Incidentally, I’ve been looking into open alternatives to BIOS the last couple of days due to the fact that very few desktop systems’ BIOSes support setting a hard disk password. This seemed to me like the perfect niche for the free DIY solutions: something that BIOS/mobo manufacturers most likely will not fix due to limitedness of the target market, where said market consists of die hard nerds like me who like weird things such as (gasp!) encrypting their data.
I was disappointed to find that, although Coreboot should work on my setup, none of the open source payload solutions seem to support ATA security either.
So I ended up patching my BIOS with another proprietary blob to achieve what I wanted.
(Was there a point to this? Maybe just that the open solutions that are out there are not only limited in compatibility but, even when compatible, still not the end-all to limits imposed by a proprietary BIOS. Of course, they do have the benefit of being more easily modifiable, so if you know your low-level languages, you can build a custom solution yourself. I just wish I was that competent.)
On the ’Advanced’ page of the BIOS, there was a switch for the Onboard LAN Boot ROM, and by default it was set to disabled. I switched it on and can confirm that ATASX works on this board.
I now see the ATASX documentation does make a mention of this in passing, saying ”you have to activate the ability to boot from network card”. So this was a simple case of RTFM on my part. :)
I’d still be interested to know how if at all this’ll work with an SSD.
According to my understanding and based on what Jonas wrote above and also , doing the freeze post-BIOS would be useless securitywise; it’s not even a workaround, as any malicious software then just inserts itself into the MBR. This really needs to be fixed at the BIOS level to be effective at all.
I’ve been thinking of getting an SSD with built-in encryption, such as the Kingston SSDNow V+ 100E Series. From what I gather, utilizing the encryption would require that the BIOS supports HDD passwords. This is what lead me to ATASX.
My current motherboard is an Asus M4A78-EM with the latest available AMIBIOS for it, revision 2101.
For all appearances, I’ve successfully configured the ATASX.ROM module for my setup, managed to embed it into the main BIOS ROM using mmtool, replacing the existing PCI ethernet module (10EC:8168) with it and flashed the resulting ROM file into my BIOS chip.
Yet, during the boot, there’s no indication that the extension is in fact there: the prompt for security setup doesn’t appear and, when listing the harddisks, POST doesn’t say anything about the security extension as it does in the example images.
Did I read the documentation wrong when I thought this method didn’t involve burning an EEPROM? Have I made some error in the process, or is it just that the AMIBIOS for this motherboard somehow isn’t compatible with ATASX?
And in the end, would even having support for ATA security enable me to utilize the built-in encryption on modern SSDs? I only came to think of this when I read in another thread there’s a user with an SSD for whom ATASX apparently doesn’t work (if I’m reading the Google translation right).
I couldn’t, and neither could I with a 10.10 live, so it’s possibly something that’s changed going from 10.04 to 10.10. I also tried Chromium and Firefox 6 under 10.04; with Firefox 6 the issue persists, whereas with Chromium I can’t reproduce it. There’s of course a more serious bug underlying the browser, as no application issue should bring the entire system to its knees.
(I just realized I used amd64 live discs in the tests whereas the installed 10.04 is an x86 system. Perhaps it makes no difference but I’ll leave judging that to experts.)
I’ll gladly execute more tests if anyone has ideas how to narrow this down even more.
Chrome Version : 13.0.782.218
OS Version: Ubuntu 10.04
URLs (if applicable) :http://mummila.net/varasto/websivut/chromium-middle-click-bug-2011-09-21.html
Other browsers tested:Chromium 15.0.871.0
Add OK or FAIL after other browsers where you have tested this issue:
What steps will reproduce the problem?
1.Middle-click anchor link pointing to an anchor on current page.
2.Repeat step 1.
What is the expected result?
Have two new tabs open with the current page loaded in them and scrolled to selected anchor.
What happens instead?
Only one new tab with the current page opens. Subsequent middle-clicks also fail to bring up new tabs entirely.
Please provide any additional information below. Attach a screenshot if
The behavior of middle-clicking the anchor can be ’reset’ to work again by middle-clicking another link; after that you can again get one new tab from the first link, but again subsequent middle-clicks fail to bring up any more.
The issue is demonstrated on the page pointed to by the attached URL.
UserAgentString: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/535.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Ubuntu/10.04 Chromium/13.0.782.218 Chrome/13.0.782.218 Safari/535.1
Mikäli laskin oikein, se on 1,2 KiB/h eli 0,3 tavua sekunnissa. Ihmisaivojen latauskaista on aika vaatimaton.
Thanks for your input Timothy, I’ll have to see if I can reproduce this using a 11.04 live disc.
Timothy, does your harware setup match? You’re using the internal Nvidia graphics and not an add-on card?