[coreboot] new to coreboot

Philip Aston philipaston at hilberychaplin.co.uk
Thu Jul 10 16:22:57 CEST 2008

-----Original Message-----
From: coreboot-bounces at coreboot.org
[mailto:coreboot-bounces at coreboot.org]On Behalf Of Uwe Hermann
Sent: 10 July 2008 12:30
To: Carl-Daniel Hailfinger
Cc: Philip Aston; Coreboot
Subject: Re: [coreboot] new to coreboot


On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 01:32:05AM +0200, Carl-Daniel Hailfinger wrote:
> >>> I have MS6178 ver 1.1, supported board, noted as not working on Linux.
I can
> >>> only get it working reliably with Knoppix although Debian Etch has
> >>> intermittently. Embedded VGA... does that complicate things?
> >>>
> >>>
> >> I don't have the board in question, but if it has problems running
> >> under the factory BIOS, probably something is wrong with the hardware.


> > Thank you for your very prompt reply, Carl-Daniel
> >
> > Probably true, worth a try I believe because googling "MS6178 Linux"
> > revealed "News - coreboot
> > Linux has never been able to run on this board until now. .... Thanks to
> > Uwe Hermann we now have preliminary support for the MSI MS-6178
> > mainboard." (Sep07). Nothing to lose anyway.
> >
> Ah, that piece of news referred to the Thomson IP1000, a set-top box.

Hm? Don't think so, there _is_ a MS-6178 target and partially works:

There are some TODOs left, but it boots Linux just fine.

> >>> I'm an intermediate user finding detail on the readme within Coreboot
> >>> download difficult to understand. My chip is soldered and I'll have to
> >>> reflash in situ, not worried about that because
> >>> 1 without linux the board is useless
> >>> 2 might be able to retrieve original image (which I have saved) from
> >>> bootblock.
> >>>
> >>>
> >> Actually, the "boot block recovery" will not work if flashrom
> >> or coreboot does not work.
> >>
> >>
> >>> Can I build the .rom on another box? Is there a way to build using a
live cd
> >>> or do I have to reinstall etch?
> >>>
> >>>
> >> You can build the .rom on another box, it's even recommended to do so.
> >>
> >>
> >>> And very important, is this too ambitious for someone who needs to ask
> >>> questions? Thank you.
> >>>
> >>>
> >> Well, having a soldered flash is certainly increasing the risk beyond
> >> what I'd recommend. A top hat flash override might work in case of
> >> problems, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Are you sure this is really the MSI MS-6178? See the photo here, in my
case the ROM was _not_ soldered:
You seem to have a different revision (1.1 vs. 1.0) so maybe they
changed that...

I'll take a look but probably won't have access to a spare chip anyway.
Wimsbios have heard of ver 1.1 & from the ID string suggested mine was an
"OEM", hence different factory bios etc?.

> > So I have compiled a coreboot.rom, same size as my factory bios; but
> > uniflash gives "verification failed" (not exact wording). What causes
> > this error message please?
> >
> AFAIK uniflash checks for a factory BIOS signature/checksum. Since

I doubt it, I've been able to write coreboot images with Uniflash just
fine. The verification errors (some red "bars" instead of only green
ones) sometimes do happen to me too, but it's always reproducible for
certains boards and chips (so I think that happens when Uniflash doesn't
fully support some hardware part, or the part is stale/broken).

I have also tried (with uniflash) 2 other factory bios files, admittedly of
uncertain quality- originated from another user's backupimage, zipped, etc..
with same result. However, before quitting, I reflashed my backup bios image
and (despite a few red bars) that worked. Not sure what that means but
Knoppix runs well, so I could possibly compile a flash utility from
Corebios? Being very new to this I'm not good at navigating the download- is
there a particular utility I should be looking for?

BTW even a brief look at the emails indicates the professional nature of
your work so I appreciate your guidance here. -Philip

As noted at http://www.coreboot.org/MSI_MS-6178_Build_Tutorial I was
_not_ able to use flashrom on this board successfully, so if the flash
is indeed soldered I would not recommend to try it unless you have some
way to recover (soldering probably)...

HTH, Uwe.
http://www.hermann-uwe.de  | http://www.holsham-traders.de
http://www.crazy-hacks.org | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org

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