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How To Flash Your GPU BIOS

The other day I was fantasising about upgrading my workstation, no seriously, I have dreams about updating all my
components, I really do.

Anyhow, whilst visiting various online vendors, all the while costing how much my wish list of components would set me back;
it finally dawned on me that I wasnt a millionaire and couldnt afford it, instant frowny face.

Undaunted, I decided to do something about it. I didnt want to overclock, so I went the software route. I decided to update all
my components BIOS and firmware. It was all fairly straight forward; download said firmware from vendors, run as
administrator and hey presto, absolutely no real noticeable improvement at all, oh well.



What really caused me a lot of hassles was my Nvidia Quadro FX 5600 card. Its starting to show its age now, its a DirectX 10
card not DirectX 11, so there goes any chance of playing Crysis 3 (dont get me started on Cryteks decision not to support
DirectX 10 cards). Dont misunderstand me, its a great card and hasnt failed me yet. It just doesnt perform with Adobe
Creative Suite CS6 using the Mercury playback engine, despite the CUDA hacks mentioned on the forums
ofhttp://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm.

This is so disappointing because it wasnt a cheap card when I originally bought it, it just falls short of the minimum CUDA
requirement for the Mercury playback engine and to make it worse I cant play Crysis 3more frowny face.

Enough of the rant...rise above it.

I was trying to find a way to hack the card to squeeze the last bit of goodness out of it, scouring the internet, I finally stumbled
onto a solution that seemed promising, flashing the GPU EFI/UEFI BIOS. I was reading stuff
like http://hackaday.com/2013/03/18/hack-removes-firmware-crippling-from-nvidia-graphics-card/.

I wasnt going to break out my soldiering iron anytime soon because if I cocked it up I didnt have the funds to go buy a new
workstation card.

In the end I found a solution that worked for me and decided to share it hoping to help anyone who is interested and wants to go
down a similar route.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=cx6t4p8XBU4

Firstly what is your GPU EFI/UEFI BIOS?

Well simply put, the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) has been replaced by UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)
and is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware.

What we are going to do is update or upgrade your GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), the Basic Input / Output System or BIOS
firmware interface, present in all personal computers to a newer version in order to prolong the life of the card and/or add
functionality.

Disclaimer, I am running Windows 8 on my workstation and havent tested anything on Macs or their OS, but I have read of
several successes on the internet. In my particular case, I have an Nvidia card but this technique works for ATI cards also.

Lets begin:

01 Optional: Download and install Piriform Speccy to find out advanced system information. It tells you what BIOS your
component are running (https://www.piriform.com/speccy).



02 Download, install and start GPU-Z. Verify your BIOS version and save the cards original BIOS. This will be your safety net
if it goes wrong. Keep it SAFE (http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z).



03 Download the latest correct video BIOS (must be a .rom file) for your card (http://www.techpowerup.com/vgabios).

04 You can either; Download, install and open NiBiTor, loading the BIOS that you previously saved with GPU-Z, overclock
your cards settings and saving a new version of the overclocked BIOS (http://www.techspot.com/downloads/2731-nvidia-bios-
editor.html).



04 Or just download and install the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool to make a bootable USB
(http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=197).



05 Download and extract Windows 98 boot files (http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=196).







06 Connect your USB to your PC, launch the HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool as an Administrator:



- Select the USB in the Device drop down menu.
- Select FAT32.
- Select "Create a DOS startup disk".
- Select using DOS system files located at the location of the Windows 98 boot files.
- Make sure the have selected the correct drive and Click Start
- A warning about formatting your drive pops up. Click YES.
- Once complete you get this confirmation screen. Click OK and close HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool.

07 Download and extract nvFlash (http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2165/NVFlash_5.127.html)




08 Open the nvFlash folder and copy the "CWSDPMI.EXE" and "nvFlash.exe" files to the bootable USB just completed.

09 Copy the correct BIOS for your GPU card (must be a .rom file) to the bootable USB just completed. You can rename it if
you like. I renamed mine to new.rom.

10 Restart your computer and change the boot priority in the motherboard BIOS to USB Device.

11 In DOS you can type nvflash (enter), now you see all the possible commands.



STANDARD BIOS FLASH COMMAND

nvflash --index=1 -5 -6 new.rom (enter)

This command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.

Do not interrupt. Wait for the successful message.

OVERRIDE SWITCH -4

nvflash --index=1 -4 -5 -6 new.rom (enter)

There is an override switch for force flashing mismatched sub-vendor or hardware ID's (often required for flashing a BIOS from
a different vendor).

This command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.

Do not interrupt. Wait for the successful message.

OR THESE 3 BASIC COMMANDS

nvflash --protectoff (enter)

This command let you see the installed GPU(s) and removes the write protect so you can flash.
nvflash save backup.rom (enter)

This command makes a save of the selected GPU BIOS (do this before you flash your new BIOS, so you got a backup of the
original).

nvflash new.rom (enter)

This command will flash your GPU with the new BIOS that you selected by typing the name of the BIOS.

Do not interrupt. Wait for the successful message.

PLEASE NOTE - I did the last command but I typed nvflash.exe new.rom (enter) and it worked for me. Do not
interrupt. Wait for the successful message.

12 Reboot and check with GPU-Z and / or Piriform Speccy that your BIOS version has changed and / or the settings you
changed with NiBiTor read as defaults.



There is another way, Windows 8 does not install Unsigned Drivers. The nvFlash driver is only signed for Windows XP/Vista
and not Windows 7/8. A workaround is getting Windows 8 to restart where it ignores driver signatures.

01 Firstly go to the Metro UI

02 Use Windows + C to open the Charms Menu

03 Select Change PC Settings

04 Select Advanced Start-up

05 Click Restart Now

06 This will take you to a Blue screen

07 Choose Troubleshoot

08 Choose Advanced Options

09 Choose Startup Options

10 Choose Disable Driver Signature enforcement
Your computer should reboot and if it all went smoothly, as a result you should now be able to install the updated the GPU rom
using nvFlash.

Believe me it sounds more complicated that it really is. I will be uploading a video tutorial to accompany this piece soon. Give
it a go, hope it helps and good luck.