flashio - reprogram the flash PROM hardware on Everest-based machines
flashio [-s slot] [-q] [-f] promfile.bin
flashio allows a user to manage the flash PROMs on the IO4 board of
Everest-based high-end systems (the Challenge L/XL, PowerChallenge L/XL,
Onyx L/XL, and PowerOnyx L/XL are all based on the Everest architecture).
Normally, flashio is executed automatically during the installation of a
new release of IRIX; as a result, a customer should rarely need to use it
flashio can perform two major tasks: it can alter the contents of the
flash PROMs by transferring the contents of a file into them, and it can
display the revision of the firmware currently stored in the flash PROMs.
When the -v switch is used, flashio displays the current firmware
revisions contained in the flash PROMs of all the IO4 boards in the
system. All the flash PROMs should contain the same firmware revision as
By default, if no command-line switches are specified, flashio tries to
reprogram all of the IO4 flash PROMs in the system with the contents of
the binary file specified on the command line. In current versions of
IRIX, the only valid IO4 PROM firmware binary file is
/usr/cpu/firmware/io4prom.bin. Future versions of IRIX may ship
additional firmware binaries, however, and occasionally the system's
service provider might provide an optional file.
Firmware binary files contain a version number that flashio uses to
determine whether or not to load the binary into the flash PROMs.
Normally, if a binary file's revision number is lower than or equal to
the firmware revision that is currently in a flash PROM, flashio displays
a warning message and refuses to overwrite the newer firmware. To force
flashio to overwrite the contents of the flash PROMs regardless of the
firmware revisions, use the -f (for force) command-line switch.
The following switches can be used to alter flashio's behavior:
-s slot Limits flash PROM reprogramming to specific boards. If, for
example, you want to only reprogram the flash PROMs on board 3,
you can type flashio -s 3 io4prom.bin. The -s switch can be
specified multiple times, once for each board that should be
programmed. In the absence of this switch, flashio reprograms
the flash PROMs on all of the IO4 boards in the system. This
switch has no meaning when specified in conjunction with the -v
-f Forces flashio to reprogram the flash PROMs regardless of the
revision numbers. Normally, you use this switch only if you
are reverting to a previous version of the operating system and
want to ensure that the firmware matches the operating system
being run. Because the kernel/firmware interface rarely
changes, however, reverting the flash PROMs to a previous
version should not be necessary.
-v Causes flashio to display the revision numbers of the firmware
that is currently programmed in the flash PROMs.
/usr/cpu/firmware/io4prom.bin contains the binary image of the firmware
The flashio command is not intended for casual use. If used incorrectly,
it can render a system unbootable and greatly decrease the lifetime of
the system's IO4 boards. Silicon Graphics strongly recommends that this
command only be used under the supervision of a support representative.
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