[LinuxBIOS] Intel SE440BX support

Oscar Molin oscarmolin at gmail.com
Thu Mar 29 16:06:56 CEST 2007

Hi Peter
I said in an email to Corey about unbricking, that I think it might be
possible to use the recovery part of the bios, appending that file from
Intels own bios with a linuxbios.
I'm not 100% sure that works but it might. I forgot to forward that message
to the mailing list.
Intels bios structure is divided in 64k parts and there are 3-4 (or more
depending on size i guess) that is the bios.
There are two that intels readme says is "recovery" bios (two identical
files, two different places on the flash chip, I think)
Then there is one which seems to have settings and "stuff".
If I can include these recvery files, and place the linuxbios in the regular
bios files (with intels header info to make their flash-program accept it),
I don't see a reason why it shouldn't work.
Intels flasher also has a function that checks validity of the files before
flashing, so if there is a checksum or something in the header that has to
match, I would be able to solve it or even bruteforce it to make it accept
my files instead.
The reason I'm looking at this way of handling things, and not just
soldering a socket the first thing I do, is:
1) I'm lazy
2) This is the way it has to be done if there is ever going to be Intel OEM
support, since their flasher is AFAIK the only one that can flash there
chips. Regular users can't be expected to solder bios chips.

Thanks for the offer about the socket, but I'm too far away so I'll have to
do it myself.

One last thing about 440bx.
Since Rons assembly code from v1 works, why is it that it is so hard to port
it to C?
Is it a compiler bug/feature that makes it not work correctly or what is the
exact problem?
I've just started trying to understand this stuff and I read a post by Ron
from 2004 where he had two boards working well apparently, he didn't mention
any memory issues.
If the working assembler code can be put in with the C code, and then change
it line by line until it stops working, you should be able to pinpoint the
problem right?
Maybe my thinking is flawed, I'm not a good programmer.

2007/3/26, Peter Stuge <stuge-linuxbios at cdy.org>:
> On Mon, Mar 26, 2007 at 01:09:57PM +0200, Oscar Molin wrote:
> > I have 2 Intel SE440BX and one Intel SE440bx-3 (it's some kind of
> > subversion to sebx-2)
> > These were very popular Intel OEM boards and were used by Dell,
> > compaq, fujitsu and the like.
> > If someone wants info on what chips they have etc I'm willing to be
> > of assistance and help with testing code one them to make them
> > work. Since they all have Intels soldered on flash chips you can't
> > make too many mistakes but I have no problem losing one in the
> > process as I don't need all of them.
> I would wait with flashing until there was a practical way to unbrick
> the board. :) That said, 440BX is getting some work in v2, so more
> systems to test on would be great. If need be I could replace your
> flash with a socket. (I'm in Malmö)
> //Peter
> --
> linuxbios mailing list
> linuxbios at linuxbios.org
> http://www.linuxbios.org/mailman/listinfo/linuxbios
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