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salsimp wrote: 

     Attached are close up photos of E14 on the -001 and -003 boards. Note the extra pad on the -001 board.

 

     Also, the two sets of four pads to the left of E14 leave me wondering if these boards have a JTAG port. Any thoughts?

 

 

Your picture 618266-001.JPG shows several sets of pads.  They are, from left to right:

     J112 and JP113 are 4-pin header installed on prototype boards only.  They are used to access debug signals on the SAS controller.

     J144 is a 3-pin header installed on prototype boards only.  It is used to access a SAS controller debug port.

     JP40 is a 2-pin header installed on prototype boards only.  It is a hard SAS controller reset, which will disable the SAS controller if a jumper is installed.  It is used for prototype debug only. 

 

These are for debugging the SAS controller on pre-production boards using specialized software tools.  They are not JTAG ports.  Do not connect anything to these pads, because they do not provide anything useful to a user.  I am explaining what they are to discourage anyone from connecting anything to them. 

 

 

Your picture 618266-003.JPG shows several sets of pads.  They are, from left to right:

     J112 and JP113 are 4-pin header installed on prototype boards only.  They are used to access debug signals on the SAS controller.

     E14 is a 2-pin header used to provide a hardware override to the boot block protect signal.

     Note:  J114 has been deleted on the PCB. 

     JP40 is a 2-pin header installed on prototype boards only.  It is a hard SAS controller reset, which will disable the SAS controller if a jumper is installed.  It is used for prototype debug only. 

 

Installing a jumper on E14 overrides the system ROM boot block protection circuit.  HOWEVER, the BIOS flash utility that HP posts on the web does NOT flash the boot block, even with E14 installed.  Will HP provide a utility to flash the boot block in the future?  I do not know the answer to that, sorry.   

 

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@Dan - the earlier revision boards (-001) do not have the E14 two pin header but looking at the board layout (traces, pull up resistors, etc.), E14 (in the -003) seems to coincide (location wise) with the two left pins of J144. But as you point out, if they are part of the SAS controller test circuitry, then there is no E14 on the -001 boards (?)

 

And to my prior inquiry, do you know if the bootblock is in 'lockdown' via fusible links in the flash?

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salsimp, the Z820 BIOS ROM IC is a serial flash part, like the Z800, but it is larger and uses different vendors.  As you wrote, BIOS utilities must support each flash ROM vendor. 

 

 

I do not know exactly why one cannot revert back to version 1.xx after upgrading to 2.xx.  It does not lock portions of the flash, like the bootblock.  BIOS updates are messier than one thinks, since some items (like SAS and network MAC addresses) are stored in parts of the ROM.  For example, if one removed the ROM IC and then programmed it with an external ROM burner (DO NOT TRY THIS, please), some specific motherboard information would be lost. 

 

HP does not support going back to an older 1.xx BIOS, since the 2.xx BIOS and above are compatible with the Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs.  HP never tested or validated going backwards, since newer versions have useful updates.  BIOS testing and validation is not trivial, it takes a long time to test it before release.  It is not simple. 

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salsimp, there is no E14 header or pads on the earlier -001 revision board.  E14 was put on the -003 board because J144 was deleted, thereby making room for E14.  The Z820 motherboard is multilayer, and routing is very crowded. 

 

There are no fusable links in the BIOS flash ROM, but I think there is a protected area that requires some unique programming for an in-board update.  BIOS updating and the tools to do it are outside of my area of expertise, but there are many considerations that I do not fully understand.  It is not a simple process as it might seem, but again, I do not know the specifics. 

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Dan - one last question for now ... the HPQFlash utility (from HP) that updates the BIOS in the Z820 first reads  (all 4096 blocks, which includes the current bootblock) the flash rom contents ("Saving Current Bios" message displayed) prior to writing the updated image. So here is the question: Do you know where that image is saved?

 

I have looked at all the Temp files in Windows during and after HPQFlash is executing and cannot find it. THe HPQFlash log just states 'Starting save' but does not say the location. The bootblock in the Softpack BIOS image does not contain machine specific information.

 

I just want to look at the current bootblock to find the MAC/UUID/Serial information and since we do not have a utility (other than HPQFlash, it seems) that can read the Z820 flash, this would help in at least understanding the contents.

 

 

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salsimp, give me a few days to research where the backup BIOS image is being saved. 

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@Dan_in_WGBU wrote:

salsimp, give me a few days to research where the backup BIOS image is being saved. 


After poking around for a couple more days, I am beginning to be convinced that the existing flash rom binary is read into memory and not a temporary file that can be retrieved.

 

In any event, even if we had the rom binary to customize, it would require a program that could flash it back on the Z820. Surely the HP Softpack BIOS update program could be modified, if one had the source, knowledge and energy to take it apart and change what must be absolute pointer values in the code (to flash all but the bootblock). Also, one must exist at HP but is proprietary.

 

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Nice discussion going on... Even I was trying diff utilities but none worked so far... just keep going guys... we will get there... 

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I bought 708464-001. Was told this is the right board. In fact, the bios date is 12/2011! Just because the part number matches, does not mean it's going to work for Ivy-Bridge cpus. So the information I received was partially wrong. The bootblock date must be March 2013 or later.  Check for the AS# on the right hand side of the part number sticker. All of my AS# 618266-001 are 2011. I found AS# 618266-003 0M revision and this board has a bootblock date of March 2013. Finally success! This board works just fine. So make sure you check the AS#. The part number was also different. The part number for the board that is working is 708610-001. SO the two numbers to look for are 708610-001, and AS# 618266-003. If you have the means to flash the bootblock, give it a shot, and let us know what happens. Good luck. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have, i will do my best to help out. Cheers!

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Also, use the HP Parts Surfer ( http://partsurfer.hp.com/ ) , it's the best place to find the correct part for your workstation. Most of the small parts are actually cheaper here, than outside sources. They are very efficient as well. I switched over the Z820s from passive cooling to liquid cooling and it was quite cheap. Cpus are running much cooler as well. Extremely easy to swap. I use it often. Enter your workstation part number, and your Country. For example: LJ452AV.

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