TechSpot

Flashing Bios without Floppy drive

By 416_guy
Oct 30, 2003
  1. I wanna flash my laptop's bios without a floppy, i was wondering if that's possible?
     
  2. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 201

    Firstly, what is it that you want the Bios updated on?

    Secondly, yeh i've heard of some software programs which can do it for you. But it depends on the manufacturer of the Board/Card that is being updated.

    I'm pretty sure Asus do it because I have some Bios Update Software Program on my desktop but my Bios is up to date so I've never used it.

    Anyways, contat your manufacturer or e-mail them for any software programs for automatic updating. :)
     
  3. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    :wave: Hello and Welcom to TechSpot :wave:

    As IMB said, there are software programs that'll allow you to update your bios from windows, but not all motherboards supports this...

    Check the manufacturers homepage to see if they support the feature or not.

    If it doesn't support it, you could burn a bootable cd with the new bios file on it, though this requires that you have a cd-writer and a burn program that supports writing a bootable cd (not all does)...

    If you can't use any software from windows, but do have a cd-writer, and would like instructions on how to create a bootable cd from which you can flash your bios, post again and we'll do our best to help you through it...

    Alternatively, you could try to borrow a USB floppy drive from someone and flash the bios from that...
     
  4. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 201

    yeh i thought you could.




    PS: Man you seem to be evrywhere Mr Gari.....forgotten it, but anyways you've been a real help 2 me and this guy.
     
  5. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Hehehe... It's allways nice to be of service :)
    And luckily for me, there was a lot of Q's that I had (at least a partial) answer to...

    416_guy> Have you had any luck locating what the maker of your motherboard is, and if they support flashing the bios from windows?
     
  6. 416_guy

    416_guy TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey thx for the feedback MrGaribadi & InsaneMonkeyBoy, well i'm trying to flash the bios on my HP Omnibook 6000 specs:

    Pentium III 650Mhz with sidestep
    128MB Ram
    10GB HD
    running on WinXP Pro.

    The bios is from Phoenix and the board i believe is from Intel BX440 chipset something like that. I've tried searching and no luck as to flashing on windows, but i've been hopeful of trying to find alternate routes as to loading the files onto a CD and getting it to flash from that instead of a floppy.
     
  7. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,802

    Ok...

    I think we can say that chances for you to find any windows software to flash you bios with for this rig is nil....
    It's not until lately that some manufacturers has begun offering that option...

    But why can't you use a floppy disk? Is it defect, or don't you have one? (I'm just curious)

    And it's a big hassle to create a bootable cdrom compared to a floppy...

    Here is a thread about it, which gives you tips on how to create one, how not to create one, and links to other guides...

    If you still want/need help, post again :)
     
  8. novicegamer

    novicegamer TS Rookie Posts: 119

    One thing is unless you absolutaly have to dont try to flash your bios.One small mistake and your up the creek without A paddle
     
  9. InsaneMonkeyBoy

    InsaneMonkeyBoy TS Rookie Posts: 201

    Love to be of service! :D

    As MR G said (can i call u MR G?) and i think i might of said but i can't remember....anyway yeh........ Not all manufacturers do, in fact i think ASUS might be one of the only one's actually :confused:

    BUT anyways yeh one of my friends wanted me to flash BIOS using a CD cause he had no floppy drive.......hehe, and It was a lot harder than just booting from a floppy with BIOS.

    BUT. and i say BUT. if you don't have a floppy drive then you might hav 2 go froo that process of CD-ROM flashing, but you could always get a friend to help u OR:

    HEY! WE CAN 2!!!

    PS: but i think MR G would be of better assistance than me cause he's better at this stufff.......i'm more with audio and video.

