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Thomas Richardson
Thomas Richardson

Hp Motherboard Tattoo Dmi Utility



So my Multimedia S610 came in the mail and as I feared the original HDD was replaced and the tattoo was not backed up. As a result, when I use the 175525 it boots a restores everything, but multiple drivers are missing, first boot shows multiple errors for missing files (mostly for the antivirus I would uninstall anyway), and of course system credentials are missing. I know this is super easy to restore if you ever created a backup, but obviously that was not something the previous owner did. I heard the information to assist in restoring the tattoo is stored in BIOS DMI. Is there a way to recreate this hidden sector so I can do a proper restore or am I out of luck? There used to be a very knowledgeable guy for this stuff on UKT support but you can no longer create an account there and there has been no activity in about three years.




hp motherboard tattoo dmi utility



Not quite. The "tattoo" was a special encoding kept in both hidden sector on HDD and in the CMOS DMI. The restore CDs would only work if there was a copy of the tattoo on both and the copies matched, and it also told the installer which drivers and programs to install.


It was a form of copy protection, but obviously raised issues when either HDD or motherboard were replaced. That's why there were tools like TATTOO.EXE to copy the tattoo from the one to the other. Originally these tools were hard to come by, but practical need trumped excessive protection and eventually they were included on the MasterCDs.


HPs had "tattooing" as recently as 2005 or 2006. Had to use some special utilities from HP when replacing... laptop motherboards? something. I've lost those memories to the mists of time. Yes, they literally called it "tattooing". For a time the company I worked for was an HP Authorized Service Center so I know. Similar mechanism as what dionb said.


Next, the tattoo tool - there are different ones (HSUPDATE, MKCONFIG, HSCENTER, TATTOO and EXTHS). Which one you need depends on the 'format' i.e. release of the system. From 1996 onwards, these tools were present in the OEM HDD install, but not on the master CDs until early 1999 (later Hercules 24 format systems). If you have one of the older systems, you need a "Format Service Disk" or "Tattoo Customer Disk", which is basically just a floppy with the relevant tool on it. Good luck finding one of those...


Next, download the HPBQ138 DMIFIT tool by clicking the link and then clicking File > Download. This is the utility HP service technicians use to burn system information to the motherboard. Sometimes this is called the DMIFIT tool.


Many motherboards feature a set of jumpers or dipswitches that will clear the CMOS and wipe all of the custom settings including BIOS passwords. The locations of these jumpers / dipswitches will vary depending on the motherboard manufacturer and ideally you should always refer to the motherboard or computer manufacturer's documentation. If the documentation is unavailable, the jumpers/dipswitches can sometimes be found along the edge of the motherboard, next to the CMOS battery, or near the processor. Some manufacturers may label the jumper / dipswitch CLEAR - CLEAR CMOS - CLR - CLRPWD - PASSWD - PASSWORD - PWD. On laptop computers, the dipswitches are usually found under the keyboard or within a compartment at the bottom of the laptop.


Please remember to unplug your PC and use a grounding strip before reaching into your PC and touching the motherboard. Once you locate and rest the jumper switches, turn the computer on and check if the password has been cleared. If it has, turn the computer off and return the jumpers or dipswitches to its original position.


The CMOS settings on most systems are buffered by a small battery that is attached to the motherboard. (It looks like a small watch battery). If you unplug the PC and remove the battery for 10-15 minutes, the CMOS may reset itself and the password should be blank. (Along with any other machine specific settings, so be sure you are familiar with manually reconfiguring the BIOS settings before you do this.) Some manufacturers backup the power to the CMOS chipset by using a capacitor, so if your first attempt fails, leave the battery out (with the system unplugged) for at least 24 hours. Some batteries are actually soldered onto the motherboard making this task more difficult. Unsoldering the battery incorrectly may damage your motherboard and other components, so please don't attempt this if you are inexperienced. Another option may be to remove the CMOS chip from the motherboard for a period of time.


Note: Removing the battery to reset the CMOS will not work for all PC's, and almost all of the newer laptops store their BIOS passwords in a manner which does not require continuous power, so removing the CMOS battery may not work at all. IBM Thinkpad laptops lock the hard drive as well as the BIOS when the supervisor password is set. If you reset the BIOS password, but cannot reset the hard drive password, you may not be able to access the drive and it will remain locked, even if you place it in a new laptop. IBM Thinkpads have special jumper switches on the motherboard, and these should be used to reset the system.


It is also possible to reset the CMOS by connecting or "jumping" specific solder beads on the chipset. There are too many chipsets to do a breakdown of which points to jump on individual chipsets, and the location of these solder beads can vary by manufacturer, so please check your computer and motherboard documentation for details. This technique is not recommended for the inexperienced and should be only be used as a "last ditch" effort.


If you need additional documentation about your motherboard, location of jumpers / dipswitches, location of the battery, BIOS settings, etc., we've included links to most of the major motherboard manufacturers here. 350c69d7ab


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