TC4400 - BIOS whitelisting and mods?

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by Hattori Hanzo, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    As noted in my signature I've ordered some used TC440 just a couple of days ago. It hasn't arrived yet, but I remembered that HP is big in BIOS whitelisting.

    As I plan to shove in a newer WiFi card that supports 802.11n and there's apparently none officially supported I guess I'm going to run into that wall.

    So, does anyone have some information about tools and ways to edit or entirely remove the whitelist stuff in the BIOS?
     
  2. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I took a bit of time to check Google about the topic. I don't want to reinvent the wheel if someone else rubber tires for sale already...

    The original BIOS comes in an inconvenient format, but at least it provides some insight with a hex editor. The vendor and device ID of the Intel card my toy tablet came with is present two times, of course in FU endian encoding as 86802242. The subsystem ID's not present as it seems, though, which makes me a bit suspicious.
    I also found a nice tool that calculates checksums and differences, though. I'd prefer to be able to just inject my own checksum, but well, for the dirty version there should be enough places to safely edit to just correct content to fit the checksum.

    Also very interesting is that many HP laptops, including the TC4400, seem to have an emergency recovery for BIOS flashes gone wrong, that requires a USB floppy. If you keep all 4 arrow keys or win key and b pressed during power on, sources cite both combinations, hard coded routine should try to read the BIOS sequentially from the beginning of the disc and flash it, if the filename's right. Which is right differs according to sources, but bios.bin seems plausible :D

    This reduces the risk of bricking the laptop and the need to thoroughly understand everything enormously.

    In the meantime the "new" TC has made a ride back to the seller as the condition was not exactly as described. Another one, hopefully in the condition the seller promised initially, should arrive the next days, though.
     
  3. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I got another TC from the seller and this time it's fabulous!
    The only things I can tell from that it has been used is a slight bit of dust in the PCMCIA slot, a bit of dirt on the power key and a cosmetic scratch on the hinge cover. Everything else looks practically new and I'm tempted to think the touchpad and keyboard are actually brand new replacement parts.

    In the meantime I went on a bit with modding the BIOS. Google and an existing thread about modding HP BIOSes was a great help and spared me a lot of work I would have needed to do myself.
    It's now accepting a non HP Intel Wifi Link 5100 and switching it on and off with the hardware button also works.

    As the undervolting part has also been done already, there slipped some piece of wire into the CPU socket, always happens to me, it's now ready for production and currently getting its new Windows install.

    Oh, and she's btw named Petra now :D
     
  4. tunerhead001

    tunerhead001 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    hey, i've been recently playing with a tc4400 and have run into the problem with the bios whitelist on the different wifi adapters. I've been trying to have it accept an intel 5100 as well but i dont know how to modify bios. Could you tell me where you found the one you're using or possibly email me the file?

    Any help is appreciated!
     
  5. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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  6. NikolaTesla

    NikolaTesla tc4400 Pro

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    You can thank me later This is a website for a ton of HP laptop modified whitelist BIOS. (It removes all Whitelists) My friend made all of these back in 09 or something like that so i thought i would point you guys to this.

    This is no request thread! HP COMPAQ bioses, how to modify the bios? - Page 111

    This Works on many HP laptops including the tc4400 and the 2710p. some support for the tc4200
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  7. td4802

    td4802 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Good Stuff! I have been trying to verify this for some time. I'm not worried about whitelisting, but I DO WANT to upgrade my HDD. This BIOS mod enabled that for you? Or is it a DDO? Thanks for any help with this.
     
  8. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    @ Tesla

    Interesting link :)

    @ td4802

    You do not need a modified BIOS if you just wnt to change your harddisk. Spare yourself the hassle in this case.
     
  9. td4802

    td4802 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for reply. I am confused. I have seen many references to a 137gb BIOS limit on 1st partition size. Now, I wish to be be able to boot to a partition beyond this range. Is this doable with stock BIOS? Is it doable at all? I can get a recertified 500gb drive for cheap. Can I just slap it in & slice it up? TIA for your info, experiences, and contributions.
     
  10. Hattori Hanzo

    Hattori Hanzo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    If there is such a limit, you would have a very hard time removing it. That's way different than just removing the whitelist.
    For one, Windows usually creates a ~100MB partition in front of its actual OS partition anyway. So you are booting from a 100MB partition. If there still is a problem, just create, say, an 80GB partition for the OS and make the rest a separate 400GB partition. Depending on why you want to have one huge partition, another possibility would be to mount the second partition inside a folder on the first one.

    So in short: Give it a try. At worst you'll need to fiddle a bit with partitions and that's not really that big of a deal.
     
  11. tc4400newb

    tc4400newb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello, I noticed that you are using a tc4400 with a 500 gb HD. I was curious if you still had a copy of that modified bios that you could send my way. The links are down. I hope you view this, I tried to PM you but I'm too new of a member and don't have those privileges. Anyway, thanks in advance.
     
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