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Thread: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

  1. #1
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    Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Hi,
    I'm a real newbie here that needs help. I have an Acer 4820T laptop. I'm looking for help on flashing/updating my bios through ubuntu 11.10. as the battery isn't being recognised at all. I don't have windows anymore so I can't do it through that unfortunately. Would any1 have a step by step for it? I would really appreciate it. Thanks

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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    You really need to read the manual for your motherboard to see what option are available
    Ubuntu Member Always something different. Promoting Ubuntu and System 76 at TUXPC

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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by gaz2011 View Post
    Hi,
    I'm a real newbie here that needs help. I have an Acer 4820T laptop. I'm looking for help on flashing/updating my bios through ubuntu 11.10. as the battery isn't being recognised at all. I don't have windows anymore so I can't do it through that unfortunately. Would any1 have a step by step for it? I would really appreciate it. Thanks
    If you can get an actual BIOS image file then there are utilities in Synaptic that might work, but you could wreck your machine in the process.

    Unfortunately a lot of vendors these days only seem to support Windows for this sort of thing.
    Regards, David.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    If it was a phoenix or ami bios it's doable, but the Acer Timeline's use an InsydeH20 and there isn't a linux installer. You'll need to download the latest bios from acer and do the following to install from a usb flash drive:


    1. If not already installed, you need gparted and unetbootin

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gparted unetbootin
    2. Use gparted to create a single FAT16 formatted partition on the flash drive.

    3. Use unetbootin to install a bootable FreeDOS onto the flash drive:

    • Select the distribution FreeDOS.
    • Select your USB flash drive
    • Click OK. This will download FreeDOS to create a DOS bootable flash drive.


    4. Copy your motherboard's BIOS update (Inside of the DOS directory for your acer BIOS) into the root of flash drive. These files will be located in B: or C: drive when you boot into FreeDOS.

  5. #5
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzyman View Post
    If it was a phoenix or ami bios it's doable, but the Acer Timeline's use an InsydeH20 and there isn't a linux installer. You'll need to download the latest bios from acer and do the following to install from a usb flash drive:


    1. If not already installed, you need gparted and unetbootin

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gparted unetbootin
    2. Use gparted to create a single FAT16 formatted partition on the flash drive.

    3. Use unetbootin to install a bootable FreeDOS onto the flash drive:

    • Select the distribution FreeDOS.
    • Select your USB flash drive
    • Click OK. This will download FreeDOS to create a DOS bootable flash drive.


    4. Copy your motherboard's BIOS update (Inside of the DOS directory for your acer BIOS) into the root of flash drive. These files will be located in B: or C: drive when you boot into FreeDOS.
    Thanks for reply. I have a mini usb stick that is already FAT32. Can I use it as it is or do I have to change it to FAT16? Not sure how to change it to be honest.
    Thanks

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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    leave that job to unetbootin , i hope it can manage.
    Dont miss anything even it is small. one small pin is enough to bring down a man.


  7. #7
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    well yes because often Bios updates are in the form of a windows file format that fits onto a floppy drive. Being that way, you'd have to format a flash drive by mounting it first, so that the file type could fit onto the floppy. It totally depends on your mobo and whether or not bios updates have been made for it, with windows some updates can just download, install, and then when you reboot the Bios is updated. Obviously in some cases you can revert to old bios settings if an update messes something up.

    But first and foremost I'd have to say that advice is correct, these updates are made to apply through windows. Although obviously windows has nothing to do with bios settings, because bios is basic input output system. Maybe DRIVERS for bios is windows based, but bios loads before a drive is booted to mount an OS. I'm not sure but yes I suppose putting the update on a usb and booting to it would work. I don't see how the update being made for windows would effect that. But then if a senior forum member said it would, I'd take his advice. Although I personally couldn't image that, but once again:

    look for an update for your bios:

    1) if it's in a rom or what not file it's made for a floppy

    2) if it's made to install through the already loaded gui on the OS then it's made to over write the bios lock from the gui, change the settings from windows, then when you reboot it sets the bios update. So how would you boot to the update?

    Either way I only ASSUME a rom file or what not can be installed to a flash drive then booted to. But first thing you need to find out if bios updates are available for your mobo. And sometimes they are made available through 3rd party sites and not the manufacturer

  8. #8
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by raja.genupula View Post
    leave that job to unetbootin , i hope it can manage.
    did he find the update?

  9. #9
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by xyzzyman View Post
    If it was a phoenix or ami bios it's doable, but the Acer Timeline's use an InsydeH20 and there isn't a linux installer. You'll need to download the latest bios from acer and do the following to install from a usb flash drive:


    1. If not already installed, you need gparted and unetbootin

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install gparted unetbootin
    2. Use gparted to create a single FAT16 formatted partition on the flash drive.

    3. Use unetbootin to install a bootable FreeDOS onto the flash drive:

    • Select the distribution FreeDOS.
    • Select your USB flash drive
    • Click OK. This will download FreeDOS to create a DOS bootable flash drive.


    4. Copy your motherboard's BIOS update (Inside of the DOS directory for your acer BIOS) into the root of flash drive. These files will be located in B: or C: drive when you boot into FreeDOS.
    ok you are just walking him through backing up his current bios settings

  10. #10
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    Re: Guide for flashing/updating bios on Acer laptop using Linux?

    Quote Originally Posted by imachavel View Post
    ok you are just walking him through backing up his current bios settings
    No I forgot the rest of the steps:

    5.) Boot from the USB drive.

    6.) Run the executable (It will be in the b or c drive)

    His model's DOS updater is a single executable like all InsydeH20 bios updates. It's not like phoenix or AMI that have a seperate ROM file and an updater executable. Hence also why I said to copy the file from the DOS folder and not the Windows folder... Updating the BIOS from DOS is the preferred way anyways. The Windows updaters aren't as safe hence why most have a DOS folder for those who know what to do.

    Still not sure how you get out of what I wrote that he was just backing up his current settings. He gave the model # of his system and that's it's an Acer. I would never recommend him to use a BIOS update on an OEM system on a 3rd party site in this type of forum. The Timeline series of Acer's Aspire's are known for requiring a BIOS update to properly recognize the battery so it's a fix that he does have to perform also, otherwise we'd be recommending against updating the BIOS.

    @gaz2011: unetbootin will take care of it. It's just making sure that your thumb drive has a single partition (Some have multiple for pre-installed software that comes with the drive).
    Last edited by xyzzyman; January 22nd, 2012 at 04:42 AM.

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