Flashing BIOS on Linux should be a painless process. Manufacturer do not support GNU/Linux enough. We hope them to provide us with the images needed for flashing the BIOS.

Difficult Decision, remove machine's default OS

knowingly, the latest BIOS updates (aka Flashing Bios) only can be run on Win7. That's is a problem our modest dm1z is very slow with that SO. When we bought the dm1z we dropped win7 completely. Why we should spend some free space on a partition We do not expect to use.

However, we realized there were problems when the dm1z was on a heavy load. When visiting the archlinux forums It turned out to be a problem with an outdated bios. At that moment We did not noticed that, This task was not going to be an easy task. But, we remembered also DOS was always an option at the past, but some things change. When we reached for the manufacture's file 1 for updating the BIOS It was only available for win7, nothing else, that was the last We did hope for.

But, wait a minute we were not on a hurry to update the BIOS back in the 2012 year. Lately, that fact changed. The dm1z most visible problem happened when cross-compiling with mingw-cc. Our Software releases (our inventory system) does not happen very often. But yesterday the dm1z frozen when watching a video on the browser and also listening an online stream. Being a day like Sunday, we decided to invest the time on the bios flashing.

After visiting a reference site on the subject, the site recommended extracting the file with the BIN extension an apply it with a universal flasher. We were with no luck doing this. For this procedure we used FreeDOS running from a memdisk 2, our memdisk was set up on syslinux.

syslinux menu fig:01-syslinux

As the FreeDOS procedure did not work. We try copying a Win7 image with clonezilla from another dm1z we have at hand. As that image was 64 bit that method did not work also. We thought what if we run the flashing file from VirtualBox, but it is not possible, DO NOT TRY THAT.

At this moment, We were thinking about installing win7 on another hard drive just for flashing the dm1z BIOS. After spending 6 hours on this, that was looking not a lot of trouble after all. But again when we watched another dm1z booting win7 (all the time it takes), that fact discourages us. Again searching the web for alternatives the archlinux wiki recommended a couple of tools (biosdisk, flashrom). biosdisk was not compatible with our hardware. We got to the point in which biodisk suggested us sending an email with the details of our board, that way our hardware was going to be included an supported by biodisk.

Then we read also on the web that modern motherboards carry a tool for recovering BIOS if you press Super+B (Super is also know as Win key), for this procedure to work was also necessary an usb drive with the HP_Tools directory structure. This method did not worked also, we watched a youtube video of somebody else recovering a BIOS with this method, perhaps another person could have better luck with this method.

Digging down more on the network we found a procedure that was based on a win7 (32bit) bootable image. We tried this procedure 3 too, and it failed too. But, the weird thing was when we expect our dm1z boot from the usb disk, the machine did not booted, no error message no any clue. As soon as we realized about that fact. We thought we could spend more time preparing our usb drive for trying this method again. When we watched the clock, It was so late, and it also was bed time.

The next day, after waking up We were rested, and thought again about writing the iso image to the usb drive, probably the writing process needs more work, that is what we thought, an that was the case. dd was not up to the challenge this time. It was necessary to perform some additional steps for preparing the usb drive, this link 4 was very useful in this case. After finishing, we tried to boot again, this time we got an error message 'bootmngr missing', We felt we were more near of our goal . Inspecting the iso content we realized the boot manager was in a folder inside an not at the usb drive root. We had to copy all the files where bootmngr was present to the usb root. When trying again IT WORKED. We were able of flashing the dm1z BIOS.

Sumarizing. This is what worked for us: First off, we got some info in this article about the bootable win7 image. Then we prepared our usb drive in linux using the info of this other article. the win7 repair disc (32bit) is available on the network, that is what we need the manufacturers give us on their support site. An also detailed steps even with images for doing this.

Bios Version fig:02-Bios_version

Well, this was our 2014 first post. hopefully it is useful for someone else with the same problem. Special Thanking our friend deruberhanyok for helping with his detailed post about flashing a dell machine.


1. In our case the filename is sp60868.exe. Download the file according to your machine model.

2. To do a memdisk. We got the 2.88 size image which was the smallest which fit our BIN file. This was pointed out in the Archlinux wiki (ArchWiki).

3. we skipped the first 5 steps, as we got from the net an ISO containing the win7 32-bit System Repair Disc.

4. You can do the same with gparted.

Last change: 15.01.2014 10:55

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