[coreboot] unknown board - via chipset

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Fri Apr 11 12:53:38 CEST 2008

Hi Antoine,

I'll defer most of your questions to the real VIA experts on this list.

On 11.04.2008 01:16, Antoine Martin wrote:
> Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> | On 10.04.2008 18:23, Antoine Martin wrote:
> |> I've got this board I would like to get coreboot flashed on:
> |> *eBox-3850
> |> **http://www.icoptech.com/ebox-pc/*
> |>
> |> 1) CPU is a via C3 Nemehia
> |> Northbridge is a VT8623
> |> Southbridge is a VT82xxxxx?

To have any reasonable chance of checking whether coreboot supports your
chipset, we need to know exactly which chipset it is (that includes the
exact sub-revision). Without that, you'll have virtually zero chance of
getting the machine to reach early init at all, and even less so if you
want it to boot a payload.

> |> [...]
> |> The box cannot be opened easily as the cpu is glued on to the case...
> |> Which is why I would rather make sure it is possible to flash before I
> |> start damaging the box.
> |>
> |
> | Please do not try to flash any BIOS or firmware on a board you can't
> | access physically. That also applies if you can't open the box.
> | Flashing can go wrong and if you're porting coreboot to a new board, the
> | first image you flash is very likely not to boot far enough to reflash
> | the BIOS chip, so you have to open the case and remove the flash chip
> | anyway. If that is not possible, the machine is bricked.
> |
> If there is a reasonable chance that I can make it boot, I might take
> the risk of bricking one unit or having to find a creative way of
> opening and putting it back together (and that's assuming that the bios
> chip can be swapped out..)
> I won't blame anyone for it but myself if this goes wrong - and it often
> does...

Sorry, without exact chip revisions, there is no reasonable chance to
make it boot.

> So does it look like it might work from those specs?
> A lot of the via boards seem to be very similar, does the hardware and
> payload vary so much that this would be pointless?

To give you a perspective on the difficulty of bringing up a board: Even
if chipset and processor are perfectly identical to another board, you
will have to go through a few iterations until it works (IRQ routing,
GPIO configuration and a few other things usually differ). For your
board, we don't even know the exact chipset, so the only way I see is to
open the box and write down the numbers on the chips. And please find
out whether flash is soldered (will need to be changed) or socketed (good).


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