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Is it OK to update EFI Firmware from System Update?


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I don't think it will install either way because your actual hackintosh does not have the EFI, it uses a BIOS. Just remove it from system update (can you remove stuff? I don't seem to recall something like that) or ignore it. Also, installing it probably won't do anything either I don't think.


Another thing you can do is make an smbios.plist and edit it so as to detect a new firmware version, and mac os will think the update is already installed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the response.


I found this info about my BIOS, it seems not to use regular BIOS, but UEFI.


Dont have a clue what that is, but given this info, what would happen if I tried to update EFI from system update.


Mind you, I would never try this! Just curious of the theory behind it.


Enabling Intel VT on the Aspire 8930G (and other InsydeH2O-based laptops)

It seems the ongoing trend for laptops is to integrate and hide as much as possible from the user. We’re all used to minimalistic crappy BIOS setups with two or three configuration options. However, things go way too far when OEMs remove options related to features that the hardware is capable of but which are disabled by default. This happens with Intel VT on many laptops – even if the CPU supports it, you may not be able to find the BIOS setup option to turn it on.


I certainly wanted to use a feature that I paid for, so I started investigating the BIOS and here’s what I found out.


Under the hood

The InsydeH2O BIOS is no ordinary old-style BIOS. Instead, it’s based around the UEFI platform. This goes way beyond the old BIOS paradigm and turns system firmware into practically its own separate OS, that even runs in full 64-bit mode on 64-bit machines. Unfortunately, they make no effort to expose any of this to the user. The firmware has support for booting EFI executables, there’s an EFI shell, there’s an EFI boot manager… but I haven’t been able to figure out how to access any of this.


If you want to reverse engineer EFI stuff, downloading TianoCore’s EDK2 is a must. It contains source code for a lot of Intel’s framework, which is what most vendors use as a base for their EFI support. A lot of the code is exactly the same as what’s in the Insyde BIOS (read the spec here).


As for the Setup tool, it does indeed have a huge Advanced menu with even more options than your average desktop. There’s also a hidden Power menu. EFI defines a “form browser” protocol and formats for user input, which is what Insyde uses for their setup utility (spec here). I found these tables when disassembling the Setup binary and wrote a little dump utility to turn them into text. The result is a complete dump of the Setup hierarchy, including the Advanced menu, which also includes the offsets in the non-volatile storage corresponding to each setting. Insyde stores this configuration blob into an EFI variable named Setup. Here’s my dump: the first part is the hierarchy, while at the end I added a rough auto-calculated mapping from configuration offsets to setting names (grep for [0xOFFSET in the top section for better context - the format is [0xOFFSET<FIELD_WIDTH>] for all references to the storage blob). You’ll find the tools I used here, if you’re interested, but they’re rough and need quite a bit of manual help too.


I wasn’t able to find out how to enable the hidden menus, other than that their form Subclass is 5 instead of 0 (but I haven’t found what, if anything, checks for this and whether its behavior can be altered). However, manually enabling VT support in the Setup variable is easy enough, now that we have the offset of the VT Enable byte.


Enabling Intel VT

The easiest way to enable the setting as far as I can see is to dump out the entire BIOS, patch the setting into the Setup variable (which is


taken from



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