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[SUCCESS] Gigabyte Designare Z390 (Thunderbolt 3) + i7-9700K + AMD RX 580

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@CaseySJ Just wanted to report another success with thunderbolt firmware patching that could help others. I finally managed to extract the thunderbolt firmware from the ASRock Z490 itx/tb3 which has the Titan Ridge LP (low power, one port) chip, device ID 15e7. Tried the four byte patch approach initially but this resulted in devices never connecting even though the IOregistry showed a full thunderbolt tree. Tried all sorts of different combinations of patches and was on the verge of giving up when I thought I'd try your NVM50 patched firmware for the Vision D. I replaced all instances of the thunderbolt device id's for the Vision chip with those for the LP chip. So:
All instances of EA15 -> E715 in the first section of the active region
All instances of 8680EA15 -> 8680E715 in the firmware
All instances of 8680EB15 -> 8680E815 in the firmware
All instances of 8680EC15 -> 8680E915 in the firmware

I also replaced the Vision D DROM section with the Asrock DROM section that had been fixed using thunderboltutil.sh.

Result SUCCESS! I was very surprised that it worked...
Attached is the modified firmware and SSDT to add to the repo. Users need to correct the DROM in the SSDT with their own UID and fixed checksums
View attachment 492939
@dsga or @CaseySJ: Do you expect the TB3 firmware in the ASRock W480 Creator would be the same as the Z490 ITX/ac version? How to check?
 

CaseySJ

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@dsga or @CaseySJ: Do you expect the TB3 firmware in the ASRock W480 Creator would be the same as the Z490 ITX/ac version? How to check?
To determine whether the ASRock W480 Creator has the LP (low power) version of Titan Ridge controller, run Hackintool, select the PCIe tab, and click the Export icon. Then post the file.
Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 7.57.11 AM.png
 
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To determine whether the ASRock W480 Creator has the LP (low power) version of Titan Ridge controller, run Hackintool, select the PCIe tab, and click the Export icon. Then post the file.
View attachment 512956
I don't have the board yet in hand, but it's obviously not a single port (it has two) so probably not the LP version. So best to start with your GB-Z490, and modify from there?
 

CaseySJ

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I don't have the board yet in hand, but it's obviously not a single port (it has two) so probably not the LP version. So best to start with your GB-Z490, and modify from there?
Order of precedence:
  • We should extract and modify the native firmware first. Then observe what happens with cold boot, warm boot, wake-from-sleep, and hot plug.
    • I can modify the original for you.
  • If there are issues then we can flash a foreign firmware such as:
    • NVM33 from Z390 Designare
    • NVM50 from Z490 Vision D
But please keep the following in mind:
  • Flashing the firmware is not necessary for most Thunderbolt devices. Hot plug will work out-of-the-box.
  • Flashing the firmware incurs risk of physical and electrical damage.
    • It requires sturdy hands and excellent near-vision.
    • If you are near-sighted already and use corrective lenses to view distant objects, you must remove those corrective lenses. Your eyes will focus much more easily on nearby objects and provide far better visual clarity and far less eye fatigue.
    • Each time the 8-pin SOIC clip is attached and detached, it must be done with extreme care to avoid dislodging delicate surface mount devices that are soldered in the immediate vicinity of the flash chip.
  • So always connect and test Thunderbolt devices without flashing the firmware. If they work, then there's no need to flash.
 
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Thunderbolt add-in-cards tend to work best on motherboards that have either (a) a Thunderbolt header (labeled THB_C) or (b) an on-board Thunderbolt controller.

Reason: The firmware (BIOS) of a motherboard with either (a) or (b) contains support for Thunderbolt, including hot plug events, USB-C protocol, controller power gate functions, etc. We can even use an SSDT alone to activate Thunderbolt Bus for an Alpine Ridge controller.

However, the usual disclaimer applies:

Thunderbolt behavior, particularly with flashed controllers, exhibits idiosyncrasies that are unique to each board and each add-in-card and each version of motherboard BIOS (firmware).

The problems get worse the further back in time we go. Newer boards, particularly those with Thunderbolt headers or built-in controllers, perform the best (but still not perfect).

The Designare Z390 and Z490 Vision D with flashed on-board controllers have the fewest idiosyncrasies.

