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greblus

U1MB flasher - timeout error.

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Hi.

 

I'm having this "compulsive obsessive disorder" kind of a problem with myself in the subject of U1MB flashing. Recently I've bricked my U1MB using latest version of the flasher included with U1MB Rom Generator. Original flash chip was AM29F0408 and i simply thought it was incidental thing, so i ordered two pre-programmed chips from Lotharek and all was fine till I felt the feeling to try to do something with it again. Of course my further experiments resulted in bricking the two chips as well :) (but now after my last attempt at least i know that the flasher probably will work after mounting the atr using MATR tool). The two chips i got from Lotharek were SST 39SF040. I went to my favourite electronic shop today and got them programmed for 5PLN/pc. Somehow the guy couldn't program the AM29F0408 but he programmed another new one for my collection of flash memory chips, so it's not a big deal but now the question:

 

Have you expirienced "timeout errors" during the erasing part of the flashing process? The flashing proceeds but fails after i don't know, maybe 40 banks. Any obvious reason for it to happen? Would be great to have a working flasher. I really don't need a flash programmer at home :).

Edited by greblus

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Yes I have experienced this also.. with The RomGenerator, but I have a PLCC programmer so I haven't complained yet..

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Have you expirienced "timeout errors" during the erasing part of the flashing process? The flashing proceeds but fails after i don't know, maybe 40 banks. Any obvious reason for it to happen? Would be great to have a working flasher. I really don't need a flash programmer at home :).

 

Try this with the usual disclaimer: "at your own risk". I never had any lockups but can't help with power outages ;). It uses the SDX flasher which always worked for me. AMD 29F0408 is pin compatible with the original AMIC 29040BL and has the same 64KB sector unit, so the flasher should work.

Edited by atari8warez

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Try this with the usual disclaimer: "at your own risk". I never had any lockups but can't help with power outages ;). It uses the SDX flasher which always worked for me.

 

I tried. But the flasher doesn't detect SST 39SF040 and asks whether flashing was enabled. This time I didn't want to risk without checking here first.

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I tried. But the flasher doesn't detect SST 39SF040 and asks whether flashing was enabled. This time I didn't want to risk without checking here first.

 

SST 39SF040 doesn't look like exactly compatible with the original AMIC 29040BL. Pin A18 shows as not connected on SST 39SF040 datasheet and the sector size is 4KB, so I am not sure......

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The 'problem' is indeed the detection of the chip and the differences between them. In fact they do the same job but when the programmer expects a flash chip with a 64KB sector size, and it simply gives ONE erase instruction for that 64KB, a flash chip with 4K sectors will only erase 4KB... so the other 15 4K banks are not erased. This will lead into trouble.

 

The 'programming' sequence is likely not the issue, but the erasing is. I think that author of flasher could rather easily fix this for you.

 

I had the same issue when I was coding my SIC! tool(s) where one can backup the ramdisk to the SIC cart. Thanks to phaeron I could do some experiments with other types of flash chips in Altirra, since my SIC! carts only had the 39SF040 (the one you are talking about).

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So far, I have flashed my 2 U1MB's probably about 6-7 times each with the full 512k and only had one glitch where it failed on verifying of a bank. When prompted to try again, it passed the 2nd time...

 

One of the potential problems greblus had was that he used a SIO2PC/USB device on a Linux PC (software unknown) when the *timeout* occurred, which may have been part of the problem?

 

The U1MB flasher whether used on The ROM Generator or Rom Builder could have the same issue...

 

@greblus, what software were you using on your Linux PC for the SIO emulator?

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The U1MB flasher whether used on The ROM Generator or Rom Builder could have the same issue...

 

@greblus, what software were you using on your Linux PC for the SIO emulator?

 

The reason I suggested him to use the ROM Builder is because I thought the built-in flasher in the ROM Generator is different than the external one. So it is the same as the SDX flasher then?.... and yeah the SIO2PC part could have been the culprit as well.

Edited by atari8warez

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The reason I suggested him to use the ROM Builder is because I thought the built-in flasher in the ROM Generator is different than the external one. So it is the same as the SDX flasher then?....

 

Yes, the current SDX flasher that's stored within The ROM Generator is from the SDX 4.46 package.

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The flasher supports 28 flash ROM chips, and 'ST39SF040' is among them. So I am surprised that it does not get recognized. What is the manufacturer/chip code for that chip?

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From the docs/source code I've seen from various sources on the web, all have SST_ID = 0xBF and the chip code = 0xB7, same as in the A8 flasher tools.