    But Hey if you have any problems with Audio or Video......I'm Here!


    all that typing knocked me out :dead:
     
  10. indra

    indra TS Rookie

    CHALLENGE!! BIOS update without floppy on a legacy free desktop

    I have a similar problem on a compaq Ipaq legacy free desktop..
    I recently dug it out of trash and tried to resurrect it.. came without any slim cd..so effectively with just USBs and 1 hard drive with Win2k installed..first day itself.I messed up the password..since then I've been trying to resurrect it..I tried taking teh drive out, doing a fresh installation and putting it back, but the Bios kleeps complaining.. OS not found.I have tried installing linux--in which case it brings up grub sometimes..but cant make it go furthur..lilo doesnt work altogether..same error.. tried loading a OS loader and programming it.. same problem.. cant load the loader.. tried writing the MBR with RanishPartMgr.. that doesnt work too..Intially I was thinking that its the old Xp problem, where a XP installation gets stamped with hardware details..so if you take the HD out and put it in another system, it creates problems, sp if the new Host is an intel box..but I don't think the same problem exists in Win2k.
    So finally I have come to the conclusion that it is a cirrupt bios which is telling the hardware wrong partitioninfo so its looking at the wrong s\cylinder for the OS.. I've been told other ppl have seen this before (on other hardware/softwares) and been able to fix it with a BIos update..
    For me the Compaq site gives a BIOS update..But I have to figure out how to get it in without the services of a floppy (USB doesnt work.. tried it..doesnt even detect the damn things..same for USB drives)

    System is a compaq Ipaq legacy free Celeron500 ..havent been able to determine the mobo..not in their manual.. or site.. and its not printed on the mobo..
    it has only 1 std hard drive IDE socket and 1 slim cd adapter.. I dont have anything in there yet, as the slim cd interface on it does not match any spare slim cds I have..
    ( I have booted Damn smal linux and knoppix from a cd drive connected at the onyl available IDE.. both boot but only dsl is usable as it has support for USB mouse and keyboard..could not install it to HD though.. tried putting a hd on the same IDE cable and powering it from outside --worked and install seemed to go ok..but on booting, after swapping the CD out for the HD..same error came back)

    So basically I can connect and HD or a CD onyl.. I can burn a bootable CD , but what utility Do I use to flash the BIOS image ?

    Not being able to fix this is REALLY bruising my ego..and I could use some serious and urgent help!!

    Thanks everyone !
    ~IM
     
  11. indra

    indra TS Rookie

    sam issue, but on a legacy free system with only 1 available IDE slot !

    I have a similar problem on a compaq Ipaq legacy free desktop..
    I recently dug it out of trash and tried to resurrect it.. came without any slim cd..so effectively with just USBs and 1 hard drive with Win2k installed..first day itself.I messed up the password..since then I've been trying to resurrect it..I tried taking teh drive out, doing a fresh installation and putting it back, but the Bios kleeps complaining.. OS not found.I have tried installing linux--in which case it brings up grub sometimes..but cant make it go furthur..lilo doesnt work altogether..same error.. tried loading a OS loader and programming it.. same problem.. cant load the loader.. tried writing the MBR with RanishPartMgr.. that doesnt work too..Intially I was thinking that its the old Xp problem, where a XP installation gets stamped with hardware details..so if you take the HD out and put it in another system, it creates problems, sp if the new Host is an intel box..but I don't think the same problem exists in Win2k.
    So finally I have come to the conclusion that it is a cirrupt bios which is telling the hardware wrong partitioninfo so its looking at the wrong s\cylinder for the OS.. I've been told other ppl have seen this before (on other hardware/softwares) and been able to fix it with a BIos update..
    For me the Compaq site gives a BIOS update..But I have to figure out how to get it in without the services of a floppy (USB doesnt work.. tried it..doesnt even detect the damn things..same for USB drives)

    System is a compaq Ipaq legacy free Celeron500 ..havent been able to determine the mobo..not in their manual.. or site.. and its not printed on the mobo..
    it has only 1 std hard drive IDE socket and 1 slim cd adapter.. I dont have anything in there yet, as the slim cd interface on it does not match any spare slim cds I have..
    ( I have booted Damn smal linux and knoppix from a cd drive connected at the onyl available IDE.. both boot but only dsl is usable as it has support for USB mouse and keyboard..could not install it to HD though.. tried putting a hd on the same IDE cable and powering it from outside --worked and install seemed to go ok..but on booting, after swapping the CD out for the HD..same error came back)

    So basically I can connect and HD or a CD onyl.. I can burn a bootable CD , but what utility Do I use to flash the BIOS image ?

    Not being able to fix this is REALLY bruising my ego..and I could use some serious and urgent help!!

