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I have a supermicro motherboard I want to flash the BIOS on, but the firmware is bigger than will fit on a freedos boot disk.

How can I flash it?

I should point out that I am using linux on my desktop NOT windows and bootable CD is not an option, the server doesn't have a CDROM drive and I don't have a portable one available.

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closed as not constructive by John Gardeniers, RobM, mfinni, Scott Pack, MDMarra Mar 2 '12 at 16:48

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Still wondering why the question is being voted closed when it's entirely on topic! If there are problems with the question why not ask me to modify it or damn well do it yourself! – Matt Mar 2 '12 at 8:55
Matt - read the FAQ. If this is for a single desktop system, this is indeed off-topic for ServerFault. It should be on SuperUser. Our voting to close will migrate it their automatically, by its own damn self. – mfinni Mar 2 '12 at 12:34

Please see below:

you will need to download 2 pieces of software in order to do this. ive uploaded both of them for you.

the first is a small utility from hp to make a usb stick bootable:

the second is the actual bootable files you need to add to the usb stick:

this can also be done with any burning program that can burn a bootable cd/dvd disc. once you select make the disc bootable you will need to add the bootme files to that disc.

Making a bootable DOS USB Key:

first: Extract and nstall the HP USB Drive program.

second: Extract the DOS boot files somewhere just remember where you extracted them. Let's for now say we extracted them to C:\bootme\ (if you do not have this directory it will prompt if it should make it answer yes or extract them someplace you know where they will be. remember we will need to find these in a minute)

third: Now run the hp utility. VISTA: You need to start the HP Drive Key Program as an administrator by RIGHT CLICKING the icon and selecting "Run as Administrator".

fourth: Insert a USB stick and it should install the drivers automatically if this is the first time using it, if not they should already be installed now.

fifth: in the hp "drive key" program Choose FAT32 as the filesystem. call the volume whatever you want i call mine dosboot, but it doesn't matter. Under "Format Options" check the box next to "Quick Format" and "Create a DOS startup disk" . Choose the button next to "Using DOS system files located at:" and click the little browse button "..." next to the blank and navigate to C:\bootme (or wherever you extracted the DOS boot files earlier). Click OK.

Now click "Start" and the HP Drive Key utility will turn your USB device into a bootable DOS disk! It will popup a window asking you to confirm! answer ok and it will continue.

now if you check the usb stick there should be 3 files installed on it., io.sys and msdos.sys. if you do not see them you may have to unhide them if they are "hidden" files. or just simply dont worry about it they are there now so no big deal.

personally i like to make a folder on the stick for my new files. but this does require changing to that directory once at the c: prompt. so for this example lets make a folder on the stick called "clevo". now copy the files for flashing to the stick in this folder you just made.

now you are ready to flash.

reboot your system and it should recognize the usb stick. it if bypasses it and goes right to windows you will need to reboot and enter the bios. for this example the sager uses the f2 key for this. so reboot and hit f2 when prompted.

once in the bios move over to the boot tab. here you will be able to move up or down the order of you boot devices. make sure the "usb stick" is before any of your hdd's or cd/dvd drives. for now lets make it first on the list. now tab to the exit tab (i believe thats what it is in the bios.. its the last one) move down to save and exit and hit enter.

this time it will reboot to the usb stick and you are now at a c: prompt. for our example we will need to move to the directory where we put or bios files to flash with which was "clevo". to do this we type cd\ clevo and then hit enter. now you will be at a prompt the says c:\clevo>

this is where our files are we need.

now you will type at the c:\clevo> prompt "refresh" without the quotes and hit enter. this will automaticaly start your flash. sit back and wait and enjoy the annoying beeps and when it finishes hit any key to reboot. if for some reason it does not reboot when prompted to hit any key simply turn off the system and turn it back on.

if for some reason the refresh command does not start your flash you will need to use the phlash16 command.

to do this again we will need to be at the c:\clevo> prompt and now simply type "phlash16" again without the quotes and hit enter. this method is used usually only if the version you are flashing is newer than what is on the system. but normally the refresh command works either way.

once again when prompted to hit any key pick one to hit and it will reboot. now you NEED TO REMOVE THE USB STICK FOR IT TO BOOT TO WINDOWS!!! or it will boot back to the c: prompt once again.

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This is to create the boot disk from windows. quite troublesome if I'm on Linux. – Matt Mar 2 '12 at 7:08
This can be created from another machine. – DaffyDuc Mar 2 '12 at 7:12
Sorry, I didn'tt have another machine handy. But I found a much simpler solution. – Matt Mar 2 '12 at 8:13

What about "you don't use a flash boot disc"?

Does the motherboard not support booting from USB stick? ;) All my motherboards from the last years support booting from USB stick and / or CD.

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It does, but the flash tool is dos. Can you tell me how to make a dos disk bigger than 1.44MB? – Matt Mar 2 '12 at 7:00
@matt - format your USB stick as fat16 and and then you should be able to get a boot loader on there. I know how to do this the oldschool way but not with Linux. – Mark Henderson Mar 2 '12 at 7:11

Turns out it was easy and I did this initially, but didn't realise that copying the firmware to the flashdisk puts the files on the C drive (and that's not the hard drive, it's a RAM drive) I was only looking at A drive.

Here is what you do. (This is on Ubuntu).

Install unetbootin

sudo apt-get install unetbootin

Run it.

Select Freedos from the Distribution dropdown and select the correct drive & Type (USB Drive) down the bottom of the dialog.  Then Click OK to install the image to the flash disk.

Copy the BIOS update files to the root of the flash drive.

Boot up server with flash disk inserted.  I just selected LIVE CD from the menu that freedos presents.

And the files are actually on the C drive.  This allowed me flash the bios successfully.

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