With A20 it is similar but worse. Really nobody wants it, but it continues to haunt us.
call empty_8042 mov al,#0xd1 ! command write out #0x64,al call empty_8042 mov al,#0xdf ! A20 on out #0x60,al call empty_8042where empty_8042 has to wait for the kbd to finish handling input, say
empty_8042: call delay in al,#0x64 test al,#2 jnz empty_8042 ret
! For the HP Vectra call empty_8042 jnz err mov al,#0xdf out #0x64,al call empty_8042 jnz err mov al,#0xdf ! Do it again out #0x64,al call empty_8042 jnz err ! Success(HIMEM.SYS in DOS 5.0 incorrectly identifies some computers as HP Vectra - this may cause a hang at boot. Fixed in DOS5.0a.)
Thus, MCA, EISA and other systems can also control A20 via port 0x92. This
port has a number of functions, and the details depend on the manufacturer. Bits
0,1,3,6,7 seem to have the same meaning everywhere this port is implemented.
Bit 0 (w): writing 1 to this bit causes a fast reset (used to switch back to real mode; for MCA this took 13.4 ms).
Bit 1 (rw): 0: disable A20, 1: enable A20.
Bit 3 (rw?): 0/1: power-on password bytes (stored in CMOS bytes 0x38-0x3f or 0x36-0x3f) accessible/inaccessible. This bit can be written to only when it is 0.
Bits 6-7 (rw): 00: hard disk activity LED off, 01,10,11: hard disk activity LED on.
Bits 2,4,5 are unused or have varying meanings. (On MCA bit 4 (r): 1: watchdog timeout occurred.)
inb $0x92, %al # orb $02, %al # "fast A20" version outb %al, $0x92 # some chips have only thisfrom setup.S solved this. Apparently on his machine writing to some of these bits is dangerous and does something to the on-board video card (disable it? lspci shows it only when 0x92 is not touched). Similar things are reported by others:
I am trying to install Linux on an old Olivetti pc M4 Modulo P75 but I am quickly stopped. I always got the same display problem very soon during the installation.The display is not updated anymore. The embedded display adapter is a "Trident 9xxx PCI".and
I have a strange problem with an old Olivetti M4 (pentium 75) machine. I buy for a very cheap price 5 of these, but when I boot the machine the screen goes blank. The (embedded on MoBo) video chip is a Trident TGUI9780.
Petr Vandrovec The i386SL/i486SL documents say The AMD Elan SC400 docs (21032.pdf)
describes the following function x86_enable_a20():
Jens Maurer reported in 1996
on boot problems with a bzImage kernel:
Using zImage instead of bzImage avoids the problem (since zImage is not
loaded high). Debian has distributed special Tecra boot floppies for a while.
Later it was found out that these laptops just have an incredibly slow keyboard
controller and that all is fine with a larger timeout.
inb $0x92, %al #
+ testb $02, %al
+ jnz no92
orb $02, %al # "fast A20" version
outb %al, $0x92 # some chips have only this
Since bit 0 sometimes is write-only, and writing a one there causes a
reset, it must be a good idea to add the line
andb $0xfe, %al
before the outb.
Using only 0x92 may be dangerousKai Germaschewski reports that he gets
a spontaneous kernel reboot (on a Sony PCG-Z600NE) after suspend/resume when A20
was enabled using 0x92 but not via the keyboard controller. Apparently state set
via keyboard controller is correctly saved and restored, but state set via 0x92
Port 0x92 may have to be enabledVarious SMSC super I/O chips will
emulate the keyboard controller, but emulate port 0x92 only when that has been
CMOS indicating the presence of a Fast A20 GateDepending on the BIOS,
the possibility of using a fast A20 switch may be visible in the CMOS. For
example, some AMI BIOSes have in CMOS location 0x2d a byte with contents
System Operational Flags
Bit 7 = 1: Weitek math coprocessor present
Bit 6 = 1: Floppy drive seek at boot disabled
Bit 5 = 1: System boot sequence A:,C: (otherwise C:,A:)
Bit 4 = 1: System boot CPU speed high
Bit 3 = 1: External cache enabled
Bit 2 = 1: Internal cache enabled
Bit 1 = 1: Fast gate A20 operation enabled
Bit 0 = 1: Turbo switch function enabled
Of course, this does not help at all.
* Gate A20 for high memory
while (inb(K_STATUS) & K_IBUF_FUL);
while (inb(K_STATUS) & K_OBUF_FUL)
while (inb(K_STATUS) & K_IBUF_FUL);
while (inb(K_STATUS) & K_IBUF_FUL);
that is, uses 0x92 only for a IBM_L40 (whatever that may be). The FreeBSD
handbook describes PC98 as "an alternative development branch of PC hardware,
popular in Japan" and "the NEC PC98 platform".
Minix and HIMEM.ASMHere is a patch
fragment for minix. It contains the interesting part
! movb al, #0xff ! Pulse output port
! outb 0x64
! call kb_wait ! Wait for the A20 line to settle down
from some old HIMEM.ASM source (that one still can find on the net). I
have seen no other places where command 0xff is described as doing something
Access of 0xeeOn some systems reading ioport 0xee enables A20, and
writing it disables A20. (Or, sometimes, this action only occurs when ioport
0xee is enabled.) And similar things hold for ioport 0xef and reset (a write
causes a reset).
