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How to back up American Megatrends BIOS?


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#1 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

I have a Sager NP9876/Clevo P870KM1-G gaming notebook. In my BIOS it says "American Megatrends" and "Aptio Setup Utility". I assume that AM is the BIOS, and Aptio is just the name of the setup utility.

 

I have already tried backing up the BIOS with Universal BIOS Backup Toolkit, but it errors out with "Cannot identify the BIOS". Perhaps my BIOS is just too new? In this program I can also select custom sizes, the largest of which is 16384K. But I need an exact byte-for-byte copy, and I need it to be complete. I plan on submitting a BIOS mod request at the bios-mods.com forum, in exchange for a donation. Sager doesn't make my BIOS available for download, nor have they issued any updates for it. Hence the need to dump it.

 

I don't really need anything modded, per se, like advanced overclocking options, etc. But I do know that many BIOSes have hidden options that aren't normally visible. My main interest is in being able to see and interact with both legacy and UEFI boot options at the same time. As it is now, I can only see UEFI *OR* legacy boot options at any given time, but not both at once. The exception is external booting media, like USB flash drives. Anything internal is an either/or scenario. I can boot internally on either UEFI or legacy modes, it's just that both aren't visible at once. Absent a Prema BIOS mod, this is really the only thing I need this for.

 

Is there an official tool I can use for dumping?

 

Thanks in advance!



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

Is there an official tool I can use for dumping?

 

Thanks in advance!

Sure:

https://ami.com/en/p...uefi-utilities/

 

You'll have to check if your Aptio is 4 or V and get the appropriate version of the AFU, then use either AFUDOS or AFUWIN.

 

Among its features there is of course that of dumping the ROM, with the /O command.

 

Personally I would never trust any Windows version (and use instead the Dos version) but to only dump the existing BIOS there cannot be any problem also with Windows versions.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#3 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

There are alot of tools on that page, any hint which one I need¿ I'm not foolish enough to try editing a BIOS, I just need to make a read only dump.

I also ask because I'm currently booting Windows 10 on a UEFI on MBR setup, it works without a hitch. But I'll later install OSes that don't support UEFI, so it would be nice to have a way to switch between the 2 modes.

#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

You want the AFU AMI Firmware Update (AFU) (first item on that page), but you need to choose which version is better suited to your specific BIOS/UEFI version:

 

AMI Firmware Update Utilities:
Aptio V
Aptio 4
AMIBIOS 8

 

most probably, since you have a recent machine, it is the Aptio V, but cannot say for sure.

 

Each AFU "package" has inside Dos and Windows (32 and 64 bit) and UEFI programs.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

The correct tool for me is the Aptio V, I tried the 2 others and they explicitly said that Aptio V was the version I needed. A Russian poster on bios-mods.com forum is doing the modding, I'm arranging to pay him via PayPal (even though he hasnt requested payment) upon verification that the modded BIOS flashes, works as expected, and I can boot. I would rather pay for a job and have it done right, than ask for something for free from someone that might do sloppy work. An incentive of sorts.

 

For flashing, I can just use the same tool? Or it is better to flash in DOS with the same utility? Or perhaps there is something better suited?



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

For flashing, I can just use the same tool? Or it is better to flash in DOS with the same utility? Or perhaps there is something better suited?

 


... use either AFUDOS or AFUWIN ...

...

Personally I would never trust any Windows version (and use instead the Dos version) 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

DOS does seem safer for flashing. It would be pretty bad if Windows freezes or BSODs during the process.

But I'm not getting one thing: How is DOS able to flash a UEFI compatible BIOS, when DOS itself is ancient and doesn't understand UEFI¿ Why is DOS still the preferred/recommended tool for flashers? I'd much rather trust Linux with such a task.

#8 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

The mod is complete, he did give instructions for creating a FreeDOS boot USB and flashing. The end result is that there is a lot more info and options visible now, which were otherwise always present but hidden. It's quite extensive, there are so many options that I won't risk changing many of them unless I understand their purpose beforehand. And the desired result is achieved, I can now see both UEFI and legacy boot options simultaneously, both for internal and external devices/media. Before, I had to constantly switch modes for booting Windows vs booting Easy2Boot, etc. Now I just have to figure out a way to apply this to booting methods in the future.

 

On a side question, can a UEFI bootloader chainload a legacy option (example: GRUB2 booted in UEFI mode but chainload a Windows OS installed in legacy mode)? And vice versa?



#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

On a side question, can a UEFI bootloader chainload a legacy option (example: GRUB2 booted in UEFI mode but chainload a Windows OS installed in legacy mode)? And vice versa?

Yes/No.

 

The point is that that the "basic" firmware (either BIOS or UEFI) provide "services" to the bootmanager or bootloader (like reading the disk).

 

There is no reason why someone could not write a BIOS emulation program on top of UEFI (and I believe that things like Clover already are a UEFI emulation program on top of BIOS).

 

For Windows (and you should know already this by now), once you are past Winload.exe or Winload.efi it doesn't matter at all, i.e. newer Windows are firmware independent and the same system can be booted both from UEFI or from BIOS (actually nowadays CSM), and I believe the same happens for Linux.

 

Other OS's (like DOS/FreeDOS) need the underlying BIOS layer (be it provided by a real BIOS, by the CSM module or by an emulation layer).

 

:duff:

Wonko






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