Difference between revisions of "FAQ"

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* Step 2: Linux "'''lspci -tvnn'''" output for your system, generated by booting Linux via the original BIOS and runnning lspci.
* Step 2: Linux "'''lspci -tvnn'''" output for your system, generated by booting Linux via the original BIOS and runnning lspci.
* Step 3: Super I/O chip on the mainboard (report the model numbers on the actual chip, for example "Winbond W83627HF" and/or run "'''[[superiotool]] -dV'''").
* Step 3: Super I/O chip on the mainboard (report the model numbers on the actual chip, for example "Winbond W83627HF" and/or run "'''[[superiotool]] -dV'''").
* Step 4: Type of BIOS device (see the question "How do I identify the BIOS chip on my mainboard?" below). Please send us the output of "'''[http://flashrom.org] -V'''"
* Step 4: Type of BIOS device (see the question "How do I identify the BIOS chip on my mainboard?" below). Please send us the output of "'''[http://flashrom.org flashrom] -V'''"
* Step 5: URL to the mainboard specifications page (optional).
* Step 5: URL to the mainboard specifications page (optional).
* Step 6: Any other relevant information you can provide.
* Step 6: Any other relevant information you can provide.
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=== Where can I buy BIOS chips (empty or pre-flashed)? ===
=== Where can I buy BIOS chips (empty or pre-flashed)? ===


When developing or simply trying out coreboot you always need a means to revert to your old BIOS in case something goes wrong. One way to do this is to get an extra BIOS chip (PLCC32, DIP32, DIP8, or other) and copy your original BIOS image onto that chip (using [[Flashrom]], for example). If you have a socketed BIOS (not soldered onto the mainboard), you can hot-swap the chips while your computer is running.  
When developing or simply trying out coreboot you always need a means to revert to your old BIOS in case something goes wrong. One way to do this is to get an extra BIOS chip (PLCC32, DIP32, DIP8, or other) and copy your original BIOS image onto that chip (using [http://flashrom.org flashrom], for example). If you have a socketed BIOS (not soldered onto the mainboard), you can hot-swap the chips while your computer is running.  


You have several options to get spare BIOS chips:
You have several options to get spare BIOS chips:
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=== How do I identify the BIOS chip on my mainboard? ===
=== How do I identify the BIOS chip on my mainboard? ===


Please see [[Flashrom#ROM_chip_overview]].
Please see [http://flashrom.org/Technology].


=== How do I (re-)flash the BIOS? ===
=== How do I (re-)flash the BIOS? ===
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If the BIOS chip is socketed, it can be removed and flashed in a rom/flash burner and quickly re-installed.
If the BIOS chip is socketed, it can be removed and flashed in a rom/flash burner and quickly re-installed.


You have the option of using the [http://www.flashrom.org/Supported_hardware external programmers supported by flashrom] or some other external programmer which comes with its own software. Depending on the flash chip type, various options exist. For older parallel flash chips, some of these burners cost $700 and more plus they complete a flash in 30 seconds (like the [http://www.conitec.net/english/galep5.php Conitec Galep V]), but if you are willing to wait 5 minutes for a flash and manually set DIP switches, the Enhanced Willem Universal Programmer will do the job for only $40-60 USD.  There are several models of the Willem Programmer, each supporting many chips, but not all, so be sure to get one that supports your BIOS chip. You could also use the [[Paraflasher]] which is a really low-cost programmer with parts sold for $20 or less. The [http://flashrom.org] wiki has a list of hardware you can use for programming.
You have the option of using the [http://www.flashrom.org/Supported_hardware external programmers supported by flashrom] or some other external programmer which comes with its own software. Depending on the flash chip type, various options exist. For older parallel flash chips, some of these burners cost $700 and more plus they complete a flash in 30 seconds (like the [http://www.conitec.net/english/galep5.php Conitec Galep V]), but if you are willing to wait 5 minutes for a flash and manually set DIP switches, the Enhanced Willem Universal Programmer will do the job for only $40-60 USD.  There are several models of the Willem Programmer, each supporting many chips, but not all, so be sure to get one that supports your BIOS chip. You could also use the [http://www.flashrom.org/Paraflasher Paraflasher] which is a really low-cost programmer with parts sold for $20 or less. The [http://flashrom.org flashrom] wiki has a list of hardware you can use for programming.


If your chip is PLCC, you will also need the push pin trick or a PLCC chip extractor/puller or just thread nylon string under the PLCC chip from corner to corner and yank up it straight up. Read more about chip extraction in the [[Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools|developer manual]].
If your chip is PLCC, you will also need the push pin trick or a PLCC chip extractor/puller or just thread nylon string under the PLCC chip from corner to corner and yank up it straight up. Read more about chip extraction in the [[Developer_Manual/Tools#Chip_removal_tools|developer manual]].
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  No operations were specified.
  No operations were specified.


Alternatively you could either use the DOS [http://www.rainbow-software.org/uniflash/ uniflash] utility, or use its source code, which is also available for download from the uniflash site (in Turbo Pascal 7) as a reference for adding support for your flash chip to [http://flashrom.org].  Uniflash supports a lot of different flash chips, and chip interfaces, but so far SPI support is only present in flashrom. You can use flashrom and uniflash for PCI expansion card flashing, such as on RTL8139 Ethernet card (32pin DIL), which allows flashing of your BIOS chip on the NIC if manufacturer provides the circuitry. Please note that flashrom and uniflash support different cards and you should check which utility supports the programmer hardware you own.
Alternatively you could either use the DOS [http://www.rainbow-software.org/uniflash/ uniflash] utility, or use its source code, which is also available for download from the uniflash site (in Turbo Pascal 7) as a reference for adding support for your flash chip to [http://flashrom.org flashrom].  Uniflash supports a lot of different flash chips, and chip interfaces, but so far SPI support is only present in flashrom. You can use flashrom and uniflash for PCI expansion card flashing, such as on RTL8139 Ethernet card (32pin DIL), which allows flashing of your BIOS chip on the NIC if manufacturer provides the circuitry. Please note that flashrom and uniflash support different cards and you should check which utility supports the programmer hardware you own.


Another tool which runs in linux is [http://sourceforge.net/projects/ctflasher/ ctflasher], but it is not maintained anymore and might not work with current Linux kernels.
Another tool which runs in linux is [http://sourceforge.net/projects/ctflasher/ ctflasher], but it is not maintained anymore and might not work with current Linux kernels.

Revision as of 13:24, 2 April 2013