Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

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Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby konc » 2017-3-22 @ 15:22

So I’ve got this ET4000AX card (based on the FCC ID it’s from some unknown Taiwanese company called Bona”) that I want to use. The card is perfect for my needs with one exception: It has some weird representation of the lower case “L”. I tried, but I just can’t get used to it.

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First of all, is this character representation in the BIOS? Can I flash a BIOS from any other ET4000AX?

If the answer to the above is positive, it’s now the time for me to admit that I don’t know how to do it :lol: Some modern graphic cards had their own flashing utility, even for a Voodoo3 there was a utility available. But for this one? Assuming that I have the BIOS file, is there a specific or generic utility I could use? Or do I have to plug the chip on a programmer?

If a programmer is needed, since I don’t have one, could I use a network card? (again, with what utility?)
And finally, if everything goes wrong, would I still be able to flash back the saved original BIOS or do I risk to brick it only to change the appearance of a letter?

Sorry for the many questions but it’s something I haven’t done in such an old card before and I tried to gather them all in one post.
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Re: Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby lazibayer » 2017-3-22 @ 15:53

The best solution is to buy a new chip and use a programmer to write BIOS into that new chip. Theoretically you can't rule out the chance of damaging a card with a wrong BIOS, but I haven't seen one in real life.
It's easy to flash 32 pin 5V chips on network cards, but old video cards like yours take 28 pin 14/12V chips. The utilities I am familiar with, such as flashrom, RTLflash, do not support 28 pin chips. You can flash a 32 pin 5V chip on a network card and make some modifications to the pins so it will comply with the 28 pin socket.
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Re: Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby keropi » 2017-3-22 @ 17:16

I had the same "issue" LOL
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=50159

so there is a a solution if you are interested in it
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Re: Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby Jo22 » 2017-3-22 @ 17:23

Hi, I think I've heard some flash chips were compatible with the famous 27256/512..
Well, at least as a read-only medium, of course. Writing these chips likely requires a modern programmer.
If you're using flash, you will also gain a speed improvement, since their access time is lower than that of traditional ROM chips.
But that's only important if you can't set the "video BIOS cacheable" option in CMOS setup (XT/AT machines).

is there any FLASH ic that is pincompitable to 27c256..?
http://www.edaboard.com/thread80908.html

Also an interesting read is..:
How EPROMs Work or: Some Things You Wanted To Know About EPROMs, But Didn't Know Whom Or What To Ask
https://xtronics.com/wiki/How_EPROMS_Work.html


lazibayer wrote:It's easy to flash 32 pin 5V chips on network cards, but old video cards like yours take 28 pin 14/12V chips..

Dude, me and my dad were used to "normal" 21v/25v types! 14/12V chips are modern! :lol:

lazibayer wrote:You can flash a 32 pin 5V chip on a network card and make some modifications to the pins so it will comply with the 28 pin socket.

Yup, that's a good idea. :) Buying a cheap programmer is best/safest, though, as you said.
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Re: Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby konc » 2017-3-23 @ 08:25

Ah I see, so it's not just a matter of running a utility and flashing the BIOS. A programmer and a flash chip are needed. Unfortunately I don't have a programmer and since this "L" character is not uncommon for these cards I might just pretend that I value its individuality and leave it alone :D Thank you guys for your information.
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Re: Flashing BIOS to ET4000AX?

Postby keropi » 2017-3-23 @ 08:36

^ I can always send you the 04/07/93 BIOS roms...

edit: I can't seem to locate the '93 roms, just the 03/10/92 ones, wtf... :confused:
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