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meerkt
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Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:58 am

I have a Marvell 9215 PCIe-SATA card.

For no obvious reason it adds some 10 seconds of delay during boot.
Blanks the screen, waits, then shows a list of connected device(s) and lets booting continue.
It happens both with no devices connected and with one HDD that doesn't delay on mobo controllers.

Considering it's a non-RAID card, I don't boot from it, nor use it from DOS, any reason not to zero the card flash?
Am I correct assuming that for this usage the only thing the card ROM does is delay and show a list of connected devices?
 
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:02 am

TBH I don't know whether that is safe or not. There might be some risk that the driver won't recognize the card.

I suggest you just stop rebooting your system. :wink:
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meerkt
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:08 pm

Assuming the PCIe device identifies regardless of firmware, I could just reflash it if needed.

Reboots could be minimized, but powerups? :)
 
Waco
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:32 pm

You may have an option in your BIOS to disable storage controller OP-ROMS.
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bfg-9000
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:03 am

Makes more sense to just lift the power leg of the flash chip.

Unlike all of the socketed option ROMs I've removed, it's a lot easier to find again when most of it is still soldered on.
 
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:03 pm

meerkt wrote:
Assuming the PCIe device identifies regardless of firmware, I could just reflash it if needed.

I know LSI controllers can still be re-flashed even if the firmware has been "bricked"; not sure about Marvell.

meerkt wrote:
Reboots could be minimized, but powerups? :)

No need to power up if you never power down. :wink:
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
meerkt
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:50 am

Waco wrote:
You may have an option in your BIOS to disable storage controller OP-ROMS.

Is that a common option?
The only thing I see here is a toggle for the onboard LAN ROM.

(BTW, any idea how BIOSes figure out if it's storage? Theory: they watch one time if int 13h is overridden, then flag it for the future. But that sounds icky.)

bfg-9000 wrote:
Makes more sense to just lift the power leg of the flash chip.

It's not BGA, but even if it was thru-hole that would not be my go-to method. :)

just brew it! wrote:
No need to power up if you never power down. :wink:

You would need at least ONE powerup, plan foiled!
But really, nah, I like to power off when not in use.
 
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:00 pm

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
No need to power up if you never power down. :wink:

You would need at least ONE powerup, plan foiled!

Yeah, but it's already powered up now (assuming you're posting from that system)! :wink:

meerkt wrote:
But really, nah, I like to power off when not in use.

Understandable. Perhaps sleep (suspend-to-RAM) would be a reasonable compromise if the goal is to conserve power?
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MOSFET
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:41 pm

"Force add-on BIOS chips"
"Force add-on ROMs"
"Add-in ROM Policy"
"OPROM Policy"

Phrases like that are what you're looking for.
Be careful on inserting this (or any G34 chip) into the socket. Once you pull that restraining lever, it is either a good install or a piece of silicon jewelry.
 
meerkt
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:54 am

It's not that. It's just not there.

I assume a rare feature, as I don't recall ever seeing it (or it could just be that I never needed it).

just brew it! wrote:
Perhaps sleep

Not a fan of sleep.
 
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:01 am

meerkt wrote:
It's not that. It's just not there.

I assume a rare feature, as I don't recall ever seeing it (or it could just be that I never needed it).

I've seen it on quite a few (but not all) of my motherboards. So not exactly rare, but not always present either.

meerkt wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Perhaps sleep

Not a fan of sleep.

In that case, your best option is probably to just put up with the extra 10 seconds of boot time. Unless you're willing to risk bricking the card.
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meerkt
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Re: Zeroing non-RAID controller firmware?

Wed Sep 25, 2019 9:31 am

More common on newer mobos? If so, I wouldn't know. :)

Yeah, for now I'll let it be.

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