Did you know that it is possible to patch the firmware of many devices with an unofficial version that may increase the speed of a device or increase it's functionality? Most custom or modified firmware versions are created for one of the following five device types: Motherboards. Dvd Recorders, Digital Cameras. Graphic Cards and Routers.
The process is similar to installing a new firmware - sometimes also called bios - to the device. I have done this numerous times on my old computer patching my Asus motherboard with official firmware updates to increase cpu support for instance. I also changed the firmware of my old NEC 3500A DVD recorder so that it would be region free.
Sometimes it is possible to increase the speed of a graphics card by changing it from a lower speed into a higher speed graphics card or increase the GPU for instance. It is furthermore possible to speed up DVD recorders, increase support for smart cards with a higher gigabyte count or enable a ftp server in your router.
The first step is to find out if it is possible to update the firmware of your device. If it is indeed possible you should take a look at the changes and device if you really need the increased functionality. There is always a risk in applying firmware updates and the original manufacturer will most likely not repair the device if it breaks during the update.
Make sure you backup your bios first before you start applying the firmwares. Most tools that can patch the firmware also offer a way to backup the original one first.
Below now is a list of websites that offer unofficial firmware updates for a lot of devices. This is the main reason why I'm not listing the devices here at ghacks.
Canon - Firmware updates for Canon Digital Cameras.
Fujufilm - firmwares for Fujifilm cameras.
HP - HP firmwares
Kodak - Kodak firmwares.
Nikon - Nikon firmwares.
Olympius - Olympus firmwares.
Pentax - Firmwares for Pentax cameras.
Sony Cybershot - firmwares for Sony Cybershot cameras.
Mvktech - A site with many firmwares for all popular graphic cards.
Tech Power UP - lots of firmwares for manufacturers like Abit, Asus, Ati, Nvidia and Saphire.
Codeguys - Samsung and LiteOn firmwares
Liggydee - Offers modified NEC and Optiarc firmwares.
Media Code Speed Edit - Change the write speed of your media and add new media codes.
RPC1 - The number one address for DVD Recorder updates.
DDWRT - Another possibility to update a number of firmwares.
OpenDRT - Provides a fully writable filesystem with package management for many routers.
FreeWRT - Firmware for several Asus, Linksys and Netgear routers.
Rebels Haven Forum - lots of bios updates for Asus, DFI and other manufacturers.
You should start by taking a look at the official website of the manufacturer of your mainboard. They normally list bios updates there.
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