Re: Bios

Nicholas J. Leon (
Sun, 17 May 1998 14:55:16 -0400 (EDT)

On Sun, 17 May 1998, Russell Berry wrote:

# sorry to bring this up here, but this little thread just reminded me. I was
# dealing with a little bios hacking a while back. An Award bios, and I was
# using dosemu running debug to do the asm, and would have to boot into dos to
# use the flash utility to extract bios code, and write the new bios code. Is
# there anything around for linux to pull the code out of the bios and flash it
# like the dos based awdflash.exe? Just wondering...

Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 15:06:44 +0200 (CEST)
From: Stefan Reinauer
Subject: flashrom driver /dev/bios: update 0.2.9
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Dear Hackers,

This is a kernel driver for different kind of (Flash)BIOSs that are
available in today's PC hardware.

There are well known BIOSs for

* System BIOS (resides at 0xe0000)
* graphics hardware (e.g. VGA-adapters at 0xc0000)
* SCSI host adapters
* networking interfaces with 'BOOT ROM'
* ...

While in former times these BIOSs were implemented by using ROM or EPROM
(both can't be updated without opening your computer) today's PC hardware
is often delivered with so called FLASH ROMs. These can simply be updated
by software. This driver has the approach to make Linux read and write
flash roms.

The latest Version is v0.2.9, major updates since the last announced
version are:

* Moved device minors from 10+ to 0+
* Implemented 2MBit system bios chips. Thanks
to Matthew Harrell for intensive testing.
* Implemented probing for some strange Winbond chips (0x80/0x20).
* Rewrote big parts of the driver to (theoretically) support
multiple flash chips and/or ROM areas.
* Some weird computers have an ISA bridge, but don't have it declared
as one. Now probing for known ISA bridge IDs. (Thanks again to Matthew
Harrell for reporting this.)
* Added some new flashchip IDs and made some old ones work.
* modversions support.
* include support for umc 8881/8886 486 PCI chipset.

The driver is now available at

Please be sure to have a close look at the README before testing.

NOTE to old testers: You have to create new special files in /dev/
because I changed the minor device numbers. Don't know why I started
at 10 formerly.

Feel free to mail me any comments, flames, ideas, patches ...

Stefan Reinauer

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