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 Post subject: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2020, 16:13 
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Joined: February 20th, 2019, 23:54
Posts: 18
Location: USA
Hello forum
I've been using a USB Universal programmer to extract the BIOS chip info from a USB drive, and insert it into a SATA compatible PCB.
This way I avoid soldering the BIOS chip.
Even though is an easy task, I found that BIOS info transfer works quicker.

Everything has being working ok, until I tried to do it with a 3TB, 4TB and 5TB WD 2.5" drives.
Somehow it doesn't work.
I've noticed that the BIOS file size in smaller drives is 512 bytes.
But the bigger drives comes with a 1024 bytes BIOS size.

Initially I didn't pay attention to the size, and I brick a couple of 4TB and 5TB WD drives.

If I'm correct, can anybody advice of an equipment that can handle BIOS copy and transfer bigger than 512, so I don't have to swap the chips.?

TIA


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2020, 21:06 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
Posts: 3443
Location: Hungary
Hello,

i am pretty sure you wanted to write 512 and 1024 kbytes. Anyway, your reader should be able to detect the capacity of the device by its ID, does it do that?
What kind of reader are you using?

pepe

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2020, 22:54 
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Joined: February 20th, 2019, 23:54
Posts: 18
Location: USA
Hello
Thank for your reply.
Yes, the reader detects it automatically.
But when I copy and save the file it saves it as 512 bytes.

So when saving the BIOS info from a 3TB or bigger WD hdd, it only copies half of the file, hence the drive doesn't even spin after a rewrite.
I tried to copy from backup, and that was when I noticed that the file size saved was also 512.

Its called CH341A Burner Chip USB Programmer

Image

If you know of a better one that can read/ write 512 and 1024, I will appreciate it.

Thanks !


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 2nd, 2020, 23:03 
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Joined: December 4th, 2012, 1:35
Posts: 3688
Location: Adelaide, Australia
I have had excellent results with these: https://www.embeddedcomputers.net/products/FlashcatUSB/

I also have a TL866II Plus USB minipro Programmer that also works fine


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 0:47 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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Location: Australia
That CH341A programmer is only suitable for 3.3V flash memories. Most modern PCBs use 1.8V chips, so you risk damaging the ROM and other chips on the PCB if you try to program in-circuit. Please do some research before you damage your customers' data.

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 1:06 
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Joined: December 4th, 2012, 1:35
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Location: Adelaide, Australia
Also it would be a good idea to add the part number of the chip, or even a photo. "The BIOS chip" is not really helpful in diagnosing why a certain programmer might not be reading it successfully.


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 8:03 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
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Location: Hungary
i have to agree with the above.
But i insist neither of the flash memories gave 512 bytes dump, it must have been 512 KBytes.
Are you able to add a device or at least change the capacity manually? Which is half success coz the bigger problem is Vcc as Franc said.

I don't have ideas of other readers you could use, but i guess the one HaQue recommended is fine. I use a programmer i built, which self adjusts Vcc during autodetection phase (can be modified later...)
pepe

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 11:28 
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Joined: February 20th, 2019, 23:54
Posts: 18
Location: USA
Great advise, thanks !
Pepe - you're right. I meant to say 512Kbyte
Here are the BIOS chips:


Attachments:
File comment: Succesfully transfer data.
This belongs to a PCB from a 2.5" 1TB WD. The BIOS size reports at 512 Kbyte

YES.jpg
YES.jpg [ 1.15 MiB | Viewed 4980 times ]
File comment: This one is from a WD 3TB 2.5" drive.
Here I noticed the 1024 Kbyte size for the first time.

NO.jpg
NO.jpg [ 1.17 MiB | Viewed 4980 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 13:33 
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Joined: January 8th, 2008, 5:21
Posts: 913
Location: uk
The CH341A programmer is cheap and cheerful (sometimes).

Putting the programming voltage to one side the first thing you have to do is discard the original manufacturers software and use another. This programmer is well known for creating incomplete dumps when used with the factory software.

Try using the Colibri software as it is more reliable.


Attachments:
Colibri_program-1.0.1.61-CH341A.zip [18.49 MiB]
Downloaded 218 times
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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 13:36 
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Joined: September 10th, 2018, 5:48
Posts: 68
Location: India
Better you remove the chip, clean the legs, and try to read several times to compare data for comparison. USB programmers are not always accurate according to the database.


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 3rd, 2020, 16:25 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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The W25X20CLVIG and IS25LQ020 have a supply voltage range of 2.3V - 3.6V, so your programmer can handle them. However you still need to make sure that the circuit is designed for 3.3V and not 2.5V.

https://www.winbond.com/resource-files/w25x20cl_a02.pdf
http://www.issi.com/WW/pdf/25LQ040.pdf

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 4th, 2020, 19:37 
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Joined: February 20th, 2019, 23:54
Posts: 18
Location: USA
Thank you for your reply.
If my programmer can handle both chips, I don't get why the hdds don't spin after replacing the BIOS content...
It happened to me with 3 different hdds. They all were 2.5" WD 3TB, 4TB and 5TB.

And when trying to reload the original content, I found out that the "saved copy" had only half the size (512 Kbytes) from the 1024 Kbytes that it originally had.

That is why I'm interested on getting a programmer capable of read/ write 1024 Kbyte, (and also work with specified voltage) and see if copying the BIOS from another WD drive, may allow me to at least re-use the messed up drives

Thank you for all the explanations.


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 4th, 2020, 19:42 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 12:02
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Both chips on the pictures are 256KB.

ANY WD 3TB 2.5" should have 512KB ROM chip (and they are 1.8V too, which makes your programmer incompatible with them), I guess you simply reading/writing wrong chips.

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 4th, 2020, 21:02 
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Joined: April 22nd, 2015, 20:32
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My bros,

Just flux and desolder + flux and solder them.

If you damage a ROM in this field of work you should consider other alternatives.

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 4th, 2020, 22:18 
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@Pc Guard, you can purchase a 1.8V adapter for your programmer. That will enable you to program recent chips.

However, you still don't appear to understand the problem with using 3.3V to program the chip in-circuit on a PCB that may have been designed for +2.5V. Moreover, you still don't understand that it is not the programmer that it seeing 1024KB chips as 512KB -- it is the software, or you, who are responsible for this mistake. You are going to cause your customers a lot of pain.

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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 4th, 2020, 22:37 
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Joined: September 10th, 2018, 5:48
Posts: 68
Location: India
Pc Guard wrote:
Thank you for your reply.
If my programmer can handle both chips, I don't get why the hdds don't spin after replacing the BIOS content...
It happened to me with 3 different hdds. They all were 2.5" WD 3TB, 4TB and 5TB.

And when trying to reload the original content, I found out that the "saved copy" had only half the size (512 Kbytes) from the 1024 Kbytes that it originally had.

That is why I'm interested on getting a programmer capable of read/ write 1024 Kbyte, (and also work with specified voltage) and see if copying the BIOS from another WD drive, may allow me to at least re-use the messed up drives

Thank you for all the explanations.



You really need a good programmer for your future cases. This one is the best i have got with smart reading.

Reference link:

https://hdddonor.in/product/hard-disk-d ... essionals/

PM me if you want to buy one, Ready Stock and ready to ship.


PS: Don't always look for that cheap solutions which may destroy your reputation and customer's data.

CH341A : i don't recommend it at all.


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 Post subject: Re: USB Universal programmer
PostPosted: December 6th, 2020, 17:08 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 12:02
Posts: 3420
Location: Chicago
fzabkar wrote:
You are going to cause your customers a lot of pain.

I thought I would never live to see the day Frank writes this. :mrgreen:

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