Wow! The NIX Russian online store link to my motherboard really lets you see the layout. Much better than anything I had gotten from MSI directly. When I built my computer I bought a large case for an ATX motherboard that has an open side covered by a clear plastic window that shows the face of the motherboard. Most of the time I don't see it because I have limited room on my computer bench, but just now I dug out my flashlight (it's night here in Ft. Worth Texas) and moved the monitor back, and without opening the case at all, I can see JSPI1 just exactly where the picture from NIX shows.
Apparently JSPI1 is a special pin-out for MSI's bios, and can be used like you say to flash the bios. One thing that confuses me a little is that the page at flashrom: https://www.flashrom.org/MSI_JSPI1 shows a 10 pin layout and the picture shows 2x6=12 pin layout, and in fact my own mb has 12 pins at the JSPI1 header. Your picture seems to show a little "block" thing on the left end, maybe to keep these two pins from connecting? Anyway, it's clear I have a lot of options. It may be tricky to get in between my video card & cpu cooler, but I can see JSPI1.
Thanks so much for your help, Clay
On Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 10:43 AM Ivan Ivanov firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
NIX russian online store - often has the high resolution quality photos of their products. Open this link and close a pop-up window which says this motherboard is unavailable and offers some alternatives - https://www.nix.ru/autocatalog/motherboards_msi/MSI-X570-A-PRO-RTL-AM4-X570-... . Then click on a motherboard main picture and use a + magnifier / gallery.
MSI's own flashing methods - work only as long as its' installed BIOS is working - otherwise, there's no other option than the external flashing methods. And of course MSI's BIOS is far from being perfect and may have significant bugs + security issues. If you care about really controlling your computer, consider getting a motherboard supported by opensource coreboot BIOS - such as ASUS A88XM-E. Of course it's less powerful than Ryzen, but offers much more customization, great security and even possible to add floppy-based OS and run them right from a BIOS. And of course MBR is not a thing of the past: SeaBIOS coreboot's payload is a "modern legacy BIOS" and I've never had any problems with its' MBR. Pushing for new standards that are more and more complicated and closed - shouldn't be done just for the sake of new-ness. "One old friend is better than two new ones"
пт, 18 сент. 2020 г. в 18:35, Miraz Shuvra email@example.com:
On Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 10:56 AM Clay Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org
Ivan, thanks so much for the valuable information! It seems to me you
have found a more detailed picture of the motherboard than I have. All I can find is marketing pictures, and a 'quick start guide', but no real picture that shows stuff like you describe. Please do let me know the link to the picture you are looking at.
The project is not really that urgent, and I have no trouble using the
MSI flash routine in the bios. The board is new enough that there are regular updates to the bios, 10 versions (1 thru A) since I bought the motherboard & built the machine the summer of 2019.
Another thing that MSI offers on the motherboard is a "flash button"
and dedicated usb port for the source bios on the back of the board. I have not used this feature, but it may offer some direct flash route to the bios for all I know.
The MSI bios is ok, and seems very advanced with a lot of graphics but
actually is kind of primitive in how it deals with bootable disks and devices. Everything is an icon, and sometimes the icons don't match the device very well. I think it's geared to a gamer who has one big disk drive, and they really want you to use UEFI/GPT, and treat MBR as totally a thing of the past, which may or may not be true. I have NetBSD running on a MBR whole disk setup on my older 2014 HP Pavilion that originally came with Windows 8.1. It works fine using MBR & NetBSD. No icons in that bios. The machine is really nice for what it is, but is too slow for much action. The newer home-built machine is my main hobby, I suppose.
Anyway, thanks for the info, and do send me a link to the detailed
motherboard layout you found.
On Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 4:46 AM Ivan Ivanov email@example.com
CH341A are really overpriced at Newegg: you can get it from AliExpress China for less than 2 dollars + free shipping, if this project isn't urgent and you could wait about 1 month for it to arrive. From the posts online it seems that CH341A with a green PCB is preferable - less likely to have a hardware design bug causing it to output 5V instead of 3.3V: I heard that some black PCB ones suffer from it (although possible to fix with some soldering).
The desktop boards used to have a DIP8 "shape" BIOS chip plugged into a socket, from where you could easily remove it using a PLCC clip. Sometimes they have a soldered SOIC-8 "shape" chip like many laptops, but its' bearable since there are good SOIC-8 test clips available, using which you can connect to SOIC-8 BIOS chip without soldering and do the ISP (In-System Programming). However, in your case - your board seems to have a WSON-8 "shape" chip, which really sucks as there are no (good/cheap) test clip adapters last time I checked. But at least there's a MSI JSPI1 header near this chip, so maybe you can use it for flashing. Read more about it at flashrom wiki and elsewhere. So, you may also need some 1.27mm 1P male - female or female-female cables to connect a CH341A to this header (10 cm length is recommended, although you can get longer cables and manually resolder them if it turns out that a flashing operation isn't reliable). Additionally, USB extension cable of ~1m length will make all this more convenient. And you'll use another PC with some Linux loaded (either from HDD or LiveUSB) and flashrom, to read from and write to a BIOS chip of this motherboard.
Thank you for providing a lspci file, although I'm not skilled enough to tell what exactly caused a flashrom's internal mode to fail - maybe someone else can help you.
ср, 16 сент. 2020 г. в 22:59, Clay Daniels <firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wed, Sep 16, 2020 at 11:43 AM Ivan Ivanov email@example.com
While doing the internal flashrom operations, that BIOS chip is situated behind a southbridge that you find by AMD FP4 name. Looks like either its' support isn't good enough at flashrom or UEFI firmware / EC controller somehow disturb the operation. Maybe try to access a BIOS chip directly with the external programmer like usb ch341a?
Ivan, thanks for the useful info. Your explanation likely tells me
why I can't see my bios chip. I just looked and the little usb devices are available from Newegg where I got the parts to build my Ryzen 7 machine. Before I order one, do you or anyone else on the list have suggestions on what to look for in a usb ch341a external programmer? Newegg has a wide variety.
You may have noticed my https://paste.flashrom.org/ lspci file. I
added a Ubuntu Linux disk as FreeBSD doesn't do lspci, just pciconf. I also tried (twice) to load a pciconf -lvb from FreeBSD, which is there but called lspci ;-(
Anyway, thanks for your help, Clay
ср, 9 сент. 2020 г. в 10:52, Clay Daniels <
> > I'm just trying to read what bios info I can: > > MSI X570-A PRO (MS-7C37) > AMD Ryzen 7 3700X > FreeBSD fbsd13 13.0-CURRENT FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT > > root@fbsd13:~ # flashrom -p internal > flashrom v1.2 on FreeBSD 13.0-CURRENT (amd64) > flashrom is free software, get the source code at
> > Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 4, resolution: 1ns). > Found chipset "AMD FP4". > Enabling flash write... FCH device found but SMBus revision 0x61
does not match known values.
> Please report this to firstname.lastname@example.org and include this log
> the output of lspci -nnvx, thanks!. > Could not determine chipset generation.PROBLEMS, continuing anyway > No EEPROM/flash device found. > Note: flashrom can never write if the flash chip isn't found
> > pciconf -lvb output attached, as well as flashrom -V -p internal
(the verbose version)
> > My first question is: It looks to me that "AMD FP4" is just a BGA
(FP4) Socket, not a chip. Newbie to flashrom & coreboot.
> > Thanks, > Clay > > _______________________________________________ > flashrom mailing list -- email@example.com > To unsubscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
flashrom mailing list -- email@example.com To unsubscribe send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org