I'm one of the flashrom developers and we recently got some information about reflashing mainboard BIOS chips on current Nvidia chipsets. We have a patch which spits out a boatload of diagnostics and which is absolutely safe (doesn't write anything).
What is this flashrom thing?
flashrom is a program which can be used under Linux/*BSD/Solaris/MacOSX to flash/rewrite your BIOS chip. Very useful if you want to run a BIOS update without booting into DOS/Windows. Of course, flashrom is free software / open source. More info available at http://www.flashrom.org/Flashrom
The bad news is that none of us has hardware newer than nForce5 (MCP55) and we can't test the new patch.
The good news is that YOU might have such a board and might be willing to run it and mail/send us the diagnostic output.
The implementation plan runs like this:
- Diagnostics. Already implemented, needs testing. No risk.
- Switching flash support on and off. Mostly implemented, will be published after we get the diagnostic output mentioned above (you wouldn't want us to unconditionally enable it unless needed). Somewhat safe (you might have to hit the reset button or power off to recover).
- Full driver. Infrastructure is already merged, specific bits need to be implemented. Will only be published after the above steps are completed and we feel they are sufficiently safe. Dangerous, you'll want the ability to recover externally (removable BIOS chip, external programmer, another board, ...).
I'm now asking for testers of step 1.
To download flashrom, please use subversion (svn) to check out the latest tree and apply the patch:
Get root privileges (needed for the hardware access), then run the following command inside the flashrom directory:
svn co svn://svn.coreboot.org/flashrom/trunk flashrom
curl -s http://patchwork.coreboot.org/patch/628/raw/|patch -p1
The output of the command above is what we need. Please mail it (in full) to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject
MCP SPI dump
and mention in the mail which board you're using (exact model please) and if you want to make this easier for us, please also include the output of
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Thanks a lot for your help. Here at Phoronix, people like to contribute to cutting edge technology, and I appreciate that.
If you have any questions, feel free to either mail firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on IRC: irc://irc.freenode.net/#flashrom