[coreboot] Dell Latitude D820

Philippe LeCavalier support at plecavalier.com
Thu Apr 21 15:02:05 CEST 2011

Excerpts from Corey Osgood's message of Wed Apr 20 19:55:22 -0400 2011:
> On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 9:07 AM, Philippe LeCavalier
> <support at plecavalier.com> wrote:
> > Excerpts from Stefan Reinauer's message of Tue Apr 19 21:30:35 -0400 2011:
> >> * Philippe LeCavalier <support at plecavalier.com> [110419 20:22]:
> > [..]
> >> If your BIOS works for you, you should consider keeping it.
> >>
> >> Porting coreboot to a new mainboard is a significant effort and you will
> >> have to make sure you have ways to recover from failure (i.e. get your
> >> external flash writer and/or soldering iron ready)
> > hm. I see. I was hoping the worst case would be flashing it back to the
> > original BIOS. A soldering gun is a bit extreme considering my current
> > setup works just fine.
> >
> >> However, in some cases you can get to sub second firmware boot times
> >> with coreboot. And it is open source, so you can add or remove whatever
> >> feature you require or not.
> > Despite the aforementioned this is still somewhat appealing to me.
> >
> > [..]
> >
> > To ensure I fully comprehend the risk here...Backing up the BIOS isn't
> > my insurance policy; I'd actually have to replace the chip? Once I've
> > got a clear understanding of the worst-case scenario I'll feel stronger
> > about making a decision.
> Where this is a laptop, the flash chip will definitely be soldiered
> onto the motherboard. Also, you will definitely have an embedded
> controller (EC), and that will keep flashrom from working out of the
> box, so you'll need either an external flash programmer (most likely
> an SPI flash chip) or to do quite a bit of digging and legwork to
> figure out how to poke the embedded controller to allow access to the
> flash chip (and then remove the flash chip and put in a socket, or
> else hack together something to switch between two flash chips). Also,
> don't expect to find datasheets on the embedded controller, they're
> typically covered by some fairly restrictive NDAs.
> The EC also will come into play during hardware init, so you'll also
> need to figure out how to initialize it. You may need to initialize it
> before you can even initialize the ram.
> See also http://www.coreboot.org/Laptop
hm. This is likely a common occurrence, but this sounds to complex for me
mostly because the system in question is a system I rely on for work.
Maybe I'll grab an older system I don't rely on a see if I can find a
well supported chipset to play with. I've got a few older desktop
systems that might fit the bill a bit more. Thanks for all the insight
from everyone that responded. Once I get a few minutes to myself I'll
put together a system and try my luck with coreboot.

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