The following ports are visible only when enabled,
Any writes to these ports cause the action named.
Name of Register Address Default Value Where placed Size
FAST CPU RESET EFh N/A 82360SL 8
FAST A20 GATE EEh N/A 82360SL 8
Register EEh can be used to cause the same type of masking of
the CPU A20 signal that was historically performed by an external SCP (System
Control Processor) in a PC/AT Compatible system, but much faster. This control
defaults to not forcing the propagation of A20: Dummy Read = Returns FFh, and
forces the A20 signal to propagate. Dummy Write = Deasserts the forcing of the
propagation of the A20 signal via this particular control, data value written
is N/A. For software compatibility and other reasons, there are several
sources of GateA20 control. These controls are effectively ORed together with
the output of the OR gate driving the Enhanced Am486 microprocessor A20M pin.
Therefore, A20 will propagate if ANY of the independent sources are forcing
A20 to propagate.
Other portsIt is rumoured that systems exist that use bit 2 of ioport
0x65 or bit 0 of ioport 0x1f8 for A20 control (0: disabled, 1: enabled). Don't
know what systems that might be. The AT&T 6300+ needs a write of 0x90 to
port 0x3f20 to enable (and a write of 0x0 to disable) A20.
Disabling A20It may be necessary to do both the keyboard controller
write and the 0x92 write (and the 0xee write) to disable A20.
A20 and resetIf (in protected mode) A20 is disabled, the odd megabytes
are inaccessible. After a reset, execution begins at top-of-memory: 0xfffff0 on
the 286 and 0xfffffff0 on 386 and later. With disabled A20 this becomes 0xeffff0
or 0xffeffff0 and the machine will probably crash, having no memory mapped
A20 and cacheOne tests A20 by writing something to an address with bit
0x100000 set, and seeing whether the corresponding location in low memory
changes. However, this plan may be thwarted by the cache that remembers the old
value and doesn't know about A20.
Enable address line A20, which is often disabled on many PCs on
reset. It first checks if address line A20 is enabled and if so returns 0.
Otherwise, it sets bit 0x02 in port 0x92, which is used by many systems as a
fast A20 enable. It again checks to see if A20 is enabled and if so returns 0.
Otherwise, it uses the keyboard microcontroller to enable A20 as defined by
the old PC/AT standard. It again checks to see if A20 is enabled and if so
returns 0. Otherwise, it returns -1. If cpu is a 486 or greater, it issues a
wbinvd opcode to invalidate the cache when doing a read/write test of
memory to see if A20 is enabled. In the rare case where setting bit 0x02 in
port 0x92 may affect other hardware, you can skip this by setting
only_keyboard to 1. In this case, it will attempt to use only the
keyboard microcontroller. hpa comments:
As far as I know the only machines which have the cache problem
are i386 boxen, but the i386 doesn't have WBINVD. The i486 has a pin on the
CPU for A20, which takes effect inside the L1 cache, and so it shouldn't have
any A20 cache issues.
On the Toshiba laptop, the first two bytes at 0x100000 are
incorrect and identical to those from address 0x000000 (which was an alias for
0x100000 before the A20 gate enable). At a second read from 0x100000
immediately afterwards, the correct memory content is returned. Asus P55TP5XE
boards (Triton I chipset) show quite the same problem, but there, only the
first byte is incorrect and booting bzImage kernels works fine. To me, this
looks like some buffer or cache coherency problem although I think that caches
are organized in at least 16 byte cache lines. ... This exact same problem
reportedly also exists on Fujitsu 555T (report from Andrea Caltroni) laptop
and Compudyne Pentium 60 (report from David Kerr) desktop computers.
He gives a patch, and adds "Unfortunately, Philip Hands reports
that the above patch makes some people with other non-laptop computers unable to
BIOSIf it is difficult, maybe impossible, to write a routine that will
enable A20 on all PCs, one might ask the BIOS to do so. Many recent BIOS
versions implement INT15 AX=240x functions, as follows:
INT 15 AX=2400 disable A20
INT 15 AX=2401 enable A20
INT 15 AX=2402 query status A20
INT 15 AX=2403 query A20 support (kbd or port 92)
If successful: CF clear, AH = 00h
On error: CF set, AH = status
Status: 01h keyboard controller is in secure mode
86h function not supported
For AX=2402 the status (0: disabled, 1: enabled) is returned in AL
For AX=2403 the status (bit 0: kbd, bit 1: port 92) is returned in BX
The i386SL/i486SL documents say
The AMD Elan SC400 docs (21032.pdf) say:
Neutrino describes the following function x86_enable_a20():
Jens Maurer reported in 1996 on boot problems with a bzImage kernel:
Using zImage instead of bzImage avoids the problem (since zImage is not loaded high). Debian has distributed special Tecra boot floppies for a while. Later it was found out that these laptops just have an incredibly slow keyboard controller and that all is fine with a larger timeout.