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April 25, 2014

Hacking coreboot, using dediprog to re-flash C710 and discovering SSD FW updates matter

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:19 pm

3 weeks ago I buggered up my C710 after trying to get coreboot with a grub2 payload to boot on my laptop with an older Intel SSD.  I’ve been having issues with the SSD not getting seen by the coreboot payloads without some funny busyness (more on this issue later.)  Anyway after bricking it I put things aside for a few weeks and got back to it last night.  I’m now back to running the prebuilt coreboot from John Lewis that does both GRUB2 and SeaBIOS and finishing up the installation tweaks for ubuntu 14.04 LTS (64 bit)  It was booting a little goofy.

It seems that the older Intel SSD (INTEL SSDSA2M160G2GC (2CV102HD) circa 2009 ) isn’t visible to SeaBIOS unless GRUB2 attempts to probe it and fails.  I suspect there is a quirk I need to do or maybe a SSD FW upgrade I need and that this issue is almost certainly unique to my setup. And, if I swap in a normal HD or a different SSD I’m confident it will just work.  (Hmm, lets try that FW upgrade and see…. sonava@#@%!  after running the Intel® SATA Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool  and updating the FW now that strangeness does not happen.  I bet my build of coreboot will work just fine no too!  Lets find out… ok it almost works.  my build boots but losses the mouse pad.  I probably have a config option messed up.)

Ok, well to flash a buggered C710 using a clip and a dediprog wire the clip to the pins on the dediprog the so:

pin 1 === CS
pin 2 === mso
pin 3 === I/O2
pin 4 === gnd
pin 5 === msi
pin 6 === clk
pin 7 === N/C
pin 8 === 3.3v

Follow the instructions from last years OSCON tutorial on coreboot hacking.  (based on the c710)  Every screw except the 2 holding the heat pipe to the main board needed to come out.  (I think it was more like 21 screws)


FWIW I did try to use by buspirate 4.5 to do this as well.  But, it failed the read test.  It was able to see the windbound spi chip but it seemed to fall over / hang when reading the 8MB.  Maybe I need to update its FW too?


Now I just need to get the brightness controls to work right again (not a coreboot issue.  I re-installed ubuntu 14.04 and need to re-enable the key mappings I had in my 13.10 install I guess I’ll look at the post install instructions now.)


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