Anyone with experience hardware flashing BIOS chips e.g. on the T430 that are soldered to the board?
I would also like to be able to flash other common chips too (e.g socketed chips used in desktop motherboards, video cards, etc).
The wiki talks about several brand names (pi?) but there are so many different models. What connections/interfaces are needed, features to look out for, etc?
Preferably NOT requiring Windows.
Additionally you'll need a Pomona SOIC8 clip and some short jumper leads - the shorter the better. For instance, the leads supplied with the Bus Pirate are waaaay too long and may not work reliably, if at all.
Flashrom is the software package which is generally used for flashing.
Flashing tips can be found on the coreboot site as well as YouTube and elsewhere. The Flashrom man page also has lots of interesting nuggets. This vid will give you an idea of how the process of externally flashing a .rom file works:
https://www.bios-mods.com/forum/Thread- ... kpad-T430s
Thanks to RealBlackStuff for pointing me to the link originally.
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Here's a rough draft how-to written for the r400, but usable as a general introductory guide to hardware flashing a thinkpad:
The process is simple: transfer a single file from the raspberry pi to
the target chip. That's it.
The initial steps are aimed at getting our raspberry pi up and running.
After that, the rest of the process can be done directly on the
Without thinking too much about it, a rough draft, pragmatic,
1. get a raspberry pi model B version 3
2. get a microSD card
3. get a 16-pin SOIC clip (1.27mm spacing), it can be used for both 8-leg chips and 16-leg chips.
4. get 10 pieces of 10cm female-female 2.54mm jumper cables
5. get hdmi cable
5.5 get ethernet cable
5.75 if you use wifi, get an atheros wifi card. I use ar9280 from macbooks
6. get usb to (micro?) usb adapter (to power raspberry pi)
alternate - get power adapter for pi
7. download raspbian https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/
8. burn raspbian to the sd card. you'll need to figure out how to do
this on your OS. likely directions are available here
9. put sd card in raspberry pi
10. connect usb keyboard to raspberry pi
11. connect display to raspberry pi (use hdmi cable)
11.5 connect to internet (use ethernet cable)
12. start raspberry pi by connecting it to power source
13. default username is 'pi' and default password is 'raspberry'
14. once logged in, you want to become a root (admin) user. i think the
14. set up raspberry pi to talk over i2c, the protocol we'll use to send
our file from the pi to the r400 (I'll need to dig up my notes for the
exact commands and files which need editing)
15. install flashrom. this is a program which can talk i2c. easiest way
to install is with this command:
apt-get install flashrom
16. take r400 apart and remove the motherboard - following the r400
hardware maintaince manual, available here
17. connect wires to your raspberry pi and your soic clip
https://github.com/bibanon/Coreboot-Thi ... nkPad-X200
https://github.com/bibanon/Coreboot-Thi ... peberry-Pi
18. connect clip to chip (optionally, first inspect chip with magnifying
glass and figure out it's model number...can be handy in next step)
19. try reading data from the r400. note this step can fail for several
reasons, so expect failure. The simplest command to read from the chip,
and output the file to the pi (we are making a backup and also checking
the connection is working) is:
flashrom -r firstread.rom
If you get errors, read them and follow the instructions. Possibly it'll
want you to declare which flash chip you're using, if you're not sure
just pick one of the options they provide and try entering the, now
updated, command again:
flashrom -c "chipname flashrom suggested" -r firstread.rom
20. read again:
flashrom -c "chipname flashrom suggested" -r secondread.rom
21. read a third time:
flashrom -c "chipname flashrom suggested" -r thirdread.rom
22. confirm the files all have the same content:
for i in $(ls *rom);do sha256sum $i;done
23. write libreboot to r400:
flashrom -c "chipname flashrom suggested" -w t400_8mb_usqwerty_vesafb.rom
24. disconnect clip
25. reassemble r400, but with just 1 stick of ram inserted
26. start r400. if it starts insert the second stick of ram and hope for
I've eventually gotten the laptop taken apart and read the BIOS chip into a rom file with the Raspberry Pi. The T430 needs to be almost completely disassembled to get at the motherboard. I am working on removing the Intel ME/Intel AMT. Corna's me_cleaner looks pretty self-explanatory so it shouldn't be too hard.
I would need help to remap some of the keys:
PrtSc key --> Menu key
ThinkVantage button --> PrtSc
But apparently this is controlled by the EC firmware which is on a different chip, and there is a patch available for putting in an older keyboard from a T420 but not for keeping the same keyboard. How should I go about editing the EC firmware?
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