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05-19-2020 03:37 PM
Product: HP Workstation Z400
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
Trying to upgrade my z400 bios to the most recent, I have looked through the boards and tried all methods barring using the windows gui method as from my reading this can cause major issues if it goes wrong.
I seem to be having the issue that my bios currently will not read the usb stick that I plug in it, it recognises that it's there but when I go to update using the flash rom option within the bios its says removable media is bad or missing. For reference the usb stick is a 2gb pny which has been formatted in fat and fat32 with only the bios file required placed onto it.
For reference it will not even boot to the drive if I go through the F9 boot menu. It's all very strange.
Anyone have an idea what it is that I'm doing wrong?
- Current bios on my z400 is 786G3 v03.12 dated 11/10/09
8 REPLIES 8
05-20-2020 06:57 PM
are you trying to update from DOS, or from within the bios itself or from windows (NOT RECOMENDED!!!) as the installer is not certified for win 10 use either DOS or Bios methods to update if on win 10 OS
the latest bios only shows up under the win 7 or vista/XP (not win 😎 and is 3.61 file name is sp84161
within the z400 bios is a option to allow a bios update
or create a bootable fat32 usb key and place the files found in the "DOS" folder of the extracted SP (to extract run but don't install SP, then go to sp folder on drive
05-21-2020 02:14 AM
Ok, so I have stayed away from using the windows application for bios updating after reading all the horror stories on the interweb.
My plan was to use the bin file on a newly formatted 8 GB USB stick, I formatted the usb in fat and fat32 both times just dragging the bin file onto the stick. Turned off the pc rebooted into f10 setup menu went to flash rom then chose usb, but the system tells me that there has been a disk error and it cant continue any further.
It's funny because the system sees the usb there it just wont look inside the usb at bios level, I have checked all other settings and everything is ok there are no security options activated that would cause this issue.
Slightly confused as I have flashed many bios from the f10 menu, buy this z400 has me majorly befuddled.
Need to be able to upgrade the bios as my friend wants me to upgrade the cpu in the system to and x5690. Which I think needs the bios upgrade to work properly.
Any advice you can give would be a bonus.
05-21-2020 04:32 AM
Thanks for the ultra quick reply, ok so I have done everything you have stated above, but the bios itself is still stating an error as per my first message on the board?
Do we think that the drive is screwed up? Possibly but works perfectly in the windows architecture.
I'm a bit miffed at why it keeps throwing an error like it does.
Even tried to use the next bios file what would be applicable for this system and not use the latest one so I could do a sequential update of bios, but alas nothing still.
It's all very strange.
05-21-2020 08:11 AM - edited 05-21-2020 08:15 AM
The .bin file you'll be using is tiny. The "OS" during the process is the current BIOS code, which is primative.
I believe your problem may be too big of a thumb drive, too big to be handled by the BIOS code. Or, more likely, something else may be on the thumb drive on a hidden sector. Try a smaller thumb drive, which can be hard to find these days.
I have used Roadkil's Disk Wipe to low level format USB sticks to get hidden sector stuff cleared off. It is free and easy to find via Google. Then reformat the stick using defaults. I've had to fiddle in the past but once I did this it worked fine. I keep one stick as a known-good one for BIOS updates from within BIOS. The only thing that should be on that stick is the updated BIOS .bin file. I'm hoping you know how to find that single file.
Have the stick in a USB2 port (which is all you have in a Z400). Computer fully off. Cold boot and F10 into BIOS to get to the BIOS update option.... it is something like Update System ROM under the first BIOS tab. If the stick is ready to go it will default to that.
I tried a CD just now.... that does not work as the media..... BIOS wants only a proper USB stick or a floppy.
05-21-2020 12:07 PM - edited 05-21-2020 06:53 PM
Agree with DGroves that Rufus is excellent but a bootable USB key is not what you want if you are doing the built-in update of BIOS from within BIOS. You want a pure clean fat 32 formatted small blank thumb drive, with zero vendor cr*p on the low level sectors that you cannot usually see. And you copy on only the .bin file for your workstation.
If you move up one level from BIOS to DOS as your OS then I think that is what DGroves is referring to for Rufus. HP provides the BIOS as OS method and a DOS as OS method. It also provides the Windows as OS method but that is more risky especially if the OS you are using is W10. Less risky if OS is W7. Much less risky if OS is XP. Why take any of those risks when you can do it within BIOS, or DOS? The instructions from HP admittedly are poor. Clearly my preferred method has its issues too but once you get a good thumb drive for the process it works every time with no issues. Been doing this for over a decade now.
You will not be booting from this thumb drive if you go the in-BIOS upgrade way. You will be "booting" into the currently present BIOS, which actually is a primative OS run from built in firmware (CMOS). There is code in there that looks for a floppy or a thumb drive and if it has a proper .bin file on the top level of the media the current BIOS will know what to do with that. I'd come help you if you lived down the street...
Since we're on the topic.... when HP released the Z440/Z640/Z840 family they changed somewhat from this method of BIOS updates. The SoftPaqs now still use a .bin file but you need to put it into a properly named series of several cascading folders on a non-bootable thumb drive if you want to update BIOS within BIOS for those and the G4 next generation of workstations. If you just put one of those .bin files at the top level of a thumb drive and try that way in a ZX40 it won't work. You need the right order of folders in folders with specified names for the ZX40 and G4 workstations to find the .bin file.
05-21-2020 02:00 PM
Rufus can create a bootable or a non bootable (but formated) usb key in NTFS or FAT and it's formatting routines are very close to microsoft's
i've seen/had issues with 3rd party apps that write FAT or especially NTFS file systems to devices,....... not all are created equal
while i personally prefer "Rufus" as it's a all in one app with several features (like creating a bootable usb key from a ISO image)
i would also trust the program "SDH" recommends as he works with "Z" workstations and knows what works in his environment
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