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The R9 290 -> 290X Unlock Thread

post #1 of 3223
Thread Starter 
WARNING: FLASH AT YOUR OWN RISK

Hawaii Info is in the Download Section of the Guide

Please read this post first before posting questions about your graphics card (if it unlocks, how to unlock, etc.).

There have been a few incidents of having an unstable card after unlocking to a 290x, so tread carefully. If you're just receiving a new 290, hoping to unlock it shortly afterwards, please play around with the card for a couple days so you know how it behaves. Afterwards, you can try flashing. If you notice any symptoms that didn't occur with the stock BIOS, like having lower fps/scores in whatever you're playing/benching, you're unstable, etc., immediately flash the default bios back.

Some people have also had more stability using a 290x bios matching their AIB 290 card (i.e. Sapphire 290x bios on Sapphire 290). So, if you're experiencing stability issues, you may want to try that out if the Asus 290x/PT1/PT3/etc. bios doesn't work right for you.

Just a heads up for everyone, I'd appreciate it if you didn't talk about mining in this thread. There are other threads more appropriate for that topic. Thanks thumb.gif

The following threads are more suitable for mining discussion:

290 and 290X Litecoin Mining Performance

[Official] BitCoin LiteCoin DigitalCoin And all crypto currencies Club And General Information...

Other coin mining threads


R9 290 Unlock Guide (Click to show)
1. First things first (Click to show)
  • Make a backup of your ROM. Do this by dumping the ROM using GPU-Z
Picture (Click to show)
  • Benchmark your card so you can compare it later on.
2. Downloading the Software (Click to show)
TheFiles.zip 2180k .zip file
  • It includes atiflash.exe, an Asus 290x rom, hp format tool, and the windows 98 boot files. It also includes Memory Info, and Hawaii Info.
3. Checking if your card is Unlockable (Click to show)
  • Run Hawaii Info. If the numbers don't look like either one of these, then your card is locked. Any results other than the results below means your card is locked. Your Hawaii Info results HAS to match either one of these in order for your card to be unlocked to a 290X.
  • More info on Hawaii Info HERE.

Code:
RA1: F8000005 RA2: F8010000
RB1: F8000005 RB2: F8010000
RC1: F8000005 RC2: F8010000
RD1: F8000005 RD2: F8010000
Code:
RA1: F8000005 RA2: 00000000
RB1: F8000005 RB2: 00000000
RC1: F8000005 RC2: 00000000
RD1: F8000005 RD2: 00000000


4. Making your USB Drive Bootable (Click to show)
  • Extract all of the files
  • Open up the Windows 98 Archive you downloaded and extract it to a folder.
  • Open up the HP Format tool. Make sure you select the drive you want to make bootable, and that FAT32 is checked.
  • Check the "Create DOS Startup Disk box, and link it to your extracted windows 98 folder.
  • Format the drive. It should be bootable now.
5. Preparing your USB Drive for Flashing (Click to show)
  • Copy ATIFlash.exe to the root directory of your USB Drive.
  • Drag your 290X ROM on the root directory as well. To avoid the Windows 8.3 filename with other roms you might use (i.e. asusflas~1.rom), shorten the name of the rom to like 7 characters.
  • Now, your drive is set up.
6. Preparing your 290 for Flashing (Click to show)
  • Turn off your computer, and switch the BIOS selector on your R9 290 so that it's closest to the power connectors. That's the Uber position (the 290 doesn't have an Uber BIOS, both switch positions are copies of the 290 Quiet BIOS). The Quiet switch position is the one closest to your video connections.
  • Take out all other PCI devices, including multiple R9 290s.
  • We're flashing them one at a time so that if your card bricks up or doesn't respond like it should to the flash, you still have another good card to use.
7. Flashing your R9 290 (Click to show)
  • Boot from your USB drive. You shoud get a CLI.
  • Type DIR to verify that ATIFlash and your ROM are on the drive.
  • Use this command to flash: atiflash.exe -f -p 0 romname.rom
  • The flashing process should take around 10sec.
  • Rinse and repeat for any other 290s that you have that you would like to flash (turn off computer, swap out cards, and repeat the process, making sure you have the card on the Uber switch position).
8. The Aftermath (Click to show)
  • When you restart your computer, you may have a low resolution desktop. This is fine.
  • Wait for the drivers to reinstall on your card, and restart the computer again.
  • Open up GPU-Z to see if there are any changes to your shaders and clock speed.
  • To confirm that you successfully flashed your card, run some benchmarks and compare it to your original score.
Putting the stock ROM back on (Click to show)
  • If you found out you were unsuccessful in your flash, or you just want to flash it back, here's how you do it.
  • Take your backed-up ROM that you did in Step 1, and transfer it to your bootable USB drive.
  • Turn off your computer, and make sure your 290's switch is in the Uber position. Again, remove any other PCI devices, including multiple 290s.
  • Turn on your computer, and flash the stock rom using this command: atiflash.exe -f -p 0 romname.rom
  • Yup, it's the same one as before.
  • Reboot your computer, and after the drivers reinstall, you should have a completely stock card again!
Unbricking Your Card (Click to show)
  • Put the stock rom on your bootable USB drive.
  • Get a spare card, and throw it in the primary PCIe slot in your computer.
  • Put your 290 in another slot, with it switched to the faulty bios.
  • Put your video cables on your backup card and boot from your USB drive
  • Type this in: atiflash.exe -i
  • This will show you what adapter number your card is. It should say Hawaii, along with the card you're using to boot.
  • Whatever your adapter number is, remember it because you'll need it for the following command
  • Now, type in atiflash.exe -f -p x stockrom.rom
  • x will be the adapter number of your card.
  • Give it about 5sec. reboot your computer, switch your 290 back to primary, and you should be good.
Fixing the Black Screen until Windows is Booted Error (not showing POST) (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redvineal View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomsom View Post

