Have you ever been stuck trying to install Ubuntu on the Asus Rog G701VI? With the default bios, You can’t. It’s not your fault: the Sata controller is stuck in Raid using Intel RST.
How does the issue look like? Usually, when trying to install Ubuntu, you simply won’t see any disk installed on the system (despite there is physically one or more).
That’s a shame if, like us, you’re a software developer. My colleague spent two years using Ubuntu inside a virtual machine (using VirtualBox) after finally giving up: it was slow, laggy and the VM crashed often.
Fortunately, there is a solution: Unlocking Bios Hidden Settings. Unlike the guide from Eldudorino which is pretty evasive on the steps to unlock the bios, this step-by-step guide shows you with screenshots and explanations how to unlock your Asus G701 Bios.
I’m pretty sure this guide can be used to unlock hidden bios settings on other laptops using AMI Bios.
Initial Attempt using CH341A Programmer on bios chip…
No need to fiddle with a hardware programmer, everything explained here works with only software! We spent a few hours trying with a
CH341A programmer using FlashROM without any success. That’s when we thought: isn’t there a software bios editor?
Be very careful. Flashing your laptop with an incorrectly modified bios file can brick it. You are solely responsible of what you do and can’t take us liable for any damage that may result from the procedures described in this article.
Also, it seems like some revisions of the Asus G701 feature a new bios chip that’s write protected. In that case, a hardware programmer (like the
CH341A) is mandatory. Software bios modifications don’t work in that case.
The G701VI is an absolute beast featuring an Intel 6700HQ and a Nvidia GTX 1080 graphic card within an 17 inches laptop case. The problem is you can only run Windows on this laptop. Linux has no support for Intel RST Drivers.
How do we solve this issue? By disabling Intel Rapid Storage Technology in bios. As this option is not readily available out of the box (you can only choose between
RAID!), we have to:
- Dump the Bios: First, we’re going to load the bios from the bios chip into a
binary file using AMI Firmware Update,
- Edit the bios menus: using AMIBCP, we’re going to edit the dumped bios binary file, and unlock hidden menus,
- Flash Modded Bios: that’s the final part of the guide. We’re going to replace the factory bios with the modded one with unlock advanced settings.
Don’t worry: you can download both tools here. Let’s start!
Let’s first save the original bios file:
- Click on
Save button to save the bios to a binary file. Make sure to keep a backup of this file in case you would like to revert to the original bios file.
This process takes a few seconds to a few minutes to save your existing bios to a file on your hard disk drive. Now that we have dumped the bios to a file, we can edit the bios.
Editing Bios File
Let’s now edit the bios binary file using another tool:
- Select the bios file you dumped from disk,
- Now, Open
Setup Configuration tab, unfold
Setup > Advanced > SATA Configuration and locate
SATA Controller(s) setting. Once this setting visible in the bios, by setting it to
Disabled, it switches the SATA Controller from
AHCI (which is supported by any Linux distribution),
Supervisor instead of
Default. This will effectively make the option available in the bios,
- Save modded bios to another file. DO NOT OVERWRITE original bios file, keep a backup of it in case something goes wrong.
You should end up having 2 files: the original and the modded bios. It’s now time to flash the bios chip with the modded bios.
Flashing Modded Bios
Let’s flash the modded bios file to the flash chip:
- Select the modded bios file you saved previously by clicking on
- Keep default settings: flash only main bios image,
Finally, click on
Flash. The flashing procedure takes a few minutes. Let it work and don’t do anything
Make sure to flash your bios with AC Adapter connected and battery fully charged. Close as many programs as possible to avoid any crash during the bios update. Once updated, reboot the system and cross your fingers!
On boot, enter bios (usually by pressing
- Go to
Advanced Menu. You should see a menu called
SATA Configuration. Press
Enter to go in that menu.
SATA Controller(s) in Bios: it doesn’t really disable disks, it switches them to
AHCI by disabling the Intel RAID storage controller,
- Linux distribution like Ubuntu doesn’t support
Fast Boot well (boot is likely to end on GRUB Terminal),
- Finally, go to
Save & Exit, and select
Save Changes and Exit.
