Author Topic: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image  (Read 7751 times)

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 267
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« on: January 28, 2015, 01:39:34 pm »
A few people have asked me if I was willing to extract the BIOS image from my Z800 revision 003 motherboard, the idea being that the image would contain the important bootblock that permits flawless booting from the Westmere X56xx series of hex-core Xeon's.

After doing a bit of research it became clear that BIOS images are mapped into physical memory with the location being dependent on the chipset and the size dependent on the SPI flash device that holds the BIOS image.

Fortunately a very useful utility exists for linux, called flashrom. I ran that on a physical installation of Ubuntu (it won't work properly in a VM) and it seemed to extract an image. Here's the log:

Code: [Select]
ubuntu@ubuntu:~$ sudo flashrom -p internal -r bios.bin
flashrom v0.9.6.1-r1563 on Linux 3.13.0-32-generic (i686)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at http://www.flashrom.org

Calibrating delay loop... OK.
Found chipset "Intel ICH10R". Enabling flash write... WARNING: Setting 0xdc from 0x2 to 0x3 on ICH10R failed. New value is 0x2.
WARNING: SPI Configuration Lockdown activated.
PR0: WARNING: 0x001f0000-0x001fffff is read-only.
Please send a verbose log to flashrom@flashrom.org if this board is not listed on
http://flashrom.org/Supported_hardware#Supported_mainboards yet.
Writes have been disabled. You can enforce write support with the
ich_spi_force programmer option, but it will most likely harm your hardware!
If you force flashrom you will get no support if something breaks.
PROBLEMS, continuing anyway
Found SST flash chip "SST25VF016B" (2048 kB, SPI) at physical address 0xffe00000.
Reading flash... done.

The 2Mb BIOS image is attached to this post. I hope someone can make use of it and would really like to hear any experiences.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

digitaltrousers

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2015, 12:38:09 am »
Hi Andy. Thanks for that. A nice find!
I got my board today. I noticed an interesting area on the board (pic attached). If you're up for an experiment, you could try removing the green jumper in the picture and try re-running the same flashrom command. I'd be interested to see if it still complains about writing being disabled. (PSWD = Pin header Spi Write Disable?? Especially given the nearby silkscreen text, "SPI Recovery Header.")
If my suspicions are correct and this disables write protection, It'd be interesting to see whether doing this allows the HP BIOS update to update the bootblock. That would make the whole process pretty easy!
Cheers,
Dan.

Andy Brown

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 267
    • View Profile
    • Andy's Workshop
Re: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2015, 02:39:30 pm »
Hi Dan,

Sorry to disappoint but E49 clears the BIOS password. I did however get my 002 board out of storage and have a poke around with my multimeter; the results of which are now posted in the main article.
It's worse than that, it's physics Jim!

nemorus

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2015, 09:31:21 am »
Hello. And if you unsolder pin 3 WP . And try to reflash without 3 pin WP? Tried anyone?

429076

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2017, 01:57:10 am »
Hi everyone. I've tried this image and it works. Thanks for the image.
I've started with z800 rev 002 stock BIOS chip, not working with 56xx processors. Tried to flash it in place (without any soldering). And I've got interesting result - I am able to erase the chip, but can't write new image to it.
So the BIOS was spoiled and I proceeded with the long way. I've unsoldered the chip and tried to flash it separately, but it was still read only (or maybe I've had some issues with my programmer). I've had some new spare chips, and flashed the image to new one without any errors. And now motherboard boots with 56xx processors, and has new boot block.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2017, 03:31:07 am by Andy Brown »

mtothaj

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 17
    • View Profile
Re: Z800 version 003 extracted BIOS image
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2017, 04:10:15 am »
Hi everyone. I've tried this image and it works. Thanks for the image.
I've started with z800 rev 002 stock BIOS chip, not working with 56xx processors. Tried to flash it in place (without any soldering). And I've got interesting result - I am able to erase the chip, but can't write new image to it.
So the BIOS was spoiled and I proceeded with the long way. I've unsoldered the chip and tried to flash it separately, but it was still read only (or maybe I've had some issues with my programmer). I've had some new spare chips, and flashed the image to new one without any errors. And now motherboard boots with 56xx processors, and has new boot block.

Congratulations on a succesfull boot block upgrade.
it is also my understanding / experience that certain regions of the stock bios HP bios chips have write protect enabled at the bios chip level during the course of the original factory programming. Thus, even with an unlocked descriptor and the relevant jumpers on the board in place attempting to write to the stock HP bios chip usally throws up an error at c.a. 25-30% progress bricking the machine in he proces. For this reason replacing the bios chip is the only viable option I am aware off to change the bootblock.