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Thread: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

  1. #51
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    The short answer would be that what your lecturer said is possible.

  2. #52
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Quote Originally Posted by hmarkg View Post
    One question. I am just wondering as i asked my lecturer about this BIOS flashing thing with ubuntu. He said it is very dangerious...
    He must have read my tutorial and noticed all the times I mentioned that flashing a BIOS is destructive/dangerous/hazardous/etc.

    ...If fail i may need to throw my laptop away...
    That's a little extreme. You need to flash your BIOS per your manufacturers guidelines and suggestions. If you flash it once and it fails, yes, you've borked your system, which is why you will have already made a copy of your current (or later) BIOS so you can flash it properly the next time.

    ...My question is that is it safe to do so, this is my first time doing such thing. And if I failed, is it as bad as what my lecturer said. I do not wan to lose the laptop.
    Do you know anyone locally who can help you through this process (we're always here for you, btw ). Here's the thing: it is potentially dangerous b/c of all the warnings previously mentioned. It's important to do it the right way. When done correctly, increased functionality and potentially a slew of bugs that were present in the original BIOS, are then fixed. The idea is greater functionality (or proper functionality in the event the BIOS never worked or worked too poorly to begin with).

    You've downloaded a 32bit/64-bit Vista flashing tool that is well over 1.44MB is size. In total, it's in the 7 to 9MB range. Here are my suggestions: You can go with the link provided above by ivotron, you could use a pre-exectution environment like BartPE (also mentioned by another poster on this thread), or you can use Windows. If you have a dual-boot environment, I would suggest flashing your BIOS using the OS it was designed for.

    You should also write to Compaq requesting they provide a BIOS flashing tool native to Linux, preferably a Debian-based tool.

    The flashrom utility mentioned above is nice, has support for many chipsets/motherboards, but it too has its limitations. For example, when trying to read my BIOS using the utility, it correctly identified my chipset but couldn't read the information to a file b/c it failed for some reason.

  3. #53
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    Nov 2007
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    52

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Do you know anyone locally who can help you through this process (we're always here for you, btw )
    As far as I do not have anyone that is able to help me in my friend cycle. So I am totally relaying on this forum.

    You should also write to Compaq requesting they provide a BIOS flashing tool native to Linux, preferably a Debian-based tool
    I have send them an e-mail but no reply.

    You've downloaded a 32bit/64-bit Vista flashing tool that is well over 1.44MB is size. In total, it's in the 7 to 9MB range. Here are my suggestions: You can go with the link provided above by ivotron, you could use a pre-exectution environment like BartPE (also mentioned by another poster on this thread), or you can use Windows. If you have a dual-boot environment, I would suggest flashing your BIOS using the OS it was designed for.
    I am flashing my lappy to solve the sound problem. I guess I shell get a vista and flash it because I am kinda of blur to flash the BIOS.

  4. #54
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Quote Originally Posted by hmarkg View Post
    As far as I do not have anyone that is able to help me in my friend cycle. So I am totally relaying on this forum.
    We'll try to assist the best we can

    I have send them an e-mail but no reply.
    I wouldn't hold your breath waiting on a reply. If they do reply with suggestions, that's great. But mainly the point is to make them aware there are users of their products out here that don't only use Windows. Unfortunately, though, they may not support Linux in any capacity. If enough people express their concerns then it's in their better interests to try to serve their customers in this regard. Did you inherit this laptop? Is it still under manufacturer warranty?

    I am flashing my lappy to solve the sound problem. I guess I shell get a vista and flash it because I am kinda of blur to flash the BIOS.
    Have you looked into sound issue solutions posted elsewhere on this forum?

