A few months ago I installed a certain proprietary OS on my HP Pavilion dv6103nr laptop that doesn't have a certain fruit-based logo on it.  It worked amazingly well, except for the wifi card.  So I bought an Airport card pulled from a MacBook off of eBay for ~$10 and discovered the evil of BIOS Wifi card whitelists.

After some research and mucking around with old versions of Phoenix BIOS Editor procured from Warez-R-Us that required .OCX files from VB, I finally found BiosEdit2100.zip ("BIOS Logo Change Utility") at Intel.  (They'll probably do as all big websites and renumber all their resources every few years, so you can try searching for it by name if the link is broken.  If you have to resort to other sources, know that I computed the md5sum 91be5e826d3bbea3c9d4aa1244e5055a for mine.) It worked great, didn't require ancient runtime files pirated from Microsoft, and as far as I can tell I wasn't violating any licenses.

Since my patching was awhile ago and took me 4 or 5 tries to get right (I'm not entirely sure what I did right the last time either), I was mainly just writing this to point you to a good source for Phoenix BIOS Editor.  In the process of finding that link again I also found this guide that does a better job than I did – it actually patches the BIOS code to ignore the whitelist, rather than adding a new card to the whitelist, which is what I did.

I can't vouch for the safety or effectiveness of the specific patch this guy recommends, but the general unpacking/patching/building/flashing process sounds like what I did. (I think I used 7-zip to extract the BIOS image from the .exe file rather than executing it and looking in a temp directory.) It looks like the latest BIOS version is newer than the one he used. If you can get that one, you could probably figure out how to locate the same segment of code in other versions.

If you patch the whitelist like I did, make sure to search for PCI IDs you suspect will be there with the correct endianness (little-endian for x86).

After all that work, I ended up just buying a used MacBook, as it works perfectly and I don't have to worry about OS updates breaking me. Still, it was impressive to see what the OSx86 hackers have accomplished, and I got to learn some things like how to patch a BIOS.