GUIDE for Flashing BIOS of NVIDIA GPU

Discussion in 'Die-hard Overclocking & Case Modifications' started by civato, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    GUIDE for Flashing Bios NV + FERMI BIOS EDITING (postnr3)

    Download the package here:http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=336117
    , it contains:



    -FERMI BIOS EDITOR 1.55 (no further support) and for help with this tool see here http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=329033 .
    Why is this tool now public = http://forums.guru3d.com/showpost.php?p=3827556&postcount=38

    -NiBiToR.v6.01 (use the latest) 6.02 is also in package but this version gives red or yellow integrity when you open a bios , to solve this you need to do a rescan of the bios in the "ADV info" tab.

    -nvflash.v5.100.0.1 (use the latest)


    -USBimage w7 ( for making a bootable USB, tested with windows7 64bit)

    -HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool ( need it to make the bootable USB)

    -GUIDE with images like in this post, how to use NiBiTor and how to save bios with GPU-Z or with the flash tool in DOS. The command prom. that you need in DOS.

    -GUIDE with images like in post 3 for how to edit your FERMI bios

    -Fanspeed IC NiBiToR guide (pdf) for 8...- 2.. series

    You just need to download GPU-Z http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/

    Latest versions of NiBiTor and nvflash can you find here http://www.mvktech.net/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,143/

    Flashing you bios is not without danger , make sure you always got a backup , and if you are not sure n DON'T DO IT, before you flash your self made BIOS, test the settings first with RivaTuner or MSI Afterburner and test these settings on running 3D Applications

    If there are some of you have more info on this topic please post it.
    This guide is made with my findings and experience on my system.
    So other experiences are more than welcome.

    The guide , it is also included in the download package.

    This is for the advanced user , know that overclocking and Flashing is not without risk.!!!!!!!!!!
    The overclocking of the GPU is not treated in this guide , this guide is for how you flash the bios of the GPU.
    MAKE SURE BEFORE YOU FLASH YOUR BIOS THAT THE NEW BIOS IS STABLE (test it with RivaTuner , Afterburner or EVGA precision and during running a 3D Application) ,AND ALWAYS MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR ORIGINAL BIOS!!!!!!!!!!


    Things that you need:

    -NVIDIA GPU.

    -GPU-Z http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/1709/TechPowerUp_GPU-Z_v0.3.8.html

    -NiBiTor http://www.mvktech.net/component/op...temid,26/func,select/id,135/orderby,2/page,6/

    -nvflash http://www.mvktech.net/component/op...temid,26/func,select/id,127/orderby,2/page,3/

    -Bootable floppy disk or Bootable USB ( this will be explained)

    Step 1: Looking at the GPU info and saving your GPU BIOS , this is done with GPU-Z.

    Here you see the BIOS version and the possibility to save this BIOS.

    GPU-Z saves the BIOS as a (.bin) file.
    We need to remember this when we want to open the saved BIOS with NiBiTor.

    Save the BIOS in a folder that you want, but give it a clear and easy name.
    For example: GTX280 ORIGINAL

    You see Default Clock, well that is the clock of the bios.
    The GPU clock is the clock we get after overclocking or the actual clock at the moment.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2 : Loading the BIOS, this is done with NiBiTor.


    Open NiBiTor, with this tool we can edit the BIOS.

    Steps:
    Open NiBiTor ->
    File ->
    Open BIOS... ->
    Files type ( Nvidia BIOS Files(.bin)) ->
    Load the BIOS that you saved with GPU-Z.

    [​IMG]

    Step 3: Changing the clock speeds and saving the overclocked BIOS.(Integrity must be green).
    First Save the original BIOS as (.rom) so you can flash it in DOS , (.bin) files cannot be used to flash in DOS.= File-> Save BIOS...-> Save as Nvidia (.rom)-> Give it a easy name and type the .ROM behind the name. (Example= GTX ORIGINAL .ROM) -> Save. (ALWAYS KEEP BACKUP OF ORIGINAL BIOS)


    Now the original save BIOS is open we can change the Clock speeds, Boot clocks, Voltage, Fan .....

    I just changed the clock speeds from Core: 700 to 710 , Shader: 1400 to 1460 , Memory: 1150 to1250.

    We want to save the OC BIOS: File-> Save BIOS...-> Save as Nvidia (.rom)-> Give it a easy name and type the .ROM behind the name. (Example= GTX OC.ROM) -> Save.

    [​IMG]

    Step 4: Preparing the flash, we need nvflash for this.

