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BIOS Flash Q&A
Updated June, 2008
Table of Contents
Introduction......................................................................................................................................... 2
What are the files and directories in a BIOS softpaq? .......................................................................... 2
In what operating systems can I update the PC BIOS? .......................................................................... 4
Will I lose my setup configurations when updating the BIOS?................................................................ 4
How do I update my PC BIOS in Vista, Windows XP, or 2000? ............................................................ 4
How do I update the BIOS in a DOS environment? .............................................................................. 4
What are the steps necessary to execute the HPQFlash utility?............................................................... 8
What are the steps necessary to execute the HPQPwsd utility? ............................................................ 10
What are the steps necessary to create a bootable CD for BIOS update? ............................................. 11
What are the steps necessary to use SSM for BIOS update?................................................................ 13
What are the steps necessary to use Altiris for BIOS update? .............................................................. 13
What if the PC does not complete the BIOS flash process?.................................................................. 15
What is a processor microcode update softpaq and how is it used?..................................................... 16
How can a processor microcode update be executed in Windows?..................................................... 16
What does the BIOS binary image naming convention indicate? ......................................................... 16
Can the BIOS POST splash screen be modified? ................................................................................ 16
How do I update the ME firmware in a DOS environment? ................................................................. 18
What are the steps necessary to use Altiris for ME firmware update? ................................................... 18
What if the ME firmware does not complete the update process?......................................................... 20
Can the ME firmware be restored to a previous version after updating? ............................................... 20
Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 20
Appendix A – Modifying a DOS boot diskette for Flashbin.exe ............................................................... 20
For More Information ......................................................................................................................... 22
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  • Page 1

    BIOS Flash Q&A Updated June, 2008 Table of Contents Introduction............................2 What are the files and directories in a BIOS softpaq? ................2 In what operating systems can I update the PC BIOS? ................4 Will I lose my setup configurations when updating the BIOS?..............4 How do I update my PC BIOS in Vista, Windows XP, or 2000? ............

  • Page 2: Introduction, What Are The Files And Directories In A Bios Softpaq

    Introduction This whitepaper outlines Hewlett-Packard business PC dc class BIOS flashing options beginning with the 2005 products (e.g. dc7600). The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) is the set of routines typically stored in read-only memory that enable a computer to load the operating system and communicate with the various devices in the computer, such as storage drives, keyboard, monitor, printer, and communications ports.

  • Page 3

    After acknowledging the license agreement, the softpaq will allow the user or administrator to extract the contents to any directory. The following files and directories are an example of the extracted from a typical BIOS softpaq: 786xx.cab – Compressed BIOS image which can by used by System Software •...

  • Page 4: In What Operating Systems Can I Update The Pc Bios

    Readme.txt – Text document describing FWUpdLcl use and syntax Xerces-c_2_7.dll – Library support file required for some versions of the Windows update application. XXX_bbbb.bin - Binary Management Engine image update file required by the DOS or Windows update utility where "XXX" is the abbreviated ME firmware version and "bbbb"...

  • Page 5: How Do I Update The Bios When Not Running Vista, Windows Xp, 2000, Or Dos

    If the BIOS administrator/setup password has been established on the business PC, the Flashbin utility driver must be assigned the password. Assign Password (Assignpw.exe) can be used with DOS Flash if an administrative/setup password has been previously set on the target PC.

  • Page 6

    When the media is selected, the user is presented with a list of valid binaries. If the BIOS cannot read the media or media files, an error message will be displayed and another media source can be selected. Once the desired binary image is selected and confirmed, the BIOS will begin the flashing process.

  • Page 7

    The user is prompted when the process is completed. The new BIOS code will not take effect until the PC is rebooted. Alternatively, the user or administrator can use a Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) to boot to a PXE server, such as Altiris. The Flashbin utility can be executed in the PXE DOS-like environment to perform the BIOS upgrade.

  • Page 8: What Are The Steps Necessary To Execute The Hpqflash Utility

    What are the steps necessary to execute the HPQFlash utility? The HPQFlash application is executed in the Windows environment by selecting the HPQFlash.exe file. The initial HPQFlash application window will be presented as follows reminding the user that additional applications should be closed before proceeding. The user must have administrative privilege on the PC to proceed with the BIOS update.

  • Page 9

    If the image file is applicable to the PC but is an older BIOS version that currently installed, the user will receive the following warning; however the older image can be restored to the PC if the user selects the Next button. If Next is selected, the BIOS flashing process will begin, and the user is warned not to interrupt the flashing process.

