Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

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I have an interesting problem.  With XPSP1, the computer boots into XP with
L2 Cache enabled.  With XPSP2, it does not.  The system is:

PCChips M767V
Upgradeware Slot-T Adapter with a Coppermine 1.1GHz S370 CPU

I'm aware of microcode loading by XP using Update.sys, don't know a lot
about it, so I wanted to experiment by using the version from SP1 on the
system with SP2 loaded.  I deleted Update.sys while in XPSP2 however the
system automatically recreates the SP2 version.  I overwrote Update.sys with
the SP1 version, XPSP2 changed it back to the SP2 version.  I changed the
SP1 version to Read Only and overwrote the SP2 version, the system still
changed it back within seconds.  I renamed it, XPSP2 recreated it.  I booted
with a DOS/NTFS utility and Update.sys was not there

Anyone know if it's possible to modify Update.sys? Right now I'm using
Powerleap's CPU Control Panel to automatically force L2 enabled.

BTW - I can afford disastrous consequences so I'm not afraid to try
anything, including BIOS binary mods (which I've already done), the stepping
for this CPU is 068A.

Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

On Mon, 18 Dec 2006 00:07:39 GMT, "mdp"

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It's probably copying same file from /system32/dllcache/
If it is, first put your target version of the file in the
dllcache folder, THEN proceed as you did previously.

You could instead disable system file protection but IMO,
more effort than it's worth if the above method works.

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If your util can write to NTFS, try changing the attributes
at the command line;
attrib C:\windows\system32\drivers\update.sys -a -s -h

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Are you really that anxious to run SP2?  IMO, mostly patches
for apps still flawed, IE & OE.  You still have the same
requirements for secure computing practices either way.

Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

kony wrote:
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That was it.  Thanks.  Experiment yielded no change.  SP2 still boots with
L2 disabled.

Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

mdp wrote:
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I don't know how easy it is to find info on that motherboard.
But if it used an Award BIOS, you can use CTMC to install
microcode, right into the BIOS. The Award BIOS has a "microcode
cache", a 2KB area in the BIOS flash chip, and with CTMC, you
can "borrow" microcode from a more well-equipped BIOS, then
feed the 2KB microcode segment to the BIOS. The BIOS contains
a "hook", which will flash the 2KB file, into the BIOS. It
is safer than attempting to hack the whole BIOS file, and
reflash the whole BIOS. Because the 2KB segment is a "cache',
it gets flushed any time you change out the processor, and
install a different type of processor. (So if you change processors
a lot, this method is not very practical.)

By doing that, you can load a microcode segment at the BIOS
level. And *perhaps* that will prevent the microcode loader
in SP2, from doing its thing.

On my P2B-S, I used to get a complaint that no microcode was
loaded, but fixed it with CTMC.

If the BIOS is written by AMI, then CTMC doesn't work with that.
So whether this is a viable experiment to try, really depends
on who wrote the BIOS.


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Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

Paul wrote:
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Thanks for the reply.  It's an AMI BIOS and I am familiar with microcode
files.  Most BIOSes I've come across have a compressed Microcode module
which contains many 2KB microcode files.  AMIBCP (AMI BIOS Configuration
Utility) is a utility that can delete and load microcode modules in an AMI
BIOS.  I found version 7.5 (AMIBCP75.exe) however I saw a picture of a later
version (7.6 something) on the internet somewhere but I have not been able
to find it.  The BIOS for this M767V motherboard has no Microcode module,
the Microcode entries sit directly in the BIOS, uncompressed.  Turns out
CTMC will read microcode in an AMI or Award BIOS.  Using it I found the
M767V BIOS has the following (CTMC also reports LoadVers and Platform but I
deleted those columns to hopefully avoid wrap-around in this post):

 Microcode utility ctmc V1.0, c't/Andreas Stiller 02/2001
 Filename     Version  UpdateID Date       CPUID    Checksum
 990402S.ROM  00000001 00000032 12.12.1996 00000633 0D73D3BC?
 990402S.ROM  00000001 00000033 16.06.1997 00000634 F3AC5144?
 990402S.ROM  00000001 00000027 23.01.1998 00000650 66D67DD7?

As you can see by the date, steppings 0633, 0634, and 0650 are quite old.
Using a hex editor, I kept the newest one, 0650; put in 068A for the
Coppermine; and added 06B1 since I want to try a Tualatin next and now have:

 Microcode utility ctmc V1.0, c't/Andreas Stiller 02/2001
 Filename     Version  UpdateID Date       CPUID    Checksum
 990402ST.ROM 00000001 0000001C 15.02.2001 000006B1 6506E1CF?
 990402ST.ROM 00000001 00000001 02.11.2000 0000068A 80FC9E3B?
 990402ST.ROM 00000001 00000027 23.01.1998 00000650 66D67DD7?

This is the BIOS I used to test with SP1 and SP2.  Still no luck.  Only SP1
boots with L2 cache enabled.  I have to rely on Powerleap's CPU Control
Panel if I use SP2.  Any other ideas?

Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

mdp wrote:
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Well, you're ahead of me. In my attempts to hack BIOS, I never
was satisfied by the response of the tools I was using. (They
always seemed to screw up checksums and the like, and I don't own
a BIOS Savior, so a BIOS failure means $25 to get a new BIOS.)

This page mentions a utility to check what microcode revision is
currently loaded. The idea here would be, you run this utility,
and see what SP2 has done to the microcode. If you are 068A,
and the BIOS would have loaded 01/01 version, then you could
run a processor ID utility, and see what Microsoft has loaded.
The utility mentioned here, is password protected.


So I just used Everest instead, and it reports a Microcode
Revision. This is found in the Motherboard/CPUID section. It looks
like my Tualatin is currently using 1C (and since I'm running Win98SE
on this old pig, there is no Microsoft microcode loader to
worry about).

  CPUID Properties:
    CPUID Manufacturer          GenuineIntel
    CPUID CPU Name              Intel(R) Celeron(TM) CPU 1100MHz
    CPUID Revision              000006B1h
    IA Brand ID                 FBh  (Intel Celeron-S)
    Platform ID                 05h  (Socket 370)
    IA CPU Serial Number        Unknown
    Microcode Update Revision   1C
    HTT / CMP Units             0 / 0

You can get Everest (the former AIDA32) here:

So you could try running Everest, and see whether the Revision
listed, corresponds to the one you put in your BIOS file. Or
if the revision is something different, it would imply that
Microsoft microcode loader messed with it. And if the microcode
revision is zero, then you'll need to develop some fresh

Apparently Intel has a "Processor Update Utility", which is a
microcode loader like CTMC. The Intel utility is designed to
work with any BIOS that supports the Intel interface standard.
(Which means Award would work for sure, while with AMI, who
knows...) The Intel utility is available to their resellers,
and doesn't appear to be something they want mere users
to download.


Re: Possible to Modify Update.Sys?

Paul wrote:
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I've been using Everest to determine if L2 is enabled (shows up as 0K if
disabled). I found 2 microcode files for 068A, both are in update.sys for
SP1 and SP2 however the order is switched in SP2.  I tried switching it back
with no luck.  I will reload SP1 and compare the Revs.  Curious sort of

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