    You need a bootable floppy disk or a bootable USB,.
    The tool to flash nvidia video cards is called nvflash utility and it will need to be run in DOS, from a bootable floppy, CD or USB stick.

    You may need to download a particular version for your video card depending on its age, the current latest version is v5.88 (included in the download package)

    NOTE - you should always have a backup of your original BIOS on a floppy disk or USB so you can do an emergency "Blind Flash" if your BIOS mod fails and bricks your video card.

    What is a "BLIND FLASH" it basically means an automated flash of your original BIOS by use of an autoexecuting batch file on a bootable floppy disk.

    You may need it for when you've had a bad flash and can't get any video output from your card at all.

    Preparing for a "BLIND FLASH and or normal flash".

    1) Making a bootable floppy disk;

    * Insert floppy into the drive
    * Right click on the A:\ in "Computer" (or "My Computer" in XP)
    * Select "Format" from the menu
    * When the window pops up put a tick in the box "Create an MS-DOS startup disk"
    * Click "Start"
    * When the warning pops up saying all data will be erased just click 'Ok'
    * When it finishes you will have successfully made a boot disk, click 'Ok' then 'close'

    1b) Making a bootable USB

    First install "HP USB Storage Format Tool"

    It's included in the download package.
    (USB Flash ready for NVIDIA).

    -Connect your USB to your PC.
    -Start "HP USB Storage Format Tool"
    -Select the USB
    -Select FAT32
    -Mark "Create a DOS startup disk"
    -using DOS system files located at
    (pick the "USB image w7" file for this, also included in the download package)
    -Start.
    [​IMG]
    And now it's ready. Keep in mind I tested this on my system, Windows7 64bit, so it's possible that you need to get your own DOS system files to put on the USB.

    2) Copy nvflash.exe, cwsdpmi.exe and your original BIOS onto the floppy disk or USB and your backup is ready.
    Due to the fail nature of floppy disks I highly suggest making 2 emergency floppies because if you brick your card from a bad flash and your boot floppy disk is corrupt then you're up the creek without a paddle.

    Now open the "nvFlash" folder and copy the "cwsdpmi" and "nvFlash" files to the bootable USB or Floppy. Next you copy the BIOS that you created (in my case GTXOC.rom) also to the bootable.

    It has got to be a (.rom) ROM-file!!!!!!!! or it will not flash , this is why we saved the original bios also as a (.rom) ROM-file, you never know you'll need it. You can also take a backup of you original BIOS in DOS with nvFlash , the command is nvflash --save(File name that you give .rom).

    [​IMG]


    3)BLIND FLASH ONLY: You'll need to make and edit the autoexec.bat file on the floppy to make nvflash run on it's own.

    Make a "Autoexec.bat"
    How to do this : Open up Notepad, not Wordpad, not Office Word, Notepad.
    Now you have an untitled document but we need it named and saved in a specific location.

    Click File then Save As .. type in File name Autoexec.bat save as Text Documents. Save it on the bootable USB that you prepared and with the bios already on it

    Now you have a blank document saved on the bootable USB disk but we need to edit in a line in this "autoexec.bat file.
    Open it and:

    In the document type:C:\nvflash bios.rom
    Or , type: C:\nvflash -4 -5 -6 bios.rom
    Or , type:C:\nvflash -p -u -f bios.rom
    Then click save and close the document.

    Note again that 'BIOS.ROM' is just an example, you'll need to change it to whatever your original BIOS is called.Then click on the 'File' menu and select 'Save', and close notepad



    Step 5: Flashing the new BIOS.
    Reboot you pc, make sure that it will reboot from the bootable floppy or USB. (maybe you need to change the boot priority in the motherboard BIOS)

    So there are no mistakes the commands are in red.
    In DOS you can type = nvflash (enter) , now you see all the possible commands.
    [​IMG]

    Be sure that you use the space bare where needed.


    The update command is the default command if no other primary command is specified. The update command installs the specified firmware image or images onto one or more display adapters. By default, the update command scans the system to update all display adapters that match the specified firmware image or images.

