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Author Topic: AMD IOMMU not on v1.6 BIOS, supposedly on (beta) 1.75 and later 1.7B  (Read 3330 times)

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  • Neo
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    I noticed the German forums have the changelogs of the beta BIOS. I'm well aware of the implications of flashing, and being a sw developer, of the implications of the word "beta", however the current v1.6 BIOS on the MSI FXA890-GD70 do not allow toggling AMD IOMMU on/off, as a result, GART IOMMU is used, no hw IOMMU is detected, and software bounce buffers are used, this when there is hw IOMMU present. For this alone flashing to 1.75 (beta) would be a worthy proposition. There seem to be other issues addressed as well which might be of interest.
    I already searched the forums but cannot find the beta BIOS here - aren't they available as in the German forums? (It's tricky to try and register and login if you don't know German ;))

    160->172 changelog:
- Fix the system stops on POST code "78" and shows a blinking cursor on screen if the BIOS is set as below:
1. Onboard 1/2nd LAN Controller : Disabled
2. On-Chip ATA Devices: RAID Mode : RAID[/list]- Clear PIC INTA#-INTH# register at start of post because after warm reset they can't be clear by Hardware.
- Fixed crisis recovery hang at 13h when BOOT_BLOCK = 2.
- Fix Press power button can't shutdown at CP38.
- Fix USB mouse driver can't be installed at DOS.
- Fix EMM386 error when loading EMM386 from USB Key. Fix sometime hang when copy file at USB key.
- Patch the "AMD Turbo Core Technology" function's CPUVID too high issue when over voltage from UP6262.
- Add "Auto" option for "AMD Turbo Core Technology" item and set to default value, the "Auto" option means that Turbo Core Technology will linked to AMD Cool'n'Quiet Technology.
- Modify the "Adjusted CPU Frequency" and "Adjusted Turbo Core Freq." function code for Rev E CPU.
- Modify M-Flash boot function will skip CPU FID VID init patch code.
- Update Unlock CPU Core Module v0.03.
- Update CPUZ module to label V009.

172->175 changelog (and the focus of interest for me in this case, the IOMMU)
- Fixed the DMA mode of SATA 5 and SATA 6 are Multiword DMA2 under OS error.
- Update CPUZ module to label V00B.
- save bb code size.
- Fix Customer plug Infrared remote receiver enter OS, it will be show 'Unknown Device'in Device Manager,but when plug remote control one time, OS can show correct device and driver.
- patch 'DDR Phase Control' function.
- Fixed CPU Frequency display error in CPU Specifications.
- Add IOMMU function.

175->176 changelog
- Fix system can wake up by lan when lan disable.

176-17A changelog (and another batch of bugfixes)
- Add solution for DMI type 17 memory speed incorrect.
- Update AMI AGESA to AGESAv3_13.71
- Update MSI AGESA to AGESAMSIv3_6.07
- Update AMD_SB800_SB to 010.
- Remove some code to save bootblock space.
- Remove the patch for "Press USB Keyboard key 'Del', can't go into Setup".
- Improve "OC Genie Lite" function:load default when "OC Genie Lite" from enabled to disabled.
- Improve "OC Genie Lite" function:calculate the overclock FSB just at the 1st time powering on.
- Update USB2: AMD SB800 Family module part to USB-2.24.05-SB-SB800_03.
- Set ATIG Spread Spectrum as Down 0.5% when Spread Spectrum enabled.

17A->17B changelog
- Fix Killer Xeno Pro Card couldn't be detected with any PCI_E slot.

I don't know if there's any inconvenient in posting this, it's public and MSI's knowledge - that was from the German MSI forum.
Anyone knows where to consult the latest changelogs, if there's any update post-17B (no pun intended), or where to download the BIOS files?

Thanks in advance.


  • Hawk
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Simply ask MSI for the beta BIOS file:
Former moderator and admin, 2004-2012


  • Neo
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Hi Stu

Already have, flashed with 1.7b11. I was having a couple of problems with boot disks, so, just for reference, if you do a SVN chekout of flashrom, and a GIT checkout of bios_extract, you can first use flashrom to read the current BIOS, bios_extract to extract the rom contents, and a small script:
for i in *.rom; do echo "$i" && sha1sum "$i" | tee `echo "$i"|sed -e 's,.rom,.sha1,g'`; done &> sha1cksums.txt
for the official MSI BIOS, and the BIOS that flashrom read and dumped into a file. Comparing by size obviously won't do the trick, you need to extract the roms and do the cksums on them to see if they match. Then compare them for differences, diff -q official_sha1sums.txt flashromread_sha1sums.txt. If they differ, you'll be noticed.

If they differ however, then this should ring alarm bells, and you shouldn't proceed further. While it's perfectly safe to read the BIOS contents and analyze it, erasing the BIOS or writing into isnt.
In any case, it's not for the faint hearted. If you have a stock kernel with everything on and modular, you might have to disable PAT and strict /dev/mem access . If you built a custom minimal kernel, you need to enable SPI and load the SPI modules, as well as I2C.
If you do a flashrom -V, you'll see that the BIOS chip is identified, it's the Macronix MX25L1605 (2048KB, SPI), and it uses the SPI interface.
Flashrom does an ERASE before writing the new BIOS, and in SB850 ERASE is untested, although there are reports in the flashrom mailing list of successful flashing of a MSI 890GX motherboard.
So, for reference, you can flash the MSI FXA890-GD70 with flashrom - if you know what you're doing. If not, it's best to use the USB drive utility (i just didn't had one around, amazing as this might seem....). Boots, everything up and running, AMD IOMMU detected, and i'm a happy customer ;)



  • Neo
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Just a couple of thoughts if you use this process. If you have stored BIOS profiles, after the flashing (the flashing verifies the write, everything is confirmed ok), when you boot, you might see a CRC error, and F2 to default to safe values. Enter the bios setup, go to default safe values, restore everything to safe values, save, exit. Then you can go to the BIOS and set everything.
This surely is related with the unsupported ERASE in flashrom.

P.S.: again, not for the faint-hearted...
« Last Edit: 20-August-10, 19:30:13 by SAL9000 »
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