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). 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.
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.
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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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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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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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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+. 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...