    Remarks

    The override options (--overridesub, --overridetype) can only be used when there is a single display adapter to be updated with a single firmware image. A single display adapter can be specified with the “--index” option. If there is only one NVIDIA display adapter in the system, then the use of “--index” is not needed. A single firmware image is specified by either just supplying the filename of a single firmware image (which will have a *.ROM extension) or by using the “--fwindex” option when a firmware bundle is specified (which will have a *.NVR extension).
    It is important that the update process not be interrupted due to power failure or by a forced reset. If an error occurs during the flash process, it is advisable not to reboot the computer until the problem can be determined. The card may be unable to be restarted if a failed update has occurred (and thus the system as a whole may not reboot).
    If the original firmware image contains an IEEE 1394 GUID, the update command will preserve it and NOT use the GUID of the new image.
    Where -5 means : --overridetype = Allow firmware and adapter PCI device ID to mismatch.
    Where -6 means : --overridesub = Allow firmware and adapter PCI device ID to mismatch.


    STANDARD BIOS FLASH COMMAND
    nvflash --index=1 -5 -6 BIOS.ROM (enter)
    I used 'BIOS.ROM' as an example, you'll need to change it to whatever name you gave your modded BIOS.
    This command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.
    NO WAY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not interrupt!!!!!!!! and wait for the succesfull message.

    OVERRIDE SWITCH -4
    nvflash --index=1 -4 -5 -6 BIOS.ROM (enter) (BIOS.ROM is example name)
    There is an override switch for force flashing mismatched sub-vendor or hardware ID's (often required for flashing a BIOS from a different vendor);
    This command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.
    NO WAY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not interrupt!!!!!!!! and wait for the succesfull message.

    OR THESE 3 BASIC COMMANDS
    nvflash --protectoff (enter) = this command let you see the installed GPU(s) and removes the write protect so you can flash.

    nvflash --save(File name that you give .rom) (enter) = this command makes a save of the selected GPU BIOS. ( do this before you flash your new BIOS, so you got a backup of the original).

    nvflash(Name of the OC BIOS made with NiBiTor and copied to the bootable).rom (enter)
    this command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.
    NO WAY BACK!!!!!!!!!!!! Do not interrupt!!!!!!!! and wait for the succesfull message.

    Blind flash = Insert the USB Drive and boot to it and the autoexec.bat file will execute (run) automatically and restore the GPU BIOS to the bios that you put on the USB.


    Step 6: Controlling the flashed BIOS.

    If you rebooted you pc and Windows starts and you got picture , well that is a good sign.

    Now we can check the clocks with GPU-Z.

    Now you see that the default clock is the same as the GPU clock.
    Succes!!
    [​IMG]



    I would like to thank "88Gamer88" for the assistance and the help.
    He made a full tutorial in dutch
    http://www.hardware.info/forum/showthread.php?t=179844

    I would like to thank "chinobino" for the added info (BLIND FLASH ,the standard BIOS Flash command/Override switch -4 and making a bootable floppy).
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  2. avivoni

    avivoni Ancient Guru

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    awesome this was needed indeed. aldough i wont be flashing mine. its tempting to flahs just to lower the 2d clocks and volts.
     
  3. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  4. chinobino

    chinobino Maha Guru

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    Hi civato, you have not demonstrated how to actually flash the BIOS.

    You have some good info so I'll just add to it :).

    NVFLASH

    The tool to flash nvidia video cards is called nvflash utility and it will need to be run in DOS, from a bootable floppy, CD or USB stick.

    You may need to download a particular version for your video card depending on its age, the current latest version is v5.88.

    LISTING DEVICES

    Before you flash anything you need to find out all the video device hardware indexes by using the following command in DOS;

    nvflash --list

    If you have an nvidia chipset then your first device on the list will be the nforce200 chip, listed as BR05 index=1.

    If you have multiple cards in SLI then they will be listed for easy identification i.e. index=2, index=3, index=4

    STANDARD BIOS FLASH COMMAND

    nvflash --index=1 -5 -6 BIOS.ROM

    I used 'BIOS.ROM' as an example, you'll need to change it to whatever name you gave your modded BIOS.

    OVERRIDE SWITCH -4

    There is an override switch for force flashing mismatched sub-vendor or hardware ID's (often required for flashing a BIOS from a different vendor);

    nvflash --index=1 -4 -5 -6 BIOS.ROM


    NOTE - you should always have a backup of your original BIOS on a floppy disk so you can do an emergency blind flash if your BIOS mod fails and bricks your video card.

    If you don't know what I mean by 'blind flash' it basically means an automated flash of your original BIOS by use of an autoexecuting batch file on a bootable floppy disk.

    You may need it for when you've had a bad flash and can't get any video output from your card at all.