You can now install Linux on your Asus G701VI!!
Using your favorite USB Key filled with an Ubuntu ISO, you should be able to install it on your favorite laptop now.
Here is ours once the installation is finished.
And here ends this guide explaining How to install Linux on Asus G701 Laptops by using advanced bios unlocking skills. I’m still wondering why big companies like Asus are restricting their products this way. Why not enabling this setting by default? It doesn’t hurt, and makes sense for people who need to use alternative operating systems.
Of course, maybe only
2% of the people are using Linux. We design buildings with disabled people accessibility although most people are healthy.
I feel like we have a right to use a product we have bought the way we want. From my point of view, that goes into the same healthy direction as selling products we can fix ourselves, instead of trashing them.
Hi, Thanks for the steps, I got G701VI with i7-6820HK. I was able to get the SATA controller option, but only with one change in the above process.
Selecting Supervisor had removed options from “Intel Virtualization Technology” to “Intel(R) Thunderbolt.
Hello, I have an Asus x551ma that I fully upgraded, the cpu/motherboard to n3530, 8 gigs ram, Wi-Fi with built-in Bluetooth, and ssd. While I’m happy it’s as good as it will be, I had read sometime ago that you could replace the bios chip by soldering in a new one and that the new chip would not be “chiplocked” like the factory chip and you can then install a custom bios that will allow access to overclock capabilities that simply cannot be achieved otherwise. I cannot find the post again. Does anyone know if this is true?
In reply to Joshua
I guess it would be better to simply upgrade to a better laptop, but you can keep this one as a toy project. The pentium n3530 is a pretty weak CPU. I’m not a bios unlocking expert so I don’t know if your Asus x551ma is “chip-locked”. Most laptops have locked bios which can only be reprogrammed using an external programmer like the CH341A USB Programmer.
Hi bro, anyway we can revert bios file to support undervolting in i7-8750h intel based asus laptops? Please give some directions.
The AMIBCP version on this site is outdated and/or broken. Download links below.
AMIBCP_v5.01.0014 is superseded by at least 1 version that I could locate: AMIBCP_v5.02.0031. The old one threw some weird “Language name length” error and it also came with no dependencies. The new one that I found has 4 dependency files and threw no errors! Yay! Once I had this new version, I was able to open the BIOS dump for a ASUS Zephyrus G15 GA502IV (2021).
The steps in this guide’s tutorial are actually quite different that what my goals are, but this information was enough to point me in the right direction. It helped me get the BIOS dumped & opened for edit, and it shows how to save and reflash. Now I just need to poke around and see if anything can be done with the discrete RTX2060 Max-q (65w TDP) which has it’s own vBIOS that I’ve dumped with another tool. I’ve also managed to find a copy of the vBIOS for a RTX2060 Mobile (115w TDP). My understanding is that these are basically the same GPU in reality, and I’ve even located a patched flash tool that overlooks device signing. This is beginning to look more and more possible! Now, whether the system can supply enough power and cooling is another challenge entirely.
Here is the new version, there’s two mirrors to add a bit of longevity to this post. These kinds of tools tend to get harder and harder to find, as I’m sure you know, so the reason I decided to post this stuff here is just to help keep them available. If anyone reading this is interested in the GPU flash tool I was talking about I posted a link to the overclockersclub where I found it.
AMIBCP_v5.02.0031.7z [zipped] https://mega.nz/file/lcBUGBKa#e8-dsbp4TqyZuiIZnbgn0qmsOHElXdeG9woca8IcnCo AMIBCP_v5.02.0031 [Unzipped - see files before downloading] https://mega.nz/folder/bBAUFKjR#VZHUTbOGcQT-AEYek00x7w
NVIDIA NVFlash 5.527 (ID Mismatch Disabled) https://www.overclockersclub.com/guides/how_to_flash_rtx_bios/
In reply to KirkH420
I have a gx701 zephyrus s. Can you provide a little details regarding the way you proceeded with unlocking the bios ?