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andymanone

VCS BIOS Password

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@andymanone

Wonderfull!!! Great job! 😃

Teamwork is always the best strategy!

 

A guy above wrote something about hate. No...I dont hate the VCS. It's actually a nice piece of hardware. I like it. Unfortunately the guy who designed it, quit the job more than a year ago...and it seems Atari does not have the manpower to turn this into a success story. I could be wrong though...I am still curious what updates we will see...in the coming months...

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13 minutes ago, Charles Darwin said:

A guy above wrote something about hate. No...I dont hate the VCS. It's actually a nice piece of hardware. I like it. Unfortunately the guy who designed it, quit the job more than a year ago...and it seems Atari does not have the manpower to turn this into a success story. I could be wrong though...I am still curious what updates we will see...in the coming months...

Yes, I read this post and decide, to press mentally the "Ignore Button" 😏

 

Funny fact:

 

The most of negative postings come from people they:

 

a) never support the development of the VCS in the past

b) never call this piece of hardware "its own"

c) never be willing, to buy this in the future

 

Nevertheless, I like this VCS thing and it gives me pleasure, to fiddle around with it.. 🙂

 

Cheers,

andY

 

Edited by andymanone
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56 minutes ago, 4ever2600 said:

Haaaa, cpu speed = 2600 on the Atari VCS.  How cliche... 🤣

It goes actually up to more than 3400Mhz...when you start a program...(the screenshot is below 3400...but believe me)

 

EDIT: oh, I see...2600...😉

 

 

core speed.png

Edited by Charles Darwin
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3 hours ago, AlecRob said:

Yall sure are putting a lot of work into hacking a console most of you spent the last three years passionately hating.  

Not true.  I may be one of "the haters", but I have not, and will not put other people down if they are enjoying the system.  Just because I'm a Mopar guy, doesn't mean I can't appreciate Fords and Chevys ya know.

 

I'm actually finding the hacking here incredibly interesting and fun to watch.

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1 hour ago, andymanone said:

Yes, I read this post and decide, to press mentally the "Ignore Button" 😏

 

Klasse, das ist das Beste, was Du machen kannst. 👍

 

Auch vom Norden. ;)

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3 hours ago, andymanone said:

 Okay guys,

 

finally I guess, I got it now 😎.

 

After fiddling around with different options and some strange behavior of the VCS,

I have figured out whats do, to make the BIOS changes persistent, without deleting partitions (or the whole ATARI-OS) from the eMMC.

 

- First of all you have to prepare the hardware hack from @Charles Darwin 

- After than go to the BIOS and change all options, you want to change.

- Finally go to "AMD CBS" menu, "choose FCH Common options" , go to "eMMC Options" and than go down to choose "eMMC Boot" (see pictures attached too)
- now choose "Disabled" and press F10 (Save & Exit)

- now let´s reboot the system and start straight forward to the ATARI-OS

- it will be forced an "Dummy" Update procedure, but after it´s done, ATARI-OS works fine, and doesn´t ask again for Updates after reboot (except a real new Update is available)

- now you can start your alternative OS with your prefered proper BIOS settings 😉

 

(See pictures attached....the last two pictures shows the "VT enabled" message from Task manager and from the NOX app too)

 

I tried out this procedure for two times to proof, and it works for me.

 

Cheers,

andY

 

 

 

 

1610832329514.JPEG

1610832330043.JPEG

1610832330197.JPEG

1610832330512.JPEG

1610825925823.JPEG

1610832329657.JPEG

1610832671340.JPEG

 

 

 

I have some questions. I want to try this but am not sure if the risks outweigh the benefits so I will get straight to what it is I would like to accomplish from full bios access. You 2 seem to have gotten very far along. You tell me based on what you have found in the bios if it's possible.

 

*I want to re-allocate system RAM to video RAM By default it uses 2 GB of RAM for video but I now have  the full 32 GB and would like to allocate at least 8 GB to video. Can this be done?

 

* I wouldn't mind trying to slightly overclock the APU. Are any options available for this?

 

* I want to boot from my installed SSD instead of an external SSD because I believe the access speeds will be faster. Can this be changed here?

 

 

Thanks and keep up the good work!

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If you want to boot from the M.2 SSD, I think it should work. There is no standard page in the Bios where you can define the boot order, but Andy's approach with the emmc setting might work.

The video settings seem to be very limited. On the other hand, there are many settings, which I dont even know what they are supposed to do.

I did not find any overclocking page. I guess the laptop vent isnt really capable of removing the heat anyway. As far as I can remember, you can increase the frequency of the RAM though and other stuff...

Edited by Charles Darwin

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17 hours ago, Charles Darwin said:

Here are some more images of the VCS BiOS...in case somebody is interested

IMG_20210116_160232.jpg

 

Is the Thermal Fan Control disabled after basically resetting the BIOS? (Seems like that should be enabled?)

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When you apply this hack, it's not a reset. You are just connecting the data output pin with the clk pin of the chip. So the Bios is waiting for the password data in memory, but doesnt get any.

Why the Bios opens in virgin mode after that, I dont know. Maybe because it doesnt get any settings data too. So If you changed anything before, it won't display that change.