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post-10165-0-09428700-1363386760_thumb.png

 

From the specs: SST39SF040 - speed - suffix1 - suffix2

Read access speed = 70ns

Suffix1: Endurance =10,000 cycles, Temp Range = Industrial

Suffix2: Package type

 

The Read access speed can vary from 45ns to 70ns on those chips, so maybe increase the wait time a bit?

Edited by AtariGeezer

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One of the potential problems greblus had was that he used a SIO2PC/USB device on a Linux PC (software unknown) when the *timeout* occurred, which may have been part of the problem?

 

@greblus, what software were you using on your Linux PC for the SIO emulator?

 

I used aspeqt through sio2pc and initially thought that it may be related, that's why i also tried to run the flasher directly from SDX after mounting the atr in MATR tool but for the SST chip the flasher failed exactly the same way. Moreover, timeout error happens on erasing the chip (so it's not "communication related" and seems that the flashing error which is following it is coming from this first problem - chip is not erased, then flashing (read write verify) fails.

 

But I think that flashing of the original AM29F0408 failed due to aspeqt/prolific/linux usb bug (as far as i remember erasing of that chip went fine).

 

And to answer Drac030's question: latest flasher, used in the Rom Generator tool created by AtariGeezer is recognizing the SST chip correctly but can't erase it and it happened for me at least two times in a row. The flasher used in the alternative Rom builder (the one made by atariwarez) seems older and doesn't identify the chip.

Edited by greblus

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I suppose that sic flasher is based on same code?

 

There is also a problem with 39sf040 when you chose in flasher to not erase entire chip but only a partly erase. Then it freezes ... So perhaps there is a small bug in a part of the code?

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The flasher currently works with 64k sectors, so a chip with 4k ones is the problem here, especially during initial erase. I will add support for this in the coming 1-2 weeks.

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I am also experiencing the same problem. It says:

 

Flash ROM: ST39SF040, 512KB

 

Erase 8*64 KB ... timeout error

 

Bank 0: Read...Flash...

 

ERROR: Programming Failed!

 

Retry ?

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SDX 4.46 flasher should now support 39SF040 flash chip (e.g. Ultimate 1MB from Lotharek). Use the updated SDX446_ultimate.atr to flash (included in the image download zip).

  • Like 2

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Hi trub,

 

the flasher you sent me worked great, until something happened today. I was talking on the phone, a little distracted while setting up the flash. I have no idea what happened, that's the disturbing part. All I get is a green screen that slowly fades to red. The OS never gets control. help+reset does nothing. Game carts that normally take over the system do nothing.

 

I guess I need to pull the chip and re-program it. I don't think my very old programmer will do it. I read somewhere about putting the chip in an Atarimax cart to flash it. Do you know how that works?

 

-K

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Kyle,

Can you send me the ROM file you tried to flash ? Did the flasher report any verify errors ?

Flashing the OS part of Ultimate is always a challenge. If something goes wrong after erasing the OS area, you end up with a bricked computer (RAM backup of the OS is used by the flaser until reset).

The flash chip is PLCC so probably you will need an adapter for your programmer.

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Thanks for the reply, trub,

 

I have a Sunrise Z-1000B, and a Needham's SA-20. I have PLCC adapters, but I believe both programmers are far too old to support those chips. I will attach the file I flashed. I only made changes to the SDX part on the last flash, that is what I can't understand. I changed CONFIG.SYS in the SDX editor program (which I have used before), and moved some BASIC and XEGS slots around. I didn't change any of the OS files at all since my last successful flash.

 

-K

 

U1MFlash.atr

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Oops, sorry, here's the ROM file only.

 

Also, for some reason, Star Raiders and Asteroids don't work, no matter where I put them, in a BASIC slot, or an XEGS slot. Those ROM files *DO* work in Altirra, though.

 

The other ROM images in both BASIC and XEGS do work fine.

 

This is in a 1200XL that I wired to be XEGS ROM compatible. Everything (but those two games) was working fine until the bad flash.

 

Thanks for your help!

 

-K

test1.rom

Edited by Kyle22

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Repairing Ultimate1MB flash chip using Maxflash8MB

  1. Take another Atari computer (QMEG OS is preferable).
  2. Remove the two PLCC flash chips from MF8.
  3. Insert the bad U1MB flash into the left socket of MF8 (leave the right one empty).
  4. Insert MF8 into the computer.
  5. Boot with the attached ATR.
  6. When MF8 flashing is done, you may use the programmed flash in the U1MB.

u1mb_recover_mf8.atr

  • Like 1

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