[coreboot] Flashing Coreboot on Lenovo G505s

awokd awokd at danwin1210.me
Sun Sep 23 16:09:04 CEST 2018

> Greetings
> Following various recommendations on Lenovo G505s, I finally got myself 
> a A10-5750M with dedicated GPU. At least I think it has dedicated 
> graphics, due to the following output:
> # inxi -G
> Card-1: AMD Richland [Radeon HD 8650G]
> Card-2: AMD Sun Pro [Radeon HD 8570A/8570M]
> While waiting for some AliExpress deliveries, I'd like to ask a few 
> questions that worry me. I have never flashed anything, but I'm used to 
> Linux, the command line and soldering.
> A)
> According to 
> http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Flashing_a_BIOS_chip_with_Bus_Pirate
> either a Bus Pirate or a CH341A programmer is needed for flashing 
> CoreBoot. LibreBoot folks can just take a Raspberry Pi (or better a 
> Beagle Bone Black) and a SOIC clip, while CoreBoot needs more equipment. 
> Why is that?
> Somewhere it reads that the CH341A was faster than BusPirate. But is it 
> faster than a Raspi or BeagleBone?
> Btw. Flashrom does in fact support RaspberryPi: 
> https://www.flashrom.org/RaspberryPi
> The reason for asking is because I really don't want to brick anything 
> and/or destroy the G505s. And I don't know how to operate a CH341A and 
> feel that I'm not really in control of this whole undertaking. Hence, 
> I'm trying to keep things as clear and easy as possible.

No special hardware requirements for Coreboot vs. Libreboot. As long as 
Flashrom supports it, the Raspi should work fine.

> B)
> The instructions on 
> http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Flashing_a_BIOS_chip_with_Bus_Pirate#Flashing 
> suggest the following order of operations:
> 1) receive a flashrom help
> 2) erase a flash chip
> 3) read from a flash chip
> 4) write to a flash chip
> 5) verify a flash chip against the file
> But should't the original content of the flash chip first got read and 
> saved before erasing it? Just in case anything goes wrong and the 
> original BIOS would be needed for some reason? So, step 2 and 3 are to 
> be swapped, right?

Not sure what step #2 is for there. I'd make a backup image of the 
existing flash, then write the new one.

> C)
> Which Coreboot version should I use? v4.6 or the newest v4.8.1 ? I 
> remember @Taiidan mentioning that he used v4.6 and somewhere else it 
> reads that there will be some major changes after v4.8. Should I avoid it?

Try newest, go back to older if problems.

> D)
> About flashing KB9012: Is it advisable to flash it with Origami-EC ? 
> Getting rid of serial numbers sounds nice. But is it save to do? Or is 
> there a risk of bricking the KB9012?
> http://git.code.paulk.fr/gitweb/?p=origami-ec.git;a=summary
> http://dangerousprototypes.com/docs/Flashing_KB9012_with_Bus_Pirate

Have not attempted. If you want to, recommend getting Coreboot working 
first, then work on it separately.

> E)
> This machine is going to be a Qubes workstation. Are there any special 
> Coreboot options for Qubes OS that one should be aware of?

See some further discussion here: 

> Thank you! And thanks for all the work that the good folks from 
> dangerousprototypes have done and shared!

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