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Intern
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Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 1 of 22 (45,022 Views)
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How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Hi,

I have a BIOS virus that prevents ANY version of any Windows OS from booting at all.

(Linux will boot and run fine)

So, to resolve this, I need to re-flash the BIOS.

Problem is...HP only offers the BIOS utility as a Windows executable.

 

Can anyone help me figure out a way to flash the BIOS WITHOUT Windows ?

 

thx

 

 

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Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Now, in answer to this thread I have discovered a solution ....

 

HPBIOSFILE.exe -writeromfile / -writehexfile / -writehdrfile

 

 

I hope this helps some of you.

To use this.....

 

1). Download the BIOS update executable (.exe) file for your MoBo

2). Get a copy of Award's DOS Bios flashing program (Google it, easy to find)

3). Obtain a downloadable copy of DOS 6.22 (from Microsoft) and create boot files from it.  (you may need another computer to do this).

4). Boot your affected computer into DOS 6.22

a). Copy the files into a directory

b). Using the bolded line above....type the name of your BIOS file in place of HPBIOSFILE.exe" and execute the command.

 

You will end up with a ROM file, a BIN file and a header file.

 

You can now re-flash your BIOS on your HP computer outside of a Windows Environment.

 

ENJOY!

 

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Provost
Posts: 23,513
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 2 of 22 (45,018 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

You might end up bricking your motherboard.

 

Bios boot CD.

BIOS Boot Bart’s Way.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HP DV9700, t9300, Nvidia 8600, 4GB, Crucial C300 128GB SSD
HP ENVY 17t Touch,i7-5500u,16GB, 256 GB SSD (on loan)
HP Photosmart 6520
HP Touchpad, HP Chromebook 11
Custom i7-5930k, X99, 16GB 2800 MHz DDR4, Intel 750 PCI-E SSD, (2)Samsung EVO 840 SSD, Corsair HX650, EVGA GTX 760TI, Corsair H75 water cooler
Windows 8.1 UEFI mode
Intern
Posts: 51
Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 3 of 22 (45,008 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Yeah...kind of afraid that was coming.

Intern
Posts: 51
Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 4 of 22 (45,007 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

[ Edited ]

HP apparently is still enamored with MS and hasn't figured out that a BIOS flash process independent of MS might be a good..if not necessary thing.

 

I know this is an ASUS MoBo.

 

Is the machine so Propietary that I could NOT use a DOS based BIOS bin file directly from ASUS?

 

I couldn't care less about losing HP specific features if I can salvage the MoBo.

 

It's a Phoenix Award Bios chip.   If I flashed it with a non HP BIOS, would it brick my board (tough question I suppose).

 

BIOS viruses are IMO, the next gen.  Manufacturers can use jumpers to "lock" a BIOS and there are other ways to protect BIOS, but hackers will be looking for and finding ANY and all weaknesses.   for Millions of people like myself with Propietary systems vulnerable to these attacks, the lack of a NON WINDOWS BIOS flasher is a death kiss for millions of vulnerable systems.

 

Quite naive of HP not to offer a DOS based flash process....then again, it seems as though they would know about such trends, in which case the motive for NOT having one is doubious indeed.

 

 

Provost
Posts: 23,513
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 5 of 22 (44,982 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Flashing Award BIOS.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HP DV9700, t9300, Nvidia 8600, 4GB, Crucial C300 128GB SSD
HP ENVY 17t Touch,i7-5500u,16GB, 256 GB SSD (on loan)
HP Photosmart 6520
HP Touchpad, HP Chromebook 11
Custom i7-5930k, X99, 16GB 2800 MHz DDR4, Intel 750 PCI-E SSD, (2)Samsung EVO 840 SSD, Corsair HX650, EVGA GTX 760TI, Corsair H75 water cooler
Windows 8.1 UEFI mode
Intern
Posts: 51
Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 6 of 22 (44,978 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Thanks BDave,

 

Now if only HP offered a BIN BIOS file for my system.

