GA-G41M-ES2L flashing tutorial

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This guide is for those who want libreboot on their Intel GA-G41M-ES2L motherboard while they still have the original BIOS present.


NOTE: due to a bug in the hardware, the MAC address is hardcoded in coreboot. Therefore, you must set your own MAC address in your operating system.

Use macchanger in your distro, to set a valid MAC address. By doing this, your NIC should work nicely.

Flash chip size

Use this to find out:

flashrom -p internal

Flashing instructions

Refer to spi.html for how to set up an SPI programmer for external flashing. You can only externally reprogram one of the chips at a time, and you need to disable the chip that you’re not flashing, by connecting 3v3 to /CS of that chip, so you will actually need second test clip or IC pin mini grabber.

NOTE: on GA-G41M-ES2L, the flash shares a common voltage plane with the southbridge, which draws a lot of current. This will cause under-voltage on most SPI flashers, so do not use the 3.3V rail from your flasher. Do not connect +3.3V to the chip. Instead, turn the board on and then turn it off by holding the power button. With the board powered down, but plugged in, there will be a 3.3V supply from the ATX PSU. You can then flash, but DO NOT connect the +3.3V supply from your SPI flasher!

NOTE: You should use a resistor in series, between 1K to 10K ohms, for the 3.3v connection to the CS pin. This is to protect from over-current.

Here is an image of the flash chip:

Internal flashing is possible. Boot with the proprietary BIOS and GNU+Linux. There are 2 flash chips (one is backup).

Flash the first chip:

./flashrom -p internal:dualbiosindex=0 -w libreboot.rom

Flash the second chip:

./flashrom -p internal:dualbiosindex=1 -w libreboot.rom

NOTE: you can still boot the system with just the main flash chip connected, after desoldering the backup chip. This has been tested while libreboot was already installed onto the main chip.

NOTE: If you don’t flash both chips, the recovery program from the default factory BIOS will kick in and your board will be soft bricked. Make sure that you flash both chips!

NOTE: You need the latest flashrom. Just get it on from their SVN or Git repos.

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