BIOS ID Detection

XBOX, but not XBMC4XBOX related discussion
Post Reply
Coldly-Indifferent
Posts: 335
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:01 am
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 38 times

BIOS ID Detection

Post by Coldly-Indifferent » Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:27 am

Can somebody please explain how to get XBMC to display the BIOS ID correctly?

If you open the Shutdown menu > Information > Hardware option under Detected BIOS it shows Unknown. Please add MD5 from xbmc.log to BiosIDs.ini.

Well I've opened the log and I can not see a MD5 hash anywhere and where is this "BiosIDs.ini" supposed to be or should it be located. What syntax do you use to list a particular BIOS in it?

Secondly: I have a chipped (Xecuter 2.6 Xbox) it was done 'professionally' a long time ago and I've never been certain what the BIOS on the two banks (2x512K) actually are. It is a v1.6 and not a 1.6b as XBMC reports it as just v1.6. I'm 99% certain it is using either the Evox M8+ 1.6 137+ or Evox M8+ 1.6 FC.137+ in bank 2 and the same in bank 1 but hacked to have the Evox pink logo removed.

It is not so much the precise BIOS ID that I'm interested in as to what are their actual sizes. BIOS Checker is confusing me. Under 512K BIOSES it shows Unknown with two different MD5 hashes for 1.Bios and 2.Bios, presumably indicating two 512K BIOS in each bank.

However under 256K BIOS it shows Unknown with three identical MD5 hashes for 1,2 and 3.Bios (different from either of the two 512K MD5 hashes) but under 4.Bios it is showing a different MD5 hash from the other three.

I'd assumed I had two 512K BIOS whatever they are as each bank is marked as 512K but what does the 4.Bios different MD5 hash mean?

I do not want to risk flashing them again just to be certain of the BIOS I'm using - both banks work that's what matters but I'm interested in knowing why BIOS Checker reports what it is reporting.
Last edited by Coldly-Indifferent on Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
professor_jonny
Posts: 1244
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:41 am
Location: New Zealand
Has thanked: 56 times
Been thanked: 181 times

Re: BIOS ID Detection

Post by professor_jonny » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:36 am

you might need to enable debug mode to get a full log.

but as for the rest have a look on the wiki it may explain the usage but likely the BiosID.ini follows the same format as the evox dashboard?

Coldly-Indifferent
Posts: 335
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:01 am
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 38 times

Re: BIOS ID Detection

Post by Coldly-Indifferent » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:14 pm

I've done a bit more research on this but not the XBMC question.

It seems I'm likely right about them being Evox M8 series and as it is a v1.6 Xbox and supports extended partitions must be, at its core, one of those but both modified in some way, probably using the EVTool. As said it was chipped by a 'professional' Xbox UK modding company and at the time (14+ years ago) I never thought to ask about the BIOS. The company has long since disappeared.

The customisation done to the BIOS which was probably the blue X of Xbox logo and the removal of the Evox logo in the bank 1 BIOS. It does explain why the MD5 hashes are not in any EvoX dash, HeXEn, AID, SID BIOS ID list.

It is that BIOS Checker 256K 4.Bios entry which is bothering me. What does it mean?

I've just done my first TSOP, on a v1.4 (Winbond) and used HeXEn BIOS:-

(256) Evox M8+ 137 HeXEn=BEC9F026E59B170EF24142B7A71A8A3C.

So I know exactly what it is. Works perfectly and BIOS Checker shows all four 256K Bios entries as "Unknown" but with that MD5 hash. "Unknown" is simply because BIOS Checker v5.0's Bioses.ini does not include the HeXEn BIOS ID information. It is easily added and that's what I'm going to do to all the other bios.ini lists there on those dashes and apps too.

However for the same TSOP BIOS Checker also shows entries under the two 512K BIOSES, both are shown as Unknown with MD5 hash:-

B40D5441CFF90559180856FE43F5139D7

Presumably that wouldn't be anywhere but the HeXEn BIOS ID's list but it is not even there. What does it mean anyway?
The Winbond TSOP specifically requires a 256K BIOS, that was what as used so why is there any MD5 hash under 512K at all?

What this indicates for the chipped Xbox, with its customised BIOS, is that I can not be sure from BIOS Checker even what BIOS size I am using. Are there two 512K ones in each of the two banks or does that different 256K 4.Bios MD5 hash indicate what I actually have is one bank flashed with two identical 256K BIOS and the other bank with two different ones?

Is that likely or even possible and why would it be done this way rather than by just using two different 512K BIOSes in each bank and why does the 'second' bank use two different ones rather than an identical pair?

It is confusing and I hope someone here can help explain it.

User avatar
professor_jonny
Posts: 1244
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:41 am
Location: New Zealand
Has thanked: 56 times
Been thanked: 181 times

Re: BIOS ID Detection

Post by professor_jonny » Fri Feb 07, 2020 3:02 am

The BiosID is just a checksum of the bios, and most ini's will only know the significant releases by teams, on Xbins and Erfnet and xboxhacker BBS (at the time).

If you modify one of the team released bios's using evtool for example it will modify the checksum and the ID will be unknown to most apps.

In theory you could work out which bios it is based from by the 2bl and kernel mods, this is where heuristic analysis would be done on the bios to find patterns unique to one bios variant for example.
this would be a better method than we have but would require the software to know the secret key to decode the bios to inspect it.

Coldly-Indifferent
Posts: 335
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:01 am
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 38 times

Re: BIOS ID Detection

Post by Coldly-Indifferent » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:27 pm

I decided to add the two 512K BIOS on my Xecuter 2.6CE chip (2 x 512K banks) to my BIOS Checker app's BIOS list as Evox M8+ v1.6 137 (FG) Cstm1 and Cstm2 respectively.

They are definitely Evox M8+, they're on a v1.6 Xbox and I've had no problems with larger HDDs or partitions so that must be the base BIOS. Pretty sure they were both customised using the EVTool 1.0.9; both have a replacement blue Xbox 'X' which is why the MD5 hash is not recognised in either case. I was forgetting that.

BIOS Checker now reports them as shown.

However I'm still at a loss about getting XBMC to recognise the BIOS in the (i) Information screens. I added exactly the same BIOS Checker INI list, renamed to BiosID.ini, which is apparently what XBMC looks for, but wherever I put it XBMC still does not display the MD5 hash. All I see is that unhelpful message about the xbmc.log and adding the MD5 from that to the BiosID.ini.

The log, as think I said, does not include any MD5 hash and the only BiosIDs.ini is the one I added myself.

EDIT
Finally, after a decade and a half having and using XBMC on a Xbox found out where the BiosIDs.ini is so it can be edited to include and display the BIOS correctly.

Location is:-

XBMC\system\SystemInfo

I think there must be some slightly different syntax required ie. different from BIOSChecker's BIOS list because I'd swear that when I first found it and tried using the edited BIOS list from that (renamed to BiosIDs.ini first of course) it did not work. It could just be that I had not restarted XBMC.

It did later though when I simply added the MD5 512K hashes for my mod-chip to the existing XBMC BiosIDs.ini using the slightly different syntax.

Still do not understand the xbmc.log prompt because it still does not reference the BIOS or provide any MD5 hash info that I can see.

Post Reply