your time including all relevant information about this - in addition I have already contacted GIGABYTE about this issue and am expecting a response (will update post as soon as I get something relevant) and I will also attempt to request an update from them, but I seriously doubt the possibility that they will in fact do an upgrade for me.

    I mean I already asked them for an Intel OROM upgrade, and they responded that (not quoted) the current OROM works fine and they do not see a reason for an upgrade, furthermore any attempts to change the BIOS will void warranty blabla.. That didn't sound like a person willing to help in my opinion - thanks to Acebmxer though I was able to do it myself as I previously mentioned.
    Thanks, and no problem, I'm always here to help when I can! I'm sorry I can't provide more help directly on this for you, and I'm really sorry I can't do it for you! The info is out there on how to do this, in the forums I mentioned previously. I would do it for you if I felt comfortable, and yes I did spend a few hours this morning looking around to see if any new breakthroughs had been made lately in regards to this as people are always working on it and tinkering around trying to find ways to do these type of things. If I would have found any updated methods that were safer or proven I would have went ahead and updated it for you, but same old news, you must pick through which codes you want or include them all, then hex edit it in and then insert and pray it doesn't kill your board. I can do that with some hassles since proper tools are not available, but I hate hex editing, and I don't have a G1 board here to test with, so I wouldn't feel safe passing a BIOS along to you that I was unsure about.

    I'm sorry tech support was so unwilling to help you with the option ROM's, they do update them periodically after extensive testing, but not always to the latest due to instabilities or incompatibilities with various hardware components. And of course, yes they would have to mention your warranty, you can easily brick your board with a bad flash, so you always have to keep that in mind. Recovery is usually always possible, but you have to either know how to do it manually, or have certain tools, or a combo of both of those. So it's super risky for general users to mess with anything like this.

    I will ask directly and see if I can get this sorted out for you. Can you please post me your elaborated and extensive testing and conclusions on why you need the update, and I'll email that to my contact along with a link to this thread and see if he'll have one of the BIOS guys update that for you if/when they have a few spare minutes, as I'm sure they can probably do it with a few simple clicks in under 5 minutes since they have the proper tools. I'm not making any promises, but I will try and I wont get the same type of response from my contact that you did from tech support, if you provide replicable and ample reasons for them to update it for you.
    Last edited by Lsdmeasap; 02-03-2012 at 12:16 PM.

  4. #14
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    Wgat's to "speculate", you can see there are updates on microsoft site, and a file for linux on intel site, if this is not enough to understand it has not much to do with BIOS what is?
    Updating the microcode is a feature Intel implement for their CPU, the code is loaded to the CPU and valid just until next CPU reset.

    Description of the Microcode Update device
    The Microcode Update device is an interface between the operating system and an Intel processor based on the x86 architecture. This device provides the latest microcode updates for the processor if the BIOS does not already contain this information.

  5. #15
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    Hmm, very nice, thanks Chike! I'd never seen anything on the Microsoft site about it, but I think you'd have to be able to load the Microsoft tool with the Intel files, otherwise as you know Microsoft always uses older versions of all drivers. I do see that your quote says if the BIOS doesn't already contain, so that may be their way to update but all BIOS contain these files and they are mainly maintained by motherboard manufacturers and Intel, Microsoft would never keep up with all of that per each motherboard and CPU released.

    And actually, that is an old article too, 2007, and it looks like it only addressed a single issue that was brought to them to fix. There is nothing new anywhere like that, or do you know where the current always updating page is? Intel updates it's site about once every month or two with new files. And after following the links on that page, it's more old news on fixes for Vista. All that was like a security update they released a few times in the past, unless there is something new that updates frequently and regularly I don't think this helps with what he's wanting to do, unless you can find one for newer than 11/03/2011 for windows 7, then it might help.

    The Intel Microcodes go into the BIOSes, as you can see by the image I posted where I already extracted them and showed the dates, they are then pulled from the BIOS and loaded by windows to control CPU instructions and adjustments. It's written in Linux because that is partially how many of the BIOS tools are Linux/DOS, it's just a data file though and you can view all the coding with notepad if you want. You'll see sometimes on Gigabyte's site change logs they put "Update Microcode" but not often, same when they add new CPU Compatibility that is microcode updates. The only time you can update this in windows was in the past really, of course there may be 1-2 files somewhere out there to do it now from MS, but it's not the same thing we are discussing.
    Last edited by Lsdmeasap; 02-03-2012 at 03:21 PM.

  6. #16
    Chike is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    The microsoft microcode update driver and files are part of the OS and can be updated by microsoft when ever they see it needs to be updated, BIOSes contain only the update that was available at the time they were made.
    I have no idea how the BIOS store or update the microcode, but my guess is that if you mess it up you can bin the board.

