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Thread: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    2

    Cannot unzip the .exe file!

    Hello!

    I am very new to Ubuntu and the whole concept of Linux, so please excuse my lack of knowledge within this topic.

    This is a great guide, however I encountered some difficulties;

    When attempting to unzip the 'sp40182.exe' (the BIOS update from HP to my nc8430), I encounter the following message in Terminal:

    Code:
    unzip:  cannot find or open /root/home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe, /root/home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe.zip or /root/home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe.ZIP.
    Now, the file is clearly stored in my home-folder, and I even copy-pasted the link - to no use.

    If I, however, access the file through the folder it's located in, and select to 'open with Archive Manager', I get another error-message;
    Code:
    [/home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe]
      End-of-central-directory signature not found.  Either this file is not
      a zipfile, or it constitutes one disk of a multi-part archive.  In the
      latter case the central directory and zipfile comment will be found on
      the last disk(s) of this archive.
    zipinfo:  cannot find zipfile directory in one of /home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe or
              /home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe.zip, and cannot find /home/jarlg/BIOS/sp40182.exe.ZIP, period.
    Everything but this step seems to work. I can mount the file to the temporary directory, and even access it's contents from it's mounted location.

    If it's any help,
    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=3 21957&prodSeriesId=1839150&prodNameId=1839197&swEn vOID=1093&swLang=8&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=ob-63512-1"> this is the link to my BIOS-download.
    Beneath you'll also see the link to the BIOS-downloads section of the same page, perhaps I've downloaded the wrong file?

    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport...nvOID=1093#120

    Anyways, I'd be very grateful if I were to receive any advice or help here as to how my problem can be solved. Currently, my computer can reach horrific temperatures even when it's fan is going at full speed. I've heard this BIOS-upgrade should make the laptop more silent, and that is something I'd really like.

    Thanks in advance, and please tell if you need more information or anything!
    Last edited by JarlG; August 16th, 2009 at 07:28 PM. Reason: My HTML links didn't seem to work correctly. :/

  2. #92
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Beans
    15

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    wats the problem with ur bios ??????

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Beans
    2

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    I'm not sure if you are referring to me, but I might as well be on the safe side.

    As I noted in the end of my post, the reason as to why I'd like to update my bios is the fact that people have experienced a more silent laptop after the update. This is something I would really like.

    Again, thanks in advance!

  4. #94
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Beans
    190

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Just like to add the results of my endeavours here.

    I needed to upgrade the BIOS of a Dell Precision 340. I opted for the CD method. First of all, I downloaded the latest BIOS from the Dell website. It was called WS340A07.EXE.

    This was the 'non-packaged' version, which means it is not an archive, so no need to extract anything. The file is in fact the BIOS flash program together with the BIOS. In a DOS system, all you need to do is execute the file to flash the BIOS.

    As I don't have DOS, I built a bootable DOS CD using the instructions of this thread and with help from:

    http://www.linuxinsight.com/how-to-f...ppy-drive.html

    In my home directory I did:

    Code:
    mkdir bios
    cd bios
    copy FDOEM.144.gz to this directory
    gunzip FDOEM.144.gz
    There no need to do a 'modprobe loop' when using Jaunty (and if you do, you will get an error). Next:

    Code:
    sudo mkdir /tmp/floppy
    sudo mount -t vfat -o loop FDOEM.144 /tmp/floppy
    sudo cp WS340A07.EXE /tmp/floppy
    sudo umount /tmp/floppy
    sudo mkisofs -o bootcd.iso -b FDOEM.144 FDOEM.144
    This will have created the file bootcd.iso in ~/bios, with the BIOS executable WS240A07.EXE on it.
    I burnt it to a cd, rebooted using the CD and from the DOS prompt A:\ ran the WS340A07.EXE.

    Worked fine!

    Probably could avoid all those sudo's by doing a 'sudo su', but I wasn't sure if that would land me in a different directory. The commands I used are safe and worked perfectly.

    PS. I think for older motherboards like mine, the DOS method is the safest. I was thinking of using the dellBiosUpdate utility which requires 'rbu' to be supported by the motherboard. When I looked at the ini file that came with the BIOS hdr file for this method, I saw it was blacklisted - meaning unreliable for my brand of motherboard.

    Thanks for this thread - very helpful and I have learned more about Linux!

  5. #95
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Beans
    Hidden!

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    cp: writing `/tmp/floppy/ep43ds3l.bin': No space left on device

    I was so close, It only worked the first time creating the iso. Now the device is full even on a reboot. I had to do it over since the downloaded exe file I copied would only run in windows and I extracted the bin and flash program 2 files, but cant wright to the device.

    How do you start over clearing the device?

    OK, if I "sudo rm /tmp/floppy/ the files I dont need"
    then the space is freed up.
    Last edited by sdowney717; September 26th, 2009 at 08:35 PM.

  6. #96
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Beans
    21

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Can anyone help? I'm pretty new to Ubuntu, and any help, stated in simple terms, would be very gratefully received.

    Using Method 2 I get as far as this step:

    sudo cp ~/NewBiosFiles/* /tmp/cdr

    but I keep getting a "No such file or directory" error.
    The BIOS file is called BIOS_v1.45.exe (for an Acer 5315). I've tried replacing "NewBiosFiles" with "BIOS_v1.45.exe"

    I've also tried copying the BIOS_v1.45.exe file to the /tmp/cdr folder manually using Nautilus, but I run into another problem: the BIOS_v1.45.exe file is 1.4Mb, and Nautilus tells me I only have 1.3Mb free in the folder

    Maybe I'm doing something really dumb, or maybe Acer are just making life difficult, as usual ...

