Programming a BIOS eeprom chip out-of-the-system.

Discussion in 'BIOS Mods' started by coreburner, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    @TTAV134 and Serg008

    I've read both your postings first about flashing a BIOS eeprom chip with the Willem programmer, while the chip itself is detached from the mobo, second the actual "modified" HPQFlash .CAB- file by Serg008.

    I, as you've already have noticed, own a HP Compaq 6710b notebook, flashed with that non-modifyable F.20 version software. So your experiments brought me to the same conclusion, flash the chip in a programmer.
    I'll have to think what kind of programmer i should buy, a whole system (pcb-board) or an in-circuit thingy but i'll guess that's not so important for now.
    Please, i have some questions for (both?) of you, TTAV134 your PM is full and exceeds it's limits i've just read... :confused:
    So here it goes.

    If i read the whole eeprom in a programmer and save the output, the binary to disk, where do i put the SLIC v2.1 markers (i've noticed that my eeprom needs them twice), i.e. what is the offset?
    Are both SLIC v2.1 tables attached to each other, i.e. do the follow one-another or are the spread on different offsets in the BIOS binary?
    ...and then, i'am not that good with software, more a hardware guy (electronics), where do i get these HP SLIC v2.1 softwares? I still don't understand how this works. I've tried to read as much postings as humanly possible (square eyes), but i'am still baffled on the subject... :(
    Ok, hope to hear from you, i'am very anxious to know your comments.

    Serg008 made me a "modified" .CAB file for my notebook (very, very appriciated!), but this is a 1MB file, and i did see in the datasheets that all eeproms are 8MB or higher, so i'am missing something here, i'll guess...
    I can't program this modified file directly into the eeprom.
    Anyways thank you for your attention and time.

    B.T.W. Does anyone know how to open (un-screw) a 6710b notebook? ...and what the partnumber is of the BIOS eeprom chip of this notebook? Also a 25x32vsig or another type?
     
  2. rxmech

    rxmech MDL Novice

    Sep 2, 2012
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    6710b notebook

    Most of the manufacturers have service manuals which go into detail on how to disassemble their products. Go to their site and usually it will be under service and downloads.
     
  3. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    make backup of your chip with programmer then check the rom.bin inside the cab and merge the info to the backup.bin with hexeditor
    (theory as i have done this on other types of bios)
     
  4. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    @LatinMcG; thank you, your solution did never occurred to me. I've ordered off eBay a suitable programmer, now i have to find some kind of ZIF- socked for the SOIC8 outline of the chip in my HP notebook.
    The things are quite expensive i did notice, otherwise i'll have to solder the chip off the mainboard of the notebook (maybe in circuit programming is possible, don't know yet), the put the cip on a piece of experimental epoxy to connect the programming wires and after reading, dumping contents to disk i have to unsolder the chip and solder it back on the mainboard. Not an ideal situation.
    I'll keep you guys informed of my endeavours.
     
  5. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

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  6. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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  7. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

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  8. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    #8 coreburner, Sep 3, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
    (OP)
    Yes, i've seen this one also, but it adds no value to me, because i can fabricate (make) home-made DIY- pcb's myself here. No there are adapters kind with two 'doors'. You'll insert the IC in question and then close the 'doors', this locks the part in place and applies pressure on the actual pins of the IC against the rigid contacts in the socket (IC socket, Zero-Insertion socket e.t.c.).
    Now this ZIF- socket i'am planning to solder on a piece of pattern-etched epoxy pcb board, and connect programming wires from this to the header on the programmer itself.
    These flame retardant ZIF- sockets are expensive (so i've been told), but eventually i'll get one (i hope) :rolleyes:.
    The 40-pin wide-body sockets i'll already have here, these are very common now, a couple of years ago these parts cost a fortune, but not now anymore... :biggrin:.
    The IC- footprint itself is a 300 mil SOIC-8 outline (you'll have them also in a 150 mil outline, but that's to narrow for me).
     
