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installing bios and mcode

Posted on 1999-01-12
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Last Modified: 2010-08-05
how does one go about or see to program a binary bios and microcode in an eprom.
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Question by:gordd
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8 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 1133274
To see code available in the standard bios you only need do a dump via "debug".
I can't remember the exact address these start at but can find out. This is ROM only but you can utilise its routines via debug or assembler. Even most other high power languages use bios codes but you won't see this directly.

To create a digital control chip via eprom you will have to obtain eproms and a burner compatible with these eproms + an eraser.

After that you will need a compatible program that is able to write to the eproms.

The language is usually assembler and you will need to know the specific ports available and a memory region map although some software will handle this.

There are some very high powered programmable chips available now days but what you need to do is spend a 6 month learning curve just to understand what these do but placing an operating system on a chip is possible and these systems do cost many dollars.

Whats your final application to be?

netmage
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:joopv
ID: 1133275
Struggling with a 1542B controller ?

Look at
http://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/comp/hardware/general/Q.10099594
where we discussed this issue before.

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Expert Comment

by:vikiing
ID: 1133276
>I can't remember the exact address these start at but can find

BIOS code starts at FFFF:0000
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Accepted Solution

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mark2150 earned 100 total points
ID: 1133277
If the EPROM is on a card in a PC then you can use DEBUG to see it. If it's a loose chip then you'll need an EPROM card or a burner to download the firmware from.

In the PC, EPROMS can be located on any 4k boundary (1000H) anywhere from B000:0 to FF00:0. All EPROMS have a marker at the front of them that starts 55 AA xx where xx is the size of the EPROM in blocks. This is a PC convention. Normally the next address after the marker is a jump instruction that tells points to the start of the EPROM code. This is how the BIOS detects ROM extensions during system initialization. The BIOS itself does not need this marker as it does not scan for itself, but is instead started by virture of being at the default reset start address of the 80x86 series CPU's (FFFF:0) This address contains a pointer to the real start address. The CPU chip internally forces access to this address, loads the answer and jumps to that address automatically when it comes out of RESET. This is "hard wired" into the design of the CPU by Intel.

If you want to view the hex, use DEBUG

C:>DEBUG
-d c800:0
(lots o' data displays)

the U command will unassemble the code for you. Cut & paste into a word processor and you can (slowly) decipher any EPROM.

M

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Author Comment

by:gordd
ID: 1133278
Yes, Still struggling with a adaptec 1540b controller.  Went to adaptec site and downloaded bios with > 1 gig detection.
Everthing you guys ev\xplained to me was very nice but pretty much beyond me. Please tell me what type of business could accomplish this task for me.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:netmage
ID: 1133279
To mark2150

Thanks for posting an answer that was only an enhancement of what i already placed in a comment.


To gordd.

Whats this story about the controller?

If you want to dump a Adaptec controller bios to ram, you will probably need to dump the contents of the main chips also and set up a simulation scenario. This require a quite powerful computer to run and adaptec will get upset if they know your are doing it.

Without knowing the problwm and considereing time = money, it would be better to get another card or track down other problems.

Only adaptec design partners would legally be able to re-engineer your bios.

netmage
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:joopv
ID: 1133280
gordd just wants to have the latest versions of the bios and microcode eproms on his adaptec scsi controller card.

Therefore he must :
- download the correct versions of the eprom contents from the adaptec ftp-site (did you find them ?)
- get some empty eproms of the right type and size
- arrange an eprom programmer device somewhere.
- get the downloaded data into the eproms
- put the new eproms (BIOS and microcode)  in the adaptec card.

Then, his problem with >1GB drives is probably solved.

This is all quite beyond the capability's of todays end user.  You need to have an eprom programmer, know how to handle it, etc.

That is his problem - and unless somebody can send him programmed eproms with the right contents we cannot solve the problem here.  I used to have (still have somewhere collecting dust) an adaptec 1542 card on which i upgraded the eproms several times to support newer or special disks, so i know his problem and solution.


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Author Comment

by:gordd
ID: 1133281
Thanks anyway, but I'll just boot off IDE.
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