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VCS BIOS Password

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Question.  Would it not be better to just solder up some pins so you could just jumper it on the future?

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38 minutes ago, leech said:

Question.  Would it not be better to just solder up some pins so you could just jumper it on the future?

 

Would be the first thing.

 

BTW, this is just an SPI flash chip, you should be able to read this easily.  I know I can.

 

What he is doing is kind of strange, as he is connecting the clock line to SIO1.

 

 

Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 4.27.25 PM.png

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Thinking about it some more, if SIO1 is an input (But it is normally call MISO, which is an output), it gets strobed by the clock signal.  But if it is an output, it should completely mess up the chips logic.

 

EDIT: Would be interesting to look at the contents of that chip.  I have chip probes for this kind of chip, if anyone wants to borrow one.  Or get one for super cheap from Amazon, given of course, that you have a device programmer.  Or you could get a small MCU and go directly at the SPI bus, probably the easiest way.

 

These could also be used to simply extend the flash to the outside of the case, for instance.

 

51ukT1g0BDL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

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@0_obeWAN

I also removed AtariOS on the eMMC. It seems they implemented additional checks (BIOS).

I did not deactivate secure boot and my boot list is still there.

It seems one has to decide, which way to go:

I) using the VCS as a PC (streaming etc)

II) using it as designed by Atari

Thanks for the flowers, but I am just a hobbyist, who was upset with the current software supplied by Atari ;-)

 

 

Edited by Charles Darwin
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@CPUWIZ

Well...I was looking for the output pin. The labeling was kind of different. I assumed that this one is most likely the output.

The idea is that once you hit enter, the chip cannot supply the password info and after a timeout the system loads some backup bios config. After you change settings you can save them permanently. Unfortunately, once you open the Bios you always see the backup standard configuration, regardless what you changed last time. So you always have to repeat all changes and save...

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9 hours ago, leech said:

Question.  Would it not be better to just solder up some pins so you could just jumper it on the future?


I have soldered a micro switch from the beginning, so it works perfectly. You can later close the housing again and you don't run the risk of creating a short-circuit.

 

Cheers,

andY

 

1610798785249.JPEG

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Update : Atari has apparently said on discord that the new password is temporary and :

 

"Our goal is to provide access to the BIOS. We know the community wants that access, and we are working on some solutions that give more experienced users the access they need ... also trying to come up with a solution that keeps less experienced users away from things that could brick the VCS."

 

"Changing the BIOS password was something we felt we needed to do, but did not really want to do, and we see it as a temporary step.

Our warranty has language in it re: hardware upgrades ... upgrading the RAM or adding an SSD does not void the warranty, but any damage you might do by accident while performing the upgrades is not covered by warranty. We just need to add similar language around the BIOS ... the goal is to allow folks back in soon ...

we want to make the PC experience as open as possible and this has been an active discussion within our team. We have a long-term solution in mind, but are also working to get a short term solution in your hands so you can get back into the BIOS. Just want everyone to know that this is on our radar and we are taking the request seriously."

 

So, good news it seems!

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Awesome.  As weird as it sounds to all the people that keep refusing to believe the VCS is a thing that exists and somehow even managed to be a bit better than what I thought it would be, Atari does seem to be making things 'right' or at least very much attempting to.

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Congrats to Atari for promising to eventually do the right thing here, but can anyone think of another computer manufacturer who doesn't give you access to the BIOS settings?

 

And sure, it's possible to brick a computer by putting out of range values into some of the overclock settings. However, when the entirety of the consumer laptop market seems to be able to live with this possibility, I'm not sure why it's a big deal.

 

 

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58 minutes ago, Matt_B said:

Congrats to Atari for promising to eventually do the right thing here, but can anyone think of another computer manufacturer who doesn't give you access to the BIOS settings?

 

And sure, it's possible to brick a computer by putting out of range values into some of the overclock settings. However, when the entirety of the consumer laptop market seems to be able to live with this possibility, I'm not sure why it's a big deal.

