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Initial Deployment

Intro

This document is a guide for the initial installation of Dasharo on a supported device. It assumes some knowledge about external flashing and is primarily aimed at technicians performing initial installation and not for end users of the devices.

Installing Dasharo

Initial Installation

During the initial installation of Dasharo, you should deploy the supported Intel ME version (and configuration) on the device. Since vendor firmware has enabled Intel Boot Guard and BIOS Guard, it is not possible to do this from within the operating system and external flashing of the whole flash chip using a programmer like the CH341a is required.

Publicly released binaries do not contain ME binary. If you need an Intel ME update for your device, contact us via already established commercial support channel.

Preparation

Install flashrom:

apt update
apt upgrade
sudo apt -y install flashrom

BIOS installation

Steps for installing Dasharo BIOS:

  1. Remove the bottom cover of the laptop.

    ns5x chips

    nv4x chips

  2. Disconnect the primary battery. (1)

  3. Disconnect the CMOS battery. (2)
  4. Attach a WSON-8 probe to the SPI flash chip. (3)
  5. Backup the current firmware, in case you want to be able to restore it at some point:

    flashrom -p ch341a_spi -r bios_backup.rom
    
  6. Install Dasharo BIOS, replacing [path] with the path to the firmware image you want to flash, e.g. novacustom_ns5x_adl_full_v1.4.0.rom

    flashrom -p ch341a_spi -w [path]
    
  7. Detach the WSON-8 probe.

  8. Connect the primary battery and reconnect the CMOS battery
  9. Power on the laptop. The laptop may shut down once after training the memory.

EC firmware installation

Currently, the latest flashrom release lacks support for flashing ITE embedded controllers such as the ones present in NovaCustom laptops. Because of this, we need to build flashrom from source. Run the following commands on the target laptop:

  1. Install build dependencies:

    apt update
    apt upgrade
    apt install git build-essential debhelper pkg-config libpci-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libftdi1-dev meson
    
  2. Obtain source code:

    git clone https://github.com/dasharo/flashrom.git
    cd flashrom
    
  3. Build flashrom:

    make
    sudo make install
    
  4. Make a backup of the EC firmware:

    Remember to store the backup on the separate device in case flashing fails.

    flashrom -p ite_ec -r ec_backup.rom
    
  5. Install the EC firmware:

    Warning: After running this command, the internal keyboard and power button will stop responding until the device is power cycled (all power must be removed, including the internal battery). Be prepared to disconnect the battery after updating the EC.

    Alternatively, you can boot up the laptop without the battery connected and power it from an AC adapter. Then, once the EC update is complete, disconnect the AC adapter to power off the laptop.

    Run the following command, replacing [path] with the path to the EC firmware you want to flash, e.g. novacustom_ns5x_adl_ec_v1.4.0.rom

    flashrom -p ite_ec -w [path]
    

Successful installation of Dasharo EC finishes the initial deployment process.

Automatic deployment

For 11th Gen Intel Core based models, Dasharo Tools Suite zero-touch initial deployment is available. Follow instructions over at DTS documentation to deploy Dasharo on your machine.