path: root/flashrom.8
diff options
authorMichael Karcher <>2010-03-07 22:29:28 +0000
committerMichael Karcher <>2010-03-07 22:29:28 +0000
commit7f0c3ec56b794313b8d23346f8b75bee711c739d (patch)
tree392e8bff1f5e9887921d44a62a063ef0672be340 /flashrom.8
parent5fdf270450b91f46a132e5b1900dd38001d74af6 (diff)
Move untested board enable documentation to manpage
This also checks the testedness of boards in all cases, not just for PCI/DMI detection. Corresponding to flashrom svn r926. Signed-off-by: Michael Karcher <> Acked-by: Carl-Daniel Hailfinger <>
Diffstat (limited to 'flashrom.8')
1 files changed, 41 insertions, 0 deletions
diff --git a/flashrom.8 b/flashrom.8
index 696aba2..9c21278 100644
--- a/flashrom.8
+++ b/flashrom.8
@@ -175,6 +175,47 @@ colon. While some programmers take arguments at fixed positions, other
programmers use a key/value interface in which the key and value is separated
by an equal sign and different pairs are separated by a comma or a colon.
+.BR "internal " programmer
+Some mainboards require to run mainboard specific code to enable flash erase
+and write support (and probe support on old systems with parallel flash).
+The mainboard brand and model (if it requires specific code) is usually
+autodetected using one of the following mechanisms: If your system is
+running coreboot, the mainboard type is determined from the coreboot table,
+otherwise, the mainboard is detected by examining the onboard PCI devices
+and possibly DMI info. If PCI and DMI do not contain information to uniquely
+identify the mainboard (which is the exception), it might be necessary to
+specify the mainboard using the \-m switch (see above).
+Some of these board-specific flash enabling functions (called board enables)
+in flashrom have not yet been tested. If your mainboard is detected needing
+an untested board enable function, a warning message is printed and the
+board enable is not executed, because a wrong board enable function might
+cause the system to behave erratically, as board enable functions touch the
+low-level internals of a mainboard. Not executing a board enable function
+(if one is needed) might cause detection or erasing failure. If your board
+protects only part of the flash (commonly the top end, called boot block),
+flashrom might encounter an error only after erasing the unprotected part,
+so running without the board-enable function might be dangerous for erase
+and write (which includes erase).
+The suggested procedure for a mainboard with untested board specific code is
+to first try to probe the ROM (just invoke flashrom and check that it
+detects your flash chip type) without running the board enable code (i.e.
+without any parameters). If it finds your chip, fine, otherwise, retry
+probing your chip with the board-enable code running, using
+.B "flashrom -p internal:boardenable=force"
+If your chip is still not detected, the board enable code seems to be broken
+or the flash chip unsupported. Otherwise, make a backup of your current ROM
+contents (using \-r) and store it to a medium outside of your computer, like
+an USB drive or a network share. If you needed to run the board enable code
+already for probing, use it for reading too. Now you can try to write the
+new image. You should enable the board enable code in any case now, as it
+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.
.BR "dummy " programmer
An optional parameter specifies the bus types it
should support. For that you have to use the
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