[flashrom] via epia cn1000eg flash failed.

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at gmx.net
Mon Oct 19 04:00:31 CEST 2009

Hi Yuri,

what's the current status of your machine? Please see below for some news.

On 18.10.2009 18:11, Luc Verhaegen wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 17, 2009 at 03:40:43PM +0200, Yuri Schaeffer wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I tried to flash to the latest BIOS for my board but it failed at
>> verifying. The backup I made a few minutes earlier has the same problem.
>>  I did not (dare to) reboot the system. Attached flashrom output and
>> lspci -vvnnxxx.
>> board: via epia cn 1000eg
>> southbr: VT8237R Plus (according to the specs)
>> flashrom: v0.9.1-r750
>> bios image: 1.14, 2009/07/31,
>> http://www.via.com.tw/servlet/downloadSvl?id=400&download_file_id=4942
>> Currently I have no idea how to repair my system. Folks at #flashrom
>> pointed me to here.
>> --
>> yuri
> Conclusion for this is that this is most likely a broken flashchip.
> Rudolf and Carl-daniel spent a lot of time working with Yuri on irc to 
> try to resolve this, to no avail.
> Rudolf provided a quick hack to try to at least have the checksum be 
> correct and hopefully have the machine boot again.
> But the final solution for Yuri is probably getting a new chip from 
> somewhere.

I found a bug in flashrom which could partially explain what Yuri was
seeing. It was already present in the first revision of flashrom back in
2003 and will only appear in very special circumstances which are very
difficult to hit. I had to read a few datasheets twice before even
seeing what was wrong. "Enable protection" is a command with side
effects on some chips (the side effect is trashing the contents of
address 0x5555 with subsequent commands).
To see the effect, you have to have bad luck with chip timing, exact
chip type, the kernel process scheduler, delay calibration and others.

Anyway, I think I can look at this again and maybe find out what exactly
went wrong.


Developer quote of the week: 
"We are juggling too many chainsaws and flaming arrows and tigers."

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