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EPIA TVOut driver

EPIA TVTool

XvTestcard


a pair of utilities for creating full-screen BIOS Boot logos For the VIA EPIA motherboard

*NEW RELEASE* 12/04/03
This version no longer chokes on greyscale TIFFs that have alpha channels, and copes better with greyscale images in general.


WARNING:
Flashing the BIOS on your computer is risky at the best of times - flashing the BIOS with a modified BIOS image is VERY DANGEROUS and may well result in a non-working motherboard that is very difficult, if not impossible, to resurrect.  You use these programs, and their results entirely at your own risk.

If you do come to grief and end up with a machine that won't boot, it may still be possible to resurrect it.  If your BIOS chip is removable, http://www.flashbios.org will either re-flash it for you, or provide you with a new one, ready flashed with the BIOS of your choice.  When I needed a dead motherboard resurrected, my BIOS chip and payment winged their way over to The Netherlands, and the chip was returned, reflashed and working, in around a fortnight :)


Background
Recent Award BIOS versions have the ability to display a fullscreen boot logo when booting, instead of the usual POST screen.  The logo itself is embedded in the BIOS image, and although its 'filename' has the extension .BMP, it is *not* a BMP file - it's an odd but simplistic format referred to herein as AWBM.

The boot logos created by this program have only been tested so far with my VIA EPIA motherboard.  In theory they should work with other recent Award BIOS versions that incude full-screen logo support, but I have yet to test this.


What does it do?
AWBM2TIFF and TIFF2AWBM convert images between 8-bit (256-colour) TIFF and the custom AWBM format used by the EPIA BIOS.


What doesn't it do?
These programs *CANNOT* modify a BIOS image, or extract logos from a BIOS image.  For that you need a program like CBROM (version 2.xx recommended, Windows only, unfortunately).
These programs are only intended for use with full-screen logos - they *CANNOT* be used to create EPA (Energy Star) logos.


How do I customise my Boot Logo?
First create your logo in a graphics package.  For the EPIA you need to make a 640x480 image with 256 colours.  Once you've done that, save it as a TIFF file, and use:

  tiff2awbm logo.tiff logo.bmp

to convert to AWBM format.  (The original logo in the EPIA BIOS has the filename VPSD.BMP, though it's most definitely *not* a BMP file...) Now use CBROM to insert this logo into the BIOS image, by typing:

  CBROM EPIA0207.BIN /logo logo.bmp

If this succeeds, you can now flash your machine with the modified BIOS image.

Note - if your logo is very elaborate, CBROM may complain that there isn't enough room in the BIOS file.  The EPIA0205.BIN BIOS has about 18k of free space for the logo - but a 640x480x256 image takes about 300k uncompressed.
The BIOS image is a basically a catalogue of lha files, so you can use lha to guage how much space your logo will take when it's compressed:

  lha a test.lha logo.bmp

HINT: If you're having trouble keeping your logos small enough, try to avoid dithering, and make sure any gradients are vertical (i.e. horizontal scanlines have constant colour); this will help maximise the compression that can be achieved.

*UPDATE*
If you're desparate for more BIOS space for your logo, it may be possible to remove certain parts of the BIOS to make room.  On the EPIA 5000/800 BIOS version 0207, you can safely remove the pxe.lom network boot rom, and the EPA logo, with:

    CBROM EPIA0207.BIN /pci release
    CBROM EPIA0207.BIN /epa release

Obviously, doing this results in a machine that can no longer boot over a network, but the free space for the boot logo is increased to around 45k.  If you still need network boot functionality, it may also be possible to replace the pxe.lom boot rom with via-rhine etherboot rom, which supposedly works, but is considerably smaller.  Please note, though, that I haven't tried this...

*WARNING*
While I am currently using a pxe-less BIOS on my EPIA-5000, and it's working nicely, it's quite possible that attempting the same thing on other machines / BIOS revisions will result in a system that won't boot.  You proceed at your own risk!


Download:
Linux (source + binary)
Download (49k)

Windows (binary only)
Download (177k)
Example images (zipped TIFF Format):

Example boot logo
Download (13k)
Evil Boot Logo
Download (45k)


This one is too large to fit into a stock EPIA BIOS, but will fit into EPIA0207.BIN if the pxe.lom netboot rom and EPA energy star logo are removed.


Powered By Gentoo logo
Download (45k)


Thanks to Mark Gillespie for contributing this logo.  Again, it's too large to fit a stock EPIA BIOS, but will fit if the extraneous modules are removed.