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Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

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Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Deleted User 1605 » June 8th, 2015, 12:22 pm


!
follow the below guide st your own risk, Linxtablet is not liable for any damage



Cheaper, easier tablet firmware/BIOS reflash.
EDIT: Just to be clear.. I mean firmware reflashing after bricking the tablet. You know how... ;)

Budget Ebay SPI Programmers:

I've been looking at making the whole process of firmware flashing these tablets both easier to do and cheaper.
This initial post will cover the hardware. I'll add software details and instructions for everything in a later post.

My guide to performing this job with a Raspberry Pi was necessarily long as most forum members will not have seen a Pi before, let alone Linux.
I do understand that this might have "put off" some from performing an otherwise easy task.

I've bought a few cheap programmers to have a play with.. and to give further options to forum members.
It's become a bit of a personal challenge to find the cheapest Ebay device that can be made to work successfully.. Sad, yes?

This one cost £4.55 from China. The Ebay link is: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251932290901? ... EBIDX%3AIT . It took 2 weeks for delivery and was the first of 5 different programmers to arrive.

This is a generic chip programmer. It has a few operating modes, including the one we are interested in here: SPI flash chip programming.

There are a few other similar programmers that meet the requirements or can be made to work easily.
I'm only looking at USB programmers here, as serial and parallel (printer) ports are becoming quite rare on computers now.

Programmer requirements:

Price: As low a possible.

Operating system: Can be used from a windows or Linux computer.

USB connection. Any type of USB connection is fine. Worse case scenario is that a USB cable would have to be used.

SPI connections: Easily accessible connections. Standard header pins are the easiest to use. Nothing required for this one, but some basic soldering skills may be required for others..
If you are really stuck, PM me and I'll do this part for you.. The "iron is always hot".

SPI voltage: The tablet firmware chip requires 3.3V SPI programming, so the programmer should support this. There is normally a moveable link somewhere on the programmer for user selection between 3.3V and 5V.

It is possible to use a 5V programmer for this purpose. You would then only require a few resistors (pennies from Ebay). PM me if you want details.

Other Requirements:

As per the Raspberry Pi. A chip test clip. A few breadboard style jumper wires. See the Raspberry Pi flashing guide for details.

The most expensive required part is the Pomona 5250 test clip (highly recommended. It works! Some cheaper clips don't).
This is about £13 on Ebay.

I'll cover the required windows software and instructions for use in a later post.

Bodge99

Written on my Linx 10, running 64bit Linux, sat in the hospital car park...
Last edited by Deleted User 1605 on June 9th, 2015, 3:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deleted User 1605
 

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Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Deleted User 1605 » June 8th, 2015, 8:54 pm

Hello All.

I've had a little play with this one. Verdict? A super little programmer !! Especially for £4.55.

I'll do a proper writeup with pictures when the other programmers have arrived and have been tested.

There is a row of connecting pins which are used to connect to the test clip. Everything is marked clearly.
There are separate pins for 3.3V and 5V, so no problems identifying any links etc.
Connect up in a similar way to that described in the Raspberry Pi flashing guide.

The hardware is now prepared and nearly ready to use. You now just need to download and install the drivers and programming software.

A quick Google will find a few locations to download the required CH341A programmer software and driver. (For windows)
I've now got it if anyone needs it and cannot find it.

Download the software and extract the archive contents.

In the \USB Driver folder, you'll find the driver installer. Run it and follow the on screen instructions.
The programmer software is found in \Software . Run the .exe here.

You will now be presented with the GUI programming screen. Everything is done from here.

The overall process is this: (all single click operations).

Detect the chip, read and save the current chip contents.
View the file at a specific location (by scrolling the file contents window). Write down your product code.
Erase the chip.
Load the replacement firmware file into the software.
Scroll down to the relevant product code location.
Type in your product code.
Write the file to the flashchip. This also automatically verifies the write.

All done. This all takes about 5 minutes in total.

I can certainly recommend this programmer for tablet reflashing purposes.

Bodge99
Deleted User 1605
 

Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Deleted User 1605 » June 10th, 2015, 8:16 pm

Hello All,

I did post some info on the second programmer to arrive.. Now deleted.

Initially, it seemed fine. I had done some basic testing before I posted. I've been using it with some other chips tonight when I discovered that some read errors from a test chip.

This particular chip is one of a set of 8 different technologies that I use for "stress testing" programmers and other hardware.

If any specific chip is listed as "supported" by a particular programmer then it should be.. 100%. Anything else is not acceptable IMHO.

I've seen this sort of thing with relatively expensive kit as well. If it fails my tests in any way, then I'm not happy to recommend it.

The programmer mentioned in my initial post worked with everything I threw at it. I'm more than happy to recommend that one.

Bodge99.
Deleted User 1605
 

Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Deleted User 1605 » June 16th, 2015, 12:49 am

Hello All,

Two more programmers arrived yesterday. The first one opened turned out to be identical to the initial one tested above.
The second one didn't even get plugged in. The build quality was pitiful.
I've emailed the seller to see what they have to say. This one is a US made programmer...

Bodge99.
Deleted User 1605
 

Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by nikiforospav » December 7th, 2015, 8:14 am

hi there are there more ditailed guides? ahave the usb programmer and the pomona test clipcan someone tell the pin out diagramm?

is this user still member on the forum?how can i contact him?
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Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Dann » December 7th, 2015, 1:53 pm

nikiforospav wrote:hi there are there more ditailed guides? ahave the usb programmer and the pomona test clipcan someone tell the pin out diagramm?

is this user still member on the forum?how can i contact him?


This user is no longer active I'm afraid..
Dann
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Re: Cheap & Easy Firmware/BIOS Reflash

by Phil G » December 7th, 2015, 6:17 pm

I use a raspberry pi to program the bios on these. As detail by bodge original guide
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