Re: Flashing up an XI-300

From: Jouni Malinen (
Date: 2002-03-13 17:10:38 UTC

On Sat, Mar 09, 2002 at 02:14:57PM -0500, Brian Capouch wrote:

> I haven't seen anything on this list yet about firmware versions >0.8.3.
> On the Zcomax site, they have a firmware upgrade they're calling 1.3.4.

> 1. Does anyone know what's up with that firmware? I haven't seen any
> mention on the list of that version of firmware.

I just upgrade a Prism2 card to that station firmware version 1.3.4. I haven't seen any change log etc. for that version (would need to ask Intersel about that), but at least it has larger STA supp range. It has few new RIDS (both configuration and read-only) for which I do not have any documentation so it will take some time to figure out what could be done with them.

As far as normal operations are concerned, I have not yet noticed anything special with 1.3.4 compared to 0.8.3 version. Though, I have only used Host AP mode. I'm going to do some tests with WDS related issues, but I would guess that it would work more or less as badly as 0.8.3 with this.

> 2. Could someone provide pointers to the means one would use to flash up
> to 0.8.3 using utilities from other manufacturers? Would I have to
> install the full set of their drivers and utilities, or could such be
> done leaving the existing Zcomax s/w on the box doing the flashing?

I used linux-wlan-ng and prism2dl for the upgrade. RAM/flash download support was removed from 0.1.7 release, so I used a somewhat merged test version. Similar versions should be available from various sites around the net.. I had no problems with firmware upgrade, but this is certainly completely unsupported feature and there is no one else to blame if it kills your card.

I implemented firmware download support to my test version of Host AP driver yesterday. This is mainly for testing purposes and I'm not sure whether I will ever release these changes (they are not very useful for anything but testing when using Host AP mode). Current version downloads images only to volatile memory (i.e., not to flash) so it won't help with firmware upgrades.

I would have hoped to come up with something that could have downloaded new station firmware to the card RAM during driver initialization. This would have made it easy to test different station firmware codes without the fear of killing the cards with uncertain flash upgrades. However, I'm not sure whether this can be done..

My current version knows how to download tertiary firmware to the card and how to start running it, but station firmware images are for writing to flash, not to RAM.. I can apparently overwrite whatever I want in the RAM and then start execution from any position. I would just need to know, how to map flash image to proper position in the RAM and figure out good starting position for the code. I did some experiments with copying RAM contents from a card to another, but this usually ends in the recipent card dieing or ending up in state where only the primary firmware is running.. ;-) Luckily hard reset fixes everything since all the writes are to volatile memory.

Jouni Malinen                                            PGP id EFC895FA

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