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Aladdin XT flashing with Xblast


Johny white
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I've got one of these Aladdin XT clones from Aliexpress and want to flash it with XBlast instead of using the openxenium for testing my boards I do ram upgrade on. From what I read some said that the SST49LF020A chip needs to be replaced with SST49LF080A.

Anyone has more idea of how this is exactly done or is there a write up about this? I've attached a picture of the SST49LF020A  that's on the Aladdin XT I got at the moment/

XT.JPG

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2 hours ago, MadMartigan said:

Have a read here

I got OGXBox Bios Flasher Disc v1.1.0, placed bios.bin in c:/bios/ and booted Xblast OS from the flasher disc, choose HDD flash, it then says confirm flash active bank? Hold RT, LT, Start and White to confirm. I do this few times and eventually xbox just reboots. Any ideas!!!

 

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50 minutes ago, colinmcm said:

Johny white     good chance the chip is fake on the board.   Manfacture id 57.     real is 52.

You're right. So how does one go from there? Ir I get SST49LF080A is there a way for me to flash this instead?

bios.jpg

bios2.jpg

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25 minutes ago, Johny white said:

You're right. So how does one go from there? Ir I get SST49LF080A is there a way for me to flash this instead?

<KaosEngineer: I removed the images to save space.  See them above.>

 

No, for the Aladdin XT you need a real SST49LF020A (Manufacturer ID: BF Device ID: 52).  

Edit: To update the BIOS on the modchip you have.  You have to remove the flash memory chip from the socket then reprogram it using an external flash programmer that connects to a PC.

The socketed flash chip that has been installed on many recently purchased Aladdin modchips has been a rebadged part - SST49LF002A (Manufacturer ID: BF Device ID: 57), not a real SST49LF020A that can be reprogrammed with Evoxdash or any other flash programming application that runs on the Xbox.

Edit 2: There may be a design flaw on the modchip's printed circuit board that is preventing the flash chip from being reprogrammable or CPLD code revision error/bug. However, I don't have one of these problem modchips to see if that's the case or not.  IIRC, Evoxdash and XBlastOS know the correct programming algorithm to flash an SST49LF002A flash device.

To make an Aladdin XBlast hybrid modchip that uses an SST49LF080A, you have to reprogram the Lattice CPLD chip (using a JTAG programmer) and replace the flash memory chip with the preprogrammed part you mention.

Edit 3: To preprogram the SST49LF080A, you need the external programmer previously mentioned. Or, have an already working Aladdin XBlast hybrid modchip that you can hotswap modchips or remove and socket a new SST49LF080A into the modchip to program the new device in the Xbox.

I keep thinking of new things to add to my original post. :)

 

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13 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

No, for the Aladdin XT you need a real SST49LF020A (Manufacturer ID: BF Device ID: 52).  

Edit: To update the BIOS on the modchip you have.  You have to remove the flash memory chip from the socket then reprogram it using an external flash programmer that connects to a PC.

The socketed flash chip that has been installed on many recently purchased Aladdin modchips has been a rebadged part - SST49LF002A (Manufacturer ID: BF Device ID: 57), not a real SST49LF020A that can be reprogrammed with Evoxdash or any other flash programming application that runs on the Xbox.

Edit2: There may be a design flaw on the modchip's printed circuit board that is preventing the flash chip from being reprogrammable or CPLD coding revision error. However, I don't have one of these problem modchips to see if that's the case or not.  IIRC, Evoxdash and XBlastOS know the correct programming algorithm to flash an SST49LF002A flash device.

To make an Aladdin XBlast hybrid modchip that uses an SST49LF080A, you have to reprogram the Lattice CPLD chip (using a JTAG programmer) and replace the flash memory chip with the part you mention.

Thanks for your reply, I can get hold of both SST49LF020A and SST49LF080A. I've also got few jtag and epprom programmers. If I get the SST49LF020A  can I just my eppprom pgorammer to flash the bios directly onto it?

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2 minutes ago, Johny white said:

Thanks for your reply, I can get hold of both SST49LF020A and SST49LF080A. I've also got few jtag and epprom programmers. If I get the SST49LF020A  can I just my eppprom pgorammer to flash the bios directly onto it?

Yes, as long as the external device / EEPROM programmer's software knows how to program an SST49LF020A.

