66% or better

Eee PC bios resurrection

flashsolderedtoboard

Hot on the heels of our post about reading passwords from EEPROM, [n0th1n6] tipped us off about a similar hack used to resurrect an Eee PC from a bad bios flash. After discovering that a factory repair for a dead bios costs about $200, [CutenaCute_7] took on the challenge herself. She disassembled the computer and desoldered the bios chip from the board. After writing a program to flash the chip using C#, she temporarily soldered jumpers to make sure the flash worked. Looks like this is a zero cost hack, plus the time savings from not having to ship her computer somewhere. Bravo.

Comments

  1. Matt says:

    That should be an SPI flash part. While the soldering is impressive, there may have been an easier way as SPI is typically in circuit programmable.
    http://www.dediprog.com/SPI-flash-in-circuit-programming/SF100
    http://www.dediprog.com/SPI-flash-accessories/SO8-testclip

    Yes, it would be expensive for a one time fix, but I suspect someone could come up with a home brew equivalent.

  2. Ben Ryves says:

    Is the linked site being run through a translator? It’s half English, half… Filipino, I assume? Good work, in any case!

  3. Francis says:

    It’s the hangout of Filipino electronic enthusiast and “She” is awesome!

  4. Spork says:

    Really worthwhile and cool hack.

    Necessity breeds creation, as they say.

  5. tjhooker says:

    Really nice. I like that it’s more common to see people reversing and modifying complex systems now, even if it’s just a IC flash.

  6. tjhooker says:

    Also she only posted pseudo code, but it’s fairly simple in this case.

  7. Jp 1.5 says:

    Translation: French »English (http://translate.google.fr)

    xD
    but I think the EeePC has a system of dual bios lol

    If the first BIOS is dead
    – Must be disassembled for the EeePC press a button not accessible
    – Synchronize a combination with the power button and also time
    – And (I do not remember to always)
    But surely the Bios.ROM on USB / SD for reflash

    but! the second BIOS didn’t menu! neither option! because the screen did not use

    is too old in my memory
    and luckily I never missed a flash

    PS: I am sorry for my bad English
    I’m french

  8. Blodgar says:

    Serious technical chops and sufficiently fearless to seize success from the jaws of paying almost as much as the initial cost of the unit! mórthaibhseach, étonnant, впечатляет, kick-ass!

  9. Cute_na_Cute_7 says:

    hello,

    thanks for the appreciation…

    to Jp1.5,

    I tried a LOT of techniques to recover the bios (bootblock recovery, USB with the ROM inside, reading all the articles in the Asus EEE forum) for many days but still without luck… The flashing process hanged when it is currently writing at the bootblock area. from what I read, the method to recover from a bad flash is in the bootblock. however, since the writing at the bootblock area was not completed and was erased, I have no choice but to recover it using a DIY SPI programmer.

    if the bootblock area was not erased nor programmed, maybe it will be easier for me to recover this little machine using just the keypress combinations for bootblock recovery or boot through USB with the ROM file. :)

  10. Woots says:

    She is amazingly fantastic. After working in that eePC, she studies about motherhood.

  11. Richard says:

    Cute_na_Cute_7 – that’s a very fine hack indeed.

    Nice work. :-)

  12. Jarett says:

    Cute_na_Cute_7: Is that an Awake! magazine?

  13. T&P says:

    did this project even use resisters? I was thinking of fucking with this atmel eeprom I have and wiring it strait to the printer port. its 5v but I don’t understand what the hell ohms are so I am afraid of blowing it out like you. Something about a law of current or something.

  14. marcelino says:

    @ T&P, most eeprom are interfaced using SPI or I2C. miss cute_na_cute7 used I2C since it is the given interface by the chip. should your atmel eeprom uses I2C, it most likely have to have a pull up resistors on both clock and data lines.

    @cute_na_cute7, this is an awakening for me… i admire you! and i’m also glad that your a mother!

  15. Cute_Na_Cute_7 says:

    @marcelina

    I used SPI on that chip :D

    @T&P

    if that atmel eeprom is an I2C interface, you may have a look at varieties of JDM programmers + IC-Prog software as I was able to use those programmers before in my projects.

  16. marcelino says:

    @Cute_na_cute7, I’m sorry about that… i thought you used I2C. NOTED! Should EEPROM uses I2C, I’ll consider JDM based programmer.

    How many kids do you have? Really..!!! I’m glad you could still manage to do amazing stuff while being a mother!

  17. Andy says:
  18. Gwapo_7 says:

    :D :D :D

  19. all I can say is Sweeeet !

  20. user says:

    this is very cooooooooooooool really thanks for post keep it upppp

  21. user says:

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