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I've downloaded the required files to flash the firmware on my RAID controller I have also read the KB article:

However it is not particularly clear - I do not have an OS installed yet, so how can I flash the firmware on this with a floppy / usb key?

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+1: I haven't done this myself (although I should) and I would like to know how as well to avoid any pitfalls the instructions leave behind. – osij2is Oct 29 '09 at 18:32

After reading the instructions you posted, it seems fairly simple via floppy for method #4:

Method 4. Boot to DOS and run flash.exe.

When running the flash program, you must specify the /f switch:

flash /f prom0008.img

(note: with some older code sets the '/f' switch is not required e.g. just type flash)

If you want to make a DOS boot floppy, all you need are three files: IO.SYS, COMMAND.COM and I think CONFIG.SYS (can't recall accurately) but the easiest way to make DOS boot floppy is to go to Download the boot disk maker and follow instructions on making that bootable floppy.

On that same floppy, copy the flash.exe and the new ROM image (in the example's case prom0008.img). Boot the system off of the floppy. Once you get to a command prompt (C:>), go to the floppy drive (presumably A:), and run the flash program as the example showed (A:>flash.exe /f prom0008.img).

Make sense?

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It's a little bit more complicated than simply adding those files to the root of a formatted floppy but +1 for pointing to If you have trouble locating an actual floppy drive it is possible to make a DOS bootable USB Key - – Helvick Oct 29 '09 at 20:15
Thanks, Helvick for the up vote. I failed to mention the whole USB bootdisk too so thanks for pointing that out. What makes flashing the firmware on the 3Ware "more complicated"? I'm just curious as I have to do it myself pretty soon. If you have any advice or step-by-step procedures, I'd appreciate it! – osij2is Oct 29 '09 at 20:40
I was just saying that making a bootable disk of any sort requires more than just the OS files you mention - there has to be a boot record on the first sector so that the BIOS can use it to boot. I've no reason to think that the 3Ware firmware update will be tricky at all, I've done hundreds of device firmware updates of various sorts this way and I can't recall any that have failed. – Helvick Oct 29 '09 at 21:48
this answer is the difficult route. – djangofan Mar 29 '10 at 16:42
You can use FreeDOS to boot and flash the firmware from an usb stick. I used Clonezilla USB Stick for this. – Fa11enAngel Mar 11 '13 at 13:52

You dont need to do it with a bootable disk, and IMHO you shouldn't.

The best way to do this is to install the Java management utility for the 3Ware card. I own the 9650SE also and I have flashed it numerous times. In the Java utility there is a easy Firmware upgrade button in there. You dont need to do it from a flashdrive or without the OS being loaded. The firmware upgrade is easy, just like how most wireless routers do it.

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The best way to update the card on a machine with no OS is to install a (graphical) OS, install Java, then run a Java tool to do it? Why exactly do you believe the Java version is somehow better then then DOS version? – devicenull Jan 11 '13 at 5:42
If there is a DOS version of the tool, I didn't know it exists. – djangofan Jan 11 '13 at 16:03

Any java program needs a jvm pre-installed. When the disks are bare, you'll need to format one of them, install an OS and then install a JDK/JRE/JVM then finally use the thing. Hours, it will take.

You need: - a USB key - the three aforementioned files - a USB boot record/format utility such as HPUSBFW.EXE
- your flash util executable and rom file

Try this link instead - (using dos 7.1)...

...Or get the 3 files here...

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First step is creating bootable DOS USB drive as it described in the following article. win98_bootdisk.iso image worked fine.

When bootable USB drive is created please copy Firmware upgrade files to it.

Boot from USB drive > Execute upgrade.

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