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ATIFLASH allowing force flash PMC PM25LV512 serial flash memory: is it possible?


New Member
Apr 22, 2008
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My HIS 3870 BIOS is effectively blank (contains all 0xFF - found out by doing ATIFLASH -s 0 c:saved.bin) and nothing I've tried allows me to recover it by flashing the original or a modified version (I downloaded various).

The reason appears to be because the HIS 3870 uses a PMC PM25LV512 serial flash memory chip and ATIFLASH and ATIWinFlash do not have a force flash routine for this type of flash memory chip. :(

I contacted HIS about it and they're saying I should RMA it to get it fixed but it'll cost so much to pay shipping to HK (from UK) and I also have to pay the return shipping too!

So it looks like I require a version of ATIFLASH supporting a force flashing option like -pmc (for the PMC chip) similar to the current -st -sst -atmel options.

Anyone know if one exists or if there is any chance one will exist in a reasonable time frame?

Just for reference:

The PC doesn't POST with only the HIS 3870 installed so I use an ATI PCI 9250 to get the PC to boot.

ATIWinFlash (latest) reports unable to read BIOS when I run it and the next run it doesn't even look for the 3870 anymore.

ATIFLASH 3.49 (latest) with parameter -i shows the 3870 but under the pass column it says fail and also the 3870's fan goes to full speed and stays full speed until I power down.

Strangely the 3870 shows up only once to either ATIFLASH or ATIWinFlash and subsequent runs it's not detected anymore until I power down and switch on again.

Also when I run ATIFLASH with parameter -ai it displays the asic family (RV670/M88) and the flash memory type (PM25LV512 (64 KB)) and also a line saying No VBIOS.

When I run ATIFLASH -f -p 0 3870.bin (first thing after DOS cd boots) it finds the 3870 and attempts to flash it but says unable to erase the bios and doesn't proceed with the flash.

Also I have an old X1800GTO (has a ST flash memory chip) so I did some flash testing with ATIWinFlash and it failed after attempting to erase the VBIOS resulting in a dead card so I booted to DOS and it also had No VBIOS when using the -ai parameter. It was easy to fix though because it has a ST flash memory chip as the parameters -f -p 0 x1800gto.bin restored the BIOS.

If ATIFLASH 3.49 could flash my 3870 when there is a BIOS on there then surely even though it's considered blank (No VBIOS) it should actually still be able to flash it, it's just the way ATIFLASH is programmed by ATI that is stopping it from doing so?

I'd like to know if anyone thinks it'd be worthwhile issolating the flash routine in ATIFLASH 3.49 (I'm a programmer) and modifying the workings of ATIFLASH so it just goes straight to flashing the BIOS without trying to erase it first or something like that to get it able to flash my 3870's BIOS?

Please HELP! :D