More details on the Eden support

Steve M. Gehlbach steve at
Wed Oct 30 18:31:01 CET 2002

> > Aren't the bios chips soldered down on some of these boards? I
> was wondering
> > what alternatives you have, short of unsoldering the chip and finding a
> > programmer, if something goes wrong in the flashing process or
> the linuxbios
> > code has a bug.
> you really should not buy a board with a bios soldered down ... there are
> very few of them because failed bios flashes in essence destroy a board.
> ron

A number of the Giga-byte boards seem to have the bios soldered, in
particular the the GA-6VEML (the Walmart $199 computer).  The Via Eden
appears to also but I am just looking at the photo.  For the EPIA, if you
bongo the PLCC (socketed), you'll need another PLCC bios mobo to fix it and
hot swapping a PLCC has got to require a deft touch.  Personally I prefer to
use my Needham's programmer and I have never flashed on the mobo.  In the
case of the GA-6VEML, I intend to install an SM socket (PLCC) if I ever get
to putting linuxbios on that one.  But anyone considering linuxbios that
does not have a programmer should think of their backup plan if there is a
bug or flashing failure.

The main point of my question, though, was if anyone was aware of another
way to program the flash short of unsoldering it.  I wasn't aware of any,
and maybe it seemed like a silly question, but if the mobo mfrs would start
using the LPC interface flash, and put a header on the mobo to access it,
you could program it from a PC-LPT interface with a specially wired cable
(plus a few R's and D's).  This has been done on the Xbox and the software
is available on the net.  The LPC flash would also allow much larger memory
in the same footprint, which is really useful.  The success of this can
depend somewhat on how the other chips behave, though, while programming
(mobo power is off).


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