Have you considered upgrading just the motherboard to one that still supports your CPU, but contains a THB_C header?
Hi. It's me again. My MB (Gigabyte B150M-D3H-CF) in fact has the THB_C header. I still want to cry, but because I finally found the problem.
After having asking the first time, i saw that maybe V1 or V2 would give better results. So I tried to reflash the winbond chip (I succesfully did it in fact) however, I was uncautious during the desoldering process and I moved some components :c
I get them in the right position, but the card isn't recognized anymore, not even with the original firmware. I'm afraid that some components are missing.
Is here any kind soul that can share a picture of an Alpine ridge card to compare and see if the components are where they are meant to be?
Attach pictures of my card.
 

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Joined
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Order of precedence:
  • We should extract and modify the native firmware first. Then observe what happens with cold boot, warm boot, wake-from-sleep, and hot plug.
    • I can modify the original for you.
  • If there are issues then we can flash a foreign firmware such as:
    • NVM33 from Z390 Designare
    • NVM50 from Z490 Vision D
But please keep the following in mind:
  • Flashing the firmware is not necessary for most Thunderbolt devices. Hot plug will work out-of-the-box.
  • Flashing the firmware incurs risk of physical and electrical damage.
    • It requires sturdy hands and excellent near-vision.
    • If you are near-sighted already and use corrective lenses to bring distant objects into focus, you must remove those corrective lenses. Your eyes will focus much more easily on nearby objects and provide far better visual clarity and far less eye fatigue.
    • Each time the 8-pin SOIC clip is attached and detached, it must be done with extreme care to avoid dislodging delicate surface mount devices that are soldered in the immediate vicinity of the flash chip.
  • So always connect and test Thunderbolt devices without flashing the firmware. If they work, then there's no need to flash.
Do think the "Mini-Guide for Flashing SPI ROM Chips using 3.3V CH341A Programmer" is good enough for extracting/flashing the TB3 on the W480? You mentioned previously that the ASRock mobos were difficult to flash and therefore recommended the Raspberry Pi solution. The latter seems to add an extra layer of complexity that I'd prefer to avoid.
 

CaseySJ

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Hi. It's me again. My MB (Gigabyte B150M-D3H-CF) in fact has the THB_C header. I still want to cry, but because I finally found the problem.
After having asking the first time, i saw that maybe V1 or V2 would give better results. So I tried to reflash the winbond chip (I succesfully did it in fact) however, I was uncautious during the desoldering process and I moved some components :c
I get them in the right position, but the card isn't recognized anymore, not even with the original firmware. I'm afraid that some components are missing.
Is here any kind soul that can share a picture of an Alpine ridge card to compare and see if the components are where they are meant to be?
Attach pictures of my card.
Oh no, it is not necessary to desolder the chip in order to program it. We use a 3.3V CH341a USB programmer to perform in-situ read/write.

By the way, when I desoldered the Flash ROM chip from an Asus ThunderboltEX 3, programmed it, and soldered it back, the card never worked again even though the flash ROM chip itself was still responding perfectly to a USB CH341a reader.

I'm not sure if anyone has been able to re-solder one of these chips and get everything working again.

If anyone has a GC-Alpine Ridge, would you mind posting a close-up photo of the components surrounding the Winbond Flash ROM chip?
 

CaseySJ

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Joined
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Motherboard
Asus ProArt Z690-Creator
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  3. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Quadra
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Do think the "Mini-Guide for Flashing SPI ROM Chips using 3.3V CH341A Programmer" is good enough for extracting/flashing the TB3 on the W480? You mentioned previously that the ASRock mobos were difficult to flash and therefore recommended the Raspberry Pi solution. The latter seems to add an extra layer of complexity that I'd prefer to avoid.
Yes please try the 3.3V CH341A programmer. If it does not work, then nothing is likely to work. Hopefully the Intel-based W480 will be easier to read than my (former) AMD-based X570 ASRock Creator.
 
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I'm not sure if anyone has been able to re-solder one of these chips and get everything working again.
In my job it's common to do so when we need to reflash computer bios after a power failure, a (very) bad configuration or an interrupted bios upgrade, things than prevents the computer from booting. We use a TL866II Plus programmer (those white boxes with a bunch of cables and adaptors).
I'm not going to lie, even if the success rate is high (near 70% of success i think), sometimes we cannot get the computer "back to life" after desoldering, programming and get the IC back in place. In most of those ocassions we dont have any clue of what happened.

BIG NOTE: Do not use a TL866II Plus programmer to do the same method than the CH341A. It gets stuck forever :c
 
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