[MinnowBoard] Important - Firmware Update

Hawley, John john.hawley at intel.com
Fri Aug 15 01:50:29 UTC 2014

*Heads up*, we know there's been a few people who have hit a rather
obnoxious bug in the firmware that has the unfortunate side effect of
causing the board to no longer boot.  We've been investigating the
issue, and have been helping people who have hit the issue.

We are fairly sure we've root caused the issue, and we have an early
release of the firmware that should prevent it.  We are getting this out
there early because this is important enough that getting the fix out
faster is obviously better.

I've attached the firmware to the bug, but it can be directly downloaded


Instructions for flashing the firmware can be found here:


the overall bug information can be found here:


The abbreviated version of the issue (as we've so far found) that
there's enough data, during reboots, that gets written to the NVRAM to
eventually invoke the NVRAM reclaim process.  Unfortunately this can get
triggered at any stage in the boot up sequence and there (until
recently, I.E. this firmware), there was no indication anywhere (there
is now an indication on the serial console when this occurs), and this
was a fairly slow process (we fixed that too).  *IF* you were to power
cycle the board in the middle of the reclaim, it basically confused the
next boot and it can no longer boot.

There's 4 things that have changed in this firmware to note:

1) *IF* you interrupt the NVRAM reclaim process, it can now recover on
the next boot
2) The NVRAM reclaim process has been sped up by 9x (meaning you
hopefully won't notice it and get concerned)
3) There is now a message on the serial console mentioning that this is
happening.  (I've asked to try and have something on the screen, there
are problems there mainly due to timing)
4) On a slightly more minor note, there is a fix for some HDMI and a lot
of DVI monitors in now as well, so all displays should be working as
expected now.

Obviously I want to encourage everyone to upgrade their firmware, but
keep in mind this is an early version, and hasn't necessarily gone
through full validation, but we feel we need to get this to you sooner
than later.

Questions and issues, should get directed here, or more directly to me
at this e-mail address, or the mailing list.

- John 'Warthog9' Hawley
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