26 Apr 2012 yeupou   » (Master)

Upgrading Dell Latitude C640 CPU

Just because it’s quite cheap, via ebay, I decided to upgrade my Dell Latitude C640 CPU from a 2.0 GHz P4-M (sl6fk) to a 2.4 GHz one (sl6vc). It could, in theory, get a 2.6 GHz one, but these (like sl6wz) are way more expensive.

The Dell Latitude C640 service manual describe in lenghty details how to actually change the CPUs. There isn’t much point in describing it here. Remove the hard drive, the keyboard, then the CPU thermal cooling assembly and you can easily access the CPU socket.

After that change, the BIOS complained about a “Processor Microde Update Failure – The revision of processor in the system is not supported.”, a non-blocker item. A quick check with dmidecode showed me the current bios were version A08 released 03/04/2003, actually a few month before first releases of the new processor. So I decided to upgrade the BIOS too, following these advices. I downloaded a windows BIOS update from dell website.  On a computer with wine available (not the case of my laptop),  I ran wine ./R71684.exe and stopped after it extracted all the files it contained, then I ran unshield x data1.cab to get the contents of this cabinet. I found a file BiosHeader/C640_A10.HDR that I copied on my laptop. On the laptop, with the package libsmbios-bin installed and the module dell_rbu loaded, I ran dellBiosUpdate -f ./C640_A10.HDR -u which returned:

Supported RBU type for this system: (MONOLITHIC)
Using RBU v2 driver. Initializing Driver. 
Setting RBU type in v2 driver to: MONOLITHIC
Prep driver for data load.
Writing RBU data (4096bytes/dot): .................................................................................................................................
Notify driver data is finished.
Activate CMOS bit to notify BIOS that update is ready on next boot.
Update staged sucessfully. BIOS update will occur on next reboot.

Then rebooted the laptop and it restarted mentioning it was now running BIOS version A10. Cpufreq works fine, everything is in order.


Syndicated 2012-04-26 22:05:16 from # cd /scratch

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