[flashrom] asus mobo P4G8X - bios rom # and # ethernet rom chips

wibo.fichten at rogers.com wibo.fichten at rogers.com
Mon Jan 24 04:46:16 CET 2011

Hello to all,

I am fairly new to flashrom, but I have successfully flashed a 3com nic's rom, 
not with a pxe image, but with a plop boot image so that my 1993(?) vintage 
Compaq EP would boot directly from from a usb key (it's a non-usb boot bios).  
For those interested, the write-up is here: 

As you may have noted from the link, this was for a FreeNAS (FreeBSD kernel) 
installation.  I now wnat to retire my Asus P4G8X-Deluxe motherboard, for this 
same FreeNAS installation, given the considerable jump in performance to be 
expected compared to my very old Compaq.

This Asus motherboard unfortunately is just a little too old so that no usb-boot 
bios is available. I think usb booting bios came out the year after.

The motherboard does have on-board ethernet with a rom chip, as it supports pxe 
booting. So I want to do the same trick as I did with my Compaq.  Unfortunately, 
flashrom does not apear to detect the rom chip in question and I have found no 
documentation on the subject.

I am solliciting your assistance in this regard.

>From flashrom -V, I get:
Found chip "SST SST49LF004A/B" 512KB, FWH at physical adress 0xfff80000

I *think* this is the BIOS rom, and if so, I think the P4G8X and P4G8X-Deluxe 
could be added to the list of flashable bios boards, but I haven't tested it, as 
I am still using this as my main computer for the time being and don't feel the 
need (or rather I don't need the risk) to replace the bios at this time.

I could test it out if board members feel it useful.

While booting FreeNAS (FreeBSD kernel), I get the following:
pci0:2:5:0:  Bad VPD cksum, remain 14
bge0: <Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Controller, ASIC rev. 0x001002> mem 
0xca800000-0xca80ffff at device 5.0 on pci2
bge0: Reserved 0x10000 bytes for rid 0x10 type 3 at 0xca800000
pcib2: matched entry for 2.5.INTA
pcib2: slot 5 INTA hardwired to IRQ 18
bge0: chip id 0x00001002; ASIC REV 0x01; CHIP REV 0x10; PCI

While browsing through the directory tree with debian linux, I found a rom chip 
at /sys/devices/pci0000:00:01e.0/0000:02:05.0, with a size of 64k (65536 bytes).

I believe this is the pxe rom chip associated with the built-in ethernet as it 
confirms the FreeNAS boot log in that the location is on pci2 slot 5 and also 
that the size is 64k or 65,536 bytes, being 0x10000 in binary.

Has anyone ever flashed such a beast before? 

Any suggestions as to how to have flashrom detect the chip and if so, how to 
read it, erase it and write to it?  My issue is not with the basic command 
structure, but rather how to convince flashrom to get to the particular chip, 
given it did not detect it.

Thanks for all and any response / interest.

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