 

Or without the new part, it knows how to program the current flash device - SST49LF002A - on your modchip.  No need to get another flash device unless you want to reflash the modchip while installed in the Xbox.

NOTE: If there is a bug in the CPLD's logic code or a printed circuit board layout error, a real SST49LF020A may not be reprogrammable either while the modchip is installed in the Xbox.  I don't know if anyone has tried replacing the fake SST49LF020A with a real SST49LF020A to see if the modchip's BIOS can be reflashed while installed in the console.

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16 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Yes, as long as the external device / EEPROM programmer's software knows how to program an SST49LF020A.

 

Or without the new part, it knows how to program the current flash device - SST49LF002A - on your modchip.  No need to get another flash device unless you want to reflash the modchip while installed in the Xbox.

NOTE: If there is a bug in the CPLD's logic code or a printed circuit board layout error, a real SST49LF020A may not be reprogrammable either while the modchip is installed in the Xbox.  I don't know if anyone has tried replacing the fake SST49LF020A with a real SST49LF020A to see if the modchip's BIOS can be reflashed while installed in the console.

Do you know the right size for the plcc socket for the SST49LF020A as I need to get one to connect to my eppprom programmers?

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6 hours ago, Johny white said:

Do you know the right size for the plcc socket for the SST49LF020A as I need to get one to connect to my eppprom programmers?

It's a standard PLCC-32 layout.  I'm not sure if this is what you are asking about?

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Thanks for all the replies, I now know where I stand but it clear that to program an SST49LF020A  or even SST49LF080A I need a decent EPROM programmer like TOP3000 or similar which sells for a nearly £120.00. So I'm just going to continue with the openxenium for now. Its shaem though as openxium doesn't seem to work with some of the 1.0 boards and  console keep fragging when trying to boot xblast bios from openxenium.

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14 hours ago, Johny white said:

Thanks for all the replies, I now know where I stand but it clear that to program an SST49LF020A  or even SST49LF080A I need a decent EPROM programmer like TOP3000 or similar which sells for a nearly £120.00.

You can use a Nano BIOS Programmer ($24 to $34 + S&H) to flash an SST49LF020A, 080A, 002A, etc.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313&_nkw=nano+bios+programmer&_sacat=0

Quote

So I'm just going to continue with the openxenium for now. Its shaem though as openxium doesn't seem to work with some of the 1.0 boards and  console keep fragging when trying to boot xblast bios from openxenium.

Yes, XBlastOS BIOS will not boot from the XeniumOS - OpenXenium issue #6 - XeniumOS: v1.0 Xboxes 'frag' when booting Cromwell/Xblast from XeniumOS.

[edit: Only on v1.0 Xboxes - other revisions ???. I don't see mention of them having a problem so don't use a v1.0 console with an OpenXenium to boot XblastOS.]

 

You can run the XBlastOS XBE version from a replacement dashboard once you boot a different modified BIOS.

However, if you need/want to boot directly into XBlast OS from a modchip flashed with its dot bin file - crcwell.bin, you will need to use another modchip, not the OpenXenium.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Thanks for your help with this so far @KaosEngineer. I got that Nano USB flasher today and tried to write the crcwell.bin to a SST49LF080A chip but the xbox frags and tries to boot 3 times then stays on after the 3rd boot but nothing happens. My guess is that I've written a 256 bin file to a 1mb bios and the xbox is not access the right address for it to boot?

I flashed the crcwell.bin to the SST49LF002A clone chip that came with the Aladdin XT and this booted Xblast OS successfully, again my guess is becuase the SST49LF002A is only a 256kb chip?

Any idea how to get the crcwell.bin or any other 256 bios to work with the SST49LF080A or is there way to put more than one bios on it? Reading more on this, I may also need to reprogram the CPLD on the Aladdin XT to handle 1mb bios

Edited by Johny white
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On 5/20/2022 at 4:34 PM, Johny white said:

Thanks for your help with this so far @KaosEngineer. I got that Nano USB flasher today and tried to write the crcwell.bin to a SST49LF080A chip but the xbox frags and tries to boot 3 times then stays on after the 3rd boot but nothing happens. My guess is that I've written a 256 bin file to a 1mb bios and the xbox is not access the right address for it to boot?

If you are flashing a 1MB flash chip you need to fill it with multiple copies of the BIOS.