 

All they offer is a Windows executable which I suppose is a BIOS update wrapped in an installer.

 

If you can go just one tiny step further and tell me where I can get a Binary file to use with the Award DOS based BIOS flasher I would be set.

 

M2N68-LA

Pavillion a6230n

 

Cheers

Provost
Posts: 23,513
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 7 of 22 (44,973 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Try using 7-ZIP or Universal Extractor

 

Frankly, I think you are having a motherboard issue.  Why do I suggest that?  Look at all the posts for motherboard issues with the motherboard that is installed in your PC.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HP DV9700, t9300, Nvidia 8600, 4GB, Crucial C300 128GB SSD
HP ENVY 17t Touch,i7-5500u,16GB, 256 GB SSD (on loan)
HP Photosmart 6520
HP Touchpad, HP Chromebook 11
Custom i7-5930k, X99, 16GB 2800 MHz DDR4, Intel 750 PCI-E SSD, (2)Samsung EVO 840 SSD, Corsair HX650, EVGA GTX 760TI, Corsair H75 water cooler
Windows 8.1 UEFI mode
Intern
Posts: 51
Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 8 of 22 (44,972 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

[ Edited ]

I tend to think the MoBo is ok.   This issue came up suddenly....along with the appearance of a virus found by avast.

 

How would you account for the flawless operation of the same MB under Linux?

In fact, I am using that computer at this moment, under Ubuntu 10.04.  My guess is thast the BIOS chip is looking for a specifc set of instructions or file(s) that are part of all Windows Operating Systems.   Since it doesn't find what it's seeking, it goes back dormant.  I might be able to verify this once and for all by adding some core Windows files in a root folder and see if it stalls.

 

Seriously....not a single issue under Ubuntu.   Perfect, full speed operation....

Day in and day out.  Yet it will not start under ANY windows product and will not accept any of a variety of Windows simulators and OEM recovery disks.

 

Of course, the BIOS, being that it's on the MoBo, would probsably make you correct by default Smiley Wink

Provost
Posts: 23,513
Member Since: ‎07-17-2009
Message 9 of 22 (44,967 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

[ Edited ]

So far you have not been able to get any Windows based CDs to boot.  Is that correct?

 

Does the memetest bootable CD work?

 

What I would try is another hard drive and then clear the CMOS.  Unplug the hard drive and see if you can get a Windows based CD to boot.

 

Linux and Unix load differently compared to windows.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
HP DV9700, t9300, Nvidia 8600, 4GB, Crucial C300 128GB SSD
HP ENVY 17t Touch,i7-5500u,16GB, 256 GB SSD (on loan)
HP Photosmart 6520
HP Touchpad, HP Chromebook 11
Custom i7-5930k, X99, 16GB 2800 MHz DDR4, Intel 750 PCI-E SSD, (2)Samsung EVO 840 SSD, Corsair HX650, EVGA GTX 760TI, Corsair H75 water cooler
Windows 8.1 UEFI mode
Intern
Posts: 51
Member Since: ‎12-27-2010
Message 10 of 22 (44,942 Views)

Re: How to Flash BIOS if you cannot start Windows

Just installed a BRAND NEW, Western Digital 500GB drive.

 

Ran the HP hard drive initialization disk....

 

It ran...but not a single letter or word appeared on the page...just pictures of the check mark and symbols.

When I say not a single word or letter I mean that literally....nowhere on the entire screen? Is that normal?

 

Anyway...Exact same result.

 

It is NOT the hard drive.

 

Cleared the CMOS...no luck.

 

It is a BIOS issue....either corrupted or a virus. 

Once again, I'm convinced it is the latter as every time I booted right before this happened one of several viruses kept reappearing mysteriously on my hard drive from ??????  (system was sterilized, so BIOS was ONLY possible avenue of infection).

 

Without a way to re-flash the bios without Windows, this MoBo is a dead paper weight.

 

Why would HP not realize the value of being able to re-flash the BIOS outside of Windows....unless they did it intentianally?

 

 

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