Lenovo M700/M900 BIOS mod to Coffee Lake CPUs

mobilenvidia

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The original post is getting a little congested so I'll split up that original Post into more individual topics
Here my experiences with modding the M700/M900 Tiny desktop BIOS, should work equally well on the larger versions too as they share the same BIOS

Before even contemplating this you WILL need a 'EEPROM BIOS USB Programmer CH341A' available on EBAY by the millions and cost <$10 (incl shipping)
This IS Vital to avoid having a brick if something goes wrong
You can flash pretty well anything to the EEPROM and recover as it uses the power from the USB connection to power to EEPROM
The most important thing to have is a backup of your original BIOS as it contains all the important information as it UUID, Win10 serial etc, loose this and you loose that

Once you have this you can mod your BIOS to your hearts content.

Below is a work in progress so bare with me



BIOS modding guides The place to read up on the how to's and where to's
A great place to get your hands dirty with BIOS modding

Files mentioned in above Guides in one place I'll try to keep them updated whilst I work on the Kaby Lake support on the M700

If coming across Motherboards here are ones to look out for
M710q and P320 tiny
Part number sb20n59692 - this has the PCIe slot
Part number sb20n59690 - does not and is the most common by far
Part number 01AJ902 - riser card to PCIe 16x slot

End result this is leading to
hwinfo_m900.JPG
 
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mobilenvidia

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Work in progress in modding M700 BIOS to take Kaby Lake CPU's


Note here the M700 BIOS is on the left and the P310 is on the right

Video OROM and drivers are newer on the P310
I think from memory I also updated the Intel Network and Realtek UNDI drivers
The SATA OROM and drivers are best left for a special treatment, having only a single SATA and M2 slot not really much point in modding this

I'm keeping a heap of software and other things for doing all this over here
I'll try and keep it updated as I try things out
 
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mobilenvidia

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Alrighty, the EPROM programmer has arrived I've have had a quick play and it looks to work just nicely with just attaching the clip to the Chip legs
I now need to flash the M700 BIOS to the unit as currently running the P310 BIOS which has newer OPROMS but ME version error at boot up (m700 still boots)
Then I'll need to take the BIOS to win-raid.com to confer with Lost_N_BIOS, as adding Kaby Lake is not as easy as adding the Kaby Lake Microcodes to the BIOS
Did have a mission to get the BIOS EPROM chip version (very important step) as the programmer can't auto detect exact version, I needed to pick one from about 7 in a pull down menu
Not sure if they all would have read the BIOS but best to get the correct chip
Note I used ASProgrammer v2, as CH341A Programmer didn't work, well at each read the rom data was different
Below some pics to show hows its done, excuse low res, best I could attach20200930_183634_small.jpgIMG_2272_small.jpgBIOS_info.JPG
 
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mobilenvidia

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I'm back in the saddle got a:
M900
i5-6500T
8GB
128GB SSD coming, paid too much but these are popular and I need something to do at nights
BUT also got a:
i3-9100T 4c/4t 3.1Ghz base, 3.7Ghz turbo boost coming from Ebay, I'll attempt to do the Coffee Lake BIOS mod
The Coffee Lake BIOS mod without working on the CPU socket means only 4core CPU's will work
So the i3-9300T would be fastest but only 100Mhz faster and almost twice the price not worth it
9th gen series i3's better value than 8th gen as support Turbo boost
But with Socket blanking and joining pins all CPUs (35w) can be used up 9900T (8/16)

Will be good to get my hands dirty again
 

mobilenvidia

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Ah, finally making some progress
Got the M900 in, looks very much like a M700 but with a different chipset
Works fine

