[OpenBIOS] Dual BIOS Motherboards

James Oakley jfunk at roadrunner.nf.net
Sat Jun 19 15:04:46 CEST 1999

Matthew Sullivan wrote:

> Ah, but you missed the point that I was/am worried about.  Can _we_ write our
> code to BIOS1 and not to BIOS2 and if our code is good in BIOS1 will it get
> copied to BIOS2 automatically on successful boot? How does BIOS2 deturmine if
> BIOS1 has corrupt code - will it detect our code as corrupt etc etc etc.... I
> think we need to talk to gigabyte about the board, and functionality on a
> technical level.

Yeah, I'm not sure exactly how it works, we'll have to ask Gigabyte
about that. However, if I had to guess, I'd say that the functionality
is present in the boot block. To determine if a flashing went awry, it's
probably a simple checksum. For the copying between chips, I believe the
BIOS program does it interactively, IIRC.

I hope Gigabyte doesn't mind giving us that information. Remember that
they are the only ones with dual-flash and they probably don't want the
world to see the details...

Hmmm, maybe we can design a simple plug-in dual flash device (without
the extra features of the current design) to provide this functionality
on any board, meant for public consumption. We could sell them to fund
OpenBIOS development. They might interest people who have x86 Win
servers and the like, for protection from flash virii and bad flashing.
We could make it tiny enough to fit right into current sockets. We could
even make it the same size as a DIP flash using quad-flatpack flash
ROMs. It might be hard to automatically switch between them if we only
use the pins in the flash socket but we could place a switch on there
and have a 'bad' BIOS tell the user to manually switch to the other one.
It's only a tiny circuit and the boards would be quite small.

James Oakley
jfunk at roadrunner.nf.net
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