A Framework Laptop Hacking Story

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on dev.to

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  • debugprobe

    use the JECDB header to connect a SWD probe like a Picoprobe and debug the firmware

  • UsbAsp-flash

    Program allow you to program flash memory on the protocols spi, I2C, MicroWire. Supports CH341a, UsbAsp, AVRISP(LUFA), Arduino, FT232H.

    When it finally did arrive, I was able to use a program called AsProgrammer to use the CH341a flash programmer to read the contents of the flash chip. Here are some things I noticed about using this tool:

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  • ExpansionCards

    Reference designs and documentation to create Expansion Cards for the Framework Laptop

    I bought a Framework Laptop a few months ago. I was really drawn to the idea of a laptop that I could customize and which was built with repairability in mind. That's a really great stance to take, and it didn't hurt that the laptop build and specs looked good, so I went for it. It was also cool that I could buy it with no memory, no hard drive, no power adapter, and no operating system, and supply those things separately. In general I was very happy with it, but it had one little behavior that bugged me. This is a long journey, but I hope it contains some useful information.

  • Framework-Laptop-13

    Documentation for the Mainboard and other modules in the Framework Laptop 13

    So if this isn't the EC firmware flash, where is that? I peeked under all the components on the top side of the board that I could (fan, etc.) but couldn't find any other flash chips. I tried looking at the schematic, and while it mentions two flash ROMs, it doesn't mention where to find them. Reluctantly, I took out the mainboard and checked the under-side.

  • EmbeddedController

    Embedded Controller firmware for the Framework Laptop

    When I was getting ready to flash again, I noticed an issue about the compiler version used to build the firmware binary. I followed the advice, but more importantly I noticed that the issue has been recently fixed, and in the resolution, the maintainer says "Next release (hx20 3.19, hx30 3.07) will include them". It reminded me of something crucial: the Framework EC firmware source code repo doesn't have any particular indication of its level of stability at any given commit. Which commits could be considered fully tested releases? What if the head of the branch introduces a bug that they're working on fixing?

  • No problem, let me just use ECTool to reflash the backup. Uh oh, the first thing ECTool does is say "press any key to abort". Due to my keys repeating, it kept aborting! Finally after some panicking, I figured out I could press Shift after hitting Enter, and it wouldn't count for its "press any key" logic. With that, I was able to reflash a backup. As a side note, I have a fork of ECTool that adds an option to avoid the "press any key to abort" behavior. I'll see about getting this feature into ECTool proper.

  • FrameworkEmbeddedController

    Embedded Controller firmware for the Framework Laptop

    Here's a link to a working fix. I also threw in a defensive measure for testing, to clear the typematic settings after the key has been repeating for N seconds straight. I built it, flashed it with ECTool, and my laptop keyboard behavior is now perfect.

  • WorkOS

    The modern identity platform for B2B SaaS. The APIs are flexible and easy-to-use, supporting authentication, user identity, and complex enterprise features like SSO and SCIM provisioning.

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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