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Recover damaged bios and info about openbios/coreboot
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djinnZ
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:00 pm    Post subject: Recover damaged bios and info about openbios/coreboot Reply with quote

I have an old TravelMate 420 and I will try to recover it for my little nepew.
The laptop (not mine) was damaged after a storm and the "repairman" (a coworker of the faterin law of my brother, who define itself an "expert") has tryed to "update the entire system" in order to recover the internal modem. Not sure, but I think than he has updated the bios with a wrong version or without ending the memory write.

The laptop is now unable to start the OS, all seems to work but, after post, at the time of reading the mbr it hang.
Oblivious the official repair support ask more than the cost of a new laptop to repair it.

So I ask for more info to rewrite the bios or sobstitute the chip in order to try another bios.

I am also interested in them to substitute the bios of the mitac 8317 of mine (the bios is very crappy, will waste 128 MB of ram to make the builtin video-ram active and not have the usb boot support i need); but i will be sure or able to easy revert to the old bios without risks.

Thanks in advice for any suggestion.
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NeddySeagoon
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djinnZ,

Take the hard drive out of the laptop and put it in an ordinary PC. You will need an adaptor, or even another laptop.
The first step is to establish that the drive actually has as OS to boot.

How do you know that POST completes and the MBR is read ?

Some BIOSes have a small reserved area that is not erased during a BIOS update. When a BIOS checksum error occurs, the BIOS jumps to this and tries to flash and image from floppy. There are no on screen messages, there is just not enough room in the reserved area. Get the service manula off the web to see if this applies to you.

You may have a JTAG option to reflash the BIOS too. You will need a JTAG programmer and the BIOS in the right format for JTAG programming.
You have 95% of a JTAG programmer if you have a PC with a parallel port. The rest you need to make. Again you need the service manual to see if you have JTAG and where it is.
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Computer users fall into two groups:-
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