Acer 5810tz's "Secret" (Shhhhh!) BIOS Menu

As described in http://marcansoft.com/blog/2009/06/enabling-intel-vt-on-the-aspire-8930g/ and on NotebookReview's Forum, there are hidden menus in Insyde's Acer  BIOS.  Some folks modify their BIOSes to enable them; however,  on the Acer 5810, it's possible to enable some of these menus with just a setup change, which is, of course, safer than having to flash your whole BIOS just to modify a single boolean.

To do so, you need:
Copy the utilities to the usb disk and create a batchfile (ex. modify.bat) and add the following:
flashit Setup A04A27F4-DF00-4D42-B552-39511302113D /rb:setup
grdb setup
flashit Setup A04A27F4-DF00-4D42-B552-39511302113D /wb:setup
Reboot to DOS on the USB stick, run the batchfile and in GRDB type:
e 31a 1 

When you reboot, you should have an extra menu "Intel" below "D2D Recovery"

The "hidden setup" is usually located immediately after the "D2D recovery" variable.  If you wish to locate it on a different version of Acer Insyde bios, you can write out the setup variable ( the /RB command-line) with and without D2D recovery enabled.  The location one past that will be what you need. For example:
fc /b setup1 setup2
Comparing files SETUP1 and SETUP2
00000219: 00 01
Which is 21A (or 31a if you are using GRDB, because GRDB pretends it's a .COM file )

Although its unlikely that messing up the setup variables will cause the laptop to not boot, prudence would be to know how to use the FN-ESC "Crisis Recovery mode" and know what the filename is for your particular laptop.  (Mine is JM41X64.fd)
Possibly Useful Reference:
Post On Lenovo Forum With FlashIt Parameters

"Secret" menu available. 





  1. Hi!

    I have an Acer Aspire 5720Z notebook. I can't unpack with setupdump.py and other tools aren't work too. If I ask you, can you patch my bios, to use the advanced menu? I uploaded the original bios from Acer: http://djpety.nt-hosting.hu/BIOS_v1.45.zip

  2. I'm rather involved playing with various projects, so I don't have time to disassemble your BIOS. I did take a glance at the file you posted, and it does appear it deviates from the standard setup form layout.

    If you want someone to take a look at your specific BIOS, you'd probably have better luck posting on Marcan's blog asking.

    You can still try my suggestions for poking about in your CMOS if you're feeling cavalier, since the variable locations aren't necessary dependent on the setup form layout. Ie, read the variable list, change the byte, write it.

  3. Okay, I read Marcan's blog, and I found the BIOS, that works on my laptop :) (because it's for multiple models) - Anyway, thank you for your anwser!

  4. I tried this on an Aspire 5742Z with no results. The file comparison showed my D2D location as 218, so I modified 219 with GRDB and got nothing. Just to see what would happen, I then modified 21A and 218 (31A and 318 in GRDB) and they changed nothing as well. I'd really like to make this work if you have any ideas. Kind of wary of flashing a "general purpose" BIOS from Marcan's blog. Thanks!

  5. Your BIOS doesn't have a hidden menu tree.

    Instead, you have hidden sections, which have been talked about on Marcan's blog as a "subclass disable mechanism" --- but no solution is known.

    However, it's still possible to change particular entries with the read/write variable method described - what fields are you seeking to change?

  6. auxtin: You may find this thread of use: http://forum.notebookreview.com/acer/541716-acer-5742g-bios-modding.html
    Not sure if it applies to you as well, Pety.

  7. hello mate can you please tell me if acer 7720g has any hidden setting to unlock...

    link: http://support.acer-euro.com/drivers/notebook/as_7720.html

  8. Panos: It doesn't have the same Intel menu mine does; If you hit the comment section on Marcan's blog, though, towards the end, there are posters who've released mods for the 7720...
    I started looking at yours until I remembered to check on Marcan's, so, for what it's worth, here's what I used to get a proper dumpsetup output for the 7720 v1.45:

    bgrep.py -o 5d000080 CL50145A.fd
    CL50145A.fd [1048576 (0x100000) bytes]
    135273 0x21069 12.90%
    dd if=CL50145A.fd of=out.lzma bs=1 skip=135273

    After decompressing and running the dump scripts, modify dumpsetup.py:
    STRING_TABLE = 0x6F80
    storage_map = {} FORMS = [('A', 0x18b98)]

    dumpacer7720.py fe3542fe-c1d3-4ef8-7c65-8048606ff670-SetupUtility.sec0.sub2.pe >> dumpedsetup.txt

  9. Well, I'm not sure of all the goodies I'll be able to access since the Intel page for the P6100 states that it doesn't support VT-x in the chip. However I would look to be able to shut off things like my optical drive, SD reader and LAN ethernet to save some battery. If there's a way you know of to do this on a hardware level without modifying the BIOS I'd sure like to know. Thanks again for the replies. :)

  10. Well, I haven't ever tried myself, but it seems there are some options in your BIOS that may lend itself to doing so. You can change the variables as I mention above, and not have to flash... of course, you'll have to see what 'sticks'. And remember, even if you're not doing a flash, you can still screw stuff up, so be careful...