    (I've got a clean re-install of Karmic; no floppy drive; and I want to flash the BIOS because of a well-documented and widely-suffered problem with the fan not switching on to cool the CPU, causing the laptop to just shut down without warning)

  7. #97
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    2,310
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Quote Originally Posted by JdeP View Post
    Can anyone help? I'm pretty new to Ubuntu, and any help, stated in simple terms, would be very gratefully received.

    Using Method 2 I get as far as this step:

    sudo cp ~/NewBiosFiles/* /tmp/cdr

    but I keep getting a "No such file or directory" error.
    The BIOS file is called BIOS_v1.45.exe (for an Acer 5315). I've tried replacing "NewBiosFiles" with "BIOS_v1.45.exe"

    I've also tried copying the BIOS_v1.45.exe file to the /tmp/cdr folder manually using Nautilus, but I run into another problem: the BIOS_v1.45.exe file is 1.4Mb, and Nautilus tells me I only have 1.3Mb free in the folder

    Maybe I'm doing something really dumb, or maybe Acer are just making life difficult, as usual ...

    (I've got a clean re-install of Karmic; no floppy drive; and I want to flash the BIOS because of a well-documented and widely-suffered problem with the fan not switching on to cool the CPU, causing the laptop to just shut down without warning)
    @JdeP,

    Here are my suggestions:
    1. sudo cp ~/NewBiosFiles/* /tmp/cdr means the following: copy all the new BIOS files to the /tmp/cdr directory (NewBiosFiles is pseudocode for your newly downloaded BIOS files found inside the executable after you extract it. So wherever you've extracted the BIOS files, this chunk of code is telling you to copy everything (the asterisk is a wildcard that matches everything)). It was a quick way of saying to copy all extracted files to /tmp/cdr directory. You may not need or want all of these files though. At the very least, the flashing utility and the new BIOS file need to be included when you copy to /tmp/cdr directory. If there are extraneous files inside the BIOS_v1.45.exe, this may help you in reducing the size footprint and allow you to stick with the 1.44 image rather than the suggested workaround when needing larger or more files by using the 2.88 image listed under SIZE CONTRAINTS.
    2. Do you have a dual-boot environment, Linux + Windows, for example? If so, boot to Windows and flash from there. Might save you a few headaches
    3. Do you know someone that is good with computers? If so, ask them to help you out; for all intents and purposes, this is not a beginner's tutorial.
    4. Does ACER have a flashing utility native to Linux? If so, try using it.
    5. You need to extract the executable file using unzip, for example. See my FOOTNOTES section at the bottom of the tutorial.
    6. The main issue you are experiencing is a size contraint issue. Please see my tutorial again and look under the heading SIZE CONSTRAINTS.
    7. There are althernative methods mentioned in my tutorial that allow you to go about flashing your BIOS is a variety of ways. Perhaps you can try using Flashrom, a native-to-Linux catch-all utility (it may or may not work for you, but it's worth a shot...please check their web site to see if your board is supported and/or workarounds are available).
    8. Another solution might be to get a USB Floppy drive. I don't really recommend this as it will cost you money unless you borrow one from a friend. Then you can try Method 1, the easiest of all methods. Remember though about size constraints! Using the CD Method or the GRUB method gets around this issue entirely.
    9. I would lastly suggest that you carefully read the tutorial again, top to bottom, taking into account any and all tips and warnings.

    Good luck!

  8. #98
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    596
    Distro
    Kubuntu Development Release

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    No need for me!

    My bios updates from bios image in USB flash drive or cd from the bios menu itself.

  9. #99
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Beans
    21

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Dear ciscosurfer,

    Many thanks for your extensive help. I've been trying all sorts of things before asking for help again. Unfortunately I'm still stuck.

    If you are trying to keep the How To up-to-date you would help other people, and hopefully me too, if you provide some info under Method 3:GRUB about using GRUB2 -- as far as I have been able to understand, the "menu.lst" file no longer exists in GRUB2, so the last two segments of your instructions (from "sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst") won't work

    Best wishes

  10. #100
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Beans
    2,310
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Quote Originally Posted by JdeP View Post
    Dear ciscosurfer,

    Many thanks for your extensive help. I've been trying all sorts of things before asking for help again. Unfortunately I'm still stuck.

    If you are trying to keep the How To up-to-date you would help other people, and hopefully me too, if you provide some info under Method 3:GRUB about using GRUB2 -- as far as I have been able to understand, the "menu.lst" file no longer exists in GRUB2, so the last two segments of your instructions (from "sudo vim /boot/grub/menu.lst") won't work

    Best wishes
    You are correct: Method 3 is geared towards original GRUB users (pre-Karmic). The best advice I can give you regarding Method 3 + GRUB 2 is to check the Tips and Warnings section, number 6. Unfortunately, GRUB 2 is a bit more involved than its predecessor in the way it functions. If that seems too daunting (it's not really all that bad once you read up on how the latest GRUB works) I would suggest trying to use a larger FreeDOS image. The 2.88MB image, which is a standard image and not a bare OEM image, should allow you to complete the tutorial due to its larger size. Here is a link to the 2.88MB image (http://www.fdos.org/bootdisks/autogen/FDSTD.288.gz). Once downloaded, and after you have extracted the file and mounted it to a location of your choosing, you can remove the fdos directory and both umb* files (umbpci.sys and umbpci.txt) to free up more space. At that point, the image is essentially like the 1.44MB image you downloaded previously, just twice as large--which should help accommodate your new BIOS image + related files. It is also helpful to note that once you've downloaded your new BIOS image + related files, you may want to take a look inside it (by unzipping the .exe) and checking to see if these files come in under the 2.88MB mark collectively. If they don't, and if you can't remove some of these files without sacrificing the ability to use them as a flashing service, then I'm afraid even the 2.88MB FreeDOS image will also not suffice.

    Continued good luck!

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