Strange problem occurred after I flashed my 290 with the ASUS 290x BIOS. I can no longer see POST as I am booting, the screen does not come on until windows is fully loaded. Which in turn means I can't revert the BIOS because my monitor is just blank until windows is finished loading.

What do i do about this?

I had the same problem with my XFX R9 290. Just follow these steps:

1. Flip the bios switch on the card to the position with the original bios
2. Boot to the flash drive (command line)
3. Flip the bios switch on the card to the position with the Asus bios
4. Run atiflash.exe -ai and verify the information represents the Asus bios
5. Flash the original bios using the same command you used to flash the Asus bios (changing the bios name used in the command, of course)

PM me if you need anymore info.

Techpowerup R9 290 ROM Database
Techpowerup R9 290X ROM Database

Other R9 290X ROMs (Click to show)
ASUS 290X ROM.zip 104k .zip file
ASUS290ROM.zip 43k .zip file
PT1 Custom ROM.zip 42k .zip file
PT3 Custom ROM.zip 42k .zip file
PT1T.zip 42k .zip file
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

...pt1 is a normal bios with no limits, so it has natural droop. pt3 is the same but with no droop. pt3 is inherently more dangerous obviously since it will actually feed more volts than you input. And when we figure the droop involved it is actually a lot more volts. I prefer droop, its safer imo. I want to be the one in control of how much droop I'm affected by and not a predetermined offset.

PT1T BIOS Description:
Quote:
Credit for this bios goes to xnotx2:

This is the PT1 290x bios that has modified ssid and vid (video id) that tricks the motherboard into thinking it is a 290 bios. It's for when the motherboard boots with a black screen, but can still hear the windows start up chime. (Motherboard fussy with mismatched ID's)

BE CAREFUL WITH THESE ROM FILES. The PT1/PT3/PT1T Bioses have the potential of destroying your card if you don't know what you're doing. The PT1/PT3 ROMS will allow you to adjust the slider to 2V, which translates roughly to 800W to your card. The maximum for this card is around 525W. Also, keep in mind that there is only one clock speed setting. If you have it at 1000Mhz, it will stay at 1000Mhz, even when it's idling.

The Asus 290/x bioses allow you to adjust the voltage up to 1.4v using ASUS GPUTweak. All of the other bioses will officially go up to +100mV in MSI Afterburner.

Spreadsheets/Forms:

Inside the following two spoilers are the official results of people who have attempted to unlock their card(s). If you would like to contribute, please fill out the respective form(s) to be added to the respective spreadsheet(s). Thanks thumb.gif

Reference Cards (Click to show)

Click HERE to submit your form. Thank you for contributing!
If you would like to have your form entry edited, PM me, and I'll do it.
Non-Reference Cards (Click to show)

Click HERE to submit your form. Thank you for contributing!
If you would like to have your form entry edited, PM me, and I'll do it.
  • To determine what type of memory you have in your 290, use MemoryInfo or Hawaii Info (included in the attachment in the Unlock Guide).
  • If you submit a form showing only a GPU-Z screenshot or a Hawaii-Info screenshot, I will delete them. Those types of results will be added to the Unofficial 290 -> 290X Flash Results section. Refer to the notes in the respective spreadsheet's forms for what is required for form submission.
  • For reference for form submission, refer to DCRussian's form submission in the "Reference Cards" spreadsheet.

