[LinuxBIOS] What would happen if I installed Linux BIOS on my machine?

Uwe Hermann uwe at hermann-uwe.de
Mon Feb 26 13:59:43 CET 2007


On Sat, Feb 24, 2007 at 07:39:52PM +0100, Jonathan wrote:
> Hello, my current BIOS is extremely buggy and unstable, regularly
> freezing at the POST screen, so what would happen if I installed Linux
> BIOS on my machine? I know the motherboard isn't on the list, but it
> seems to be close to some of the other ones.
> Chipset: VIA P4M800 + VT8237R

The chipset is not supported, unfortunately.

> Bios chip type: PLCC
> Super I/O: Don't know, but presumably it is a VIA one
> So, will Linux BIOS work?

No, not out of the box, and not without some effort to port it, i.e.
adding support for your chipset and mainboard.

> Or what would happen if I installed Linux BIOS?

Your machine would not boot anymore.

> Would I be able to backup with awdflh.exe from a floppy if Linux
> BIOS didn't work?

No, I don't think so. Your floppy won't boot anymore if the BIOS
(LinuxBIOS or proprietary) is bricked.

Usually you can, however, get an extra PLCC chip and flash a backup of your
BIOS on that one. Then try LinuxBIOS and if it fails, you just reinsert the
backup PLCC chip and your board will work again.

In your case that won't immediately help, though, as LinuxBIOS doesn't
yet support your chipset/mainboard so there's no use trying it (other
than having some fun :)

> And how far into the Linux BIOS installation can I get
> without permanently altering the system?

Using the recovery method from above (extra PLCC chip) you could try to
get your Super I/O working (you need to write some code). If that 
works you can get serial output over a null modem cable (for debugging).

Then you'd have to add support for your chipset. You won't be able to
boot your system as long as the chipset is not supported.

HTH, Uwe.
http://www.hermann-uwe.de  | http://www.holsham-traders.de
http://www.crazy-hacks.org | http://www.unmaintained-free-software.org
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