Branding Serial Numbers in bios

Discussion in 'Asus' started by news.lightship.net, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. I was hoping someone might know the answer to this. I use a few programs to
    check out things on the network like Hyena and a few otheres. They all can
    read back my models and serial numbers from my Dell, HP and IBM computers
    however my white boxes come up with models and serials like 0123456789 and
    "To Be Filled in by OEM"

    Does anyone know where this information is stored? There is a file
    "oeminfo.ini" in the system32 directory, but that only has mfg information
    that shows up in the Properties screen of My Computer and does not have this
    information.
     
    news.lightship.net, Mar 22, 2006
    #1
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  2. news.lightship.net

    Paul Guest

    I expect the details are slightly different for Award and AMI
    BIOS, but basically, some DMI information is stored in the BIOS
    flash chip. AFAIK, you won't find this info in a file you
    download from Asus. But when the BIOS has POSTed at least
    once, if you take an Asus BIOS flashing tool, and archive
    a copy of the current contents of the BIOS flash chip,
    you will find a copy of the "To Be Filled in by OEM" string
    in the BIOS file. (I only have one backed up BIOS on the
    hard drive, that I could find right now, to verify that. The
    rest of the backup files are on floppies scattered about.)

    In one BIOS file I examined, there is a BIOS code module called
    _DMI.bin , and it looks like it might be the code module that
    preps that area in the BIOS. Code modules are compressed, and
    you won't find the text strings unless you uncompress the
    BIOS modules first. That is why, if you use a hex editor on a
    virgin BIOS, those text strings don't pop out at you. But,
    once the BIOS has "modified itself", a section of the BIOS
    that used to have 0's or F's in it, contains the magic
    strings in plain text.

    Asus Probe has a tab in the panel, for "DMI Explorer". AFAIK,
    that dumps the section of the BIOS flash chip that holds the
    data. You might try Asus Probe and see what shows up.

    I have seen vague reports in the past, that if you want to
    modify the contents of the DMI segment of the flash chip,
    your motherboard manufacturer would provide a utility for
    the purpose. It was something that tech support provided,
    but perhaps not with a public web link. Maybe it is only
    given to system builders or persons-with-a-business-card.

    Now, just yesterday, I ran into an interesting find. There
    is a link at the bottom of this page, to a download for
    a DMI tool. It is 208KB in size. It doesn't have an
    attribution inside it, so I don't know where it comes
    from, or whether it works with AMI or Award BIOS chips.
    Consider yourself to be the guinea pig :) I would
    try <programname> \? and see if the program will
    dump its options. It looks like you might boot a DOS
    floppy and run the tool - I don't know if a thing like
    this would run from a command prompt. Virus scan it
    first, then put it on a floppy and play with it. I
    expect you can change some fields in the DMI, by using
    command line switches when you execute the command.

    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=241617&page=2&pp=15

    In any case, post back what you find, whether the tool is
    a dud, is dangerous, or whether it works with just AMI or
    just Award BIOS. I downloaded a copy, but don't plan on
    executing it any time soon.

    If you are interested in deadly dull standards, try this site:

    http://www.dmtf.org/standards/smbios

    Paul
     
    Paul, Mar 23, 2006
    #2
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