path: root/flashrom.8
diff options
authorCarl-Daniel Hailfinger <>2010-04-28 15:22:14 +0000
committerCarl-Daniel Hailfinger <>2010-04-28 15:22:14 +0000
commit270237687a7f550e86c01548550f25b1d0a31d65 (patch)
tree88f216baf356f0e22fb8c8f7733ca9f175bd1545 /flashrom.8
parent837d81079689927b78baa5c606c6d8484ea21a95 (diff)
One of the problems is that --force had multiple meanings
- Force chip read by faking probe success. - Force chip access even if the chip is bigger than max decode size for the flash bus. - Force erase even if erase is known bad. - Force write even if write is known bad. - Force writing even if cbtable tells us that this is the wrong image for this board. This patch cleans up --force usage: - Remove any suggestions to use --force for probe/read from flashrom output. - Don't talk about "success" or "Found chip" if the chip is forced. - Add a new internal programmer parameter boardmismatch=force. This overrides any mismatch detection from cbtable/image comparisons. - Add a new internal programmer parameter laptop=force_I_want_a_brick. - Adjust the documentation for --force. - Clean up the man page a bit whereever it talks about --force or laptops. Additional changes in this patch: - Add warnings about laptops to the documentation. - Abort if a laptop is detected. Can be overridden with the programmer parameter mentioned above. - Add "Portable" to the list of DMI strings indicating laptops. - Check if a chip specified with -c is known to flashrom. - Programmer parameter reliability and consistency fixes. - More paranoid self-checks. - Improve documentation. Corresponding to flashrom svn r996. Signed-off-by: Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <> Acked-by: Michael Karcher <>
Diffstat (limited to 'flashrom.8')
1 files changed, 47 insertions, 8 deletions
diff --git a/flashrom.8 b/flashrom.8
index 47e77d6..ab53ff8 100644
--- a/flashrom.8
+++ b/flashrom.8
@@ -61,7 +61,10 @@ Erase the flash ROM chip.
More verbose output.
.B "\-c, \-\-chip" <chipname>
-Probe only for specified flash ROM chip.
+Probe only for specified flash ROM chip. This option takes the chip name as
+printed by
+.B "flashrom \-L"
+without the vendor name. Please note that the chip name is case sensitive.
.B "\-m, \-\-mainboard" <[vendor:]part>
Override mainboard settings.
@@ -77,11 +80,16 @@ a list of boards which require the specification of the board name, if no
coreboot table is found.
.B "\-f, \-\-force"
-Force write without checking whether the ROM image file is really meant
-to be used on this board.
+Force one or more of the following actions:
-Note: This check only works while coreboot is running, and only for those
-boards where the coreboot code supports it.
+* Force chip read and pretend the chip is there.
+* Force chip access even if the chip is bigger than max decode size for\
+ the flash bus.
+* Force erase even if erase is known bad.
+* Force write even if write is known bad.
.B "\-l, \-\-layout <file>"
Read ROM layout from
@@ -135,7 +143,7 @@ Same as
but outputs the supported hardware in MediaWiki syntax, so that it can be
easily pasted into the wiki page at
-.B "\-p, \-\-programmer <name>[:parameters]"
+.B "\-p, \-\-programmer <name>[:parameter[,parameter[,parameter]]]"
Specify the programmer device. Currently supported are:
.BR "* internal" " (default, for in-system flashing in the mainboard)"
@@ -220,6 +228,13 @@ has been written because it is known that writing/erasing without the board
enable is going to fail. In any case (success or failure), please report to
the flashrom mailing list, see below.
+On systems running coreboot, flashrom checks whether the desired image matches
+your mainboard. This needs some special board ID to be present in the image.
+If flashrom detects that the image you want to write and the current board
+do not match, it will refuse to write the image unless you specify
+.B "flashrom -p internal:boardmismatch=force"
If your mainboard uses an ITE IT87 series Super I/O for LPC<->SPI flash bus
translation, flashrom should autodetect that configuration. You can use
.B "flashrom -p internal:it87spiport=portnum"
@@ -228,6 +243,24 @@ syntax as explained in the
programmer section to use a non-default port for controlling the IT87 series
Super I/O. In the unlikely case flashrom doesn't detect an active IT87 LPC<->SPI
bridge, you can try to force recognition by using the it87spi programmer.
+Using flashrom on laptops is dangerous and may easily make your hardware
+unusable (see also the BUGS section). The embedded controller (EC) in these
+machines often interacts badly with flashing.
+has more information. If flash is shared with the EC, erase is guaranteed to
+brick your laptop and write is very likely to brick your laptop.
+Chip read and probe may irritate your EC and cause fan failure, backlight
+failure, sudden poweroff, and other nasty effects.
+flashrom will attempt to detect laptops and abort immediately for safety
+If you want to proceed anyway at your own risk, use
+.B "flashrom -p internal:laptop=force_I_want_a_brick"
+You have been warned.
+We will not help you if you force flashing on a laptop because this is a really
+dumb idea.
.BR "dummy " programmer
An optional parameter specifies the bus types it
@@ -315,8 +348,14 @@ flashrom exits with 0 on success, 1 on most failures but with 2 if /dev/mem
Please report any bugs at
.BR ","
-or on the flashrom mailing list
-.RB "(" ")."
+or on the flashrom mailing list at
+.BR "."
+Using flashrom on laptops is dangerous and may easily make your hardware
+unusable unless you can desolder the flash chip and have a full flash chip
+backup. This is caused by the embedded controller (EC) present in many laptops,
+which interacts badly with any flash attempts. This is a hardware limitation
+and flashrom will attempt to detect it and abort immediately for safety reasons.
.B flashrom
is covered by the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2. Some files are
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