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Aladdin XT + write enable


MarkC1970
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I have the same exact Aliexpress clone. Chip says it's an A, but it's really a 49lf020B (0xbf57 ).

I have the BT grounded, maybe I will try ungrounding it and see if it's writable. Both Xblast and EvoX recognize it, but won't flash. Definitely still write-protected.

Edit: ungrounding BT causes FRAG. D0 on XBOX is grounded. So not sure where to go from here...

Current        = 0x401094bd0f5bb490cb14413efdc63fc1

Edited by ajthenoob
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2 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

OK we have the answer.  The chip is really a 49LF002A (ID BF57) and the printing of 49LF020A on the top is fake.  I programmed the chip as a 002A in the external programmer and it boots fine with the new BIOS. 

Gotcha - so there's no way of doing this at all through the xbox? Dang.

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30 minutes ago, ajthenoob said:

Gotcha - so there's no way of doing this at all through the xbox? Dang.

I think there is a way assuming all the pins are wired up, which I think they would be as it is a clone after all.  The Lattice chip is copied and so programmed to only flash an 020A as that is what the real Aladdin used.  If it were reprogrammed it should be able to flash the 002A but someone cleverer than I would need to do that.

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I know there are different modes on the Aladdin and we obviously need the write enabled mode.  Mine have BT tied to ground and Pin 23 of the 49LF chip (Write Enable) is high so we are not write protected.  I am happy to try any other ideas...

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1 hour ago, MarkC1970 said:

Mine have BT tied to ground and Pin 23 of the 49LF chip (Write Enable) is high so we are not write protected.

For us normal folk, what does this part mean? Was that something you’ve done to your chip or do certain ones come this way? I’m tryin to wrap my head around your findings so far. 

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9 hours ago, MadMartigan said:

For us normal folk, what does this part mean? Was that something you’ve done to your chip or do certain ones come this way? I’m tryin to wrap my head around your findings so far. 

The 49LF series flash chips can be write protected by holding pin 23 low (0v) and write enabled by holding pin 23 high (3.3v).  On the Aladdin this is controlled by the Lattice chip but it is sending the pin high so the flash is not write protected.  Bang goes my idea LOL.

I am going to compare the data sheets of the 020A and 002A when I get chance because I don't thing there are a lot of difference.  Certainly they read the same as the consoles boot so it is just a writing issue.

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16 hours ago, MarkC1970 said:

I know there are different modes on the Aladdin and we obviously need the write enabled mode.  Mine have BT tied to ground and Pin 23 of the 49LF chip (Write Enable) is high so we are not write protected.  I am happy to try any other ideas...

Pin 23 - Write Enable (WE#  for parallel programming (PP) mode or FWH4 in LPC programming (FWH) mode) is an ACTIVE LOW signal.  If it is high when in FWH mode, the chip is in standby mode.  It should go low at the start of an LPC-bus cycle to initiate the LPC-bus operation to occur.

 

When in FWH mode, an high signal puts the chip into standby mode.  To program the flash memory chip in FWH mode, FWH4, pin 23, has to be pulled low at the start of an LPC-bus data write cycle.

Edit: Need to do a bit more research on this FWH4 pin function.  Write cycle waveform shows that the pin should go low at the start of an LPC-bus cycle then go high during operation.  However, if during the write cycle the FWH4 signal (pin 23) goes low an abort operation has been initiated.

Quote

Abort Mechanism

If FWH4 is driven low for one or more clock cycles during a FWH cycle, the cycle will be terminated and the device will wait for the ABORT command. ...

Quoted text are excerpts from the SST49LF00xA datasheet:

Quote

The device enters standby mode when FWH4 is high and no internal operation is in progress. The device is in ready mode when FWH4 is low and no activity is on the FWH bus.

There are two other pins that control write-protection of the flash memory chip - TBL# ( pin 8 ) and WP# (pin 7).  These two pins should be held high during programming.

Quote

An active low signal at the TBL# pin prevents Program and Erase operations of the top boot sectors. When TBL# pin is held high, write protection of the top boot sectors is then determined by the Boot Block Locking register. The WP# pin serves the same function for the remaining sectors of the device memory. The TBL# and WP# pins write protection functions operate independently of one another.

SST49LF00xA Pinout

902451831_SST49LF00xA32-leadPLCCPinAssignments.png.5cf6ea670d5de9bf3c232dfe8287f6bb.png

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Hmm, pin 29 IC is used to select between PP and FWH modes.

