[LinuxBIOS] MSI MB support

Fredrik Tolf fredrik at dolda2000.com
Fri Dec 9 14:46:32 CET 2005

On Sun, 2005-12-04 at 00:45 -0600, Richard Smith wrote:
> >
> > Well, it would be kind of nice to not have to fork out money on a
> > programmer if I can do it from the host system, though. Maybe I can use
> > MSI's firmware programmer with a LinuxBIOS image?
> Unless it does some sort of checksum deal that should be possible but
> you are going to have to do the hotswap trick.  Otherwise after the
> first flash you won't be able to go back since you have to have a
> working BIOS to floppy (or CDROM) boot.

I've heard that quite a few newer MBs (and I think mine is included) is
supposed to have some kind of keystroke that one can depress while
booting, and it will attempt to load a BIOS image from floppy
regardlessly of the contents of the BIOS flash chip. Would you know
anything about if that's mere rumor or if it's true?

> Get a spare chip, hot swap it and program in a 2nd copy of the factory
> bios so you can rollback

I may well be wrong about this, but aren't the BIOS flash chips
hardwired to the MB these days?

> >
> > Are you sure? I can't remember signing a license for the BIOS code, in
> > which case I should be allowed to read and study it.
> Reading and studying is onething. Public distribution of what you find
> is another.
> The DMCA is evil.  None of us are lawyers so the only way to _insure_
> we don't get into trouble is to clean room it which means no
> dissassembly.  (Without permission)

Fortunately, I don't live in the U.S., and as such am not affected by
the DMCA. Less fortunately, I'm not a lawyer either, though, so I have
no idea if you'd be able to use anything that I would disassemble.

Fredrik Tolf

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