Without getting too deep in discussions about why there are several firmware formats and extensions used. But the fact is that you can face firmware files with extensions like BIN, HEX, or E2P. Let’s see how these files look like and how to convert between them.
First of all, it is important to mention that all firmware files can be one of two types:
- Text files contain ASCII symbols (codes from 32h to FFh);
- Binary files contain all ASCII symbols including nonprintable symbols (00h to FFh).
First advice – never rely on file extension as it can be any. All are inside the file. So how to define what’s inside the file and what format? One easy way is to open a file with a notepad and see how the contents look inside.
Text firmware files
HEX files were described earlier (Hex File Format). I can remind you that most programming software understands it is the universal firmware file format. Each line begins with a colon, then goes address:
TXT files are especially loved in Korea for saving dump files. This is almost a HEX file but without address pointers. Simply data in hex format without any controlled sums and so on:
Binary firmware files
BIN files are universal file format not only for firmware but for any data. Almost all Programmer software understand BIN format. The Bin file contains the exact information stored in memory, so the File size is equal to occupied memory in hardware. No additional information:
E2P file format is BIN file format tuned by Pony. The file is the same as BIN, but it has a 152 bait header where you can find E2P!Lanc signature.
Converting between file types
Converting between file types isn’t a difficult task. One of the easiest is to use the same PonyProg and Save As menu:
This way, you can convert between the mentioned file types and many more except .txt. For this, you can use this program <BIN to TXT Converter>.
S19 format is a text format developed by Motorola. It is similar to HEX. Just all lines start with the S symbol. And converter to BIN <S19 to BIN to S19 converter>.
Don’t hesitate to search over the internet- you can find a bunch of stand-alone file-type converters.