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doc:techref:bootloader:pp_boot [2012/10/13 13:58]
doc:techref:bootloader:pp_boot [2015/10/16 22:24] (current)
tmomas Link changed from external to internal
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 +====== PP Boot ======
 +This is propietary bootloader with no open sources.
 +All trails point to Conexant as owner.
 +There are known evolutions of this PP boot, v1.5, v5.09... but little documentation in general.
 +===== PP Boot v1.5 =====
 +PP Boot v1.5 seems to be unique to the Conexant Solos CX946xx board as used in the Linksys [[:​oldwiki:​openwrtdocs:​hardware:​linksys/​wag54g2|WAG54G2]],​ [[:​toh:​xavi/​xavi_7968|Xavi 7968]], DG834, Billion 7402XL and some others.
 +However, the behaviour and look of pp-boot seems to change depending on the vendor. For instance, Xavi pp-boot seems to have ethernet uploading cancelled, which prevents firmware replacement.
 +On the contrary, routers WAG54G2, DG834 and Billion 7402XL have a recovery tool, allowing replacement of working firmware via pp-boot.
 +Preliminary investigation shows that the default config of PP Boot simply tries to boot the kernel at rom offset 0x20000.
 +==== Commands ====
 +Boot can be interrupted and a console entered by pressing space on the serial console (usually 38400 bauds) early in the boot sequence.
 +Pressing help or ? will pop the following text:
 +Commands to the console are:
 + ​configeeprom ​            ​display EEPROM configuration information
 + ​configflash ​             display FLASH configuration information
 +        mac <​address> ​              set MAC address
 +        networkboot {yes | auto}    boot auto-select Ethernet, USB or PCI
 +        networkboot ethernet ​       boot from Ethernet only
 +        networkboot usb             boot from USB only
 +        networkboot pci             boot from PCI only
 +        networkboot no              boot from FLASH
 +        networkboot ask             ​always prompt user for boot source
 +        copyimages {yes | no}       copy network booted image files
 +        flashfs {auto | emergency} ​ use automatic FLASHFS selection or
 +                                    force boot from emergency FLASHFS
 +        flashnetboot {yes | no}     flash boots auto network boots
 +        autolanrecover {yes | no}   ​attempt LAN recovery if flash corrupt
 +        initialise ​                 initialise configuration information
 +        listenv ​                    list environment variables
 +        setenv <key> <​value> ​       set environment variable
 +        unsetenv <​key> ​             unset environment variable
 +        pda read                    read PDA information
 + ​configpci ​                         display EEPROM PCI configuration
 + ​configpci set <idx> <​addr>​ <​data> ​ set PCI pair
 + dw <​address>​ [<​length>​] ​ dump words (hex/ascii)
 + enter <​address> ​         enter an image
 + erw <​wrdaddress> ​        read a single word from EEPROM
 + eww <​wrdaddress>​ <​value>​ write a single word to EEPROM
 + fdw <​address>​ [<​length>​] dump flash words (hex/ascii)
 + flash config ​            print flash configuration
 + ​help ​                    print this text
 + ​netboot [recover] ​       perform immediate network boot [in recovery mode]
 + ​quit ​                    leave the console
 + ​reset ​                   reset system
 + rw <​address> ​            read a single word
 + ​why ​                     reason for console entry
 + ww <​address>​ <​value> ​    write a single word
 + ​xmodem [fast] ​           download mkflash image using X-Modem
 +==== Structure =====
 +Taken from [[http://​​images/​Image/​OpenSourceCode/​Wireless/​Router/​AR-7284WnA/​AR-7284WnA&​|Edimax]] sources, the following code checks the integrity of a working pp-boot 1.5 binary (and enlightens us with its structure):
 +//       This reads the flash boot program from flash. This program needs
 +//       to comprehend the format that mkflash has built the flash in.
 +//       This is
 +//       Word 0: NP boot length in words (b)
 +//       Word 1: First word of NP boot
 +//       :
 +//       Word b:Last word of NP boot
 +//       Word b + 1: NP boot checksum
 +//       Word b + 2: Number of unused words (u)
 +//       :
 +//       Word b + u + 3: PP boot length (p)
 +//       Word b + u + 4: First word of PP boot
 +//       :
 +//       Word b + u + p + 3:Last word of PP boot
 +//       Word b + u + p + 4: Number of unused words (v)
 +//       :
 +//       Word b + u + p + v + 4: Configuration Information ​
 +===DISCLAIMER! ===
 + The following data is a proposal that hasn't be tested yet.
 +Analysing the code of [[http://​​images/​Image/​OpenSourceCode/​Wireless/​Router/​AR-7284WnA/​AR-7284WnA&​|Edimax]] sources, this is the booting sequence of a Conexant 94610:
 +  - Reading of flash 0x38000000 word 0: Amount of words (b) that will be copied to cache 0x50000000
 +  - Automatic copy from flash (0x3800000 + 1) -> (0x38000000 + b) to cache
 +  - Executing cache at 0x50000000
 +The NPboot is a piece of code compiled at cache address 0x50000000 that makes the first set-up, including SDRAM access. Because it must fit the cache, its size is very small, below 4kb.
 +After it, the same code has to jump back to the flash at (0x38000000 + b +1) and then continue booting sequence. This latter would be the place for u-boot as an example.