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Gateways EFI models with Windows XP... how did THEY do it?

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Look at this article from 2003:

 

http://news.com.com/2100-1008-5131787.html

 

Isn't Gateway already sitting on a solution for running Windows XP on EFI, even if it is the Media Center Edition?

 

Has Gateway had zero sales since 2003, or doesn't anyone at least know anyone who has a Gateway media PC?

 

I mean, the article touts Gateway as being pioneers, so if it was revealed that they used the compability layer... that's not really that innovative then, is it?

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Yes, Dells and gateways do use EFI, but the problem is that these EFI implementations are with backward compatible BIOS settings. Unfortunately the Apple implementation, from what we know does not offer backward compatible BIOS as they do not need it. Thus, on the gateway and the dell, XP is installed normally, and none of the bios calls are converted by software, they are handled by the EFI chip on the motherboard which treats these calls as bios would treat them. The question is, whether it is possible to have backward compatibility on the iMac by installing or enabling this feature on the EFI. Sorry, I thought the same before I read up on it.

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Theres a coffee shop in my area that I'm almost sure has these machines. I might be able to go play around with one if you want. Possibly even ask the clerk for the software restore disc (an awkward situation, but who knows). I'm not the most technical member of OSx86project. If I were to go, what would I look for? Anyone want to help me out with this.

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Well, would it possible to swap out the Mac's EFI for the Gateway's, which supports the old BIOS compatibility?

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Since it's perhaps not clear from Ubaid's posting above, I'll try to put this in simpler terms.

 

The Gateway systems being discussed here use an EFI implementation that also supports legacy BIOS calls; the module being referred to elsewhere as CSM. The version of Windows MCE that runs on these systems does not appear to have been modified; it works because the Gateway EFI can boot legacy operating systems.

 

The Apple Macintosh EFI implementation does not support legacy BIOS calls, and does not support booting legacy operating systems such as XP.

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Right, crazymonkeypants. Would it be possible to flash the EFI from the Gateway and/or modify it to work with the Macs'? Or even somehow add the BIOS compatibility part?

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its worth a try to take a look at exactly how one of these mc 6xx machines works. I'm going to the coffeeshop now, i'll post any findings. I anyone has any suggestions of what to look for PM me or post in this thread. I seriously doubt that Gateway did anything remarkable with Windows MCE, but I could be wrong. I'll try to do as much as I can.

 

Thanks,

lofi

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Right, crazymonkeypants. Would it be possible to flash the EFI from the Gateway and/or modify it to work with the Macs'? Or even somehow add the BIOS compatibility part?

 

I must admit, I'm not very familiar with the differences between EFI and BIOS. I do know, however, that a BIOS in one machine will not work properly as the BIOS of a different machine. Each machine has its own special functions and tweaks that the BIOS properly addresses. Although EFI is different, I assume it works on a similar level in that each machine's EFI EEPROM has settings attuned specifically for that machine. Therefore, I don't think a Gateway EFI will work in an Apple machine.

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Right, crazymonkeypants. Would it be possible to flash the EFI from the Gateway and/or modify it to work with the Macs'? Or even somehow add the BIOS compatibility part?

 

No. The Apple and Gateway systems are completely different machines; neither the PEI component (early hardware initialisation) nor the drivers (the bulk of the interesting parts of DXE) would be cross-compatible.

 

On top of that, the EFI that Gateway used is a third-party effort which may or may not be based on the Tiano nee Intel codebase, so there may be even less in the way of architectural similarity.

 

It's like asking if you could put the engine out of a helicopter into a balloon. Sure, they're both flying machines, but the similarity stops right there.

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Exactly.

We need a custom BIOS to be dual flashed.... It's the only way.

Modifying EFI is out really.. Leave the EFI be, focus on getting a BIOS layer in there... Need ASM editors though!

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i'm posting from a Gateway Media Center 600 series. I booted into the EFI setup stuff. Of course, very limited due to it being a namebrand pc. the first boot screen says f2 to BIOS, you then have the option to enter 'system setup' which is the EFI config screen.

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We need a custom BIOS to be dual flashed.... It's the only way.

Modifying EFI is out really.. Leave the EFI be, focus on getting a BIOS layer in there

Messing around with the EEPROM would void the warranty. It would be a temporary solution, but nothing that I would want to do on my Mac.

Also, if something goes wrong while flashing, there is no way to recover it. That means, for figuring out how to do this, a couple iMacs will have to be irreversibly bricked. Not "irreversibly" in the sense of like it was after trying to load some EFI drivers, but permanently.

