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rev138
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:44 am    Post subject: Need help with boot disk for BIOS update [SOLVED] Reply with quote

I'm trying to flash the BIOS on my Acer Travelmate 5730 laptop, but I'm running into a brick wall. The flash utility, of course, only works under DOS/Windows, so I need to use some kind of boot disk.

My first problem is that the ROM alone is 2MB, so I can't fit it on a standard floppy image. A technique I've used in the past is burned the flash utility and ROM to a data CD using K3B, which lets you include a floppy image to boot from. When this boots, it presents you with a drive letter where your data files are mounted, as a sort of virtual CDROM device. It worked for me to flash the BIOS on another system I have.

The problem I ran into with this system is that the DOS environment doesn't recognize this CD drive properly. I've tried several boot images, and also tried using an external USB CD drive. The boot image will load the OAKCDROM.SYS, which then detects the drive as either "BANANA" "MICRON" or "MSCD001", and then spits out an error about not having the proper drivers, so I cant access the BIOS files.

So, I either need to resolve this problem, or find a 2.88MB bootable DOS image so I can fit the 2MB bios update on it. I'm not sure where to begin on the former, and I've searched quit a bit for a 2.88MB image and not come up with anything so far.

Help?
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Last edited by rev138 on Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rolis
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you can try system rescue cd http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
it allows to boot dos. probably the easiest way for you would be to install it on usb stick if your laptop can boot from usb.

when you boot into dos, usb stick is mounted as one of the dos drives (can't remember which one exactly). so just copy your bios files to the usb stick after you install sys rescue on it.

that's the way i do all my bios updates.
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SlashBeast
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can boot floppy image by grub

Quote:
title Bios upgrade floppy
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memdisk
initrd /boot/biosupgradefloppy.img


memdisk you will found in /usr/share/syslinux/memdisk after merging syslinux
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rev138
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlashBeast wrote:
You can boot floppy image by grub

Quote:
title Bios upgrade floppy
root (hd0,0)
kernel /boot/memdisk
initrd /boot/biosupgradefloppy.img


memdisk you will found in /usr/share/syslinux/memdisk after merging syslinux


I actually tried that last night, after making my initial post. It gets as far as "Starting MS-DOS" and then sits there and does nothing. I tried two different floppy images - same result. Unofrtunately, even if that would work, it doesn't solve the problem of the bios update being too large to fit in a floppy image.
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SlashBeast
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I upgrade my bios by usb stick genereted by windows program from HP for it, its use freedos. If you want i can do image of this usbstick by partimage and upload for you, so you can copy your bios file and flash program (for dos) to pendrive after restore and try boot from usbstick and upgrade.
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Jupiter1TX
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After years of working with hardware my first thought when i read this was...
'isn't there a Acer Bios Update Utility CD'? Well of course there should be since
almost all laptops no longer come with floppy drives. So i googled it.
Quote:
# BIOS CD tool
By using this CD it is possible to update the servers BIOS,BMC,... booting directly from this CD-ROM
BIOS CD R17

http://support.acer-euro.com/drivers/utilities.html#BIOS
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Last edited by Jupiter1TX on Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rev138
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rolis wrote:
you can try system rescue cd http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page
it allows to boot dos. probably the easiest way for you would be to install it on usb stick if your laptop can boot from usb.

when you boot into dos, usb stick is mounted as one of the dos drives (can't remember which one exactly). so just copy your bios files to the usb stick after you install sys rescue on it.

that's the way i do all my bios updates.


I tried this with a usb stick, and it boots perfectly on pretty much every machine I tried, except the one I'm trying to flash. Just like with the other images I've tried to boot from, it gets to the stage where it's loading DOS, then hangs. Argh. Thanks for the tip though.

Jupiter1TX wrote:
After years of working with hardware my first thought when i read this was...
'isn't there a Aces Bios Update Utility CD'? Well of course there should be since
almost all laptops no longer come with floppy drives. So i googled it.


Wow. I'll give that a try. It boggles me how crappy the Acer US support site is compared to the European one. The US site doesn't even have BIOS updates for my model listed.
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rev138
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm... not so fast. I downloaded that CD, but it only seems to have updates for the Altos line of servers, not my Travelmate :?
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SlashBeast
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try add bios file to iso and burn remastered image.
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rev138
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally made it work. What I did was use the Acer CD to get myself into a DOS environment, then used that to access the bios update on my usb stick.

Thanks for all the help guys :)
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