I made this post as a addition or supplement to my “Flashing a BIOS chip with an Arduino” post.
While doing some research online I found several articles/posts from people using a Raspberry Pi to flash SPI flash chips. Apparently the Raspberry Pi is very suitable for this kind of thing as it has a SPI interface and is able to run linux. I was eager to try this out for myself so I got out my Pi 3 model B and got to work. For this project I used a Winbond 25X80 salvaged from a motherboard I had lying around.
Preparing the RaspberryPi
Download the latest Rasbian release, I used the Jessie Lite version.
Install the packages needed by flashrom by using the following command:
flashrom 0.9.9-35-gd152fb9 on Linux 4.9.35-v7+ (armv7l)
flashrom is free software, get the source code at https://flashrom.org
Using clock_gettime for delay loops (clk_id: 1, resolution: 1ns).
Found Winbond flash chip "W25X80" (1024 kB, SPI) on linux_spi.
Reading old flash chip contents... done.
Erasing and writing flash chip... Erase/write done.
Verifying flash... VERIFIED.
In the beginning of this year I got a YubiKey NEO from a colleague. As I
was already using LastPass to manage my passwords I wanted use my YubiKey as part of the two factor authentication process.
You can register your YubiKey by going to the premium “Multi-factor options” in your LastPass account settings and enabling the YubiKey option. For the two factor authentication to work you need to press the button on the YubiKey to generate a OTP (One Time Password) which will be stored with LastPass.
When I tried this for the first time I ran into a problem and got the following error: “At least one of the YubiKey tokens provided failed to validate.”. Copy and pasting this error in Google led me to a post on the LastPass support forum in which the solution was provided.
Thank you for contacting LastPass Support.
You need to set your YubiKey configuration to OTP authentication mode:
After finishing the drive swap mod on Atari 1040 STF I continued browsing the Atari forum’s hardware section and found a post/guide on how to update the operating software. In general, updating the OS is advisable as newer versions may contain bug fixes, security updates and increased I/O compatibility. The same goes for my Atari. The last available version for my machine, 1.04 a.k.a. Rainbow TOS, contains all of the above and is found to be faster overall.
On the Atari, the OS is stored on two or in my case six ROM (Read Only Memory) chips. As the name indicates, writing to ROM chips is not possible so they have to be replaced with chips containing the newer OS. While it is possible to buy a “ready to go” upgrade package it is also possible to go the DIY route and prepare the chips yourself. I opted for the latter as it is much more fun, educational and gives a real sense of achievement when finished.
I recently upgraded a Acer Aspire 5040 to Windows 7. After the upgrade I installed all the drivers and found the wifi was not working correctly. Everything looked fine but I could not see any access points to connect to. To fix this issue I had to go Acer’s support website and download and install the Launch Manager. Before installing I had to enable compatibility mode for Windows XP and select run as administrator on the setup.exe. After rebooting the lights on the front of the laptop turned on and I could now detect access points.
In this post I will describe the process I went trough of flashing the BIOS chip on a P5B motherboard using an Arduino Duemilanove.
My cousin gave me this motherboard and asked me to have a look at it after a failed BIOS update turned his computer into paperweight. I’ve actually attempted to fix this board before using a method described here but I eventually gave up after I realised I lacked the necessary skills and shelved the project. Fast forward a year or so I come across a post on hackaday about a Arduino based BIOS flasher and decided the time had come to give it another try.
a BIOS chip compatible/supported by Flashrom, in my case a Macronix mx25L8005 (a list of all supported chips can be found here)
any of the supported Arduinos (I used a duemilanove):
any based on the ATmega328 (/168/88 will work with small changes too), like the Arduino Uno R3.
Arduino Mega or Mega2560, but notice that the software has a different branch for them.
a way to convert the 5V logic levels to 3.3V (except if 3.3V arduino, these are rarer)
git clone --recursive git://github.com/urjaman/frser-duino
Depending on the Arduino model:
For models with a FTDI chip:
make ftdi && make flash-ftdi
For models without a FTI chip:
make u2 && make flash-u2
Before you can actually flash the chip you must first connect the flasher to the chip. Some motherboards have a SPI header which makes connecting the Arduino a breeze. Other motherboards may have a removable chip which you transport to a breadboard. If your motherboard doesn’t have either one you will still be able to use this method but you might need some wires/clips specially designed for working with chips and or microprocessors.
The ASUS P5B motherboard has a SPI header located near the BIOS chip. The pinout can be seen in the picture below. Please note that pin names can differ between chips ( i.e. the SO pin can also be named MISO or DO depending on the chip).
My girlfriend was almost in tears when she told me her beloved Sansa Clip+ would not power on anymore. She handed me the little music player and told me that earlier that day, she pressed the power button a bit too hard after which she heard something break.
When inspecting the power button I noticed it was a bit loose where it usually has some tension from the switch underneath. I decided to have a closer look and used a tutorial to help me disassemble the Sansa.
Looking at the board the problem quickly revealed itself. The “extreme” use of force had broken the solder connections between the power switch and the board and as a result the switch fell off. Time to get out the soldering iron!
After reseating the switch and repairing the broken solder connections the Sansa powered up again meaning my girlfriend could listen to here favourite music again and dry her tears.
Edit: After a week my girlfriend returned to me with her Sansa. This time she was only hearing sound from one of her earbuds instead of both. Because I taught her well she had already tried multiple headphones to verify the problem was not the headphones but rather the Sansa itself. I did some research and found that this problem can be fixed by reheating the solder connections between the headphone jack and the board. It appears that the “stress” resulting from removing and plugging in the headphones weakens the connections.