You will need to create a 1MB dot bin file that contans 4 copies of the original crcwell.bin 256KB file.

In a cmd.exe window after cd'ing to the folder that contains the crcwell.bin file issue the following command:

copy /b crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin crcwell1MB.bin

However, I don't believe you can simply swap out the 256 KB SST49LF002A with a 1 MB SST49LF080A in the Aladdin XT.  Reprogram the 002A that it came with.

On 5/20/2022 at 4:34 PM, Johny white said:

I flashed the crcwell.bin to the SST49LF002A clone chip that came with the Aladdin XT and this booted Xblast OS successfully, again my guess is becuase the SST49LF002A is only a 256kb chip?

Yes, the 256KB crcwell.bin file filled the entire 256KB SST49LF002A flash memory chip. 

On 5/20/2022 at 4:34 PM, Johny white said:

Any idea how to get the crcwell.bin or any other 256 bios to work with the SST49LF080A or is there way to put more than one bios on it? Reading more on this, I may also need to reprogram the CPLD on the Aladdin XT to handle 1mb bios

You cannot swap out the 256KB SST49LF002A with the larger SST49LF080A flash chip until you have reprogrammed the Aladdin XT's CPLD to support it.  At least I don't believe you can.  I've not tried to do so.

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On the left is the flash-able version, on the right is the clone non-flashable.  I tired many methods with hot swapping and its a no go. I'm open to any ideas.

If you figure out how to flash the clones (Nano USB flasher or an y method) and can boot successfully please share.  Thank you.

azAfI3b - Imgur.jpg

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2 hours ago, Donnie-Burger said:

On the left is the flash-able version, on the right is the clone non-flashable.  I tired many methods with hot swapping and its a no go. I'm open to any ideas.

If you figure out how to flash the clones (Nano USB flasher or an y method) and can boot successfully please share.  Thank you.

KaosEngineer: I removed the quoted image see above.

Do all of the visible traces on the front and back of the two modchips look exactly the same?

Are there any differences however slight?

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17 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

Do all of the visible traces on the front and back of the two modchips look exactly the same?

Are there any differences however slight?

I can swap chips and they work the same - The flashable one is flashable and the non flashable one is non flashable no matter how I swap or hotswap with xbox / chip.  I'll double check but they look the same.

 

With my current batch :

33-4c-nh Flashable
33-4c-nhe Not Flashable

 

Edited by Donnie-Burger
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Ok, so both flash memory chips can be flashed in the working modchip.

For 33-4c-NHE designation, the Environmental suffix “E” denotes non-Pb solder. RoHS compliant part.

If you use Evoxdash to flash the two different flash memory chips in the working modchip, do they show two different device IDs?

Manufacturer ID for SST devices = BF

Real SST49LF020A Device ID = 52

And, the SST49LF002A(rebadged/labeled as an SST49LF020A from the non-working modchip) Device ID = 57.

 

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Update: @KaosEngineerusing the copy /b crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin+crcwell.bin crcwell1MB.bin you suggested has worked. I wrote the new 1MB bios to the SST49LF080A and the xbox booted XBlast OS.

I'm also able to program the SST49LF002A with any 256kb bios and boot this successfully. This NANO USB Programmer is really handy thing and nice to have. @Donnie-Burgeryou should give it a try.

NANO USB Programmer for PC M/B BIOS repairing with Economic shipping.
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3 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Ok, so both flash memory chips can be flashed in the working modchip.

For 33-4c-NHE designation, the Environmental suffix “E” denotes non-Pb solder. RoHS compliant part.

If you use Evoxdash to flash the two different flash memory chips in the working modchip, do they show two different device IDs?

Manufacturer ID for SST devices = BF

Real SST49LF020A Device ID = 52

And, the SST49LF002A(rebadged/labeled as an SST49LF020A from the non-working modchip) Device ID = 57.

 

Moving chip around has same result, can only flash Real SST49LF020A Device ID = 52.  I will order a Nano usb programmer.  Thanks to both of you guys.

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2 hours ago, Donnie-Burger said:

Moving chip around has same result, can only flash Real SST49LF020A Device ID = 52.  I will order a Nano usb programmer.  Thanks to both of you guys.

Thanks for the clarification.  Therefore, it is a problem with the relabeled/rebadged SST49LF002A (MFG ID: BF Device ID: 57) showing it to be an SST49LF020A that is causing the problem.  