    Grayout If
    EQ [0x85<1>] == 0x2
    EQ [0x86<1>] == 0x1
    One Of [0xe6<1>] 'Lan'
    \Help text: 'ENABLE: Enable the Lan controller. DISABLED: Disable the Lan controller can be selectable.'
    Option 'Disabled' = 0x0 Flags 0x1 Key 0x0
    Option 'Enabled' = 0x1 Flags 0x0 Key 0x0
    End One Of

    You can at least use direct i/o virtualization:
    \Help text: 'Check to enable VT-d function on MCH'
    Option 'Disabled' = 0x0 Flags 0x10 Key 0x0
    Option 'Enabled' = 0x1 Flags 0x11 Key 0x0

    One Of [0x1a1<1>] 'VT Support'
    \Help text: 'Vanderpool Technology Enable/Disable.'
    Option 'Enabled' = 0x1 Flags 0x5 Key 0x45
    Option 'Disabled' = 0x0 Flags 0x4 Key 0x45

    Also, you've got this setting you could play with:
    One Of [0x1a0<1>] 'Boot Performance Mode'
    \Help text: 'Select the performace state that BIOS will set befor OS handoff.'
    Option 'Max Battery' = 0x1 Flags 0x0 Key 0x0
    Option 'Max Performace' = 0x0 Flags 0x1 Key 0x0

    Regarding your optical drive, be careful...

    One Of [0x36<1>] 'IDE Controller'
    \Help text: 'DISABLED: disables both the PATA & SATA IDE controllers. BOTH: enables both the PATA & SATA IDE controllers.'
    Option 'Disabled' = 0x0 Flags 0x0 Key 0x0
    Option 'Enabled' = 0x1 Flags 0x1 Key 0x0

    As for your card reader, you can go through and see which one it's hooked up to:

    One Of [0x101<1>] 'Usb Port0'
    \Help text: 'Enable/Disable Port 0'
    Option 'Disabled' = 0x0 Flags 0x0 Key 0x0
    Option 'Enabled' = 0x1 Flags 0x1 Key 0x0
    End One Of

  11. Hey, I really appreciate all the effort you went through for me, but this wouldn't be a good solution as it would kind of be a pain in the ass to reenable the hardware should I need to use it. Many, MANY thanks, however.

  12. Help, crysis recovery impossible and flashit shows Error: FADT not found!
    How can the modifications be undone?

  13. No idea; ask tech support (which I'm not). This post isn't about flashing, and if you're not using the exact same machine/specs, then you can't expect it to work the same.

    Use google, or call your vendor, and find out what you need, if you've flashed your bios.

  14. solved, like a lot of other people I needed to find out the correct insyde recovery filename ... found help at mdl : ) so I cam verify this 'hack' breaks the FADT (APCI) on my aspire one d150.

  15. You must have missed that bit in my post for the crisis bit? :) Anyway, glad you got it solved, and thanks for updating status here, in case others run into the same issue. After all, the only machine I know works for sure is mine! ;)

  16. Seth, there must be locked options in my bios, for exapmple the Aspire One D150 has an internal mini-PCIe Port which is unusable.
    On the other hand I had some detection issues with different mini-PCIe WLAN adapters.
    Can you check out what's locked?
    The link to the latest bios v1.13 is http://bit.ly/JcGlSo

  17. Unfortunately, not easily. The VM I had my tools in got corrupted, and I haven't had the time to set it all back up again. If you read through the thread on Marcan's blog, though, you should be able to get to where you can do it. Sorry I can't be more help right now. ;(

  18. hi seth i read your guide but grdb fails ending with this error:
    IHISI 01h fail
    internal error
    VATS incorrect output buffer format

    what can i do?

    i've posted on mydigitallife http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/7033-Insyde-bios-mod-requests/page1145?p=608255&viewfull=1#post608255

  19. i'm very confuse, what is this A04A27F4-DF00-4D42-B552-39511302113D? where we can find that code?
    i have acer 756, support.acer.com/ca/en/product/default.aspx?modelId=4284

  20. I am trying this on my 4820tg. when i run the batchfile i just get output: Variable name: Setup. Variable read data:

    it doesn't run grdb at all... what am i doing wrong?

  21. Are you using a text editor, or something like Microsoft Word? What happens if you type them in one at a time, on the commandline?

    If this is giving you trouble, you might want to not play around with your BIOS. You could seriously hose your machine, and it won't be covered under warranty.

  22. Hi,

    I came across this blogspot whilst looking for a way to enable hardware virtualisation on a chip which supports it. I'm trying to get the WP8 emulator working on an Acer Aspire 5742 running Windows 7 with a Windows 8 Pro VM. I've tried a few different VM brands and configurations before realising my problem is that I can't enable Hyper-V in my win8 VM because it thinks my processor doesn't support hardware virtualisation.

    I think it's lying and confirmed this with a sysinternals dump...

    Coreinfo v3.2 - Dump information on system CPU and memory topology
    Copyright (C) 2008-2012 Mark Russinovich
    Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com

    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 480 @ 2.67GHz
    Intel64 Family 6 Model 37 Stepping 5, GenuineIntel
    HYPERVISOR - Hypervisor is present
    VMX * Supports Intel hardware-assisted virtualiza
    EPT * Supports Intel extended page tables (SLAT)

    ...so SLAT (EPT) is supported and so I turned to the BIOS. I'm now shocked that I can't fix this easily in the BIOS setup menu. Some of the stuff mentioned in these posts I don't fully understand, and especially the risk levels leaving me scared and confused about the best way to sort it out.

    Has anyone got any advice or reassurance?

    Huge thanks in advance!