I'm trying to reverse a BIOS of an industrial PC in order to repair it. The device is based on an ETX-formfactor mobo, obscure Italian SECO M671, very similar to an old Kontron PM-15(C), but with a custom OEM BIOS. I.e., Intel Celeron M (mobile = Dothan family) processor + 82855 Northbridge + 82801 (ICH4) Southbridge. BIOS is stored on an Intel Firmware Hub-compatible flash chip (sst49lf004b), which is connected to the LPC bus.
The mobo started to refuse to POST (blank screen and nothing happens) with POST sequence d0, 00, d1, d2. I don't know why there is 00h code (it usually means that control is handed to the OS) and I tried to ignore it. d0, d1, d2 pattern corresponds to AMIBIOS8, I thought, (and yes, noone remembers the bios manufacturer) and means bad bootblock checksum.
Then I've made a dump of the contents of the flash chip with a parallel programmer. But they turned out to be fine, exactly equal to the backup file (taking into account some offset differences)! Actually, except one thing: flash chip contains (far apart from the "main" code section) a second VGA BIOS module which I've not found in the backups. But I suppose it can't hurt that much and it is there probably for some optional functionality.
So either a bad LPC controller inside flash chip (because programming interface is parallel, this is still possible), or I've misinterpreted the POSTcodes. Also I've compared my backup file to some AMI update files and found no similarities. So it seems BIOS reversing and understanding D2 is now my only option. Probably once I disassemble it right, I'll just have to search for immediate 0xd2-s and find the right one).
I've loaded flash chip image into IDA, looked up chipset datasheet (which, BTW, I found incredibly unclear on the topic of BIOS memory mapping) and corrected flash chip addresses accordingly, i.e. copied upper 128K of BIOS ROM to 0xE0000 to 0xFFFFF 16-bit analysis section, and also copied everything that fits to High-BIOS area FFE0_0000h-FFFF_FFFFh (32-bit analysis section, because of 32-bit address). Then started analysis at 0xFFFF0 (x86 reset vector, 16-bit real mode). Processor setting is P6 (as far as I can tell Dothan family is based on P6 arch) And this is what I get (note that F7A1 and the pointer in red both lead to memory which is not mapped to BIOS ROM, at least as far as I can tell from the datasheet):
Obviously, 32-bit analysis (at FFFF_FFF0) of the first 16 bytes executed makes no sense too, since the processor starts up in real mode.
Keyboard controller access (first check if it's busy, then enable A20 - standard x86 thing) tells me that I was probably right with reset vector memory mapping.
But why does it jump to some empty locations? What am I doing wrong? Flash chip image and backup file: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MwpiqiRK3N9ZBajyiOUuZde522236gmq?usp=sharing
EDIT: The pointer in red actually leads to a location mapped to BIOS ROM, my bad. Here is where the control jumps: We've found POSTcode D0, that's great. But here all jumps lead to some low addresses, which are not mapped to BIOS ROM. Same problem repeats.