  7. #17
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
    Lsdmeasap is offline GIGABYTE Guru
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    Ya, but the BIOS contains the latest updates direct from the source which updates very regularly, and that's what the OP needs here, a update newer than the one in his current BIOS.

    That's not something we'll be able to find from Microsoft, that's all I mean, they don't put out updates like we get BIOS updates (OFten). BIOS is where it's at if you want the latest, and of course if the motherboard manufacturer uses the latest files. It used to be easy for users to update anytime in windows, with the files from Intel, but that was way back when only the main 2KB cpucode file was used, a long time ago that changed so it's not easy for us anymore.

    Ya, anytime you edit a BIOS you can brick a board, and since I don't have one I'm willing to loose on a hex edit I don't normally do and dislike doing, I don't feel comfortable editing the BIOS for him. The instructions on how to do it are out there though, on the forums I mentioned on page one, if he wanted to do it himself, but I'm not going to link him directly to all the various threads and extraction tools he'd need, because as you mentioned you can easily have a brick instead of a motherboard unless you are familiar with recovering easy.

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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    @ Lsdmeasap

    Thanks again for educating me on the matter mate; I doubt I would easily find another person as knowledgeable as you.
    I understand the process, more or less, though I have yet to study it. Nevertheless I doubt I will go into doing it myself as I do not have a spare board (I do but I cannot afford to damage them at the moment).

    I also understand you do not feel comfortable with this, and I cannot ask you to hex edit; it’s too much waste of a time and difficult, but you can disregard the danger factor as I am kind of willing to take it, I already harassed one of your members recently (Acebmxer) and he was kind enough to provide me some information too regarding other issues I had (the magic of updating OROMs).

    However, I thought this motherboard has dual BIOS? If it does I can increase the risk factor to 100% I guess?

    I wish there would be an easier method to do this.

    In addition, support seems to be interested on helping me on the matter, but I seriously doubt we will find an end or they will go through updating the CPU microcode, just for me, especially since there’s huge uncertainty to whether this will work or not (as I said this is my last bet, I am uncertain to whether it will fix anything at all). I understand the compatibility issues with the OROMs, but I have yet to see anyone having trouble with modified BIOS with WHQL Intel OROMs for years now (I used beta and alpha on my E770 btw) – a bad mod can corrupt the board, or an oversized OROM can also create problems, but corruption due to incompatibility? Not yet.

    Now please, do not take any more time with this, I am already obliged and I see no way of repaying, I will be harassing support from now on and see where this leads (I also asked for further information on Isochronous Support, a system that is also lacking information online). I already have elaborated on the matter and thrown in the Microcode idea and see what the lab geniuses figure out, hopefully they will find a solution and will be a “few clicks” for them as you said – but again, I seriously doubt that based on my previous experiences on support teams from other companies.

    But, since you have such good support links, I will annoy you again in the future if I find no end to this and get desperate. I will be forced to do that and you must be very understanding!

    @ Chike

    Thanks for your input too mate, hopefully we’ll all find a magical way to update this and make many (very few) people happy about it!

    Thanks again guys!

  9. #19
    Lsdmeasap's Avatar
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    Thanks for your kind words!

    Yes, you have dual BIOS, and recovery from a bad flash is easily possible most of the time a few ways, but it's something you need to practice several methods and know how to easily use before you should consider flashing something purposefully that you know may brick the board. Yes, I'm not comfortable passing out hex edited BIOSes with edits that large, and I'm not certain which updates you need out of the 1000's of included microcodes in the Intel package, so there would be no way I could correctly pick the ones you needed and insert them.

    If it was just adding a single CPU compatibility that would be easy because you'd just be looking for a certain code and adding it in at the end of the list, what you are wanting to try is far more involved. Inserting an option ROM is VERY easy, nothing like what is involved with editing the NCPUCode, if it was that easy I'd have already passed a edited BIOS you way!

    They can update the microcode for you, quickly and easily, once they are convinced to do so. That's the hard part, convincing them to do it, with or without reason you have to talk them into inserting the latest just because. Of course, a good reason will help for sure!

    Please elaborate your first post, with the included information you said you could provide, and next time I talk with my contacts I'll put in a request for you and see if they'll help!

  10. #20
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    Default Re: CPU Microcode?

    So as promised (did I?) I will update this post with information.

    After a lengthy conversation with Gigabyte, videos, numerous hardware and software tests from both Gigabyte and me, they walked away unable to do anything further to help me.

    Although they were cooperating, as far as I understand they are pretty restricted in regard to how many things they can do and test, therefore some of our tests were not able to be completed in order to verify the problems I have under specific software.

    However, in the tests they could conduct, they reported no problems. But in the tests they were able to conduct I also find no problems - and since they are not willing to update the microcode or test the specific applications & programs I encounter these issues (although I have given them access to these programs) there is nothing else I see that I can do.

    /desperate

    Any suggestion is welcome.

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