  • Page 10: What Are The Steps Necessary To Execute The Hpqpwsd Utility

    What are the steps necessary to execute the HPQPwsd utility? The HPQPswd application is executed in the Windows environment by selecting the HPQPswd.exe file. The initial HPQFlash application window will be presented as follows options to the user or administrator. As indicated in the image, this utility will create an encrypted password file required to execute the HPQFlash application in a silent mode on an administrative/setup password protected PC.

  • Page 11: What Are The Steps Necessary To Create A Bootable Floppy For Bios Update

    administrative/setup password set. The password file can be named and stored in any location. However, it is best to store the file in the same subdirectory as the HPQFlash application. The HPQFlash application silent mode will execute without user interaction. What are the steps necessary to create a bootable floppy for BIOS update? The BIOS image of some products are too large to fit on a diskette;...

  • Page 12: What Are The Steps Necessary To Create The Bios Image Cd For F10 Rom Flash And Recovery

    What are the steps necessary to create the BIOS image CD for F10 ROM flash and recovery? The softpaq BIOS.iso allows the user or administrator to create binary image CD that can be used to locally restore or update the system BIOS. This feature requires that a system is available with CD burning software and a compatible CD-R/RW drive installed.

  • Page 13: What Are The Steps Necessary To Use Ssm For Bios Update

    **Note: Unplug all USB storage devices (except USB Floppy drive) connected to the system other than the USB flash media device that you plan to make bootable.** 3. Insert Startup diskette or DOS Bootable diskette into the floppy drive. 4. Turn on power to the computer to boot from the Startup diskette. 5.

  • Page 14

    Step 1: Copy Flashbin.exe, Adminpw.exe, and BIOS image to the server 1. Create a “ROMFlash” folder in the Altiris eXpress folder 2. Copy the following files to the ROMFlash folder: a. Flashbin.exe b. Assignpw.exe c. XXX_MMmm.bin (desired BIOS update image) Step 2: Create Flash.bat 1.

  • Page 15: What If The Pc Does Not Complete The Bios Flash Process

    4. When Aclient is properly installed and the system is connected to the Altiris Console, the Altiris icon in the Windows Taskbar (next to the clock) will become blue 5. On the server: a. Right click on the client computer name b.

  • Page 16: What Is A Processor Microcode Update Softpaq And How Is It Used

    What is a processor microcode update softpaq and how is it used? Typical processors download code from the BIOS during initialization referred to as microcode. If a new, supported processor is installed in the business PC which requires a microcode currently not adequately provided by the BIOS, the BIOS will issue a POST warning “1801-Microcode Update Error”.

  • Page 17: How Do I Update The Me Firmware In Vista, Windows Xp, Or Windows 2000

    above cannot be flashed into the ROM part. The utility allows browsing through directories on the current disk. The images found can be viewed and a background color and a foreground color can be chosen from the colors in the image's palette. The utility also has a command line option to quickly flash a new image.

  • Page 18: How Do I Update The Me Firmware In A Dos Environment

    After the update is complete, the ME firmware is executing the update image, a system reboot is not immediately required. How do I update the ME firmware in a DOS environment? Another FWUpdLcl.exe version is included for ME firmware within a local DOS environment. For more information, view readme.txt located in the ME Flash\Local-DOS folder.

  • Page 19

    Step 2: Create Flash.bat 1. Open a command box 2. Start|Run: cmd 3. cd\express 4. cd MEFlash 5. edit meflash.bat 6. Type in the following, where [Altiris Sever Name] is the name of the server a. net use k: \\[Altiris Sever Name]\express b.

  • Page 20: What If The Me Firmware Does Not Complete The Update Process

    What if the ME firmware does not complete the update process? The ME retains a recovery image of the current firmware during the update process. If for any reason the ME cannot successfully complete the update, the ME will continue to function properly with the current firmware image.

  • Page 21

    In order to copy Flashbin.exe, flsh.cpu, and the BIOS binary image onto the FreeDOS boot diskette, the following modifications must be made: FreeDOS directory • Delete all the files except FDAUTO.BAT and GPL.COM Modify FDAUTO.BAT to contain the following statements: @echo off set disksrc=A: set bootsrc=realdisk...

  • Page 22: For More Information

    For More Information For the HP sales office nearest you, refer to your local phone directory, or call the HP regional office listed below. Corporate and North American headquarters Hewlett-Packard 3000 Hanover Street Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185 Phone: (650) 857-1501 Fax: (650) 857-5518 Regional headquarters Latin America...

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Compaq dc7900

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