Unofficial 290 -> 290X Flash Results (Click to show)
This will be updated whenever I find someone who flashes their card.

Some of these links have official benchmarks comparing them, but most don't. Some of these are also copies from the spreadsheet above, but I'm putting them in here just in case.

Most of the links are sorted by date, so the latest links are usually the newest one's that are reported by the user as locked or unlocked.

Sapphire Reference (Click to show) Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve

Gigabyte Reference (Click to show) Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked: One, Two

Powercolor Reference (Click to show) Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

MSI Reference (Click to show) Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six

HIS Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked: One, Two, Three

Locked: One, Two, Three, Four
Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

XFX Reference (Click to show) Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

ASUS: Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked: One, Two

Locked: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight
Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked: One

VTX3D Referecne (Click to show)
Unlocked: One, Two, Three

Locked: 0
Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

Club3D Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked: One, Two, Three, Four

Locked: One, Two, Three
Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

Visiontek Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked: 0

Locked: 0
Non-Reference (Click to show)
Unlocked:0

Locked:0

Overclocking your 290 from 947Mhz to 1000Mhz grants you a ~3% performance increase. Successfully flashing your bios to a 290X will give you a ~4% performance increase (this is when both the 290 and 290x's clocks are the same). Combine it, and you get a ~7% performance increase after successfully flashing a stock 290 with a 290X bios. Of course, ymmv depending on what you're running. An unlocked 290 performs the same as a base 290x.

Check out @beonfilms' 290 Flashing tutorial. I can't embed the vid anywhere else except the bottom for some reason...it disappears.


Edited by airisom2 - 7/23/14 at 3:59pm
post #2 of 3223
ahh good a separate thread maybe now we can get some organization going and see if we can find a real trend good job thumb.gif
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Black Betty
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Opportunity X79
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Windows 7 ultimate ACER H243H Logitech k800 Cooler Master v850 
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post #3 of 3223
Thread Starter 
ATTENTION POST-FLASHED USERS: Please redo everything if possible biggrin.gif I wanna make this as organized and informative as possible, and re-submitting your results will really help out. Thanks thumb.gif

If you already have your before/after results in a post, feel free to use that.
Edited by airisom2 - 11/16/13 at 11:55am
post #4 of 3223
Sapphire 290 :

bios ASUS 290 :



bios ASUS 290X :



No unlock.
post #5 of 3223
If anyone knows of a good shader dependent benchmark we can use to verify these, please post it. I tried ShaderToyMark and Compubench but there aren't a lot of scores to compare to.
Force Rig
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Force Rig
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i7-4770K 4.4 (36 uncore)@1.332V Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H XFX R9 290 flashed to 290X @ 1180/1375 16GB DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingMonitor
Samsung 830 WD Caviar Black NZXT Kraken X60 NEC 2490wuxi 
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post #6 of 3223
Also Sapphire 290 with elpida and no unlock after flashing Asus 290x bios.
post #7 of 3223
Are the Sapphire Radeon R9 290 21227-00-40G and ASUS Radeon R9 290 R9290-4GD5 currently the only models that are able to flash to the Radeon R9 290X BIOS?
post #8 of 3223
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BYOGamingPC View Post

Are the Sapphire Radeon R9 290 21227-00-40G and ASUS Radeon R9 290 R9290-4GD5 currently the only models that are able to flash to the Radeon R9 290X BIOS?

So far, all Gigabyte, ASUS, and Sapphire cards failed. The main cards that have a high success of unlocking are the XFX and Powercolor 290s. Check the Older 290 -> 290X Flash Results spoiler in the OP for more info.
post #9 of 3223
dont want to hijack this thread but could you take a look at my prob here:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1442692/vc-powercolor-radeon-r9-290-unlocked-into-r9-290x/350#post_21203293

for some odd reason cant get atiflash -force command going.

thanx a lot
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post #10 of 3223
atiflash 4.07 won't work, you need aitflash 4.17.

My sapphire 290 booted with blank screen with both asus and sapphire 290x bioses, so couldn't see if the unlocked laughingsmiley.gif
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