Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

X2/X3/X4x series specific matters only
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qiet72
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Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#1 Post by qiet72 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:32 am

Hi,

I have unfortunately a corrupt bios because of a bad flash on a X24. The machine turns on, backlight turns on, but the screen is blank. No POST. I have tried to do a recovery flash using the methods described elsewhere with WINCRISIS without success: The USB floppy drive does get accessed twice, but no reading or loading is done during startup. I have tried using the trick of pressing Fn-R while turning on the power.

Anyways, I have had success in the past of flashing EEPROM's using the linux flashrom program and appropriate bios flash equipment (3Com netcard, eg). I plan on trying to do a recovery using a Beaglebone Black board and connecting the BIOS chip though the appropriate I/O pins of the Beaglebone Black board. Unfortunately, I have tried very hard to identify which chip is the BIOS chip on the X24 system board without success. I have google a lot, looking through a lot of images, finding out what the common names are for bios chips (Winbond, MX, etc) but I have not found a single chip on the system board with any of these names. I have also google almost every chip on the board to identify what is what - most of the chips are power regulators or switches. I know from information on the net about Atmel chips - but AFAIK this chip does not contain the bios.

I have taken high resolution pictures of the board in question. I just don't know where to place them yet.

The X24 model number is 2662-QG6.

Qiet72
ThinkPad X220 - i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, MC7710 4G card, and Intel 7260 AC Wireless

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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:27 am

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qiet72
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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#3 Post by qiet72 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:43 am

ThinkPad X220 - i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, MC7710 4G card, and Intel 7260 AC Wireless

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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:04 am

I've never seen any schematics for the X24.
Also, even on known schematics, the BIOS chip itself is not even (if ever) indicated.
In the end it may be cheaper to replace the motherboard, rather than buy a Beaglebone and go through all its hoops.
But maybe someone else can chime in?

Have a look at these BIOS chips, maybe one is similar to yours? http://www.ebay.com/itm/141285707170
Also try and contact this seller, if he has or knows about your chip? http://www.ebay.com/itm/380545827733

qiet72
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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#5 Post by qiet72 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks for the help.

Did a lot of reading on the net - interesting to know that sometimes the BIOS is embedded into the Super I/O chip. Unfortunately, I did not find any Super I/O chip specs mentioning this for the X24.
In the end, I decided to throw the motherboard out for recycling. I kept the ram, disk, keyboard, and panel. The panel and keyboard I should be able to sell off ebay.

I was quite ready to do the reflashing if I had found the chip. I had access to a Beaglebone board so no need to buy one. I only needed a Pomona clip to complete my setup.

Next time I play with bios flashing, I will find a board that actually has a bios chip on it.
ThinkPad X220 - i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, MC7710 4G card, and Intel 7260 AC Wireless

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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#6 Post by rkawakami » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:18 pm

The Super I/O chip on the X24 motherboard appears to be a National Semiconductor PC87391. It's on the bottom labelled U241; "below" the memory slot and to the upper left of the docking port connector. Looking at the datasheet, it does not appear to have any EEPROM/flash memory that could be used to store the BIOS firmware.

If you look "above" and to the left of the memory slot, there's a M50FW080 device made by STMicroelectronics (U434). It is a 8Mbit non-volatile memory; i.e., flash. Perfect for storing the BIOS instructions. That would be my best guess if somebody wants to tackle this in the future.

Sorry that I got to this thread after you dumped the board.
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qiet72
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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#7 Post by qiet72 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:15 am

Hello rkawakami,

I have not quite trashed the motherboard yet - I had set it aside for throwing it out - lucky me for not doing it yet. :-)

You are right. How could I have missed that? I though I had looked up every chip on google. Apparently I missed that chip thinking it was just a memory chip - good find!
Well, that helps a lot, now I just need to find the spec sheet, a Pomoda clip that fits and a way to connect it to the beaglebone board.

Thanks again so much for locating the chip!!

Qiet72
ThinkPad X220 - i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, MC7710 4G card, and Intel 7260 AC Wireless

qiet72
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Re: Identifying the bios chip location on a X24

#8 Post by qiet72 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:40 am

Hi,

I found the spec sheet. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find a test clip that is wide enough for this kind of chip (TSOP40 packaging - 40 pins). Here is a closeup photo of the chip identified:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=12d0pf ... dtaR55KW6w

Can anybody recommend a good test clip?

Btw, at the time I was looking for the chip, I believe I was looking for an SOIC8 type chip - did not think that the bios would be stored in such a big chip package...

Qiet72
ThinkPad X220 - i5 with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, MC7710 4G card, and Intel 7260 AC Wireless

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