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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 9:04 pm 
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Member adaptation posted a nice article (viewtopic.php?f=17&t=10342) and produced for us a fully functional BIOS hack that can be installed on an EX485/487 home server. This BIOS, which is not at all supported by HP, originated from an EX495 and allows for correct operation of an EX48x when you change out the stock Celeron 440 processor.

There are articles aplenty that talk about what processors work (I have an E3400 in my EX487; couldn't get an E5300 to take [edit]I was able to get an E5300 to take later; the original E5300 I bought for this server was bad). Some folks tried the simpler approach of using AFUWIN to make a copy of the BIOS, AMIBCP to edit it (enable PECI, disable SpeedStep) and then flash back the modified version. But many folks, including fellow members erail and adaptation, noted this had some problems like a server that wouldn't shut down, fans running at 100%, etc. And so adaptation provided us with his BIOS hack.

If you download adaptation's BIOS, you'll find the first step requires you to have the VOV KVM cable. (Want one? Get it here: viewtopic.php?t=8066)

You'd need at a minimum the KVM + PS/2 keyboard + PS/2 mouse option...with free shipping option it's still $80 USD. If you're like me and you just spent a bunch of money on memory upgrades (4 GB!), a new CPU and perhaps some hard drives, you might not want to part with another $80. Or maybe you just can't afford it right now, but you want to apply the new BIOS. Can you do it? YES!

DISCLAIMER: This worked for me, on my EX487. I am not guaranteeing it will work for you. Proceed at your own risk.

Here's what you need to do:

1. Start out with a healthy EX48x server and the stock processor, unless it's running fine with an upgraded one. I started out with the Celeron 440. If your server is sick, get it healthy before proceeding.

2. Download AFUWIN here: http://www.ami.com/support/downloadagre ... npDrvID=90

3. Extract the contents of the downloaded zip file to your server's desktop.

4. Download adaptation's EX485 hacked BIOS. Extract the ROM to your server's desktop.

5. Navigate to Desktop\amiflash\amibios\afuwin\64 and run the AFUWINx64.exe application.

6. SAVE a backup copy of your BIOS now! This will allow you to back out if you change your mind. Click Save, give the file a name, choose its location and save it. The file will have a .ROM extension.

7. After you've saved your BIOS backup, click Open. Select the ROM file extracted from step 4 above.
Attachment:
OpenBIOS.PNG
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8. You'll be taken to the Setup tab.

9. Under Block Options, choose the option Program All Blocks. This was made very clear in adaptation's original post, and it is mandatory here. If you don't choose this, you will brick your server. By choosing Program All Blocks, several options will get chosen automatically (Main BIOS Image, Boot Block NVRAM, and under "Non Critical Block" the items ALL and 1).
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ChooseOptions.PNG
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10. Under CMOS Options, chose the option Load ROM File's Optimal. This step is mandatory to the "without a KVM cable" process. What this does is configures the CMOS settings to use the "optimal defaults." If you've ever used AMIBIOS setup before, you've seen the "load failsafe defaults" and "load optimal defaults." In other words, you're configuring the CMOS now without a KVM cable! (You can also choose to use the failsafe options.) If you neglect to load either the optimal or failsafe options from the ROM file, and reboot, you're going to be dead in the water without the KVM cable, because you'll need to configure the BIOS afterwards and without the KVM cable this is impossible.

11. Double-check that you've checked Program All Blocks and Load Optimal Defaults from ROM File.

12. Click Flash.

13. A reprimand will appear, complaining about a CMOS checksum and wanting you to use the /C option. Do NOT accept this recommendation. If you click Accept, you will destroy the CMOS checksum and will not apply the optimal/failsafe defaults. Time to buy the KVM cable if you click Accept.

14. Click Force. This forces the flash with the options you set. Flashing takes about 15-20 seconds. Do not power off or reboot the server while the flashing is in progress!
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FlashDone.PNG
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15. If you change your mind about this, you can back out now. Click Open, load the backup ROM file you created and repeat steps 7-14 above to restore.

16. The moment of truth...click Start > Reboot to reboot the server.

"Alea iacta est," (the die is cast) -- Julius Caesar, 49 BC, after crossing the Rubicon.


If your server behaves like mine, it does not reboot. Uh-oh you're thinking! "Oh @#&!" was my thought exactly. What did I do? The health light turned off so only the power and network lights were lit. I powered off the server by using the button on the back--after waiting about 5 minutes hoping it would reboot. I waited 10 seconds and then powered on the server. It powered on, and then powered itself off after a few seconds. "Oh crap! Now what have I done?" But it powered itself back on after about 5 seconds, complete with the alternating blue/red health light and then the server booted up normally! Woo-hoo! It worked!

Logged back in, and my son Josh's picture was there to greet me. Successful BIOS hack without the KVM cable!
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JoshIsWatching.PNG
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I powered down--the server shut down properly. I upgraded the processor, powered up, logged in, rebooted (to make sure the second core is active) and it rebooted normally. Everything looked good, event logs looked good too. So I downloaded OCCT and put the E3400 under load for an hour. The hottest either core got to was 61C, so I was pretty happy.