 

I still think we should try to re-implement the CSM. Maybe we can copy the CSM module and the BIOS image from the Gateway PC???

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Gateway used Insyde's InsydeH2O EFI setup which afaik includes all the needed drivers and the CSM and/or BIOS module needed for XP to think its on a normal PC. Unfortunately I do not know of a way to get ahold of InsydeH2O or what EFI Spec they used (if they used 1.10 then in theory the drivers and BIOS/CSM EFIs should be compatible.)

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That means, for figuring out how to do this, a couple iMacs will have to be irreversibly bricked. Not "irreversibly" in the sense of like it was after trying to load some EFI drivers, but permanently.

 

No way to reflash them if something goes wrong? (Sorry, still learning the ins and outs of all this)

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No way to reflash them if something goes wrong? (Sorry, still learning the ins and outs of all this)

No. The way EFI is stored is similar to how BIOS is stored. When the flashing goes wrong or an incompatible firmware gets flashed, the computer won't boot again and you can't access the flash tool to reflash. The only way to recover the computer is to send it to the vendor for external reflashing.

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I know the InsydeH20 version number was 1.00, and considering the Gateway 610 PC release date was somewhere in 2003 and the Intel website says that the toolkit 1.10.14.62 was first released January 2004, could it be possible that this 1.00 corresponds to a release version? If this was the case, what CSM modules or other files would be needed to make the two compatible?

 

Edit: Would a bootable install dvd for the Gateway 600 series do us any good? I'm trying to think of what properties would be changed between that and a generic install. Would the DVD just use legacy BIOS support and install regularly or would it require some extra EFI components to boot? If so, would a patched [to eradicate the error msg that says "this will only work on 600 series" ] dvd work for this? I'm really novice, i'm just throwing ideas out there.

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Would a bootable install dvd for the Gateway 600 series do us any good? I'm trying to think of what properties would be changed between that and a generic install. Would the DVD just use legacy BIOS support and install regularly or would it require some extra EFI components to boot? If so, would a patched [to eradicate the error msg that says "this will only work on 600 series" ] dvd work for this? I'm really novice, i'm just throwing ideas out there.

Unless Gateway modified Windows XP to support EFI, GPT and UGA (which is extremely unlikely), this DVD is pretty much like any other computer's recovery disk.

 

What we would need is an image of the hidden EFI partition (first FAT-partition on the main hard drive) and a ROM dump of the EFI chip (or maybe an EFI update file). From these, someone may be able to extract the CSM module and the BIOS image.

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Exactly.

We need a custom BIOS to be dual flashed.... It's the only way.

Modifying EFI is out really.. Leave the EFI be, focus on getting a BIOS layer in there... Need ASM editors though!

 

CG, I wish you would take a few seconds to read and understand the issues at hand.

 

There is no way that an "ASM editor" (whatever you actually mean by that) is going to help you "dual flash" (whatever you think you mean by that) firmware on the Intel Macintosh systems.

 

If a "BIOS layer" were written, you wouldn't flash it anyway; as you've finally gleaned, modifying the Apple firmware isn't realistic, meaning that the only practical way such a layer could be invoked is to boot it like an OS (effectively a mirroring of the sample EFI bootable image that people have been playing with).

 

Unless Gateway modified Windows XP to support EFI, GPT and UGA (which is extremely unlikely), this DVD is pretty much like any other computer's recovery disk.

 

What we would need is an image of the hidden EFI partition (first FAT-partition on the main hard drive) and a ROM dump of the EFI chip (or maybe an EFI update file). From these, someone may be able to extract the CSM module and the BIOS image.

 

Assuming you're referring to the Gateway system, what good do you expect this to do you? The Gateway firmware isn't going to work, in any useful fashion, on an Apple system.

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That is not true

It can be reflashed by using a working EPROM chip from another iMac to boot, then after booting switching the chips and fixing the old one.

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What isn't true?

 

It's certainly not possible to "switch" chips in the fashion that you describe without a substantial investment in surface-mount rework gear.

 

Typically you would pull the flash part, copy it with a suitable programming device, then replace it with a socket so that you could repeat the process.

 

However, none of this has any relevance to what I wrote. The process by which the flash contents might be altered is well understood; the problem is that you're using words and concepts that you don't understand, and mixing them up in ways that don't actually mean anything.

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There's no need to be condescending, crazymonkeypants. This is all uncharted waters in a lot of ways, so if we make mistakes along the way, that's fine.

 

The important part is brainstorming ideas that may or may not work. It's the discussion that counts.

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