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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


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Old 08-10-2006, 05:56 AM   #1
Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Debian unstable && Kazit (reformated knoppix)
Posts: 194

Rep: Reputation: 31
how can i upload kernel into my eeprom? (bios)


im runnig slax on some real old pc (amd 450 with award bios).
and my bios won't find hardware and don't know how to use it ,

so i figure a way to cheat the machine :
a small distro with new kerenel (slax with 2.6.15) runs from a small harddrive that find all my hardware and know what to do with it.

idd like to flash my bios and then upoad kernel into it .
is it possible ?
any good howto ?
Old 08-12-2006, 12:37 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 94

Rep: Reputation: 16
Good question, but I have a feeling that it isn't probably one of those things you should try (unless you're really brave and "know what you're doing" as they say over and over again in Linux docs lol.). I do know that it can be some pretty volatile stuff when it comes to flashing BIOS (eg. updating one's BIOS with intended flash updates carries some risk of possibly going wrong). Also, when it comes to EEPROMS, if something goes wrong, you can render your motherboard totalled. If a BIOS gets into a state to where it can't be flashed and you can't boot any longer (i.e. the boot block is hosed which provides the basic fundimental code for booting. This is what is loaded just to get the system into a state where it can then bootstrap the OS. eg. load the MBR and so on), then it's a real tough delimma. However, I would imagine that if one were to purchase a new BIOS EEPROM and re-solder it to the board, it might be able to bail them out.

Anyway, don't let me discourage you from your quest, because maybe with the right know-how it's something that can be done. Would be pretty neat if someone figured out how to do that.

Anyway, I'm no chip engineer by a long shot. So I don't really possess the knowledge to help you much, but I wanted to let you know about the possible risks as from what I currently percieve of things. So another thing you may want to do is also look for some Forum for people who are into hacking ICs and EEPROMS etc.

Heck, maybe there's people that have done this and have written a howto I haven't encountered yet or something. I would imagine there might be considering how much Linux is used on embedded devices. However, there may be some different ramification to all of that.

Anyway, good luck. If you do figure out how to or if it's possible, be sure to post your latest findings. This is a very interesting topic that I'm sure others here would find interesting as well.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
Old 08-12-2006, 01:26 AM   #3
Registered: Aug 2006
Posts: 43

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