  9. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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  10. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    with ADDCC_V3_HP_COMPAQ_DECO_SOURCE_CODE u can sometimes mod hpqflash
     
  11. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    Hi LatinMcG,
    I don't know if that's possible at all. I don't have the ADDCC v3 software here (as a matter of fact i even don't know what it does of capable is to do).
    You have to know that i almost read every posting on this HP Compaq 6710b F.20 issue, and again and again people say and tell me that it's impossible to flash the modified bios with the SLIC v2.1 table in this bios, also i've tried evry flash program (patched and non-patched) to find an entrypoint of wich i can use to start inserting (by flash -software- method) the table into the machine. It fails me over and over again... :weep:
    Oow, this is so frustrating, it keeps me awake at night sometimes thinking on how to bypass this issue, hence my posting on the finally found partnumber of the bios- chip.
    Now it seems this chip is obsolete (too old i think) to get at Atmel directly, with the intent to have some spares to experiment with. That's the second set back.

    Also, looking at the datasheet, the Flash memory of the 26DF081A is 8MB in size. The modified .CAB file wich holds the new bios with the slic 2.1 table and whitelist for the (W)WAN is a total of 1MB in size.
    This brings me to the question what the other 7MB of data is? A bootloader? Protection software? Firmware for TPM purposes? I really don't know.

    There are people on eBay wich sell programmed (replacement) eeproms with the software in it also for my 6710b notebook. Do these people have the whole 8MB of data to fill a blank 26DF081A chip? If so, how did these people aquire the complete software?

    I fear i'am far from a solution at this moment and hope some MDL- members have the skill to point some of this out to me, otherwise i'am alone on this...:unsure:
     
  12. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    when u create a backup.bin from the programmer with the chip.. u can find the beginning and end from the bios.rom with winhex (hex editor)
    then u know what the bios is.
    the rest is usually laptop specific data like serial and lan mac and so... DMI information and other things. i havent learned hardly anything of the propietary compaq bioses. just read a few things but never tested or done any.
    i do speak of experiences with other laptops not rompaq specific.. they might be right about the flashing signed with mismatch.
    the best at this was TTAV but hes been missing for months.
     
  13. infloop

    infloop MDL Novice

    Sep 9, 2012
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    26df081a

    FYI: 26DF081A (pdf1.alldatasheet.net/datasheet-pdf/view/162921/ATMEL/AT26DF081A-SU.html) is an 8 megabit device.
     
  14. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    @infloop; yes i know, an 8 Mbit device. But what are you trying to tell me? :huh: I don't understand.
     
  15. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    #15 coreburner, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
    (OP)
    *Update*
    I've recently found out that the HP Compaq 6710b notebooks are equipped with several other BIOS- type devices, manufacturer specific types i mean.
    So far the AT26DF01A-SU (Atmel), a 25X80VSIG (Winbond) and a 25VF080B (SST/Microchip) devices. It seems they are all interchangeable with another.
    Still have no (second) confirmation if it is on the U23 pcd designator on the mainboard of this type of notebook where the BIOS- chip resides. B.T.W. i can't find another flash device on the pcb.
    My programmer hasn't arrived yet, therefore -and at this moment- i can't check the contents.

    Secondly my question still remains on how to proceed "injecting" the SLIC v2.1 table, i could as suggested some posts ago take the contents of the Rom.bin file and insert it in the dumped-to-disk eeprom but i'am not 100% sure if this is the right way. Also how revert to for example to a F.16 BIOS, because when reading the BIOS chip it has the F.20 BIOS in it, this makes it more difficult to insert/inject the Rom.bin contents from the HP Rompack.
    Questions, questions... o_O
     
  16. infloop

    infloop MDL Novice

    Sep 9, 2012
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    Maybe nothing of any importance :) You used the same UOM and wondered where 7MB go. I assumed that you could be confusing Mb and MB, and expecting 8MB capacity where only 8Mb (i.e 1MB) is present.
     
  17. blackrider1

    blackrider1 MDL Novice

    May 11, 2010
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    Hi coreburner, although it took a month since you posted...... maybe this :
    h t t p://rayer.g6.cz/elektro/spipgm.htm
    will be useful

    Thanks
     
  18. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    blackrider1; thank you for the reference, but i've already bought off eBay a SP8 SPI programmer with adapter, so i've read my eeprom and dumped the contents to disk. Again, thanks for pointing this out to me. :biggrin:
     
  19. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    that do it yourself reader is NOT reliable.
     
  20. coreburner

    coreburner MDL Junior Member

    Feb 1, 2011
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    Meaning? I've tested a bunch of very different eeprom chips with it, and there seems no problem in reading, writing with it.
    It's not that "cheap" $8,90 thingy with a 16-pin 3M- like socket on it, that on i have too. The software for this programmer seems to come from a Russian satellite forum. That one i haven't tested, yet.
    Please explain. o_O