Having been quite intrigued by this I coincidentally found an old raid
controller of mine.
Though it only has 64kb flash I'm guessing (the bios image is about 55k)
after a swap of that chip, it may theoretically be possible, correct?
So why would this only work on ICH based boards? What are changes of
this working on older chipsets other then intel? Say VIA?
On 26-05-12 10:15, Kyösti Mälkki wrote:
On Sun, 2012-05-20 at 11:23 +0300, Kyösti Mälkki
I did not find this method of bypassing the mainboard flash chip and
booting from PCI add-on card documented or discussed before. The nice
think in this is that neither mainboard or its flash needs to be
modified. Good news in the case of a soldered flash and this method may
work with mini-PCI slots on laptops too.
For pre-ICH6 the key is in subtractive PCI decode. This has been
supported in 82801 chipset from the early days and is briefly documented
in ICH3 datasheet , see 5.1.1. PCI Bus interface. This decode mode is
on by default and there is no documentation of a hw bootstrap that could
Above is not accurate, ICH6 has hardware bootstrap.
For ICH7 onwards there are HW bootstraps to
select between LPC/SPI/PCI.
If you don't know where the bootstraps are, go with SPI and forget about
this PCI add-on boot.
The bootstrap is latched on power cycle, but not PCI reset,
config bit is writeable. So if one has a booting system it should be
possible to switch to PCI add-on for next reboot. The setting will
default back to mainboard flash after power-cycle.
Note that "hard/cold" reboot is required to toggle the PCI RST#. If
vendor BIOS does set the write-protection lock bit, it should be cleared
on PCI RST#. At least for ICH4 that is the case.