I hope you find this information useful and that it works for you...and saves you $80+. :beerme:

EDIT: One thing I forgot to note...

Microsoft's reward to me for all this effort was that while the OCCT test was in progress, a tooltip sprang up out of the system tray demanding, "Activate Windows now." Yep, changing the BIOS and the CPU was enough that Windows wanted to be reactivated. Grumble-grumble, sigh...

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Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


Last edited by msawyer91 on Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:02 am 
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Great detailed info. Thank you. I would like to add my experience about flashing without KVM cable. I flashed bios in EX487 twice and on both occasions, AFUWINx64 did not let me check any of the "load defaults" options. I am not sure why it is always greyed-out. I am running WHS2011. Without any selection I flashed it (with the original CPU on board) then loaded the optimal defaults via command AFUWINx64.exe /Ln. (n=0 system optimal defaults 1=system failsafe defaults, 2=bios file optimal defaults and 3=bios file failsafe defaults) More information on PDF manual of the AFUWIN. Rebooted and installed the new CPU without any problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:15 pm 
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While I'm way behind from when these modification efforts started I want to extend thanks for all of the work that went into this effort.

I have spent weeks trying to figure out what was wrong with what was supposed to be a new EX-485. I could never get it to operate consistently. I had the bright Idea I should upgrade to 4 Gigs memory, Q8200S and new 2T drive with WHS 2011.

I spent 3 weeks combing thru post on this forum.

My EX-485 has or had a glitch in the BIOS, any time you pulled the HD it would set the boot priority to USB. I could never figure out why the re-install of WHS1 wouldn't work. After months of the server sitting on the shelf I bought the VOV cable from eBay. Buried in one of many thread someone hinted the USB boot priority would change.... Mine unit was that way and without the VOV cable I couldn't see the boot priority issue. With the VOV cable I could see and fix the setting in the BIOS.
My next challenge was how to get WHS 2011 installed on a new HDD. I could never get the USB approach to work for me, there were too many challenges. Instead I followed the PC install method. On the first attempt to have my PC load the OS I failed, I must have shut down the PC to early, because during the WHS 2011 install in the ex-485 my product key was Invalid (again I read a hint someone else had an issue similar)..... Attempt #2... I restarted a fresh install of WHS 2011 and waited until the PC was booting into the BIOS screen then shut down the PC moved the HDD to the EX-485... I was successful loading WHS 2011 on the EX-485

My next step was to update the BIOS.... I must say after many many weeks I was a little cautious, I followed this POST.

It worked flawlessly, I installed the Q8200s I did get the same message….. Windows Activation period has "expired. I can’t use my key I get an error can’t access internet, so I guess I’ll have to re-install the WHS 2011 as a “Fresh” install

My love for this form factor stated years ago when the HP Mediavault was on the market. I never had a problem with it and it still runs today as a storage array. I purchased an EX-470 it works without problems. However the EX-485 really challenged my patients ………


Again huge thanks to everyone who came before me!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 7:15 am 
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hi can you share AFUWIN files the link is dead also other files it need

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 4:18 pm 
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hi
i just did everything like u said but not able to change my server background how i know it works ?

waiting for your reply

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:45 pm 
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just did it all other 3 drives stop working thanks God i took the backup before flashing it

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PostPosted: Sat May 31, 2014 3:05 pm 
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msawyer91 wrote:


If your server behaves like mine, it does not reboot. Uh-oh you're thinking! "Oh @#&!" was my thought exactly. What did I do? The health light turned off so only the power and network lights were lit. I powered off the server by using the button on the back--after waiting about 5 minutes hoping it would reboot. I waited 10 seconds and then powered on the server. It powered on, and then powered itself off after a few seconds. "Oh crap! Now what have I done?" But it powered itself back on after about 5 seconds, complete with the alternating blue/red health light and then the server booted up normally! Woo-hoo! It worked!



Happy to report that this work flawlessly on my EX485 :) exactly same scenario as whats quoted above..

after the BIOS flash my EX485 happily accepted my E8200 :banana:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:33 pm 
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Looks like a bunch of the links are broken now. I need to dig through my old files and see if I still have the BIOS ROMs, AFUWIN, etc. Based on at least one recent post, there are folks out there still looking to do this.

I've since acquired debug cables for all of my MediaSmart Servers (EX487, EX490 and EX495). They're well worth it!

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Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:42 am 
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OK I found the files! Here's a link to my OneDrive so help yourself. https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=1 ... =folder%2c

Here's what you'll find:

amiflash - folder containing the AFUWIN tool
amiflash.zip - contains the AFUWIN tool; extracts out the amiflash folder named above
EX48X_2011_02_20.ZIP - contains adaptation's hacked BIOS; this is what I run on my EX487

Optional items for advanced users -- be careful!

AMIBCP_V3.37.exe - tool for editing/hacking BIOS -- for advanced users only if you want to tinker
AMIBCP_V3.37.zip - contains the above EXE file

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Matt Sawyer
Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC

HP EX490, 4GB, E5300, 15TB - Server 2012 - Sharing and Streaming
HP EX487, 4GB, E5300, 13TB - Server 2012 Essentials - Backups


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