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06 May 2009, 08:57

Universal BIOS Flash programmer for Linux, BSD and more

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CoreBoot logo The developers of the CoreBoot project have released version 0.9,0 of FlashROM, which is able to read, delete, rewrite and verify the flash chips which store a systems BIOS. FlashROM runs on Linux and UNIX derivatives such as FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X and allows re-flashing to take place from the command line on a running operating system. With most manufacturers' flash programming utilities, there is only support for Windows or DOS and they require the user to reboot into DOS, from a floppy disk, or an installed Windows system, re-flash the BIOS, then reboot back into Linux.

With FlashROM it is possible to re-flash the BIOS without rebooting the operating system at all. The FlashROM program only requires root access to a system and can be run remotely via SSH (Secure Shell). The developers say the utility supports a wide range of motherboards and flash chip-sets; 157 flash chip families, 75 different chip-sets and support for dozens of non-standard x86 motherboards are handled in the 0.9.0 release. According to the developers, FlashROM has the added advantage of a faster flash cycle than many manufacturers utilities.

The FlashROM home page lists the flash chips, chip-sets and motherboards which have been tested. It does also note that some boards, such as the GA-M57SLI-S4 from Gigabyte of the MSI K8N Neo3 need special command line options, while boards such as the A7N8X-E Deluxe from Asus and some others are listed as not compatible.

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