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35 Posts

05-08-2015

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Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-10-27, 15:22 PM

Hello,

can you please specify when exactly the  Thunderbolt "BIOS Assist Mode." is needed to be set in sysem bios.

 

The hit in the bios says: "It's necessary to enable it when running Lnux or Windows  10 prior version 1709."

 

What does the option do exactly and is it still necessary when you use a newer upstream kernel?

 

kind regards

johkaise

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769 Posts

07-22-2019

Canada

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-12-02, 17:05 PM

As a note - I got some feedback from one of the Redhat guys who's an expert on the kernel side of things. 

 

This controls the mode of the thunderbolt controller, i.e. if the

device enumeration and powering of the chip is done via software (the

Linux kernel) or by the firmware. Newer kernels 4.19+, support native

enumeration and runtime power management (RTD3) and thus BIOS assist

mode can and should be switched off.

 

 

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4 Posts

09-30-2019

Australia

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  • Message 2 of 22

Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-01, 11:58 AM

I would also love an answer to this - I notice there is a new Thunderbolt controller firmware update for my X1C 6th which says:

 

Important Notice[WARNINGS] :
 • Before update, set the Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode to "Disable" in BIOS setup under Config > Thunderbolt 3.

* DO NOT FORCE UPDATE Thunderbolt Controller. This may damage the firmware.

 

@MarkRHPearson are you able to clarify? Does this mean to disable it, then install the update, then re-enable it, or keep it disabled after the update as well?

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769 Posts

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-01, 12:46 PM

Hi - I'll check with the team and see what I can find out. 

 

Mark

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35 Posts

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-01, 13:29 PM

@MarkRHPearson:

Please also it would be nice to check question before, if it is still necessary. Because I am running it at present time in "Disabled" mode. And I want to know what are effects of this option. There is nowhere in handbook for that BIOS option a description.

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2214 Posts

07-22-2010

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-25, 18:08 PM

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769 Posts

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-25, 18:35 PM

Hi,

Sorry - I was chasing a bunch of thunderbolt issues and I missed this particular question. I don't have a good answer for you; I believe it means the BIOS takes responsibility for a bunch of configuration instead of the OS - but I'll confirm with the experts.

 

As a note - we have released two versions of thunderbolt firmware on LVFS for the X1C6 - one for thunderbolt assist enabled and one for disabled. You should be able to update the firmware regardless of which mode you're operating in.

 

Mark

 

 

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-11-29, 3:47 AM

Hi,

 

I confirmed with the experts:

In BIOS Assist Mode, memory resource arraignment is done by BIOS. 

In Native mode, memory resource arrangement is done by OS.

 

There are two different firmwares - one for each mode - as they aren't compatible between the two modes. LVFS should take care of getting you the right one now as mentioned above.

 

Also it was noted that native mode (assist disabled) is recommended. It's the mainstream setting and is what Intel are focussing on for testing and support.

 

Hope that helps

Mark

 

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-12-02, 10:20 AM

Marc, thank you very much for the clearification.

 

As by now I understand that there is not a exact information, when to use what option, but better use the native mode, instead of the Assist mode in newer Linux versions, I guess.

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769 Posts

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  • Message 9 of 22

Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2019-12-02, 17:05 PM

As a note - I got some feedback from one of the Redhat guys who's an expert on the kernel side of things. 

 

This controls the mode of the thunderbolt controller, i.e. if the

device enumeration and powering of the chip is done via software (the

Linux kernel) or by the firmware. Newer kernels 4.19+, support native

enumeration and runtime power management (RTD3) and thus BIOS assist

mode can and should be switched off.

 

 

1 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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01-28-2020

United States of America

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Re: Thunderbolt BIOS Assist Mode - clearification needed

2020-01-28, 21:26 PM

Hi Mark! I would appreciate some further clarification.
Following recent issues with Thunderbolt 3 Controller I decided to update my firmware to protect my controller from basically frying up. I'm using Linux, but fwupd does not list my TB3 controller for some reason, so I switched to Windows just to update my firmware. I was using native mode then. Now I switched to BIOS Assist mode. You said that these two modes use two different firmwares.

Do I need to switch to Windows again and update the firmware, or did the Windows updater update both versions?

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