Got straight into BIOS modding for this unit
So a M900 full BIOS backup, then inserting a M910q BIOS then converting that BIOS to Coffee Lake support (B0 CPUs only ie 4 core max)
Word of warning before flashing the modded BIOS, remove the BIOS battery during the flash process (long enough time) , as I found unit wouldn't boot till I did
After booting the unit it behaves similar to the M700 BIOS mod there with some Caveats:
Only the middle Display Port works
To be able to boot to SSD (SATA1) I needed to reset BIOS to OS default which scans for media
I'll need to disable Network boot as now with LAN cable installed it scans the LAN ports for a boot file, you can 'esc' out of this
Windows boot as normal after changing some drivers from what it thinks is a HW change
Audio works, LAN works, SATA drive shows at boot with 'Media Scanning' enabled, but does not show with normal boot
Still early days with this, I'm extremely limited with everything, from having pretty well everything to now nothing

My i3-9100T should be here in the coming week
Will be very interesting to see how this goes
Which reminds me I need some Heatsink compound

I'll update the BIOS to latest M900 version then do the BIOS mod again, as currently running a later BIOS
The first 8MB region will be from older BIOS that came with unit as received
 

mobilenvidia

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Some pictures to show the M900 and what where to mod

Now is a good time to remove the BIOS battery (round little cell) still showing in below picture
It will make the reboot process after flashing less stressful as my M900 wouldn't boot at all, no sign of life till I removed/replaced the battery
Here is the M900 attached to the laptop via the CH341A BIOS flasher
IMG_2390.JPG

Closeup of the CH341A flasher note orientation and placement of parts
IMG_2391.JPG

This is how it should look with the clips attached to the BIOS ROM chip

IMG_2392.JPG

Locating the BIOS Chip
IMG_2387.JPG

Zooming in a little
IMG_2388.JPG

Now take note of the Actual model number of the BIOS chip this is VERY important for the flashing
I took the below in the sun tilting the Mobo on an angle and the writing became clear, normally very hard to read the numbers/letters
Also note its a different BIOS chip than my previous M700, so check for each machine
IMG_2386.JPG

In Asprogrammer press Auto detect button (under 'Language') there will be a choice of EPROMs to choose from, choose the one as you've found in above and you should see the below
m900_flash.JPG
The above is in the middle of programming the BIOS chip latest modded BIOS modded with M910q BIOS then converted to Coffee Lake Support
I'll make the files available once the i3-9100T turns up and if it works (still an 'if')
 

mobilenvidia

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i3-9100T just arrived
First try no go, computer starts up for a split second and stops, fan starts to spin
I'll try another BIOS that I made, but thats not looking hopeful as based the same but with more updates
Am thinking I may need a full backup BIOS from a M910q/x to base the Coffee Lake conversion on

UPDATE 1
That didn't work either
Now trying M900/P320 BIOS I made

UPDATE 2
That didn't work either
Now trying a very haphazard M900/M920 BIOS

UPDATE 3
Computer turns on and stays on but no display output on either display port
Trying running through Coffeetime

UPDATE 4
SUCCESS !! woohoo
I'm very chuffed this is working and rather well too
I went back to original BIOS with its Managwment Engine then remade a BIOS from there
Both Display Ports are working, a big plus
So it can be done M900/M700 into a M920/M720 but without doing pin mods limited to 4 core CPUs max
Hopefully it keeps raining tomorrow so I won't feel guilty in tweaking this some more
I'll also work out if its worth while to do this mod, for me its filled in a few nights from boredom not much else to do
 
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mobilenvidia

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Proof of success
Strange thing with CPUz is its reporting CPU as 'i3-8100T' as name but reports correctly with specs
Everything seem to be working as it should

gpuz_cpu.JPGgpuz_caches.JPGgpuz_mainboard.JPG

Running stress test via GPUz all 4cores goto max freq in all 3 WIndows Power settings, Low power does drop down the power use in idle to just over 1w
i3-9100t_stress_test.JPG

Here downloaded a 400Mbps HEVC Main10 video in 4k, this is decoded with ease via Quicksync
Now is there a reason to go from Kaby Lake to Coffee Lake as both can decode HEVC Main10 in 4k
hevc_main10_400mbps.JPG
 