Quote

IC      Interface Configuration Pin

Type - I = Input    Interface: PP and FWH

This pin determines which interface is operational. When held high, programmer mode is enabled and when held low, FWH mode is enabled. This pin must be setup at power-up or before return from reset and not change during device operation. This pin is internally pulled- down with a resistor between 20-100 KΩ.

SST49LF002A pins FWH0, FWH1, FWH2, and FWH3 (FWH[0..3]) connect to the Xbox's LPC-bus pins LAD0, LAD1, LAD2, and LAD3 (LAD[0..3]), respectively.

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@KaosEngineerFor the 020 (MODE pin is in same spot as IC pin):

Quote

When held high, programmer
mode is enabled and when held low, LPC mode is enabled.

So they both enter the write mode the same way, it's just a matter of how the write mode is utilized it seems. The 020's LPC write cycle is pretty different from the 002's FWH write cycle. That is going to make things difficult.

In fact, the write cycle even starts the same way, with pin LFRAME in the 020 being equivalent to the pin FWH4 in the 002.

Edit: Now I'm even more confused. The datasheet for the 002B seems to match the write cycle for the 020A. https://www.datasheetq.com/datasheet-download/884522/1/SST/49LF002B

So why can't the Aladdin write to it by default, then? All I get is stuck at "Erasing" in evox, and a reboot in Xblast.

Edited by ajthenoob
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  • 3 weeks later...

What does this mean?   You sourced a genuine 020a chip.   I cant remove the chip on this fake crap.  Dont have the tools or the know how.    But if someone else does.    I would send them my two crap chips and some fee to redue mine would be ok with me.

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Sorry, let me be clear.  We are talking only about the Aladdin clones.

The flash memory chip in the socket is labelled as a 49LF020A but it is fake, the chip is really an 002A.  Both chips read the same way and so function fine to boot the XBOX but they write a different way and so only a real 020A will flash (write).

I you back read they thread you will see that the 002A chips flash fine in an external programmer but obviously will not flash on the Aladdin.  My post was to confirm the programming of the Lattice chip on the Aladdin was OK and it will flash a genuine 020A if you can source one.

I was sent mine by someone online who wanted to confirm if a genuine 020A would flash in the Aladdin and it did.  Sourcing them is hit and miss because there are a great many fakes.  You can tell quickly by loading up the EvoX dashboard, if it reports the chip as a BF52 then it is real and if it is anything else (the 002A chip report as BF57) them the chip is fake and will not flash in the Aladdin.

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4 hours ago, colinmcm said:

What does this mean?   You sourced a genuine 020a chip.   I cant remove the chip on this fake crap.  Dont have the tools or the know how.    But if someone else does.    I would send them my two crap chips and some fee to redue mine would be ok with me.

If you have one of the Aladdin clones the 49LFxxx chip will be in a socket.  The Aladdin clone we are chatting about is pictured in page 1 of this thread by MadMartigan.  If your chip is soldered down it is more difficult but still possible to sort.

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  • 2 weeks later...
4 hours ago, MadMartigan said:

This topic should be pinned if there was ever one worthy of it. With the shortage of chips right now, so many people are opting to go with these Aladdin chips. More and more questions are popping up here and on Reddit. 

Do you have one of these problem modchips?

If so, have you tried replacing the fake SST49LF020A (MFG ID: BF, Device ID: 57) with a real SST49LF020A (MFG ID: BF, Device ID: 52) to see if it is reprogrammable while installed in the Xbox using Evoxdash, XBlast OS XBE version or other BIOS flashing application?

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On 4/28/2022 at 8:46 AM, colinmcm said:

markc1970   I have the same one.    If i replace the chip with a real one,  then i could flash it with any program and bios.

I believe so unless there's another problem with these modchips in the CPLD's logic code or a printed circuit board layout flaw.

Can you try replacing the flash chip with a real SST49LF020A (MFG ID: BF, Device ID: 52) and let us know the result?

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37 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

Do you have one of these problem modchips?

If so, have you tried replacing the fake SST49LF020A (MFG ID: BF, Device ID: 57) with a real SST49LF020A (MFG ID: BF, Device ID: 52) to see if it is reprogrammable while installed in the Xbox using Evoxdash, XBlast OS XBE version or other BIOS flashing application?

I do. Someone else had asked Mark where he sourced a true 020A chip. I'll have to read back but I don't think it was answered. I am interested in possibly acquiring some and a flasher. I found a link you posted like 3 years ago for the flasher. 

Edited by MadMartigan
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