Board:asus/m4a78-em

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This HOWTO explains how to use coreboot on the ASUS M4A78-EM board.

Status

Device/functionality Status Comments
CPU
CPU works OK Tested: AMD Sempron 140.
L1 cache enabled OK -
L2 cache enabled OK -
L3 cache enabled N/A
Multiple CPU support N/A
Multi-core support Untested
Hardware virtualization Untested -
RAM
EDO N/A
SDRAM N/A
SO-DIMM N/A
DDR N/A N/A
DDR2 OK 1G tested
DDR3 N/A
Dual channel support Untested
ECC support Untested
On-board Hardware
On-board IDE 3.5" Ok Tested: CD/DVD-RW
On-board IDE 2.5" N/A
On-board SATA OK Tested: SATA port 1.
On-board SCSI Unknown
On-board USB Untested
On-board VGA OK Tested: DVI. Untested: HDMI, analog VGA.
On-board ethernet OK
On-board audio Untested -
On-board modem N/A
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 N/A
PCI add-on cards Untested -
Mini-PCI add-on cards N/A
PCI-X add-on cards N/A
AGP graphics cards N/A
PCI Express x1 add-on cards Untested
PCI Express x2 add-on cards N/A
PCI Express x4 add-on cards N/A
PCI Express x8 add-on cards N/A
PCI Express x16 add-on cards Untested
PCI Express x32 add-on cards N/A
HTX add-on cards N/A
Legacy / Super I/O
Floppy N/A There is no floppy connector at all.
Serial port 1 (COM1) OK COM1 is only pin header on board. DB-9 serial connector is available, but not included with board.
Serial port 2 (COM2) N/A
Parallel port Untested No connector, pin header on board only.
PS/2 keyboard OK
PS/2 mouse N/A
Game port N/A
Infrared N/A
PC speaker Untested
DiskOnChip N/A
Miscellaneous
Sensors / fan control Untested
Hardware watchdog Untested
SMBus Unknown
CAN bus N/A
CPU frequency scaling Untested
Other powersaving features Untested
ACPI Untested -
Reboot No
Poweroff No
Suspend Unknown
Nonstandard LEDs
High precision event timers (HPET)
Random number generator (RNG) Untested
Wake on modem ring Untested
Wake on LAN
Wake on keyboard Untested
Wake on mouse Untested
Flashrom OK

Building coreboot

See the Build HOWTO for general information on how to build coreboot.

This board is very similar to ASUS M4A785-M. The major differences are

  • Chipset is AMD 780G and SB700 (instead of 785G and SB710).
  • On-board VGA is ATI Radeon HD3200 (instead of HD4200), PCI id 1002:9610 (instead of 1002:9710), and
  • One of the six SATA ports is eSATA.

Configuring and building Coreboot for the M4A785-M seemed to work quite well. (Tested on Coreboot SVN revision 6128.)

Up-to-date Flashrom should be able to detect, read, and write the BIOS ROM. The chip is 8 Mbit cFeon EN25F80. It is in DIP-8 package and installed in a socket, so it can be changed without soldering. The ROM is accessed via the SPI protocol. I also tested a Macronix MX25L8005 chip as a substitute, and it worked fine.


Known issues

  • Only FreeDOS has been successfully booted.

RAM

  • 1 GB RAM (1 x Kingston KVR800D2N5/1G) - Boots


Payloads

  • SeaBIOS version 0.6.1 works
    • SeaBIOS loads Grub2 bootloader from SATA disk, but then Grub2 crashes and shuts down power.
    • SeaBIOS recognizes IDE CDROM and can boot from it:
      • Debian "Squeeze" install CD results in freeze and blank screen
      • FreeDOS LiveCD boots ok.
  • Coreinfo works.
    • Both as standalone payload or loaded from SeaBIOS
    • Both serial port and VGA+PS2 keyboard work.