The temperature control works. My vent is as hyperactive as before 😉

 

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7 hours ago, WAVE 1 GAMES said:

*I want to re-allocate system RAM to video RAM By default it uses 2 GB of RAM for video but I now have  the full 32 GB and would like to allocate at least 8 GB to video. Can this be done?

In practice, it's not going to matter. In the unlikely event that you run out of video RAM, the graphics driver will start requesting and using system RAM, which in the case of the VCS is physically the same thing. Because it's all over the same bus and at the same speed, in contrast to the much faster video RAM on a discrete graphics card, you're unlikely to suffer a noticeable performance hit. All the BIOS setting really does is tell the operating system not to use the specified RAM, so the graphics driver doesn't have to request it.

 

You could potentially gain extra system RAM by reducing that number, but since you've already maxed it out that's unlikely to be an issue. Machines with only the base 8GB might potentially benefit from that for memory hungry applications though.

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15 hours ago, AlecRob said:

Yall sure are putting a lot of work into hacking a console most of you spent the last three years passionately hating.  

Nice try but uhm, I think most of the people you would categorize as "Hating" actually do not HAVE a console 😉 why would they? Pretty sure the people hacking it or trying to do more with it now actually own one meaning THEY BACKED IT. Do what you want with yours, some people like to push their hardware, learn and tinker simply because they can. Nice try there though 🙄

Edited by OldSchoolRetroGamer
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12 hours ago, digdugnate said:

reading about the process of bypassing the BIOS password/etc is fascinating.  :)  keep it up!

Btw, 

I´ve just another cool VCS Mod/Hack on my desk 😎, but unfortunately, I´m still waiting for a couple of missing electronic parts I need for this project.

Parts come from oversea, so the delivery is delayed, more than expected 😕.

 

After receiving (and got success of course), I´ll post it here. I guess, it could be for interest for a couple of guys 😉.

 

Cheers,

andY

 

 

 

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i'm interested in hearing about it, for sure, and that this kind of stuff is encouraged on AA.  :)

 

To quote a friend: "I thought the best thing about the atarivcs was that it was open!!! Sandbox mode!  Upgradeable!"

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18 hours ago, Charles Darwin said:

It goes actually up to more than 3400Mhz...when you start a program...(the screenshot is below 3400...but believe me)

 

EDIT: oh, I see...2600...😉

 

 

core speed.png

Lol glad you caught it... was definitely a pun...

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I checked again...restored the original state of the eMMC with the Atari flash USB stick and entered the BIOS with my little friend (paperclip). Changed the AMD SVM setting back to disable. Rebooted. My virtualbox machines complained about missing virtualization option in the BIOS. Restarted...BIOS...enabled the AMD SVM setting...F10...booted into the Atari OS. No update. Restarted...ESC...chose my M.2 drive...Linux Mint...my virtualmachines worked again.

So I dont need the "eMMC boot disable" thing. My changes are always persistent...dont know why...despite any recovery mechanisms on the eMMC. I just need my paperclip ;-)

 

...just one more thing...somebody asked about overclocking features in the BIOS...he might love this screenshot

DRAM-timing.jpg

Edited by Charles Darwin
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38 minutes ago, Charles Darwin said:

So I dont need the "eMMC boot disable" thing. My changes are always persistent...dont know why...despite any recovery mechanisms on the eMMC. I just need my paperclip ;-)

Hmm, thats strange, but good to know 👍🏻.... 
 

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On 1/16/2021 at 2:55 PM, Charles Darwin said:

Interesting...good job!

As I said, I cleaned the eMMC completely (with gparted), so my BIOS changes are persistent. Currently, I just want to use the VCS as a Linux PC with lots of VM images and as a streaming client. If the AtariOS ever evolves to something grown-ups can use...I will use my usb recovery stick to restore the orginal state of the eMMC.

So does that mean AtariOS is modifying the BIOS?   So it must store the password somewhere,  maybe even in cleartext! :) 

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On 1/18/2021 at 8:17 AM, Charles Darwin said:

...just one more thing...somebody asked about overclocking features in the BIOS...he might love this screenshot

 

I wonder if selecting 'I Agree' blows a protection fuse somewhere just to indicate that it was selected.  Even if no changes were made to the clock settings, it'd still act as a possibly-silent indicator of someone having at least been poking around in there.

 

If that is the case, I really want to see the look on the face of the first person whose warranty claim for one that they immolated through overclocking is denied after they stated that they didn't know what went wrong with it. :D

Edited by x=usr(1536)
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Retroaxis actually made a video of the BIOS. (I only watched on mute so far.)
There is a discussion about the password being known, but it may be this way
of bypassing the security, in which case I think he should credit the source. 🙂
 

 

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@justclaws

Thanks...I saw it too...on Facebook. I dont know the guy. If he knows the password, fine! If he just did the pin-connecting-thing...he's a bit late 😁

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He types in a password in the video... it is 10 characters long. In the comments he says, "It's on the system, you just need to know where/how to look for it." So maybe you have to prowl around the file system to find it.

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I mean I know the password, but watching people bypass secure boot via physical means tickles my hacker bone!  It was posted publicly by someone on the discord chat server just a bit ago.

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