VOGONS


How about a MR-BIOS ROM file repository?

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Reply 20 of 101, by Anonymous Coward

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Isn't HT12 a 286 chipset?

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Reply 21 of 101, by keropi

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Auzner wrote:

I dumped a MR BIOS rom a few months ago here: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=57945 I don't think it got put anywhere else yet.
Last week I got a VGA card from ebay and confirmed the board POSTs.

I downloaded the archive but there is a HEX and serial.txt files inside? What's the deal with that?

@appiah
I added your files in my post , thanks!

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Reply 23 of 101, by keropi

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carlostex wrote:
Anonymous Coward wrote:

Isn't HT12 a 286 chipset?

It is.

and a really popular one indeed!

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Reply 25 of 101, by keropi

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Auzner wrote:
keropi wrote:

I downloaded the archive but there is a HEX and serial.txt files inside? What's the deal with that?

Rename .hex to .rom

🤣 so the BIOS for the FOREX300 chipset is only 16kbytes? What is the original eprom a 27C128 ?

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Reply 28 of 101, by Anonymous Coward

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Wait...only 16KB? Are you certain this ROM has been dumped correctly?

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Reply 29 of 101, by Auzner

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No, as in I have not flashed what was read back into anything and tested. But there are readable strings in it so at least some of it looks correct. The board posts on what it had originally. Here's my photo from the thread showing a 28-pin parallel eeprom (like the model keropi mentioned): https://www.vogons.org/download/file.ph ... &mode=view
8 data pins, 14 addr pins--2^14 = 16K

You can see in the photo link that the board does not have anything on it... no IDE, no floppy, no LPT, no serial, no sound, no video. So to me 16K seems to make sense. Days of the multi I/O cards.

hex.PNG
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hex.PNG
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Since I got an ISA VGA card a few weeks ago I was able to confirm the board posts with my jenky AT adapter included.

bios.jpg
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bios.jpg
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Edit:
So the 27C128 is 16K x 8bits. Bytes are addressable 0000 - 3FFF

Reply 30 of 101, by keropi

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Keep in mind that the typical 386 BIOS is 64kbytes and almost none have I/O or other capabilities. The rom you dumped doesn't really match any other I've seen so far - for example the is no visible string at the beginning of it ( just download another bios out there and you'll see what I mean ) and yours has it quite down the line - which is weird. Then again we have no other FOREX bios to compare maybe it really is that weird 🤣 but that also means this one is important to have 😁

Since you got the board running why not do a dump with NSSI that jesolo mentions? I tried it and it produces the same result as my programmer. Just to be ultra-sure , not implying anything here btw as every contribution to the thread is highly appreciated and these BIOSes are hard to come by...

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Reply 31 of 101, by Auzner

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The only other chip I see in there is the 8042 keyboard controller. I don't have any ISA cards except for the VGA one--so no way to run software on it, otherwise I would compare the two methods. Could the BIOS be compressed? I see strings like "virus defense activated" "mr bios" and a list of the ascii chars. When I pass it to the file program in linux it reports it being "DOS executable (COM)" If someone knows how to decompile/disassemble that sort of thing it could be investigated further. I'm fiddling with it in IDA but have no idea what's going on.

Reply 33 of 101, by keropi

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Well without an I/O card to atleast boot from a floppy there isn't much you can do really unless you have a dedicated programmer... maybe in the future this NSSI verification can be made - or someone with a suitable board will test this BIOS and reports back 😀

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Reply 34 of 101, by Predator99

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Afraid to raise a stupid question: 😢 😢 😢

But what makes the MR BIOS such special? Is it a 3rd party BIOS which adds additional feature to older boards? Was it sold separately from the Mainboards?

As far as I know I dont have any in my collection and I have seen many Mainboards...

Reply 35 of 101, by feipoa

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MR BIOS improved upon many limitations of AMI BIOSes from the 90's, e.g. allowed for faster cache timings, allowed for L1 support on 386 boards which had an upgrade CPU, increased HDD size, added PS/2 mouse support, etc. I believe some boards came stock with MR BIOS. I'm not sure if there was a "pay to upgrade" path for boards which came with AMI BIOSes.

There is still some sparse information on esupport.com concerning MR BIOS. I wonder what they did with the BIOS archives. I wonder if they even received the BIOS archives.
https://www.esupport.com/techsupport/mrbios/
https://www.esupport.com/techsupport/mrbios/mrbdocs.php

There is a lot of user posts online about esupport.com and how they are a scam. https://www.resellerratings.com/store/eSupport
Makes me wonder if this is the same esupport.com which bought MR BIOS...

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Reply 36 of 101, by Anonymous Coward

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I'm very suspicious about the 16kb file size of the Forex ROM. I'd have to double check, but I was pretty sure even the original AT ROM was 32kb.

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Reply 37 of 101, by feipoa

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Anyone willing to contact esupport.com? I already failed a few years back. Maybe if Bob has left the company you might get somewhere.
I sent an email to an old addy a few days ago, mrbios@mrbios.com and it did not bounce back (yet)!

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Reply 38 of 101, by keropi

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feipoa wrote:

Anyone willing to contact esupport.com? I already failed a few years back. Maybe if Bob has left the company you might get somewhere.
I sent an email to an old addy a few days ago, mrbios@mrbios.com and it did not bounce back (yet)!

I have sent them an email 8 days ago - I got no reply 😵

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Reply 39 of 101, by feipoa

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Nothing encourages a reply like money. Maybe in a few weeks I'll send an e-mail expressing interest in purchasing some old MR BIOS BIOSes.

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