 

 

Flip that, can anyone think of a console maker that allows you into the BIOS?

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2 minutes ago, leech said:

Flip that, can anyone think of a console maker that allows you into the BIOS?

Pretty much all of the ones that'll let you install Windows on them. Alienware Alpha, Steam Machines, GPD Win, Aya Neo, etc.

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9 minutes ago, Matt_B said:

Pretty much all of the ones that'll let you install Windows on them. Alienware Alpha, Steam Machines, GPD Win, Aya Neo, etc.

Sure.  If you look at the majority of those they are usually stripped down bioses like laptops.  I am honestly shocked the VCS has as many opinions as it does.  Only other motherboards that have that many are usually really old, or the eXtreme Gaming with RGB and overclock all the things! ones.  Though for sure they tend to have pretty interfaces for them.

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2 hours ago, Matt_B said:

promising to eventually

 

 

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Posted (edited)

My guess is they’ll put a logged “acceptance” disclaimer in the main OS. If you accept the disclaimer it will log your acceptance of it indicating you take responsibility for damaging the system via the BIOS settings if it should happen. Then if you agree you’ll be allowed to proceed as you had before.

Edited by yrly

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As a professional EET, I will point out that the problem in shorting pin 2 to pin 6 is this shorts outputs to outputs. This causes invalid voltage levels therefore invalid data (and therefore no password available)...

The question is not will you make a mistake in shorting the right pins but how long before the over-powered chip(s) quit working and you lose normal functionality after removing the short.

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On 3/7/2021 at 5:06 AM, imajeff said:

As a professional EET, I will point out that the problem in shorting pin 2 to pin 6 is this shorts outputs to outputs. This causes invalid voltage levels therefore invalid data (and therefore no password available)...

The question is not will you make a mistake in shorting the right pins but how long before the over-powered chip(s) quit working and you lose normal functionality after removing the short.

Trust us, we are professional scientists 😎

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2 minutes ago, leech said:


Yes, I know this😎!
Thatswhy i made this ambiguous joke 😉

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6 minutes ago, andymanone said:


Yes, I know this😎!
Thatswhy i made this ambiguous joke 😉

I always expext him to pop in and do quotes. 

But...

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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On 2/28/2021 at 3:48 PM, EuroGamer said:

Update : Atari has apparently said on discord that the new password is temporary and :

 

"Our goal is to provide access to the BIOS. We know the community wants that access, and we are working on some solutions that give more experienced users the access they need ... also trying to come up with a solution that keeps less experienced users away from things that could brick the VCS."

 

"Changing the BIOS password was something we felt we needed to do, but did not really want to do, and we see it as a temporary step.

Our warranty has language in it re: hardware upgrades ... upgrading the RAM or adding an SSD does not void the warranty, but any damage you might do by accident while performing the upgrades is not covered by warranty. We just need to add similar language around the BIOS ... the goal is to allow folks back in soon ...

we want to make the PC experience as open as possible and this has been an active discussion within our team. We have a long-term solution in mind, but are also working to get a short term solution in your hands so you can get back into the BIOS. Just want everyone to know that this is on our radar and we are taking the request seriously."

 

So, good news it seems!

Good news that they are working on properly granting us access to the BIOS.

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On 1/15/2021 at 5:18 PM, reidacus said:

I got in touch with Atari support about the same question and this is the statement I got back.

 

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide you with this information at the moment. As soon as it becomes available to us we will get in touch with you.

As soon as it becomes available?... Did they lose piece of paper the password was scribbled on? Frustrating to say the least.

Lol, like the support guys have anything to do with the engineers.

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17 minutes ago, MASTER260 said:

Lol, like the support guys have anything to do with the engineers.

Hey, now - there's nothing that says support can't do a little moonlighting if they want to.

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1 hour ago, x=usr(1536) said:

Hey, now - there's nothing that says support can't do a little moonlighting if they want to.

Ha, when our support tries to do engineering work, Very Bad Things happen.

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