No announcement yet.

Common SPI bios chip programming Questions and Answers

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts
  • SMDFlea
    Super Moderator
    • Jan 2018
    • 15484
    • UK

    Common SPI bios chip programming Questions and Answers

    Common SPI bios chip programming Questions and Answers

    Q: I have a bios request,i can`t post my backup as i can`t read from the chip.

    A: If you can`t read from it how do you expect to write to it ?.

    Q: Why is my bios chip unreadable ?.

    A: The programmer is faulty or has a worn or broken zif socket.

    The USB cable is frayed,connector pins worn or some other physical damage.

    Not enough amperage or voltage to power the programmer properly.

    Bad contact with a sop8 clip or bad contact on the adapter board.

    Using the wrong clip with a different type of chip (SOP8 clip with WSON8 chip)

    The chip is physically damaged,burnt,shorted or no longer holds data.

    The adapter,clip or chip isn`t lined up with pin 1.

    The chip is 1.8V or lower voltage.An adapter is required if your programmer
    only works at a single voltage.

    The programmer doesn`t have support for the chip in the supported chip list.

    The programmer software needs updating to add support for newer chips or
    alternative software with more support can be used,if available.

    Q: I have a chip thats not in the support list,can i add support for it ?.

    A: That depends if the programmer software allows end users to add it or not.

    Q: My chip isn`t in the support list and i can`t add it,what do i do ?.

    A: Select a different chip that has the same voltage and capacity.Many 25Q chips are
    interchangeable.If the programmer has a check-ID option uncheck it.You may also have to
    untick verify before programming.

    Q: I have a compatible chip,can i flash it with a dump thats already been posted,is making a
    backup of the old one so important.

    A: Your backup could contain DMI information,a serial number,UUID,Windows Key and other
    important info.

    Q: If i flash a dump with DMI info already in it will i be able to change it somehow.

    A: That depends if the laptop manufacturer,motherboard or bios vendor has some DMI tools allowing
    you to change it.Some DMI info can be easily copied from a backup using a hex editor , no
    other software needed.

    Q: Is the DMI info stored in every bios.

    A: No,sometimes its stored in the EC or on a seperate eeprom.

    Q: What is a virgin bios ,if i flash it will i lose DMI info.

    A: Its a clean bios straight from the manufacturers support page or extracted from an update.
    If the DMI info is stored in the bios you will lose it.

    Q: If a full virgin bios is available and the DMI from the backup is easy to copy is there any need
    to have my backup repaired.

    A: A virgin bios should be the preferred option,it is quicker than trying to fix your backup.

    Q: Can i flash a bios dump with different DMI info,i`m not bothered about it having a different serial.

    A: Yes,although with some models you can have a pop-up warning message on screen about a mismatch.Make
    a backup of your original bios,just in case.

    Q: My chip is damaged,i have a donor motherboard,can i just swap the bios chip over.

    A: If its not from the exact same model no.If its from the exact same model yes if its an AMD
    board.If its a modern intel board an extra step is needed,the ME (Management Engine) firmware
    will need cleaning first or it will shut down after 30 minutes,boot slow or not boot at all.
    If there`s a unique IP address stored in the intel Gbe region then it might need editing
    with a hex editor after ME cleaning,or programmed with MAC address changer software.

    Q: Can i make a backup and program the bios without having to desolder the chip ?.

    A: Sometimes yes,you can use a sop8 clip,WSON8 pogo pin adapter ,solder wires to the chip
    legs or empty sop8 contacts on the board.Some desktop boards have a programming header with pins.

    Q: I`m using a clip ,i can`t make a backup,what can i do.

    A: In some cases attaching the laptop charger can help.
    Additionally read: 1.1.2. Adapters

    Q: Is it more reliable to desolder the bios or use a clip.

    A: Desoldering is best,although it must be said that clips can be used fairly reliably with plenty of practice.

    Q: The bios chip is WSON8,there`s no legs for the clip to grip onto,how do i program it ?.

    A: Desolder it and use a WSOS8 adapter board,use a WSON8 clip with pogo pins or solder wires to the
    motherboard if there`s some empty solder pads for a SOP8 chip.

    Q: How do i know if i`ve made a good backup or not ?.

    A: One of the easiest ways is to make 2 backups,open both with a hex editor and use the
    File-Compare option.Scroll through and make sure there`s some code in the backups.If both files
    are all FF`s (empty) then you havn`t made a good backup or the chip is blank.Make multiple backups
    making sure all connections are good and all programmer settings are correct.Double check,triple check !
    Additionally read:

    Q: I`m sure the backup i made is good but it still looks corrupt,can i still post it ?.

    A: Yes,it might be fixable or there could be some DMI data still readable.

    Q: I have seen EC files posted besides bios dumps,do i have to program them too.

    A: No,try the bios first,although if there is a big mismatch between an older bios and much newer
    EC and vice versa it might not boot.The EC may have a seperate external chip (any programmer
    will flash it) or have internal memory inside the EC chip that you have to flash with a
    dedicated programmer.Some EC chips aren`t programmable,the firmware can also run from the bios.

    Q: I`ve written to the chip but it won`t verify,there`s an error message,whats happening ?

    A: The chip isn`t soldered properly to the adapter or not lined up in the socket,or the chip is faulty.
    Erase the chip and try programming again.

    Q: I have a CH341A,is there any other alternative software for it ?.

    A: Yes,there`s NeoProgrammer,Colibri,AsProgrammer and Flashrom.

    Q: I have a Raspberry PI,can i program an SPI bios with it ?.

    A: Yes you can.
    Last edited by SMDFlea; 09-02-2023, 06:24 AM.
    All donations to badcaps are welcome,see the donate button at the bottom of the page,or click on this link to donate via PayPal. Every donation made will go towards server fees and maintenance costs.