Reversing Sage’s SmartProbe

[[UPDATE: see-also: http://bioshacking.blogspot.com/2016/09/down-to-silicon-level-debugging.html ]]

I received the below URL as a Comment on this blog. I know very little about it, but it sounds potentially interesting some of this blog’s readers, maybe. The post is about Sage’s SmartProbe.. I haven’t had a chance to read the code the article points to, please use care.

A Complete Pill for the Sage SmartProbe.
The Sage SmartProbe was a very spiffy “Hard ICE” debugger, one of the few ever manufactured for use with modern (2010s) AMD x86-64 processors, and – as far as I’m aware – the only one ever sold on the mass market, rather than as part of “favourite son” deals (as, e.g., Intel’s, and Arium’s similar products were, and perhaps still are.) Probe (right hand side) and “GizmoBoard” AMD G-series motherboard (left hand side.) Quite a few of these things ended up bundled with various dev boards, saddled with time-limited demo expiration (yes, a time-limited hardware peripheral! don’t ask me…) The vendor perma-re-enabled an expired probe for a small fee. Sage Eng. LLC, it appears, is long dead. Leaving no trace! How and why it died is unknown to me. So now, instead of being unique tools in the development of, e.g., Coreboot, or whatever other attempts at sane utilization of x86-64 iron, the demo probes are stuck in limbo, working as so many peculiar paperweights. This is a crying shame. Now you cannot unbrick the expired probes for any price. (At least not by buying the magic code from the original maker…) So, without further delay, let us get one of these patients onto the operating table:[…]



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