    To do this;

    1) Make a bootable floppy disk;

    * Insert floppy into the drive
    * Right click on the A:\ in "Computer" (or "My Computer" in XP)
    * Select "Format" from the menu
    * When the window pops up put a tick in the box "Create an MS-DOS startup disk"
    * Click "Start"
    * When the warning pops up saying all data will be erased just click 'Ok'
    * When it finishes you will have successfully made a boot disk, click 'Ok' then 'close'

    2) You'll need to edit the autoexec.bat file on the floppy to make nvflash run on it's own.

    Rightclick on the file autoexec.bat on the floppy boot disk and select EDIT (if you can't see the file you may need to enable viewing of system files).

    The file should open in notepad by default.

    We need to add 1 line after any existing text on a new line;

    nvflash -4 -5 -6 BIOS.ROM

    Note again that 'BIOS.ROM' is just an example, you'll need to change it to whatever your original BIOS is called.

    Then click on the 'File' menu and select 'Save', and close notepad

    3) Copy nvflash.exe, cwsdpmi.exe and your original BIOS onto the floppy disk and your backup is ready.

    Due to the fail nature of floppy disks I highly suggest making 2 emergency floppies because if you brick your card from a bad flash and your boot floppy disk is corrupt then you're up the creek without a paddle.

    There are some other commands that you can use with nvflash but I have covered the basics to do a BIOS flash and get yourself out of the **** if the flash goes wrong.

    [​IMG]
     

  5. IPlayNaked

    IPlayNaked Banned

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    You guys have left out the most important thing that needs to be in big bold letters.

    TEST THE SETTINGS BEFORE YOU FLASH THEM TO THE BIOS

    Flashing a BIOS is for solidifying a stable overclock so you don't have to worry about it...It's not the trial and error part of finding the OC.
     
  6. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    Yes i did in my first post quote = Flashing you bios is not without danger , make sure you always got a backup , and if you are not sure n DON'T DO IT, before you flash your self made BIOS, test the settings first with RivaTuner or MSI Afterburner and test these settings on running 3D Applications

    @ chinobino Thankx ,

    I redid the guide with help from "88Gamer" so the new one is in the download package. Keep in mind it's a short guide and not everything is explained.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
  7. TheHunter

    TheHunter Banned

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    i vote for a sticky, looks handy. :nerd:
     
  8. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    I put the guide with the post so you can read it before you download.

    I added the info from "chinobino" in the guide , so thanx again for the info.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  9. MisterWhippy

    MisterWhippy Master Guru

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    Got my vote for a sticky. Also, will be using this info later tonight or this week.
     
  10. ShadowMyth

    ShadowMyth Ancient Guru

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    +1 I agree!
     

  11. tupezky26

    tupezky26 Member

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    Very nice tutorial here!
    Since this is the tutorial im using, maybe you guys can help me...

    I want to do GPU BIOS flashing but as of now i want to do it just to change the autofanspeed of my XFX 9800gt card.

    i saved my bios file using GPU-Z and when i load it with Nibitor, on the temperature tab>fanspeed IC there are no values written

    [​IMG]

    My question is if i put values on those setting, will it work?
     
  12. SnooSnoo

    SnooSnoo Maha Guru

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    Sticky!

    Now to add 2D clocks for my 8800GTS g92. Any suggestions on the clock I should set?
     
  13. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    I would set the at 2D: Clock 300MHz , Shader:600Mhz , Mem:100MHz.

    My GT9800 has those 2D clocks and it's actualy the same GPU , just a renamed 8800 series.
     
  14. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    Normaly it should work , but if i'm sure ??? You can try , or use MSI afterburner to make a fan curve , and do it at driver-level.

    But iI see that you have limited acces to this future, I believe you cannot adjust : Fixed speed , Automatic speed , Dynamic speed.

    It's that Automatic speed that you want?

    I can give some guide lines of what I think you can do ,

    First What is the "Critical" temp and the "Compensation", this you see at the Tab"Temperatures".

    Then if you set in the "Fanspeed IC settings" the following:

    TCrit: At 80° with a "Compensation" of 6° , the Fan will run 100% when reaching 86° , until the temp drops below 87°

    If you set TCrit: At 70° with "Compensation 6° , the Fan will hit 100% when reaching 76° , until the temp drops below 76°

    THyst: set this at 2° or 0° , if set at 2° the Fan will take a margin of 2° and won't be jumping from one speed to another , set this at 0° an the Fan will adjust speed immediately , so it's possible that it jumps from one speed to another all the time.

