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Initial Deployment


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 the 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 the ME binary. If you need an Intel ME update for your device, contact us via an already established commercial support channel.


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)

    For TGL devices use SOIC clip instead of WSON

  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
    cd flashrom
  3. Build flashrom:

    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.

Initial deployment

To ensure a smooth deployment process, it is recommended to use the latest version of DTS available from the releases page. Once you have obtained it, you can then proceed with following the Dasharo zero-touch initial deployment section procedure. This will help you set up Dasharo effectively and without manual intervention.

If something went wrong or EC installation was not done, the firmware will print an error string during boot:


In such case please follow the EC firmware update instructions for a specific board variant.