Semi-OT: Flashing The BIOS On An HP Dl580 GT, Afterward

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When last we saw our hero, er, sysadmin, he’d found that the “noarch” BIOS update was, in fact, a self-extracting .exe file, and he’d extracted it. Finally getting the ok to take the system down, the following hilarity (for small values of hilarity) ensued.

First, booting off unetbootin to freedos was fine… except it was try to guess which version – freedos + emm386 + himem, no himem, live CD only, or, finally, “no drivers loaded”, which works. It gags on something orders of magnitude larger than it was written for, y’know.

Then I discover that the builtin type command does *not* have /p, and there’s no more command, and I should have read the longer files before I started this. Fun with ensues.

Finally, I find what are actually DOS config.sys files, with different extensions, and read them – they’re one-liners, and find out how to run the rompaq.exe that runs the utility to flash the drives, and run it. And again. And again. And *finally* get the reason it’s failing, and (to save the original name) copied the actual data from an 8.3 name into 7 char, which the utility demands: *exactly* seven chars, no more, no less.

And unlike the Dell utility, which give you lots of warm fuzzies (“collecting data”, “this is for this hardware, this is newer, do you want to update?”), this just does it. Fortunately, this HBS contains a backup ROM, just in case….

And a three-finger kill later, it’s up. And I put the memory boards back in, so we’ll see if the BIOS update fixed the memory problems (remember them? this song’s about them)….
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