CH341A 24XX 25XX Series EEPROM Flash USB Programmer
 
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CH341A 24XX 25XX Series EEPROM Flash USB Programmer  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Illustrious Member Admin
Joined: 3 years ago
 

In an effort to collect more firmware BIN files for our community, I bought an EEPROM USB programmer [CH341A 24XX 25XX Series]. @nando4 advised me about this possibility several years ago but I never felt comfortable taking on this task. The kit is affordable but using one takes careful steps. Fortunately I have two TUL prototype Thunderbolt 3 mainboards to test. Here are the components this EEPROM Flash Bios USB Programmer comes with.

The most crucial step is the clipper placement onto the EEPROM contact points. Be patient by resting the clipper flush on the mainboard first then slowly align the metal contacts to the chipset. It takes some practice to eventually get a feel for when a good clip happens.

Next is the #1 CS (Chip Select) orientation. The Winbond chip has a tiny circle on its surface indicating #1 contact for CS. Make sure to keep the clip, cable, and USB adapter in the right order. The example below shows the USB adapter board telling us CS is at the top right. The pink wire on the cable is CS wire. You'd notice I placed pin-connector board incorrectly because #1 is not at top right.

Using the USB adapter itself is straight forward. There's a lever to secure the pin-connector board in place. Placement of this board depends on the EEPROM series. For 25XX chip, it's the 8-contacts towards the USB connector.

I used my Alienware 13R3 running Windows 10 to install drivers for this EEPROM Flash USB Programmer. The package arrived without any manuals or software at all. Here's a software package I found that seems to work well.

 


Windows 10 should be able to detect and install basic drivers for this adapter. I manually ran driver setup files to make sure the programmer has full compatibility.

The connected EEPROM USB adapter should show up as [USB-EPP/I2C... CH341A]. Once driver installation is completed, I was able to run CH341A software.

First step was to click the [Detect] button to make sure the clip was on correctly. If the connection was no good, you'd see Unknown output instead of the EEPROM specs.

Next was to do a [Read] then [Save] the original firmware BIN for future restore if needed.

To program a different firmware, I clicked [Open] to select the desired BIN file then [Program] it. Once the programming was done, I clicked [Read] then [Verify] to make sure the opened firmware BIN and the firmware onboard match.

 

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage, Sounds like we are well-armed to tackle the Intel firmware industry :p

 

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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@mac_editor,  Yes we're ready to lock and load. 😈 

 

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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@itsage, With this tool, procuring firmware should be a cinch. I should probably grab one too. The only barrier to custom firmware remaining now is ability to modify PD in firmware. Still haven’t had much time to look into it.

 

This post was modified 2 months ago

purge-wranglertbt-flashpurge-nvdaset-eGPU
Insights Into macOS Video Editing Performance
2018 MacBook Pro 15" RP560X + RX 5700 XT (Mantiz Venus)

Master Threads:
2014 15-inch MacBook Pro 750M
2018 15-inch MacBook Pro


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Yukikaze
(@yukikaze)
Prominent Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

A word of warning: I believe the Thunderbolt Firmware contains a crypto signature. As a result, modifying it may not be possible, as the controller may be authenticating on power-on, and denying boot to a non-authenticated Firmware image.

Obviously, backing up the original is well advised.

Want to output [email protected] out of an old system on the cheap? Read here.
Give your Node Pro a second Thunderbolt3 controller for reliable peripherals by re-using a TB3 dock (~50$).

"Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it."- Robert A. Heinlein, "Time Enough for Love."


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

@yukikaze,  Definitely not an easy task. Even programming the Mantiz Venus FW onto the early prototype mainboard didn't work. The prototype has a different TB3 controller. The board completely refuses to power on.

 

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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

How do the binaries created from reading the EEPROM with the EEPROM USB programmer compare with binaries used by the various software firmware flashers?

For example, if you use the GC-TITAN RIDGE firmware flasher to flash v43, how does the result compare?

If you have a PC running Linux, can you read the firmware using sysfs? How does that compare with the result created by reading the firmware with the EEPROM USB programmer?

 

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itsage
(@itsage)
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@joevt, Very valid concern and one I explore next. I dual-boot this AW13R3 with Pop!_OS 19.10 so it's the same hardware component. Do you have a reference for firmware flasher software in Linux?

 

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joevt
(@joevt)
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Posted by: @itsage

@joevt, Very valid concern and one I explore next. I dual-boot this AW13R3 with Pop!_OS 19.10 so it's the same hardware component. Do you have a reference for firmware flasher software in Linux?

I've never tried it so I don't know if it works.
https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v4.13/admin-guide/thunderbolt.html

Actually, that's an old version. I just read this which also mentions USB4:
https://www.kernel.org/doc/html/v5.6-rc3/admin-guide/thunderbolt.html

 

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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