Now I wonder if some of the earlier Aladdin XT Plus 2 modchips that have a different printed circuit board layout than the one you currently have has different CPLD programming to allow the SST49LF002A to be reflashed.

Why I'm wondering that possible CPLD code difference is because the SST49LF002A has been listed in evox.ini's Flash= llnes for a long time of devices I thought it could flash:

  • Flash = 0xbf57,"SST 49LF002A",0x40000

as are the SST49LF020 and SST49LF020A devices:

  • Flash = 0xbf61,"SST 49LF020 (Matrix)",0x40000
  • Flash = 0xbf52,"SST 49LF020A",0x40000

Although, so have many Winbond W49F0XXX devices which cannot be reflashed by evoxdash:

  • Flash = 0xda0b,"Winbond W49F002U",0x40000
  • Flash = 0xda8c,"Winbond W49F020",0x40000

and this wrong entry for a Winbond W49F020T

  • #Flash = 0x9000,"Winbond W49F020T",0x40000

commented  out (the first character of the line is a # character) of the evox.ini file I saw it in.  I think they were trying to make the Winbond TSOP show it was not flashable reading the first two bytes of the BIOS 0x0900, not x9000.  Someone goofed?

Like this line too which is wrong when the TSOP flash chip on the motherboard has not been write enabled:

  • Flash = 0x9000,"Chip not writeable",0x40000

It should read:

  • Flash = 0x0900,"Chip not writeable",0x40000
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12 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

Thanks for the clarification.  Therefore, it is a problem with the relabeled/rebadged SST49LF002A (MFG ID: BF Device ID: 57) showing it to be an SST49LF020A that is causing the problem.  

Now I wonder if some of the earlier Aladdin XT Plus 2 modchips that have a different printed circuit board layout than the one you currently have has different CPLD programming to allow the SST49LF002A to be reflashed.

Why I'm wondering that possible CPLD code difference is because the SST49LF002A has been listed in evox.ini's Flash= llnes for a long time of devices I thought it could flash:

  • Flash = 0xbf57,"SST 49LF002A",0x40000

as are the SST49LF020 and SST49LF020A devices:

  • Flash = 0xbf61,"SST 49LF020 (Matrix)",0x40000
  • Flash = 0xbf52,"SST 49LF020A",0x40000

Although, so have many Winbond W49F0XXX devices which cannot be reflashed by evoxdash:

  • Flash = 0xda0b,"Winbond W49F002U",0x40000
  • Flash = 0xda8c,"Winbond W49F020",0x40000

and this wrong entry for a Winbond W49F020T

  • #Flash = 0x9000,"Winbond W49F020T",0x40000

commented  out (the first character of the line is a # character) of the evox.ini file I saw it in.  I think they were trying to make the Winbond TSOP show it was not flashable reading the first two bytes of the BIOS 0x0900, not x9000.  Someone goofed?

Like this line too which is wrong when the TSOP flash chip on the motherboard has not been write enabled:

  • Flash = 0x9000,"Chip not writeable",0x40000

It should read:

  • Flash = 0x0900,"Chip not writeable",0x40000

Interesting, thank you for the info.  Glad we can flash these now to not have to worry about what we get when ordered.  Nano usb on order.

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Have you tried to use Gentoox Loader or XBlast OS to reflash the rebadged SST49LF002A part?

 

Edit: Wait, XBlast OS not being able to reflash the modchip is the whole reason why this thread was started.

 

P.S. I wonder if some of the Linux-based flashing discs can reflash it (e.g., eurasia_pro_generic_flash_disc_1_3)?

It uses a program named raincoat to flash a BIOS to the modchip/TSOP.

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23 minutes ago, KaosEngineer said:

Have you tried to use Gentoox Loader or XBlast OS to reflash the rebadged SST49LF002A part?

 

Edit: Wait, XBlast OS not being able to reflash the modchip is the whole reason why this thread was started.

 

P.S. I wonder if some of the Linux-based flashing discs can reflash it (e.g., eurasia_pro_generic_flash_disc_1_3)?

It uses a program named raincoat to flash a BIOS to the modchip/TSOP.

You can flash a chip using the Xbox version of Linux? Or I guess it would be more of a specific purpose build, No GUI?

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