    Ultimately of course, the decision is yours to shell out the money for Vista, but that seems like a high price to pay to simply flash your BIOS. Trying to work through the methods suggested thus far may prove successful; just remember to heed all warnings and cautions. Is your sound issue a known bug that Compaq has addressed? If they have, does it only relate to sound w/in Windows? Since they only provide Windows-based flashing tools, I would assume the answer to that would be: yes (if, in fact, there are known sound issues related to your current BIOS and a Windows environment). Do they specifically say that flashing your BIOS will solve this problem? Does Compaq offer free community-based support where you could pose these questions as well? Here's a thought: you could get into a live chat with a tech support / sales person concerned about potential issues, etc., etc., and see what they have to say about this problem..that you've "heard about".

  5. #55
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    At the building the ISO stage, I am doing this:

    Code:
    mkisofs -o Bootable-CD-BIOS-Image.iso -b FDOEM.144 /home/paris/Desktop/folder/burn
    With this as the error:
    genisoimage: Uh oh, I cant find the boot image 'FDOEM.144

    I have tried adding the path to FDOEM.144 with the same result.
    Can you please point me in the right direction? I appreciate any help.

    **EDIT**
    I pointed to the wrong directory. I thought /home/... was where to place the created image file, not where FDOEM.144 was. Fixed it, thanks.
    Last edited by august495; November 16th, 2008 at 06:46 PM. Reason: thick headed

  6. #56
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    I just want to say, that the warnings here are serious.

    I have flashed dozens and dozens of motherboard bios chips over the years, and have never had a problem until I followed the directions.

    The directions are just fine, but stuff happens, and even with loads of experience, I managed to fry my bios.

    The only reason I used these directions, is that my computer doesn't even have a floppy drive, so making a CD that 'thinks' it's a floppy was a great trick.

    Sadly, my motherboard also has an incorrectly implemented BIOS protection feature, which will cause the bios to get half-way through and then error out; and I didn't know about it.


    Should anyone else fry their bios, don't worry. I went to biosman.com and they were able to ship a replacement BIOS chip, pre-flashed with the latest bios for my board the very next day. Should be arriving soon. Then I can go back to posting at home, and actually doing my job at work. lol
    My blog about getting your life in gear: Growing Up After 30.

    My Photography: Stephen Michael Photography.

  7. #57
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Quote Originally Posted by VeeDubb View Post
    Sadly, my motherboard also has an incorrectly implemented BIOS protection feature, which will cause the bios to get half-way through and then error out; and I didn't know about it.
    Which mainboard / BIOS ?

    Interesting, I have seen other posts where the OPs have failed when using a CDROM (notebooks) but Ok when using a USB flash drive.
    Last edited by Alzyme; November 18th, 2008 at 05:18 PM. Reason: Removed accidental post icon from title.

  8. #58
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    47

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    Thanks for this. I came across two issues trying to do it the 'CD' way:

    a) The BIOS image was 2Mb in size and thus doesn't fit on a 1.44Mb floppy image!

    Solution: use the FDSTD.288 one instead, changing the filename as appropriate. Fortunately, the flashing .exe was small.

    b) An illegal instruction crash on running the .exe the first time I booted the CD.

    Solution: say no to every boot option FreeDOS gives (no to loading DOS high, no to EMM386, etc.)

    ... and it worked!

  9. #59
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    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    @unprinted,

    Glad to hear that it eventually worked for you.

    It was very common (at least it was a few years ago) to have BIOS images stay under the standard floppy mark. Times have changed though and mobo makers are increasingly using larger images. I'm glad you found a method that worked for you.

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    3

    Re: HOWTO: Flash BIOS, The Ubuntu Way

    OMG!!! THANK YOU!!!!

    I spent over 12 hours trying to fix this problem before this thread saved me. Turns out my board was shipped with an old version of the bios full of bugs that where making to impossible to work with. To top it all off, there is no floppy port on the board.

    The CD solution worked wonders for me!!!!

    Here is my full story on my blog...
    http://jacksdepression.com/post/7

    Edit: Link updated. Since it is still getting traffic and I changed url scheme.
    Last edited by bja888; September 30th, 2009 at 01:42 PM.

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