    The following is only valid if you can mark "Automatic speed"

    TMin: set this at the temp that you want , example: set this at 50° with "Compensation" of 6° it means that when the temp reaches 56° the Fan speed will increase with the temp

    min Duty cycle at 40%= The Fan starts up at 40% and stays there till the temp. exceeds 56° (with Tmin=50°, Compensation=6° , TRange slope=32°) passing 56° the Fan will increase with the temp. and reaches 100% at 86.8°.

    TRange slope:How fast the fan goes up to maximum speed , so it takes 32° before it hits 100% Fan speed , starting at 56°(Tmin:50° , Compensation=6°)and ending at 86.8°,

    Result= so with a little margin 56+32=88° or 86.8° with the little margin. Below 56°= fan 40% , over 56° the fan speed increases untill hitting 100% at 86.8°.


    For you , i believe you can not checkmark "Automatic Speed".

    Set TCrit: at 74° and THyst: at 2°= Fan runs 100% at 80°(with "Compensation" 6°)

    Ramp Rate= 7sec

    TMin=55°
    min Duty cycle=45%
    TRange slope:32°

    Checkmark "Acoustic Enhancment" , now your fan will not switch at once , but gradually over time.Starting with 45% untill 55° and then going up just to 100% when reaching 80°.

    Hope this is of some help. It seams that almost every BIOS of 9800GTX series is limited in the Fan settings .

    For the fan settings iI use MSI Afterburner.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  15. SnooSnoo

    SnooSnoo Maha Guru

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    Thanks for the info. :)
     

  16. tupezky26

    tupezky26 Member

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    Many thanks Civato!!!

    That's another lot of additional infos on how i would set my fanspeed IC settings in my BIOS. But maybe i'll try flashing when my spare 9800gt arrives later next month. Or maybe i'll try those settings on BIOS this weekend, if ever i would encounter problems i could always flash the original BIOS back right?

    About the Afterburner, already tried that, rivatuner and evga precision also. And the only reason why i would like to flash my gpu BIOS with an edited fanspeed settings is that when im using the above programs, whatever fanspeed i set whether fixed or using the curves in afterburner, whether i use low level or driver level, create launchers and schedulers in rivatuner, the fanspeed always resets to default if it reaches core temp of 70*C.

    i think the default autofanspeed of my card is

    min fan duty cycle = 35%;
    when the core temp reaches 70*C, fan duty cycle = 40%
    75*C --> 50%
    80*C --> 75%
    and so on...

    I wanted those fan speed it to be higher that's why i used those programs so that the higher fan speed would prevent the rising of core temp in short time. But it just reset to its default autofanspeed. So my last resort that came to my mind is to flash the bios with edited fanspeed and that(image on my previous post) is what i get, a blank settings on fan speed parameters. Damn, now i doubt if there would be an effect if i would put values on those parameters.

    I downloaded some BIOS of the same card with values on those parameters but the release date was older than the BIOS my card.
     
  17. tupezky26

    tupezky26 Member

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    @ Civato

    Yes youre right i could not mark Automatic Speed. But I can put values on the rest though.

    And on the Temperature tab, i can only change the values on Core threshold > Critical (which has a value of 105*C, and also on Fanspeed > Extra, 3D, Thrtl, and 2d. The rest are greyed out.
     
  18. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    I did some testing with a BIOS like yours , it seems that it has got limited control over the Thermal Fan controller. Option 1 : flash it with BIOS that support all the function of this controller , because what you need is the option "Automatic Speed".
    I'm doing a read up at the ADT7473 Thermal fan controller , so I will try to make a guide of this.

    And yes you can always flash Back your original BIOS. Do keep in mind that flashing your BIOS will make you loose your waranty .
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  19. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    I tested with a GT9800 XFX , also with the "FanSpeed IC settings" left blank.

    I noticed that when I safed the bios , close it and then opened it again the settings that i made where not saved.
    My conclusion , this bios is not capable of adjusting the settings of the fanspeed. Flashing to a other is a option but change is that it will not flash because of no match.

    If the settings are blank I could even say that the GPU doesn't have the "Thermal Fanspeed Controller"( ADT7473) , maybe this is why some cards are cheaper than other cards. It's like some cards have a adjustable voltage controller and some don't. The top cards cost more money but this is maybe one of the reasons , adjustable regulators.
     
  20. chinobino

    chinobino Maha Guru

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    Hi again civato,

    Some nice additions made to your guide (the screen shots are excellent) looking good :).

    Also some very good info on the more techincal 'fanspeed ic settings', well done bro!
     

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