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mobilenvidia

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Comparison of CPUs I've worked with on both the M700 and M900
To see if its worth while to upgrade to a Coffee Lake CPU
I'm thinking a Kaby Lake CPU would suffice for a HTPC, as it has no less video decoding/encoding functions
May save a few $$
But the i3-9100T is a nice CPU for home use, not so if you are looking at vPro where it falls over, but I've never used it yet
Its fast doesn't gobble much power, first i3 to have turbo boost and HW Meltdown/Spectre mitigations

You could take the Coffee Lake CPU support further and link some pads on the CPU together and separate pads from pins on others
A wrong move here could render CPU and/or Motherboard broken
But a i7-9700T 8core/16 thread CPU is what's on offer to temp you

cpus_compared.JPG
 

Wasmachineman_NL

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Damn, that M900 with a 9900T would be awesome as a secondary system.. *goes off to search for one*

€330 lmao, NO. If it was around €100 like I paid for a bunch of E73's then I might have picked one up.

Can I run Windows 7 on a Coffee Laked M900?
 

mobilenvidia

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Damn, that M900 with a 9900T would be awesome as a secondary system.. *goes off to search for one*

€330 lmao, NO. If it was around €100 like I paid for a bunch of E73's then I might have picked one up.

Can I run Windows 7 on a Coffee Laked M900?
The BIOS mod should work just as well with a M700 systems, including a very expensive i9-9900T

As for Win7, should be OK, you'd need some drivers handy as no doubt everything on a M700 will not be supported

Network and USB3.0 support will be your biggest issue and grab drivers first as you may not once Win7 is installed
 
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Wasmachineman_NL

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The BIOS mod should work just as well with a M700 systems, including a very expensive i9-9900T

As for Win7, should be OK, you'd need some drivers handy as no doubt everything on a M700 will not be supported

Network and USB3.0 support will be your biggest issue and grab drivers first as you may not once Win7 is installed
Interesting. USB3 can be worked around with something like Integrate7.
 

Wasmachineman_NL

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I've never tried to install win7 on anything newer than a 3xxx series CPU
Looking about, its quite a mission
I've got Win7 installed on the M72e and Win10 on the M92p, Win10 machine is hands down better to deal with
I'm running Win7 on my Ryzen system as we speak, took a bit of screwing around with Integrate7 and drivers though.

What does help too is the fact my CH7 is a X470 board which has native AM4 drivers somehow.
 

Marsh

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@mobilenvidia

Thanks for the hard work and the write up.

I like to follow your footstep, between M700 or M900 , which model do you recommend.
Ebay price for M700 barebone is $50 shipped, double the price for M900.

What is the main difference between M700 vs M900.
 

j_h_o

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What CPUs are supported in a stock M710q? PSRef lists 6000 and 7000 CPUs - will it take a 9000 CPU? Would a BIOS mod be required?
 

j_h_o

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@mobilenvidia

Thanks for the hard work and the write up.

I like to follow your footstep, between M700 or M900 , which model do you recommend.
Ebay price for M700 barebone is $50 shipped, double the price for M900.

What is the main difference between M700 vs M900.
M700 - B150 chipset
M900 - Q170 chipset
 

mobilenvidia

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@mobilenvidia

Thanks for the hard work and the write up.

I like to follow your footstep, between M700 or M900 , which model do you recommend.
Ebay price for M700 barebone is $50 shipped, double the price for M900.

What is the main difference between M700 vs M900.
M700 = B150M chipset = no vPro vs Q170 chipset which does but you also need a i5-x500T or greater CPU + Networking (both come with i219 NICs)
Other than that there might be some small differences but not that I've come across yet, I'd say the same Mobo is used for both just the Chipset soldered on to suit
If you don't need/want vpro (I've never used it) then the M700 is a better bang for buck machine
Chances are M700''s top out at i5-6400T's as not to compete with entry level M900 with the 6500T and vPro
 

mobilenvidia

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What CPUs are supported in a stock M710q? PSRef lists 6000 and 7000 CPUs - will it take a 9000 CPU? Would a BIOS mod be required?
BIOS mod, will be much cleaner mod as you can just run Coffeetime over your backup and then flash it back

M700/900's need the M710/910 BIOS inserted into M700/900 backup BIOS