Enabling SPI Flash Disk on Vortex86

Many ICOP Vortex86 modules include an SPI flash device which can be enabled in the BIOS as the boot device. The flash device on the module comes pre-loaded with FreeDos so application development can begin out of the box.

This application note will give a step-by-step procedure for enabling the device and booting into FreeDos.

Prepare the unit

If the module has a graphics card then connect to a VGA monitor and a PS2 or USB keyboard. Otherwise connect a PC running a terminal program to the remote console serial port. The remote console port generally by default is COM1 and is enabled by connecting GPIO 3.7 to GND (Refer to the user manual for the specific module to confirm these details).

The terminal program needs the communications to be set to 115200 BAUD, 8 data bits, No parity and 1 stop bit.

Power up

As the unit boots you should see the BOOT information screen, the final display should be similar to figure 1.

Figure 1

Figure 1

Running the BIOS setup program

Power cycle the module to re-boot and during the boot process press the DEL key if using a PS2 or USB keyboard, if you are using the remote console press the F4 function key.

The display should say ‘Entering Setup’, followed by the screen shown in figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 2

Navigate the setup menu using the left / right arrow keys to highlight ‘Boot’, the ‘Boot settings Configuration’ line should be highlighted.

Figure 3

Figure 3

Press ‘Enter’

Use Up/down keys to highlight ‘OnBoard Virtual Flash FDD’

Figure 4

Figure 4

Press ‘Enter’

A Pop-up Box will appear with the available options:

Figure 5

Figure 5

There is a small SPI flash internal to the Vortex86 processor, but the device we wish to select is the larger, external device that is designed into the modules.

Use the up /down keys to select ‘External’ then press ‘Enter’.

Press the ‘Esc’ key to navigate back to the top menu

Figure 6

Figure 6

Use left / right keys to navigate to the exit, menu. ‘Save changes and Exit’ should be highlighted.

Figure 7

Figure 7

Press ‘Enter’

Figure 8

Figure 8

Press ‘Enter’ again and the unit should reboot.

The unit should now detect the drive and boot into FreeDos.

Figure 9

Figure 9

 Disclaimer

All information contained in this application note is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, DSL Ltd assumes no responsibility for its use. Since conditions of product use are outside our control, we make no warranties express or implied in relation thereto. We therefore cannot accept any liability in connection with any use of this information. Nothing herein is to be taken as a license to operate under or recommendation to infringe any patents.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that this document is correct; errors can occur. If you find any errors or omissions please let us know so that we can put them right