[coreboot] coreboot for a high end HP laptop ?

Corey Osgood corey.osgood at gmail.com
Thu Oct 9 18:51:06 CEST 2008

On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 11:58 AM, Vincent Legoll <vincent.legoll at gmail.com>wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 3:49 PM, Linuxguy123 <linuxguy123 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, 2008-10-09 at 08:20 -0700, ron minnich wrote:
> >> On Thu, Oct 9, 2008 at 6:08 AM, Linuxguy123 <linuxguy123 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >> > On Thu, 2008-10-09 at 08:58 -0400, Linuxguy123 wrote:
> >> >> What are the chances of running coreboot on an HP hdx9494 laptop ?
> >> >
> >> > <snip>
> >> >
> >> > One other thing about this laptop... one can flash the BIOS from the
> >> > machine itself.  Does that make loading/testing coreboot harder or
> >> > easier ?
> >> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks for replying.
> >
> >> you are going to have to deal with intel. I doubt they will like your
> reason :-)
> >
> > What do you mean by that ?
> >
> >> Question: what is the business case from the HP and intel viewpoint?
> >> Why do they care?
> >
> > Of course, they don't.  I am doing this for myself.  Is there something
> > proprietary about my laptop that I need to know to install the BIOS ?
> You'll need to know a lot of thing to *first* port coreboot to this new
> motherboard (a port to a possibly new northbridge & southbridge)
> which will all need proper free documentation. Then you'll need a way
> to recover from development glitches such as having flashed a
> non-working bios... And for a laptop, you better have some good
> soldering skills at hand.

The southbridge should work with the generic ICHx support, but the
northbridge would need a new port (datasheets available here:
There are also not-so-public BIOS developer guides that you would need to
try to convince Intel to allow you to see and use (which may be difficult
for the reasons outlined by Ron), or else deal without them. There's also
typically an embedded controller, which you would also need datasheets for
and they're also usually under NDA. You would need to open your laptop up
and find the embedded controller to identify it, I don't think there's any
way to detect it through software.

If you're serious about it, I'd start by looking for the embedded
controller, and trying to get the datasheet from the manufacturer. If you
can, then buy a PM965-based desktop board with socketed flash (and a cheap
cpu/memory, if you need them), and start by porting that. Better yet would
be a mini-ITX board with the 965 mobile chipset and socketed flash, but I
can't find any. Once that's up and running, then go to work on the laptop.
If you're really serious and feeling rich, buy a board for me too and I'll
help ;) I have a Dell XPS M1530 that also has the 965 mobile chipset, and
I'd like to get coreboot on it as well, but I don't have the cash to buy a
965 desktop board, and I haven't had the ambition to check on the EC yet.

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