Adding support for Dell systems to the LinuxBIOS flashrom tool

Carl-Daniel Hailfinger c-d.hailfinger.devel.2006 at
Thu Aug 16 18:04:40 CDT 2007


the LinuxBIOS project has a nice tool called flashrom which is able to
write any BIOS image (not only LinuxBIOS) to almost all existing LPC/FWH
EEPROM chips on most motherboards.

flashrom does not call any BIOS routines nor does it depend on operating
system kernel support for its operation. This enables flashrom to work
on Plan 9, *BSD, OpenSolaris and soon Windows.
As long as the southbridge and the flash chip are supported, you can use
flashrom to read out the current BIOS, erase the flash chip and flash a
new BIOS. However, some recent boards need additional GPIO twiddling to
enable the "write enable" line. Without that, it is sometimes not even
possible to find out the type of flash chip.

We (the LinuxBIOS developers) would like to improve flashrom support for
Dell machines and need your help for that.
Please download and compile flashrom on the machines in your reach.

What we need (run as root):
- "dmidecode" (will give some info on your mainboard config)
- "flashrom -V" (will try to identify the flash chip)
- "lspci -nv" (will tell us the chipset and additional info)

You can mail the info either to me or to the LinuxBIOS mailing list at
<linuxbios at>

If you are a Dell hardware person or have insight into which GPIOs need
to be enabled for flashing, I'd appreciate a mail as well. Additionally,
if the code to flash a new BIOS can be somehow extracted from the
running BIOS (the libsmbios documentation seems to suggest so) or from a
BIOS image, I'd appreciate a pointer to any documentation or call site.


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