[ipxe-devel] [Realtek]: Possible bug - cannot load ipxe when intel-sata controller is set to RAID

Joshua C. joshuacov at gmail.com
Mon Apr 15 15:52:43 UTC 2013

2013/4/15 Michael Brown <mbrown at fensystems.co.uk>

> On 15/04/13 15:37, Joshua C. wrote:
>> Let me put more light into the situation: this is a msi p67a-gd65
>> motherboard with am 8MB winbond bios-chip. The bios file has about 2MB
>> "free" space so I can put some more files on the bios-chip itself. The
>> motherboard uses a cheap realtek trl8111e chip which is soldgered on the
>> motherboard and taps one of the pci-e lanes on the chipset. PCI-E 3.0 is
>> not supported by the p67 chipset. The stock bios uses the propriatery
>> realtek pxe stack which can be downloaded from the realtek official site
>> (current version as of today: 2.54). The pxe stack is integrated into
>> the bios file and I know that the realtek stack is less than 64kb in size.
>> I have my custom ipxe rom which comes at about 81kb in size. As I said
>> the bios flashes successfully and the ipxe works correctly as long as
>> the intel-sata-controller is not set to raid-mode. The intel-orom is
>> about 120kb and I know that some older versions on the intel chipset (i
>> think p57 was it) cannot work with newer oroms because of their size.
>> I have disabled all other controllers on the motherboard (I don't need
>> them anyway). The ones being active are usb, network and intel-sata.
>> I can't say to the support service that I'm using a custom orom image
>> because of the obvious reasons...
>> I can compile the mrom image but since both the orom and mrom are in the
>> same bios file I'm not sure if this can solve the problem. As I said
>> this is not an expansion card with its own memory/extension bars. I can
>> give it a try... Should I just compile both as stated here:
>> http://ipxe.org/download and put them in the bios file? If so how can
>> the mrom find the orom in this case??
> Still exactly the same diagnosis.  The size of the BIOS flash chip is not
> relevant here: what matters is the 128kB limit on option ROM space which is
> intrinsic to all PC BIOSes.  You are (almost certainly) running out of
> space in this region when using a relatively large iPXE ROM image _and_ the
> Intel ROM with RAID enabled.
> You can't use .mrom in this situation: .mrom requires a NIC which has a
> memory BAR at least as large as the expansion ROM BAR (not true with
> RTL8169-based NICs), and also works only when the ROM image is held on the
> NIC's own expansion ROM (rather than being embedded into the BIOS flash).
> 81kB is surprisingly large.  My standard build of bin/realtek.rom comes in
> at 65kB.  Which version of gcc are you using, and have you enabled any
> non-standard features?
> PCI BIOS 3.00 is not the same thing as PCIe gen3.  As I said before, you
> should check the ROM banner printed by iPXE, which will state the PCI BIOS
> version.
> Did you try the patch from my previous message?
> Michael

I'll try the patch later today (still at work). Yes, I've enabled some
extra features. Actually I wanted a substituation of the stock pxe-stack
with all possible features. I'll post my customizations later on with the
result from the test.

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