Board:asus/a8n e

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This HOWTO explains how to use LinuxBIOS on the ASUS A8N-E board.

Status

Device/functionality Status Comments
CPU
CPU works OK
L1 cache enabled OK CPU: L1 I Cache: 64K (64 bytes/line), D cache 64K (64 bytes/line)
L2 cache enabled
L3 cache enabled N/A
Multiple CPU support N/A
Multi-core support
Hardware virtualization
RAM
EDO N/A
SDRAM N/A
SO-DIMM N/A
DDR OK Tested with one DIMM in slot B1 (see manual).
DDR2 N/A
DDR3 N/A
Dual channel support
ECC support
On-board Hardware
On-board IDE 3.5"
On-board IDE 2.5" N/A
On-board SATA
On-board SCSI Unknown
On-board USB OK Tested: USB keyboard (on each of the 10 possible USB ports).
On-board VGA N/A
On-board ethernet OK
On-board audio
On-board modem
On-board FireWire N/A
On-board smartcard reader N/A
On-board CompactFlash N/A
On-board PCMCIA N/A
Add-on slots/cards
ISA add-on cards N/A
Audio/Modem-Riser (AMR/CNR) cards Unknown
PCI add-on cards OK Tested: PCI VGA card in slot 0.
Mini-PCI add-on cards Unknown
PCI-X add-on cards Unknown
AGP graphics cards N/A
PCI Express x1 add-on cards
PCI Express x2 add-on cards N/A
PCI Express x4 add-on cards
PCI Express x8 add-on cards N/A
PCI Express x16 add-on cards
PCI Express x32 add-on cards N/A
HTX add-on cards N/A
Legacy / Super I/O
Floppy
Serial port 1 (COM1) OK
Serial port 2 (COM2) N/A
Parallel port OK Tested: modprobe ppdev, further tests were not performed.
PS/2 keyboard
PS/2 mouse
Game port
Infrared Unknown
PC speaker Unknown
DiskOnChip N/A
Miscellaneous
Sensors / fan control OK Tested: sensors reports K8 core temp. (kernel module k8temp) and various other values from the IT8712F Super I/O (kernel module it87).
Hardware watchdog Unknown
SMBus Unknown
CAN bus N/A
CPU frequency scaling
Other powersaving features Unknown
ACPI No There's no ACPI implementation for this board.
Reboot Unknown
Poweroff Unknown
Suspend Unknown
Nonstandard LEDs
High precision event timers (HPET) Unknown
Random number generator (RNG) Unknown
Wake on modem ring Unknown
Wake on LAN Unknown
Wake on keyboard Unknown
Wake on mouse Unknown
Flashrom

Before you begin

The Asus A8N-E is an Athlon64 Socket 939 board (nforce 4 ultra) with socketed BIOS sold around €120 (mostly out of stock in 8/2007; used items at eBay ~ €20-35). It already boots LinuxBIOS. Latest legacy BIOS is from May 2006 v.1013. Socket 939 Athlons do not have Pacifica Virtualization.

The PLCC32 BIOS chip is of type SST 49LF004B of which you need a spare pre-programmed piece.

Flash type 4 Mbit SST 49LF004B

The ASUS A8N-SLI Deluxe, an "nforce 4 sli" board probably shares the same PCB design with more solder pads populated (please confirm), and is also out of stock mostly.

The ASUS A8NE-FM/S has initial support in the form of a patch.

Hot plugging a BIOS chip was successfully done (pull out chip with glued-on handle while running Linux), so you don't necessarily need an external EPROM programmer, just a spare working 49LF004 chip. 8 MBit SST 49LF080A was also successfully flashed and booted with legacy BIOS (two images concatenated).

Known issues

  • Currently PS/2 keyboards do not work, but USB keyboards do.
  • Single DIMM support only.
  • The MAC address is stored in flash for almost all CK804/MCP55 boards. All of these boards flashed with LB probably have the same MAC address. See src/southbridge/nvidia/ck804/romstrap.inc and src/southbridge/nvidia/mcp55/romstrap.inc for details. On some of these boards, the MAC address is stored in a separate EEPROM, but you can't count on that.

TODO

If you can help out with this, please join the mailing list and let us know!

GNU head This work is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or any later version. This work is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.