Read PC Bios Flash, or other chips, micro-controllers

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Formingus, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Formingus

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    37
    0
    Hi,

    Is there a way to read data from bios, flash IC or micro-controllers ?
    I read something before i make thread, and they talk about some locked security on Atmel chip.
    I am not digging so deep, simply i want to by some cheap universal chip programmer tool and play.
    So need to know way of reading them so i can write them later or any available site for download data for specific controllers or bios flash IC chips ?

    Thank you in Advance
     
  2. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    12,449
    3,364
    There is just one little problem. If you are attempting to read copyrighted material from a chip then it will not be discussed here on AAC and this thread will be promptly closed.
     
  3. Formingus

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    37
    0
    Hi thank you for replay
    As i say i wont dig deep for coded microchips or whatever , i understand and respect other work that's why i ask is there some available site with intention only to write with legal purposes. Mine question is simple : I want to have backup of mine PC bios so how can i read it ?

    Thank you
     
  4. takao21203

    Distinguished Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    3,577
    463
    the new mainboards sometimes use serial flash for which you need a serial flash writer. These cost $15 or so.
    However there are myriads of brands the reader might not be able to read the IC, you may need more than one flash writer.

    Then you need to desolder it and press on the programmer PCB contacts, and solder back.
    There might be pins or pads for flashing on the mainboard, might be labelled or not.
    These can be used for reading too.

    Parallel FLASH isnt a big deal either but the programmers cost at least $60, and you have to identify the chip model or try around. Obviously reading out a FLASH IC, it is not protected!

    They are mass produced anyway, no one cares as long as you dont mass duplicate them.

    On the chips there's always a copyright notice, that doesnt mean you are not allowed to read it, or make a copy, just the copyright holder has the distribution rights, and rights for commercial exploitation.

    If they are out of business, normally nobody cares, except if patent trolls bought the rights for the obsolete hardware/software no longer fabricated (that makes sense how)?

    Its legitimate to make a backup for instance before upgrading the flash bios, there might be software for it in some cases. The board eventually can re-flash by itself, doesnt need a flash writer.

    The main difference is parallel or serial flash (these often have 8 pins parallel have 40 pins)
     
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  5. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    907
    If you are looking at a Microchip microcontroller, just attach it for ICSP, and read the program memory (assuming it is not protected) with any programmer/debugger. PK2, PK3, MPLAB ICD3 are common programmers that will work.
     
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  6. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,395
    497
    Many mobo manufacturers post the bios on their websites. Over the years I have upgraded bios on a couple of my computers. I would go to mobo manufacturer website, see what they have bios/drivers/utilities for my mobo, and if they have more up to date bios and if I feel really adventurous, I would download the bios and upgrade bios on my mobo. So. If you have mobo from reputable manufacturer, then it is most likely that you can download the bios from their website and there is no need to do it yourself.
     
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  7. Formingus

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    37
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    Which one you will suggest me from those you mention ?
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,699
    907
    No preference. They all work the same. I happen to have an ICD3 and PK3. I don't use the PK3 much since I got the ICD3.

    John
     
  9. Formingus

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    37
    0
    Thank You
     
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