    Thanks everyone !
    ~IM
     
     
  12. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    Use the Compaq software to create the BIOS floppy. Your CD burning application should let you create a bootable CD out of a bootable floppy disk or an image of it.

    No you cannot take Windows 2000 from one machine and put it in another - same complications exist as with XP.

    You should test the hard drive with an utility from the manufacturer. In case the bootsector is FUBAR I recommend using the Linux dd command to write zeroes on the beginning of the drive.
     
  13. indra

    indra TS Rookie

    Re: flashing bios w/o floppy on a legacy free system

    Thanks nodsu for ur suggestions..and sorry everyone for the duplicate posts! I was under the impression there were two therads here related to teh same topic, and thought I was posting to 2 sep threads!

    As for ur sugegstion.. That is what I've been trying to its more complicated than I thought..
    The image privided by Nero ( have nero 6 ultra and roxio) -- a .IMA image-- is not recognized by Nero itself as a standard editable image..(just supports .nrg and iso)..It tries to load the image as raw data and hence does not let me edit the image add the files from the boot floppy (flashing util+flash image)..Obviously I'm doind something wrong..neone done this before ?

    I have tried multiple hard disks..in fact I have multiple ready with diff working OS installs..and I have checked teh Partition table and mbr on each..they are all ok..

    ~IM
     
  14. indra

    indra TS Rookie

    Bios flashing from CD

    ok ..managed to do it.. thanks..
    [still stuck with the OS thought.. booted thr Damn small linux and installed it on a laptop hard drive on the 2nd slim cd interface..but grub keeps giving a "GRUB hard disk erro" on boot. Also, if I swap out the IDE cdrom with a IDE hard drive and try to boot of it, I get a "ntldr not found" ..take the HD out and put it on anopther system--works like a charm..I dont know what is diff abt the legacy free system HW that is causing this..]
     
  15. cashblingbling

    cashblingbling TS Member Posts: 98

    hey , i want to update my computers bios also but my floppy drive doesnt work at all , i have an hp d325 microtower, 768 mb ram , amd athlon 2800+ , 80 gb hard drive , radeon 9200
     
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    read the bios guide in the guides forum.
     
  17. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    note, floppy drives are really cheap today, one can be bought any where for nearly nothing.
     
  18. cashblingbling

    cashblingbling TS Member Posts: 98

    i figured it out

    thanks yall
     
  19. luk45

    luk45 TS Rookie

    Same thing, but without CD ROM....

    Hi guys,

    Glad to find similar case here. But mine is slightly different. I have a machine without Floppy and CD ROM, running under Embedded Linux. I wanted to flash the BIOS using Phoenix BIOS utility Phlash16.exe. My intention is to flash it directly from the Linux OS that runs in the system.

    I found a cute tool, DOSEMU, which can execute DOS commands under Linux. Been trying using this to run the phlash16 utility, but it didn't work as it kept detecting the presence of memory manager although I've disabled those from config sys (by putting the rem on memory manager-related lines). \

    Did anyone try this before, flashing the BIOS directly from the OS? Is this actually possible? I haven't found any documentation that says it is impossible, but haven't got any successfull attempt either. Hope anyone can give some input. Thanks in advance for the help.

    -Chris-
     
  20. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 9,431

    You cannot use the DOS tools from within Linux. The flash utility wants to talk directly to hardware, but this is not allowed in modern operating systems.

    Maybe you can boot over the network (PXE). Just set up a DOS PXE boot image..

    LinuxBIOS has a Linux native BIOS flashing tool: http://www.linuxbios.org/FAQ#Inside_mainboard_BIOS_.28re.29flash
     
  21. luk45

    luk45 TS Rookie

    Hi Nodsu,

    Thanks for the prompt reply... Well, I do have the PXE boot already. Actually the dosemu is an alternative that I'm currently looking for since PXE boot maybe something that would be avoided in my project.
    Anyway, at least now I know that this DOS emulator cannot be used for this purpose and will not pursue for that. Thanks for the input... =)
     
  22. you use a 286

    you use a 286 TS Rookie Posts: 112

    i would suggest just getting a floppy drive, it will be alot easier
     
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