Primary Firmware Download

Pavel Roskin proski at
Sat Aug 2 19:55:53 EDT 2003

On Sat, 2 Aug 2003, Jouni Malinen wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 31, 2003 at 04:57:10PM -0400, Pavel Roskin wrote:
> > I don't know why you think that flashing primary firmware is not reliable.
> > It has always worked for me.  The problem is that HostAP cannot flash the
> > secondary firmware after that, so it was disabled in prism2_srec.
> Yes, that was the case before today ;-).

Jouni, you are the man!!!

> > 1) Figure out how to load primary firmware into the RAM.  I have no idea
> > how.  Try setting genesis mode.  You may need to ask Intersil, but it may
> > be very expensive and not very helpful.
> My current guess is to 1) set Genesis mode, 2) load PRI to RAM, 3) soft
> reset to PRI without Genesis mode, 4) RAM download secondary f/w using
> PRI. I have done some experiments with this and have added a new
> "download using Genesis mode" option for prism2_srec and the driver
> (although these are not yet in CVS). The problem is, this just does not
> seem to work the way I expect it to work; or I just cannot start/use the
> PRI-only card correctly.

Incidentally, linux-wlan-ng 0.2.1-pre11 was released yesterday, and one of
the new features is genesis mode support.  Genesis mode is turned on
automatically if the "start" address from the S7 record is 0x3f0000.  I
tried to load some primary firmwares into DWL-520 rev. A, but it didn't

Anyway, I'm yet to see any Prism hardware without flash, where anything
like that would be really useful.

> Yes, PRI-only operations should be implemented at some point. Btw, I
> would assume that removing the two octets that override "CRC-16
> signature" (0xC0DE) from the PRI f/w could work if the secondary
> firmware is able to handle new PRI interface..

Maybe.  Once we do it, it will be OK to ditch prism2dl forever.

> I have been somewhat reluctant to work with this since fixing the card I
> use in testing requires me to find a suitable Windows box somewhere and
> move the PCI card to it or changing drivers, etc.. Maybe I should just
> "kill" one card (by replacing that 0xC0DE signature with 0xFFFF) so that
> it is known to have working PRI, but no secondary firmware. That could
> be enough motivation to work on PRI-only mode to get the card fixed ;-).

I don't know what Windows has to do with it.  Disable the check in
prism2_srec that disallows programming primary firmware and program it.
You can always use linux-wlan-ng and prism2dl, preferably from to program the secondary
firmware if you give up and need the card.

> > 3) Combine primary and secondary firmware into one image and flash it in
> > one operation.  This gives you the easiest procedure, but requires a lot
> > of work to be done to create the image.
> Not really that much work..

Except that I meant combining the text by hand and completely forgot that
it can be done by prism2_srec.

> I have been able to download both primary and secondary firmware to
> flash with one command. I tested firmware upgrades and downgrades
> between (PRI 1.0.5, STA 1.3.4) and (PRI 1.1.1, STA 1.7.4) using a PCI
> Prism2.5 card. Since this has not yet been tested thoroughly, I would of
> course suggest being somewhat cautious about it, but I'm not aware of
> any issues with the operation. Anyway, please do report results if you
> test it.

I downgraded my DWL-520 Rev. A to PRI 1.0.4, STA 1.1.0, but now hostap_pci
crashes on load.  That's a theme for a separate thread once I do at least
minimal debugging.

> The new version of prism2_srec accepts two srec files in the command
> line:

Thank you very much!

Pavel Roskin

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