Soldering a socket on your board

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Revision as of 17:34, 26 March 2009 by Uwe (talk | contribs) (More explanations.)
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Mainboards where the BIOS chip is soldered onto the board (and not in a socket) are usually problematic for coreboot developers and especially users, as one incorrectly flashed image will render the board unusable.

Here's a simple procedure how you can desolder/remove the chip from such a board, and solder on a PLCC socket instead (so that you can swap chips as often as you like later on).

Note: This will definately void the warranty of your board! Also, we take no responsibility for any damage you inflict on your board or other stuff. However, we believe this procedure requires only relatively low-cost equipment which is widely available, and can be performed by "normal" people without much soldering experience. You do not have be a hardware/soldering guru to do any of this, with a little practice everyone can learn to do this.


  • A board with soldered-on (PLCC) chip
  • Soldering iron, soldering wick, soldering wire
  • A PLCC socket (SMD type)
  • Desoldering station or heat gun or a sharp knife
  • Tweezers
  • No Clean Flux ("Flussmitteldispenser" in German), optional
  • ...

The desoldering station used here is an Aoyue 852 SMD Rework Station, which is available relatively cheaply (less than 70.- Euros or so).


  • Take a picture of the board and ROM chip. You might need that later in order to add the socket in the correct orientation. The ROM chips all have a marking where the top is, but on some boards there is no such marking, so write down the orientation of the chip (or take a picture).
  • Prepare the PLCC socket:

Desolder or cut away the ROM chip

Clean the pads on the board

Solder the socket onto the board


  • Congratulations. You have now successfully replaced a soldered-on PLCC ROM chip on your board with a PLCC socket. You can now swap out the ROM chip as often as you want to or need to.
  • In almost all cases, the board and the ROM chip will survive this procedure, if you are careful.


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