915Resolution: Intel Video BIOS Hack

Steve Tomljenovic [stomljen at yahoo dot com]

Last modified April 26, 2007

915resolution is a tool to modify the video BIOS of the 800 and 900 series Intel graphics chipsets. This includes the 830, 845G, 855G, and 865G chipsets, as well as 915G, 915GM, 945G, 946GZ, G965, and Q965 chipsets. This modification is neccessary to allow the display of certain graphics resolutions for an Xorg or XFree86 graphics server.

915resolution's modifications of the BIOS are transient. There is no risk of permanent modification of the BIOS. This also means that 915resolution must be run every time the computer boots inorder for it's changes to take effect.

915resolution is derived from the tool 855resolution. However, the code differs substantially. 915resolution's code base is much simpler. 915resolution also allows the modification of bits per pixel.

915resolution has been reported to work with the following systems. It should, however, work with any system with an Intel 800 or 900 series graphics chipset.

Make Series Model
Sony VAIO VGN-FS550
Sony VAIO VGN-FS570
Sony VAIO VGN-FS115B
Sony VAIO VGN-FS115E
IBM ThinkPad R52
Dell Latitude X1
Dell Latitude D610
Samsung X20 XVM 1600 III
Asus - Z71A
Asus - W5
Acer Aspire 1691WLMi
Toshiba Satellite M65

Downloading 915resolution

You can download the current version of 915resolution, 0.5.3 here. This includes the source as well as a binary.

Debian packages can be found here.

You can find 915resolution scripts for Gentoo here . There is also an associated tarball for the Gentoo scripts.

FreeBSD users can look here for a port of 915resolution.

Using 915resolution

A README file with basic instructions on how to use 915resolution is included with the archive. You can also read it here

Note that you need to set the video BIOS with 915resolution before you start up the X server. You don't need to set them all. Just pick an unused mode with the right number of bits per pixel. Also, the setting is not permanent. You need to set the VBIOS every time you start the machine.

Be sure to the latest drivers from Intel. Youc an also find an updated driver here

You also need at least X server version 6.8.2

You'll need to fiddle with your X configuration to get things to work. You will probably need to create a modeline, and change horizontal/vertical scan frequencies. My X configuration file: xorg.conf. If my modeline doesn't work for you, generate your own with gtf

Using 915resolution from within an Xserver

915resolution is going to be incorporated into the i810 driver from X.org. It should be in an upcoming release. This will void the need to run 915resolution manually. When I find out the appropriate X server has been released I'll put a notice on the website.

In the meantime, there is a test driver that has 915resolution built in here

The syntax to override a BIOS resolution is below. You place the option in the driver section.

Option "ForceBIOS" "1024x768=1400x1050"
This will re-program the old 1024x768 to become a new 1400x1050 one.

Helpful links

There is a google groups forum 915resolution. If your having problems or have any questions, please post there. You can also email me (Steve Tomljenovic) at [stomljen at yahoo com].

You can find discussion about this problem within x.org's bug tracking system. It is bug 643

X.org wiki

An interesting set of links on using centrino notebooks can be found here

Below are numerous links of people reporting thier experiences with 915resolution. This is a good place to look if your having problems..

English:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/i915Driver

http://en.opensuse.org/Patch_the_Video_BIOS

http://roland-lopez.blogspot.com/2007/03/auto915resolution-ubuntu-resolution-fix.html

http://www.linuxquestions.org/linux/answers/Hardware/Using_915resolution_to_Support_Wide_Aspect_Displays_with_Intel_Extreme_Graphics_Cards

http://absolutebeginner.wordpress.com/2006/08/20/absolute-beginner-guide-915resolution/

http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/atrivedi/entry/sony_vaio_vgn/

http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/atrivedi/entry/using_915resolution_reply/

http://gentoo-wiki.com/HARDWARE_Dell_Latitude_X1

http://surrey.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?TravelMate4100WLMi

http://www.technodaddy.com/wp/2005/04/30/i-am-loving-ubuntu-linux/

http://www.stud.ntnu.no/~gronslet/blog/linux-on-a-dell-x1-aka-samsung-q30

http://home.comcast.net/~canez/d610/

http://jastram.de/story.php?id=185

http://www.zvolve.com/~garry/lappy.html

http://www.baycom.org/~tom/acertm3004wtmi/

http://www.linux-laptop.net/hosted/fs215e-slackware.html

http://www.bram.be/travelmate_4651lci.html

http://tuxmobil.org/centrino.html

http://z63a.koneko.org/fc4-z63a.html

http://users.skynet.be/thomasvst/linux-on-laptop/

http://rdo.homelinux.org/ubuntu-linux-on-a-dell-latitude-d610/

http://spide.blogspot.com/2005/08/softwarerec-install-ubuntu-on-acer.html

http://www.nerdgirl.dk/linux/installation.php#monitor

http://mandrivaonadellx1.50webs.com/

German:

http://www.ubuntuusers.de/wiki/wiki_und_community:testberichte:dell_latitude_x1

French:

http://poseidon.epfl.ch/page6782.html

Italian:

http://www.traindevie.com/w5a/w5a.html

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