I would rather not reflow the board, although I might replace the caps soon. However if either of these steps kills the board I want to be able to attempt to put the custom BIOS into another board as the board itself is standard. I have information that someone else has done this and it worked, but its always a risk to do it.
I want to do this because the bit of equipment it is attached to is extremely expensive, 5 - 10,000 USD. Its not an option for me to just bin this device, and I would like to have as many options open to me at the start.
So I am looking for anyone with historical knowledge of the flash infrastructure on this board. Hopefully with an eye to creating a tool to handle the flashing of these devices as they become more common.
If this is an Intel-produced motherboard (i.e. a true Intel Desktop Board), you cannot move the firmware image (copy the contents of the flash component) from one board to another. The firmware image contained within the board's flash component includes (encrypted) board-specific branding information (serial number, MAC address, etc.) that cannot be moved.
In most case, it is not the BIOS that is specific to the connected device but more the software that runs on the board. You should try moving this software to a more-modern board.
Hope this helps,
The device I have is part of the old TLA5000 series logic analyzers. Despite their age they are expensive still to this day.
Theres not a lot around the net about them because they're only just coming into the range of personal possession.
Depending on model, state of the unit, and options you are looking at a wide price range.
Its rare to see even a badly broken one below $1000, esp in my country.
As you have gathered are basically a PC with a PCI plugin controller.
Its not clear if I need the custom BIOS, but I can imagine it could be involved in device services (licensing) along with enabling the additional hardware device in order for it to be recognised by the drives ( special type of enumeration ).
The original units use the IDE connector, later upgrading to the SATA connector whilst it seems the logic / interface / acquisition board stayed the same (still not clear on that).
The flash device changed form a multi-pin
Tektronix TLA500x : Intel D865GLC/ESO/PCD : SST49LF004B-33-4C-NH : 512K x8 (4 Mbit)
Tektronix TLA500xB : Intel D945GPT/ : SST25lF040A-33-4C-SAE : 4K x 128 (4 Mbit)
Because of the fact that support for PCI slots was dropped from the chipset quite a few years back now (not long after these board generations), later boards that do provide PCI slots supported them using a bridge I/C. I have seen many problems with older PCI cards being used in these PCI slots - not to mention the fact that there may not be compatible drivers for other than the original O/S.
Are your boards running at all? If so, can you find out what the BIOS version strings are? Better would be if you could get a dump the SMBIOS Structure table. You can respond with this information here or send it to me in a private message...
N.Scott.Pearson - thats great reply, and thanks for your help
The TLA Application can run on all windows O/S, however the drivers for the custom PCI board are limited.
The drivers are limited to the Windows 2000, Me, XP generation, and as I currently have the original board running WinXP+TLA App
My plan of attack is to try a generic board, so I have ordered a "close cousin" Intel D945GCPE MicroATX board.
After that I will get a more recent board, as you say, with a bridged PCI slot and try to bring WinXP up on that and try.
I had some limited success with drivers under Vista on the original system but the installer then starts to balk - I havent looked at that yet.
Finally Tektronix replied that they think the BIOS may be customized so the combination of generic board, and WinXP+Drivers are gone.
Here are the version string NT94510J.86A.3996.2006.0908.1329 on D945GTP. Let me know if you need anything else?
I will dump the SM tables when I get back from Korea this weekend.